Sunday, March 13, 2022

Frances Finds: Concrete modern house in Antipolo

Okay, back to virtual house viewing! May reader kasi na nagsabi sa akin na gusto niya yung mga houses na nahahanap ko sa YouTube so game, share ako again. Anyway, to the new ones on the blog, I used to share house viewings because of quarantine since March 2020, diba, and hindi lang pala ako ang nahilig sa mga home tours. I've been watching house videos a lot because I imagine what life is with a garden or I'm researching for renovation ideas, ganyan. I'm subscribed to Bryce Langston's Living Big in a Tiny House, Jenna's Tiny House, Giant JourneyLevi Kelly's Airbnb weekly tours, and Never Too Small. I watch their videos when I wash the dishes!

But last year, I discovered local real estate videos. I like the Jas & Mr. Hi Guys! husband-and-wife team kahit na hingal na hingal lagi si misis. I watch practically all their videos. And if naghahanap kayo ng bahay sa east (Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay), check niyo videos nila.

Okay, so this is my favorite house so far. 

You might be surprised na gusto ko siya kasi Loyal Readers know I love midcentury-modern styles. Yung huge walls of windows, wood floors, space, space, space! And yes I love that but I also love concrete. Yes, concrete! Lately lang, mga a few years ago when my husband and I watched "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes" on Netflix (and I blogged about how you know your life is complete) and saw some really nice houses that were made of simple gray concrete.

And this is one concrete house I found locally that I really like!

Watch, watch:

Love the big windows! Love the little room sa ground floor which will be my husband's office. I like the small but efficient kitchen. I like the big rooms. I have 3 kids but they like sleeping in one room so I think the big room in front will be their bedroom and the smaller room at the back will be their study room. And I love the master bedroom, too! The only thing I don't like is the fact that the bathrooms don't have windows. So if I buy this (I won't hehe), bubutasin ko yung bathroom walls para may sunlight and ventilation.

Anyway, this house is in Mission Hills, Antipolo. Malayo ba yun sa NCR? I heard maganda raw dun, like super. So now I'm interested to go visit that area!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Why do people hate her?

At lunch yesterday, Liz Lanuzo of Project Vanity said she can't understand why people are so angry at the woman in the photo below.

(I edited this blog post to remove her name and will replace it with MM because anyone defending this woman gets so much hate! And I don't want that shit on my blog or in my headspace. So if you know who she is, you know her name. If you don't know her, that's okay!) 

Here is my explanation, which I wrote on Facebook but decided to put here instead because Facebook instantly flags as racist and hate speech many of the words in my explanation below (and that tells you all you need to know about the people who hate MM!):

Reasons why people hate MM

1. She and Prince H are in an equal and loving marriage and people don't like that. A woman who is respected by her husband, who doesn't know her place, a woman who has her own voice (vs the husband speaking for her), and her own money "diminishes" the man.

They also can't believe H would choose his wife over his original family. 🙄🙄🙄 So they think MM is making H her puppet simply because he loves her. 

2. People think that MM is not worthy to belong to the upper crust of society. She's a foreigner, not an aristocrat, a woman who works, a divorcee, and - shocker! - a Black woman. In imperial UK, they see MM as a descendant of slaves. They think she pollutes the blue blood of the royal family. 

3. Despite being "unqualified" to marry a prince, MM did marry into that family and, unlike her middle-class sister-in-law Kate who kept her head down in acknowledgement of her unworthiness, MM spoke out, fought back, and left. To their eyes, she was ungrateful.

4. And last and worst of all, you never go against the family. You never reveal the secrets. You never cut off the relationship. You always respect and obey your parents, even when you're already married. No matter how much they abuse you, you're supposed to take it (as a sign of loyalty) and be quiet (as a sign of gratitude). Any protest, every negative story is automatically labeled as a lie. H and MM did the unforgivable by setting boundaries and when those were crossed, they left. 

And that's why people hate MM. She is a powerful, intelligent, rich woman who will not tolerate bullshit, who will not be silent when abused, who will fight back, who is happy, and - worst of all - she has a husband who loves her. The love and loyalty of a man (and a beloved prince, too!) validate and legitimize her existence and her decisions. To society, women like MM are a threat to old traditional values. And that's why they hate her.

Aaaaand that's how I know hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa mga babae! Silence always helps the abuser (families are the worst abusers of all). Discrimination and biases are still working against women, even if those women are our very own mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. Sarili kong magulang kept putting me down kasi "babae ka lang, wag kang mayabang, wag kang ambisyosa."

Stop this! Women are people, too. We deserve love and respect, too. I have it now from my husband and sons, all of them feminists I am so proud to say. They are so secure and confident in their masculinity that a strong woman in their midst is not a threat at all. 

We need to change the world, people. A world that values women will be a better world not just for women, but for all of us - yes, even men and families everywhere, too ❤️❤️❤️

One day, I truly hope we no longer need an International Women's Day because honoring, respecting, and appreciating women will be so commonplace that we do it every day. Till then, HAPPY WOMEN'S MONTH! 

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

I learned to love the dreams God dreamed for me

I can't say much yet but all I can share today is that TODAY IS A REALLY GOOD DAY! And I need to blog about it so that I have a record of this AMAZING day! The morning started with good news for me, a great update about our boys in the afternoon, and then by evening, my husband got fantastic news, too. It comes in threes! I bless this day!

And I bless my God who finally opened the floodgates of His blessings! Not that He was being madamot. He was just preparing me and Vince for this day, waiting for us to be ready, to appreciate this instead of feeling entitled to it.

I know I'm not making any sense. So I'll just tell another story of another dream.

Once upon a time, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and then a magazine editor because writers aren't glamorous but a magazine job was. I didn't want to be married. I didn't want to have kids. A husband and children will just prevent me from fulfilling my dreams. So I went ahead and made my dreams come true, and when they did, I said, "But of course! I worked hard! I deserve this!"

And then one day the dream ended. And I didn't know what to do. I did get married and have babies, though. And to my endless gratitude and relief, they are a joy!

But after a few years of drifting here and there, I prayed to God, "I have no more dreams, Lord. I had dreams before and they came true and then they were gone. But I'm not sad anymore. I'm grateful. I see now that even having a dream come true for a short while is a blessing. Thank You for letting me go off on my own the way you let Jonah run away from You. But now I ask: What do You want me to do?"

And for a while, all I heard was, "Take care of your husband and your kids."

And I really struggled with that! I felt, "That's it? That's all I'm meant to do with the rest of my life??"

But I also couldn't shake off this feeling that God was waiting for me. Waiting for me to do what??? And so with not much to do except to be a wife and mommy, I carried out the drudgery of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc etc ad infinitum. "This is it. This is my life. Forever."

I wasn't unhappy and I didn't hate my life, but I was also looking outwards, looking at the greener grass of other women's gardens and wondering why mine was so dull. I didn't envy them. It was more like, "I know I can be more than this." It was very unhealthy.

Finally, I just unfollowed all the moms and glam women and decided, "If God wants me to be a wife and mommy, then I'll be a wife and mommy!" And I just enjoyed everything! I enjoyed being in dasters all day with my graying hair in a messy bun, washing dishes and shopping for toys on Shopee. I enjoyed chatting about Minecraft and Godzilla. I learned how to play chess, cut boys' hair, and find out how to be a YouTuber. I loved binge-watching TV shows with my husband. I fell in love with playing with hamsters. And my huge struggle was being my kids' teacher but I slowly learned to love that, too. My life was great before but now that I viewed caring for my family as my one and only purpose, it became so much better and more meaningful!

Also, I just need to say this: Shunning #mompegs on social media was a relief, like unbuttoning your jeans when you're full. Yes, my life was full but all that social media watching made me feel ill. But with no looking at others, I appreciated what I had because I couldn't compare myself to anyone else. For the first time in a long while, I didn't think I was left behind. I didn't think, "I'm not good enough. I'm not doing enough!" I was just me and I appreciated me! And I finally accepted that being "just" a wife and mommy was my biggest and most important job and role. If I can't appreciate that, why would God give me any more jobs and roles???

And right after that, after finally humbling myself and accepting His will, God said, "She's ready!!!"

My Not Invisible book practically landed on my lap! I became co-founder of Lean In Manila and became friends with great women! I got a fun and glamorous job that still allowed me to be a mommy! And so many more blessings that I will tell you about soon! 

All I had to do was to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then all these things were added to me (Matthew 6:33). Added. I was already complete. God just waited for me to see that my cup was full and when I finally did, He added more!

Being a stay-at-home mom with gray in my hair, barefoot and in shapeless clothes is far far away from my vision of myself in sleek clothes, fiery hair, high heels, and doing a job that was important. This life I now have was never in my big dreams. So I didn't understand why God would want me to be small. Turns out His dreams for me may look different, but they were nowhere near small. They just came in three small packages — three little boys. But as Luke 10:14 said, "Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things." 

God waited till He could trust me. And that involved lots of renewing of attitudes, shifting views, humbling of myself (my great sin is pride), and acceptance and appreciation for God's will for my life. And I'm still not "important." I'm still not in high heels. And I'm still not earning millions. But I am fulfilled and happy and content, resting in the promise that God has more dreams to unfold for me. 

And so we go back to this day! It is a GREAT day! The most amazing day! The best news - one for me and one for my husband! And good news also for our boys! Three big blessings in one day! 

I'll tell you all about today one day. But for now let me just say that if you're waiting for God to open the gates of heaven, search your heart and your life because maybe He's just waiting for you to be ready, or maybe He wants you to open your eyes to His dreams for you and accept them. Because His plans may look different from ours but they are much better. Believe it!

My goodness! I am so excited to see what else He has in store for me! Wouldn't you want to see what God wants for you, too? So exciting!

* * * * * * * 

How great is Your goodness
stored up for those who fear You
No end to the kindness
that comes from You each day

We count on compassion
in the shelter of Your presence
Hidden away, hidden from harm -
How great Your love!

A refuge so near us
You're faithful each day
We cry out - You hear us
Safe in Your arms
Sheltered from harm

"How Great is Your Goodness" by Randy Rothwell

This post was inspired by this song and this Proverbs 31 devotion, "When You Feel Behind" (please read it!), and of course today's amazing news.