I Know You Like Me

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reflections: Forgive and Forget

It's Holy Week and I succumb myself into watching the television with my son. I have to take this opportunity to spend the long vacation with him because I have a really busy schedule. Yesterday's show was about the 7 Last Words, the first word of Jesus Christ is what really brought me into deep reflection.

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

A married couple shared about their struggles in life. The husband was a drug addict, philander, and plainly irresponsible father. For ten years the wife endured everything but her faith and trust in the Lord did not falter. One day, the wife's prayer was answered. Her husband completely turned his back away from his old ways and sought the Lord's hands for healing. 

What struck me about the couple's story is the wife's commitment to their marriage. Yes, her husband drifted away from them but she remained steadfast and loving. She was ready to forgive and forget everything for the sake of love and her vow. And in everything, there was God.

I remembered when I was starting a new life with a fiance eight years ago. Before we committed to living together, we used to go to church to receive God's blessing. We didn't marry and we both agreed to that. What we had was a vow that we will never leave each other. We started off just fine but when I became pregnant, he began drifting away from me. It was not easy. I would receive news about him doing things. There came a point wherein he doesn't sleep in our house for days. There were times wherein I would prepare dinner only to find out that he will not come home. I would ask him his whereabouts but he won't answer. It was a mental torture for two years until our son was born. There were nights I would just cry myself to sleep while praying that he will come home and be like the way he used to be. But, he did not. We parted ways without even discussing what happened between us. 

After years of contemplating and insisting on myself that I was not at fault, it was only yesterday, through the couple's sharing that I realized that I, too, have broken my commitment to the relationship. I knew he was in trouble and he didn't know what he's doing but instead of me understanding and reaching out for him even more, I, too, drifted away.

Have I forgiven him? I have, but the pain is still there. It took me years to forgive the man I used to love and it's not easy to forget the many years of my life spent with him. I pray to God that one day, He will completely heal my heart from the pain of the past. I know that God will help me pick up the broken pieces without me hurting. I pray that one day, in God's perfect time, we'd see each other again without hurting but with only words of forgiveness and acceptance that there are things that are not meant to be because God has better plans.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Random Clicks: Cebu!

The view of Mactan Island from our boat.

I can't believe I forgot to post my first ever Cebu trip with my sisters! We went there last October 2013. It almost didn't happen because Cebu and Bohol were rocked by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. We were so scared because of the reports of aftershocks but we can no longer move the date because my younger sister will be back in the US the following week. So we went, with all courage and prayers for guidance and safety. 

We stayed in a cheap but decent hotel in Mandaue, it is about 30 to 40 minute taxi drive from Mactan Cebu International Airport. Although there were many public transportations, we opted to ride a taxi for convenience. If I remember it correctly, we paid a little over 6 thousand pesos for two family rooms for three days. Not bad, eh?


The Magellan's Cross.

Day 1 of our stay started with a tour at the Magellan's Cross in the compound of Basilica del Sto. Nino in Cebu City. There were many tourists like us but I guess it's fewer compared a few weeks ago before the earthquake. The overall feel of the city is much like Manila, only it is cleaner. We spend the entire afternoon at the Ayala Center.

Snorkeling the crystal clear water of Cebu.

Day 2 was beach day. There are a lot of resorts in Cebu. We went to Cebu Beach Club for the kids to enjoy both the pool and the beach. Their fee is reasonable, I think for 150 pesos each. And it is consumable. We ordered pizza and it tastes great! What's not so good about our experience on day 2 is the expensive boat ride. We paid 8 thousand pesos for less than half a day of ride and we didn't even go island hopping... it is purely snorkeling and it is not even peak season! In Hundred Islands, Pangasinan we only paid 1,500 pesos for a whole day tour with authentic island hopping experience!

Can you gues on my son's face if he enjoyed the food?

After a disappointing boat ride, we went to Rosewil's BBQ for a refill of carbohydrates. We're Asians and no rice means war. We ordered seafood dishes and barbecue and boy we were so full! 

My son posing before conquering the zip line.

That night, my younger sister and her husband brought my son and our two nieces to Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu City for an extreme zip line experience. My son was so brave! And I was so worried! He enjoyed it so much.

A tourist never leaves without buying a souvenir t-shirt.

Day 3 was shopping day. I opted to stay in the hotel because I was so tired. I just asked them to shop for me and besides we have to be at the airport at 12 noon for our flight back to Manila. A tour in Cebu will not be complete without bringing home danggit and dried squid. 

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy your summer!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Paying It Forward


These kids are just a few of the 177 children together with their families who were relocated from Tacloban, Leyte to Rosario, Cavite after their homes were destroyed by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). I was lucky enough to be able to organize a feeding program for these kids for five days through the help of the company where I work and my co-workers. We began weighing the kids last February 28 and true to our suspicion, the kids were underweight. The actual feeding program started on March 3 and ended on March 7. On the 5th day, we weighed the kids again and they gained weight, thank goodness. I know what we did was not enough to help these kids live healthier lives and I promise to help them, whatever help I can give them as my way of paying it forward... my thanksgiving for keeping me and the rest of my family safe and healthy.


video

This video pretty summed up what we did in the entire 5 days. I will never forget their smiles, their satisfied faces after each meal and their sincere gratitude for the small thing that we did for them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Valentine's Day


No Valentine's Day blues for me. I celebrated it with friends over coffee.


And besides, Valentine's Day is a year-round event for me because this little guy never fails to give me morning hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Random Clicks: Munting Buhangin Beach Camp, Nasugbu, Batangas Revisited

My photo taken by my travel buddy. I am not wearing an appropriate beach attire, again.

It was five years ago when I first visited Munting Buhangin Beach Camp in Nasugbu, Batangas together with my two friends. It was a random trip borne out of boredom. Yesterday, my travel buddy and I only planned to have lunch in Tagaytay City but we ended up driving to Batangas. We initially thought of going to a resort we haven't visited yet, in fact, we inquired at Canyon Cove--but we ended up in Munting Buhangin again...


The white sand beach that is overlooked by a neighbor members only resort--Terrazas De Punta Fuego.

Me waiting for the sun to set  in one of the tents.
I noticed they added more tents to accommodate day tour guests. They were also painting and repairing cottages as one of the preparations for the summer vacation.


The same nipa cottages that are lined up on the beach are still there.
The entrance fee for day tour is Php180 but if you want to have a meal included, you will have to pay Php350. They have a different rate during holidays. They have a restaurant beside the information area where you can have quick snacks in case you went on a trip without foods (like us).



It was a Monday so there were only around five guests who alternate go on swimming, kayaking and riding a banana boat. It made me wish my day off would be every Monday. Haha!


The same gorgeous sunset......

It is a family friendly beach resort. They also have air conditioned villas if you will spend a night or two there. The cost per day is around Php8,000 for 10 to 15 persons. They also have a function room for 30 to 40 persons and obstacle course if you want to have a team building seminar. Aside from kayak and banana boat ride, the resort also has other sports and recreational facilities for volleyball, table tennis, dart, basketball. You can also rent a boat for Php1,500 (good for 10 persons) for an island hopping adventure and snorkeling.

My travel buddy. I took this photo.

If you want to more about Munting Buhangin Beach Camp, click here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Random Clicks: Kaybiang Tunnel, Maragondon


This is a late post.

Before the start of the first regular work-day of the new year, my family and I went to Kaybiang Tunnel in Maragondon, Cavite. It is a new road that leads to Nasugbu, Batangas. This is not a regular road-tunnel, though... it is the first in Cavite. It boasts a spectacular view of the South China Sea and the mountainous side of Cavite. When it was formally opened last year by President Noynoy Aquino, it opened a new gate for adventure seekers like me.

It is around 40 minutes drive from our house. There is no traffic. When we got there, there were a bunch of motorcycle riders going to and fro the tunnel. There were also families who pull over from time to time to take pictures of the magnificent view.


This photo was taken halfway through the tunnel. My son enjoyed screaming and hearing his echo.


That's me. Obviously, the tunnel is 96 kilometers away from the Rizal Park in Manila. This photo was taken from the Nasugbu side of the tunnel.



A little statistics here, the vertical clearance of the tunnel is 4.85 meters. How amazing are those lush trees?



The downhill zigzag road will make any nature-loving person enjoy the view. On the left is the mountain and on the right is the sea.


That's the sea I am talking about. And that's me breaking-in my new iPhone 5c. Haha!


You can see from afar the blue water and white sand waiting for us.



How much did we spend for this trip? Six hundred pesos only for gasoline. What is the reward? This view!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On Wisdom


I am currently studying for my comprehensive exam on the 18th. It is one of the requirements for me to finish my MBA. It has been twice postponed and I am hoping that it will not affect my thesis timetable. 

While having a hot chocolate drink break from studying, I read the bible for some inspiration. 

By surrendering our lives to Him and to His will, we get to understand how our faith works in our lives. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

My last semester


I am close to finishing my MBA. I am going to miss this university, a lot! 

Wish me luck on my last semester. God bless!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Life


I have a lot of things to be thankful for, the first one would be I am still alive today to greet the new year. Last year was a breaking point for me, to re-think about the life I wanted to be for me and for my child. Although there were many disappointments, the blessings that were given to me are more than enough for me not to hold grudges. I got promoted, I think it was the best part.

So, what will 2014 have for me... I bet, it's still the best!

Happy new year to all! God bless us!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shrinking Women by Lily Myers

I am not into poetry but this winning piece by Lily Myers made me feel otherwise. This poem so profoundly explained how men and women differ in their views about personal image.

Read on...

Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine

that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.
Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes.
His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry.
A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager,
but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular
her husband swelled to red round cheeks, rotund stomach
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking
making space for the entrance of men into their lives
not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.
“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” He asks, laughing,
as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.
I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out
I have been taught to grow in
you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce,
to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence,
you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much
I learned to absorb
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits

that’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way
each generation taught the next how to knit
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits
of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips
from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again,
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark,
a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.
Deciding how many bites is too many
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry”.
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent
the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza
a circular obsession I never wanted but

Inheritance is accidental

still staring at me with wine-soaked lips from across the kitchen table.

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