Tag Archives: humor

Vows To My Married Self (Should it Happen in this Lifetime…)

Every man and woman’s nightmare is here. February. For singles, ‘tis the season where your being single is slapped on your forehead as reminder; as if all the sappy love songs and siamese-like lovers are not enough. For couples, ‘tis the season where grand professions of love must be displayed, otherwise your partner feels you don’t love her/him anymore just because ‘twas a smaller/cheaper gift than the one he/she got the year before.

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Chanced upon this scene outside the Legislative Council Building in Central, Hong Kong.

But this is not about that (maybe in the next posts… if laziness doesn’t strike).

I have seen my parents, married friends or those living together to see what makes or breaks a marriage or relationship. And so, I thought of listing promises to my married self. Not that it’s in the offing; I’m million miles away from that. I cast these upon the great cosmic void. Who knows, The Lost Prince may finally arrive, amazed at my sheer awesomeness and positively drooling over my sexiness. Oh yes, these are actually only visible to him because he absolutely adores me. I won’t entertain protests. Wag na’ng kumontra. 😛

1.  I promise to win my in-laws’ affection and respect.

If we should ever have to live with your parents, I promise to charm them and sincerely win them over. I love their son and that means loving everything that comes along with him.

The fact that they provided you shelter when you both don’t have the capacity to live on your own, you should learn to adjust to their ways and try your best to live with them. It is NEVER the other way around. Ikaw ang dapat matutong makisama. Not only are they older than you, you are living in their house. Therefore, their rules. Alangan naman sila pa ang makisama sa’yo?! Sounds a tad too familiar…

If you don’t wash dishes from where you came from, wash the dishes in your husband’s/partner’s home. If they are cooking the meals, at least ask if they need help. Or since they didn’t ask for your help in cooking since they know how kitchen-challenged you are, at least offer to wash the dishes.

Simple, doable things, right? You don’t have to be OA about it. Be sensitive. Use your common sense.

Endear yourself to the people around you so that when you leave, they will miss you and not feel relieved that you (finally) did.

2.  I promise to communicate with my husband.

Communication plays a huge part in any relationship. Whether it’s a regular day or one of those battle days, I will find the balance of just-talking-without-prying and just-reminding-without-nagging. Learn proper timing.

You cannot expect the other to know how you’re feeling when you simply sulk and pout. It is not going to solve anything. Sometimes it’s the little things that you don’t say out loud that piles in your head and in your heart; soon, it reaches its saturation point and your anger explodes into epic proportion over the littlest mistake he made.

At this point, you can be hysterical already and going on historical. You dig up his past mistakes and he, on the other hand, will look so clueless and be so pissed that you’re bringing all these out now when you could have told him when you had the chance.

3.  I promise to try (really hard) from meeting my husband’s bad mood or anger head on.

Everyone has a bad day. And sometimes one flares up easier than the other over almost nothing. If you can still reign in your emotion, hold it back and not clash with him head on. Anger will let you say things you don’t mean and once you’ve said it, you cannot take it back.

Even when texting, NEVER reply when you’re mad. It’s better not to reply if you’re still fuming like a dragon. Let minutes pass or an hour before you reply. By then you have calmed down and your wits are about you again.

4.  I promise to let him have his free time.

This entails trust and must not be subject to abuse. We all need a little space where we can do what we love and maintain friendships that we have long before we were married.

Kung ayaw mong pagduduhan ka at pagisipan ka ng masama, be honest about your plans of going out with your friends.

Being married doesn’t mean living in our own little world. We have the family we grew up with; friends who helped us in difficult times (and that includes the days when we’re at each other’s throat); and you cannot simply cast them aside just because you’re married.

5.  I promise to look just as good as the day my husband fell in love with me.

Women tend to fall into a rut of complacency especially with how they physically look as the marriage years go by. And then you complain that your husband’s eyes wander and he does a Linda Blair when you’re out on a stroll.

NEVER make the mistake of taking your physical self for granted. It is easy to let yourself go because you love your family so much that they have become your priority. That is noble. But don’t make that as an excuse to be losyang. You will rue the day you did.

6. I promise not to be boring in ALL aspects of our relationship.

We are looking at spending years upon years of togetherness and you have to keep things interesting and alive. Don’t get stuck into a rut of endless routine.

Do not stagnate. Sometimes our love for our family, leads to forgetting ourselves. As our family grows, so should we. Don’t lose your novelty. Learn a new skill. If it amounts to pole dancing or striptease dancing… GO!!!

The moment we fail to keep our partners interested, is the day they will look for that somewhere else. In the office or even the internet.

In a nutshell…

7.  I promise to be a decent woman in the presence of everyone else and a personal “streetwalker” to my husband.

See #6.

‘Nuff said. 😉

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All Reds Aside

The Unofficial Guide to Wake and Funeral Etiquette and Some Superstitious Beliefs

When anything bright especially red must be set aside for a year.

When anything bright especially red must be set aside for a year.

It’s easy to wallow in Misery Avenue when a love one passes away. But being as we are, we manage to smile, even crack a joke and laugh like a loony at certain times. A way of coping, perhaps.

I realized then that you don’t grieve 24/7. You grieve at the time your loved one passed on, and then you put your grief on hold to do what you have to do. And grieve again when all’s quiet and all you hear is his voice when he jokingly says “Good morning in the morning” to his grandchildren or when he greets us over Skype, “Hello darling” (he mostly tells my sister this since she lives far away; the only time he called me that was when I got deployed in Hong Kong for a few months).

So, in our case (and in our haste), we thought we had everything ready for those prepping my father’s body and then we realized (we’re already far from the house) we hadn’t packed his boxers.  We were mortified! Because father will turn in his grave (or in his urn?) if we let him went commando. And then we laughed. Then went silent again.

So I tasked myself to take care of dad’s boxers and the nibbles and drinks that we must ready for those who will visit him. Now this is where all the etiquette comes in and what we have to prep for the next few days. Phew! I finally segued to what this is all about. 🙂

Pasiyam and 40 Days

We got lost in counting when his pasiyam will be as there was confusion as to when is day 1:  the day of his death or the day he’s  buried/cremated. We opted for the latter as that was the day we started the novena prayer. Forty days, on the other hand, begins on the day of his death.

“Proper” Response When People Say “Condolence”

The old folks told us that when people text or tell us that they’re condoling with us, we MUST not say “Thank you”.

I’m like, so what do we say then? “Same to you”? Or if crush texted or dropped by, you say, “Love you too”?

Since this is a first for us, plus my siblings and I are not really ‘old school’ so we still say ‘thank you’, especially if it’s a text message. I’m thinking it’s rude not to reply when people went out of their way to make you feel you’re not alone.

But if someone personally condoles with you and you don’t want to say thank you, then a handshake  or a hug will suffice. Actually if someone you care about, ok fine, you’re crushing on does that… naman! Parang naka-score ka lang. 😛 What a fleeting relief from sadness.

What to Bring to a Wake / Funeral

It is customary to give mass cards, flowers (yes, the one with the stand. And no, you don’t give that kind for Valentine’s 😛 ) and abuloy (monetary assistance). 

Some bring food (e.g. sandwiches, biscuits) and this is actually very helpful and practical since there is an off chance that food is the last thing on the grieving family’s minds or it can serve as an emergency stash for the guests.

Clothes to Wear and the Appropriate Color

As respect to the family, refrain from wearing loud, bright, neon colored clothes. Unless of course their grief and misery give you much to be happy about (eh kung ganun din lang, wag ka na pumunta at baka isama ka dun sa pinaglalamayan).

And yes, shorts that can be easily mistaken for underwear has no place in a wake. Ang burol ay hindi isang okasyon para mag boy-hunting. 

Should An Ex (Bf/Gf/Friend) Personally Visit? 

For me, Yes. Especially if you live within a reasonable distance  and you have personally met the deceased several times. You go there not for your whatever-kind-of-ex but for the deceased who welcomed you to their home at pinakiharapan ka ng maayos at di ka binastos inspite of all that the deceased knew about you.

There’s No Buffet in Grief

Clearly, you are going to a wake and not to a party, therefore, please do not expect the grieving family to have a buffet prepared. Unless they are part of a society who can manage to have a funeral coordinator and take care of these things for them. Take Mang Dolphy’s wake; there was a separate function hall for the buffet and a place that Annabelle Rama chose to showcase her classy behavior.

The family usually prepares nibbles and drinks since people traveled to condole with you; that’s the least you can do for them. Offer coffee, juice, soda, or water and sandwiches, biscuits or chips because the horrible traffic may have gotten them all hungry even if they have already eaten earlier.

Some Superstitious Beliefs One Should Know:

Don’t sweep the floors during the wake.

Because your whole family might be swept away by the Grimm Reaper. But since we opted to have the wake in a funeral place, part of their service was to keep the place tidy. But I noticed they don’t sweep. They mop the floors instead.

During the wake period, don’t take a bath at your house; take a bath somewhere else.

This I don’t get why and so we still took a bath at our own house. So far, we’re all ok. 😉

If you will put a rosary in the hand of the deceased, make sure you cut it.

So there will not be consecutive deaths in the family.

The deceased should not wear shoes.

I don’t know the logic behind this. But I’m thinking, maybe so they won’t make a sound in case they visit you late at night. Well, they don’t like scaring you, right?  😀

Don’t go home straight after visiting a wake or attending a funeral.

This is so you don’t bring home the negative vibes (i.e. sadness, grief, misery) with you. So shake these off by going to a resto, coffee shop or mall before going home.

Change your clothes as soon as you get home.

Same reason as above but make sure you stash those clothes outside your house, like your backyard. Basta outside your house; if you care to take it literally, go! 😉

Never take home food that you prepared for guests or food offered to you during the wake/funeral.

For families who held the wake at a funeral home, food served to the  guests must not be taken home. Leave it there. Malas daw. In the same manner that food offered when you visit the wake, must be eaten there, even candy. Wag mo na ipabalot. 😛 

~~~~~~~~~~~

I bet there’s a lot of things I missed but this is it for now. With all that’s happened between then and now, death has a funny way of letting you see both the dead and the living, a little  differently; with a little more love or a lot more disdain that you can possibly feel.

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Mindless Late Night Wanderings: Losing

I never felt what real sadness was like until I lost my father. It’s a sadness that comes from out of the blue and just walks in on you when you least expect it, like when you’re onboard a public transpo or when you’re watching Les Misérables. Of all places! Really.

My usually makulit two-year old niece asked me where Lolo is and I said he's in heaven with Papa Jesus and off she went to Lola and said, "Lola, iwan mo din ako?" That broke the dam. Again.

My usually makulit two-year old niece asked me where’s Lolo and I said he’s in heaven with Papa Jesus and off she went to Lola and said, “Lola, iwan mo din ako?” That broke the dam. Again.

I didn’t know if I was crying for Jean Valjean or for what happened that tragic Saturday morning. It started with a lump in my throat then progressed to difficulty in swallowing; then my eyes started to well and then the entire dam just broke. So when everyone else have gathered themselves and I was still sniffing, I knew it wasn’t Jean Valjean.

The sadness of losing a parent is never the same as losing a boyfriend to another or someone who considered you their favorite person, yet just walked away without as much as a goodbye. The melancholia is not even close to realizing that someone deleted your number and so when you texted an entire novel and all you get is “who u”;  or crushing over someone who makes you feel so giddy just seeing their name on your phone but doesn’t see your sheer awesomeness. It’s not even close to unrequited love.

It’s a sadness that just tears you apart. As you remember every gritty detail of that person who fed you when you were little; helped you through your toilet-training days; took you to school and fetched you; spanked you; carried you to your room as you feign sleeping on the couch; taught you songs; held your hand when you crossed the street… And a whole lot of memories that will forever be just that. Memories.

They say it gets easier with time. Maybe. I’m sure it will be. But now, it’s just painful; especially when everything’s quiet and everyone else is asleep. And then you have to be ok because you just can’t fall apart. There’s work, and then there’s still mom who needs us, no matter how strong she may seem. I can see beyond the strength. 

And so until we get used to this sadness and void in our lives, tomorrow and the next days may just as well be another show.

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Thank Goodness We’re Spared From Family Reunions

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‘Tis the season for reunions and maximum tolerance. 😉

I love my immediate family, and that includes the lovable little monsters−  my nephews and niece. But if there is something I am eternally thankful for, we grew up not having close family ties and that entails no dreaded family reunions. So trust us not to be acquainted with our distant relatives because we are not fans of reunions. I would be so confused at how I became second, third, fourth cousins with Kuya A or Ate B and when they try to explain it to me, they ended up adding to my confusion and I will look so embarrassingly lost.

There was even a relative that I regarded as a cousin for as long as I can remember only to find out she’s my granddaughter. Imagine my horror! I’m like, how the hell did that happen? 😀

But the horror does not lie in being reunited with relatives. Seeing them would have probably been awesome if not for those questions that make you mentally berate yourself for even bothering to go.

So I sincerely hope you will not come this close to actually saying these out loud. 😉

Ilang taon ka na nga?

  • Taon-taon naman po tayo nagkikita, just add one year please. That’s not so hard, di ba?
  • Trenta po. At sampung taon na po akong nagsisi kung bakit pa din ako pumupunta sa reunion na ‘to.

Ano?! Single ka pa din? (and the next statement usually goes, “Aba’y di ka na bumabata.”)

  • Ano? Wala pa din kayong manners?!
  • So it’s a requirement now? Sensha na po, di lang ako aware.
  • Kunin ang videoke microphone at sabihing: “Sa mga interesado pong malaman at para isang sabihan na lang…. Opo, single ako. Kung may tanong kayo, punta po kayo sa presscon sa sala  pagkatapos niyong lapastanganin ang lechon.”

O, eh bakit wala ka pang asawa? 

  • Babae / Lalake din po gusto ko. And when they recovered from the  shock, “Joke lang. Bisexual po ako.”
  • Kung magaasawa po ba ako eh, maaahon sa pagkakautang ang Pilipinas? Di na ba kakailanganin ng mga kababayan natin na mangibang bansa?
  • Kulang pa po ung ipon ko pambili ng papatol sa’ken eh.
  • Actually kaya po ako pumupunta ng reunion para ipamukha niyo sa’kin yan. Thank you po ah!

Kailan ka ba ikakasal?

  • Don’t worry, you’ll know. On Facebook.
  • Pag legal na po ang same sex marriage.
  • Kailan po ba kayo pwede?… hindi pumunta?

Ilang taon na kayong kasal, bakit wala pa kayong anak?

  • Ewan ko po ba. Eh araw-araw, gabi-gabi ginagawa na nga namin. Iba’t-ibang posisyon na din nga. Pati nga sa opisina, pinupuntahan ko pa siya para lang gawin namin yun….. Atsaka…. (The trick here is to make them as awkward as possible 😉 )
  • Sorry pero may deadline pala?
  • So pinadala kayo ng NSO dito para mag-survey?

It’s like there’s no winning. If you’re single, they’ll pester you with your status and look at you with pity that it feels like they’re throwing you into the arms of any single man they’ll see on the street. As though marriage is the key to nirvana. And if you’re married and with no kid, they’ll insensitively ask you why you’re childless.

It’s a different ballgame too if you’re balikbayan; your clueless relatives think you’re pooping money wherever it is you’re working and you’re expected to treat them to expensive restos. Bad enough that they brought their entire family, they bring with them the cousin of their kids, househelp and all those other relatives who you don’t have an iota of an idea whether you’re relatives by consanguinity or affinity.

Then there are those relatives who just mean well and are actually concerned. So practice maximum tolerance whenever you can. I’m just glad we don’t have to bear with these occasions. 😉

Here’s to hoping you won’t have to resort to these comebacks. Cheers!

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Skimming Through 2012

January1

This month is the dreaded “Monday” of the year. With all the reunions and parties the previous month, everyone just want to stay in the fantasy month, that is December.

And just when I thought it was going to be a pretty bland start, two events on January 28 made it very special: the book signing of the The Morning Rush Top 10 at the Robinson’s Galleria and Photoworld Asia at the Glorietta Activity Center.  I had my picture taken with Chico and Delle as they signed my book and my sister’s; after that, I headed to Glorietta to meet The Tutor as he will help me with getting me a baby: my first telephoto lens. 😛 I have the lens, free lessons, dinner, coffee and a whole night of chatting. Yes, just plain chatting.

Oh! And I conquered Intramuros on my own and I commuted too! I can’t wait to go back next year!

February

I promised myself I will take my driving lessons seriously and really drive. But it’s so difficult to share the roads with discipline-challenged bus / jeepney / motorcycle drivers. And as with most promises, I broke it.

Just like I broke my promise of keeping my cool amidst people trying my patience with their obscure reasoning and the trash they feed to people who don’t know the whole story, making you the villain in their version of what really happened. I was visibly fuming that someone actually offered me a cookie. Hahaha 😀

2If there ever is one promise I kept, it was to take my camera, wherever I go, no matter how heavy he may be. It’s been a year since I got him as a post-Valentine’s gift to myself and he’s brought so much joy. This time, we went to the 17th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta held at the Clark Air Field on February 11 and I’m glad to be around people who have good know-how on photography and they generously share tips and tricks to an amateur like me. But if you really want to learn, read. And you can start with the manual that came with your camera. Don’t expect others to know your camera just because they have a camera too.

And for the first time, I finally have a shot of the moon.

March3

Going back to Ilocos after almost a decade is the highlight of this month. It was an Amazing Race-like experience since we cramped up Laoag-Pagudpud-Vigan in three days.

It is doable but I think an extra day or two will make the northern trip more laid-back. But we covered a lot of ground and it sure made the almost 10-hour journey well worth it.

April

4My sister and her family came home for a short visit! That translated to lovely chaos and insanity at home with four kids running around that I actually had a heart-to-heart talk with my egg cells.

It is also on this month that I discovered another blog while doing a post on the controversial Nat Geo run.  So, What’s News is a one-man team crunching out satire posts that those who just stumble on it don’t realize it’s satire, and that is where the fun begins: in the comments section. 😉 Thank you, SWN for driving much-needed traffic to my site.

May5

It was a month of all things super:

  • The supermoon appeared last May 6.
  • The Claudine-Raymart-Tulfo super brawl at the NAIA. I didn’t realize Claudine will pass for an action star. Galing!
  • Super rich Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg marries Priscilla Chan. Another feather on the hat for China.
  • Chief Justice Renato Corona gets impeached in a trial that rivaled the highest rating soaps on tv. Senator Miriam Santiago saying “Wah!” and “…eh mga gago naman”, Niel Tupas taking the verbal punches from Sen. Santiago and Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre got caught covering his ears while the fiery senator was speaking because Sen. Jinggoy Estrada made sumbong. 😀

June

ewayBayo launched its controversial “What’s Your Mix?” campaign that deluged them with criticisms from netizens that they actually took down the whole campaign.  So kudos to Bayo for apologizing and kutos to Sen. Tito Sotto for his continued arrogance. Awww shucks! This Sotto entry should be in August.

And on this month, I bought a CD again after nearly half a decade in support of my officemate who happens to be the bassist of  Encounters With A Yeti. They are OPM but sounds nowhere near it and the perfect travel companions to drive the bad vibes away of rush hour traffic.

JulyArlu_Dobol_Trobol_Dolphy_feat_img-958x340

I don’t get sad if someone passes away who I don’t really know but when Mang Dolphy passed away, I did. It’s weird. Maybe because I grew up watching his good movies and tv shows. Or maybe his death came at a time when my father is getting sickly.

Father got confined in the hospital for almost two weeks and it was during this time that I made two friendship bins: The Keepers and The Trash. You know where you go. 😉

August

8Twisted as it was, we were thankful that my father was still confined at the hospital and my mom was with him when the torrential rains poured over the metro.  As if on cue, McDonald’s announces the return of Twister Fries. Trust SWN to know this top secret info. 😀

It is on this fateful month that we witnessed the sheer brilliance of Sen. Tito Sotto in his turno en contra. But wait! There’s more! He plagiarized! And even as he was found out, with bloggers suing him and Kerry Kennedy demanding an acknowledgment that he indeed plagiarized her father’s speech, he has remained undaunted, adamant and shamelessly arrogant.  Sir, please find better use of that mouth. Shut. It. Up.

September

This is Day 1 of us getting used to the idea that my father has stage 4 lung cancer. We were surprised at how lightly he took the news then; lately, it seems as though he lost his zest. I just miss seeing him walk around the 9house; throw jokes and sarcastic remarks; do the things we used to do as a family. I guess it’s hard to get used to the idea that parents do grow old and get sick. They’re not invincible as we like to think.

That sadness was compensated by the joy of seeing my best friend after almost a decade. It was so surreal that we got lost in our conversation over margarita of anything and everything; and she ended that with a promise of sending us single girls a special gift. And we are so stoked at what it’s gonna be! 😉

October

October 3 was supposed to be the implementation of Republic Act No. 10175, known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 otherwise known as the Cybercrime Law. Netizens changed their profile pictures to black as sign of protest especially with the ninja-like insertion of online libel provision courtesy of none other than the very astute Sen. Tito Sotto. Again. This guy is on a roll! Can you please just roll yourself into the pits of Gehenna? Here’s to hoping it doesn’t spew you back.

10And I get to do what I love as a post-birthday gift. Travel. I’m back in Saigon for a second time and Da Lat for the first time. The 8-hour journey was definitely worth it as the cold temperature was a welcome relief from the Saigon heat.

November

This month was looking  pretty grim since there are no plans of going anywhere until a tweet sparked someone’s interest and asked if I can give him some details on the Starbucks planner. I gladly did and who would have thought that a satire post will catapult me to my so-called “cyberfame”.

When I shared the link on Facebook, even my friends got concerned of my “sickness” because of drowning myself in 17 cups of coffee just to get the planner.  The things said about “me” on Twitter and on the comments section was just plain hilarious. I now have “atay na bakal”. hahaha 😀

The trek to Ambon Ambon Falls

The trek to Ambon Ambon Falls

On Nov. 17, we went to Amansinaya Mountain Resort in Laurel, Batangas. And then days later, I notice an insect bite on the back of my right thigh that just won’t go away. I went to the doctor to have it checked but mom wants to be sure; she asked our neighbor to “tawas” me.

So as not to offend her sensibilities, I let her have her way. Lo and behold. I stepped on something daw. And as the tawas was done, I got a extra perk. Manang read my palm and told me what the future holds for me. I just smiled the whole time. 😀

December

RH Bill gets passed! Even as esteemed and friggin’ brilliant Sen. Sotto proposed more than 30 amendments to the bill. Even as bishops claimed that calamities hitting the country were because of the RH Bill. Even as Bishop Ramon Arguelles compared President Aquino to Connecticut shooter, Adam Lanza.  Women now have a choice. As Jennifer Aniston’s Friends character, Rachel Green said, “No uterus, no opinion.”

12Christmas is always special. Though we tend to lose the spirit of Christmas as we grow older; as we get busy with our own priorities; as we just simply drift apart; it’s a comfort to know that we have our family and friends. Friendship that is bound by years of doing things together and those that are forged through thoughtfulness and just being there for you, in however way they can.

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