Sunday, September 26, 2010

Septembers to Remember

In September 2009, Ondoy happened. We were so lucky our lives were spared by the supertyphoon. This September, only God knows what I went through. What is with low moments during September? Lol. So instead of imbibing bitterness and negative energy, allow me to recall how we survived Ondoy. How I survived this September will be recounted in a different entry all together, to be posted probably next year. Haha.

Here's an article I wrote for the March 2010 ish of Meg Magazine.

We were no swimmers. The only swimmer in the family, our Dad, hasn’t returned to the Philippines since I was 10 years old. As he worked abroad, he barely witnessed me and my sister grow up. Unfortunately, he was absent during all of our most memorable days, including that fateful day of September 26, 2009.

It was a Saturday and I didn’t have work. I was resolved to sleeping until noon, but then our mother woke me and my sister up at around 10 a.m. It was raining hard and she needed help in preparing for an impending flood. At our place in Concepcion, Marikina City, it was but normal to experience floods once in a while during heavy rains.

As expected, water began to rise outside. It was around noon by that time. My mom, my sister, and I elevated our sofa set by placing them on pots and casseroles so it won’t get submerged in water. We were still calm during those times. We found nothing sinister from the way the water crawled out of the cracks in the floor. This wasn’t the first time we’ve experienced this. My sister and I even playfully waded in the ankle-deep flood water and took pictures of the experience.

Surprisingly, the water level outside the house rose rapidly and started to enter the house through our doors. By 1 o’clock, our house was a basin and the water in it was already waste-high. We did everything humanly possible to save our appliances and other pieces of furniture but apparently, girly strength was not one that can rescue everything. Panic began to overcome us as our beds, drawers, cabinets, even our gas range, washing machine, and refrigerators floated, causing a chaotic rumble. Everything got wet and underwater—our encyclopedias, our pictures, our clothes, our dining ware, even our toilet bowl. We felt miserable seeing how our once orderly house become a mess.

Good thing, our neighbors took the extra mile to help us. They left their house to check on us, steadied the floating appliances, double checked if we have turned the electrical power off, salvaged our television and computer sets, and made sure we were fine. They also encouraged us to leave with them, but we decided to stay, hoping that the downpour would come to a stop soon. My mom was in tears as she led the rosary. The three of us hopelessly watched our house gradually sink in murky water.

At around 3 in the afternoon, the water got even deeper. That was when the three of us agreed to move to a safer place. The rain didn’t stop nor did it let up. We thought it would be very dangerous to be trapped inside our house if the water level continues to rise. Ironically, our home was no longer a safe place to stay in that time.

Heavyhearted as we were, we left our properties—or what was left of them. We only brought with us the most important documents and belongings we can’t afford to lose. When we got out of the house, we faced a bigger problem: the muddy waters were already as high as my shoulders. The biggest problem: Where shall we go?

My mom feared for our lives as she didn’t know how to swim. She let out a scream hoping someone would find us wandering along the sidewalk, with nowhere to go. The water was already neck-high and the current was somehow difficult to fight. At the back of my mind, I was calculating whether the too little swimming skill I had could save both my mother’s life and my sister’s, but I know I had no chance.

We heard our neighbor yelling at us, inviting us to stay in her two-storey house just across the street. However, it was not yet time to feel relief, considering the water current and depth we have to deal with just to be able to get to the other side. The water was neck high in the elevated sidewalk. If we were to cross the street, it would even be deeper.

Despite our hopelessness, help came our way. One of the neighbors who assisted us earlier was brave and tall enough to carry us to the other side of the street. And then, we felt a sense of safety.

There were five families who found refuge in the two-storey house. On the second floor, we managed to find our own resting place despite the cramped space. None of us had an inkling that this would happen. We weren’t prepared. Our hostess selflessly offered us dry clothes and a few canned goods for the 16 of us to share.

We waited for the storm to subside; sleep was very elusive. Our mobile phones were of no use since the lines were busy. It seemed like the networks were also affected by the typhoon. We were not able to contact our relatives the same way that our relatives and our Dad, were not able to reach us. Despite the lack of electricity and the weariness we were all feeling, we managed to get through the night.

At 4 in the morning, the flood subsided and we were welcomed by ominous, thick, foul-smelling mud as we returned home. Our house was an awful sight.

Realizing that we need enough energy to start cleaning, we sent my sister to the market to buy food. There, she saw that more MarikeƱos suffered worse than we did. She recalled seeing people covered with mud and weak because of hunger. Most of them were from Barangay Nangka and others were from the town of Montalban. It took my sister two hours to return home with two cups of coffee and a few packs of biscuit. According to her, it was a frenzied morning in the market and the grocery store. Stocks were unavailable in spite of the throngs of people needing them.

We devoted the next days cleaning, moping over our lost possessions, and grieving for the great devastation brought about by the typhoon to our country. We were able to watch TV after the power was restored. We were flabbergasted to see in the news that innumerable damages were inflicted and a great number of lives were lost. All the while, we thought we had the worst experience, only to find out that that what we have gone through is nothing compared to those people who lost their homes, their loved ones, and their lives.

This experience is by far the most tragic event that happened in my life, but it made me and my family realize who really cared for us. We felt blessed as the help from relatives, friends, and workmates came unceasingly. It also made us realize how lucky we still were. We are alive and that is the most important blessing that was given to us.

Coping with the tragedy was not as hard as I imagined it to be because of the people who were there to help. Our Dad who was relieved by the news that we were okay gave us his valuable support, financially and emotionally. Our aunt and her whole family in Marikina Heights adopted us during the time our home was still in the rubles. My boyfriend, uncle, and cousin came to help clean our house and bring it back to its former order. My boss who was also affected by the typhoon personally came to bring the contributed goods of my officemates. We were deeply overwhelmed by the concern they showed us. In return, we shared with our neighbors every blessing we received.

A few days after the typhoon, my sister and I participated in an outreach program headed by my aunt. Their organization based in Jeddah, KSA, The Maria Community, gave out relief goods to the people of Nangka and Tumana who were greatly affected by Ondoy. That was the least we could do—volunteer and offer our services in order to ease the burdens of those who had worse experiences and those who have less in life.

Typhoon Ondoy drew the line and made a clear distinction between the victims and the survivors. He spared no one. Both the rich and the poor suffered. The most significant outcome of this mayhem though is the emergence of the spirit of bayanihan. It is comforting to know that in of calamities, we have people who are ready and willing to help.

I am very grateful that we survived Ondoy. My family and I owe it to the people who stood beside and prayed for us during this time of catastrophe. Most importantly, we owe it to God who spared our lives. Now that we have started anew, I can’t totally say that 2009 is a bad year. Yes, there were a lot of struggles, but I count my blessings.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cheer-me-up Thinga

It occurred to me just lately that I might be a hopeless romantic. After everything I went through, I still believe that somewhere out there, someone is bound to meet me, change my life, and love me for all eternity. When that day comes, that someone will tell me I'm beautiful just the way I am.

Haha. Parang kanta di ba? That's actually what this blog entry is all about. Every time I hear this song, I become hopeful. The optimism that the person destined for me will come someday intensifies. Weird as it is, this song is my current cheer-me-up song. I believe the man who will love me forever is out there. All I have to do is prepare myself and wait.

Here's the song. Happy listening! ♥

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Got the photo from here.
I miss playing my guitar. However, my guitar is not in good condition at the moment. Ondoy did not spare it from his ravage last year. Sigh.

The time I saw this guitar in SM North, my eagerness to play and sing again resurfaced. I'm not really a good player and singer, but just strumming and trying to sing are enough to give me comfort and peace. It's a me-time activity I used to love back then. Now is simply the best time to play again.

Can somebody buy me this for me on my birthday? Sob. The store is called Music for Little Mozarts and is located in the 3rd floor of SM North. Haha. I so love the stars. I wish there was a different color though--one for mature guitarists [or frustrated guitarists like me].

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pwede tumula, makatang-makata.

I saw this poem on my classmate's wall and instantly, I fell in love with it. It was presented in video form and was read by Madonna. If you wish to listen to it, I posted it on my Facebook wall. The lines, "Well, now, / if little by little you stop loving me / I shall stop loving you little by little," struck a chord in my heart. That line perfectly says what I should do.

The poem really depicts what I am feeling now. It reflects the right kind of strength and conviction, and the right kind of hope and faith a hurting person must have--strength and conviction to move forward; hope and faith to still hold on. I don't know about hope and faith, but I believe it's strength and conviction that must prevail in me. That's what I'm doing and will continue doing.

Ah, Pablo Neruda. Could you just reincarnate into a boy-next-door's body? Promise, ako na ang manliligaw sayo ;p

If You Forget Me
by Pablo Neruda 

If You Forget Me
I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Better Day #8

My experiences proved me that I really am human. Yes, this has been the lowest depression I've been in my whole life. But that only means that I loved with all my heart, strength, and being. I am not ashamed to admit that I feel deep pain in the chambers of my heart. There is this void in the left ventricle I can't fill for now. There is a gap in the right ventricle that is incessantly throbbing. There is longing in the left atrium which is slowly disappearing. But aside from pain, the most important thing is this space reserved for change in the right atrium which is continually growing. It's a good thing my heart now has the openness to embrace change. One day, I'll look back and tell myself, "You did a great job, Dez."

Since Day #6, I've been embracing changes in my life by accepting them and making them. In the next few days and months, I'll watch myself change and eventually, I'll be happy. I know it's not going to be easy. But I won't let anybody make me feel rejected ever again. And so yesterday, I decided to cut my hair short. It's a drastic change since I want my hair long, but it's a good start. Today, I'll pamper myself, relax, and free my heart of the things that have been bothering it. And in the next days, I'll continue creating changes. I'll still pursue my dreams and I won't stop completing the plans I have started.

I have a thing for naming objects that mean a lot to my life. Just right this moment, I thought of giving my heart a name. It's only recently that I've come in close connection with my heart and it is relieving to know that my heart is forgiving yet strong. It has been crushed and wrecked, but it regenerated fast to help me still be complete. My heart is still beating. It beats only for me; not for any other person. I guess that's the lesson to learn here: NEVER LET YOUR HEART BEAT FOR OTHERS. Your heart is yours and yours alone. Without your heart, you cannot give love.

I now think that it is good to give your heart to the person you love, but it is best to keep your heart as you love wholeheartedly. That way, you are leaving something for yourself. That way, both parties benefit equally. That way, you are still complete while giving the love your partner deserves.

So what name must I give my heart? The first thing that popped in my head is Lucrezia. A funny name it is, but at least, it's not morbid. I maybe bad at naming, but I'll stick with Lucrezia and just give my heart a nickname of Zia. That sounds better. Agree?

I am changing
We are all changing. But I'll make sure I'll change for the improvement of myself, my life. I'll change so that the time my destiny comes, I am complete and prepared for some true lovin'.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Better Day #6

Today was a busy day for me. After my classes, I returned my soon-to-be-overdue books to the library, went to St. Claire in Katipunan to ask for divine intervention, met with three friends in three different dates, and arrived home with a lot of realizations about things. While in the cab on my way home, my perspectives have been changed. I embrace these changes willingly and happily because I know I'll never regret anything. I'll always be proud to say that I tried to fight hard and that I did not give up that easily. In the end, I am not at fault. It's just that my beliefs and my faith are not enough to make things work. This day ends my suffering. There are, after all, a lot to look forward to.

Divine intervention came immediately. Now, I've come to really appreciate my friends. They spared some time out of their busy schedule to comfort me and talk to me. They kept me sane through my depression. They helped me come to my senses and made me realize that I should not mope for someone who's unworthy and who was not, is not, and will never be man enough for me. From here on, he will just be a memory. He was significant in the past, but there is a reason he should no longer matter to me now.

I never thought that overcoming this might be easy. I'm now in the "acceptance" stage and I guess everything after this will be a piece of cake. I'll set my priorities straight and the pieces of my life will fall perfectly in their proper places, in favor of me. I'm lifting everything to my Lord. I know he will soon send me the man who will prove me that my beliefs and faith about love and life are still true. 

Happiness will come my way soon. I know that, I just do.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Better Day #4

Day #2 is still the "most better" so far because I did not cry that day. This day does not count as better because I cried at work. My job has just become so difficult and the pressure is killing me.  Add to that the fact that I still have 3 reports to pull off in just one school subject and 2 more for the other one. But on a brighter note, a new plan came about today too, thanks to my brilliant mind. Maybe after this day, all the days will be better. I really hope so. I hope God guides me in realizing this plan. I know this is a very good move and I thank the Lord because he gave me a willing friend who could help me with all this.

UbD Plan, I'll be bigger than you.
Grammar Theories, I swear I'll comprehend you, you bitch!
You, I love you. Hay.

Should I rename my blog as "UNHAPPIDEZZ"?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Better Day #2

The quote and the song inspire me right now. I hope those who are fighting their own battles find strength and hope with these too.
"Now that you have suffered, you would not like to hurt others. You have experienced how it feels when the heart aches. The one who suffers becomes more sympathetic to others! No wonder, you are a better person now." []

Fix You - Cold Play

Friday, September 3, 2010

Better days are ahead

I know God has plans for me. For now, I'll just do what I think will make me feel better. I'll just firmly believe that I will win this battle; that things will be alright; and that I'll find my happiness again. I won't hurry. I'll take my time. Whatever happens in the end, I'll know God never left me; He only led me to the right path--the path where I am destined to be. The day the Lord hears my prayers and lets me win my battle, that will be the day I will be complete again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Loser me.

I wish we could just go back to these days when all we had was just each other--no complications, no hurting, no brods and chicks, just you [my tabachoy] and me [your angel]. I wish we could just go back to these days when all you needed was me.
hehe.. nakasakay n ako ng lrt.. wala lang.. nanakatuwa lang.. pero nakatayo ako kanina.. pero okei lang, ksama ko naman si dhez eh... so no regrets talaga... ayon.. nakakatuwa kc nga for ages eh ngayon n lang ukit ako nakasakay sa lrt.. tapos tinuruan din pala ako nina madie nd arene kung panu kumuha nung card.. wala lang... tapos un, pumunta kami ng angel ko sa may gateway and she pointed me the place where madie was called sir... hehe.. ayon, lakad lakad lang... tapos we ate.. at hindi kami sa mismong gateway kumain.. hehe.. doon kmi sa mat mcdonalds.. lumabas pa talga eh.. ayon un na ang nakakatuwa.. nakakatuwang panooring kumain si dhez.. ang daming menerisms.. parang carabao... parang owl... parang bata... tapos hilig pang gumalaw ng ulo nya... hehe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! every bite eh gumagalaw, every sip ng drink, gumagalaw p rin... and sobrang liliit ng bites nya, tuloy natunaw p ung mcflurry nya.. basta ang masasabi ko lang talaga eh nakakatuwa!!!!!! un lang.. wala na... hehe... basta i love this day!!!!!!!!!!! nagparade p pla kmi kaninang morning kc start n nung abv week sa school namin.. and our classmates were rteally really wild... kaya naging masaya nd nakakatuwa.. un na... basta this day became so memeorable because of someone named dhez...
I wish we could go back to the days when all that ever mattered to you was to excel in school because you don't want to be a failure and because you want to make your mother proud. I wish we could be like this again because I'm hurting too much and I can't help but wish we're as happy as we were during these days.
the reason why im grade conscious....
i have a scholarship to maintain and protect... i need to earn high grades in order to maintain my scholarship, which helps us a lot, financially of course.. with my scholarshio, my mother will no longer think as to where she will get the money needed for my enrollment, which as we all know is really a large sum.. i don't want to fail my mother,, i don't want to make her upset and depressed.. i love her so much that i will do and give all my best just to meet her espectations.. she gives everything i ask her and the only way to pay her in return is for me to study hard and maintain the scholarship i have, which makes her really proud of me..
another reason is, i dont want to fail myself!!! i have set myself high standards so i have to meet those standards.. since im the one who sets my goals, i should be able to realize them so as not to upset myself, not to hurt my ego and not to degrade my own esteem... thats why whenever i get low grades, i easily get frustrated, i easily get depressed... but then, because of my favorite poem, i learn to stand up again and continue life as if nothing had happened and continue reaching my goals through the standards i have set for myself.. in doing these, im boosting my esteem and my ego.. im increasing my selfworth, so as to be courageous enough in facing and surpassing all the struggles that hinder me from getting into my pedestal.. ahaha!! parang walang connection!!

Waking up hurts a lot each time because I know that no matter how hard I wish that this is just a nightmare, it will never come true. And the worst part is, I still love you so much ;c