Just Got Inked!

Politicians serenading Filipinos’ votes, people listing candidates as if listing whom to give presents this Christmas, and everyone aspiring for a better nation – these are the usual scenarios that happen whenever there are elections in the Philippines.

Apart from being a special non-working holiday, Election Day in the Philippines is like a fiesta – not mentioning the buntings that clad the streets and outside the polling precincts. People hustle from here to there just to have their votes cast. And of course, different election-related news reports are on queue to update the viewers and the listeners. Perhaps, the tagline “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” does not apply on tourism only, but also on election per se. While these and those people are doing these and those things, there is this one thing that I get excited with during elections: my index finger getting inked.

Finally, the most awaited date had finally come – May 13, 2013. I was pretty excited to have my index finger inked again after three years. Though I was quite excited, I did not intend to wake up early today. I was sure that people were still squeezing themselves in the polling precincts. I was still in the verge of making my sleep the most of it; however, I was awakened by the noise of the news that was being aired on television. That was about 10 in the morning already. I got up and joined my husband in watching the news. Since I was not into politically awareness (Sorry!), I went downstairs. My sister-in-law saw me and asked, “Humana ka’g boto, te?” (Are you done voting yet?) I just shook my head and then asked the same question to her. She said that she was done.  My mom interrupted, “Te, sa precinct 2498-A ka #16. Si Arbie, #68.” (You’ll be in precinct 2498-A, #16. Arbie, #68.) She even added that it was hassle-free in the precinct. Well, good! There’s no need for me to hurry and scurry to vote.

I went back to my husband and told him about the information that Mama told me. While he was still watching the news, I was then busy scribbling down names of candidates whom I would vote. I even asked my husband whether to vote this person or not, for the sake of filling in my list. When I finished listing down names, I asked my husband, “After lunch ta mag-vote?” (Are we voting after lunch?) He just nodded.

After taking a bath and taking our lunch, we headed to the polling precinct. Finally! It’s a good thing that the precinct was just a walk away, perhaps, 80-100 meters away (Sorry. I’m poor at measurements.) As we were nearing the precinct, I observed that the place was peaceful. Indeed, the election there was hassle-free. My husband and I were actually done in 10 minutes! So fast compared to 1 hour and whatsoever minutes that I had read on some of the statuses of my Facebook friends.

Speaking for our own precinct, I could say that the election turned out fine. As of writing this, I haven’t heard of anything unusual or appalling that happened in the vicinity, aside from the PCOS machines that did not work in other precincts. Perchance, we were so fortunate that almost everything turned out satisfactory here in the Land of Promise. However, I am praying for those places that have election-related untoward incidences. Yes, I may be so proud and happy that I finally have had my index finger inked, but I hope this indelible ink remains purple in color, and not red, if you know what I mean.

So purple! My husband's and my index fingers :)

So purple!
My husband’s and my index fingers 🙂

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So What?!

That skin that glimmers in whiteness and smoothness, that body that oozes with sexiness and confidence, and that personality that pleases the people around, look good especially on girls, right? Those characteristics make women proud and glad. They can surely flaunt what they have. But, am I one of these women? Am I really proud and glad of myself? Can I flaunt myself being a negra, baboy, and bipolar?

I have got a lot of issues in life. Insecurities are one, and my skin color is an example. Way back when I was in grade school, I had always been so insecure with my skin color. If at present, a few would say, “Namuti lagi ka, Rhudz?” then, how dark was I before? In grade school, I could remember that some of my classmates would call me “Negra” or any word that would associate with black. It actually didn’t bring me much care at all back then. I just lived as if I didn’t hear them. “Ok ra na!” I assured myself. But, it was and never had been OK.

I thought I could handle my skin color, more than it handled me for years. Then, there was this time when my childishness was being replaced by the maturity that puberty unfortunately brought me. Yes, my high school life brought me back to my senses, that again, my skin color was a big failure in my life.

When I was in high school, I belonged to a certain circle of friends. They’re actually so nice to me. But, when that moment came when courtship became a trend, there I was again. I felt that the whole world betrayed me. No guy liked me! I felt that I was left in darkness literally. It came to a point that I asked my mother if I were beautiful or not? Then, my mother would just guarantee, “Gwapa lagi ka, te!” Wow! How my mom loved me so much!

My issues on my skin color had slowly faded. Thanks to the encouraging words of my mother, and to the help of some whitening products which were not that effective. I started flaunting myself and became proud of who I was. Until…

“Baboy! Tambok! Taba!” Gosh! Why in the world did my weight grow together with my height?! If I used to have 25 inches waistline, I’m afraid that at present, it could have doubled! It didn’t matter much to me actually. But, whenever I meet friends and colleagues, they would say, “Hala! Pirti na nimong panambok, Rhudz, wui!” I would just be taken aback. Sometimes, if I had the guts to respond, I would just say, “Sige lang. Magpapayat lang ko.” And, I have been telling that line over and over and over again! There were instances, too, that whenever I rode a tricycle and stepped inside, I could feel that the gravity was so mad at me that it gave its full force on my foot! Well, I actually tried to lose weight. Before, I used to try slimming products, but my ex-boyfriend, now my husband, would just keep on telling me that these products were not good! L Not only that! I also tried zumba at home, but it just lasted for 5 days. I also had a pack of oatmeal, but I think it would already spend its anniversary in the fridge in a few months time. Depressed and disappointed with such, I would succumb myself to eating. Well, I have already accepted that this is my “disciplinary” problem. I admit I get insecure with sexy ladies out there. I even nudge my husband to them, but he would just ignore. I may be fat now, but who cares?

Some people perhaps. Some are so vain with their physical appearances. Well, I can get away from my physical insecurities. However, apart from my being black and fat, there is this one character that does not only bring me insecurities in life, but also misunderstandings and disputes.

Before, I thought that this personality was just fine. When I used to teach Grade 1 pupils, whenever they became unruly in class, I became mad at them. After a few minutes of telling them to behave and the like, I would go back to normal. I mean, I would continue discussing and eventually would smile at them. For three years, I had been like that. And, I brought that temperament in DCHS, to my fourth year students. I thought that was fine. That it was just normal. However, an instance happened between me and a certain group of students, which led them to tweet on twitter, “Bipolar siya!” Being good at intuitions, I asked these students if they were referring to me. Then, so on. I won’t dwell much on details anymore. I have already been trying to forget what happened. I was, am, and will never be a perfect teacher. Who would be? I may be bipolar, but the only consolation I had was I did not hurt anybody.

These things are just actually few of my insecurities. They have been haunting me from time to time, but I have ignored those most often. These insecurities are just nothing. I may not have that skin that glimmers in whiteness and smoothness, but I have a heart that shines for everyone. I may not have the body that oozes with sexiness and confidence, but my intelligence and talents make me a lot sexier. I may sometimes not have the personality that pleases the people around, but I’m me! I may be this, I may not be that, but I am me, and God created me as me!

Negra? Baboy? Bipolar? So what?!

Surprise? Surprise!

I am a girl who loves surprises. I want to surprise people. Much more, I want to be surprised. Well, there was this one event that made me so surprised which went much better than expected. It was on our first wedding anniversary.

It was December 28, 2012. All I had in mind for that day was only to go to church and attend mass. Knowing my husband for being the exact opposite of me, I didn’t expect for something else. I already conditioned my mind that “Rhudz, manimba ra mo!” So, we both went to St. Jude Thaddeus Parish to hear the 5:00 PM mass. We got married there, so we decided to hear mass in the said church. The homily was about the innocent children, if I were not mistaken, for that day was also the Innocents’ Day. But, that was not the main highlight. It was that the first surprise happened there. For those who are unfamiliar of the Catholic Eucharist, at almost the latter part of the mass, the priest would say, “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.” Usually, my husband and I would just smile at each other then smile to other people. But, on that day, it was different. He kissed me…on my lips! I was shocked for a second then I came back to my senses. After a while, the mass had ended, and then we left.

After the mass, I thought that was already it. I thought we could at least take dinner at Mandarin – our favorite restaurant. When we were crossing Quirino Street, he immediately “ordered” me to take the jeepney. “Sakay, Say! Dali!” So, I hurriedly took the jeepney! I wanted to ask him where were we going, but I opted not to. Minutes later, I wasn’t able to hold it anymore. Finally, I asked him, “Asa diay ta?” He just told me with a smile and sparkle in his eyes, “Roxas.” My mind wasn’t able to process his answer right away. Roxas? Where in Roxas? I was only thinking of the barbeque stalls which used to be there. Then, I just remembered we once mentioned to each other that one of those days, he and I would be eating at this certain restaurant. Chippens.

Yes! The second surprise was an eat-all-you-can at Chippens. Finally! Nothing much actually happened there. My wild imagination thought that maybe a couple of waiters would sing to us love songs, or an accomplice would hand me a bouquet of flowers, or my husband himself would give me something else. Those were just merely thoughts. We just ate, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to enjoy that much because I was full then. We took pictures, too. Well, that was still surprising, wasn’t it?

An hour or so had passed. I thought we would be going home already. When we were walking, he suddenly told me that his tummy was aching. I told him, “Gusto ka balik ta sa Chippens?” But instead, we continued walking. We reached Acacia and argued a bit about his aching tummy. “Unsa man?” I asked him. He said that he would instead go to his office at Quirino, and you know what-would-happen-next. In lieu of taking a taxi, which I first suggested, we instead took an I-forgot-what-route-that-jeepney-is-but-it-is-heading-to-RMC-gym. I was already quite worried with him. When we were at Ilustre-Quirino crossing already, I just got shocked that we didn’t disembark at Merco Quirino. I just gazed at him and he said that he would instead go to his officemate’s boarding house along that road that I didn’t know. When we disembarked, we walked for quite a while, and I kept on asking him where were we heading to? He would only say, “Basta. Sa unahan lang.” Well, I just followed him. When we were about to reach a certain dormitel, I was so shocked when he was going there. He laughingly said to me, “Diri ilang boarding house.” But, I told him with kilig, “Haha! Boarding house ka diha! Gidamay-damay pa nimo si Sir W ha?!” So, the third surprise was our overnight stay in that hotel.

My heart was already beating fast that time. I just couldn’t help but keep on smiling at what was happening. Again, I thought that was already it, but I was wrong. When we already entered our room, I got surprised. The fourth surprise! I saw pink roses on the bed. Because of my surprise, I just told him, “Corny-ha nimo wui!” (blushed) I embraced and kissed him! That time, I also gave him my simple present for him. Anyway, going back. He told me that he was supposed to buy a bouquet, but if he were to buy a bouquet, he couldn’t put it in his bag. That’s one of his concerns. He didn’t (and still doesn’t) want to carry a bouquet of flowers. Haha! After some series of chika-chika, out of the blue, he just said, “Gwapo ang cabinet, Say, noh?” I nodded, and I, as curious as a child, opened the pull-outs of the cabinet. When I opened the bottom pull-out, I was again shocked with what I saw. A bag! At the back of my mind, I thought that a certain guest had left a bag in the cabinet! But, when I saw my husband laughing at me because of my reaction, then I just realized that that bag was really meant for me! The fifth surprise! That bag was the bag that I liked very much at a certain mall. He just kept on laughing at me. I felt a bit shy. I punched him slightly and even cried a bit. I cried not because I was mad or really shy about what happened, but I cried because I didn’t expect that he had a lot of tricks up his sleeves. After that, “the rest was history.” *winks*

I was indeed surprised on our anniversary. Please don’t get me wrong. I was and still am not surprised with material things only. But, the effort and the love that my husband had shown me that day were overflowing. Yes, I am still a girl who loves surprises, and I can’t wait for more surprises, I mean BLESSINGS that are in store for me.