Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Love in the time of disaster

Nanay and Tatay

Their house badly damaged, my grandparents moved to safer ground camping out in a makeshift tent in a remote barrio in Maribojoc. My grandmother has never left my 92 year-old grandfather's side, who is still recovering from a stroke. She has been sleeping on a wooden plank for several nights now; and when the rain would pour in the night, she would curl up her knees to keep her feet from getting wet.

When I visited them for the first time since the earthquake, I found they were not given their relief goods because 'they could no longer vote'. 

I'm casting aside my outrage at this utter disrespect to my grandparents, senior citizens who deserve to be given utmost attention and courtesy especially at this time of need. 

 But if there's one thing I realized, it is that true love will always stand the test of time that not even the most terrible of tremors can shake, much less destroy.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Makeover Saturday

I confess I suck at putting on makeup. I get clueless finding out which brush goes with what and playing with different colors of an eyeshadow palette scares me. Maybe this is now an aftermath of my nonchalance with makeup back in my teenage years. While my girlfriends dusted their faces thick with foundation and colored their lips pink in college, I was happy au naturel.

When I started working, I was good with lip gloss and pressed powder only, and I still felt pretty anyway. It wasn't long before I was surrounded with colleagues who had kikay kits fat with all sorts of makeup items in different brands, shapes and colors. It didn't help too that I wasn't getting any younger at all.

But then, most of the time I find myself asking help from someone to do my makeup. Some things I'm just not good at, and I will probably have to deal with. 

One fine Saturday, I went to the mall to get a makeover with my dear friend Leah, my lifesaver whose makeup prowess never fails to work wonders on me. Barefaced and brimming with so much excitement, the makeup artist asked me what kind of look I wanted. I told her I wanted the 'day look', something I figured would be suitable in the office, specifically.


I sat there for what seemed like light years, the makeup artist keeping me from checking myself out in the mirror, to heighten the excitement. And then...

 I got the look I exactly wanted. I wish I didn't have to wash it off at the end of the day! haha

Here's my friend Leah, whose mestiza features make her freckles noticeable when she's barefaced.

After. FYI, she did her own makeup!

What I always tell myself ? You don't need to put on a lot of makeup to look beautiful - it should enhance what God-given beauty you have. And while it doesn't hurt to put on a little makeup to look beautiful, it's not the be-all and end-all to being one.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

When in Oslob

I've been experiencing eustress since the start of 2013, what with wedding preparations and house tripping schedules. I must have been too caught up with these two that I tend to forget to just relax and perhaps de-stress. 

My time and moolah still could not afford me to go to my next dream PH travel destination; but I did not bat eyelashes at the thought of getting up close and personal with the butanding. I had to make the seemingly torturous ordeal of waking up at two in the morning just to get to Oslob earlier than the other tourists.

Incredibly up and I beat the sun to it. haha
Yes, that big.
This is the closest I could get. Strictly no touching.

These gentle giants are beautiful, yes, even with cuts on their faces, perhaps because they get hit by paddles or propellers as they approach boats for food. I don't think feeding them is healthy, though, because isn't it marine wildlife's nature to hunt for food?

What also got my attention was that they were fed frozen, not fresh, shrimp. I'm not sure if the kind of food they're given bears any significance but then again, this feeding practice disrupts their natural behavior. 

The butanding, I found, was not what Oslob only had to offer. There was Tumalog falls too.

check out the rainbow!

Getting to and from Tumalog falls is not for the weak-legged (winks). Although the road is paved, you need to hike to get to the falls. The trail was steep, I worried I might roll over and fall into the ravine. The more challenging part was  hiking back up from the falls. I had to stop several times for air and rest my legs a bit. Boohoo to me.

And then there's more - Sumilon island. 

take the plunge
the crazy crew

Sumilon island is so beautiful I could live there. I've never really liked crowded beaches and I've always loved being secluded in an island, even for a just a day, away from the stresses and chaos of city life. I'm definitely going back to Sumilon; and by that time, I will have brought my husband to be. Honeymoon getaway, perhaps?

my moment
loving the water!
sunny smiles!

I would have missed out on all the fun and the beautiful sights in Oslob if I didn't force myself to get up from bed. Well, waking up unbelievably early wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remembering Mama

There's a lady in the mirror whose reflection makes her caught up in a reverie of years long past; in bittersweet musings of what could have been if she were here. That lady is a spitting image of that one great woman - her mother.

Her nostalgia of that woman who has touched hearts because she loved them all, who was there for them when they needed her and gave what she had and her best, even if she didn't have much.

She, even to this day, has seen how people still remember her mother and have so many good words to say about her.

"I knew your mother. She was a good person."

"I was once a student of your mother. She was my favorite teacher. She was very good to her students."

"Your mother was so funny. We all loved her."

"I will never forget your mother. She helped me a lot".

It fills her still with so much joy that people's thoughts of her mother didn't just stop at her passing but have become fond memories, forever etchings of gratefulness for the things that she did and made them feel.

Thirteen years since she left and yet the longing still remains. Many a time she yearns to feel the warmth of her mother's embrace; to smell her familiar scent; to hear her infectious laughter; to listen and learn from her words of wisdom. 

The strong pining for a mother's love sometimes brings back the pain of losing her too soon. But when she looks at herself in the mirror, she smiles because she knows that even when she may be physically gone, she is with her. She has never left her side. 

She smiles because she knows that even when she is no longer around, her mother's love resonates through the people who love her and the person she has become.

I love you, Mama. I will forever miss you. And for all that I am and everything I will become, I hope I make you proud.

You will always live in me.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Wedlock

My good friend since childhood, Verna, has finally tied the knot and I couldn't be happier for her. It was a beautiful vintage wedding which took place at the second oldest stone church in the Philippines, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Baclayon, Bohol. It was well attended by her family and friends and she was definitely at her most beautiful. 

It's always refreshing to know how two hearts have managed to stick and work through things and make the ultimate journey to committing to each other through marriage.  

the beautiful bride

The wedding's motif was white and midnight blue. There were touches of tangerine, as seen in the floral arrangements and in what several guests wore. I had a hard time finding a midnight blue piece, so I donned a white dress instead.

Verna walked down the aisle in a gorgeous Fanny Serrano creation. Everyone was just smitten by how beautiful she looked that day.

here comes the bride

i love the bridesmaids' oh-so-elegant look. 

itaga mo sa bato: well wishes on stones

Chardonnay and candy in cute bottles for wedding favors

next in line! haha

the newlyweds

the clique

Back then, Verna and I would talk giggly and dreamily about happily walking down the aisle to our grooms waiting at the altar. We never raced ourselves to it, but I knew then this was the right time for her to settle down. I'm glad I got to see that dream of hers come true.

 Best wishes to the newlyweds! May you two have a lifetime of love and happiness and of course, good and beautiful children!