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.


I Love You… Goodbye…

            It was a cold night when the hushes of the wind kissed my cheeks and the blanket of stars covered the heavens. I was then all alone. I was sitting at our terrace while looking at the glittering stars up there. I was trying to ease the pain I felt inside, for prior to that night, I found out that my boyfriend left me for another girl. As I watched the stars, it seemed that their sparkles slowly defy. And as I tried to embrace myself to keep myself warn, still it was of no use, for the coldness of the night penetrated my loneliness.

I was still burdened – trapped inside the corners of sorrow and locked within the bitterness of the tears.

I was still burdened – trapped inside the corners of sorrow and locked within the bitterness of the tears.

            I sat there for about an hour – just sitting and reminiscing the sweet yesterdays of our relationship. I remembered the day when he courted me. His sweetness, care, thoughtfulness, everything – they just made me float with happiness. I also remembered when I said “Yes” to him. He was so happy that time. The moments when we used to go home together, eat our meals together, and sing together made me smile for a while. I even giggled when I remembered those hugs he gave me that kept me warm and also those unforgettable kisses that made me touch my lips that night. Indeed, they were so memorable.

            But, all of those memories were already buried in my past. Those were already parts of my past that have molded me into a mature person. I actually did not realize that tears were already running on my cheeks. I was hurt. Those memories only made me hurt more. I was about to forget them, but it was not that easy. To think that this guy was my first boyfriend, yet all of a sudden, he left me without even saying goodbye. I felt that the whole world hated me. It seemed that the heaven and the earth covered me. I carried a heavy load in my heart. And, I did not know when and how would I be able to unload these burdens. When? How?

            Three hours had past, but still, I was sitting at our terrace. As the minutes passed by, the wind turned colder and colder and the stars were slowly disappearing. Thick clouds abruptly covered the earth. Few minutes later, the rain fell. My body wanted me to go inside, for the rain would make me wet of course. But, my heart told me to stay. I was still burdened – trapped inside the corners of sorrow and locked within the bitterness of the tears. My body was all wet. Still, the wind tried to threaten me with its coldness, but my heart already surpassed the coldness of the wind that tried to invade me. My heart turned cold, very cold. I felt that at that point, my emotions were gone. I tried to survive the pain that the situation brought me. However, it gave me a hint to close my doors whenever someone comes into my life again. I won’t love again. I don’t want to be hurt again. I won’t let somebody hurt me the way that guy hurt me. No more chances. No more lies. It’s done. It’s over.

            It was already eight in the morning when I found myself inside my room, lying on my bed. How did I get here? Who brought me here? Questions kept running in my mind when my phone rang. When I answered the phone, talked to the person on the next line, and listened to what he said, I suddenly lost my grasp on the phone I was holding. Tears immediately ran down on my cheeks again. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even scream. My feet were stuck to the place where I stood. My knees were trembling. My hands were shaking. What I only did was to cry. Once again, I cried. When I turned my head around my room, looking for nothing, a sheet of pink paper caught my attention. At that moment, I was able to move my feet towards the place where the paper was put. When I opened it, I read what was written.


            You know how much I love you. You completed my life. You made me happy. You became my “everything”. I felt so guilty when I did not tell you about my condition. I am so sorry. It’s not my intention to hurt you. I just don’t want to hurt you totally. That’s why, I told someone to tell you that I have someone else. At least, anger would fill your heart instead of pity. But, I did the wrong thing. I’m so sorry, my love. I am so sorry. I had been suffering from this pain since I was 10. But, my end had finally come. Last night, you were all wet. You might be wondering what happened and who brought you here? I brought you inside for you not to be very wet. Fortunately, your mother knocked on the door and she changed your clothes. Please don’t put yourself in harm. No matter what, I still love you. Take care, honey. I love you.

             At that moment, I was more hurt. Why was it happening to me? Why me? Why now? Do I really have to feel this? Do I deserve this? I just found myself kneeling on the floor, sobbing while covering my face. Tears did not stop to fall. My heart beat so fast. I had no else to blame. All I have to do is to accept the situation. It was God’s will. I know he was already there in the kingdom of everlasting love and happiness. I should be happy for him. It would not be that easy, but in the long run, I would still be able to live in a peaceful and happy life.

Practical Parenting Seminar

“You are on a boat with your husband/wife and your child and it starts to sink. But, you can only save one person. Who would you save?”

As this question was asked to us before the talk had proceeded, at the back of my mind, I answered, “I would save my husband.”

The choice that we had as answers to the said question led us to this realization: “Wrong priority in life means wrong living.” It doesn’t mean that if you prioritize your husband/wife more than your kids, or the other way around, it is already wrong. It just means that if we prioritize too much on someone, which tends to forgetting another one, then that leads to wrong priorities.

The statement above is just one of the remarkable points that I learned from the FREE seminar that I attended at Davao Christian High School – Function Hall last February 9, 2013, Saturday. Practical Parenting Seminar – this seminar was organized by the Parents Teachers Fellowship (SY 2012-2013) of the Davao Christian High School. This was attended not only by parents, but also by grandparents, teachers, guardians, and even single individuals. Aside from that, non-DCHS parents were also invited to the said seminar.

The speaker of the said seminar was none other than Mr. Francis J. Kong. For those who know him and for those who had attended the seminar last Saturday, we were so blessed to have attended a FREE seminar with Mr. Kong as the resource person.

The resource person of the Practical Parenting Seminar held at Davao Christian High School -- Mr. Francis J. Kong

The resource person of the Practical Parenting Seminar held at Davao Christian High School — Mr. Francis J. Kong

The seminar lasted for almost two hours. Despite how brief that seminar had been, there were already an array of learning and lessons that was shared to us. Aside from the statement mentioned at the first part of this text, I would like to share the following points that I had taken down into my notebook, and of course, that I had learned. 🙂

–          Love is giving, serving, providing the best for the object of the recipient.

–          Insanity is hereditary. You get them from your children! (LOL)

–          God is in control! 🙂

–          The mark of stupidity complicates the simple.

–          Parents/Families have forgotten to teach children Biblical values. Don’t blame the media.

–          The secret to success is STILL discipline.

–          Parenting is a nonstop adventure.

–          The ability to delay gratification, or in other words self-discipline, is the key to success.

–          Fathers should talk to sons about sex; mothers should talk to daughters about sex. Don’t wait for the time that your children will ask about it to other people, worse, to WRONG people.

–          Parents make mistakes. Say “I am sorry”, not “It’s your fault!”

–          Management is about control. Leadership is about influence.

–          Only rewarded actions are repeated.

–          We are all walking bank account in terms of emotional currency.

–          Skills agility, not the school where you came from, matters most. After three months, people will just have forgotten from what school you have graduated.

–           Teach your kids to love God more than they love you.

Giving of Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Francis Kong (L-R: Mrs. Jocy So-Yeung, Principal, Mrs. Yvonne Cabada, PTF President, Ms. Franelli Pableo, School Directress, and Mr. Francis J. Kong, Speaker

Reading the citation and Giving of the Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Francis J. Kong
(L-R: Mrs. Jocy So-Yeung, Principal, Mrs. Yvonne Cabada, PTF President, Ms. Franelli Pableo, School Directress, and Mr. Francis J. Kong, Speaker

As Mr. Kong was about to end his talk, he shared, “The most important thing apart from loving kids is loving their mother.” He explained, “When kids grow up, they will eventually leave their parents and build their own families.” And, to end, he jokingly said, “That is why, we (parents) must love our spouses even if we have no choice!”

Hahaha! Truly, that was an informative and FUN seminar!

The Long Weekend is Over!

After five consecutive days of holiday (in Davao City particularly), I could say that majority had really enjoyed the long weekend. Some stayed in the city and squeezed themselves with other spectators during the festival. Some went elsewhere. Some stayed in their homes instead. Whichever, everyone enjoyed the long weekend – in one way or another.

However, for me, it was not that super, ultra, mega fun at all. I thought my long weekend would be one of the most enjoyable long weekends ever, but it turned out to be the irony. Let’s just say, I expected too much? Yeah. I expected too much. Maybe I hated the idea of “planning things that would be turning out to be FAIL eventually!” Well, I did not have any choice but to accept the fact that the long weekend was finally over, and our plans were merely plans. Better luck next time though.

Despite the frustrations and disappointments that I had over the long weekend, somehow, I was able “to enjoy”. My husband and I spent most of the days together – sleeping, waking up late, drinking coffee, facing the net (which I did most of the time), cooking, eating, talking, and cuddling. For me, these common activities turned out be fun for us, for we were able to enjoy each other’s company. We might have not gone to the resort, where we were supposed to go for our short vacation slash honeymoon (LOL!), but we were able to spend time together at home. No expense paid. Blissful.

So in lieu of being into a sulk after my frustrations over the long weekend, happiness and blessedness overwhelmed me. I thank the Lord, for the long weekend had given me and my husband precious time and moments to relax our bodies and minds and to be with each other of course. Priceless.

Tomorrow is another day – another day to celebrate life and to celebrate the blessings that the Lord has been giving us.

Blessings everyone! 🙂

My Very First Boyfriend

(Disclaimer: He WAS just my first boyfriend! He is NOT my husband!)

I thought I was the ugliest person, well, woman in the whole world, until I met and loved my very first boyfriend.

We were just friends. Actually, I became his ‘counselor’ when a friend of mine busted him. I gave him pieces of advice, comforted him during his down moods, and accompanied him whenever he felt alone. He, on the other hand, unceasingly shared his stories, too.

When days and weeks passed, everything changed. He started to be sweeter to me – not as a friend, but as someone else. I thought it wasn’t anything. However, there was a sudden wind of change – he courted me.

It took only weeks for him to court me. Why prolong the agony? As what the adage says, “Grab the opportunity!” I might sound too desperate, but I said “Yes!” to him. We both felt that as if fireworks had exploded and illumined the night sky. I was in total bliss. From then on, I had thought that I was the most beautiful woman in the whole world.

(I wrote and shared this during our Teaching Writing Workshop this afternoon. However, there were several revisions and additions made in this write-up.)

Five Years! (and counting…)

A picture of us taken last January 1, 2009. Yeah, we were still thin then!

Who could ever imagine a diplomatic, introvert, and reserved Arbie dela Torre would court an immature, gregarious, and loud Rudylen Anino?

Looking back to those days when Arbie asked me to be his girl friend, I was in bliss and at the same time hesitations for some reasons – my studies, my insecurities, our own past relationships, our differences. Despite these hesitations though, on April 28, 2007, I still said “Yes!” to him. Did I really fall in love with him instantly? No. Did he? He said yes, but I was not just sure (hahaha!)

Our first few months of being boyfriend-girlfriend turned out to be bittersweet. We had been into several arguments, quarrels, confrontations and the worst, breaking up once. I know these were just spices of our relationship. However, what made our relationship ‘much more delicious’ were our sweet nothings, thoughtful conversations, and the best, our love for each other.

As days, months, and years pass by, Arbie and I have never failed to show our love, care, and respect for each other. Five years of being together is not a joke. For me, it is an achievement. It is as if I received my medallion of being a Cum Laude or my trophy of being a runner-up in Trans Eclectics during Intramurals. However, it is more than the aforementioned. For me, these five years is a testimony that “Opposites attract” and “Love conquers all.” You may or may not agree though, yet for me, that is how our love has grown and has made us stronger, happier, and more blessed.

Question: Will we still keep on celebrating our anniversary as boyfriend-girlfriend even if we are already married? Answer: Yes! So we will be celebrating two of the most important dates in our lives and we will be cherishing the feeling of blissfulness and blessedness that only happy couples can genuinely feel.

So to the man whom I loved, love and will love forever and ever, Mr. Arbie A. dela Torre, Happy 5th anniversary as bf-gf and 4th monthsary as husband and wife. I love you very much! ♥

Happy on our 60th & 4th! (and yes! We have grown bigger! LOL!) 🙂

Does My Husband Have to Know Everything?

I posted something on Facebook. My husband happened to read it. He asked me what was that all about. I was taken aback. I could not answer him. He asked me again, this time, he was insistent. I told him that I would just tell him if I were ready. I turned my back from him, and then he continued facing the computer again. Silence.

In all the years that we have been “we”, I have not been secretive to him. He knows who my X-boyfriends were. He knows what I like and dislike. He knows how emotional I get when I am tired or sad. He knows my childhood. He knows me. Yet at that instant, when he asked me about the post, my brain froze and my tongue rolled back. I really could not answer him.

Okay. The post was not about him. I assured him of that. I told him that he does not know the person whom I was talking about. However, he was like a young boy persistently asking for a piece of candy from his girl playmate. Well, less the tantrums though. I reiterated to him that I would just tell him soon or the soonest, or maybe, never.

I think there is nothing wrong if wives are open to their husbands or vice versa. As per Dr. Aphys Fade, “Your spouse has the right to your innermost thoughts. Privacy has no place between a husband and his wife. The more secrets you have, the more chance of problems when she finds out the truth. If you are secretive, you undermine your wife’s feelings and security. When a woman can trust you, she is able to love you more fully.” However, in our case, I was the one secretive. Of course, I did not undermine my husband’s feelings and security. I want him to trust me. I know he trusts me. He loves me. I love him more. That little secret might have made me realize about things between us, but it had never ruined our love for each other. It was never about him, right? It was just a ‘microscopic speck’ of our relationship.

As what Rhonda H. Kelley said in her article Communication between Men and Women in the Context of the Christian Community, “In marriage, the husband and wife must understand each other’s style of communication. While the husband may have no need to discuss his feelings about a specific situation, the wife may want to talk it out. A husband may want to confront conflict, while the wife may try to avoid it.” The bottom line here is, wives and husbands must have openness, understanding, respect, and most of all, love for each other. I married my husband entitling him to own me, as I own him. Though I can still be with my own self and him with his own self, yet now, there is a big difference. We are now “one”. Above and beyond, we will always live to our vows that is “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

“Journeying until FOREVER”