Last night, while trying to insert reading into my day my husband teased me by intently trying to annoy me. I quickly asked him to stop but he playfully provoked me into having a fight. And I asked, do you really want to fight? Few minutes after I asked what they want for breakfast the next day and he answered, pancakes-short and sure answer. Pancakes it will be. After a short while he moved over to his table to continue his work and so I grabbed some muesli, put some raisins in and poured a glass of milk all over. I don’t know why I was hungry hours after dinner but maybe because me and Kyrzten danced to our favorite moves from Sensazao Crew. Anyways, I sat at a chair looking over at what my husband has been doing. He’s working on something, and I kind of do not understand it, really. While I sat there in silence, munching my cereals; looking at him working, I remembered our conversation earlier that evening.
Couple of years ago, me and my husband argues a lot. We always had a big fight over decisions, changes and marital obligations. The fight grew intense when the first baby arrived. We were not adjusting well and I’d say we struggled to be good partners more than good parents. We almost separated and I really thought we’d go that direction. After we moved back from Bohol, I noticed something happened to us. We were kinder to each other and slowly regained the trust we once had. I also noticed the changes in me, I cannot fathom them but definitely I noticed I stopped complicating things and making a drama over my life. I still have episodes of sadness sometimes but then I did not want another person to suffer from it.
Expectations. My disappointments and frustrations were from my ideas of what my married life should be. I had expectations of marriage, of motherhood, of my career and my life. I also had expectations of what my husband should be and of the career that he should choose. I had expectations of his success and so I looked at him and I see weakness and failure. I tried so hard to want what I pictured things should be that I forced my husband to be somebody else. Now that I kind of accepted he is who he is that the fighting stopped. He is far from perfect and so do I. He is still annoying and we still annoy each other. But we are partners and we will hold hands because we are in this together.
Expectations kill love and tenderness. And I want to love him tenderly.
Branding and judgment, we cannot put those two in separate bowls. Simply because when we brand we judge and vice versa. We have brands of clothes, medicines, and food because we mark each of them lesser or greater than the others. It has become human nature to put a wall and differentiate ourselves from the rest. Whoever started it influenced a whole great deal of humanity because today we have 2 major distinctions-the rich and the poor. With this tagging comes a society who loves exclusivity, and in our search for belongingness we become discriminatory and mean. Even in our small group of islands, we compete on who is more sophisticated, more educated, intelligent and classy.
Manila. I set foot in Manila with my husband and kid and with no plans. No plans on where to go and no plans on what to do. We jumped on the plane thinking of doing spontaneous acts during our vacation. We just wanted to see Manila, one of the stuff on our bucket list. Husband and me have both grown in the small island in the Visayas and have only been in 3 or 4 islands so far-and we have more than 1,700 islands in this country. We were both thrilled about this trip because we have been set to go to Enchanted Kingdom courtesy of my brother. As it turned out, our trip went great. We met a few of my husband’s relatives there, and we had quite a VIP treatment.
On our first day in Manila, we went malling. As if Cebu malls were not sufficient, but truth is, we just wanted to go some place familiar and no other place greater than the inside of a mall. I almost forgot that we were in Manila that I often speak vernacular to the store clerks and cashiers. They just go open their mouths as a hint that they did not understand me, and then I go talk in English which is worse. A Filipino talking to a stranger Filipino in english is a show-off, that is a fact. I find it weird though that Cebuanos are more comfortable talking in English than in our national language. As for me, I did not want to embarrass myself speaking improperly in a language and being laughed at.
It has been of annoyance to a few people living in Luzon that some Bisaya prefer English than Tagalog. But yes, Bisaya do that because we talk English more than Tagalog. A brother of mine was bullied on his first few months working in Manila just because he is a “Bisaya”, until such time that he got promoted and they call him “Sir”. I am not sure how the battle of supremacy started, and I begin to wonder why there’s a necessity for that. If we have to label ourselves from the region where we come from, how can we be united as a nation? The elite and the exclusive. We oh so love being part of a league and we begin to associate our lives primarily to that. We are just one nation, we are Filipinos. We belong to a very big group. Isn’t that exclusive enough?
Many Tagalogs and Bisayas go along pretty well. Some get married and some are best friends. But until we stop listening to intonation and accent we shall always be victims and culprits of labels and branding. Who is more intelligent, rich and pretty? I don’t want to start with that.
We were out to pick up some groceries today. The past days have been full of doubts and almost unbearable. My back’s aching, my heart on a sudden searing pain. It’s as if anxiety is almost engulfing everything in- deep, hollow, and scary. But as what I always say, these days are not common, yet they linger. Damn that earthquake!
Anyway, we went to 2 supermarkets today due to diaper outage. We were guessing that demands have soared high due to that super strong typhoon leaving millions homeless. There is too much suffering in the world but I still hold on to that thread of hope and that promise of a better tomorrow.
We decided to have a little snack at the park before going home. Yes, we were at the parking lot of the grocery store with some cheese roll, water and a Hazelnut milk tea. We watched again Aurora the Sleeping Beauty and the 3 good fairies, and how we love to critique how Aurora got pretty because the fairy gifted her with it (we are just trying to spoil the story! :D). Though, I am really seriously alarmed that she was betrothed and expected to marry at the age of 16. Too young, right?
As we went out of the huge parking lot, husband turned the wheels unto the huge space. He got out of the car and asked me to take the driver’s seat. I have been wanting that lesson. I am a person who dreams (the one when you sleep) and loves cars but doesn’t know how to drive. First he gave me those first few introductions, the clutch, brakes and gas pedals and the basic how tos’ like turning on the engine. I got familiar with the gears, did some reverse moves and finally drove it a few meters. It was scary but it sure did make my day. That was fun and scary (in a good way). Till next lesson.
And oh, I am just thankful my husband still likes to surprise me.
I have heard so many things about Manila, and majority were negative descriptions. From traffic to rising numbers of informal settlers congesting Manila, to crimes and road accidents and Manila’s biggest challenge, floods.
And like many people, I had a feeling of disgust towards going to Manila hearing this and that and I humbly say I was wrong with my judgment not because the above were not real but simply because you can never define what you’d feel about a certain place unless you set your foot, come face to face with it and meet its people.
The supposed trip was booked on January 29 of this year. That was when I still worked as a Human Resource practitioner living in the City. A lot has happened after that day, my daughter was diagnosed with GDD, I lost my job and we moved to Bohol. Me and hubby have contemplated on not going when we were faced with a more pressing issue, his dad’s health. We begin to understand why things has to happen, we were led to a perspective where we have to work as a family and live a frugal life accordingly, while preparing for the unexpected. As our travel date neared, we counted our money and we feared that it might not become a reality. I told my husband that maybe we can just see Manila, stay at my brother’s and leave but then one morning my brother messaged me that he will tag us along their company outing to Enchanted Kingdom. We thought it would be a great idea, and a more reason for us to go.
We left on Friday morning of September 13, which was my husband’s birthday. Inside of me I was a bit scared because we left on Friday the 13th. They said it was an unlucky day but it turned out to be our luckiest one so far. Also, it was my daughter’s first plane ride. The weather was fine and the flight went pleasant. Our first travel outside of the Visayas as a family, both planned and unplanned. We were oblivious of what’s in stored for us.
NAIA-Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Since my brother cannot fetch us from the airport, it was a Friday and a working day; and also, I did not inform him ahead., hubby’s dad asked his uncle living in Manila to fetch us from the airport and take us where we are supposed to meet my brother. Bangz and I agreed that we can have lunch at Mall of Asia and then head to SM Megamall, where my brother works. When we landed Gou-ko kong was on his way to the airport. Bangz and me were full of anticipation and a bit anxious because it will be the first time that we’ll meet the man. Gou-ko kong is Ah-ma’s (grandmother) brother. Gou-ko kong was tall a very tall man, he was wearing red and he smiled upon seeing us. We let Blyf take his hand to her forehead (Mano) as a sign of respect, and later that day we were scolded because we taught our child to “mano” but we didn’t do the “mano” ourselves. We said sorry and realized that how inconsistent we have become in teaching Blyf respect.
First Day-Going with the flow
Gou-ko kong’s driver was taking us to “MOA” when he asked what we are gonna go there. I answered, we’ll just stroll around, have lunch and then head to “SM Megamall” to meet my brother. Gou-ko kong then suggested that we have lunch with them instead. I just went ahead and took a photo of the 11th largest shopping mall in the world and the 2nd largest in the Philippines, as I thought we’ll not be able to go there any longer. Mall of Asia is just near the airport, a strategic place with vast land. I thought of Cebu’s South Reclamation area and the SM Seaside City being constructed. It will be just like that. On our way to Gou-ko kong’s house, we went to a Toyota Showroom and display center. It was huge and full of people, we transferred vehicles to Gou-ko kong’s SUV. He drove us to their house in Quezon City, met Gou-Kim Ma (his wife) and left for Robinson’s Magnolia, a new mall 10 minutes from their house.
We had lunch at Yabu-House of Katsu. We learned that it was their favorite Japanese restaurant. Gou-Kim Ma was readily recognized by one of their servers, it was apparent they were regulars. They ordered food for us, which was great because I don’t know anything on the menu. It turned out their food was great! Unlimited rice and unlimited vegetables. After lunch, we told them we’ll stay at the mall for a while, and instead of going to meet my brother and travel to Bulacan we decided to have a sleepover at their house in QC and meet my brother at Hanston Square for our trip to Sta. Rosa Laguna the next morning. It turned out to be the best decision that day since Bulacan is far from Pasig and time is of the essence.
Robinson’s Magnolia-New Manila
Our afternoon was spent at the mall. I often forget we were in Manila that I speak in “Bisaya” to salespeople when I ask for prices or information. Malls are malls, they are the same with almost the same stores as we can find in Cebu except some food stalls and specialty shops, but still it’s that same place where you come out penniless. Early evening, Gou-Kim Ma fetched us, headed to their house for what we thought dinner at home. We washed up and then left again, Uncle Steward and Gou-Kim Ma took us to a Chinese Restaurant this time, Tao Yuan. It was our first to taste Shabu2x, a popular Chinese food. We had a full dinner, and headed back to their home. We stayed at Auntie Sheila’s room and she slept at her brother’s room. 🙂
Our first day had a great surprise and we wondered what’s in store for us the next day.
I often hear married couple say, a man is a man and will always be a man. Referring to husbands who “eventually cheats” and it’s normal. When did cheating become normal? In the wild, animals jump from one partner to the next. It’s animal instinct. But why do we consider ourselves human if we want to act like animals?
This perplexing question has been on my mind for long. And those statements from married men and women are somewhat making me paranoid of my own marriage. This often creates mistrust and would soon ignite arguments.
If we would think that husbands/wives will eventually cheat, why get married and have to deal with the infidelity? And why is it normal for men to cheat and it’s such a taboo for women? I say, even in cheating there is gender discrimination. If being dissatisfied with our partner leads us to look for satisfaction elsewhere, why make a vow then? Many say cheating is a norm but many kills for love. Why is that? It is because in as much as we want to show strength if ever our partners will cheat, it’s usually a facade. We will never know what to feel and how to react when that dreadful day comes.
I once dated a ladies’ man. He never became my boyfriend but I almost fell on his trap. I was aware what he was capable of. He loves to show people that he can get whoever he wants. I say it was his way of getting even with his own inadequacy. I chose to be a better person. I refuse to be with someone I cannot trust. And I walked out of that kind of man not just once but many times. It’s true that we cannot choose who we love but we can always choose the better one to love. And it all boils down to loving ourselves first. It isn’t true that we are blind when we love, we chose to be blind. It’s like seeing and feeling the symptoms but we refuse to acknowledge the illness and we die not knowing and not having to try to be cured.
If one day my husband will choose to be with another woman, I have to make every effort to look at quantifiable reasons within our union that made him dissatisfied. For he once had a reason for giving me his name, he must have a reason for throwing it all away. If one day he will choose to leave me, who am I to stop him? If I will no longer make him happy, he deserves to be happy even if it’s not with me. This not martyrdom. Letting go of someone who doesn’t share your happiness is the best thing a person can do for his/her own good, and probably the most difficult. So, if you don’t trust the person you are with now, ask yourself if you are ready to swallow every bit of issues that will be thrown your way.
Today, most movies or the media in general portray infidelity, affairs, divorce and broken marriages as the norm. And yet, we still react violently against infidelity. It may not be bad to look for happiness (most call it lust which I think is subjective because we associate cheating as purely lust, which is not always the case), it is in totality not right to hurt someone in the process. If one day I will be dissatisfied with my marriage, I will make every effort to know and understand why, even if the answer is a compelling “I’m not happy with us anymore” (which makes it more confusing and painful). But we can choose not to cheat. We can at least talk to the person and have the audacity to tell them that the marriage/relationship is falling apart-on your end (that person was once the love of your life, after all).
Most often, cheating is being dissatisfied with oneself and not of the other person. That is why most cheaters don’t stop at one until they figure it out themselves. That is the kind of cheater one has to be very careful of. But still, it is a choice that one makes. So, to answer my question. Cheating will never be a thing. Pop culture is not always good for us.