Saturday, April 30, 2005

Making It

i spent the whole day yesterday, driving around and paying bills, with the 54k pesos (33k pesos from university salary and butterfly biz commission, 21k from social security low-interest loan proceeds) in my wallet. it felt good. like ive come to some sort of a major accomplishment.

there was a time, not too long ago, when i couldn't even drive around -- as i had no car yet -- and much less pay all the bills due -- as i didn't have the means, no matter how hard i worked and scrimped and saved...

the first thing i did was make sure i had 5% of the total amount stashed away, as the beginning of my savings fund. as an economics major, i've always known that a savings habit is the best way to a stable and secure life, but the early, brash years with the ex made me forget that (until now, i still can't believe i turned over my paycheck to him! : O), and these first 3 years on my own barely making ends meet made me unable to do that. now, i mean to seriously go through with it, first building up my 6-month emergency fund, then later on saving up for investments, so that in the second half of my life, instead of my working for money, my money will be working for me.

the next thing i did was pay for all the utilities bills at home, even the electricity bill which hasn't actually been delivered yet. i don't want to be caught unprepared again and have our electricity disconnected, taking the kids to my sister's for a weekend or so until i manage to pay for the amount due and reconnection fees again.

i saved the best for last yesterday, going to the government housing loan office to finally update my mortgage, which has been in arrears since May, 2004. the lady asked if i was paying in cash, and i said, oh definitely yes!

she looked at me with a newfound respect and she said thank you twice.

my struggle is all documented, there in her file folder of my case: my countless letters explaining my new situation (newly- separated, with three kids to feed on a single income, saddled with debts the ex incurred in our conjugal name which i didn't even know anything about), my various appeals for renegotiations laying out different options mutually satisfactory to both them and me, my playing hardball to their arrogant demand letters, and finally their giving in to my terms (what could they do? these are hard times in our country. they'd be spending more for attorney's fees than if they'd renegotiate with me on the softer terms i required.)

i ended the day by going to the mall and treating my self to an iced cappuccino, as i looked over new cellphone models at my cellphone company's showroom. finally, i can even afford to get a new, more technologically sophisticated unit for my self soon, so i can give my old unit to Thea.

i looked at bedroom furniture, too, and compared prices, and started dreaming again of what it would take for me to be able to give the kids and i bedrooms of our own, by renovating our little two-bedroom house.

in just almost 3 years, i am able to get back on my feet again, at last, with God's grace and the love and support of family, friends and even some strangers, who did not necessarily give me dole-outs, but who opened doors for me for more extra income through the application of my inherent skills and talents.

there was a time when just even thinking about providing for the next day's needs was overwhelming ... but now the dreams come alive again.

the most important lesson i have learned is that a woman must let go of the conditioning and the illusion that she needs a man to take care of her and to provide for her, that she can't do it on her own, by her own wits and strength and gifts.

she must apply her self to the necessary homework and practical work of steeling her will and polishing her diplomacy and negotiation skills, even as she works hard and works her self to the bone.

she must forever banish the notion that to be alone is to be a freak, to learn to appreciate and revel in her solitude, and to willingly submit her self to the process of character building, which is best undertaken in the experience of the total alone-ness of her soul.

she must finally embrace the task and responsibility and freedom and exhiliration and joy of coming into her own powers.

it is difficult, it can be lonely, but it will always be a rich life.

knock on wood, but i think i am finally making it! : )

Friday, April 22, 2005

My Heart's Desire

One Friend*

I always thought you were the best
I guess I always will.
I always felt that we were blessed,
And I feel that way, still.
Sometimes we took the hard road,
But we always saw it through.
If I had only one friend left,
I'd want it to be you.

Sometimes the world was on our side;
Sometimes it wasn't fair.
Sometimes it gave a helping hand;
Sometimes we didn't care.
'Cause when we were together,
It made the dream come true.
If I had only one friend left,
I'd want it to be you.

Someone who understands me,
And knows me inside out.
And helps keep me together,
And believes without a doubt,
That I could move a mountain:
Someone to tell it to.
If I had only one friend left,
I'd want it to be you.

'Cause when we were together,
It made the dream come true.
If I had only one friend left,
I'd want it to be you.

Someone who understands me,
And knows me inside out.
And helps keep me together,
And believes without a doubt,
That I could move a mountain:
Someone to tell it to.
If I had only one friend left,
I'd want it to be you.

*words and music by Dan Seals

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

My Horoscope Today

my Astronet horoscope for today made me smile and blush at the same time-- as if it has read my thoughts lately!!! : O

You can afford to be picky. You don't mind your own company at all, and you know within five seconds of meeting someone if there's anything there. Don't spend your time with anyone you're really not interested in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Charles and Camilla


during a lull in one of our lengthy road trips around Camiguin, my colleagues took to discussing Charles' and Camilla's wedding.

there was the usual bitching about how ugly and unqueenly Camilla is compared to Diana, and about how she doesn't deserve to be wed to the future king of England. (nobody commented on how equally ugly and unkingly Charles is, and how he may not deserve to be future king of England, too!)

anyway, i just listened to the trivial chatter and kept quiet. but in my deepest thoughts and heart, i envy Charles and Camilla, for the love they have managed to keep for more than 30 years, despite marriages to other people and many changes in their lives, not to mention family and public censure.

thinking about it always makes me cry. to have a chance at a love like that, and having found it, to never let it go, no matter what. in the words of Prince Charles, to be "non-negotiable".


i think i have found the love of my life, too. but life has gotten in the way.

are we up to it?

only Love knows.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

65 Long-stemmed Red Roses!


i was awakened from a long nap late this morning by the maid, who told me i had a friend waiting for me by the gate.

it was my German friend, Antonia, with her husband Patrick, who called on me to give me a whole bucket of long-stemmed red roses!!!

last night was their 1000th day after their wedding and Patrick surprised her with a thousand roses. this morning, Antonia felt that she just had to share her joy and she thought of me first, sweet Antonia!

i got teary-eyed receiving the whole bucket of long-stemmed red roses from her.

i told her i rarely get roses.

in fact, in my whole life, i've only received two for real -- one from the ex, long ago during our courting days on Valentine's Day, and only because he said his sister forced him to do it : ( ... another one from a student, some few Valentine's Day ago, too.

so i told Antonia that this was like an omen for me, of rosier days and experiences to come, with the feast she and Patrick have given me, for no special occasion at all!

i counted the roses later, wow-- 65 long-stemmed red roses!!!

Patrick's and Antonia's love story is an inspiration too. he used to be a monk, while she a war film journalist. they met in Jerusalem while she was on assignment and he was on some sort of a retreat. they stayed at the same hotel, and since there were very few Germans in that hotel, the very few that there were all managed to congregate together at breakfast and dinner.

a deep friendship blossomed in just two weeks, and when the time came to part, they realized they had fallen in love. what followed was 9 months more of long-distance text messages (SMS)and phone calls and emails, and by the time they met again next, he had left the monastery and asked her to marry him.


they now have a two year old little princess, Kiara, and another one on the way.


at least, in times like these, fairy tales and dreams still do come true!

and i am holding out for that, deep in my heart.

On Being A Woman

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it. ~Roseanne Barr


Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler


Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a natural heritage. ~Author Unknown


I was told that whistling wasn't ladylike, but I knew even then that women were simply not supposed to be that happy. ~Anonymous, quoted in Kindling the Spirit by Lois P. Frankel


I see my body as an instrument, rather than an ornament. ~Alanis Morissette, quoted in Reader's Digest, March 2000


I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay. ~Madonna Ciccone


Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths. ~Lois Wyse


I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist. ~Sally Kempton, attributed


I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves. ~Mary Wollstonecraft


There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody. ~Florynce Kennedy


Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men - bring them softness, teach them how to cry. ~Joan Baez, "Sexism Seen but not Heard," Los Angeles Times, 1974


A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual. ~Gloria Steinem


How good does a female athlete have to be before we just call her an athlete? ~Author Unknown


Women are not inherently passive or peaceful. We're not inherently anything but human. ~Robin Morgan


I think, therefore I'm single. ~Lizz Winstead


Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution. ~Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals


We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem


Our only hope for the redemption of woman from the thralldom of dress lies in the belief that her hitherto limited sphere of activities has been so insufficient for her intellectual occupations that she has been forced to expend her thoughts in decorating her person, instead of enlarging her mind. ~Mercy B. Jackson


Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. ~Margaret Mead


I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. ~Rebecca West, 1913


Because women's work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we're the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it's our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we're nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we're nymphos and if we don't we're frigid and if we love women it's because we can't get a "real" man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we're neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we're selfish and if we stand up for our rights we're aggressive and "unfeminine" and if we don't we're typical weak females and if we want to get married we're out to trap a man and if we don't we're unnatural and because we still can't get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can't cope or don't want a pregnancy we're made to feel guilty about abortion and...for lots of other reasons we are part of the women's liberation movement. ~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Wake-up Call

"He says:

Oh sure, they say they're busy. They say that they didn't have even a moment in their insanely busy day to pick up the phone. It was just "that crazy." All lies. With the advent of cell phones and speed dialing, it is almost impossible not to call you. Sometimes I call people from my pants pocket when I don't even mean to. If I were into you, you would be the bright spot in my horribly busy day. Which would be a day that I would never be too busy to call you.

She says:

There is something great about knowing that my only job is to be as happy as I can be about my life, and feel as good as I can about myself, and to lead as full and eventful a life as I can, so that it doesn't ever feel like I'm just waiting around for some guy to ask me out. And most importantly, it's good for us all to remember that we don't need to scheme and plot, or beg anyone to ask us out. We're fantastic.

For ages women have come together over coffee, cocktails, or late-night phone chats to analyze the puzzling behavior of men.

He's afraid to get hurt again.
Maybe he doesn't want to ruin the friendship.
Maybe he's intimidated by me.He just got out of a relationship.

Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo are here to say that -- despite good intentions -- you're wasting your time. Men are not complicated, although they'd like you to think they are. And there are no mixed messages.

The truth may be 'He's just not that into you.'

Unfortunately guys are too terrified to ever directly tell a woman, 'You're not the one.' But their actions absolutely show how they feel.

'He's Just Not That Into You' -- based on a popular episode of 'Sex and the City' -- educates otherwise smart women on how to tell when a guy just doesn't like them enough, so they can stop wasting time making excuses for a dead-end relationship.

Reexamining familiar scenarios and classic mindsets that keep us in unsatisfying relationships, Behrendt and Tuccillo's wise and wry understanding of the sexes spares women hours of waiting by the phone, obsessing over the details with sympathetic girlfriends, and hoping his mixed messages really mean 'I'm in love with you and want to be with you.'

'He's Just Not That Into You' is provocative, hilarious, and, above all, intoxicatingly liberating. It deserves a place on every woman's night table. It knows you're a beautiful, smart, funny woman who deserves better. The next time you feel the need to start 'figuring him out,' consider the glorious thought that maybe 'He's just not that into you.' And then set yourself loose to go find the one who is."*

* Notes from Yahoo Shopping on 'He's Just Not That Into You'

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Love's Dance

i am slowly learning
that indeed
when we love
and are loved
(or hope to be)
we engage our selves
in a dance.

the music is a long, slow introduction;
it rushes right into an aria!

but we must learn
to move to whatever music is playing--
chacha, swing, rumba, tango or waltz--
even as we learn
to take each other's hand
and slowly come closer
even if we must
also necessarily
draw apart
many times, like the first few times.

no matter how much
we want to be loved back
in the exact way we want
people can only give
so much--
that they have,
that they have received before,
that they know,
that they have been trained to know--

and it is almost always
a reflection
on our innate lovability
but on their innate capacity
or willingness,
or readiness
to love us back
in the way that they know how.

so in this dance,
i am learning
to play it by ear
to take only as they're able
to give,
to take their baby steps anyway
and learn to synchronize
even as i teach
my own baby steps back.

so what if the music ends?

now i know
there will always be
other music to play;
and with each new dance,
whether with the same
or a new partner,
we always become
better dancers
than ever.

that is Love's gift to us;
that is our gift to each other,
this dance we dance.