Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Old Stories Continued

(Note: This entry contains old posts from my former blog.)

MARRIAGE MATTERS
07/27/2005
09:35:53 PM

What a strange weekend I had. I was talking to Mama and Papa. The conversation inevitably turned to marriage plans--or rather the lack thereof. I know I'm 28, and for some unfortunate people, that age is ancient. I ought to be married and having babies by now. How funny really. I cannot stress enough that I am unlike many women--I have other ambitions.

I am not anti-marriage, mind you. I do believe in it. I totally respect that it is a sacred institution, a contract you do not go into lightly. And therefore, I have no romantic notions of it. While most girls dreamed of how they would look on their wedding day, I--at a very early age--had a startlingly clear concept of marriage: It is a life of complete and selfless service. So the gown, flowers and all of course had to be gorgeous and perfect! It's the last day you'll ever truly be your own true self. The rest of your life will be in servitude to your husband, your children and your now two families. Not that that's a bad thing, okay? A life of service can actually be filled with meaning. But do I have to rush into that?

Most of my early life, I had been taught to be a wife. I learned to cook, to clean, to wash and iron and mend clothes, to walk and sit and behave like a good wife would. Those skills are useful especially when you're living on your own. But back in the days, I resented the lessons so much (especially since I also had to actually serve everyone in the family--that's 10 of us. So you can understand that I'm quite tired of all this serving business). They were taught--not for my OWN benefit, but for the benefit of my future husband. It's hardly inspiring really, being told that I have to be beautiful all the time, and to be polite and pleasant, and charming and efficient, and dutiful, obedient and submissive--for an unknown MAN. I think parents should instruct all those things (which I believe are good) to their daughters and tell them it's for their own good, not because a man will benefit from such qualities one day. Parang bonus na lang yun, diba?

I do want to get married one day far off in the distant future. When I'm ready to serve. When I'm ready to lay down my life for people. When I'm ready to love--in all the true and deep and selfless sense of that word.

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UNASHAMED MISFIT
08/04/2005
07:46:50 AM

A new favorite quote:
"The wizards represent all that the true 'muggle' most fears: They are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!"
--J.K. Rowling, SALON

Too true!

You cowards out there who're so afraid of people who are loving life and being themselves, take heed! There is no ounce of magic in you. You will never understand the exquisite beauty and thrilling adventure of being alive if you can't accept your individuality and the lovely differences of each and everyone on earth.

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ALL ABOUT VINCE
09/08/2005 10:30:31 AM

I'm in love. I would never have thought it can actually happen in real life but after six years five months and three days, I look at Vince and realize I'm still crazy about this guy!

Now, it's not been a bed of roses all those six years. We've fought. And then we've fought badly. But we talk and talk and talk till it's okay and then it's wonderful again. Well, even when we fight or during the bad times, it was never of utter despair because we knew we were going to work things out anyway. We have never ever broken up. It is never a prerogative. Will Smith was once asked why his marriage was so intact and he said, "There is no Plan B." He said that signing a prenuptial, thinking of divorce, preparing for a life without your significant other is Plan B. And when you have a Plan B, there's no way you're going to work hard to make Plan A work. Sensible man, this Will Smith. So is Vince.

That's one of the things I love about Vince. He's smart and very very logical. In all our time together, I have never felt bored with him. He always has something interesting to say. He's always poking around for something new to know and he's always encouraging me in my self-improvement pursuits. Like my French classes.

That's another thing I love about Vince. He's so secure and mature and supportive. He has no qualms about my wearing sexy clothes, dyeing my hair crazy colors, going out all night with people he doesn't know... He has never ever told me I can't do anything. He encourages me to state my opinions all the time, he encourages me to make friends, he loves hearing about my adventures without him, he respects my need to be alone, he understands my need to be unmarried and my fear of becoming a mother. He lets me be who I am. He just doesn't like green eyeshadow on me! Now--aside from the eyeshadow comment--the ability of a man to allow his woman to be who she is and to do what she wants speaks volumes about that man's capability to trust and respect his woman and himself.

A secure and confident man is hell of a lot sexy.

And sexiness is something I also love about Vince. Looking at him--quiet, slim, and so docile-looking--sex may be the last thing on your mind. But when I look at him or think about him, that's the first thing on my mind! And how can I not think about spending 24/7 wrapped around this man? This man who is so passionate and eager to please and sweet and romantic and funny and naughty and amazingly smart and an endless source of surprise?

Yup, that's Vince and more. A whole lot more. I'll never find someone like him. I'm deeply, madly, incredibly, tenderly, passionately in love with him. Hence, I'm looking forward to forever with this man.

COMMENT:
Justinne
09/10/2005
08:35:11 AM
Woohoo! There's two of us now. Thought I was the only one very much in love in this world. =P
But really, I'm so happy for you (and Vince, too). Always stay happy and in love, Franz dear!


Liz
09/29/2005 05:45:50 PM
Awwww...you're very lucky, but at the same time, Vince is very lucky to have you :-) One day, I hope I'll have that special someone too :-) But enough about me....Happy for you! :-)


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BLESSINGS GALORE!
11/16/2005
10:52:32 AM

I had a very interesting evening today. The editors of T3, Total Girl and OK! were invited to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Promenade Greenhills. We learned about how tea is made, the various types, the nuances in flavor, plus we got to sample their wonderful teas, breads and dishes. Man, I didn't even know cafes served real GOOD food! Well, they don't; that's why I can't stand those places. Then we had this evening at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and my eyes were opened! Grabe, sarap! Vince and I were absolutely stunned at the tea they served. We have been tea drinkers for years but tonight, we are ashamed to call ourselves that. How can we be fans of tea and NOT KNOW what we learned and tasted tonight? Now we understand why the tea at supermarkets were reasonably priced--they taste awful compared to CBTL. There's no going back for us now!

This is one of the reasons why I love my job. I get to meet lots of people, learn new things, go to new places, and eat so well! For FREE!

Just recently, Lucy Torres taught us how to select cheeses for entertaining, I had a fantastic dinner (made my toes curl and my eyes roll in their sockets!) at the Manila Pen while I watched a fashion show, had a delightful afternoon with Audrey Tan and Rep. Miguel Zubiri talking about love and weddings, got to eat a whole meal made of the ingredients of Euphoria, a new perfume from CK (it was a fragrant experience, I must say), and was practically given a shopping spree by Debenhams (which I spent on mama, papa and Vince). That's just recently. I could go on and on about the many wonderful things I get to see and eat and do every month!

Growing up, I didn't have much. While I felt there was a world of experiences out there, I was always told I had enough, that I'm blessed, that I shouldn't look for more. Well, now experiencing all these things for free... NOW I can say I'm REALLY blessed!

It's amazing how the world is so full of beautiful things. Delightful things! Whenever I taste a treat like a delectable cheese platter served with dry wine and fruit, I am overwhelmed at how God can create such wonders and how He has given people the talent to put together these awesome dishes and how He has given me the senses to experience them. I mean, when the flavors hit your tongue, the smells, the textures, the gorgeous colors of the food... that's when you know how it really feels to be alive! I feel the same way when I go see a fashion show with beautiful clothes and design, or when I meet people who are so talented and driven to use their life for some good, or when I get products that work like magic because they make me look fabulous almost instantly, or when I go to places and I see how breathtaking the world really is. I mean, how can you NOT believe there is a God when you get to experience all these wonderful things?

Makes me wonder why my parents insisted that we remain poor to be holy. WHY?! How can you appreciate life and God when you're miserable?

COMMENT:
Justinne
11/16/2005
05:50:18 PM
Amen! God is really amazing. I just love Him!!!
Anyway, una muna, let me greet you a happy belated birthday. :D Pangalawa, paumanhin po at hindi ako nakapagparamdam nung huling uwi ko. :P Promise, I will contact you pag-uwi namin sa December. I hope you won't be too busy, though. Pero kahit pa busy ka, kailangang magkita tayo. Miss na kita e. :) Muahz!


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(...to be continued)

New Blog, Old Posts

Hello. My name is Frances, and this is my new blog.

I've discontinued my Friendster blog for two reasons: I don't want to pay for it anymore, and I didn't like how a visitor had to be signed in to Friendster before he/she can post a comment. So here I am!

I still kept the old title, though. Topaz Horizon. Topaz is my favorite gem. It's also my birth gemstone.

I find it such a waste that my other posts will be deleted soon (I have until June 6 to transfer posts here!) so this first post will be a very long post. I'm putting here the best of the other blog. Enjoy!

MUSIC MUSINGS
05/24/2005 05:21:11 AM

I have no passion for music.

Vince was telling me the other night that everyone should study music. We were watching Discovery Channel and a particular topic was being discussed--that of the role of music in Christian history. They were saying that music is a mathematical method of subjugating new cultures. I wasn't really listening. As I said, I wasn't into the thing. But Vince then said what he said, and all my insecurities came bubbling up again.

Coming from a musical family, I have learned to tune it out, instead of embracing it as part of my heritage. It must have been all those piano and voice lessons where I was punished repeatedly, not for being dull but for questioning the methods of teaching used. My family and teachers got upset, and finally, through sheer force of will, I defied them all and said I will not study music. Ever. So while my siblings and cousins are playing numerous instruments, singing at concerts, composing songs and making albums, I'm writing. I never felt the loss. Well, except when my voice went away. I can't sing anymore.

So it's such a tragic irony that I fell in love with a man who is passionate about music. He is in love with all forms of music (except pop!). He really knows a lot about it, too. It's not just a laid-back appreciation but an active participation in the listening, discussion and love for it. I know he's disappointed that I don't care for it not one bit.

And then last year he met a girl who loved music. She says that music is "the river of her life." Vince was swept off his feet. He was intrigued. Fascinated. He couldn't get enough of this girl. I was furious, of course. I railed and wept and stormed. He said he didn't love her (which I do believe now is true); he just was amazed that he met a kindred soul. Someone who understood that huge aspect of him. And I was devastated. Especially since I could have been someone who shared that passion if I had grown up with different decisions. I had thought after that I would change to what I "should be", embrace music again, study it, learn its nuances, and maybe Vince will find me fascinating.

Strange.

I'm glad I didn't do that. I would've been doing it out of insecurity. I would've done it for him. Wrong motivations.

More than a year later, though, I am being reintroduced to Tori Amos' poetry, Maroon 5's scathing beats, swirling classical music, Lenny Kravitz's erotica, musicals and operas and so much more. It's wonderful actually. I like it. I don't think I'll ever love it as I prefer silence always. But it's an aspect of life I'm now more willing to explore. I've grown up a bit. And I like it more because it happened out of my personal awareness to discover more about life. And music, of course, makes up so much of life. I have been missing out a lot.

And obviously, there was no need to change myself. Vince is still with me despite my non-musicality. And I do believe we're even more in love than before. Thank God our love is more than about the music.

COMMENT:
Jillaceous
05/26/2005 08:00:37 PM
Fran,
You weren't meant to make music alone...
You and Vince -- now that's good music!
xxx

Ria
05/29/2005 12:04:15 AM
can totally relate - though, we come from different backgrounds, with me coming from a not-a-very-musical family... all my exes have been musica buffs. but i think this year, i started 'changing' a bit, for myself. have started listening to different tunes, orienting myself, but it's slow going, only last week i had to ask what r&b meant! hehe.
but im so glad to hear (read) that you and vince are still very much in love. its inspiring!


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SADNESS SMUDGE ON HAPPINESS
06/02/2005 04:44:09 AM

I had a strange thought today. After lunch, Vince and I were talking about an apparently silly thing--if we were interns now, which magazine would we work for? So we were joking about the different magazines and editorial teams, talking about the pros and cons then Vince asked me, "Didn't you want to be in Marie Claire?"

And I'm caught suddenly in that moment, looking at myself in all honesty and seriously wondering why I had changed my mind.

Then I said, "I don't know, Vince. I still love that magazine but I'm a different person now from last year."

And he said, strangely insightful, "Yes, you are."

And we smiled and continued to smoke in silence.

What I meant by that is I'm no longer the gung-ho, let's-change-the-world activist that I was. I'm no longer the angry young feminist. I've changed, and I didn't even notice. Till today, of course.

I'm still very much the feminist, don't get me wrong. But there's no more anger there. I feel that battles can now be won with very feminine traits--gentleness, kindness, perseverance, endurance, understanding, and love. No chest-pounding, foot-stomping, screaming protests for me anymore.

I always did say that women are most powerful when they are at their most feminine.

Also, I realized as I typed away at an article this afternoon, I have changed from the happy-go-lucky, not-a-care-in-the-world girl of last year. Well, actually last year was such a traumatic time for me. I do feel I grew up drastically in the space of 12 months. But now, looking back, I realize that while I may not be the carefree girl anymore, in a strange way, I am so much happier now.

My happiness stems from knowing that everything I have is very fragile and fleeting, that I can't claim anything as my own, that the world can fall away any moment. Everything, suddenly, is so dear. A smile, a laugh, an I love you, a handhold, a kiss. My job. My few few friends. My family. My life.

This temporal state of things is something we've always been warned about, but I never really felt it to be true till last year. So everything now is suddenly grandly majestic and beautiful. My happiness is always tinged with a little sadness smudge. And its presence makes every tiny bit of happiness all the more real and precious.

* * * * * * *

CHRISTIANITY COMMENTS
06/19/2005 02:53:33 AM

Will it be so surprising to say that I'm a born-again Christian? Honestly, I don't want to be called that anymore. I just tell people I'm a very spiritual person, someone who believes in God with all her heart and struggle everyday to be like Christ. I am not ashamed to be part of Christ. After all, He has rescued me from so many horrors. A lot of people will be more surprised to know what I've been though in my life--and it's not just the abusive relationship I had in college, which people do know about. I've had plenty more sinister experiences than that. Thank God for the resilience of childhood and His unending grace.

Still, I don't like being called born-again. They now have this terrible reputation of being some of the most judgmental people on earth. Gandhi once said that he admired Jesus Christ and would've followed Christ himself were it not for Christians. That is so sad. Well, I'm not going to be Pontius Pilate and say I'm so gloriously holy myself. That's why it's sad that a lot of people get shocked when they find out I'm, well, born-again. I'm a highly sexual being, I'm a bit averse to marriage, I'm very proud and selfish. Not very admirable qualities there, you may agree. I have a lot of things to change in my life but one thing I do try not to be is judgmental and cruel to other people.

There's this girl I know who got "saved" last year. I don't know... She seems to have turned out for the worse. She's more impatient with people now, more judgmental, more masungit and angry. Worse, she now has that fire-and-brimstone attitude and she wields it with all the fury of a holy man. "Everyone's a sinner! No one's good enough! You're all going to hell!" Except her, of course. I'm not surprised. Most new Christians are really like that. I should know. I grew up in that world. These Christians revel in their new-found salvation and like to parade it around: "I'm going to heaven, I'm going to heaven!" and then they love to point accusing fingers at other people. As if they never sinned, or keep sinning themselves. She's so smug, this girl. I'm glad I don't have to deal with her anymore so often. It's so sad. It's people like her that turned me off from my church. My so-called Christian friends treated the new guy I was dating back then--who unfortunately happened to be an "unbeliever"-- like a pariah. Is that how Jesus would've treated him? Strange.

The thing is with these people, they like the thought that they're "washed with the blood" and others aren't. They become holier-than-thou. Having Christ in our lives, we should be humbled even more. We should have more compassion towards other people, knowing that Christ died even for them and that they need Him and His love. And that we are MERE INSTRUMENTS of His will. Instead, we born-again Christians behave like it's an exclusive club. "You're an unbeliever. I'm a believer. If you'd like to gain exclusive entry into heaven, here's the ticket: Say this prayer and voila! We're better than everybody else!"

It's just tragic. It turns away souls. I should know. It turned me away. I just don't want to have anything to do with these people. I just want to meet people who love God, are humble, and spiritual. People who are earnestly trying to follow His will and serve Him. People who'd like to spread the love of God in a humble manner.

I don't want to be surrounded by these ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing. They're out to kill.

COMMENT:
Heinz
07/06/2005 06:38:07 PM
Aha! Kapatid pala kita. ;)
I don't like the term either. For one, it's an oxymoron. And two, yes, it has been misused and abused by all kinds of people. And three, the behavior of some have turned off people. Did you watch the movie "Saved!"?
But you have to be patient also with some Christians. We are, after all, all works in progress. Pag-pray mo na lang sila. :)


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DEFINING ROMANTIC
06/21/2005
10:22:10 PM

"Perhaps the greatest measure of love is not in ending up with someone who Fate decreed was yours but choosing someone simply because you both want to make it work. I think that's more romantic, don't you?"

Vince said that. And you know what? He's right.

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(to be continued...)