Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What was under the Christmas tree

This holiday was a good holiday for selfish little me. Under the tree, I found...

... yummy delights:
Nigella Lawson's special fruit cake, food for the gods, chocolates from the Manila Peninsula's chocolate shop, a fruit cake made by my ninang sa kasal's favorite nun, a box of Pepsi Deluxe drinks, homemade cheese pimiento (and yes, Sis D, it truly is the best pimiento spread I've ever had!), brownies, food baskets, a gigantic box of oranges

... kikay stuff:
a silver bag filled with L'Oreal goodies, Body Shop's Rich Plum bath and lotion set, a cute makeup bag stuffed with Maybelline makeup, a Lancome Miracle Forever perfume gift set, Revlon Professional hair products, my favorite Kerastase products, Belo whitening range (which smells like Eternity perfume), Revlon nail polish in Christmas red, Burt's Bees lip gloss set, an Urban Spa massage gift certificate

... things for the house:
fragrant Fruits & Passion hand soaps, fluffy Bayo towels (which my bunny Alice all claimed for herself with even one small towel going with her to her grave *sniff*), room and linen sprays, a fluffy bathrobe, DVDs and CDs, DVD of first season of HBO's Rome, a huge striped coffee mug, a beautiful lacquered Japanese box from Tokyo, a mini stone fountain, huge wine goblets

... odds and ends:
hardbound journal, 2008 date books, a Rolodex, a super duper nice hardbound travel journal, a leather bill holder, desk stationery, various USB sticks, umbrellas, tickets to Barney the Purple Dinosaur show, a pink bunny stuffed toy

... closet fillers:
a funky Bayo bag, a Proudly Pinay shirt, cute red Crocs in style Alice *sniff*, a Guess pique shirt, a lovely silk scarf, Guess shades, a black Zara top, a pretty peasant blouse, an extremely well-designed many-pocketed bag organizer, a pa-cute pair of black-and-white ballet flats, and...


This last - and my most favorite gift this year - is from Vince, of course. I didn't expect it at all. I knew he was going to get me a new wallet (my current one is tattered at the seams) but he told me that the yellow Samsonite wallet I wanted was sold out so he got me the Fino bag instead. Hahaha, I was never so happy to find out something I wanted was gone forever because I got something way better instead!

My Christmas gift to myself was my black Nine West pumps. They look frikkin' good. They're also just as painful. Argh. If I must suffer for vanity, I don't need to pay for the suffering, right? Next time I'll buy something just as painful but at a lesser price.

Oh, and baby bunny Alice was also my Christmas gift to me, Vince and Galady. Alas, she died before Christmas. Sad. So we've been extra loving to Galady, our dear old bunny. She's almost six years old, and that's quite old in bunny years. We'll get her a companion bunny again in a few weeks.

This was truly a good Christmas. Because people were so generous, Vince and I were in a giving mood, too. Well, in the beginning it was just Vince who was feeling generous. I was feeling very Scrooge (because Alice had died and I didn't feel the Christmas spirit) but as the presents came in and the people around us were so loving and sweet, I finally got into the whole spirit of the season and had to panic-shop! Good thing I'm a very good panic-shopper - everybody LOVED our gifts!

To all my generous family and friends, THANK YOU for the lovely gifts! More than your darling presents, I am grateful I have you in my life. Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

So long, sweet Alice

Last Monday, I got a new rabbit. In the bunch, she was the one most full of life. Then I touched her and she curled herself around my hand and licked my finger. I fell in love.

Meet Alice.

Vince isn't very fond of animals but when Alice came home, he also fell for her. First, she had the most startling blue-gray eyes. When she looked at you, she looked like she could understand you. She was charming and bold and happy and smart. In a second, she figured out how to escape her huge cage by jumping up on her gold play box and sprinting out truimphantly.

Galadriel, an old rabbit, is used to being alone now. Usually, too, rabbits don't get along very well if they didn't grow up together. But when the new stranger scampered about her, neither Galady could resist Alice's infectious joy.

So for four glorious days, laughter and delight filled our home. Affectionate, gentle, perky, friendly, and very clever - that's Alice and more. She warmed our hearts with just a look from her bright blue eyes, a cuddle with her soft white furry body, and a little binky of joy.

Today, at 5 AM, Alice left our world. She had stopped eating on Thursday. Yesterday, she hardly drank. We worried about her but she skipped and jumped and played with us. She seemed okay. At 2:30 AM, as I was writing an article, Alice kept me company, delightful as always. She seemed not to want us to worry. But finally, at 4 AM, her little heart gave all she could give and she lay still, hardly breathing. We rushed her to a vet but in less than 5 minutes of IV injections and even after massaging her beautiful little heart, Alice passed on.

We wrapped her up in her soft baby towel and nudged her gently into her favorite gold box. Later, we will bury her in my mother's lovely garden where she will rest, surrounded by bright flowers and green grass.

Hey, sweet Alice, did you ever see the sun or play under the stars? Ah, no matter, you blazed and sparkled more brightly than they ever could.

Good bye, sweet Alice. We miss you so.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I got everything I need

I grew up listening to country songs. Though I never really liked country music, my life seemed to have been made for country music. Today I heard a country song that made me think of how complete my life is and made me think of the two people in my life who I wish were still here to share my happiness.

I grew up with my grandparents and I love love love them so much. Lolo Manong, a policeman, was the first man I went to for love advice and Lola Auring, a housewife, was the first woman I went to for... well, everything. They encouraged me to pursue my passions, they cooked and cleaned for me so that I'd have all the time to do my homework and write my stories, they loved my friends and advised me on the "friends" I should get rid of. They also carefully guided me on matters of the heart and, though the guys I dated never met their expectations (Lola: "He's all right, but you can do better."), they loved them anyway.

So when they died nine years ago, my world just never felt the same. Not long after they were buried, I met Vince. I wish they'd met Vince--the realization of everything they wanted for me.

Lolo and Lola, I know you're looking down from heaven and I know you're very happy for me, and I know you love Vince the way you always always loved me. I also know you're proud that I've fulfilled all my dreams and more! But most of all, I know you're proud that above all these, I've learned to treasure what you always taught me to treasure: four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

by Randy Travis

My Grandpa farmed for a livin',
Content to live the simpler kind of life.
My Grandma worked in the kitchen,
Awfully proud to be that farmer's wife.
They used to say that they'd got everything that they need,
Each mornin' they wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Here I am, ring on my finger:
Grandpa's little grandson, all grown up.
I found my rock and I plan to keep her.
I wish they were here to see the two of us.
They'd be proud to know we've got everything that we need,
Each mornin' we wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

With the highway twice as wide,
And the farmland sub-divided.
It's good to know that some things never change.
I'm still lovin' an I'm still livin',
By those simple words of wisdom:
Life an' love come down to just four things.

My Grandpa, Lord knows, I miss him,
An' the way that he and Grandma looked at life.
And each day, I count my blessings,
To have that kind of love here by my side.
No matter what, we know we've got everything that we need,
Each mornin' we wake up:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Yeah, we've got everything that we need,
Between the two of us:
Four walls, three words, two hearts, one love.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


As some of you may know, I was raised by strict Roman Catholic grandparents and zealous Baptist parents (more like mother actually). So I like praying a lot and I do enjoy reading my Bible except when I come across verses that shatter my marrow and pierce my heart. Like this one:

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Oh, that sounds like a description of me. Well, not all of it (I'm a very grateful person, and loving and generous, a believer of the good in man, and extremely loyal and faithful), but there's enough there to make me bristle.

Of all the faults, the one that stabs me most is the "truce breakers". I made a vow once to God--I wouldn't have a boyfriend for two years--which I broke eight months in. I know it sounds so silly and it does seem like a stupid promise made by an empty-headed girl; but I was young and heartbroken and in my distress, I dropped down on my knees and offered the next two years of my life in God's exclusive service. I was okay in the beginning but love--my one weakness--found me once more and I succumbed.

My broken vow still plagues me to this day because of these verses:

"When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you." Deuteronomy 23:21

"It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Ecclesiastes 5:5

I'm a good promise-keeper but that one I couldn't keep, and I ask God to forgive me. All the time. I know God forgives but sometimes I wonder if in His forgiveness, He spares you from the consequences. I don't really think so.

That's one of the reasons I delayed marriage actually. Marriage is one huge promise made with your spouse, before society and government, and to God Himself. Because in my mind I hadn't kept a simple vow a few years ago, I was afraid that I may not be able to keep my marriage vows, and I was tormented by this fear. I wonder if that was God's punishment for me. I hope it was because Vince and I suffered enough over my indecision. But if that wasn't God's requirement, then I shudder in my skin fearing what it is.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I really ought to be at work

Instead I am here at home, having just had lunch, and musing about my life.

My husband has gone to work of course, at the usual hour of 8:30 AM. Because Vince is used to waking up at 10, going to work these days is utter hell for him. I usually go to work with him, too, but today, after making him brewed coffee and buttered bread topped with mango-vanilla jam then kissing him at the door, I decided to stay in bed. So I had the whole house to myself, had lunch all by myself. And I loved it.

When you're married and when you're in the media, alone time is very very rare. It is so unusual that when it suddenly springs upon you, you are taken aback and drown for a few moments in the silence. If you like yourself, you welcome that quiet. If you don't like your own company, you immediately pick up the phone. Thankfully, I love myself very much.

Peace comes with loving yourself.