June 30, 2015

The Good Son

Randy* is a smart boy. He graduated valedictorian both in grade school and high school. Needless to say, friends and relatives have been expecting so much from him.
He took up Architecture and did well in his first year. In his second year, however, he got sick. He missed so many of his lessons that he finally dropped out. He was hoping to reenroll the following year but his father had a stroke and was paralyzed.
When his father was brought home from the hospital, Randy took care of him for the next 13 long years until the old man died.
Old, bony but unbeaten, Randy accepted his siblings’ offer to send him to school. Having completely lost his momentum and interest in Architecture, Randy took up Education and after five years he received his college diploma. He took the board examination and passed making him a licensed teacher.
He’s been teaching in a public school for several years now and has earned the respect of his friends, relatives, colleagues and students. He’s one of the most remarkable people I’ve known in my entire life.
Salute to you, Randy!
*not real name

June 28, 2015

The Renewal Applicant

For a few years now, renewal of driver’s license here in the Philippines has required a drug test to ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. It was sad, though, that many of the applicants had failed this important test.
Alvin* was known to be a drug user. He wouldn’t admit it but for some unexplainable reasons, we just couldn’t believe that he is actually cleared of it. So, when he applied for the renewal of his driver’s license, we waited, I must say, skeptically. We weren’t surprised when we learned that he failed. It was, for us, an affirmation of his guilt. He indeed, is, a drug user.
But his cousin, Albert* contradicted our conclusion. He didn’t show up positive for drugs. What actually showed was that he was positive, as in PREGNANT.
How could that be? Well, it seems like he submitted his wife’s urine sample instead of his. On the lighter note, we congratulated him for the new baby.. :D

June 27, 2015

The Feeling Was Gone

Yesterday, one of my closest high school friends sent me a text message. It seems like she met up with an ex-boyfriend. I could tell by her messages that she was relieved but regretful. I asked her about it and she said I was right, she had mixed feelings about the meet-up.
She said she had waited for the meet-up for a very long time and the anticipation was filled with anxiety. She had loved the guy for as long as she could remember and for some twist of fate, they had not ended up together. She got married. He got married and they didn’t see each other for quite some while. Until she received a text message from an unlisted number. It seems like the guy took the pains of finding out a way to get in touch with her.
Though unsure whether meeting up with him was a good idea or not, she agreed to it. She said she wanted to know whether the guy still has a power over her.
And so, they met up.
It was just like meeting a long lost friend. She was happy to see him after all this time. She was also extremely relieved to finally know that she could resist his charm now. However, she still feels regretful that they didn’t end up together adding a ‘what-if’ to her growing pile.
So, what could a friend, such as myself, say in a situation like that.. They were probably not meant to be together. But if they are, probably not here and not now…

June 25, 2015

The Pee Problem

How long can you hold your pee? My friend May* attended a birthday party. She drank a few bottles of beer then bid the celebrant goodbye after staying for a few hours.
While riding a jeepney home, she felt an urge to pee but found no place to relieve herself. So, she held her pee for as long as she could until she finally saw the gate to their subdivision. As the jeep entered the gate, May couldn't hold her pee any longer and decided to just.. let it go, and she did. She peed on her panties and pants inside the public transportation. Good thing it was already dark, the other passengers didn't see the fluid flowing out of her pants.
May felt so good letting her pee go that even when the jeep was about to pass by their house, she couldn't bring herself to stop it. Only when her bladder was empty did she finally stopped the jeep, got off and walked back to their house with a relieved and complacent grin plastered on her face.
 *not real name

June 24, 2015

She's Losing It

My friend, Janine* had had a problem with her husband for a very long time. She believes that he has another woman and even though he keeps denying it, even we, can feel that Janine's suspicions are true. In view of that, the soundest advice I could give her was to either accept the situation and endure the pain of having to share her husband or get out of it and suffer the consequences of a broken marriage.
She chose to keep her marriage. But when his husband, who keeps denying having an affair, started to ignore her, she began to entertain text mates. It seems harmless at first, until she told me that she went out with her textmate, who, I learned was a personal acquaintance of their family, and DID IT. I wanted to berate her but I was wise enough to keep my mouth shut. After all, we're of the same age. She knew what she was doing when she did it. Still, I warned her. It was the least I could do.
Months went by and her relationship with her husband did not improve. She and her kids already moved out of the house and stayed with her mother. But there was still no formal split up because her husband still denied his affair though a lot of people claimed seeing them together.
Then, one day, a guy we knew from our past came and expressed his undying love to Janine. It seems like he's been in love with my friend forever but wasn't given any chance to tell her and so married someone else, but is now separated from his wife. Now that he found Janine again, he considers it the works of fate and that they were meant for each other. So, he courted Janine the most romantic and traditional way and made her feel so special, then went back abroad where he works.
Even from out of the country, the guy continued to court Janine. But based on what I hear from my friend, she wasn't ready to have an affair with him and my conclusion was that she really didn't like him though she likes what he did for her and how he made her feel.
Then, two months ago the guy came home from abroad and wished to see Janine. She went out to meet him and DID IT despite the fact that she doesn't like him.
I have no right to judge my friend or anyone. The least I could do is give advice when it is asked. I told her to keep it together because I feel that she's losing it.
 My friend needs help but she wouldn't listen to me or to anyone else. I can only pray that she find peace and learn to accept life the way it is..
*not real name

June 22, 2015

The Girl With a Snake

Several years ago, I attended a wedding. As one of the bridesmaids, I stayed at the bride’s house the night before the wedding day. As was tradition in the place, there was a dance to celebrate the bride’s last night as a maiden.
Boys from the entire barrio were expected to come. The bride’s family invited girls from other barrios to attend the dance. Boys who wanted a chance to meet and talk with the girls they fancy were supposed to pay a price for a dance in which nobody was entitled to the floor except the one or ones who paid. Usually, a group of four or five boys contribute their money to raise an amount for a dance. The more money they have, the more chances they can get of meeting the girls they want.
I experienced one such dance. I was led by my partner to the dance floor and we started to get to know each other. We were beginning to feel comfortable with each other when we heard a commotion from the public. Then, a girl shrieked and everybody started to run to and fro. The father’s bride took control of the crowd and got to the bottom of the problem.
We learned later that the bride’s cousin, a girl of 17, brought her pet snake to the dance, coiled it in her arm and held it for everyone to see. Now, what kind of idiot would bring a snake in public no matter how harmless it is?
Then I realized that my partner left me on the dance floor and I never saw him again. So, the girl with the snake wasn’t the only idiot that night.

June 21, 2015

How Common is Miscommunication?

According to love veterans, one of the most common reasons why relationships don’t work out is miscommunication. Couples don’t talk the way they should. Apparently, women usually don’t say what they mean and they don’t mean what they say. They say something when they actually mean another. They usually assume that the guys know, or rather guys should know. Whoever gave them the idea to assume that guys know what they want, well.. I don’t know.
As for guys, most of them hate, and consequently, avoid confrontation. They would rather give in to the girls’ whims than to explain things they think they don’t need to and end up feeling miserable, example of which is accompanying the girls when shopping. Moreover, they would rather keep something hidden than to go through the complicated task of explaining to the girls, example would be talking with an ex even when the meeting was accidental.
Going back to the girls, the problems with them sometimes is that they don’t believe the guys. They want to desperately, but for some reasons they usually end up not believing them anyway. And for the the boys, they believe everything. So, when the girls say ‘I’m fine’ they are ok with that. After all, that’s what the girls say and they can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t believe them.
Well, in this case, I would say it’s not miscommunication, it’s failing to acknowledge the nature of the opposite sex :D

June 19, 2015

The Critic in Town

When I was growing up in our small town, I knew of a guy who had a say about almost any one in the entire place. That he did have a say about everybody was irritating enough, but saying negative things about anybody, now.. that was extremely annoying.
It seems like nobody pleased him at all. No one did his work well, something was always wrong with someone and a lot more. If he was critical with boys, he was ruthless with girls. Imperfections were always pointed out and every girl was supposed to turn out bad.
Now the unfair part is that, this self appointed critic was a man with deformed legs. He never walked his whole life. Ever since I’ve known him, he was walking on his hands and knees, dragging his bony legs and deformed feet along the streets.
That he droned on and on about the imperfections of others when he couldn’t even stand up straight was a fact that we chose to ignore. But no matter how annoying this guy was, he and I had something in common, we both loved books. Among the materials that I read when I was young were from him. I could say that he was one smart guy. Maybe that’s what made him arrogant and critical.
Last week, I learned in FB that he already died. I felt sincerely sad for this person who introduced me to the world of books. And I wasn’t surprised when I saw a multitude of sincere condolences from people in our hometown. For a critical handicapped guy, he surely had a lot of friends.
Farewell, Francisco, may you rest in peace..

June 18, 2015

Will Love Keep Them Alive?

Rose* is only 26 years old. I assume she was very young when she got married to my cousin Bert* because her eldest daughter is of the same age as my daughter, Mika. Her husband doesn’t have a stable job and Rose gave birth to their  youngest child, a boy, about 3 years ago. They already had 4 kids.
Late last week, I met with Rose. I found out that she was pregnant, again, to their 5th child. I was.. stunned. With my cousin jobless and Rose stay-at-home mom, how are they going to feed their 4 kids plus a baby? Obviously, they weren’t as worried as I was otherwise, Rose wouldn’t be pregnant right now.
Or maybe I was just overreacting. Maybe since I settled for just 3 kids I thought that other couples should do the same. Then, I asked Rose about her husband and she said he’s just the same which, I assume, means he still doesn’t have a stable job and he just drives a pedicab when someone lends him one. How often that happens, I have no idea.
I don’t judge them, nor discriminate them. I’m probably just an obsessive worry wart who thinks too much. But sometimes I wish they would think, too, not necessarily for themselves but for the future of their children.
*not real names

June 16, 2015

Keeping Together and Pulling Apart

Just a few years ago, I didn’t know what Facebook was and what it could do to me and to other people. Then, by the constant urges of my friends, I made an account and was, at first, excited to see my childhood friends, college friends and former co-workers. It was magical..
But then again, I noticed people exchanging hateful comments and I felt sad. Facebook is basically a nice thing, but if used for evil purposes, then it can be a dangerous tool.
Last year, I joined a group in Facebook. The group was formed primarily to keep old acquaintances together. It felt nice at first. Then, eventually, as if inevitable, some members  began to bicker and threw unpleasant comments at each other. The sad part is that they knew each other personally. How someone could say something bad about his friend for everyone to know is for me… pathetic.
Then last week, I learned that one of the members in my group was terminated from work because of a negative comment he posted on the group’s wall. I can’t remember what it was, or maybe I just hardly noticed, but surely, it must be something bad to have cost him his job.
I do believe that, with or without the magic of technology, we are blessed with wonderful things around us, but how to use them constructively or destructively is totally up to us..