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Noise of Silence

Silence does not always mean being peaceful sometimes it means the other way around. Silence, to others, may mean being okay but sometimes silence is the only way to tell your self that you need to be OKAY.

Silence is our way of saying “You’ve been very busy.” “I miss you.”

Silence is when we don’t like their decisions but we don’t have an energy to argue.

Silence means “Hey! I am overthinking! Can you give some time to talk to me?”

Silence means we are hurt.

Silence says “Help! I need back up!”

Silence means being followed with tears and feeling pity to our self.

Silence is playing with our imagination that he already realized, came back, hugged us tightly and apologize. But there was silence.

Silence is realizing that we need to be strong.

Silence means fighting against our self.

Silence brings noisy chaos to our heart.

Silence means feeling defeated even before the battle starts.

It’s hard when the only thing that we can do is being silent. Silence is not friendly. Silence is a poison. It kills us little by little until we break down with tears. Silence is the unheard noise that we better not expose because sometimes it’s okay to feel the pain by the unheard than by the spoken words that kill.

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Unnoticed HERO

I met the unnoticed hero.

She’s beautiful.

She has a bulging belly, a beautiful “panda eyes” and a very visible rupture of elastic fibers called stretch marks.

She’s a good follower, who follows her child back and forth that made her a good traveler, too. She travels from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom then go back.

She’s an athlete, who can run as fast as she can just to secure the safety of her child who is currently climbing on a chair with a wide a smile.

She’s a “weightlifting fairy” who can carry her child on her left hand while the other hand is busy trying to dress him up. She do this twice a day.

She’s a writer. She don’t know how did it happen but she has a lot of words to say. Words that comes from the heart, a well-experienced heart.

She’s always on-call 24/7.

She’s amazing.

She’s the BEST.

She’s a MOTHER.

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When I met LOVE

Before I met LOVE

I thought love loves ice cream, fried rice, and steak.
I thought love loves to cuddle with his pillow.
I thought love and I will sleep together peacefully.
I thought love is soft spoken.
I thought love is confident and bold.
I thought he loves the dance floor. 
Or  knows how to sing.
Or serenade me with his guitar.
I thought he loves love songs.
In a romantic dinner date.
I thought love is sweet, who will surprise me with a bouquet of flowers and a life-size teddy bear.
I thought love will give me his abundant time.

I thought love is patient.
I thought love is kind.
I thought love is ordinary.
I thought love will hear me.
That love is willing to sacrifice for us
I thought love can give the amount of love that I gave.

But when I met love
Love hates ice cream but loves hot coffee.
He hates fried rice and steak but loves plain rice and fish.
Love hates pillows. He can even give all to you.
Love sleeps peacefully with his loud snores every night leaving you a sleepless nights.
Love is nagger and you can even shout each other when in the middle of anger
Love is shy and hate Public Display of Affection.
Love HATES the dance floor and don’t know how to sing and play the guitar.
Love likes Metallica and Megadeth and eats only in fast food chain.
Love is not sweet. No surprises. No bouquets. No teddy bears.
Love is always busy. Don’t even have time for me. 
He likes to work. He loves to earn. 
With the most confident chat, “It’s for our future.”
Love don’t post our selfies in  Facebook and Intagram .
Even to the most simple post like, “With HER”

Love is not patient but very patient.
Although impatience will eat him, SOMETIMES especially in buying groceries but the thought that he had me until now, that’s justifiable.
Love is not  kind but selfless.
Love can give everything that I didn’t notice.
I should look at every details.
Love is unique. He has the only finger print that exist in the world. We have a different success story.
Love didn’t hear my nag and shout. But he listens to the heart. 
He listens to the tears that fell, to every “I don’t understand you” complain, to every success and failures we’ve experienced.
“Love did not sacrifice, I always did.” that’s what we always brag because that’s what we see.
Sacrifice is subjective and have no exact criteria. We have a different point of view.

Love is different.
Love can give a lot of  disappointments.
Love is not what we expected the most.
Love is loving and hating at the same time.
But love didn’t count how much you gave and how much has left.
Because in the end, love counts the QUALITY.

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A Letter To My Son

Dearest Loujen,

You were born on the exact date I saw in my Ultrasound result and on that same day I was re-born too. This time, being your MOTHER. Before I saw you outside my womb, Mama had to undergo the bitterness of labor for 15 hours. It was never easy but I was overjoyed with your arrival and to feel the pain was the least of my concern. My heart was filled with happiness since you came. Your first cry is such a music in my ears.

But things didn’t go well as what I expected. My heart was eaten by fears at first. I don’t know how to carry you. You always cry every bathing time. You wake up every two hours the moment I just started my nap. I experienced the longest sleep deprivation in my entire life. Breastfeeding is never easy too but I need to feed you without thinking of my swollen breasts. You see, that’s how much Mama loves you. I had and will always be willing to endure all forms of sacrifices and challenges that will come along the way to rear you.

When God gave you to me, He knew that I need you. You taught me everything that I didn’t learned from the past which includes having a longer patience and a smart time management. If motherhood means facing a lifetime struggles, I am more than willing to face it because I know that your giggles, kisses and “Ma-ma!” will pay it all. You may not recognize it now since you are still little but I want you to know that I love to LOVE you. My “I love you” means I am willing to stop my work to be with you, that my heart beats for you and your father and it always will. In my eyes you are the absolute perfection even at your worst. That is when my heart swells with love for you and the obligation to do right by you.

Be a loving force in this world because we need more of that. Be the best at something. If you are broken I will be there to pick up the pieces, there is nothing I would rather do. You made me whole when you took your first breath and my last breath will be for you.

Love,

Mama

The Lost Soul Finds Her Path

It’s very easy to label ourselves as strong but how does a strong person actually look like?

It is when that night came when I realized I was holding an extension wire tightly hanged on the ceiling. Yes! That night I was ready to cut the life that God Almighty has given. I was crying as I little by little knew that I attempted the biggest crime in the eyes of God. Myself was eaten with guilt as I sat down asking why I almost did it.

In Erick Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, Trust vs. Mistrust begins at birth to a year old. If trust is not consistently met, mistrust may develop. I don’t know how my parents raised me as I develop trust (but I know they’re doing their best that made them the best parent for me), but one thing is for sure, mistrust already spread out when I was still young.

I don’t trust anyone. When I am befriended with someone, automatically my mind will ask, “Why? What’s the motive?”  When everybody is busy and will not talk to me, all I can say is “I can live without them!” When I hear good comments from someone, of course, I will not believe because in my mind I live in a world full of pretentions. These results to be alone, to fill in more grudges in my heart, to hate those persons silently, to always think that I can only love my self ALONE, to continue not trusting them and most of all, I became arrogantly lonely.

Battling against your self is the most difficult war anyone can experience. Trying to be happy in the midst of loneliness is difficult, too. Now, will a strong person trust someone or decide the other way to protect herself from the future battle?

In an early age, I was a victim of prejudgments and 80% of my existence I keep on proving. That time I thought that was happiness but now I realized that it’s NOT. I went to relaxing places to unwind, I thought that was happiness but now I come to know that it’s NOT. I dine out with friends to different resto, we chitchat, giggles and laugh, I thought that was happiness, but it’s not. And so, what kind of happiness does a strong person possesses?

I answered that question that made me feel guilty 8 years ago. I almost commit that deadly sin because I am self-centered. I always demand an attention to anyone not thinking that they have life, too. I always think negatively and did not see good things to someone. I did not know my WORTH. And now, as I go back to the past, I realize that I am fighting in a wrong battlefield. Unfortunately, I fought against myself.

These have change when I met MAFIES. They helped me brightened my own dark spot. How funny it is when I had a bad presumption to these people and end up being compatible together. Funny it may seem but I guess that’ how ironic life is.

 I met Loriemar for the first time at the interview. She was one of the first interviewee who immediately finished it. We ask how was it going with a thumping heart and a chaos mind since in a few minutes it will be our turn. With a confident aura and a raised eyebrow, she answered “OKAY ra man!”I looked at her closely and whisper to myself  with a hidden raising of eyebrow “ Dili ko ganahan niya!” Second incident was when we were about to take our laboratory test and a newly-hired teacher, like us, forgot to bring money, we still need to wait for her. Here comes Loriemar, who said with an intimidating voice, “Niingon unta to siya kay pahulamon nako siya ug kwarta!” and she ended up with a smirk. After hearing that, the “Dili ko ganahan niya” level stepped up from Level 1 to Level 10.

Remember the newly-hired teacher who forgot to bring money? Well, she is no other than, Ma. Fatima. That time, I started not to like her. I feel like we’re not compatible. I doubted her sweet smile and her simple nod as she agrees everything. I don’t like how clumsy she was that time but as a sign of deep respect (since I am a Filipina), I just go with the flow. The moment she will crack a joke using her “kamilaan” will stop me from what I am doing and push myself to adjust immediately to my new environment.

But wait, there’s more. The next incident I met Ermelinda after our application process was at a store. She was riding a bike holding a viand that she bought. It was a super-duper hot noon and so does my mood. I saw her first and greet her. She just stares at me like no one is talking. I greeted her again with some questions regarding our application, hoping that she will recognize me. I succeeded but the next line she uttered immediately made my mood like the weather. She answered, “AMBOT LANG!” that made me feel annoyed. I was intimidated by her answer. I just told myself not to greet her again nor ask questions.

Speaking of intimidation, this also happened to Rotche. She was the one who came and worked first. As we came for our first day of service, her chinita eyes and a wide smile greeted us. She said with a sweet voice, “Maayo kay nagsugod namo para nana ko’y kuyog.” My two eyebrows met and my carousel-like mind started to turn and doubted her. It’s just our first meeting and her warm greeting were doubtful. She also possesses a mild to strong personality. She will decide on this and that things, ask the permission of everybody if we will go with her decisions but it’s not just like that, no matter how she respected others’ opinion, many times, her decision must prevail because she possesses a good marketing skill plus guts.

Intimidation not only occur in loud people but in silent gals also. Just like Kathleen. I don’t know that she was an alumnus and a valedictorian. I just knew when we took an EPT at school and another gay alumnus introduced Kath to all of us as smart since she was the first valedictorian. I don’t like how she silently smile with a red face during that day. I don’t think it’s an act of humility. The next incident we met was at Consolacion where I heard a lot of questions about me. I did not share everything. Why not? Because I don’t trust her. I really don’t believe in everyone’s goodness. It’s a big lie.

That’s how tiring my life back then. I kept on thinking that everyone can be a red flag. I am a human, 30% conscience, 69% paranoid and 1% trust.

A big paradigm shift happened 5 years ago. I cannot tell how did it happen maybe because I enjoyed it but everything went upside down. Because of MAFIES, I realize that I know how to write, to paint, do calligraphy, designing of dresses and to be an expressive person. MAFIES is compose of different personality, mix it well, and it will be better than Margaritas dear.

Loriemar may possesss a strong personality but a soft spot was there. You cannot see it in a first glance because you must not suppose to see goodness, you must feel it. It was just a smile, before but I saw it as smirk. Her “OKAY ra man!” statement before was not a sign of pride, it’s a hidden gesture of telling, “I am okay and so, you must.”  Seeing her proud as she offered her money to someone whom she didn’t know well before was just a sign of generosity. I doubted people that’s why they were not able to show me what generosity really is.

That silent Fatima I met 5 years ago is not really silent. She has a lot of ideas that most of the time she doesn’t want to express because of her high respect to everyone. She nodded a lot not because she doesn’t have a decision-making skill but her empathy to the person is more important to her. I was born to talk and talk that’s why listening has no spot in me. I doubted the person who listens, I don’t hear them anyway. I just talk.

The strong voice that Ermelinda possesses is also the voice who always make us laugh because of her words of wisdom. Her facial reactions are big jokes, too. My life was boring. I don’t know how many times I laugh, the way I laugh with Ermelinda.

Rotche’s greetings that I doubted was the first gesture of friendship and I almost lost it. Rotche’s decision-making is wise that perfectly fits to the people who cannot decide immediately, like MAFIES. You can see her as a tough person but along with her toughness is a weak spot, I did not know but I can feel. I did not recognize her goodness because I don’t believe it exist before. Thankful that I come to know that goodness can also be shown in aggressiveness.

Kathleen is never silent. That’s not an exact definition of her. She is a good listener. Silent and a good listener is not synonymous. That, makes her smart. Kathleen never lacks out of appreciation. That’s her asset. In my 26 years of existence, I can only remember some praises that I am most likely don’t believe. I realize how colorful your life is if you see praises waving at you. Thankfully, praises are just two-door away from me.

Now, going back to the first question, how does a strong person actually look like?

A strong person does mistakes, ALWAYS. She is molded with all the things that life forbids. A strong person protects herself but prioritizes others. She does not look for happiness, she makes it.  Most of all, a strong person has a great foundation of family and friends. I may have a terrible life before since it tested my strength, patience and emotional aspects but because of this, I knew that I am human. I knew that there’s nothing wrong of seeking help.  And everything that I went through is normal.

WOMEN ON THE MOVE

Gender inequality is NOT already an issue nowadays. In fact, there are a lot of women empowerment programs that educate the strength a woman possesses. Truly, a woman is an asset in the community. They are the intellectual and emotional comfort zone to everybody. A problem arises when women are over-empowered and will tend to overlap others’ roles. Below are an overlapping events some women did.

To the women who planned their wedding before him.

Getting married is the most exciting topic in every romantic relationship. It is the ending point of every “Good morning”, “I love you” and “I want to be with you for the rest of my life” text messages and the starting point of the real world being together. Planning your future in advance is good. It is a map of every adventure. But planning your wedding before him is an issue. Unconsciously, men don’t like to be overpowered. They want to do the first move. They want to bring the excitement every woman should feel. They mostly want to patiently wait for your “Yes!” while you are overwhelmed by him kneeling in front of you.

          Knowing the fact that you already planned means you already say “Yes”. The excitement that he might feel while planning for his proposal was ruined.

To the women who rush things out.

In this world, almost everything is instant. By just one click you can have your gadgets and clothes right in front of your door step. You order and wait for 5 minutes and food is ready. Little by little, people had changed because of these changes. Our mind has been crowded by the hidden beauty of advertisement, too. We tend to believe that what we saw, read or heard will also happen to us. People always rush things out, unfortunately including their decisions.

If they had a wonderful married life (there’s no such thing, actually) regardless to the number of years being together as girlfriend/boyfriend that does not mean it will happen to you too. Listening to documentaries of lovers who spent their lives being happy together because they followed these and that steps is not a guarantee of a happy marriage.

Choosing the right decision might be tricky. We tend to be torn between our why nots and what ifs.  But being open to the words of others might be a good platform to assess yourself. Planning your future while expecting the worst might give you a heavy heart but will surely make you prepared for the battle. Doing a decision disregarding our emotion is always a MUST.

In this instant world, it maybe hard to decide between “You Only Live Once” and “Slowly but Surely”. But what’s more important is to slow down, taste every bitter struggles and sweet success. After all, life can give you the happiness, NOT to the destination that you’ve landed BUT to all the humps, blind curves and stops while on the way. NOT on what you’ve reached out BUT the process of reaching things out little by little. SLOW DOWN. Feel your life today and surely, you will not regret tomorrow.

To the women who disregard the beauty of womanhood.

Womanhood is the best gift we can ever receive. Raising a woman is so special since they will raise a life in the future.  Woman might be a sign of weakness for some but blessed are those who saw the special strength of a woman.

Women In Action is the new nickname of a woman. A woman trying to be strong but has a deep, fresh wounds. A woman trying to fight for her independence but being dependent of what the people will tell her. A woman who are noisy but remain silent to the inhumane action she encountered.

The beauty of womanhood is accepting your weakness but will stand out even after the end of the battle. Knowing oneself is a powerful asset against prejudgments from others. Most of all, being able to express what’s within and be freed from the noisy chain of silence.

To the woman who thought that life is in Social Media.

We can’t deny it. Our life is evolving to the Internet. We are blinded by the thought of defining beauty from the number of likes we received.

 Life is outside the recognition of your worth from your cyber friend. Life is being pissed off by the heavy traffic. Life is waking up with an oily face and a bad breath. Life is being zero from your bank to your wallet. Life is giving your heart in listening to your friends instead of pressing that heart button. Real laughs are way better than your “HAHA!” in group chats. Your jokes give laughter to the people you know than reposting memes to the people you try to know. Talking in person with a push to a friend when you laugh is better than a fake face in video chats.

To the women who believed that married life is easy.

We are blinded by the “happy ever after” statement from every romantic movie. We always believe that living together will make us happy. This might be a sad note but it’s NOT.

Knowing that you have someone as you go through life is truly a blessing but like our Science teacher taught us about friction, the closer the things together, the more heat it produces. Simple things were made complicated that leads to misunderstanding. The more you knew each other, the more chaos you encountered.

It’s not a kiss that can make your love alive like Snow White. It’s not a never-ending search for whose foot fits it right like Cinderella. It’s not like how Elsa makes everything freeze the moment she touches it. Married life is not written exactly the way we like it.

This is not a discouragement but a warning. There is not a happy ever after but there is a happy after understanding. Know your spouse better, communicate and express. These are not tips for a happy marriage but it’s a tip for surviving marriage.

Bullied but Indestructible

Going to school was such a punishment to me. When adults are not around, it feels like hell. The way they look at me, it feels like they already stabbed me 20 times or more. The way they laugh is a poison to me ears. The way they call me with another name is shameful.

Bullying. I cursed that word. This is the only word I know that can be defined as “others’ happiness in someone’s hidden tears”.

I am a victim of verbal bullying. I heard harsh words and unacceptable prejudgments. Physical bullying is way better than the aforementioned. Bruises will vanish, wounds will heal but words will stay even if you try to avoid it. Memories will stay like leach, the longer it stay, the longer it hurt.

They said, life is like a wheel, always turning, always evolving but in the life of a bullied, turning around the wheel is burdensome and might be a false hope because the life of a bullied is battling not ONLY for the bullies but ALSO to her self whom she keep on pushing to fight.

It took me long years of discerning on how to be at peace in the middle of the brawling bullying. I realize that fighting is just like holding the sand, the the tighter I hold the more it slips out in my hand. The more you fight, the more you loses you energy, your inner peace and your self. Sometimes, fighting can be done by not fighting. Not fighting is a way of telling them that you will not step down to their level.

Bullying has a lifetime effect to me as a person. Meeting the bullies now that we are more mature still hit my heart. I don’t have any ill feelings towards them since my wounds are scars already. But just like scars, it leaves a mark that we cannot remove.

This scar that was bitterly written was part of my dim past but this past is the light of my future. I considered my self before as weak for not battling directly against them but after all, that’s the smartest decision I ever made. The way I reacted to the bullies before is the scaffold of who I am right now.

How will she love DEATH.

How will she love death, if by just typing the word arises her fears.

If by just merely thinking of it really kills.

If it gives so much pain to everyone.

How will she love death , if it can dry her eyes from crying.

If it gives a doubtful definition of being strong and being weak.

If it means being lost forever.

How will she love death, if in every corner it’s him that she remember.

If every beautiful date in the calendar gives so much agony.

If it means being a mother and a father at the same time to her children.

If death can be befriended, many would love.

Life is the battle field, people are the fighters and time is the greatest struggle.

People forget to use time to cherish every moment.

Might be the reason, they leave with full of regret

(Inspired by a colleague who suddenly lost her husband forever.)

Pocket-sized Trust

It was our first day of class in Junior High School, on that first meeting our teacher wanted us to draw a thing that represents who we are. I sat down at the corner, silently thinking on what will be the thing that can represent me. I started to roam my eyes in every corner of the room but still I can’t think of that certain thing. All my classmates were very busy that leads me to panic because an hour had already passed and all I have is a blank bond paper.

My seatmate’s work caught my attention. She drew a ripe and unripe mango. Without any hesitation, I copied her I idea and started to draw the mango. During that time, I’m not afraid, really. Beating the time, creating a better drawing and the best explanation are the things that I keep on thinking. I don’t want my teacher to notice a copied idea. And I succeeded.

Now that I am more mature, I asked my self why I copied my classmates idea where in fact, the question was all about me. I realized that during that time, I really don’t know WHO I AM. Why? Because of the many factors that left me a pocket-sized trust.

I was 7 years old when I experience verbal bullying from our neighbor. At that time, I already started proving every single step I made to people surrounding me. I remember one time when I don’t want to walk with my guy classmates because I don’t want that people might think that I was having an intimate relationship. I don’t want to be judge, AGAIN! There were times also when I hesitated to talk to people with so much effort because I always thought that they might judge me, AGAIN.

I can also recall how my third degree Aunt talked to Mama about not allowing me to study at the city, I might get pregnant at the early age. That’s a stupid pre-judgement. I mean, judging beforehand are stupid. When I was in relationship for the very first time (my husband now), I can still remember how they raise their brows and smirk a devil smile.

There were tons of awful experiences. These judgments lead to a lifetime effects. I don’t TRUST people. I always think that the people I trust can judge me anytime. I cannot express my feelings easily because I trust no one. I don’t know how I normally act to who I really am because I always depending on how people might see me. I even hate my self, to the extent of attempting to commit suicide. I cannot love my self because I don’t know who I am.

I don’t know if I’m happy, people might see me as O.A. I don’t know that I am badly sad, I don’t want to feel that people might use that as my weakness. I cried, ALWAYS, but in silence, that’s the only way I can express that I am sad, afraid and tired.

In God’s beautiful plan, I met these group of people. People that I don’t trust, AT FIRST. A camouflage technique is the best way for me to hide my little trust to them. I smiled when they smile, I tried chit chatting like what they did.

It was a sudden when I felt so attached with certain group of people called MAFIES. I felt unjudged, secure and have freedom to express my feelings. Because of them I was able to make a little magazine with full of funny experiences, I was able to draw, where in fact drawing a mango on my high school years was just copied from my classmate. I was able to express my ideas through writing, I was able to say that I am happy, tired, pissed-off, sad and a lot more.

This write up is not about the horrible choices I made in the past but a recognition to the people who made me feel HUMAN again. They don’t doubt a human with pocket-sized trust.

Silence as Strength

I grew up as jolly and talkative person. I will really try my very best to mingle and to talk with people because for me, being silent means being OUT OF PLACE and with that it means being WEAK.

I want to belong and being updated to my group’s plans. I love to initiate going out with friends and will have a long talk with them. I am very expressive to my emotions and ideas. They knew my plans also.

But these have change when I welcomed motherhood. I can no longer have small talks with friends, going out is imaginary and trying to mingle with people is difficult to do. Motherhood demands time, effort and energy. Instead of wasting my energy to long talks and dining out, I chose to reserve it as I go home from work because my son needs tons of it.

Being silent is very hard for me at first. I cannot express my struggles as mother since my friends cannot relate. I don’t want to share all my worries because I don’t wanna be judged. I don’t want to talk a lot because it’s a waste of energy and as I grow old, I realized that there are words that needs to be unsaid. It’s the safest way, indeed. Because these words might be used as your weakness and I don’t want that to happen.

As time passed by, I’ve notice that the more I am silent, the more I can observe and understand what’s happening around me. It’s easy not to judge people, besides from being silent you will know what they went through by just being silent and keen observation.

An overflowing ideas are effects of silence. I can express here using those fruitful ideas. I can inspire others and most especially, I was able to know my self better.

I was wrong all this time when I believed that silence is a weakness. Silence is sword that will help you understand and decide to a situation and your armor to protect you from others’ evil plans.

Our world was already noisy of nonsense. This time, let us use our silence as our strength. Let us spread SILENCE.