Sunday, November 17, 2013

Of Hopes...

How can I help? It was a text SHE

Cash or in kind - but we are prioritizing napkins, diapers and condoms. ME replied.

Consider it done. Where to drop? SHE

I could meet you or there's a drop-off at the College. ME

We'll meet naman later so i'll course it through you K. SHE

Salamat SHE. ME


How are you holding up? SHE asked. We were at our usual once-twice a month dinner dates.

Better. But I feel responsible. I have been with the project for three years and still, parang walang nangyari - we are as unprepared as ever. ME

I don't think anybody would be prepared for that large a scale. Give yourself some slack. SHE

Salamat - I know you mean for the best. But I really feel we could have done more. ME

We have and we will. SHE was trying to convince me.


You see, ME have been with an institution for the last years in capacitating communities [or at least attempt to] in preparing for disasters and climate change. And  Yolanda has been a pail of cold water (heck - a whole ocean even!] that drenched us into reconsidering our strategies for preparedness.

What have we not done?

What were we doing wrong?

What needs to be changed?

I have been working with our team on looking at structures, policies, initiatives or the lack thereof for the last week.

And I have been obsessed at trying to make sense of the unimaginable loss of life and property.

Everything has been harder to do: and drink because there are those who have not been eating and/or drinking for days
...put on clean clothes when others don't even have any
...wake-up when thousands don't anymore

And despair is everywhere - two of my students haven't heard from their families since 10 November. And while they are excused from class, they kept on attending instead because its the only piece of sanity they have left. Their classmates have been more than supportive.

Five of my colleagues traveled by land the day after as their families were also there.

But some glimmer of hope arise sometimes. A close friend's family is in Samar - they are okay but the sister is coming to Manila to pursue the rest of the semester as the Visayas Campus cannot function - not in the next months. Aside from the countless help for relief efforts - the fact that a person affected still has a firm hold of her future is inspiring.


We ate in silence.

Here. SHE finally uttered and slipped a plastic envelope across our table in between our Jobee 39ers.

That's about Php3,000 worth of 10 and 5 peso coins from the Twins. They were saving it for buying their friends Christmas gifts. SHE said smiling.

Kids noh, just when you think they are only thinking of themselves. SHE continued.

I almost could not contain myself and wanted to cry my heart out. I have read of kids giving their piggy banks for donations but when someone you know does it - its a euphoric experience. I bit my lip as hard just to suppress my about uncontrolled-hysteria for the Twin's act of kindness.

It would be too much to ask you to cheer up but hey, there is hope, with a generation like that of my kids - I have the greatest of hopes. SHE concluded.


There's still a lot to be done.

We must mourn but we must also do what we can - in however or whatever way we can.

Here's to igniting that fire of hope!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Strategy for Love...

No, I am not an expert.

But I think I might have found a formula (or process) to finding an easy-breezy relationship and its no secret.

1. The other guy must love you more
2. Learn to love the other guy - maybe not in the same intensity, but love nonetheless

You know very well  where I'm coming from.


Love before M was altruistic and natural - it was not made or influenced - it just is. You love a person for no reason - you just love out of nowhere.

After M, I found that the better kinds of love are those that are learnt and nourished. For the first months with M, I thought he was just a guy that was a necessary intervention for me to move forward from He.

M was there for Me even if he does not know about He or what happened with He, M was there - he did not ask or attempted to intrude - he just made himself "there."


I was out for a week, I went from east to west coast (Pinas ha, not US) and had the chance to sleep only during travel time.

When I arrived, M was waiting. He got hold of my bags, prepared the bed and my clothes to sleep on. I slept early that night with a goal of waking up early the next day to fix my things.

And so I woke up with M's embrace. I kissed him softly on the lips and got up - M stayed in bed.

I went to the bathroom - the toiletries I brought for my travel were there, organized the way I would have organized it.

I stepped out of the bathroom, M was still in bed, and searched for my bag. It was in the closet, neatly tucked.

I looked at my hamper, it was empty - my guess is the clothes are hanging dry already. I went outside and there they were, my soiled clothes washed and swaying happily under the sun.

I stepped in, M was up, making coffee already. I stopped and looked at him.

He was wearing my boxers and an old college shirt. He yawned like it was the last thing he would do and scratched his head.

Saan ka galing? M finally noticed me and asked.

I smiled and did not answer his question. I moved forward instead and embraced him from the back.

Salamat. I whispered.

He turned around, placed his hands on my hips and kissed me.

I started tearing up. These little things he does - makes me believe in love again.

Mahal kita M. I said looking at him.

M was looking at me - he was surprised.

And then he smiled.

Basta ako ang naunang nagsabi niyan a - huwag mong kalimutan. M joked.

And we just stayed in that embrace for what seems like forever - for what I hope would be forever.


Here's to learning love!