Friday, August 07, 2009

Nicole's nice nails

My sister Jacqui and my niece Nicole came by this weekend. Jacqui is regularly at my home because her dermatologist's clinic is in my building. For this particular visit, she brought Nicole because she just turned 8 years old last Wednesday. And for her birthday gift, she asked for new school shoes.

Anyway, while Jacqui was getting some top acne treatment, I did Nicole's nails. First, a base coat, then fun glittery stickers, then a final sweep of clear polish and voila!Nicole loved her nails! What a sweet silly girl! This is such a fun thing to do. And it's inexpensive, too. Nail stickers are available at Watson's and Face Shop and you can get nail polish just about anywhere! Little girls love it and you bond over the activity. Fun, fun, fun!

When Jacqui was done with the derma, off we went shopping for Nicole's shoes, slippers and socks--all very girly of course! I'm happy I was able to take my sister and niece shopping. I know God has blessed me a lot and spreading the joy--through shopping!--blesses me yet again. Love it, love it!

Ahhhh, Friday!

While the wind continues to wail outside our high-rise windows alarmingly, I am still feeling very happy today. Why? I am finally feeling much much better! I finally got well from the respiratory infection yesterday but I am starting to feel like it's really really gone just today. Since I've been bedridden for almost a week, everything has just piled up on me. The bills need to be paid, the grocery to be done, the chores have piled up, the rabbits are dirty, the house is a mess!

Vince usually helps with the chores but since he's been busy at work and then he's had to take care of me, the house has suffered. He doesn't seem to mind it except for one thing: He wants real home-cooked meals again. Poor husband has had to eat takeout. Well, that's the sad thing when I get sick--even I'm unhappy with the food because no one cooks so I hardly eat. The good thing is I am now suddenly slim! I wore jeans today and for the first time in two years--no muffin top! Considering I just stayed in bed all day for the last 5 days, I assume that the body's attempts to heal itself is a fantastic fat burner. That, coupled with my timid eating, has led to dresses and shirts and pants sliding on me easily. I love it!

Anyway, what I'm really saying is I'll be away all weekend--to clean the house, sort the laundry, iron clothes, clear my mess, shop, cook! Ack, just thinking about it makes me tired already. I'll go back to blogging next week. Meanwhile, please do have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Okay, I know I promised no more serious stuff but because everyone told me not to be a wuss and get bullied (thanks!) and today was the day we buried our beloved President Cory Aquino, let me tell you a story.

I spent my childhood studying at Assumption Convent, a beautiful sprawling school run by Augustinian nuns. It's tucked into a slope on the hills of Antipolo and I believe it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

In 1986, I was 10 years old and by then, my family had started attending a Baptist church but we didn't yet see any huge doctrinal differences (there are a few very big ones, by the way) so my parents didn't see any harm in continuing to send their kids to Catholic schools.

Fourth grade ('86-'87). I'm the fourth standing girl from right, with the white headband. 

Anyway, in Sunday School, we memorized Bible verses and just that particular Sunday, I had memorized Luke 18:14 "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." So I was very excited when at morning prayer on Monday, the nun—I forget her name—chose that exact same verse as our lesson. Usually, I was too sleepy to pay attention to morning prayer but that day, I was alert and so remembered this story vividly.

In 1986, the Filipinos had a peaceful revolution that overthrew a dictatorship and installed Corazon Aquino, a housewife and widow of the martyred Senator Ninoy Aquino, as the president of the Philippines. We were in a euphoric state and even though I was a kid, I felt the positive changes in the air. On that particular morning of Luke 18:14, the nun told us the importance of humility and gave as an example Cory and Ninoy. She said, "Ninoy was proud, as men usually are, always calling attention to themselves. Cory stayed in the background, as a woman should, supporting and caring for the people around her. But see how God works! Ninoy was humbled and his wife was exalted! So you, girls, should not be so ambitious. There is glory in serving others and if you are humble enough, God will see your humility and exalt you."

Now don't get mad. That's typical of an Assumption education—we Assumptionistas are really bred to become housewives (to powerful men, of course!). Kidding aside, we are taught to serve mankind and to always put God and others before us. It's not so bad—I am who I am because of my Assumption education and I will not hesitate to send my daughters there if the time comes. But back to Luke 18:14 and Cory and Ninoy...

I see the nun's point. I just feel bad that she thought that way about Ninoy, though! And he didn't fare so badly; after all, he is a National Hero, with his face on the PHP 500 bill no less! He's been exalted, too. Although, of course, as Cory joked (paraphrased), "I used to introduce myself as the wife of Ninoy Aquino. Now people describe him as my husband!"

When I was a kid, Papa used to tell me that I was too ambitious, a trait unbecoming of a woman. He also said I should change my goal to if I want to be a writer, I should marry one instead. Well, I found a better deal—I did become a writer and I married a writer! You can't say I wasn't an obedient daughter!

I do know that I am here for Vince and I am his most ardent fan and supporter. He is my first priority and I will serve him and his needs first. Yes, despite my feminism, I have no argument with submitting my will to my man because I have found joy in serving him. And, being the wonderful man that he is, his joy is also in serving me and making me happy! So it's not like I'm worse off. In fact, I am better off, now that I've set aside myself. There is a beautiful irony there, that in humility, there is even more glory. Cory and Ninoy and all the wonderful people out there—parents, husbands, wives, teachers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, you know who you are!—know this wonderful secret. And now I've shared it with you!

P.S. Vince just sighed, "Now prepare for the angry feminist comments!"

UPDATE: I want to reiterate that I am only happy serving Vince because he serves me, too. He puts me first so it's a give-give situation. This is not about me knowing my place. My man treats me like a queen so he is worth serving. If a man treats you any less, get out of there fast. He doesn't deserve your love and respect!