Posted in Love, Own Story

Soledad: The Greatest Person I Know

You taught me everything I know, Lola. I exist because you didn’t give up on me. You would get the efficascent oil and Vicks vaporub to massage my belly with love when I was feeling sick. You cooked me all the delicious meals and taught me good values that made me into who I am today. You managed to stick around when I have nobody. You understood me very well. Where do I start? The millions of great things that you have contributed to this family are countless. I couldn’t find the words to describe how great of a person you were. When I left home, you told me to follow my dreams and never look back. I still did in my own little way. I didn’t forget you. I would never forget you. For every dream that I was chasing and opportunities that I was grabbing, you were my inspiration. I wanted to make you proud. I wanted me to be your biggest accomplishment. I knew I made you proud and happy. I always told you how much I love and appreciate everything that you did for me, for us. Your sacrifices for us were impeccable.

I want your good memories to linger. I will continue to chase the stars for you. Now that you’re gone, what am I left with? Your wisdom and constant encouragement were all I have in this world. Without you Lola, I am nothing. We are nothing without you. What happens now?

December 02, 2018. 5:00 AM EST. I woke up suddenly with my heart pounding in my chest. I know something was not right but I couldn’t pinpoint where. I turned to the other side of the bed, and again to the other. I did it several times that I gave up trying to fall back to sleep. I turned my tablet on and continued the Russian show I’ve been watching. Reading the subtitle gave me a little bit of a headache.

Then came 9:00AM. My phone beeped. It was my mother who sent me a text message from the Philippines, “Your lola (grandmother) bade goodbye.” Silence. Numbness wrapped my whole being. I was trying to contemplate as to whether it was real or am I dreaming?

1992. My Lola Soledad/Soling moved swiftly to and fro around the kitchen. She was washing the vegetables and cutting up the pork in the wooden cutting board interchangeably. She looked around with her disheveled hair trying to search for something or someone behind her. Her disheveled hair showed some streaks of grey. Her stained dress with holes were quite wet from splashes of water and sweat. “Anne!” My lola called out my name with such authority and gentleness that it made me flinch. “I’m just here, lola. I will be nearby, ” giving her reassurance. I went and ran energetically like a normal kid would do. “Be careful!,” her voiced echoed in worry and concern.

My grandmother, Soledad, was the 9th child out of 10 children. She grew up in a house that was made of wood with capiz shell windows. Spanish influence. She would tell me stories about her childhood as if it were yesterday. We would lay in bed together and she would take me down to memory lane with her interesting stories. I remember her story about the World War II. She was barely 8 years old. She told me they all left their homes to flee in the mountains and hide inside a hole to hide from the Japanese soldiers. My grandmother’s father, according to her, killed two Japs with their own rifles with bayonets. After the World War II, they went back to their home with some little to rebuild. Together with her siblings and parents, they were able to do so. Life went on.

My grandmother was a brilliant woman. After the war, she continued to study and was eager to learn more. She lived in a time where women were not empowered enough to do what they please. Basilio, her father, unfortunately asked her to stop school at Grade 6. They couldn’t afford it and her father chose to send the older brothers to finish school instead of the girls. I remember when she was telling me that story, I saw the sadness in her eyes, not just that. I saw regret. She would peep outside their window and would see her friends walking to school. She would hide and cry.

“Anne, lunch is ready!” My grandmother’s authoritative voice reverberated throughout the house we were renting at that time. She cooked my favourite adobo. I stood up and went to the dining room. “Don’t forget to wash your hands,” she reminded as she was preparing my plate. I washed my hands and sat on the chair with legs open. “What do you think you’re doing? Sit up like a lady with your legs closed and back straight!” I looked at her in fright and did as I was told. I felt that if I didn’t do what she said, I would suffer a consequence. I look at my grandma and saw the look of exhaustion in her face. She still have some few chores to do. She woke up as early as 5 in the morning to start finishing the chores.

1950s. Soledad gazed upon the heavens and sighed. Her two older sisters left for Manila to work. Now, she was stuck in their home to just exist. She prayed that her sisters would send her to school when they have money saved. She wondered how her future would go. She was frustrated but optimistic. Her other sister, Maria stayed with their mother to help out with the household. She was invited to a dance tonight. She could go if her sister will chaperon her to the dance. That night, her fate changed. She met my grandfather. The rest was history and they had four lovely children, one of them was my mother.

“Try to eat everything on your plate. Some people are starving with nothing to eat. You don’t want to throw that food away. It will be a waste.” She was attentively looking at me while chewing my food and I just answered, “Opo, Lola (Yes, grandma). When lunch was finished, Lola asked me to sit in the living room and play. After she finished washing the dishes, she walked to me with a radio and blank cassette tape on her hands. “What are we doing, Lola?” I couldn’t hide my excitement. She gave her sweetest smile, looked at me with her gentle eyes, “we will record the poems that I taught you. You’ve memorized them all, right?” I nodded and smiled back.

“Ang Munting Inakay”

May isang inakay na ibig lumipad

Ngunit pakpak niya’y di pa maikampay.

“Bayaan mo anak, ikaw ay magsanay.”

Ang sabi ng inang siyang nagbabantay.

Ang munting inakay na nais matuto

Sa gilid ng pugad ay paluksu-lukso!

At isang araw nga pakpak ay gumalaw

At lumipad na siya sya sa malayong lugar.

Like the poems that you taught me, fly away, Lola. You’re at peace now. Fly away with the angels, my dear Lola. Watch over us. I love you. Rest well.

Posted in Love, Own Story, Uncategorized

Saddest Christmas

crying-lady

It’s been a while since I went home. For eight Christmases, I spent them all in a foreign country. This is by far, the saddest of them all. I was trying my best to cope and move on from my recent breakup and it’s slowly eating me day by day. I love him and I know he doesn’t feel the same anymore. I’ve pictured myself being with him, happy and contented.

Three weeks and I’m still on the same spot. I’m usually strong and could face anything, but this time, I guess I really fell into a deep hole. My guards were down and I just let him swallow the whole of me. He made it seem that he loved me, that he cared about me and I was all that mattered to him. The relationship went hot to cold and I would have tried anything to salvage it. I remembered how he looked at me with his gentle eyes and whisper I love you. Then at a snap, it changed.

Days passed and we became stagnant. I was willing to fix it, work on our differences. Maybe I became too comfortable and maybe I was not capable to make him happy anymore.

I wonder if…

…he still thinks about me.

…what happened to our relationship?

…what did I do wrong to make him go away?

…am I not enough?

I never pressured him to do anything he doesn’t like. I would ask him if he wants to do anything and he would be adamant to do what I was suggesting. I do enjoy his company even though he doesn’t enjoy the things I like to do. I just didn’t know that it bothered him so much that he has to drop me like a hot potato.

I respect him so much that when he asked for a little bit of a space, I just gave it to him. Little did I know that he already made up his mind and the break that we were having was his way of slowly easing away from our relationship.

It hurts. I have never been hurt like this before. I loved him dearly and I still love him. I don’t know how long can I recover from this feeling but I know it may take a while. I’m trying, I really am. But when everything becomes quiet and I’m alone, I can’t help but be sad. I hope I can recover and move on totally. I will be able to.

The sadness that lurks in my heart right now is indescribable. I hope he’s happy.

I hope I can be happy soon, that’s all I am praying for.

 

 

Posted in Love, Own Story, Uncategorized

The Beginning of the End

He said he needed time to think about our relationship. That was louder than the bomb that has been dropped at Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the World War II. I thought everything was perfect. Wrong.

When he whispered, “I love you,” my world turned colourful and I saw fairy dust in the air. Loving someone and being in a relationship are probably one of the greatest aphrodisiac in this life time. You savour every moment and you’re magically taken to a place you’ve never been before.

I loved it when he opened the doors for me and treated me like a princess. How he gently stared at me every time, gave me butterflies in my stomach. He would look at me sweetly and give me kisses. We would share jokes and laugh together happily as a couple.

Fast forward to the day he became cold and indifferent. I don’t know what to do or say to him, because I don’t want to drive him away. I was never good at confrontations. I was scared to lose him. What went wrong? What have I done wrong? Did I upset him? How could I fix it?

So, he wanted his space and I gave it to him. And by giving it to him, he will realize that he loves me and we can look into our differences. Wrong again.

After a week of endless wallowing in my tears, various distractions and late night contemplation, he finally sent me a text. “Good morning, how are you?” My heart jumped. Would he say he missed me? Would he say he loves me and will stay with me? Will we find a way to iron out our differences? But, no. He wanted to meet and talk in person. Suddenly, my heart started to throb very fast. I know I would’t like what he will tell me, so I told him to call me and just tell me over the phone. He called me. The conversation was very casual. I went directly to the point and asked how did his “thinking about our relationship” went? He just replied with zero emotion, “I’m sorry, I don’t think we can continue.” I was shocked.

I did see it coming but when I heard those words, I just became speechless. It’s real. Oh, is this happening? I wanted to sob but I told myself to be strong. I asked him what was his reason and I couldn’t remember the exact words he said. I just knew that what it meant was he doesn’t love me anymore. Initially, we had a discussion about our differences and these were rubbing off a bit, according to him. That I don’t do what he likes to do and he doesn’t want to do what I like to do. And oh, that I wanted to have a kid some time in the future and he doesn’t. Not in his plans, not going to change.

At that point, I wasn’t able to dissect the situation. I just said okay and began sobbing. I ended the call and I was left alone in my room trying to absorb what happened.

The process of moving on was difficult. You meet a person who became your world, shared your everyday experiences with and loved unconditionally; and the next thing you know, they’re a total stranger. You’ll wonder what went wrong and blame yourself for the end of the relationship. You’ll try to reason out for this person and lose all your rational thinking because you want to convince yourself that it’s still going to work. You’ll remember all the good memories you had and cry at the end realizing that it has already ended. Gone. It’s a done deal. He left you. He dumped you.

This person who you gave your heart away to and treated with utmost respect did this to you. He doesn’t care what you think or how you feel. He doesn’t take into consideration if you’ll be hurt or break your heart. He doesn’t even ask how you felt and only cares about how he feels. He is a self-serving human being. He doesn’t care about you, he just cares about himself!

What to do? Move on! The end of this relationship is a beginning of endless opportunities to explore the world of single-hood. Embrace it while it lasts. Keep your head up high. You’re beautiful, kind and sweet. You will find a person who would appreciate what you can offer and treat you like a fragile glass. The end of a relationship is not the end of your happiness. It teaches a lesson of strength, self-improvement and determination. Yes. Embrace it. Most importantly, cut yourself some slack and don’t blame yourself. It was never your fault. Some things just don’t work out the way we wanted them to. This is just the beginning. Smile and move forward.

 

Posted in Love, Own Story

Men Are from Mars (Repost from my old site)

I remember posting this about 4 years ago, this is sick. I can’t believe I used to be this girl, so hurt and wounded. But now, it’s all good. It just makes me twitch a little when I remember all the pain I’ve had in the past. It was all a great lesson that I learned in the art of what we call, LOVE. I know I sounded cheesy then and a little grammatically insufficient but the pain was there. It was real and it made me the person I am today.

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“Well, so to speak, i remember all my lessons in my Greek mythology class. Mars, also known as Ares is the god of war. Men in my own sense of description, are heartless creatures made to bring suffering to the female class. Their ruthlessness is so obvious that sometimes, we the females, don’t seem to notice. Why? Because we are madly in love with them. We offer all our bits and pieces to them, even the very edge of our hairs are devoured by these insensitive beasts. Hmm… Yes, women are from Venus, we were born to bring love and joy to the male gender. We were made to serve them, we satisfy their machismo. We pamper them with such things, but it is so unfair for us to be taken for granted by them. We are brutally abused, the worst is emotionally. Insensitive. Yes, they are. Will you not agree with me? Some women are victimized by their capricious. Agree? Hey! Can’t you be serious in your relationships? We’re not toys! We’re not your robots. Curse all wicked men on earth, those that are so damn inconsiderate and self-centered that they fail to understand the hardships of women just to please them, love them, worship them. Men indeed, are from Mars…. Heartless, insensitive, brutal, selfish and blind. “