Saturday, June 26, 2004

[Essay] Life and Love

Two days ago, during our lunch break a friend of mine imparted words of wisdom regarding life and love specifically the answer to the question "When is the right time to get married?"

In times past, marriage is solely a means to acquire wealth (or more wealth if you're already a wealthy man), elevate your social status (if you're a lowly duchess and you caught the eye of a crowned prince, you're likely to be the next queen!), acquire a good name or bring into the
family respectability & title, and the list goes on and on. In times past, it is the man who has to do the hard work...i.e. approaching the woman, making the first move, entertaining her...in short, keeping her interested. For a woman, it's quite easy (if you're a real beauty)for all you have to do is to attend all those soirees, dances, tea parties, musicales, and various social invitations that
the haut ton throws your way. Women in those times makes themselves visibly attractive at all times: their hair & makeup are perfect, they're gracious, polite, calm, elegant, moves around the room with such perfect gracefulness & poise, a beauty inside and out with their hovering mamas and a bunch of chaperones keeping a watchful eye on with whom you should be seen with and who should be avoided at all cost.

Though we have read a lot of historical romance novels and yeah, some, if not all of those situations, were once the norm of society. If a modern woman of today were transported to the past, it would definitely be such a great tragedy for her because it's not in the place of a
woman to decide whom to marry or to say yes to a marriage proposal but such privilege is given to either the father, the first born son, the uncle, the mother, the aunt (I think it's in that order).

As time passes on, people and tradition change as do society and culture. But of course, change is but constant in this world for our own progress. And as you can see and I'm quite sure you realize by now how courting nowadays is different from let's say the 18th century or so. Ok, so let's not compare it that far...let's say to the time of our own grandparents.

I'm not 100% a traditional person and I welcome & embrace new technology but there are values & traditions on how to go about things that I envy in their time. And that's the M word. I can't bring myself to say the word yet because it scares me. You may think I'm afraid of committment - well, maybe you're right. Their time was great when it comes to relationships because they got to know each other so well, did a good background check, and there's a lot of love & respect between them. And so they have lasting marriages compared to this modern era where divorce and or annulment is done in a blink of an eye.

On the subject of marriage, my grandmama advised me to marry well (i.e. a man who is honorable, responsible, a good son, a good provider, preferably has Chinese bloodlines, and most of all, a Catholic) while my mom says, I can get married right now if I want to (since I've gotten my degree) BUT it has to be to someone who is a good man, has a stable job, responsible, a good son, a good provider, & someone you're compatible with. He doesn't have to be filthy rich because you can't buy happiness & love but at least one who has a college degree to boast & comes from a good family and of course, a Catholic.

My grandmama married at a young age and my mom at 26. My 2nd cousin at 22 and a few friends at 19. So we found ourselves back to the question: "When is the right time/age to get married?" Both my grandmama & mom answered, when you are both physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially, and spritually stable..that's when you tie the knot.

But for this friend of mine, she shares: "It's not being financially ready that decides when but really, it's being emotionally ready that decides when. If you base it on finances or a fat savings account, then, you'll never see yourself married to the one you love. Being single & available, you tend to spend on whatever you fancy and you don't have that much to drive you to save more therefore, it would take forever for you to say, have a million bucks before you tie the knot! You might find yourself alone & wrinkled! All you need for finaces is a job, & a respectable amount of savings. You don't need a million before getting married because once you're married, spending priorities shifts towards savings because now, you have a family to take care of. It's now your goal to save & invest in things that would appreciate in the future."

While it is true that we should be emotionally prepared before we take on & start a family of our own, I think we should also be prepared financially due to the high cost of living that this day & age present.

In reaction to all that has been said and/or done, this is what I would like to leave you with for you to think about: "When HUNGER comes through the door, LOVE flies out the window."

Monday, June 21, 2004

[Essay] On Human Suffering


Have you ever asked, blamed or directed your anger towards God? Have you ever found yourself asking, "What have I done to deserve this kind of suffering?" and then blaming God? I have. And not so long ago, about a year ago, to be exact, I have done just that over and over with tears streaming down my cheeks, my eyes puffy and my nose red from all that crying. It was the first failure I've had in my life and it's an important part of the career I've blindly chosen.

I FAILED. That's it...life's over....

STOP THE DRAMA AND MOVE ON! That is what I'm telling myself now that I've had the guts to walk down memory lane and feel objective about everything that happened and analyze the cause of such pain and anguish.

As a human being too, I have observed not only in myself but also with others, when things go wrong or events didn't go the way we had planned it out so carefully, most of us tend to put the blame on everyone but ourselves. Up until now, I'm still mystified on the reasons why we do that. Of course, I can only speak for myself but I think, maybe because I was scared of what people would think of me and I think, at that time, it's beyond my comprehension to accept the fact that I'm a failure - correction, WAS a failure. I used the past tense because I have accepted that it was my fault, due to the fact that I'm not as crazy about my career as do others, and I wasn't really serious about it. In short, my heart and soul wasn't even in it! I know you're even asking yourselves, "Then why bother getting a degree in a career you don't even care for?" I'll give you the priviledge of an answer to that and it's because: I'm a responsible person to the point that I don't want to leave things unfinished and that is the reason why I studied hard for 4 years in college and is the reason why I'm trying hard to quench the restlessness stirring in my soul in order to stay. I'm also stubborn to the point that I want no to minimal changes in my life, which is why I have 2 loyalty awards and I'd rather stay where I am right now than face a future I'm not 100% sure of.

Having come to such a conclusion, I can feel a few regrets lingering but I would never trade them for anything in the world (even the cause of such suffering) because in those times, I have met wonderful people who are now my friends, my colleagues, my confidantes. I've learned to be weary of people with certain types of behaviour, know what their character is because of their body language. Because, in those times, memories & experiences have been formed and stored not in my brain but in my heart where I can look through in the future and learn something from it. I prefer storing things in my heart than in my brain because scientifically speaking, when a brain cell dies, the information dies with it too. Scary, isn't it? The heart does not have that kind of memory problem so experiences and memories are better kept there. The heart never forgets even if a thousand years or lifetimes has passed, it never forgets, which is why psychics & astrologists invented Soulmates!

Anyway, I'm sorry I got carried away in sharing with you my greatest suffering and so let's go back to the first paragraph. I'm sure that every single one of us has blamed God for one thing or another BUT...don't you think it's really unfair to put all the blame on God's shoulder when clearly, it's our own foolishness and pride that caused our own demise or suffering? OH COME ON! Think about it! Truly, it is unfair! Why don't you try to walk down memory lane and look at it objectively? You'll come to realize that what we do is what creates a reaction that would start another set of chain events that even God didn't plan for us!

God is the source of all that is Good and Holy. He has infinite love for us so why would He like for us to suffer? That is the question I had in mind but I found the answer during a homily three Sundays ago and the priest said, "God lets us suffer from time to time because first of all, we were foolish and we needed to learn a valuable lesson from such suffering but most of all, because He wants us to grow in all aspects and for us to have a stronger faith & bond in Him."

God is only waiting for you to call Him. So go ahead and pray...He will surely hear and readily help you. It doesn't matter that you're not religious, you've forgotten how to pray, you're a sinner (heck! everyone of us are!), you're the blackest of the black sheep...IT DOESN'T MATTER TO GOD! HE LOVES US JUST THE WAY WE ARE. God would rather have a REPENTANT SINNER than a PROUD & ARROGANT deeply religious man.

Keep that in mind.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

[Essay] Patience Is The Word Of The Day

Hi there! I bet you’re wondering why it’s all about patience. To tell you the truth, I’m not really a patient person especially when it comes to the nonsense stuff people throw my way. Yesterday was a really bad work day not because I was feeling a bit lazy but because I was quite irritable. Even the small things would make my skin crawl that day. I can’t explain it really and I can’t help but feel that way.

Now, a day after, I realize that I’m probably not the only one who suffers from such unknown irritation from time to time so I decided to write about my reflection an it goes like this:

Patience is not just merely a word to describe a virtue. It is how a person reacts to irritating elements that is beyond their control. From patience stems forth acquaintances then friendships. From friendships, we’ve got hope, love, and peace! Most if not all alliance were formed out of patience. I think Chivalry is a brother of Patience because they’re the same but not quite.

I know I may have affected a lot of people that day and sorry may not be enough to heal the hurts I may have caused but let us think about the chain reaction of being a little bit patient everyday and do it or at least try to. Because today is all about patience, I would like to share with the world a Bible passage which we could turn to for help when we desperately need to be patient with something or someone a irritating as my little irritant:

“You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want him to do for you all that he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36 LB

“When your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” – James 1:4 LB

Look into your heart and believe that God’s promises, which are found in the Bible, will truly help you and open your hearts so that Christ will be able to make a home in it and you will feel the difference after praying the Bible passage above.

Keep up the faith!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

[Essay] Cancer Is So Limited

Just this morning, while drinking a cup of hot milk for breakfast, I read from People’s Journal Tonight dated Tuesday, June 15, 2004 under the Silver Linings column, a text message sent by vicenero@myglobe.com.ph and I just can’t resist but share it with you.

This goes out to those who are inflicted with the Big C and it goes:

“Cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith, it can’t eat away peace, it can’t destroy confidence, it can’t kill friendship, it can’t shut out memories, it can’t silence courage, it can’t invade the soul, it can’t reduce eternal life, and most of all, it can’t quench the spirit.”

My thanks first of all to vicenero@myglobe.com.ph for sending that to Silver Linings and of course to the columnist for publishing it!

Though we ourselves may not be inflicted with such a terminal disease, but many people in our lives, some are those whom we have loved, are loving right now, family members, relatives, and even friends and or acquaintances, are suffering from such. I pray for their strength to overcome whatever self pity they may have indulged in.

I hope this article would bring comfort to you and fill your body with warmth, your heart with love and your soul with peace and happiness.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

[Poetry] I Am Fire

I, Mary Grace, am fire.
Passionate, excitable, loving and wise;
A beacon of quiet strength and spirit,
Ever hopeful, determination abounds;
A life unquenched of vitality.