Our company just gave out free doughnuts today in celebration of International Women’s Day, and while the happy gesture was mildly corrupted by Fellow Pao‘s signature insinuations (haha), I still found myself doing some introspection…
(And no — I am well aware, assured and secure on my 100.07% male gender/sexual orientation. Thank you.)
How did women affect/influence my life?
Here’s a list:
- My first crush when I was around 4-5 years old affirmed my identity as a boy. She was the cutest person I knew back then. Sadly, we never grew up together.
- My first nemesis was a female neighborhood friend. She hated my guts. I was proud.
- My eldest sister (Chuchie) attempted to brainwash us with her choice of songs… some were okay- like Francis M., Introvoys, Jon Bon Jovi; others were horrible choices of Pinoy 80’s romances that still haunts me during my most depressing moments *Oh shut up, Jose Mari Chan!*
- My first rival came in the form (because sometimes I seriously wonder if she’s an alien in human shape) of my big/small sister, Alyn. Not that she bothered. She was lightyears ahead of me in creative skills; fortunately, I was more stubborn than her 😀
- My aunts taught me generosity. I loved visiting them when I was younger. I was, in fact, a spoiled nephew back then. And yes – it was from my aunts that I learnt how to love reading and books. I miss that old stash of assorted magazines and reading material.
- My Syansi (Chinese teacher) in elementary taught me that no matter how pimply her face was, it’s not gallant to draw it in my notebook. Yes, I learnt it with two pieces of wooder 12-inch rulers, two swollen hands, and my first bestfriend keeping me company at the other corner of the room as we both try to hold ourselves back from laughing (he was also caught doing the same thing, and yes – from then on we became some sort of blood brothers).
- Thanks to my homeroom teacher in 3rd grade, we were forced to learn and appreciate lots of music; in fact, that entire school year was a music class. We learned and memorized all the children’s/action songs, the entire Pinoy Pasko medley, and other classic Christmas carols. But the best part? We had fun and enjoyed it all. (Well it didn’t make me a better singer, though)
- My first puppy love was the cause of my first fistfight right after four days of the new school year as soon as I transferred into a new school. It’s a long story.
- Oh yeah – my biggest crushes back in elementary were April O’Neil, Princess Zelda, Lady Jane, and Shaider’s sidekick – Annie. For obvious reasons.
- My first REAL infatuation activated my poetry genes, as well as some maligant romanticist/sentimental neurons. If in doubt, I could show you 3 notebooks worth of cheesy adolescent poetry – if I hadn’t burnt them…
- My high school teachers were the most epic and best ladies in the world!!! Nuff said 😀 *actually, it’s because they love to treat me to free merienda hehehe*
- Forced to learn simple ballroom dancing because my beloved evil sister Alyn advised me to dance with ALL the girls from my class on our high school prom. (And that was my first going-beyond-expectation achievement).
- My first love/girlbestfriend/girlfriend/exgirlfriend gave me a crash course on understanding women for the 6 years of our relationship: that included fashion parapsychology 101, psychia-physiological effects of the menstrual cycle, the quantum application of Schrödinger’s theory to the predictability of women’s preference and decisions particularly to what they want to eat and what they are thinking, the Freudian/genetic affinity to chocolates, etc… (I think I should devote an entire blog series just on these)
- (Gah… this is getting too long.)
Anyway, there is one woman though who really is the biggest influence in my life – and yes without further ado and drama and cliché segues and introduction, it’s Mama.
It’s from her that I learnt how to love chess.
It’s from her that I learnt how to love cooking.
It’s from her that I learnt how to respect authorities, and understand limitations (like when I asked her to tell Tatay to build a castle gate with fortifications, and she calmly explained why we can’t have that).
And most of all, it’s from her — despite the years when she was afflicted with clinical depression (which was kinda more like schizophrenia), and until she had a stroke in 2007 which rendered her immobile for the past few years — that I learned that sometimes, you just gotta love someone while you can, while they’re still around. That no amount of bad memories should replace the good ones. That no matter how broken one’s family can become, there is always hope when we let Christ mend us back together – no matter how long it takes.
To the greatest and most beautiful woman in the world:
Happy International Women’s Day, Mama.
Found an old blog – might as well share it :p
I remember clearly that scene last year: my dad gently feeding my paralyzed mom. I couldn’t help but smile, as I recall previous memories of how they fought, how they both ranted at me their complaints and criticisms about each other.
Honestly, I was about to resign to the belief that they will never love each other fully again. But I was amazed how God used our small family tragedy – my mom had a stroke two years ago – to remind my dad how much he cared for her. My father’s example showed me the meaning of this passage:
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. (Ephesians 5:25-28 The Message Version)
There’s no public or private place for love: there will always be someone who will witness whether we reflect the Father’s love or not.