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Today is Good Friday.  Today we see the best example of how much it hurts to love.  The love that Christ has for us is not the kind of love that we see on television or read about in cheesy novels.

Christ’s love is sacrificial love, a love that gives without expecting anything in return, a love that accepts the beloved’s faults and yet continues to love just the same.

As Christians, we are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us.  This is not the kind of love that media popularizes – love that is based on feeling and physical attraction.

It’s not easy to love the way Christ has loved us.  I know.  I’ve loved and I’ve been hurt, especially by the people I love the most.  It hurts to give so much of myself, and yet my love and giving is not appreciated so much.  I sometimes want to cry out and say “Enough!  I don’t want to give of myself anymore!  It hurts to love and not be loved back as much as I do!”

But as I reflect on Jesus’ Passion and Death this Good Friday, I realize that I have not loved Him enough if I complain about giving of myself.  If I truly love as Christ does, then I should be ready to get hurt.  If I truly love others the way Jesus Christ loves me, then I cannot love enough.  If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not real love.

 

 

It’s official – we are now Metro Manila residents.  After a year of planning and anticipation, we finally made the big move.  I found it easy to decide to leave my job and my friends, but it was very hard to leave the parents.  I worry for them, especially because they are both getting old and Nanay still has not regained her full functionality.

For the last two weeks, the kids and I have spent most of our days cooped up in the apartment. They stay in bed, play, or watch TV, while I do motherly stuff – i.e., cook, clean, wash clothes, fix the apartment.  Since I rarely got the chance to do these home economics activities while we were in Bacolod (thanks to our very capable helper), I’m actually enjoying this.  🙂

I’m supposed to start work next week, but my contract hasn’t been finalized yet, so I’m given more time to spend with the kids.  No big deal.  I’m happy that I can still be here for them, if only for one more week.  Because the minute work starts, I know that my attention will be divided – into three!  That’s Dean, the kids, and work.  For now, I’m just enjoying being a mom and wife.  I’m happy to see my husband every day.  I’m happy that after a long day at work, he can come home to a hot meal and a family that he can enjoy eating the meal with.

Enzo asked me the other day, “Is our apartment a house or a home?”  I told him, a home is a place where everybody loves each other and where there is happiness.  No matter how small this space of ours may be, I still know that this is a home.

I can’t believe I’m saying this: I don’t want to go home to Bacolod! I want to stay here in Iloilo, not because I like it here more than Bacolod, but because I just want to be with Dean everyday. Having spent most of the summer here with him, I really feel that we’re a family and I want my kids to see their dad everyday. I wish I could just pack up and leave Bacolod for good so that I could be with my hubby.

But, I know I just can’t leave behind my parents in Bacolod. I know I’m being selfish if I bring the kids here for good. Nanay will probably just deteriorate, not having the kids at home. And I know Tatay will most likely get sick if I take away his beloved little engineer Enzo from him. I feel sad about not being able to spend time with Dean each day because his assignment is here in Iloilo. I don’t know how long this arrangement of ours is going to last. I don’t see a transfer to Bacolod in his current job. He has to find a different job if we would insist that he move back to Bacolod.

A few years ago, when Dean and I were just starting our married life, Nanay told me that I shouldn’t move with him because he was assigned in Roxas at that time. She said his job called for him to transfer from one place to another and it would be difficult for me to do the same. She told me that I should stay put in Bacolod and we should just find a way for him to come home as often as he could. I know that there was wisdom in what my mother told me, and much as I would want to be with Dean everyday, I know that Nanay was, and is still is, right. With two kids in tow, it would be much harder for us to keep on moving every time he gets a new assignment.

I think another reason why I really want to stay with Dean (wherever that is) is because with him around I don’t have to be the sole decision maker. I have a shock absorber, I have a ready helpmate in everything. When I get back to Bacolod, I will have to face my realities again – that my mom is still sick, that I have two kids to rear, that I have a household to manage, and that I have a career to build.  And all of these I will have to manage all at the same time.

I’ve always been very outspoken and brutally frank.  I’m not afraid to get into a confrontation, especially when I have to make a point and when I know I’m right.  But my mouth has gotten me in trouble so many times lately that I’ve learned how to shut up and just keep quiet even when I’m itching to voice out my opinion. 

I also learned that I can’t win an argument with someone who has low IQ.  No matter how hard I try to explain myself, that person will never understand me and will always see things the way he/she wants to see it.  Pete Lacaba said it perfectly in his poem “Tagubilin at Habilin”:

Huwag makipagtalo sa bobo at baka ka mapagkamalang bobo.

Nonetheless, I know that everything happens for a reason and the things I went through these past three months are all part of God’s greater plan for me.  I had to go through that in order to grow and to realize many things about myself and about the life I’ve been living.  All in all, despite the hardships I had to go through, I grew up and learned something – and that is what is most important, after all.
 

Last week was my personal hell week.  Let me tell you why…

Monday – Had a 26-item all computation assignment in Statistics, which I did in the afternoon after my four-hour class in the morning

Tuesday – Had a four-hour class, started working on my report for my Organizational Development class

Wednesday – Got another set of problems and exercises for my Statistics class (I’m the student here, not the teacher!)

Thursday – Went to Iloilo in the afternoon with the kids in tow.  We had to attend a cousin’s wedding…Enzo was the coin bearer 🙂

Thursday night – Worked on a friend’s thesis revisions.  Stayed up late again because I needed to send the file to Bacolod early the next morning because it was already due!!

Friday morning – Woke up early and went to the pier to send the CD to Bacolod on the first trip.  In the afternoon, we also went home to Bacolod because I had a report the following day.

Friday night – Stayed up late again to finish my report.  I was too tired to put all the animations in my powerpoint presentation.  Good thing Dean was willing to animate my slides.  (Thank you langga! Mwah!) 

Saturday – Woke up early, went to school early, only to find out that the teacher was late and we were just going to have film showing and lecture in the morning and the reports were to be given in the afternoon pa.  Ka inis!  But, my report went well. 🙂

Saturday evening – Started work on my latest research project, but could not proceed because the data was incomplete.  Had to contact the people who hired me since they were the ones who gathered the data…we decided to meet the next day to settle the problem.

Sunday – Heard Mass with Dean and the kids (as usual, they were kulit) and then went to SM.  While the kids played, I met with the project coordinator and we agreed to put the data analysis on hold while they looked for the missing questionnaires.  After our meeting, I started working on my Stat assignment for Monday.  Aarrgh!!

Now it’s Labor Day and I’m at an Internet cafe.  I woke up very early this morning to work on my data analysis for the research project I committed to do.  I just gave my preliminary results to the project coordinator BUT I still need to do some work.  And when I get home I have to make my midterm exam (for my students naman) which will be on Thursday.  Hay, naku!  This is truly a LABOR day for me!

I’m going back to school this summer.  Nope, I’m not taking Nursing or some other health-related, in-demand course.  I’ve decided to finish my Ph.D. in Education.  The only motivation is money, of course.  And I’m not ashamed to say that!  After all, one needs to be practical these days when every centavo counts.

I actually started taking Ph.D. right after I finished my masters in 2002.  But I’ve taken several semesters off when I got married, got pregnant, when Nanay had her stroke, and when I transferred jobs.  Now, 4 years later (when most of my classmates have already finished) I’m back and I’m here to finish what I started.

At first, I really didn’t want to take the course because it’s not my field of specialization.  I would have wanted to take something close to my master’s degree (measurement and evaluation) or to my undegrad (Statistics).  Unfortunately, that would mean studying in Manila or abroad and being away from my family.  I don’t want to miss my kids’ first solid food, first tooth, first steps, first day of school,  and many other firsts.  So, I had no choice but to take the only available Ph.D. course in La Salle Bacolod at that time – Educational Management.  I don’t know if I’m going to be a school administrator in the future, but I do know that having a Ph.D. translates to an additional basic salary of about Php4k+ and that’s enough motivation for me.  🙂

Anyway, I just hope I get enough drive and I don’t get lazy in the process.  I hope to finish all course requirements by end of SY 2007-2008, and hopefully, next school year I can work on my dissertation and graduate by March 2009.  I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.  Wish me luck! 🙂

A few days ago, I got a call from a good friend of mine who is now in the States.  She told me that she has been updated about my life thanks to my blog…and I realized that I should be writing here more often because this is a good way to let people know I’m still alive!

The past couple of months or so have been quite stressful for me mainly because Dean got retrenched from his job.  We’ve had our share of arguments and fights and depressed moments, but I’m glad we got through it…scarred but definitely more mature and stronger. 

He has a job now, better paying than his previous one, but the catch is he has to be based in Iloilo.  And if there’s one thing I’m so scared about, it’s being away from him – or should I say, him being away from me.  I’m just being praning, I know, and I have to conquer that fear and put my complete trust in him.  I’m just praying hard that nothing could come between our relationship…not distance nor anything or anyone else. 

I know Iloilo is just near and he’ll be coming home every weekend naman.  I just hope that God will find a way for him to come back to Bacolod.  Hay….kabudlay!!

Good thing I’m very busy now with work.  At least it keeps my mind off things which I should not be worrying about. 

The school year is almost over, and I’m just glad I survived it.  It was a tiring first year of full time teaching for me and I got sick so many times over the year.  Actually, I was absent today because I had another bout of urinary tract infection (my third this past school year) . Thanks to teaching, I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight…kapoy gid ya! I just hope next school year I’ll be more adjusted to the pace at work and I wouldn’t lose so much pounds.

Btw, Enzo finished his first year of pre-school as with highest honors!  🙂  Let the proud mama brag! 🙂  Here are pics taken during their recognition rites last March 21.

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Two Saturdays ago I went with some co-teachers to Bacolod Boys’ Home to spend an afternoon with orphaned and homeless boys aged 5 to 17.  It was my first time to go there and I didn’t know what to expect.  I just wanted to tag along with some of my friends because I had been invited several times to visit with them.

When we got there, we were divided into pairs and told to see to the boys in the different cottages.  About 25 boys lived in one cottage and there were four cottages, I think.  I was with a teacher from the IS (grade school-high school dept of La Salle) and she had been visiting Boys’ Home for several years now so she knew how to handle the boys.  Anyway, we asked them to form a circle and we prayed and talked to them.  I taught them an action song I learned from BLD.  We also let them read the story about how Jesus calmed a storm in the Bible (they had Hiligaynon bibles in their cottage) and asked them questions later.  I was really surprised at the way these boys answered.  They seem so mature, even at a young age – most of them were between 12 to 16 years old. 

Later when we asked them what else they needed – aside from clothes and food, which they were provided with, they said they needed a basketball.  I really thought they were going to ask for money.  But they had such simple needs.  Although these kids didn’t have families and they had t-shirts that were either too small or too big for them, they felt they had everything – except for a basketball, of course.  Going there made me forget my problems for just a little while and it made me see things from a different perspective.  I guess it made me realize that compared to other people, I still am blessed in a lot of ways and that there is so much I should be grateful for. 

When the kids thanked us for coming, I thought to myself that I should be the one thanking them because I think I learned more from them than they did from me and they touched me more than I did them.  It was really a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go back.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by problems that I tend to view my glass as half-empty.  It’s so easy to complain and take note of the negatives instead of the positives.  To be honest, my life right now isn’t going the way I want it to go.  The trials never seem to stop and I sometimes just want to lash out at anyone because I’m angry and hurt.  But I know that I can’t be this way.  I have to believe that there is hope, that things will get better, and that these, too, shall pass. 

I actually just wrote a rant and rave post but for some reason, when I clicked on “publish” and went to view my site, the entire post wasn’t there.  Maybe Someone wants me to stop complaining and to count my blessings, instead. 

So, before I turn in and call it a day, let me tell you why my glass is half-full.

  1. I have a good husband who loves me and understands me.
  2. I have two wonderful and smart kids who inspire me to be a better person.
  3. I have loving and supportive parents.
  4. I have the love and support of my siblings as well.
  5. I have a good job that I love and enjoy.
  6. I have good friends who pray for me.
  7. I get to eat a good meal three times a day.
  8. I just had a 3-day weekend which I spent with my husband and kids.
  9. I have talents and abilities.
  10. God still loves me inspite of me.

From now on, I promise to complain less and to give thanks more often.

I’m sure everyone has a story to tell about dealing with people from government offices.  I just came from SSS to process my mom’s disability benefits.  What I hate about doing business with these people is that they can’t seem to make up their minds about what they really want from us.  This is actually the fourth time I’ve been to SSS to process Nay’s disability benefits.  The first time I was only given forms to fill up.  When I had submitted those forms, they told me I needed to secure a medical certificate from Nanay’s doctor.  Upon submitting those forms, they asked me again to get a neurologic evaluation – from my mom’s neuro, which I did.  And now that I submitted the evaluation, they tell me I need to submit a letter, requesting for a home visit by the SSS doctor to check-up my mom.  The alternative to this would be to bring my mom to SSS, which we don’t want to do because it would be too much of a hassle for her and us.

They could have told me at the very beginning what they really needed from us, instead of giving me their requirements one at a time.  But, I don’t want to rant and rave about this because I know I can’t get around their system.  Eventually, I still have to follow how things are being done – or else we won’t get any benefits.  I just hope it (the benefits, I mean) will all be worth the hassle I’m going through right now.