December 31, 2014

The Lucky One

Phillip has always been lucky. He’s never been late for work. Never been scolded by the boss. Never been turned down by a client. He has a beautiful and loving wife, three smart and wonderful children, a house in a nice subdivision and a trained dog.
He’s always get the best in life.
Then, when the company offered an early retirement package, Phillip availed of it. After several years, he has a thriving business. Only one of his three children is still in college while the other two already have jobs of their own and Phillip is still as strong as a bull with several more years to enjoy his life. He is simply so lucky.
One day, his friend and former co-worker Andres paid Phillip a visit. After a few bottles of beer, Andres asked Phillip about his secret. What made him so lucky.
Phillip laughed and looked at his friend..
What luck are you talking about?”
Your success. Surely, there’s a reason why you’re successful. You always have been lucky. You always do the right thing, you always say the right words, you always talk to the right people, you always make the right choices, you even married the perfect girl..”
Well, I don’t know if I really am lucky. But my secret is discipline, hard work and faith in God…”
Oh, now, you’re telling me I have to pray a little bit louder, aren’t you? Because believe me, I pray. Every night. But maybe not as loud as you do, because look at me, bald, a few pounds overweight and still doing the work I hate..”
Phillip looked at Andres seriously then asked him..
What do you pray about?”
I pray for the things I want to happen to my life.  I ask the Lord for health and prosperity. I ask the Lord for guidance, to tell me what to do so  I could have the life that I want, a good family and a high position in the company..”
Okay, let me share to you my ‘secrets’. I stay healthy because I don’t have any vices and I get enough sleep. My wife is very kind because I treat her kindly. I never come to work late because I leave the house early. I was never scolded by the boss because I did my job well. I was never turned down by a client because I always do what’s best for them and they know that. Finally, I did what I wanted in my life. I left my job and put up my own.
I didn’t know if it was the right time or the right thing at the time, I just knew that it was what I wanted. But the Lord made it right for me. You see, sometimes we’re scared to do something thinking that it might not be the right thing to do and we’ll end up regretting our decision. So, we normally go on with the life we know even if we’re unhappy about it and we believe that’s what the Lord wants us to do, otherwise he’ll change it or it won’t happen at all. But I have so much faith in the Lord and in his love for me. I know he wants me to be happy. So, I do what makes me happy and let the Lord take care of me..”
The following week, Andres came back to Phillip’s house to tell him he applied to be manager of another department and was accepted.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities to other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 30, 2014

Sick at Heart

This is a RE-POST from my old blog and originally appeared on July 06, 2013. This is re-posted to save the article for sentimental reasons.
Sometimes, we just have to accept the truth that we’re hurting..
To be told you’re not good in what you do is painful. To be told that you’re not good in what you love to do is even more so.
How would you feel if you’re told that you suck in the very thing that you’ve always thought defines you? It feels like everything you know about yourself is one big lie. You will begin to question your skills, your talents and your knowledge that you’ve accumulated though the years. You will start to question whether it is wise to go on or just leave the trail and do something else. And you will feel a heaviness in your heart that makes everything look dark and difficult.
I feel so sick in my heart.
Life, though, will go on regardless of what you feel. The pain may or may not pass sooner than you’d like it to be, so the most matured thing to do is to live with it, live through it or simply.. live.
Crying may not fix anything, but shedding some tears would lessen the heaviness in the chest.

December 29, 2014

Difficult to Please

Jun* married Liza* after a few years of being sweethearts. They seemed to be all right at first. Jun is a good provider. He is a regular employee and has a stable job. Liza, on the other hand, seems like a fine wife. She is a compulsive housekeeper who keeps the house clean, as in.. really clean.
When their first child was born, their problems arose. The baby was always sick and constantly stayed in the hospital. Jun’s salary became inadequate for their needs. The problems piled on top of the other every time another baby was born. Luckily, Jun’s sister, Alice, was kind enough to help them every time they need anything.
Despite Jun’s efforts, Liza still feels he is not trying hard enough to make their lives better. She nagged Jun every chance she gets. One day, Jun, anxious to flee from her nagging wife, went to a friend’s house to drink. This angered Liza even more and gave Jun silent treatment. Jun was provoked and started to thrash things about. It was an unpleasant night for everyone including Alice who stays with them and who pays most of the bill.
The following day, Alice talked with Liza and tried to reason with her. Alice explained how things will probably get better if Liza and Jun will talk things over and settle whatever problem they had that time. Unexpectedly, Liza snapped at Alice and talked back in a vehement manner, telling her to mind her own business followed by a litany of bitter accusations. Alice was shocked. She didn’t know that her sister-in-law was nursing such grudges. She waited a few days and tried to talk with Liza again, but the latter ignored her.
Alice, believing that she did her part already kept both her silence and distance. Three weeks ago, the day before Jun’s birthday, Liza walked out. She took the, now three, kids and left Jun.
Last week, I asked Alice about Liza and the kids and she said she had no idea.
 *not real name

December 28, 2014

The Survivor

Rico woke up in an unfamiliar hut. He had a throbbing headache and he couldn’t remember how he got there, where he came from, or even who he really was.  All he knew was that he was being kept and taken care of by a nice family, father, mother and little Annie. When he tried to ask him about his whereabouts, they didn’t know anything either. They just call him Rico after their baby boy who died. They just knew that father found him by the shore after a terrible storm.
When Rico was strong enough, he started to go about and help with the chores. He enjoyed helping out. And with his smooth palm and soft skin, he knew he wasn’t used to them. He must be someone used to being indoors. Every morning he chops firewood and fetches water from the well. Every night, he walks by the shore hoping to find some clues of his identity.
After a few weeks, Rico felt very frustrated. He was in a sour mood he snapped at little Annie. Father told Annie to go to mother and talked with Rico.
I understand how you feel. I know how difficult it is not knowing who you are. If you have a family of your own who loves you and waits for your return, or if you are someone whom everybody hates and wishes dead.” said father.
What do you think I should do?” asked Rico.
Just wait. Don’t force yourself to remember anything. Your memories may come back in time, or they may not. Either way, there is nothing for you to do but live and be grateful that you are alive. There must be a reason why you didn’t drown in the storm..”
Rico thanked father.He apologized to Annie and did what father said. He waited. But the memories he was waiting for didn’t come until he finally accepted the possibility that he would never know his past anymore. After all, he was happy with the family he lives with. He is in fine health, he eats well, he sleeps well and he likes his neighbors.  He was contented.
Then one day, father brought home a newspaper with Rico’s face in front. Rico read the story and found out that he actually was a businessman who was set out to buy a property. According to the news, his yacht was hit by a storm and all the passengers drowned.
With shaking hands, Rico held the newspaper tight. His memories flooded his mind. Despite the warning of a storm, he set out to buy an island so he could turn in into a resort. He was supposed to talk with the inhabitants of the island and give them a small amount of money for their land. He wanted them out of the island in a few months. If talking won’t work, then forcing might.
Rico, then, remembered how he and his armed bodyguards were thrown overboard. How he managed to hold on to a piece of furniture and how the wave took him ashore. Finally, Rico knew who he was.He wasn’t Rico, he was Daniel, a successful businessman. He has money but had no family and no friend. He cared for no one and no one cared for him.
Rico felt sad. Now that he knew who he was, he wasn’t happy about it. But then he remembered what father told him, there must be a reason why he survived.
Daniel left, but only to put his business back in order. He came back to the island to buy his own property. He decided to live in the island and to help the islanders.
 (Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 27, 2014

Meaning of Life

Because of my fluctuating blood pressure which has been going on for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been very careful and watchful of my health. I walk around the subdivision every morning. I drink plenty of water. I watch out my food intake,  I sleep earlier than usual and I take a break every once in a while so as not to stress myself out.
Though I know everything is going to be alright, I can’t help feeling… unproductive. It feels like I’m wasting my time doing nothing of importance. It feels so demeaning. I know I’m not supposed to feel this way but even the usual everything happens for a reason quote fails to lighten me up.
Then, I read BRIDA by Paulo Coehlo and came to this part:
“Right now, while we’re here eating, ninety-nine percent of the people on this planet are, in their own way, struggling with that very question. WHY ARE WE HERE? Many think they’ve found the answer in religion or in materialism. Others despair and spend their lives and their money trying to grasp the meaning of it all. A few let the question go unanswered and live for the moment, regardless of the results or the consequences.
“Only the brave and those who understand the Traditions of the Sun and the Moon are aware that the only possible answer to the question is I DON’T KNOW.
“This might, at first, seem frightening, leaving us terribly vulnerable in our dealings with the world, with the things of the world, and with our own sense of existence. Once we’ve got over that initial fear, however, we gradually become accustomed to the only possible solution: to follow our dreams. Having the courage to take the steps we always wanted to take is the only way of showing that we trust in God.”
I suddenly felt.. vindicated. I also felt ashamed of being arrogant. Who am I to question the plans of the Great ONE? Why would I assume that I’m supposed to do more?
Now I think I can bravely answer the question.
Why am I here? Gee, I don’t know… :D

December 26, 2014

All He Ever Wanted

Dick* had been my brother’s friend and band mate for several years. He was a cute guy with charming smile. If I weren’t already married when I paid attention to him, maybe I could have gotten a crush on him just like the other girls.
Unlike the other girls, though, I knew Dick’s past. He was a product of a broken family. As the stories went, his mother left them when he was in grade school. Dick’s father, more handsome than Dick could ever be, did not take a new wife. He just stayed single and took care of Dick all by himself. I remember seeing him tagging along with the band when Dick was about nineteen years old.
All things considered, Dick only had one wish in his life, and that was to have a simple and happy family, something he didn’t have with his parents. And we sincerely wished him luck.
But his first girlfriend left him for a job overseas. His second girlfriend left him for another guy. He broke up with his third girlfriend because she was a drug user. Year after year, Dick has lived with and broke up with different girls, trying and hoping that he would find the one destined for him.
Now nearing 40, Dick lives with his current girlfriend. But unlike when we were younger, I could see how tired Dick’s eyes are. His smile is no longer as charming as it used to be. He may not want to admit it, but he’s already old, and the one and only wish he had in life is still a wish that might or might not come true..
 *not real name

December 25, 2014

Christmas and a Mother's Gift

Gina is a regular employee. And just like other regular employees, she is deep in debt , so she has to work harder to pay her bills and send her children to school. Even with both he and her husband working, the bills are just so many they could not afford to take a break from work.
Gina’s mother, a woman of more than 80 years, has been wanting to see her daughter and grandchildren for a long time now. For three Christmases, Aling Linda has been calling Gina and asking her to come over but Gina simply couldn’t spare some time. It was such a great inconvenience to her to go home in the province for Christmas only to come back to the city the next day so she could go to work.
This Christmas, Aling Linda is again inviting Gina and her family to come and join her for the holidays. Gina was about to say no but there was something in her mother’s voice that made her say yes. Though Gina believed she would regret her decision, she also knew she owes it to her mother for all the other invitations she declined.
So, Gina and her family spent Christmas with her mother. The old woman was overwhelmed with joy she broke in tears when she saw her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. She served them plenty of food, lavished them with gifts and made Christmas really really special. The children were so happy to be with their grandmother. Even Gina enjoyed herself. But it seems like all the excitement was too much for the old woman. Before Gina and her family was about to leave, Aling Linda was too tired to get up from her bed. So, she called for Gina from her bedroom.
When Gina went inside, she found her mother sitting on the bed. The old woman was holding a box in her lap. The  box looked big and heavy in her skinny arms. Gina sat down beside her mother. Aling Linda held her daughter’s hand and handed her the box and said..
I want you to have this. You need it more than I do..”
What is it?”
A gift. Use it wisely. It may be the last gift I could ever give you..”
Thank you, mother..” Gina kissed her mother and bid her farewell.
When they arrived in the city, Gina opened the box and was shocked to find a big amount of money. It was probably her mother’s lifetime savings. With all these money, she could pay her debt and even buy some things she has always wanted to buy for her family.
Gina felt so thankful she took out her cell phone and dialed her mother’s number. She was surprised though when her mother’s neighbor answered her call. I seems like her mother had just died a couple of hours ago. The neighbor explained that Aling Linda has been sick for years but didn’t want to tell Gina. It was very fortunate that Gina’s family had the chance to spend Aling Linda’s last Christmas with her.
Gina clutched the box in her heart and wept.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 24, 2014

I Am a Woman

This is a RE-POST from my old blog and originally appeared on March 8, 2013 for the International Women's Day. This is re-posted to save the article.

When I was in college, I helped organize a feminist movement and my battle cry was:
Onward with women’s struggle for equality!!”
Twenty years had passed. I am now a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a teacher, a writer, a friend. But I no longer feel the need to struggle, nor to shout my battle cry because I already won my fight and I already earned my place. I live by how a woman is supposed to live, with PRIDE and POWER. I no longer have to prove my worth, because I already have.
I am a WOMANSTRONG and PROUD. I live side by side with men to make this world a better place to live in.

December 23, 2014

When You Don't Follow Your Heart

I met James* in college. He was a nice and charming guy whom everybody likes. He fell in love with Mia* an equally charming and amiable girl. They were one of the sweetest couples I saw in college. Their love was so evident in every smile, in every squeeze of the hand, every exchanged look between them that  I felt hurt when they broke up.
Mia seemed to get over the break up easier and faster than James did. After a few weeks, she was back to her old effervescent self while James kept his distance from us for almost a year. But just when I thought Mia was tougher, I found out she was in the verge of self-destruction, but with the help of us, friend, she got over it. She eventually admitted that she took the break up really hard.
After several years, I learned that they were back together, not as sweethearts.. but as kissing friends or probably more than that. They looked so good together it was sad to see them holding back. James told me he still loves Mia but he couldn’t bear to be rejected the second time. Mia, on the other hand, also still loves James but wasn’t sure if he loves her still, because if he did, he would have asked her hand in marriage already.
Nine years after they broke up, Mia married someone else. James felt so bad over losing Mia the second time, but it probably served him right for not following his heart. He married a girl exactly opposite to Mia. The last time I saw him, he was as handsome as he used to be but apparently unhappy.
He accepted my friend request in FB but eventually unfriended me and blocked Mia altogether. Some of our friends said it must be his wife’s doing, but for Mia and me, it doesn’t matter anymore..
*not real name

December 22, 2014

The Builder

Tom and Andy had been good friends since they were young. They went to the public elementary schools together and to the only high school in town together. While Tom was smart but a little lazy, Andy was of average intelligence but diligent. When high school graduation came, Tom sadly told Andy that he was not going to college. They just could not afford it.
Andy left his friend behind to go to college and take up Civil Engineering. Tom helped his father and worked in the construction. With his natural wit and penchant for building things, Tom became the youngest but best Master Carpenter in town in a few years time.
When Andy became a licensed Civil Engineer, he worked with big engineering firms in the city to learn everything he needed to know about building. His patience and diligence paid off. He became a brilliant and respected engineer.
Twenty years after their high school graduation, Tom and Andy were called upon by the town’s mayor. They had to work together to put build the new municipal hall in town. Though this wasn’t the biggest and most important project Andy had undertaken, this was surely the closest to his heart. For Tom, however, this wasn’t just a project, it was a legacy. But it proved to be the most difficult project both of them had done.
Because the hardest part was for them to work together. It took a significant amount of respect, consideration and tact to accept and reject a friend’s recommendation to come up with the best plan  So, the friends worked together. They discussed, they argued, they fought, they made-up. They did everything they could to make a masterpiece they both could be proud of for years to come.
After a couple of years, the municipal hall was finally done. Its inauguration was the biggest event the town had ever seen. Though the builders were there to witness the momentous occasion, the proudest of all was the mayor who accepted the congratulations for such a fine hall.
After fifty years, the municipal hall still stands. When asked who built it, some people would say it was Tom while some would say it was Andy. But outside the town, the hall was known to be built by the mayor whose term was during the time the building was built.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 21, 2014

St. Stephen's Academy Grand Alumni Homecoming

This is a RE-POST from my old blog and originally appeared on Feb. 24, 2013. This is re-posted to save the article and the pictures for sentimental reasons.

On Saturday, February 16, St. Stephen’s Academy in Laur, Nueva Ecija held a Grand Alumni Homecoming in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. Among the attendees were from Batch 1967 up to Batch 2013. It was one successful event and I feel proud to be part of that momentous occasion.

Sadly, I was not able to join the motorcade as I was still on my way from Manila when it was held. However, I was able to attend the mass and was among the first to get settled on the table assigned to us, Batch 1991. A slide show was displayed on the projector and I felt sad and disappointed to learn that our batch did not have any picture on it. If I only knew they were needed, I should have volunteered some old pictures I’ve been keeping all these years.

The most exciting part, I guess though not for me, was drawing the raffle tickets. I wasn’t excited because, first I wasn’t able to buy myself a ticket as the tickets were sold out and second, I’ve never been lucky in raffle draws anyway :D.

Now, my favorite part was the batch presentation. Each batch was supposed to present something, anything, otherwise, there would be a penalty, and I want to express my deep appreciation to the alumni, especially the older ones, who took time and took part to make the event memorable.
I want to congratulate St. Stephen’s Academy, including the Faculty and Staff for their success in bringing us all together in this once in a lifetime experience. Salute to all of you!

SSA, 50 YEARS NA!!!  

December 20, 2014

A Bad Taste of Love

Albert* has been my friend since we were eight years old. We became classmates in high school and I considered him to be one of my oldest friends of all time.
Nine years ago, I learned that he has been married for several years but recently got separated from his wife. I didn’t want to pry. I simply asked him why they got separated, a question that I guess was normal between close friends. He was kind of.. vague about it, so I just let it go. I noticed, though, that Albert didn’t want to talk about his wife at all. When asked how and where they met, he wouldn’t give us details. When asked what his wife do for a living, a teacher, a nurse, or a plain housewife, he would change the topic. I felt, then, that there was something Albert didn’t want to let us know, so, whatever he wished..
Later, I learned from another friend that Albert’s wife was a stripper. She was a dancer in a club that Albert used to frequent as a young man. When Albert got her pregnant, he married her, but the marriage turned sour and led to separation. I also learned that Albert has regretted having married a stripper with low moral values, with low academic achievements and unpleasant personality.
A few years back, Albert got his boss’s niece pregnant and they are now living together. But no matter how he tries to run away from his past life, it will always catch up to him. With two families to support, Albert has been working himself to death. Well, I guess that’s the least he could do about it..
 *not real name

December 19, 2014

The Sunset

Fred and Bert were friends. But contrary to Fred who always keeps himself busy, Bert is a nature lover who always finds pleasure in watching the nature at its simplest and purest.
Every day, Fred comes home tired from working the whole time. After dinner, he would watch the news on television and  surf the internet before he goes to bed. On his day off on Sundays, Fred watches movies the entire day or surfs the internet in between. Sometimes, Bert would invite him to go fishing at the nearby lake, but Fred was always busy.
Then Fred had a mild stroke. Though it wasn’t a bad one, he still needed to rest and stay at home. So, he watched more movies and surfed the internet even more. One day, Bert came over to Fred’s house and invited him to go fishing and watch the sun set on weekend. Fred thought for a moment and said that it was probably a good idea.
Bert was happy and said..
You won’t regret it. The lake has the most beautiful view of the sunset.. “
When weekend came, however, Fred’s car broke down and he had to fix it. So, he told Bert to go ahead and that he would just follow him at the lake. Knowing how stubborn his friend could be, Bert went ahead. Fred spent the entire time fixing the car. It was after lunch time when he finished. Then, he remembered to check his email. He found some unread messages in his inbox, so, he took time to read and answer them. He was about to leave the house to follow Bert at the lake when Bert met him at the gate. He had with him a big fish and a bigger smile on his face. Bert said..
"Too bad you didn’t make it. I got myself a nice fish here and I saw the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.”
Regretfully, Fred promised to go with Bert next weekend. Unfortunately, it rained the next weekend, and the next, and the next after that. On the fourth weekend, Fred had another stroke. This time it was so bad that it left Fred paralyzed.
From then on, Fred had to stay in his room the whole time. He finally realized that he had the time to watch the sunset. So, one afternoon he had his window opened only to find out that the setting sun was blocked by a building across his house. When Bert came to visit one time, Fred mentioned about the blocked sunset and Bert answered..
That’s why I had to go to the lake when I want to see the sunset. You see, when you want to see or experience something nice and beautiful, you have to take some time and find some ways. Just like the sunset, there are things that can only be seen and experienced by those who are willing to make little sacrifices for such a priceless sight..”
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental).

December 18, 2014

More Than 20 Years Later

This is a RE-POST from my old blog and originally appeared on Feb. 17, 2013. This is re-posted to save the article and the picture for sentimental purposes.

When I was a college freshman, I joined a political group. I had no idea what I got myself into nor any idea how much it would influence me, my life, and the lives of people around me.
After more than two decades, I had a chance to see my friends again and I realized that regardless of the things I did and didn’t do, I would want my life the way it was and I wouldn’t change anything even if I’d be miraculously given a chance.
The moment I entered the organization, I lost my chance for a college scholarship not because I was disqualified but because I discovered that education wasn’t entirely done inside the classroom. I learned more from the streets and from watching people than I did sitting inside the classroom and listening to the teachers. I learned about various theories of psychology in school, but I learned about friendship, loyalty, sacrifices, hunger, pain and suffering outside. I learned about heroes inside the classroom, but I saw friends who gave up their future for what they believed in.

I learned about life in school, but I learned how to live in the streets. When I graduated from college, I knew my education wasn’t complete yet, because I’ve known then that it never will be…

To my former KAS, cheers to US and the memories we shared! 

December 17, 2014

Growing Old.. With Whom?

Mr. and Mrs. Rivas* were among the most distinguished couples in our town. Mrs. Rivas was a teacher in public school and Mr. Rivas farmed a big piece of land. When I was young, I used to see them go to church together with their children, one of which happened to be my classmate.
As a young girl, I used to regard them as a happy and ideal couple and I thought how lucky their children were. After a few decades, I, myself, grew old. In one of my visits to my hometown, I saw their house. It looked just like the way it was, imposing.
Then I asked my childhood friends about the family. I learned that Mr. Rivas had another, younger, woman and is now living with her in the western part of the town, about several blocks from their old house. Mrs. Rivas, presumably too ashamed of being left by her husband, left town and went home to her family in another province. Their children, including my classmate, are working abroad.
When I heard the story, I suddenly imagined the big house. I can still remember how often I went there to party with my friends and classmates. There was this big soft couch and gleaming wooden dining table. I can still remember wrapping colored papers around bulbs to give the place a dim look, perfect for partying kids.
And now..
As I passed by the old house on my way home, I looked at it and realized how old and sad it was, like a man with no one to grow old with..
*not real names

December 16, 2014

Poor to Rich, Rich to Poor

There was one family who lived in a small house. Despite their poverty, all of them were healthy. They woke up early in the morning, father to work in the farm, mother to do the chores at home and the children to go to school.
They gathered firewood to cook food. They grew vegetables in the backyard and keep a couple of goats for milk and a few chicken for eggs. They got clean water from the well but wash their clothes in the river. The children walked a mile from home to school. They only have rice and vegetables to eat and water to drink. They went to sleep early to save electricity and for lack of anything to do.
Father has only one vice, to buy lottery ticket hoping to win a small amount of money for his children’s education.
One day, father’s prayers were answered. His ticket won the jackpot making them a multimillionaire. It was the happiest moment of all their lives.
They bought a big house and a couple of vehicles. They hired a cook, a cleaning lady and a laundress. They also bought television sets and DVD players. They bought laptops, iPods, tablets, PSPs and numerous cell phones of various models. They bought all the things they had always wished to buy.Their refrigerator was filled with various food, most of them unhealthful and their entertainment center was stacked with numerous DVDs for them to watch.
Then father and mother started getting up late in the morning because they watched movies until midnight while the children chatted online and watched on you tube past their usual bedtime. Father no longer went to work in the farm, nor chop firewood and fetch water from the well. Mother no longer grew vegetables nor kept animal farms. The children no longer walk to school. They were driven everyday.
After a while they started to get fat for sitting too much and eating too much. They started to get weak for lack of sunshine and physical activities. They became impatient for being used to being served. They became the opposite of what they were.
Then, father got sick and was taken to the hospital. He stayed there for a long time. He underwent a major operation and had to stay there for even longer. All their money were spent so he could get well. The big house was sold and so were the contents.
They found themselves back to where they came from only poorer this time because they lost their most important wealth, their health.
At least they still have one another.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 15, 2014

Women and Ex

Really, what’s with women and ex? Or is it only with women? Are men the same about ex?
Why are most women bothered with the ex-girlfriend? It seems like there is always something wrong with the ex. Here is a list of things that I find unnatural about women in relation with ex’s.
  • Some women WANT to meet the ex so much
  • Some women NEVER want to lay her eyes on the ex at all.
  • Some women feel uncomfortable when they are in the same room with the ex.
  • Some women feel they have to be prettier, sexier and smarter than the ex.
  • Some women feel they need to accomplish more than the ex did.
  • Some women feel the need to find out MORE about the ex than they already do.
  • Some women hate the ex even before they meet her.
  • Some women even hate the friends of the ex.
I am an ex, too. Needless to say, I tend to watch my back when I get near the present girlfriend/lover of my ex-boyfriend. Do I feel the way I describe above about ex’s? Well.. Not much. I don’t mind meeting the ex, but I don’t mind not meeting her either. If we’re given the chance to be friends, which I actually had, then I’d take that chance. I only hate the ex if she did things that really really hurt my guy. But I do believe that I have no right to hate anyone, ex’s friends or not, or the ex herself, without any justifiable reason.
Ex is the past girlfriend which means the relationship didn’t work out. Whatever the reason was, I think it was between your boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend and chances are, it has nothing to do with you. :D

December 14, 2014

Faith in Marriage, Faith in Love

Reena* has been my friend since high school. She is the epitome of a proper girl. Unlike some of us who party around, fool around and flirt around, Reena was beautiful, smart but meek creature who didn’t swear nor say something, anything, bad about anybody.
We haven’t seen each other for more than ten years. When we met again, I was glad to learn that she already had a family just like I do. I noticed, however, that she wasn’t as glad as I was about the fact. After a few minutes of asking about each other, I heard the story.
She married her long-time boyfriend whom she had a long distance relationship with. They had two beautiful kids. Shortly after their wedding, Reena realized how jealous and insecure her husband was. He got jealous about anyone, their neighbor, Reena’s former friends, her co-workers, and even Reena’s boss.
Reena tried to understand how her husband felt, so she tried to do everything she could not to provoke his jealousy. But one day, her husband came to her workplace and made a scene. He accused Reena’s boss of having an affair with his wife.
As if that wasn’t enough, her husband went to Reena’s hometown and told her parents about her infidelity. The accusation was painful, but what was more painful for Reena was when her parents believed her husband. How could they believe that the good and proper daughter that they, themselves, raised would manage to do such a thing?
Fortunately, Reena’s boss didn’t mind (much) what her husband did. After warning her about her husband’s misbehavior, he acted as if nothing happened. Reena’s parents were another matter. It took her two years before she could finally bear to see them.. :(
*not real name

December 13, 2014

The Not-So-Smart Guy

Joseph was, what some kinder people may call, a late bloomer. But people his age callously called him slow. He had trouble with spelling, reading and mathematics. He had a hard time remembering details. When asked of his opinion about something, Joseph could give none. As far as he was concerned he was not causing anybody any trouble.
So, Joseph had been the laughingstock in town. The only person who thought differently was, naturally, his mother. She loved Joseph unconditionally and she thought he was special. He may not be smart but he had a kind and loving heart. He was good with animals and plants. His pets were well cared for and his garden was thriving.
When Joseph graduated from high school, his mother knew it wasn't wise to send him to college. So, she just bought some hogs and fowls for Joseph to tend to. Joseph bid his friends goodbye. Though he was sad to see them go, he was happy for them. If only he were as smart as they are, maybe he would go to college, too.
Years passed and things had changed. Some of Joseph's friends graduated from college. Some of them didn't. Some went to work abroad. Some came home and got married.
As for Joseph, he became the biggest supplier of pork and meat in the local market. Not only that, his flowers sold by the hundreds making him one of the richest guys in town, even richer than his smarter friends.
He married his childhood friend Liza and they lived happily for a very long time.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

December 12, 2014

Down with the Battle Gear

As a mother I’ve always been overprotective. That’s one of the reasons why I prefer not to have several kids. Though being overprotective is understandable, it might bring more harm than good to your child. Trying to help your kid out of a mess might affect the development of his or her self esteem. So, instead of making your kid, you are breaking him.
After the successful arthroscopic surgery done on my daughter’s knee on September 2012, she was able to see the entire first semester through. Then the second semester has begun, the problem she was facing was her fourth and last Physical Education subject. Though the university Orthopedic surgeon issued a medical certificate indicating that she was not yet ready for rough physical activities, it was up to my daughter to convince her PE instructor to give her one more month to complete her therapy before she can participate in class, which happens to be volleyball.
I wish I could help her out on this, but I think it would not do her good. It is something she has to do by herself. I think it’s time she fight her own battle and win it on her own.

December 11, 2014

Scary Love

On my first few months in college, I was living in a boarding house in the city. Though the place in general was bound to give a young girl from the province a violent culture shock, the neighbors were nice and friendly.
One of my favorite neighbors was Mandy*. She was a bubbly girl my age, very pretty and surprisingly nice. Just like me, she was just a bed spacer. We hung out a lot at first. I even taught her how to play the guitar. We were having so much fun until we met Jack*.
Jack was a ruggedly handsome guy about two years our senior. He was your ordinary pretty boy who thinks everybody is head-over-heels in love with him. I trusted Mandy’s judgment but I perfectly understood if she was swept off her feet by Jack’s.. flatteries.
After a months, we were surprised and somehow glad to learn that they were still together. Well, maybe we were wrong about Jack after all. Then one day, Mandy talked to me and told she wanted to break up with Jack. She said that her boyfriend was extremely jealous and possessive. In fact, he was actually asking her to run away with him. At 17, Mandy wasn’t ready for that.
That night, I woke up by the noise outside. It seems like Jack was running amok. He couldn’t find Mandy anywhere. He was drunk and had with him a double-bladed dagger. I stayed in my bed and nearly screamed when I saw Mandy beside the drawer at the foot of the bed. She was hiding in my room. I found out that Jack was forcing her to go with him to the province. She slipped away when she had a chance. The neighbors were helping her hide from one house to another.
That night, Jack was picked up by the local authorities. The following day, Mandy’s parents came to get her. I didn’t see her after that.
*not real names

December 10, 2014

The Waitress, The Customer and the Tip

Juliet is a waitress in a fine restaurant. She has been working there for more than a year now and somehow, she likes her work. It is better than most of what she has done already. And though her salary is small compared with the big load of work, the tip is something she looks forward to.
Just like other restaurants, Juliet’s workplace is busy during the weekends. It is a favorite of those who go out for the family day. Unlike some of her co-workers, Juliet loves weekends. Weekends mean more diners and more diners mean more tip.
One Sunday, the restaurant is unusually full. And as is natural to a place full of people, tempers are high and heads are hot and Juliet, as a mere worker, is one of the victims of flaring tempers and smoking ears. But Juliet took everything with her usual coolness and level head.
Her focus was on the work at hand. She disregarded unpleasant comments from both superiors and customers. She took and served orders, cleaned tables, made diners comfortable and apologized for mistakes she did not commit but blamed on her anyway.
She did not mind the aches in her legs and hips. She took no notice of the pain in her back. All she thought about was the tip she would receive that would be an addition to the money she was saving so she could enroll next semester.
But even the thought of the tip could not take away the fatigue that was beginning to overpower Juliet. Her head was starting to spin, her legs were getting wobbly and her eyes were getting blurry. She was taking a tray with a bowl of soup to an old woman  when her legs gave in and she fell on the floor. The hot soup spilled all over her while the tray fell on the head of the diner on the table next to the old woman’s.
Before she could even stand up, the restaurant manager materialized beside her and berated her for being so careless. The customer stood up and gave the manager a piece of her mind for the incompetent waitress. The manager apologized to the customer and went back to scolding Juliet.
Juliet could not move. The entire restaurant seems to be closing in on her and she felt like she was being swallowed whole. Then, she heard a kind but firm voice..
“Are you hurt, my child?”
It was the old woman. She got up from her chair and she was the only one who noticed how pale Juliet was.
“I think so..” Juliet answered.
The old woman pointed at the manager and said..
“Hey, you! Can’t you see that this child is hurt? She fell on the floor and my soup is all over her.  Go get a first aid kit..”
The restaurant manager fell silent. He looked at Juliet and saw what the old woman meant. Only then did he realize that he had a hurt employee.
Then the old woman turned to the hurt customer..
“And you.. you knew this child didn’t mean it. And it was just a plastic tray, that couldn’t hurt that bad. So, stop your nagging, it doesn’t help anyone…”
Then, the old woman went back to Juliet who started to feel the pain all over her body.
“You must sit on the chair..” the old woman said while helping Juliet up from the floor and down to the chair beside her.
The old woman began to wipe the soup from Juliet’s arms and hands. She got the glass of water from the table and offered it to the waitress. Then, she took the unopened burger and put it on Juliet’s hand and spoke..
“I don’t have any money for the tip. But here is my burger, eat it. You look hungry and tired you, need some rest..”
Juliet looked at the old woman’s kind eyes. She saw sincere compassion she had never seen in any customer before. She took the burger and thanked the old woman for the biggest tip she had ever received in the restaurant, a burger wrapped in kindness.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, were purely incidental.)