Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2. Love is an Investment

I can't remember my mum complain about how I was always pointing at Barbie dolls, Poly pockets, Tamagochis, Skechers shoes or drooling over a Chickenjoy meal whenever we’re in a mall (whether she can afford it or not). I was never a whining, demanding kid. Apart from earning the toys I had by bringing my mum a medal from quiz bees, declamation, or essay writing contests I eagerly joined, the toys and other gifts I had received were given, I believe --- out of love and kindness. Sometimes, I overheard them say, "she deserved it". 


Sabi ng nanay ko, sa sobrang bait ko daw (dati) dalawa lamang ang kwalipikasyon ng lalakeng dapat kong mapangasawa:

(1)  yung mas mahal ako ng lalake kesa yung kabaligtaran; o

(2) yung matatapatan o mahihigitan pa ng pagmamahal ng nanay ko yung pagmamahal ng mapapangasawa ko.


My dad died before i can clearly remember his face (August 1987). No one can argue how strong mum had always been by assuming the role of both mother and father until this very day. She never did remarry. Ever since my mum took charge, she focused her life on our needs: how she'd fix the roof during summertime, cook supper every night after work, and get part-time jobs/rakets for extra income. We never had to wash or iron our own clothes. She would pick up Blueberry and Cherry Muffins at French Baker for my baon the next day before heading home and would stock boxes of Cow Head for Kuya coz he drinks it like water. There were those times when it's difficult to make the ends meet yet we never had birthdays without trays of Baked Macaroni or a cake with a candle to blow out for that silent wishing ritual. She had sent us to good schools and taught us the moral values we could pass on our children. We are always on top of her list and she gave everything, including her own happiness because of love.


Mahirap maintindihan na may mga batang masyadong nagmamadali sa paglaki at pagtakas sa buhay kapiling ng mga magulang. Sa mumurang edad, imbes na maglaro at tumulong sa bahay e puro pagpapa-cute na ang inatupag nang makitang namimintog na ang kanilang mga dibdib. Yung iba nagmamadali nang magkaregla. 28-29 inches pa lang ang circumference ng kaha ng katawan kalahating dosena na ang pinorder na bra sa A-bon (Avon). Ang gusto pa e may pom (foam) at push-ups. Nag-poponds at Eskinol na wala pa mang pimples. Imbes na magsimba, nakatambay sa labas at nakikipagpalitan na ng mga celphone numbers ang nakapang-Christmas party getup na mga hitad. Nagbubulakbol at nagka-cutting para makapag-Dota. Mas babad pa ang mga kamay sa computer kesa sa mga hugasin sa lababo. Mas naka-chat pa ang mga kabarkada kesa nagawan ng Birthday card ang Tatay o masabihan ang nanay ng‘I Love You’ isang beses sa isang taon kpag Mother’s Day. Magpapaka-emo o misunderstood youth --- Ilalayo ang sarili kasi hinde daw sila maintindihan e hinde nman nila inilapit ang sarili nila in the first place. Tas di pa tapos ang pag-aaral magpapabuntis na o mambubuntis na o mag-aadik. Nakatapos man ng pag-aaral, paghahanap na ng syota o gelpren o asawa ang inatupag. Ni hinde magtrabaho para maparanas sa magulang ang ginhawa at pahingang matagal na nilang inaasam. Masyadong excited ang nakararami. Ni hinde na naisip na mabilis lang lumipas ang 18 taon ng pagiging bata. Meron ka namang 42 na taon pa para maghanap at makasama mo yung pinakasalan mo at ang magiging pamilya mo kung pagbabasehan ang average life span ng isang Pilipino. Na sa paglipas ng panahon sa dumadaming distraksyon sa buhay e mas lumiliit ang pagkakataon na ibalik sa magulang ang atensyon, pagmamahal at pag-aaruga na binigay nila saten --- Out of pure love man o kahit na dahil lamang sa obligasyon. Hinde nman masama na sa limitadong panahon e sila nman ang maging dependent satin. Hinde masama yun kung hinde sosobra.

Habang buhay kong pagsisilbihan at ibabalik ang mga taon na hinde lang sarili ang inisip ng Nanay ko sa pagpapalaki sakin dahil sa lubos na pagmamahal. Kaya ako nagsumikap sa pag-aaral at nagttrabaho para matupad ang lahat ng mga pangarap nya. Hinde utang na loob, kundi pagbabalik lang ng nararapat. Mahal ko e.


It’s as if I had my first born at the age of 23. Every morning, I’d pack his bag for school... i mean, work. There he would usually find 3 hard boiled eggs, a 3 layer peanut butter and banana sandwich, and some slices of apple in zip locks. A Sirloin Salad for lunch (his favorite) in a medium sized rectangular lock & lock and another banana for his afternoon snack. Still on my wrinkled pyjamas, I’d drive him to his office while we talk about some football players who got transferred to another team or last night's episode of Breaking Bad. After my 10-hour shift, I’d drive myself home, head straight to the kitchen and prepare our dinner and tomorrow’s brunch with snacks (which are, by the way, not last night’s leftovers). Around 11, I would be sweating myself out with Jillian Michaels.


2009: Sumunod si Rob sa Qatar at 
hiningi ang kamay ko kay Mama upang magpakasal kami sa Huwes.

2010: Nag-ipon si Rob para sa pinapangarap naming (at ng aking pamilya) kasal sa simbahan.

2011: Ikalawang kasal sa simbahan kasama ang ilang mga kapamilya at kaibigan.


When Rob and I exchanged our vows, not only I promised to be loyal and will love him for the rest of our waking days.. I also promised to be the best wife and mother one could have. I would take care of him as much as how he had been pampered by his mother. I taught myself how to cook meals he could only have in hotels and classy restaurants. I listen to him and made his interests my own. We laugh at the corniest jokes and shed tears together in trying times like those girls in Johnson's Pure Essentials ads. I take care of myself coz I'm a wife too. As much as I can, I am extra sensitive to his needs. There shouldn’t be any reason for him to look far away if he needed someone. I can be his mom / best bud / brother / girlfriend.. or even his mistress. 

When we're starting out as a couple, he couldn’t stand wasting our energies on a restday washing and ironing clothes so he hired a lady to do it. He also bought me my comic books and action figures. Louis Vuitton for me wasn’t even a dream. The gold tags are outrageously steep that it became just an idea. But not for long. For I don’t have to tell my husband I deserved that bag. He knew that he had to buy me one. No, two.

Like Dolphy to Zsazsa, Rob prioritizes my convenience and, if I would allow him to do so, all the luxury he can afford to give me.

Some improvements had been realized for the past 3 years which involved maturity in terms of consumerism, budget, wise prioritization and other grown-up undertakings. We don’t spend that much anymore just to show our love for each other. He now does all the housework to help me out (except cooking) without resorting to paid services. We plan ahead and take things seriously though sometimes, it sure is a struggle, when one wants something while the other kills the yearning. What I admire about my husband is that, he knows when to yield. He doesn’t press his personal motives. He acknowledges my fixation on order and preparation. His priorities are unquestionable: the wife and her interests above others.



5D Mark III? 

House & Lot.


Love is an investment: A non-profit one shared by two people in love. Not only it involves capitalizing on financial, material and physical elements but also captures time and the emotional aspect in their lives. If one does so, he does not give anything less than EVERYTHING. If a woman troubles herself to please her husband, a man who passionately loves her will give everything at his BEST in return. One would know what they have is a good investment if the return of whatever each has been investing to another comes back in terms of: affection, loyalty & security given, priorities wherein the partner is being held on top of his list, and share of work effort. This doesn't tell us, as individuals, to love only if you will gain something from the other. It merely focuses on the give and take relationship, a two-way connection where the couple invest all their resources on each other and mutually benefit from the relationship in return. 

The same principle affects the love which springs higher further each day between me and Rob. My husband is giving me all his best for he sees that I deserve it, just like mum. As a result, the friendship, loyalty, deep respect and my consuming love for him  is the return of his investment.  

And so my mum believes that this love is a good deal worth risking.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chapter 4: I Am Legend

I'm the worst fan of horror movies. I love watching them but i don't really watch them. 90% of the time, i just either cover my eyes and peek through the gap between my fingers or I simply fast forward the whole movie and skip all the scary scenes to get it over and done with.

On the other hand, my wife is the best fan of this genre. She literally begs me to find copies of her fave films (the shining, the exorcist, and all Asian horror movies) and then charms her way into forcing me to watch them with her. Her passion for this stuff is so strong that she bribes me with tons of pasta just to make sure that I fulfill her longing for all things creepy.

The remaining 10% is when I actually enjoy scary films; no skipped scenes, no screaming, no fake bathroom breaks. This usually happens when I watch Zombie flicks. Or in this case, tv shows of the undead.

The Walking Dead falls on the category of shows that you binge-watch during your rest days. There's just something about its story that draws you in. Some may disagree but I do believe that the TV adaptation is a bit better than its comic book counterpart (I read all of them) The story is more fluent and the suspense is more thrilling. My wife unsurprisingly loves it, too. In fact, she now loves me by a tenfold just because I watch it with her. 


It was eerily dark in the movie house that day. On my lips were blemishes of red and on my lap were sliced flesh and ground meat. As moans of the undead filled the air, my heart desperately tried to keep up with the pace of its own beat. Beside me was a woman with bloodied silverware in her hands. Chillingly enjoying the moment, her stare was spine-tingling and her voice sent shivers from my nape to my toes.

Trapped in that moment, I looked back at those days when all I simply wanted was to catch a glimpse of her smile. I should have been satisfied with that. If I only knew that scaring the hell out me was in her books then I should have stayed at home instead. Her twisted sense of a fun time wasn't part of the persona that she projected.

Mislead by her charm, I had no choice but to succumb to her sadistic desires. It was either a horror movie or there was no first date.

On the big screen was a man holding a grenade with a number of zombies trying to break the glass barrier between them. Sacrificing himself to save others, he pulled the pin and died after a few minutes.

On my seat was a man eating the spaghetti that she brought. Sharing the same fork and container, his heart paused for a brief moment after the movie ended.

And that..
was how..


I became less scared of zombies.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chapter 3: The Crooner

Confession 1: 
 I admit that I watch Glee and I enjoy each and every episode. I’m a closet “Gleek” and I have all of the show’s songs in our ipod. (My wife is a huge Lea Michelle and Darren Criss fan).

Confession 2: 
I have a draft of a Glee-like novel even before Glee came out. It has a smashing title and a diverse cast. The only reason I stopped writing it was because I got bored developing the characters and I felt that I was a wee bit stereotyping them already.

Confession 3: 
I’m a sneaky bastard who thinks that subliminally confessing my admiration for my wife via the songs I sing every time we go to KTVs (circa 2007) is pure brilliance.

The Before-I-Confessed Playlist:
1.       Say It – Voices of Theory.
-             I want you in my life. I want you to be my wife.

2.       Maniwala Ka Sana – Parokya ni Edgar.
-             Anong kailangan kong gawin upang seryosohin mo ang aking sinasabi tunkol sa pagibig ko sa iyo?

3.       Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy) – N*Sync.
-             I  lie awake. I drive myself crazy thinking of you.

4.       Hero – Enrique Iglesias.
-             I will stand by you forever. You can take my breath away.

5.       Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us – Jefferson Starship.
-             I’m so glad I found you. I’m not gonna lose you.

6.       Let Me Be The One – Jimmy Bondoc.
-             I just need to get this off my chest that you will always have my heart.

7.       Paba – 6 Cycle Mind.
-             Anong dahilan at hindi ka mapasaakin?

8.       I’ll Be – Edwin McCain.
-             I’ll be the greatest fan of your life.

9.       Stickwitu – Pussycat Dolls.
-             I want you to know that you’re the only one for me.

10.    Jeepney – Sponge Cola.
-             Kahit anino mo sa malayo ay nais na masulyapan.

Confession 4: 
 Metallica, The Ramones, and Led Zeppelin pump me up whenever I work out (5x a week). I’m actually listening to The Misfits right now.


Love is.

1. Good Girl

In the past 3 years of our married life, my heart swells with new insights, realized dreams, ticked to-do checkboxes, and a lot of other stuff to be grateful for. For a person obsessed with itemized narratives, i believe there exists a bullet list of musings, simple or grand, that is definitely worth sharing:

1. It pays to be a good girl.

If you give yourself to others and love them just because ill-feelings do not thrive in your heart, this certain positivity deflects back at you.

I believe that God grants the deserving the desires of their heart. Growing up, I've been nourished with love by a family of rock stars; and at a young age, I've found my soulmate without having my heart crushed and glued back from one failed relationship to another.

Perhaps the song, "You Get What You Give" is true after all.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chapter 2: The Profiler

Criminal Minds is one awesome tv show. Aside from its superb storyline and unexpected twists, the quotes at the start and the end of each episode are memorable and thought provoking. For those who are not familiar with it, it is a show about criminological profiling (identifying offenders based on a suspect’s pscyhe). It is very informative and I often find myself trying to outwit my wife in predicting the motive and the identity of the wrongdoers. However, what makes it great for me is that it reminds me of how I built a profile of my wife before we started dating.


I was 10 when I first fell in love. She had the curviest body I ever caressed and her voice was the most serene thing I ever heard. We met every weekend and my hands always became tired after our sessions. Heck, there was even one time that she gave my fingers blisters. We were on and off for the next 4 years and then got back together before I graduated highschool. Summer of 2005 was when she came running to my arms once again. That time, I held her tighter and dated her more often. It was pure bliss.

I guess that was the reason why I had this insatiable desire to be with someone with a breathtaking voice. Though most Filipinas were seldom out-of-tune, I craved for a singer that can equal my first guitar.  Me, her, and my six-string; our portrait of kick-ass had to be complete. 


The profile below was formulated right after the first conversation I had with my wife (see previous blog). 
  1. She was reading a “Kikomachine” comic book. – She was not the type of girl who would be fascinated with vampires and werewolves and their love affair with human beings. It also meant that she most likely came from the best school in the country (the author of the book was from there) and that she was a smart person. 
  2.  The rubber bands she wore covered almost half of her arms. – She was probably between 20 to 25 years old with an inclination for rock and roll and Blink 182 was high on her list of the top 100 bands of all time. Going against the mainstream showed that she has a high sense of self and a well-defined set of goals and aspirations.   
  3. Her name was Kitty. – She obviously liked pets and either owned a dog or a cat. Her being caring and adorable would not be far from reality. Most animal lovers were compassionate to others and were raised in a culture of affection and respect. They often turned out to be good mothers/fathers. 
  4. Her comm skills were impeccable. – Regardless of the nationality, the greatest singers had a modulated voice, a neutral accent, and an exquisite diction whenever they perform. 


It was October of 2007 when Kit sang Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in your Eyes” in a KTV; the first time I heard her sing.

Inside me was a standing ovation.


I was 10 when I first fell in love.

I was 21 when I first fell in love.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chapter 1: The Scene Kid

Being a fan of Jason Segel, I watch “How I met your mother” whenever I’m on a plane. I think of it as a good way to avoid death by boredom due to the ridiculous amount of time it takes to go to the Philippines (8hrs at the minimum).  I find it funny and amusing and I am just amazed at how far they have stretched the theme of the show. Knowing that my future kids will probably hate me if I let them go through the same situation, I’ll shorten this intro and proceed writing how I met their mother.


Back in 2007, I was a 21yr-old scene kid with shoulder-length hair and weighed around 50kgs. I wore skinny jeans and extra-small shirts to complete the look and wrote poems with themes revolving around love, hate, and the idea that all women are evil and all men are martyrs. I was addicted to online gaming and I spent all my restdays (including  hours before/after work) at internet cafes . I just recently discovered the joys of Karaoke and was one of those who had the patience to bear 4hrs of travel time daily.  My career was also at its peak and I was on my way up the professional ladder.

However, though it seemed that I was having the time of my life, attractive scene girls were difficult to find. Most of them wore too much eyeliner and some were simply trying too hard to dress the part. Working at a call center didn’t help either. A lot of my female officemates had the money to dress like mannequins of Mango, Zara, and Bayo. 

It was one September evening when a bandana-wearing lady passed by. I found her hard not to notice as that was the first time in years that I saw someone with a piece of cloth on her hair. It reminded me of that Judy Ann Santos movie where she was the daughter of the late FPJ. I had no chance to talk to her that time but I knew deep inside that I needed to get to know her better.
As days passed by, I was slowly going crazy over her fashion sense. She had these black rubber bands on both arms (around 20 of them on each) and she had a unique taste when it comes to the color of her pants. She often came to work wearing a hoodie and had these statement shirts that captivated me even more. There was also a time when she wore checkered pants that looked like pyjamas and she paired them with long sleeves and sneakers. I went home smiling that day because that was the moment I decided that she was the scene girl of my dreams.

After a lot of missed chances, I finally caught her attention. It was a Sunday night when I intentionally sat beside her. Not having an idea on how to break the ice, I desperately searched for a common ground. A simple “Hi” wasn’t enough for me. If that was the first and last moment that we’d talk to each other, then I had to make it worth the wait and the effort. Then, a breakthrough happened. Before my very eyes, the opportunity presented itself. On her table was a “Kikomachine” comic book.

“Ayos yan , ah.” I said.

“Oo nga, eh.” She smiled.