Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Old Hag, atbp...

We came from a Homeowner's Associaton meeting here in our village to talk about our Entrance/Exit Gate which was supposed to have been closed temporarily but which, from the looks of it, was becoming permanent. But thanks (kinda) to the Board who listened to what we had to say and took notes of our grievances and suggestions, the gate might not be permanently closed anymore, after all.

Anyway, there was this aged, mestiza lady who looked mataray from the very start. Not one to judge by appearances only, I quietly observed her while listening to what was going on. When at last she finally spoke, it wasn't to say very nice things. Her tone was condescending and mocking and she carried herself with an air of superiority. It was quite unbecoming of an officer serving her equals.

Then I wondered. Who is this woman who speaks so confidently as if she were the boss of the people around her? What makes her treat people that way? Is it her name, her social status, her wealth, her stature, her education, or is it plainly her style, her way of carrying herself and she really does not harbor any ill feelings?

It is hard to read people and judge them by the way they look, or the way they act at a single given time. There are perhaps reasons for the unpleasant way they carry themselves given a certain situation. We really can not tell. Perhaps, under normal circumstances, they are actually nice people, or beneath those tough, suplada exteriors, are sweet and caring men and women, whatever the case may be. I really can not tell.

But her actions of that night got me thinking. There are really people who act like her. There are really people who rub others the wrong way, who carry themselves too confidently, it affects the others around them, who speak with a not so friendly tone, who say things or do things that 'hurt' people or step on them; who seemingly look down at people. Intentionally, or unintentionally. It might be their nature, their upbringing, their mood for that day.

Admittedly, nobody's perfect, and nobody is genuinely 100% nice and sweet. Not everyone can be as patient especially when one is fed up with issues (perhaps the officers received a lot of flak already from some home owners). But it never hurts to make the extra effort at being nicer, being the better person, being more smiling. These efforts are appreciated and spell a big difference especially if you occupy a position of service (and I realize it is a thankless one, at that). So I truly commend the chairperson of that meeting. He was patient and accommodating.

What do we do when we meet people like the old hag? Do we give them a dose of their own medicine? Or do we choose to be the better person and kill them with kindness? Show them that we are the more educated person by treating everyone nicely and equally. Smile more. Perhaps it will warm their hearts. If it doesn't work, we can ignore them and go about our business.

What do we do when we are that old hag? Whew! This calls for some deep introspection. Someone should tell us we're being nasty and then we have to constantly pray to ask God to humble ourselves. We have to pray to the Holy Spirit and Mama Mary for guidance and to melt our icy hearts with the warmth of the love around us.

It isn't easy. We all have times when we're like the old hag, but we have to try to rise above it and strive to be a better, gentler person. I always think a smile is always a good start. And, although difficult, we have to always look at the brighter side, find the good in each person, and magnify that. It is hard to do and I have my own struggles within, but I just have to keep on trying... Lest I become an old hag myself!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

We Promise You...

Looking at Bric's pictures when he was just born never fails to tug at my heartstrings. He was such a frail, helpless baby. He was a little boy but he brought with him so much love. I wish Boydee and I can be worthy caretakers of God's son.

I was inspired to write this poem today.

We promise to provide you with your needs
but shower you more with our love.
We promise to hear your words
but listen more to your thoughts.
We promise to watch your actions
but see more your heart.
We promise to teach you life’s lessons
but we will give you room to grow.
We will show you what is right
but allow you to make mistakes
so you can learn from them.
We will guide you however way we can
but we will let you choose your own path.

You are God’s gift to us as He entrusted you
in our care.
We won’t let Him down;
We will always love you, care for you,
protect you, nurture you,
raise you to be His friend.
All these we promise.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cold Shoulder

My Mommy Nonie and I had an argument a few days ago when I was in Cebu. It was more of a silent assault rather than a confrontational disagreement. She gave me the cold shoulder while I tried to reach out awkwardly.

I wasn't quite sure why she got upset. I was guessing it was all about the flower farm tour that went awry. So it went on, the cold treatment, for days even up to the day I left. We were talking but not the normal warm way we talked. Those days, it was stiff and dry and she only addressed me when she really had to.

I said sorry twice for whatever I did that may have hurt her. She wasn't ready to accept the apology. On my end, it was hard to feel guilty, or at least try to, without being quite sure what to be guilty about. This is the hard part about quiet 'wars'. There's so much uncertainty and too much stress keeping things bottled inside.

While at the airport, I texted goodbye, sorry and thanked her for everything. Finally, when I got back here in Manila, she texted and gave me the reason why she was upset. I didn't quite agree with her reason. But to keep the peace, I said sorry. I also said that hopefully, IF it happens again, please do tell me so I can realize my mistake and make amends. She accepted my apologies but didn't want to discuss it anymore.

It is tough to be a parent. When I read my Mom's text, I could feel the pain she was feeling. But I also wanted to say to her that it really didn't happen that way, that she took how I reacted the wrong way. I was always the vocal child in the family while my brothers were the quieter ones. I usually voiced out my opinion and feelings, especially if I think I have a reason, and then forgive and forget about it after. End of story. Garbage in, garbage out.

But I guess, no matter how right we, children, think we are, or how 'petty' our parents may seem to be, it shouldn't give us the right to talk back, or 'scold' them. No matter how much smarter or successful we think we've become, or how outdated they seem to be, we should always treat them with utmost respect. They have raised us, sacrificed and dedicated their lives for us so that we can get to be where we are now.

So, it really didn't matter whether I was right or wrong, or whether she had a point or not, after all is said and done, I am the daughter, she is my mother; and I shall have to be the one to humble myself and say sorry.

There is no such thing as a perfect family. No such thing as a perfect parent, nor a perfect daughter. We can only strive to be the best in the roles we play. Forgive each other, humble oneself, learn, move on. There will always be arguments, mistakes, unintentional errors; but at the bottom of it all, there will always be love, because we are family.

Now that I am a parent, I can only pray that Bric will be a better child, and more importantly, that I will be a better parent.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I just started a new blog, The Accidental Gourmand, and had May, my SDCF, take a look at it. She enjoyed it but she preferred this one. It had more depth, she said. She said she was expecting a lot of entries now that I'm a mother. I told her I tried to write a really moving essay about my feelings now especially towards our little Bric but everytime I tried, all the words just become understatements.

Bric's entry into our life was long awaited and much prayed for. So when he finally came into our world, we, Boydee and I, were so overwhelmed. Just seeing him, sleeping, when he was just a few days old, warmed my heart. When he whimpered (that's how he cried before... oh so softly), my whole heart went to him. He was just so tender, so fragile, so small (at that time).

During the first mass Boydee and I attended after Bric's birth, we both cried profusely. God had been so good to us all these years. And now, He's given us more! He gave us the most beautiful gift. He entrusted to us for our care and love, this beautiful little creature, this baby, His son.

For the first few weeks, I was a paranoid mother. Any little thing that made him seem different, I would make a fuss and start praying my novenas to Sto. Nino and our Lady. It was a good thing Boydee was calm and stood as my pillar of comfort.

Now, at four months old, he's a picture of a healthy, happy baby boy! No more jitters (thank God!!!), no more eye infection, no more jaundice, no more colic! Still, I know as a mother, I will forever be worried of little things, and God knows that I am forever praying to Him to watch over Bric and keep him always safe from harm's way.

Each day is a day of discovery for him and for Boydee and me. How soon time flies and how fast he grows! At a month and a half, he showed off his social smile. At two months, he started trying to talk. Eversince then, he's been gurgling, cooing, laughing and making noises with his mouth, as if wanting to talk. He is just such an adorable, smiling, funny baby. My heart just goes fuzzy and it just melts at the sight of him. So, this is motherhood. So, this is happiness.