Friday, October 02, 2009

How one storm changed my life

Bad things don't have to be the end of the world. For me, one bad storm was the beginning of a whole new world.

As regular readers of this blog know, Vince and I have been together since 1999. You also know that I never wanted to get married. While I loved Vince, I was quite averse to the idea of marriage, even if it was to Vince. But on September 28, 2006, that all changed when Typhoon Milenyo blew into town.

We were in Vince's 23rd-floor apartment that stormy morning and as I was waiting for him to dress up for work, I heard the sound of wind whistling fiercely and of water dripping... fast. I looked at the kitchen sink—nope, faucet was off. I looked under the sink—nope, no leaks. I looked for the source of the sound, which was getting faster and louder, and to my horror discovered that water was pouring in through the windows! The wind was so strong, it was literally pushing in water through the air holes of the glass windows (the air holes regulate air pressure). The good news was the glass didn't break; the bad news was the entire apartment was surrounded by windows!

I immediately alerted Vince and we tried plugging the holes. Didn't work. The wind was so strong, the water was actually jetting through! Vince hollered at me to save his precious books, which were shelved under the windows. He didn't need to tell me twice. He was busy unplugging his entertainment system. The water rose higher and higher, spreading throughout the parquet floors. It was so surreal because here we were 23 floors up and we were flooded in!

To make a long story short, Vince and I moved furniture and mopped up water the entire day, throwing buckets of it in the sink and the shower, still unbelieving that we were in a flood. But I liked how we handled the situation: Vince was entirely in control and I didn't lose my head either. We were a team, calm and methodical, not needing to tell each other what to do (although we were deeply upset inside!). In the evening, as we sank our tired asses onto the sofa, I remember looking at Vince and thinking, "I'm marrying this man."

Nope, it wasn't a romantic moment. I didn't feel warm and fuzzy inside. I was tired and cold and wet and hungry, and Vince was the same. We weren't even talking to each other, so exhausted were we! Not exactly a scene out of a movie. But there I was, looking at him coldly assessing the damage, and I knew then that when I go through the worst storms life can unleash, there is only one person I want to be with. The decision to marry him wasn't borne of a romantic or passionate emotion, it was born out of simple logic and it is perhaps the most intelligent decision I've ever made.

Three months after Typhoon Milenyo hit, I proposed marriage with a Sony Playstation 3 and Vince accepted and presented me with a diamond ring. Not a bad exchange, I say! We married in April 2007, just seven months after Milenyo. So, incredibly, Milenyo led to marriage!

(click on pics to read the newspaper article on our wedding)
What wonderful changes do you think Ondoy will bring?


  1. awww super cute story! :) btw was your wedding motif chocolates and strawberries? :) if so, we have the same motif!!! that's what we'll have on our big day!! :)

  2. Yup, strawberries and chocolate! We met and fell in love in Baguio and we wanted to get married there but our families didn't haha. So the strawberry pink is for Baguio's yummy berries and the chocolate is... because Vince's first gift to me was chocolates, which he gave to me on the bus as we left Baguio =D

  3. awwww...
    such a sweet story,hun!

    you know, i think that a marriage born not by sparks or anything like that are the kind that last. It's because it has a good foundation to start with compare to a partnership born by a simple admiration.

    you really look like a happy bride,hun

    you're positively glowing!

    as what they say, there's a silver lining in every sure that there would be some nice stories lurking somewhere waiting to be discovered that was born by a tragic moment.

  4. Cute story and what an interesting story why your theme is chocolate and strawberries! :)

    Seriously, I do hope a lot of people will have something good after these storms pass. Thank you for sharing your story. It's an inspiration especially on this rather bleak day.

  5. very nice story. hope something good happens in our country after these trying times.

  6. its such an inspiration to read both your love story! I know what you mean about both of you staying calm, I am glad you are safe and everything went ok :) God bless everyone!

  7. This is so cool, Neighbor :) I never knew about this part in your decision to marry :)

  8. Hay Frances! Your story still makes me kilig up to this day. I still have that I Proposed to My Man Article and I kept reading your share of the story.

    I wish I could do the same. And I hope Ondoy will bring me a wonderful, romantic change too.

  9. Cute story! Is that you and your hubby in the magazine clippings?

  10. Aww such a cute story =)

    My BF and I were off for a year, until I got my impacted tooth removed, and while I'm in blood and pain, he was there, sweating & trying to be calm for me. Then I knew, he is still the one. Not a romantic situation at all hehe.

    Thanks for sharing, and If Ondoy (Ketsana) brought something positive, that is Filipinos have proven that we will never forget bayanihan spirit.

  11. re: motif -- us naman we chose strawberries and chocolates because these two are our favorite desserts! plus he likes the color brown, i love anything pink! great minds think alike haha :P

  12. As much as I love your rabbit posts, your entries about Vince are my favorites. Nakakakilig. Makes me want to get married na, haha!

    Stay in love!

  13. Ever since I was five, my dad has always been out of the country to work. He would roughly spend a month with us after every contract so he could find another job abroad. My siblings and I weren't very comfortable with him around the house probably because we haven't really spend a lot of quality time with him compared to our mom who has been there every day of our lives.

    Last year, we asked him to finally stay at home and probably find work here (he's a chef, btw). My brother and I already have our jobs so we thought he really doesn't have to work far away. We also wanted to fix a lot of things and communication problems in our family. He wouldn't listen stating how little salary he could earn here compared to what he could earn in luxury cruise ships and hotels. When he withdrew from his previous contract last first week of September, he went back home to find another job.

    On the day of his flight, Ondoy hit. His flight was postponed. The next morning when we're about to get dressed to catch his rescheduled flight, he finally said, "Sige na nga, dito na lang ako."

    He's training for a Sous Chef position now somewhere in Libis. I don't want to thank Ondoy considering the horrifying images I've seen but he caused something meaningful to my family and I can't help but thank God for Ondoy.


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