Friday, June 22, 2007

My engagement proposal in Marie Claire!

Lest I forget...

To my Filipino readers, please pick up a copy of the June issue of Marie Claire. The funny story of my proposal to Vince is there in titillating detail! With photos!

Yes, see the cover on the left? That pink blurb by Heart Evangelista's neck is MINE! Oh, and Tessa Valdes', too. We were both featured as the gutsy gals who took matters into their own hands.

So make sure you grab a copy before the newsstands run out of issues... or replenish them with the July ones!

Misunderstood

Just came back from a lovely dinner with my Assumption Antipolo friends, Kristine and Pinky. I love them to death. Though we see each other once or twice a year, we always pick up where we left off. These are two of the very few people in the world who know me (the others would be Vince, Aida, and AJ. That's it!) Strangely, considering how very rarely we see and talk to each other, I am amazed that they have no judgments or misconceptions about who I am.

I am in this mood because Kristine had mentioned that in college, some of her classmates from Manila Science High (my high school) had wondered why she was friends with me. Kristine is a very sweet girl, smart and funny and ambitious and bossy and morally upright and all the good things a person can be. Pinky's the same way, too. And so am I (though I am less bossy than Kristine, and less funny than Pinky!). So I assume her classmates could not understand why someone like her could be friends with someone like me.

In high school, for some reason, I had gained quite a terrible reputation. My friends told me that behind my back, people whispered that I was a cheap slut, I slept around, I was stupid but got good grades through shady ways... and other nasty things like that. I never understood how I got this rep. A few of my friends guessed the rumors probably came from envious girls. But why? Why that degree of evil from fellow children like myself? I was 13 when I started hearing these things. At that age, and straight out of a convent, I didn't even know how babies were made!

Back then and until I left my parents' house six years ago, I had a 6 PM curfew, which I obeyed to the second. I knew better than to go home at 6:01. I may be headstrong but I never broke any of my grandparents' rules. I enjoyed going to church and reading my Bible. I may not have had the highest grades in school but that's because I didn't like studying--yet when college exams rolled around (and I didn't review for those!), I still easily passed, unlike the other snooty kids from the star sections who religiously went to review classes and still failed miserably (there is a God!).

Sure, I had friends, in school and in church. Yet sometimes I know they wonder about me. They spent a lot of time with me to know that I can't possibly be the terrible person I was rumored to be. And yet I knew, and I know till now, they wonder about me. I also know that my family, my own parents and sister and brothers, they wonder about me.

Which brings me back to Kristine who was telling me at dinner, "I knew who you were in grade school so though they asked me how I could be friends with you, I knew you possibly can't be who they say you were. I know you."

I am overwhelmed at that complete trust.

I have always felt that the truth is more important. I know who I am. I am not the girl described by those people who claimed to have known me. I am a good person. That is all I need to know. My God is my only judge, and He is the only one I need answer to. I am strong in my firm belief that my heart, my mind, my conscience, and my body are clean and pure and holy.

Yet when I hear a few kind words thrown my way, I weep, my defensive walls swept away by the force of so much love and faith.

The real me is real to somebody else after all.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bible bitches

Loved this post from the blog of my dearest friend, Faye. She listed the Top 5 Bitches in the Bible. Very good list except that, as I am a Born-Again Christian and read the archaic King James version, Lilith does not exist for me. Her list goes:
  1. Bathsheba - for committing adultery with King David and allowing the king to assassinate her husband Uriah so that she can become Queen.
  2. Delilah - well, we all know her story. It's full of S's--Samson, secret, super strength, sleep, scissors, snip, snip!
  3. Lilith - dunno her but Faye says she's supposedly the first wife of Adam who left the First Man Ever because he wanted to do the missionary position all the time. Hahaha! Lilith, missionary can be fun!
  4. Salome - she danced for King Herod then asked for the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter as her reward. May silver platter nga ba? Must read my Bible again...
  5. Sarah - she was Father Abraham's wife. And she was drop-dead gorgeous. And so scaredy-cat Abe asked they pretend to be siblings because he was scared the king of Egypt will execute him to have Sarah (see what David did). Sarah agrees but when Egypt royal asks for her to share his bed, Sarah willingly obliges. Nothing like a king!
I add to Faye's list:
Esther, the queen who seduced her Persian king to command the execution of Haman, his most trusted (and her most reviled) adviser.
And Rahab, the woman who helped the Israelites bring down the mighty walls of Jericho. Oh, what's so bad about helping the people of God? She was from Jericho! She betrayed her own people!
And Jezebel, the Phoenician queen who had prophets killed left and right, even telling her king to kill a man just because they wanted his vineyard.
And Job's wife, who told Job to reject God after all his trials. You have to read that story to understand why everyone thinks God's worst trial to Job was keeping his wife alive!

I'm sure there are more. Let me read up again... =)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Divorce rate higher in Born-Again marriages

For those of us married and unmarried, statistics about marriage will always be interesting. So when I saw this study from the Manolo for the Brides site, I just had to share it with you. It's a very interesting entry but what caught my eye is this fact:

"Divorces reached a peak in the early eighties at a rate of about 40 percent (which was the highest level since the 1950s), and divorce has since entered a 20-year decline. The current rate of divorce is about 30-34% in any given year, and is lower among the college-educated (about 20%), Catholics, Muslims, and atheists. In a comparison of various religious denominations, the group that actually performs the worst are Baptists and Evangelical Christians, so I guess it makes sense that they seem to be most concerned with the idea of a divorce epidemic."

Oh my goodness. I'm an Evangelical Christian. Yikes! Come to think of it, in my former church,which was Baptist, so many people are unhappily married. In fact, in my family alone, my older brother is separated from his wife. But my Catholic relatives seem to be making their marriages work. Now I married a Catholic. And his family is like solid rock.

Then Vince said he read in The Economist that studies have shown that the wealthier the couple is, the less likely they are to get divorced. I dunno why that is but perhaps these couples have more to lose, like their reputations, social standing, and their money, so they work on their marriage harder.

So why is it that Baptists and Evangelical Christians perform the worst in marriages? Well, I noticed in my former church that the wealthier couples, like my parents' friends, are very happily married. And those who aren't doing well financially also don't do well in their marriage. So maybe it isn't about religion or lack thereof (after all the statistic says that atheists are actually in strong marriages). It must be money.

I guess we should be thankful that there is no divorce in the Philippines yet. We're such a poor country! Well, I guess that's why Filipino men are infamous adulterers then. Gee, divorce or adultery? Which is the lesser evil?