Archive | September 2015

To You from Mama

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What is this I am feeling? It is awe!

You are growing, little by little inside of me.

I feel your heart beating, how wonderful it was.

It is a surprise, a miracle indeed.

Even before I saw your face, I want to give you my loving embrace.

Just knowing you are there makes me cry with joy.

How blessed I am that is for sure, I thank God every day for you are my boy.

Now the time comes when you have to see the world.

Painful as it was, never would I will change it for anything.

It is true, it was not easy, and I feel like I am dying.

But knowing you depend on me makes me want to fight and live.

Because you are a gift, an amazing gift.

You make my life complete and happy every day.

My life is now worthwhile knowing you are mine.

My dream is for you to grow as a wonderful young man.

Someone who knows how to love, respect and give kindness to your fellow man.

Despite anything, know that your mama will always be proud of you.

It is for sure no matter what happens, my baby I will be here.

I pray you know I love you more and more.

Please bear with your mother if she can’t give you all what you need or want.

I am not perfect, I hope you understand.

Someday, may you say I make you proud and make you glad my lad.

But know this that in my heart my love for you will forever be true.

I hope I am able to show that to you every single time my lovely son.

Your mama is here, and will never leave your side unless I die.

I know someday, you have to leave our nest.

It is hard but I know I should just let you be blessed.

When the time comes, please know you can still come back as you want.

My loving arms will always hold you dear.

I love you my baby boy, you make my life beautiful.

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My Life and Education

I am asking for your understanding for this very long post. I wrote this because I thought it is right for the Writing 101 prompt about education. Most of my friends know my life as I am really a talker not a writer (I believe that is why I am able to cope with my struggles and I didn’t dived into depression) so I didn’t write this to show or say that I am great, intelligent and strong or that I need your sympathy. I wrote this to share and I hope that if someone will ever have the patience to read this, maybe he or she will learn something out of it. To anyone who will ever read this, I am thanking you.

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For most people, when they talked about education, it is usually used as a term for learning something from a school, college, or university, just structured learning.  I’ve searched from Wikipedia the meaning of education, where it says education is a process where learning is facilitated. It is where a group of people who has knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits transfers these to other people. In order to do this, they may use storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, or research and it frequently takes place under the guidance of educators. Therefore, based on this meaning we can say that most people are quite right when they talked about education.

Here in my country, someone who is educated is highly regarded, and most families, despite being poor are dreaming that their children will be able to finish their education. This is because education for them, having a diploma or degree means they have a chance to have a better life. I can say I believe this too when I was a child, because I saw and believed that lack of education on my parents part was the reason for us being so poor that I dreamed and promised myself I will have a college degree.

It is very normal in our country that people who are poor, lacks the education they need, indeed you can say that a person who is so poor who was able to graduate in college means he or she had that drive, that resilience, that willingness to endure hardship just to achieve his or her dreams. In my part, I just want to help my mother and I believed that I can do that if and when I graduate, I can say this had driven me to go on even if it is hard, even if I am bullied in high school because I am different and I have polio, even if I have to eat a 5 peso worth of spaghetti for lunch or even skip lunch just for me to save enough money to buy a textbook.

My mother never told me that time that she had to cry in front of the Sisters (I am a scholar in a private Catholic high school but I still have to pay tuition since I am not a full scholar – this is through the help of my elementary teacher and of course I have to take an exam) just to plead that they allow me to take an exam because she was not able to pay for the tuition fee on time. When she told me of this after so many years, I can’t believe she had to do that and I imagined my mother pleading and crying and it was heartbreaking. She said that she did everything she could because she saw in me the willingness, the initiative and that her dream of having an education is being fulfilled through me. I remember on my first day in high school, I was the only one who was not wearing a uniform; I was clad in a T-shirt, jeans and I wear an old rubber shoes, my classmate will not see in my face what I am feeling but inside my heart I am crying because I know my classmates were laughing at me. My mother had to borrow money for me to have a uniform – I only have one pair but since someone my mother knows had a child studied in that same school, I had two additional uniforms on my first year, yearly it was a struggle to have a new uniform and a new pair of black shoes.

I only have my own to depend on in order to learn, I can’t ask for any help from my mother and especially from my father as he was an alcoholic and very abusive. (I don’t want to detail here his abuse since it is equivalent to another very, very long post). The only time I remember my mother helping me with is doing Division. I don’t just study for the grades, I didn’t aim to be a Valedictorian when I was in high school as I know I can’t keep up with my classmates, they have no responsibilities to take care of their siblings, no alcoholic and abusive father, they can eat nutritious food, they have money to buy textbooks, they have money to buy uniforms, they have enough money to buy snacks, they even have nanny’s and rode cars. How am I able to compete with that? At that time, I can’t understand why they are bullying me, I am a nobody, I didn’t do anything bad to them, in fact, if they needed my help with assignments, asked for a paper (this I really can’t understand – they can afford to buy paper but they are asking one from me). I can’t understand why these students who have everything laid out for them, who are able to afford everything were not studying, they were lazy, they were focused with friends, they were cutting classes, and they are bullying me.

I have mentioned before in my very first post My Journey to Writing that I didn’t join any extracurricular activities, even if joining will mean I will have higher grades, the reason is simple – I can’t afford it. I don’t even have my own typewriter when it was required for us to use it on our assignment when I was in fourth year high school. The solution for this was: I was doing the assignment of my friend who was in a different section because I was borrowing her typewriter. We have the same teacher so I only have to do one research and just rephrase or change something on the wordings a bit. I have many funny but heart breaking stories when I was in high school, things I will never ever forget; it is also worth another very, very long post. (This means I have to prepare myself because I will surely cry when I write that, if ever I will write that – I am over it and I am thankful that I’ve experienced it because it somehow made me a stronger person but whenever I remember them, I can’t help but cry, I guess I am just a crybaby).

When it was time for me to go to college I didn’t apply for any scholarship because it means I am forced to study, just focused on lessons, assignments and I thought it will take the joy out of me. I love reading, I can say I am not that intelligent but I love learning things, I don’t have a particular favorite subject, I love almost all of them although I struggled with English, Chemistry and Math but I passed them all, not because I have to but because I believed and will always believe that when a person wants to learn something and worked hard for it, then he or she will know and understand it, then the grades will just follow. My dream was to be a teacher but because of the bad attitude and the bullying I received from my high school classmates, I changed my mind as I’ve thought I don’t want to teach these kinds of students. I don’t know but until now I want to study, just be in school and listen to a teacher even if there is no grade maybe that is why I joined Writing 101, I feel like I am a student again.

I’ve resorted to a Management course in college.  Since I was young and seeing my mother’s hardship as she was a newspaper vendor (she still is), I’ve thought, as I think I have a simple mind, that I just take that course as having a business was better. Here in our country, before you are able to enter a very good university or even a college you have to pass a National or Government Exam. At that time I was among the ones who had the highest grade, this means I have a chance to apply and be accepted in a national university. In my heart I want to study in a prestigious or well-known university but I’ve thought of the cost if I choose that, and even if I passed the exam as a full scholar, still my mother can’t afford the payment for miscellaneous expenses, the notebooks, pens and dorm since these schools were far. I thought that if I pursue that she will try but will leave herself buried in debt more as she always was, I guess until now. I don’t want to put more burden on her. I chose a school that is near, just in another town and had a lower entrance fee as I always weigh the cost. I guess it is part of being poor; the mindset of always wanting to know how much will be the cost of something, so you will know if you can afford it or not, before you buy or decide on anything.

I have to stop studying for one semester when I was in second year college, this was because my grandfather was sick and I have to helped out, it was very hard for me to accept that since I don’t want to stop, I want to graduate on time but I know I have to do that, at least I have enough education for me to be accepted in a factory. I worked as a factory worker for six months, just doing routine work where I have to watch and put the instant noodles in a conveyor and ensure that there will be no rejects. I even had an accident when I was working there. I almost lost one-fourth of my third left finger. I am thinking that time, “What will become of me? I am not pretty, a polio victim and now I will lose a finger? No one will love me or accept me; I will never ever have a husband.” That’s what I was thinking. I can’t help but smile at that thought now that I have a husband and a beautiful baby boy.

When I was in fourth year college, I have to face again the dilemma of not being able to graduate because, as usual, I can’t afford it. I have to work while I was studying. I worked in a fast food chain in the morning and then I studied at night. I slept and studied in between. I managed to graduate, finally! Did I mention that whenever I graduate, even if it was in elementary, high school or college that my father was drunk? He celebrates that way, if I call that celebration since it was and still is his life but he was not celebrating with us. I have simple food whenever I graduate; usually it was composed of spaghetti or bihon (a very fine noodle) and juice. After that I have to work to help out, I became the bread winner. I want my siblings to finish their studies as I know and believed that it can help them have a better life, but they have different personalities and choices.

I have three siblings, I am the eldest, the next one, my brother was able to finish second year in a technical school, he helped out when he was single, and he is the kindest among us. My other brother, never finished elementary, he is intelligent but lazy and now he is in prison (I am still praying he will change since he had many kids), my youngest sister was able to finish high school but was not able to receive the diploma because she got pregnant. I am paying for her tuition at that time and it was one of the moments where I felt hatred, anger and I thought I can kill someone because I thought she was already killing herself because of her choices. Thankfully, that time I have changed my beliefs and I am already a different woman, so I am able to control myself. They all got married ahead of me, I was the last one to marry, I guess because I was focused on finishing my studies and helping out and I don’t believe anyone will ever marry me. Now that we are all older, I can say that I have a better life than my siblings. We all still struggle financially, and I am still poor as I didn’t pursue higher career goals. This was because I realized that true wealth and education is not just having a degree, it is having wisdom and compassion and serving God.

I still believe that having an education, a degree can really help to have a better life especially financially but it is not absolute as I have read so many stories of people who have achieved success in life despite not having a degree. They have the initiative, the patience and the willingness to succeed. Success for me when I was younger was finishing college, having a family, my own house, I am able to give everything for my mother and my siblings which means I am rich. I was able to achieve only two but I feel successful. Success for me now is different. I feel successful whenever I am helping someone and whenever I am serving God. Education for me is never ending, as long as we are alive we are learning and we are sharing knowledge. We will never know everything. We are limited because we are human, imperfect. Even if we are considered genius, we still have so much to learn and yes, we will know that we know nothing. I consider people who are truly educated are people who are kind, who have compassion and those who show love.

City at Night

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I remember when I was young and we have to travel far for the first time to transfer to another place, I sat by the window of the train. It was the first time I ever traveled far and on a train. As it was a 10 hour journey, I have seen many beautiful types of scenery – the green mountains, the tall coconut trees, the vast ocean and the rivers, they all fascinated me. However, after seeing for the first time the city lights from far away, I thought they are beautiful, as if the lights are dancing in the moonlight, like there are many candle lighted from far away or it’s as if the bright stars are just there, so near and in my grasps.

As I grow old, and since I am fond of watching movies, I observed that there are many romantic scenes where lovers are near at the edge of a mountain and were looking at the city at night. I guess because it adds that aura, that feeling that the lovers were all alone but they knew that there were people at the city and it gave them excitement or thrill.  Another scene would be where a man or a woman was just standing or sitting near the edge and was looking at the city at night. Here, it was used usually to depict the sadness, loneliness that they are feeling or that they are contemplating things like changes in their life or hard decisions they had to face or they may even think of ending their life.

When I worked in the city and traveled by bus looking out the window, the city at night then had a different effect on me. I can see many people in a rush; they are like a hodgepodge of walking dolls with blank faces. I wondered if I am one of those people, does someone who was also on a bus looked out from its window have seen me. Does this person have thought about these people that were in a hurry? Then as I looked up at the buildings, especially condominiums or apartment buildings, I thought about those people inside that house. How does their house look like? What are they doing? What are they thinking? What are their problems? Are they alone or with someone? Are they single or married? Are they happy or sad? Are they listening to music? Are they reading a book? These things just conjured up in my mind, maybe because at that time I am sad and somewhat philosophical in my views. However, these things still lingers in my mind especially if I travel and saw the city at night.

How about you dear readers, what are your thoughts when you are travelling and see the city at night?

Love Knows No Bounds

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LOVE – Ah! Just seeing or hearing this word can stir emotions inside all of us. It can trigger a memory – happy or sad, usually a memory of someone that we treasure. This word had been used in many songs, essays, novels, poems or any other literature that we can’t think of. It is used as a subject for an art, theatre play or movies. It is used as a topic for discussion and most of us want to feel it, to have it, dream of it, wish or long for it. It is a word that is used and abused in a way that we usually use this word to tell about what we feel about something, anything.

I’ve learned that in the ancient Greek language, there are at least four (4) types of love: (1) Agape love – usually denotes love of God for man, or love of man for God, or love for humanity. It is the most used term in the Christian Greek Scriptures; (2) Eros – romantic love or intimate love usually used between couples; (3) Philia – love between friends; and (4) Storge – love among family members or relatives, usually between a parent and a child. Among the four (4) types of love, Agape is the word used to identify the most noble act of love, it is said it is a love guided by principles, not just a mere emotion, although it can be mistaken as an intellectual type of love, but it also denotes intimate or warm affection but is not swayed by sentiments.

We are usually familiar with romantic love since it is the most or usual subject in any form of art or literature but I think Agape love – noble love is what we should aspire. We might say we love our partner, our child, our relatives and even our fellow human beings but true love for me is not just mere words, it is with action. Does Agape love merely exist amongst Christians? I will definitely say: No. I think and believe that we all have this type of love within us; it is the type of love that transcends time, boundary, religion, culture, nation or language. It is a love where you are willing to give a part of yourself, may it be time, material things or even your life for another human being without expecting anything in return like what a homeless man in Brazil  did to save a woman from a hostage taker.

What really then is love?  I think it is really hard to define, my favorite definition will always be what is written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, where it says: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. It is a kind of love that we should show to our fellowmen, to our neighbors, which was clearly identified in the parable of the Good Samaritan as told by Jesus.

We now know about what’s happening to our brothers and sisters in Syria which is truly heartbreaking, we may not be able to do anything for them as we have no means to help them, however, we can give our time to pray for them and we thank those who are doing something to help them, for they are showing love in their own way through giving donations and hope for Syria and opening of their homes for the refugees. It is heart melting to know that even animals like the dog from Thailand  who saves a baby from a dump site can show humanity. I think if we all let our heart be filled with this kind of love, there will be no war, no unnecessary death, no child will be aborted or abandoned and our world will be a much better place to live in.

How about you dear readers, how do you define love and how can you show love?

Mixed List of Anything

What makes a list? There are many kind of list: list of things we want to change, list of things we want to achieve, list of things we want to do before we come to a certain age, list of bills to pay, list of things to buy, resolution’s list, bucket list, to do list, wish list, list of things we like, list of things we don’t like, and many other list we can think of. I have never been good with list, I think I might have created some in some notebook somewhere but forgot them. However, I’ve enjoyed reading about lists, usually in a magazine, in a book or in an article I’ve read via the internet. Many of the things that I want to achieve or accomplish are just there in my mind, I don’t write them but it was advised that if we want these things to be real for us, achievable, then we should write them.  It can trigger a desire, a passion on us so we will be able to go and work on them. Perhaps they are right or maybe it depends on the person. Does having a list can really make a significant impact on anyone’s life? I don’t know, but for me, I want to have a list of things that if I read them again after so many years, they remind me of wonderful memory, or make me happy or thankful or wishful or just make me smile – a mixed list.

  1. Praying with all my heart and feeling God’s presence in simple things.
  2. A loving husband – his smile, kiss and tender touch.
  3. My son – his laugh, the way he says I love you and whenever he kisses me unexpectedly, knowing that my son is healthy and playing with him.
  4. My mother – talking to her, her support, her good health and whenever she is happy.
  5. Hoping for my sibling’s and their family’s good life.
  6. Newborn babies, cuddling them.
  7. Waking up each day, knowing I am alive.
  8. Having my friends around, having a simple gathering together – lots of laughter.
  9. Knowing and feeling that there are people who loves me and I love them back.
  10. Helping someone in need, giving my time if needed, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on and being able to express my feelings or talk to someone who understands or simply just talking to someone about anything.
  11. Learning and doing something new.
  12. Watching a good movie, especially a romantic movie with a happy ending.
  13. Reading the Bible – especially Proverbs, Psalms, Song of Solomon and the Gospel and any book that inspires.
  14. Long sleep and rest.
  15. Swimming at the beach or just simply walking in the sand.
  16. Giving service, how little it maybe to my fellow human being and to God.
  17. Cleaning my house or organizing my books after a long time of neglect.
  18. Looking and appreciating nature – trees, butterflies, flowers, plants, animals, fields, mountains and falls.
  19. Smelling fresh flowers and have them on my vase (I love clear, glass vases).
  20. Eating salad and pasta and eating fruits especially a ripe and sweet mango.
  21. Playing with a cute little dog.
  22. Dancing or hike a mountain and reach it’s peak – just on my mind.
  23. Finding a dress that fits me or a sandal that fits and looks good on me. (These are hard to find so it’s a feat if I ever did).
  24. Meeting new friends online or offline, inspiring and encouraging.
  25. A walk or picnic in the park.
  26. Being able to write something and post it in my blog.
  27. Seeing people wear or have anything in any shades of violet – lilac, lavender, purple, indigo, etc.
  28. Listening to 80’s music and singing with it especially when I’m cleaning or washing.
  29. Ride a train and sit beside the window while looking outside to see beautiful sceneries.
  30. Believing that God’s promise that there will be no more sickness and death and there will be life everlasting will soon come.

That’s all for now, maybe I will be able to think of something else to add to this list as time goes by.

Why do I write?

This is a response to a Writing 101 prompt. I’ve read some of my classmates posts and it seems to me most of them really are doing this because it is their passion and it is natural to them. I’ve read that they are usually expressing their thoughts through writing, it is a therapy for them, and they are happy doing it, some of them even wrote in journals while they are young, which seems pretty amazing to me! While others have dreams to become celebrated authors (I hope and pray they will achieve their dreams). Really, I feel I am in the wrong class and if they will give grade to us I’ll fail!

I wrote my very first post entitled “My Journey to Writing” where it is a detailed (Nah, not really that detailed – since if I make it detailed it will be a Novel and too boring no one will bother to read it!), long history of my journey into writing. I signed up for Writing 101 because I want to be prodded to write something, to make my stagnant and really dormant brain work although I tend to think so many things at a time but not writing them and eventually forgetting them. I think I have a very bad habit of just doing something which is really not natural for me (not really my talent) unless it is required.

The truth is I can’t say I am afraid or terrified to write, unless I have to write something as part of a job or an assignment and I can’t think of something, because really, I have to admit it is not my talent but then again, it can be a learned skill isn’t it? I really consider myself more of a reader than a writer. I want more interaction, someone talking to me, sharing something on an instant, not looking at a monitor and typing something I think about where no one will answer back, however, with the help of encouragement and support I received from my wonderful blogging friends, I am finding inspiration to write.

So let’s go to answer the question: Why do I write? Let me count the ways…

  1. I want to develop my skills in writing. Okay, I admit I have a dream to be an author (It is probably because if I read a very good book – I admire the author’s creativity) but I don’t have the discipline of those who had the passion for writing. (It is just a dream –a pipe dream – not really something I am aiming for, so if I will not be an author it will not be a big disappointment for me).
  2. I can see in paper or in a post what I am thinking about and this helps as a reminder since I am really forgetful. (It even surprises me that I did write something worthwhile and when I read them again, I can’t help but ask myself: “Did I really write those or someone else did?”).
  3. I want to share what I am going through – feelings, experiences, ideas, views, beliefs. It is not only because I want someone else to know me but because I think that although I can’t get an instant interaction, it is still a way to interact with someone and somehow if someone read what I wrote, it can touch them even in a small but positive way and thinking about that makes me happy and inspired.