Code 1.1

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What Do You Call The Pain Caused By Someone Who Is Yet To Be?

It's a pain a few, or probably no one, would understand.

People often cry over the loss of someone--- may it be due to a broken relationship or through death--- a pain that is easily explained and hopefully understood. But how can you put into words the pain caused by the loss of someone who is yet to be?

Lately I've been feeling discontented. At first, I couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. Just recently, my boyfriend and I attended a talk on happiness at the Brahma Kumaris center. There was an exercise of some sort, 10 questions to answer and the results will show how happy you are at this point in your life. The speaker said that scores of 30 and below meant one was not that happy yet and that the ensuing talk was just what he/ she needed. Then he said anyone with a score of 30 and above may leave now as they were already very happy. It was a joke of course but I still put my hand over my score of 35.

A few days later the discontentment began to gnaw at me until it became a knot in my chest that seemed familiar. Then it hit me: it wasn't discontent; it was the pain of loss. But the loss of whom? The pain was familiar because the last time I felt that way was when my Mom died. But why this feeling now?

A few more days passed and found myself crying every now and then. Angelo had tried to console me, as he always did whenever I felt down, but even he got frustrated that I couldn't even explain why I was feeling this way. He kept asking what was wrong and I just continued to weep, not knowing what to say. Last night we both went home disappointed--- him, not knowing how to help and me, sadder than ever.

Now at 3am, still wide-awake and talking to God without words but just offering up my tears. I read somewhere that tears are prayers too and somehow that gave me comfort, knowing He always knew how to deal with all the drama I stir up every now and then. And it was in this same silent conversation where I realized whose loss I was mourning for... that of my 2nd child.

For those who know me, let me just clarify that I did not get pregnant and miscarry without telling anyone. My 2nd child is the one I have been wishing for ever since I first saw Marti smile up at me from the delivery room. I had Marti when I was 24. 17 years later, my 2nd child is still a dream--- one that is slowly fading away as I approach menopause.

Conflicting advices from friends and family only add up to the grief:

"Have a child now; never mind that it's out of wedlock. You did it the first time."
"You're too old. You might just end up with an abnormal kid."
"What if you die and end up leaving a kid for Marti to take care of? That's so unfair to Marti."
"You have to wait until Angelo gets an annulment so you guys can get married then have a child. Don't make the same mistake you did before."

First of all, I still believe in marriage.

2nd, no matter what kind of child God blesses me with, I will love him or her with the same mighty love I give Marti every day.

3rd, straight from the mouth of Marti, "Mom, I will love and take care of my brother and/ or sister ‘til the day I die simply because they are my siblings."

4th, my being a single mother was a choice and was and will never be a mistake.

Last and the most important of all, I love Angelo. On the day I was about to decide whether or not to go in a relationship with him, I was at the Blessed Sacrament having another silent conversation with God and I will never forget what His answer was:

So every day I choose to love Angelo, despite the obstacles we face and the plans and dreams we have yet to fulfill and that includes our child, my 2nd child. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am so blessed to be loved by someone so kind and generous and who has given me so much hope.

So now somehow the pain has calmed down into a longing. Perhaps the pain was there to make me realize there is so much to be grateful for now instead of wallowing in something that is yet to be. After all, it is God--- the Restorer of Lost Time--- who promised that He will see me through it all.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Filipino Is STILL Worth Dying For

I saw this meme yesterday in Facebook and it kept me up til the sun started to shine out my window:

During one of our daily lunch conversations, my son told me that the politician pictured last above will just continue to pay up lawyers, the courts, the voters.

"He has been in power for more than 30 years for goodness sake!" Marti exclaimed. "Mom, he will just continue buying his way until he occupies the highest position in the land!"

"But until when, Marts?," I replied. "Will he have enough money to buy the ballot of every single voting Filipino? This person will eventually run out of money, after paying up everybody so he can get away with his crime!" Yeah, I truly believed that because our God is the God of Justice. My son just shrugged his shoulders.

You know what, I started to panic after that conversation. I saw in Marti's eyes and heard in his voice the indifference that afflicted our generation after Edsa 1. The same indifference which allowed the uninformed Filipino to elect a President who won by popularity as an actor but convicted later as a plunderer, put back in power the legacy of a dictator who plunged our country into poverty and oppression and, God forbid, to vote for a politician 10x worse than the two previous ones put together, as the next most powerful man in the land.

No, I have to do something about this. For my son and my future children and my future grandchildren. I will squash that indifference from the very soul of my son so no trace of it would be passed on to his children and to his children's children!

First of all, I want my son to  believe that Filipinos are not stupid, they are not just well informed. If you live in the far regions of the peninsula, have basic education of reading and writing and with limited sources of information, is it still your fault that you voted for a politician whose face appears on the public transportation he provided to your poor barangay? This politician donated so he must be pro-poor and therefore an honorable person! Meanwhile in the capital, the same politician is being tried for graft and corruption! 

Second, I want the uninformed Filipino to know there really is hope for our country. That we have the power to choose abundance over poverty. That the power to be free from oppression is in our hands and not on the government and certainly not on a greedy politician who thinks he can buy your vote with a second hand public transportation, a refuse from Makati City's coffers, transformed into a so-called donation plastered with his face. That was his agenda 4 years ago when he started "donating" the disposed office furniture, public vehicles and office computers with stickers of his face on them to the far provinces. Yes, he started his presidential campaign many years ago, using our city's money and resources. I ought to know: I was born, bred and still live in Makati with almost half of my clan working for the city government. Is this the person you want as President?

Third, That not all genuinely rich people are evil, otherwise they would not be rich as Russell Conwell said in his Acres of Diamonds:

We ought to get rich if we can by honorable and Christian methods, and these are the only methods that sweep us quickly toward the goal of riches.

I refuse to say that politician's name here not out of fear but because I refuse to give more power to him and his family. I believe the use of names has power in itself--- think of Voldemort and Sauron--- and I refuse to use that to embed more of that awful name into the consciousness of the Filipino, especially the uninformed Filipino.  That is why what I want to feed my people are the stories of real heroes: the genuinely rich like the Zobel de Ayalas and Manny Pangilinan, empowered women like Cory Aquino and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, stories of OFWs, of single parents, of struggling farmers, of Illness survivors. Stories that would enlighten each and every Filipino. Stories that give hope, that there is goodness in man, that an honest man with money and power is what we should all aspire to be. More importantly, stories that does not require books or a uniform to learn from.

And here is where I want to challenge the most influential person in our generation: Mr. Mark Zuckerberg.

To Mr. Zuckerberg:
I've been hearing from our elders that education is the greatest inheritance a parent could give to his child because it can never be taken away from him and will last him a lifetime. For some it might be, but in our country even education is something that the politicians use against us--- either by withholding it or corrupting it. So no, the greatest inheritance I will give to my son is hope. Because hope is something that even the most cunning politician cannot buy or take away from us.

So I'm asking you to join this movement I'm starting: #1Philippines

No, its not to make the Philippines the number 1 country in the world but to make the Filipinos unite as one--- One Philippines. I challenge you, Mr. Zuckerberg to help reach the goal of #1Philippines: for every Filipino of a voting age to have Internet access and a Facebook account. 

I am aware of your endeavors through but even that is only available in our country through an exclusive service provider. An endeavor which is noble but hindered by capitalism and, as usual, corrupt politics. No, my challenge for you Mr. Zuckerberg, is to help provide free basic internet access to indigent and uneducated Filipinos and introduce them to the power of social media. The corrupt lawmakers can use all their power to continue suppressing educational reforms, banking on the chance that Filipinos would remain ignorant and poor and therefore would sell anything from his ballot to his dignity. But If you provide this, the dirty politicians here will no longer have the power to continue oppressing our countrymen by their greedy schemes! 

If you help us accomplish #1Philippines, I vow to dedicate the rest of my life going to each and every remote barangay, empower my countrymen through unbiased information and help them regain their pride as a Filipino. This way there will never be an uninformed Filipino but a country knowing it's own, watching out for it's own, loving it's own. Just like a mother does to her own. 

Make the Philippines a political guinea pig for your social media platform and show the world that one country was transformed by the power of Facebook!

Mr. Zuckerberg, you have the billions, I don't. But that's not stopping me from dreaming this big.  One Filipino dreamt this big a long time ago and his death brought an end to 20 years of tyranny in our country. Like him, I'm willing to die for this dream.  Because like Ninoy Aquino, I believe until the day I leave this world that the Filipino is STILL worth dying for. Because that's how much I love my country.
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Monday, March 16, 2015

You're Fat, You're Too Sexy, You're Too... Whatever, Just Know You Should Feel Bad About Yourself!

"Taba mo na." (You're fat)

Wow. And the woman who told me this was 3x my weight! I don't mean to judge her too but just couldn't help it. Because in that moment, it didn't matter to this person who I was or what I do or what I have accomplished so far, only that I had gained weight and that amounted to total failure in life. At least in her eyes.

She reminded me a little of my Mom. Like most women, Mommy struggled with weight probably until the year she got sick.  I saw how she cleverly rebuffed the same kind of comments, more of which came from family but I knew deep inside she still got affected. If she only knew how much I was so in awe of her beauty. I would sit behind her and pretend I would be reading something or watching TV and be amazed by how carefully she would put on her make-up, choose what jewelry to wear with her beautiful clothes which were always well-coordinated. She was a very beautiful woman and that's why I learned to look beyond the vital statistics, beyond ideal weight, beyond dress sizes. I learned what true beauty is because of my Mom. 

But you know what, I wasn't only called out for being overweight. About a year ago when I went on a GM diet, I posted this photo on Facebook:

Got a lot of 'likes' and compliments and I really felt good about my self. Actually I've always liked my body, overweight or not, because I like my curves. Some women have to spend tons of money just to have my natural 'ass'ets and I was already born with them! :D

Anyway, back to the picture. When I went to my weekly meeting of single parents, you know what I got from the guys there? An earful. Yes, I was put down because I had posted what is according to them was too provocative and that I should be ashamed! Wow! One said that the reason why I had been recently getting invitation to dates was because I had posted that picture. One even claimed that a creepy guy had probably downloaded my photo and was masturbating to it. I was so dumbfounded that I was left speechless--- a first since I was the chatty one in our group.

I went home that night really feeling down and yes, ashamed. Exactly how the guys wanted me to feel. I was used to girls saying nasty things to one another that's why I have learned my Mom's rebuffing skills but hearing it from guys... I was floored. I haven't second-guessed my life in a long while, until that night. I wasn't getting dates because I was attractive, confident or at least was a good conversationalist? And, ewww, had I invited creeps into my social network because of that one goddamn picture?

I started to lose faith in the opposite sex again. I had worked really hard to trust men again, only to come to this? 

Well, at least one good man was able to redeem his lot from my blacklist and it was my son. Told Marti about what happened at the meeting and he knocked some sense into his mother. He said not to mind those guys because when they said those things, they had a different agenda. To the one who said that I was only getting dates because I had posted the picture, Marti said that the guy was actually interested in me but couldn't do anything about it so he'd rather put me down. Typical boy behavior: trying to make the girl that he likes to cry to get her attention. Lame!

As for the one who said that guys are probably doing nasty things with my picture, Marti said to stay away from him because he's probably the one who was doing that! My son made me laugh so hard! He reminded me that my page was set on 'friends only' so only my friends could see my photos. Hay, so proud that my son is not only super smart but also very supportive! I'm glad I'm raising a good man!

So my advice to women: train yourself to only listen to your inner voice and drown out the rest. It's also best to surround yourself with people who love you, will always support you and know you even better than yourself so when you start to feel down, they exactly know what to say to pick you up!

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Parents Get Hurt Too

Most of the time, our children think we are these creatures who are in their lives to meddle into their affairs constantly, dictators who merely exist to torture them into doing chores they think they shouldn't be doing and/ or credit cards without limits they can use with abandon.

I know you're thinking "may pinaghuhugutan ito! (she's talking from experience)". But admit it, as a parent haven't you stopped once (or even more!) and told yourself those very things?
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Friday, January 9, 2015

Tweet of the Week: @TheSingleWoman

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful

I am an extremely introspective person. 

I love that about myself. It's what made me survive puberty, heartaches, loss of family and friends, single motherhood and many other events in my life that an average person would not have withstood without an anesthetic or at least a tinge of neurosis. But perhaps what makes this trait more valuable is that it is in these occasions where I find solace through my conversations with God. So being told that thinking too much is a flaw of mine, made me start doubting my journey and of course, myself.  

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bring Kindness Where It Is Needed

It was a bleak Christmas for me. It was supposed to be a time for family, friends, loved ones. But oftentimes, it is the people closest to us who hurt us the most. So what do you do when you are surrounded by unkindness, indifference and coldness? Do you stop being kind? Do you stop loving?

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