Tuesday, November 20, 2012

50 Shades of Blue

7.7.12 It was a Saturday full of love and happy memories. The day was sparkling with colorful shades of blue as Kit and I shared this beautiful moment of our life together with our family, friends and relatives. Here are some of the special things that made our royal blue wedding an affair to remember: - The wedding motif was royal blue - Blue passport wedding invitation - Boarding pass invitation in shades of pink and blue - Blue suede pumps as my wedding shoes - My bouquet of blue and white flowers - Bridesmaids who looked so pretty in their blue dresses and matching blue clutch bags with beads by Florence - The Psalm Reading was beautifully sang by Jenny. - Fr. Chris gave us the a very touching homily of love. - A cake with a replica of us as a topper - Top of the Apo was elegantly decorated by Florence - A Polynesian Dance number by Lanriel - Beautiful Love Songs in the air by Ate Rhodora, Jenny and Jun and Doc Del. - The food was superb. - The outpouring of love and best wishes was overwhelming.

Friday, April 13, 2012

behind the shadows

It was the one of the worst nights of my life. I have fought the battle but I lost.

I have seen it coming. I knew all along last January that this will never work out well. There was something wrong with how I conducted it. I have given up and even planned to pursue the study in June. But I never listened to myself and instead went on because others were doing it and because others were expecting me to make it.

I should have listened to myself more. I should have listened to the signs.

Now, facing reality that I failed was so painful. The pain was excruciating and it was tormenting me like hell. I thought it was okay when they gave me the decision. They even appreciated me that I was so accepting about it and remained very positive. I thought it would be okay but something is telling me inside that it is NOT okay.

I went home defeated, heartbroken and sad. I was like a contestant in a game show who didn't get the 1 million pesos because she has chosen the wrong box so she went home empty handed. My family comforted me and they still believe I can do it better next semester. My brother jokingly told me I was not yet ready to become a "master" and asked if I already have my summer pay so we can buy that Selecta Overload ice cream we were craving for and a box of pizza. That's the prize of being comforted by a younger brother.

I was crying the whole night...crying so hard that I was gasping for air, unable to breath between heavy sobs. I thought the crying would go on forever but it was the long distance call from a very good friend, ate chin which brought me back to my senses. Her words consoled my broken heart like a lullaby to a crying baby.

She told me that the Thesis is NOT my everything. God has a special reason why He allowed me to experience this failure. I may not be able to grasp it at this moment but she said, the special reason will just come in due time. God has something in store for me and the realization will just come in later.

The sobs died a natural death after that call. I was so tired from crying that I fell asleep. I woke up feeling better...my eyes are heavy but still I feel good. I was inspired by the text message of my ninang-to-be ate Narlina that I should have MD (marriage degree) first before MAED :)She told me that sometimes we need to taste some bitterness in life in order to taste better the sweetness in store for us.

God is always behind my shadows.Unseen but always there. No matter how much pain life brings, there is always God who will ease the hurt away. He never abandons a defeated child. He will never.

Today is a brand new day. I see my failure now as a blessing. There's no space for regrets because I know deep within me that I did my best. My best was not just good enough. I still have the second chance to redeem myself this June. The panelists did not give up on me. They were hopeful and believed I can do the experiment again.

This summer, it is time to focus myself on my upcoming wedding. The sweetness will come my way. I may not have the masteral degree, but I have the love of my family and friends. I may not have the nod of my panelists last night but I have the unconditional love of Kit who told me not to give up and lose hope.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Davao's Magic

Thursday afternoon on my way home from work, I was waiting for my usual jeepney ride when out of the blue, something was pushing me to stop the waiting and start walking. It seemed like a bolt of lighting has ignited my legs to move forward and stroll along Ponciano Reyes Street. In the middle of a Davao rush hour, I was strutting in my blue flats unmindful of the heavy noise of jeepneys and busy commuters. The stretch brought me to Palma Gil Street where I made a stop at Romy's Shoe Repair Shop near the Royal Mandaya Hotel.

Manong Romy is my all time favorite shoe repair man. I have known him since I was in my elementary years--- the go-to-guy whenever we had shoe problems, from a simple flaw to a deep shoe predicament, name it and he can fix them all. A short chat with him made me nostalgic and memories of the past kept flooding in my mind. With a sentimental smile on my face, I was standing on the sidewalk near Manong Romy right where my childhood is--- its fondest and bitter memories have shaped me as a person.

I was born and raised in Davao. I was and will always be a city girl. The busy streets of Ponciano, Palma Gil, Bolton, Claveria and Ilustre were my playgrounds when I was a kid. I know by heart every nook and niche of the downtown area and where secret hideaways are kept. The chattering sounds of college students of UM, the hoarse voice of vendors selling balut or puto and the irritating honks of jeepneys were like songs in my music playlist. The smell of freshly baked bread of Diaz Bakery and the aroma of grilled pork barbeque from the stalls in Claveria were the everyday scents that I was immune to. The movie posters in Lawaan and Odeon Theatres, the Tagalog Komiks sold along the sidewalks and the espradille shoes displayed in Aldevinco were the things I craved for as a young girl.

As I was taking a walk (literally) down memory lane, a sense of sentimentality brought me to tears. Davao has changed so much over the years. What used to be a less popular city of worn out infrastructure and backward civilization, Davao City has become progressive and modernized. Traversing the streets of downtown Davao, I glimpsed at the many faces of Davao's structure and flavors -- some have been gone and replaced, others were renovated and refurbished and few have remained.

The old PTA grounds where the usual carnival and athletic competitions were held is gone but is replaced with the city's number one tourist attraction, the People's Park. The once famed Gaisano Center had closed but now, modern and sleek malls are sprouting in the city like mushrooms. Non-air taxis are now substituted with airconditioned ones while AC jeepneys have become fewer when the Multicabs took over the roads.

Despite all these changes, a few of city's memories have remained, standing still and keeping the city's past alive. The old city hall continues to be a formidable stronghold of the city's leadership. The San Pedro Cathedral and its bell tower have been the landmarks of Davao's faith and where strength is drawn after all the downfalls the city has faced from the past. The city streets are all the same but made spunkier with taller buildings with modern architecture. The well known Merco chain is still alive, its prominence has never faded amidst the surge of stylish restaurants and coffee shops all around the city.

Beyond the repainted walls and the addition of tourists attractions and buildings, Davao has remained the city I grew up loving for over the years. It has the same flavor but with different twists. It has the same color but with an array of shades and accents. Davao will always be Davao because of one magic---- its people.

Davao city's magic is in its people--the warm and friendly Davaoeños from all walks of life whether born and raised here or migrated due to certain circumstances. The city's power and enigma lies in its diversity-- from Christians, Muslims and Lumads living together as one family. Davao's treasure is its people with "durianity" in their blood and "duterteism" in their hearts. A Davaoeño will always have that fighting spirit as strong as the durian smell and a heart that is sweet and creamy as its taste. The people have withstood all storms in the past--insurgencies, threat to security and safety and even challenges in leadership but Davaoenos will always have the heart of gold. Davaoeños possess the Duterte fire in their hearts-- tough, bold and never giving up but with genuine kindness that is unquestionable and the love for the common good always prevails.

Davao is like a pair of good old shoes. It may have been tested by times, challenged by any weather condition, faced with breaks and damages but there will be a Manong Romy who will constantly revive its power and beauty. Davao will always have the Davaoeños, the Manong Romys who will unceasingly fight for their beloved city, to keep the laid back feel in modernity alive and to restore its splendor and repair damages after every fall.

I will soon be marrying a Cebuano who loves Davao as much as I do. Even though this marriage will require me to relocate to his hometown as we start our life together, Davao will always be my home. My love for this city will never fade because it is where my heart is. My physical body will be away from time to time but my heart will stay in its little street corners. I will always be coming back home to Davao because truly LIFE IS HERE.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

God's surprises

It was a tiring, disheartening, and frustrating week for me and my friends. It was a bad week where all negative vibes and intentions from negative people around were mixed in a bowl, rolled and shaped into a meatball then thrown right at your clueless face when you were at your most defenseless and unprepared self. What makes it more depressing is the sight of your good friend crying in front of people who were just as clueless as she is and was placed in a middle of a well orchestrated public humiliation seasoned with a twist of betrayal. I salute my dear friend for her courage and I despise myself for not having that same courage to speak up and defend my name and my friends' or just say my piece.

I really wanted to blog all my hate, my frustrations, my irritations, the hurt inside and how I loathe these people last Thursday night right after that horrible scene at the meeting. But I decided to sleep it off and postpone the i-hate-these-people blogging. It was indeed God's grace. Saturday morning, I woke up at 4am and felt the urge to release that excruciating pain in me and that flood of hate surging in my blood. I went out of my house and headed to People's Park. Clad in my white Nike rubber shoes, I started walking around the park with the early morning joggers. The place was full of people from all walks of life...but they all turned invisible to me as I was making a few rounds of brisk walking.

Thoughts of the past days and the emotions which enveloped me were coming again. As I gradually increased my speed, I was like moved into a trance as I was putting all my energy in my legs and feeling the prickly heat inside my body. Unmindful of the people in the park, I kept on walking and walking with my mind and heart racing, fighting off the negativity lurking in me. It was just like being the only person in a deserted place. The walk was healing me. As my body paced and my heart was beating so fast, I was slowly dusting off the cobwebs of hate and wiping out the frustrations that are clouding me. I stopped after an hour of seemingly endless rounds of walking ...feeling light, relieved and a little free of hostility and hate. Amazingly, my newly pampered and manicured feet wrapped in rubber shoes never got tired after that walk and even my legs were without cramps the whole day. It was a surprise.

God indeed has so much surprises in store for all of us. Another came today as I tuned in to my favorite Sunday show. With my blogging plans still on hold, God surprised me with an unexpected message through the story of Jonah. This week was a Jonah experience. I ran away from God and like Jonah who was asked by God to change the people in Nineveh, I judged quickly and label others as bad. I refused to see these people around me the way God sees them because what overpowered me was hate. I was blinded by my emotions.

The walk in the park and the message by Bo Sanchez were God's little surprises to me. This beautiful weekend thought me to just accept the people who are difficult to accept and their weaknesses because I myself has my own sets of limitations and limps-- limps which can also make me unacceptable for others. I am broken, weak and hurt and so they are. God is telling me to be more accepting and forgiving of others...to be more understanding and to try to be like Jesus even if it is hard to do. The reason why we cannot accept other people and their weaknesses is because we do not accept our own weaknesses.

Today, as I prepare myself for another week, I will try to be more accepting and forgiving. God will never fail me and He will put his arms around me despite my brokenness and handicap and knowing this, the more I should be understanding of people and their limitations. Right at this moment as I end this blog entry, I am slowly draining away the poisons of rage and bitterness. I will try to release the anger and irritation even if I know that it is difficult because I don't want to give my life and my future to these people and to live forever in hate.

God's surprises come in different forms and from different people. Not all surprises come from nicely wrapped gift boxes. We just have to listen more and see beyond the external.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

feet on the ground

Its 4AM and 4 hours to go before the SMEMCO anniversary celebration. Feeling a little rested and little better after last night's bout with stomach pains, I woke up with so much optimism and excitement in my heart. I still don't have the welcome remarks prepared for the program later so here I am in front of my brother's laptop thinking of how to start my speech.

well I better begin in 5...4...3...2...1

I love Sundays. Sundays are always special. Today February 5, 2012 is an extra special Sunday because we are celebrating our SMEMCO's 14th anniversary. It is a little extra special because today is also ate Bing Sagaray's birthday.

My regular Sunday would never be complete without this habit which I recently started after I heard it from Mr. Bayogos. Every Sunday morning, I would always make sure that I won't miss the talk of Bo Sanchez on TV. I missed today's episode since I am here celebrating this special Sunday with you and because of that I might as well share with you a message from Bo a few episodes ago.


I would like to share this beautiful message with you because this is the greatest lesson SMEMCO has taught me over the years. To be humble means to be always be of service to others even if sometimes it is an additional load of work on your part. To be humble is to keep your feet on the ground and not let your position intimidate other people. To be humble is to smile and be accommodating despite difficult situations and in front of difficult people. To be humble is to be patient and understanding of other people's problems which are oftentimes financial. To be humble is not uttering hurting words to others and to make things a little less complicated for them. Humility is not owning and doing everything on your own but to delegate tasks because others can do things better and never fail to acknowledge their efforts and be generous with appreciation. Humility is listening to others and learning from their wisdom. SMEMCO has truly shaped and helped me become a better person. It has taught me things I would never ever learn from books, seminars or masteral studies. It has taught me valuable lessons in life that is why my heart is always for SMEMCO.

SMEMCO started from humble beginnings initiated by the people who saw its potential and now 14 years later, our cooperative has grown bigger, has faced a lot of changes and challenges, and has evolved into 8.3M net worth cooperative from 100 thousand starting capital. As we grow bigger and greater, SMEMCO will always remain humble and will never stop learning from other people and from institutions. It will continue to seek guidance, be open to present realities in life and will never close its doors to opportunities. It will stay strong for more years because of its greatest foundation--- you, your passion and love for this cooperative.

My welcome remarks is getting longer so I would like to end this by thanking all of you for being there during my journey as a Chairperson of SMEMCO. Thank you to the BOD- Ate Dors, Sir Luis, Ate Sonia, Ate Anabel, Ate Narlina and Oliver. To the officers –ate celia, syensi inday and Suzanne. And to our staff Jeff and Elvie. It was a little less difficult ride for me because you were there to guide and support me. And to all of you, mga igsoon sa kooperatiba, daghang salamat. Please do not give up on SMEMCO.

Welcome to this celebration and enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Monday, January 30, 2012

another step

Its the last day of my birthday month and I'm looking forward to that royal blue wedding that I have been dreaming of and waiting for with much excitement and love. I long for that day that I will be wearing my blue pair of shoes with my wedding gown as I walk down the aisle to the man I love.

It has always been my prayer ever since Kit and I started planning for this wedding that God will be there sending angels to guide us in every step we take before that special day. My morning prayer will always be offering all our plans to the Lord and let him sort out whatever is best for the two of us. I pray that whatever we plan and decide it will be His desire for us.

God has been so good. He has been sending angels and miracles to make everything so easy and smooth. Yesterday, I met Florence, my brother's good friend and talked about preps for the wedding. She was amazing and so kind helping me out with details I have missed and taken for granted because of ignorance. This is my first wedding so how should I know? LOL :) Anyway, her suggestions were really helpful and I was bursting with so much gladness when she promised to arrange the church and reception venues and fill it with so much royal blue and silver :)

I am so grateful to God for my brother. Out of his generosity and love for his sistah, he promised to pay for the arrangements. He will not be there to share with me this joy of being wed and to help me with tiny details on that day. But he made it sure that before he leaves for his next trip, everything will be ready and his friends will be there to help. He is the best! That why I love him so much!

Another step accomplished before the wedding in July. Thank you Lord for this blessing :)The pair of shoes destined for me is just there waiting and I better start searching.

Friday, November 25, 2011

of blessings and wedges

Thank you Lord for everything. This week is really overflowing with blessings.

I passed the first oral defense for my thesis because of YOU Lord. I could not make it without you. Everything went smoothly that Wednesday afternoon because you were there in that room through the words I have spoken. You were there as I looked in the eyes of my panelists who at first glance...you feel like you are about to be eaten alive. But they were gentle...and kind and whose comments are formative and helpful. Like a father's words to his child.

I was standing for the whole two hours wearing my brown strapped wedge feeling not even a single hint of leg pain. It was like wearing Jesus' sandals on my feet while walking in an endless road. It was the longest two hour journey of my life. When they gave the verdict that I passed after final deliberation, it was like finding a bus stop at the end of the road after the nonstop walking..where I was able to have a big sigh of relief. God, you were there in that journey never leaving me until I reached my destination.

Today, I received the Holy Spirit through confirmation. Wearing my red wedges with a flesh colored dress, I was sealed by the gift of the Holy spirit and it was one of the memorable occasions of my life with Kuya Gil as my ninong. My pair of wedges was flaming in red as I received this gift for the second time. Thank you for this one special moment Lord. Now I'm ready for the sacrament of Matrimony with a new pair of blue wedges perhaps? :)

I look forward to more blessings to come in wedges. I will continue to be grateful LORD and will always remain humble.... for you are the source of all these. Thank you Lord!