“I Love You, Dad. And I Forgive You.”

Though I pride myself for being independent and most of the time, I do like to be left alone (even by my family and relatives), I guess it’s an innate desire for all of us to spend time with family once in awhile. And that yearning came up and tapped me in the shoulder three weeks back.

I haven’t seen my dad in a year and it was a bit sad (and I must admit,  quite nostalgic) to see him last Sunday after so long. You see, we’re the second family and it was a bit weird growing up without him because my brother and I always thought that he’s just way too busy and that he sleeps in the office, as what my mom used to tell us, that’s why he rarely comes home. We have gotten so used to him not being there that finding out the truth when I was eleven years old wasn’t really that painful and a shock anymore. The hurt came mostly from the lies that were fed to us by our parents, not so much on his absence.

And after my mom’s death in 2005, his thrice a year visits became lesser. And I was fine with it. I didn’t like the additional drama and emotions involved. Besides, what will I tell him? He was never a father to me, I thought. All the chitchats we have when we see each other never seem to get past the shallow stuff of my current job, where i live, what I’m up to that moment (which I believe is the same for my brother). So I almost gave up on the thought that I would have a relationship with him at the age of 28. I never had that father-daughter bond growing up, why start now?

But knowing God in my life has changed all that. God filled the void that was left by an absentee father as only He can. But as years passed of being a Christian, I know that deep down, I still yearn not for an earthly dad, but the peace that comes after a reconciliation, forgiveness of a past hurt. I realized that just like any other child,  knowing that your dad couldn’t be with you and your brother growing up because you’re both illegitimate, have caused deep pain that has affected how I view relationships, family and fatherhood albeit subconsciously. And the only way I can get past that is to forgive and let go of it.

Concluding the Will You Series in church two Sundays ago was the topic on Forgiveness and reiterating what Ptr. Joshua Galaraga said, “Forgiving is ultimately an act to free yourself from the bondage of pain and hurt, it’s not really for the other person.” I knew that I need to do something about it. And I have been carrying this hurt for the longest time, I guess. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have manifested the way it did whenever Jay and I would talk about family and having kids in the future and my answer would always be peppered with the fear that I will be a single mom eventually.

I have made peace with myself and lifted up the hurt to Him who is merciful to restore relationships. I realized that despite the lack of relationship I have with my dad, the respect and love I have for him ultimately is more than the hurt he has caused our family. The God I serve is a God that prioritizes family more than anything and I know that with Him it is never too late to have that. We can still have that relationship I have yearned for so long.

Seeing the fine lines on his face, the bloated hands that are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome,  seeing him sweating from the heat of the commute when he looked so dashing and sharp when he was younger and not bogged down with age and regrets, it pierced my heart. While I know the three of us could never live together as one happy family, we could all start being one despite being apart. We need to forgive each other and let go of the pain the past has caused us all and allowing God and our love for each other, no matter how little, no matter how scarred, to bind us three together.

For He said in His Word that, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:)

And with that I say, I love you Dad, and I forgive you.

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If mom was alive, I’m sure she’d be the happiest in this.

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Because Household Help Are Career People Too

Now I understand why most houses with a fulltime homemaker are more clean that the average one. Spending all that time at home can drive you nuts and force you to clean things that are not even dirty in the first place!

Okay, okay. I am not a housewife so definitely the hypothesis is lame but it sure does feel like I am considering the amount of time I’ve spent at home the past week and I’ve cleaned things that you wouldn’t even dream of putting in one sentence together – and at the same time! Last night, I was attacked by this OC tendency and cleaned the three electric fans I have at home. Three. And right after, I proceeded to clean my makeup brushes. MAKEUP BRUSHES. How about that. Good thing I didn’t use the soap cleaner I used for the fans on my brushes cause that would be totally disgusting.

But being stuck at home the past week has really taught me to appreciate the household help I grew up with. First of all, it’s been yearsssss since I last employed a household help considering that I have been living independently for around 6 years now. Second, do you know how tugh it is to do the laundry?! Those jeans that look oh-so sexy when you were them weighs a ton when soaked on water! Crazy! No wonder my former yaya had those cuts on her arms. I have now discovered the secret to those Jessica Alba-esque triceps. But seriously, chores are tough work. And I haven’t mentioned cleaning the house yet. Ugh, the dust. It’s giving me asthma attacks and making me itch all over. And if that happens to me, im sure our household help experience those too, they just put up with it as a shallow hazard of the work they have.

It’s not easy and at times, it feels a little demeaning even (though why it feels that way is probably our society’s fault) especially when scrubbing toilet bowls and throwing the trash that stinks so bad you can barely carry it outside your kitchen. But it’s honest living  Being a household help is also work. Just like the same careers found on those glass-walled buildings in Ayala or Ortigas, the responsibilities and environment is just different.

I, for one, used to be one of those spoiled brats who would shout  at the maids and tease them because I thought that since my mom’s paying them to serve my every whim, I am their master, they should obey me. But we all have only one Master and that is the one in heaven, God. Who was I to think I can boss another person around just because I was “paying” them (it’s not even my own money)? I had a lot to learn.

They say that it’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Yes, it’s true. Otherwise, we would all have dusty living rooms, kitchens strewn with rotting fruit peels for the cockroaches to crawl over, mothers unable to go to work because they need to stay home and take care of the kids. I sometimes think it may even be tougher to do all these than the work that I have. Im sure if you ask the help staff you have at home, waiting on someone isn’t exactly what they dreamed up to be when growing up. It’s not like as if they suddenly woke up and realized they wanted to be a yaya when they grow up, right? Most often than not, circumstances have forced them to be where they are now. And it may not change overnight, they may not reach their dreams immediately, but we, who employ them (or even those who doesn’t but interact with them at one time or another) should make things a lot easier, bearable, dignified even because they are willing to do the things we cannot imagine doing,  things we ridiculously think are beneath us. And because they are people just like us. Our Savior died for them too.

And unless you’re willing to die on the cross for the household help you employ, then you have absolutely no right treating them as secondary citizens. After all, they’re people and what they’re doing is just another career too.

12 in 2012

This is a long overdue post (it’s almost March already) but I feel the need to share how great and AMAZING our God truly is by sharing the things He has done for me in the past year. Obviously, His blessings were more than 12 but if i enumerate everything, i may not have enough time and space (and breath) to recount everything. God has truly and utterly

12. BLOGGING AGAIN. So i started with this because for those who know me, blogging (or writing) has been one of my passions that I can’t seem to be consistent in doing. I always have the desire, the will, even the topic to write but my time is always crazy so I couldn’t get down to it. Last 2012, surprisingly, I had more time in my hands and MORE TOPICS to write about which

11. TRAVELS. Being independent, the one thing i was unable to do since I started living on my own is travel. With all the bills I need to prioritize, time at work not permitting me to do so, I had to content myself with just reading and experiencing these places via the Internet, “it’s just not feasible right now”, i would tell myself. But God is our Great Provider and provide for these travels is what He did. With limited resources (based on my human capabilities), I was able to visit Ilocos, Pampanga, South Cotabato, Zambales and Laguna spending almost nothing!

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Resort in Ilocos.

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Bangui Windmills.

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Church in Pampanga.

ImageSports Complex in Marbel, South Cotabato.

560799_546343892058878_1504416951_nPatis Tito Garden Cafe in San Pablo, Laguna

14689_565440056815928_1827950797_nCrystal Beach Resort in Zambales.

Seeing how magnificent and breathtaking these creations were is a true manifestation that our Creator is a true artist for who else can paint the sunset like that?

10. NEW PAD. The place I used to live in Mandaluyong City was full of memories. It was where my mum passed away, where I first learned to live on my own when my brother got married, where my former dog Kobe passed away so it was a bit refreshing to finally move in Kapitolyo, Pasig. Aside from the fact that it was more cozy and quiet (it’s like a village, by the way), more accessible and no drunkards on the streets, screaming their hearts out through the videoke machine, it’s also a place choc-full of hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are walking distance from my new place.

9. PLAYING COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL AGAIN. I have been playing football since I was 14 and it was the one thing that I find it very difficult to get out of my system. Well, aside from coffee, that is. Helping out with my boyfriend’s team during their stint in the UFL Cup two years ago, brought the long-buried desire to play football competitively again. Thanks to a few of my former teammates from UPWFT, Perx FC was born and with just a few months of training, our team bagged the Championships in the Loyola Invitationals Cup this 2012.

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8. MY BEST FRIEND’S ADVOCACY. Knowing my best friend for half of my life now, it was not known to many that she was suffering from Alopecia Areata (loss of hair) and that she has been carrying this for almost all her life. Last Sept 25, she decided to shave off her remaining hair for her Alopecia Areata Awareness campaign to show everyone that real beauty isn’t just in the outside. For more information on this advocacy, kindly visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AlopeciaAreataAwarenessRocks?fref=ts

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7. RAFA THE DOG. Rafa is another blessing from God and this time He used my bestfriend, Abby to send it my way. They were moving houses already and they couldn’t keep another dog with them, especially since Rafa’s mom, Tammy just passed away then due to a flea-infestation and I was her first choice to give him away to! And he wasn’t the first dog I got from Abby by the way. Rafa’s older brother, Kobe was the first dog gift of Abby from waaaay back but he died 2006 and i was not able to replace him then. Not until now.

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6. NEW JOB. Being in Recruitment for more than 6 years already, I wouldn’t have survived this crazy and competitive industry if it weren’t for God’s grace and mercy. Moving to another company is always painful since you’d be leaving friends behind and that was true when I left Searchlight Inc. But the opportunity God gave me in Magellan Solutions was something I have been praying for in a long time and as much as it’s scary to be handling a team that’s more than what i’m used to, I know I have Jesus’ perfect example of leadership to look up to.

5. GOOD HEALTH. God is the ULTIMATE HEALER. How do I know? Cause I haven’t had any attack of my Aplastic Anemia since 2011 and this was after the doctor told me then that I may have to stop working already because the stress is affecting my blood cells production. But here I am, already 2013 and I am still alive and (literally) kicking. If it weren’t for His healing power and restoration, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

4. FRUITFUL AND DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS WITH MY FRIENDS. My friends are my second family – sounding board, adventure-mates, “kakulitan”, eating buddies, sisters and brothers for life.

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3. START OF MORE TIME WITH MY FAMILY. I used to be the outcast in our family because my brother and cousins always say that I’m a spoiled brat and a tell-all. But ever since God has shown me what a true family is like – accepting everyone in spite of their flaws and imperfections, Him showing me that I can’t do it alone, that I have to treasure and reach out to them regardless if I feel like it because they’re family – I have now a newfound appreciation and love for these people I grew up with and will not trade them for anything ever.

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2.  VICTORY WEEKEND FOR JAY.  God works in unexpected ways, truly. I never thought I’d see my best friend, Jay attend Victory Weekend EVER. Sure, I prayed for him to get to know God and start attending Church but to be honest, I never really thought he’d take it seriously basing it from how he was when I got to know him at first. But as it is, God has a different plan for him and it wasn’t an accident that he liked and started to attend regularly the church services, God was calling Jay back to Him!

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1. AND… I GOT ENGAGED TO THE MOST AMAZING MAN. Jay being a Christian was just the beginning of God answering my prayers. 2012 was also the year He gave me the man I will plan to live my life with forever. I can still remember including that in my 2012 Prayer and Fasting Points, for God to bring our relationship to the next level, and He sure did!

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