17 and counting

Yesterday we added another tick mark to our married life. This time there’s no hotel accommodation, no buffet food, just the simplest we can ever think of. But simple as it may seem, it was still one that we would cherish as we made it happen almost against all odds. Marcus and I were recovering from colds and wifey just had a day after she gave the thumbs up that her lingering stomach pain settled down.

Now based in Batangas, and with budget in check, Alabang was our best bet. It wasn’t really the closest but it is the only place that would give us most options for a decent celebration which would satisfy everyone else’s idea of good day out. Its proximity to a church, malls and choices of resto were factors we considered.

We found ourselves under this giant chili.

Lunch was at Chili’s. We convinced Marcus who initially was thinking to be at the nearby Acacia Hotel and then take a quick dip at the pool. He loves the hotel so much that he can recognize it from his mom’s telenovela series—and even pictures on Facebook—and has been begging to return since we checked in last year. The word tacos made him agree to step into Chili’s though he soon discovered the tacos in real life do not appear how it does on his Roblox game and that it has some hint of cheese which is one thing he hates the most. Plus the song It’s Raining Tacos didn’t play in the background.

Mexican food for lunch.

A stroll to the mall was good enough to burn the calories we packed courtesy of Chili’s’ humongous burger, baked beans, tacos, and chicken and pasta. And just when we thought the remainder of our day would be all about window shopping, Kidzone offered us something new: a Virtual Reality adventure.

We were on SLEX before three in the afternoon as we do another attempt to hear mass for the day as we came in too early for the morning mass in Alabang. We decided not to get Marcus out of ATC to St. Jerome Church as the change from the cold mall to the noontime sun would be detrimental. But rain poured hard as entered Batangas and with such condition we cannot get Marcus out of the car to his wheelchair so we cancelled again. Anyway, we hope that God would understand, as always the case. May he grant us another wonderful year with all the three of us together to celebrate another milestone.

***

It appears that we have to accept the fact that the way we celebrate our anniversary has changed over the years. The date for two is obviously over and the one who gets the gift now is neither of us. That’s parenting I guess.

17th anniversary stuff goes to…

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Happy anniversary to us!)

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Christmas in Sickness and in Health

Do you still remember the time when you and the woman you so love held hands in front of the church altar and bravely, if not absentmindedly, uttered “…in sickness and in health…for better or for worse ‘til death do us part”? For us, it’s now close to 15 years and these words never have been really fully tested.

While our bodies have aged, with some wrinkles and loose flabs here and there, my wife and I have retained the feelings that have kept us together since our eyes met—‘twas the time when we were so young and carefree. These feelings continued until we finally marched down the carpeted aisle, looking forward to start a new life as husband and wife. And quite frankly, back then the “for worse…and in sickness…” part of our vows seems to be something that will never become a reality.

But perhaps as fate would have it, the days have come when we put our money where our mouth is. Today, when supposedly we worry only about how to spend the Christmas holiday, wifey undergoes a major surgical operation. And today, that chance to give Marcus a sibling stops.  Nevertheless, we will move on. I now just hope her operation will be successful so that we all stay together longer—the two of us with Marcus.

Oh, wait, wait, wait. I just remembered we also pledged “…for richer or for poorer…”  Ti abi.

***

Comic strip above was inspired by a recent exchange with wifey when I gave her a 3-piece Ferrero Rocher. Yes, the humor is still there.

Get well soon wifey. We love you.

***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Friday the 13th. And we are in a hospital.)

Samsung S4 and Marriage

Sometimes marriage is like the evolution of smartphones– first it responds to touch, next thing you know there’s air gesture.

Perfect? Don’t Get Married

Perfect people aren’t fit for marriage. One has to have some annoying traits to get even with his partner.

X-Files and Me

 

At last! A couple of days ago my wife and I finally got the chance to view one of my much awaited movie – The X-Files: I Want to Believe. I can’t exactly say that I’m the number one fan of its TV series, but I can say that it’s one of the shows that made me forget almost about everything once it starts on TV. The moment the first note of its theme song played I’m all eyes and ears in front of the boob tube.

You see I’m one of those who believe that someone could be indeed out there. Since I was kid, one of the things we did once the sun sets is to look up the dark and star-filled sky either just to past time away or to compete with either my friends or my sister on what have we lately learned about the constellations. Most of the times when we do that I would always wonder if someone else may be staring down (or up) at us and wondering just the same thing like I do.

My enthusiasm for alien life form – or at least stories of it – increased further as I grew up. And the advent of The X-Files filled in the craving to know and discover more. I begin to wonder if conspiracies especially on the part of the U.S. government existed – remember Roswell? Those days and even until now, seeing the “Something is out there” poster sends some sort of adrenalin rush. These are words that keep the alien conspiracy theorists awake and sleepless.

So other than the fact that The X-files featured two great characters, FBI Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), whom I had crush with the latter (but of course yes, who wouldn’t anyway), the presence of the elements of mystery, conspiracy and the idea of finding alien life form here on earth is a dream come true for every believer like me.

Sadly, the 2nd X-Files movie still didn’t do justice to the TV series. It has actually gotten worse than the 1st one. The story just doesn’t have the X-Files feel compared to its TV counterpart. But maybe it’s just me. And maybe it’s because we came in late in the first place and my mind was divided between catching the UFO looking patty of Burger King’s Whopper Jr. and getting in on time inside the cinema. My wife actually sensed the desperation that she consoled me that we missed only a couple of minutes of the show. That’s easy for her to say that, but then again The X-Files for me wouldn’t be a complete X-Files if I didn’t hear its main theme song.

Bits of this movie that I find interesting are:

  1. Finally, their (Mulder and Scully) platonic relationship ended. Good for Mulder, bad for us male Scully fans.
  2. Despite the obvious ageing, both still has the appeal as X-Files FBI agents. (I learned from the Jimmy Kimmel show this morning that Gillian Anderson was just 24 years old when she first made it to the X-Files TV show).
  3. At least Skinner is still there. But it could have been better if the Cigarette-Smoking man had his appearance. I love this Morley-packing character.
  4. Pedophile priest considered alien? Just about time I guess.
  5. The snowy Virginia setting really added to the cinema’s chilly temperature. Hot brewed coffee highly recommended instead of sodas.
  6. And guess who’s in charge of the music for this movie? Mark Snow. How colder can it get?

If given the chance, I’d like to watch this movie again from the very start in order for me to understand what it was all about. I hate to believe that the 2nd X-Files movie is a flop. There must be one good story behind it all.

Anyway, while I’m still trying to figure out who’s the actual leader of this sinister plot – wherein I’m starting to believe that there’s a conspiracy between Burger King, bridge repair works, SM guard on duty, the cinema and my wife (This is where the X-Files theme song plays) that made me be late, I am now actually thinking that The X-Files and marriage may seem to have some commonality at all (now you have a clue of who am I suspecting):

  1. Scully: What are you doing? Mulder: Trying to ignore you.
  2. “Don’t give up!”
  3. The anticipation to see the show is just like anxiously waiting for your wife to come home with six-pack of beers. The moment she’s in, you grab the beers and then you’re in your own world on the sofa.
  4. Sometimes the episode doesn’t seem to make sense just like your…(you fill in; I’m not getting quoted for this)
  5. Sometimes you get obsessed with the show, of course, just like you sometimes get obsessed with your wife.
  6. The continuation of an episode sometimes doesn’t seem to get related to the other. I’m sure you’ve had discussions with your wife that suddenly shifted to something that made you wonder if you’re awake during the whole discourse.
  7. Sometimes the episode is just so scary you can’t help but avoid looking at… (I’m not completing this one either – you fill it in. Take the risk)
  8. Most of the time though, you miss it so much that a week is never complete without seeing it. Sometimes you even wish that you can see it daily. Now, this is more like my wife. Hahaha. Peace!
Uncovering the  conspiracy

Alien Me: Uncovering the conspiracy

 

 

December Weddings

Today I almost missed attending a friend’s wedding (Villafuerte-Espinosa) due to sore throat. Since I’ve prepared for this day for quite some time so I can see this normally rugged and casual person marching down the isle in barong tagalog (Filipino native male costume), I dragged my aching throat & drove my way to Tagaytay.

I arrived at the Ina ng Laging Saklolo Church late, but not late enough to be included in the photo op (which I swear is the most stressful part of any wedding. Imagine one had to endure and maintain the perfect smile frame by frame, regardless of mood or condition) with other friends and co-workers. Indeed, he wore a barong but still sporting the ponytail just like I did when I got married.

As if by reflex, after the entire photo ops were done, I with a couple of friends sped to the reception (lunch) area at Lake Garden Hotel and arrived there first. And it just dawned on me that I could win an Amazing Race series if all the pit stops are event reception centers. I’ve done this a couple of weddings already.

The tables and buffet meals were set at a picturesque view of the Taal Lake. The weather was good and the view of the volcano was a perfect background for the bride, groom and all the guests which were either smiling, chatting, munching and drinking – Iced Tea at this time of the day. It would have been more perfect if there were liquors to somehow warm up our body from the chilly atmosphere. But then again, I got the damn sore throat.

Unfortunately, I have to leave early to catch up with my doctor’s appointment. We will drink to that someday.

Another wedding I attended this month was my in-law’s 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration.

It was a celebration my wife, her siblings and other relatives had been preparing for almost two years. The funds were raised and saved regularly to ease up on the expense. Each one also got assumed responsibility (work term) to accomplish. I got to donate a Lechon (roasted pork) that was never served. But it’s another story.

And so, D-day came.

Although the weather last Dec 9 was flip-flopping, the folks in Batangas got things going by very early morning. The bayanihan spirit, which is not uncommon in their place during every celebration, kicked off in high gear.

(Disclaimer: just this next part is not for vegans. Sorry. ) The guys slaughtered the pig in the wee hours of the morning and prepared the pork parts and cuts for various recipes.

The ladies (and lolas) were busy chopping and getting the spices ready, while the rest did the cooking. The smoke-filled dirty kitchen (no pun intended) was bustling with activity. The aroma of typical Batangueno food reaches every corner of the place. And almost everyone else was getting back and forth to get things done.

Despite the threat of rain, the wedding started on time in the local chapel. The guys wore barong tagalog, while the ladies had the aptly golden yellow colored dress. The little girls (granddaughters) had butterfly wings on them. It was a festive sight and I felt the excitement and joy of all the family members radiating from their smile.

After the ceremony and photo ops (did I just say photo ops again?), inay po and itay po went with us (well, our humble car was the bridal car. No choice but to be there first) as we drove back to the reception area which was set at the basketball court just outside their house (another typical Filipino setting).

Unfortunately, the wedding entourage tables, which were set under the shelter of a tarpaulin, got flooded still, due to the uneven portion of the ground (a remnant of the last typhoon Milenyo). The show (in this case, eating) must go on so some guys who are still in barong, neatly ironed pants and shiny shoes armed themselves with dust pans and broom sticks to clear the area so that the rest may be seated.

The rest of the night went on to be rainy. Everyone had to wade in inches of flood to get back to their tables to eat. Others had to take shelter under their own plates while lining at the buffet area for food. But as most people would believe (depending on the situation. A rain during a funeral would be taken as “the Heavens mourning the death of”), the rain is a sign of blessing. In this case, so be it.

For it is indeed a blessing for my in-laws to reach 50 years of being together. A blessing for their children to have such parents; for their grandchildren to have been able to see and be with their lolo and lola. And of course a blessing for us in-laws to have someone who trusted us with their children whom we had as either husband or wife.

For me I have nothing but praises for them. Being together for this long is a feat itself. It takes more than just patience, love and understanding to hold on to such relationship. In these days of loose moral values, fast pace life, consumerism and materialism, marriage is always threatened and compromised. It is always easy and sometimes mushy to say, but it’s a fact that God had to be in the center of one’s marriage or family to get over with every trial the “new” world gives. No more No less.

To everyone who had or is just about to have their wedding this December, my congratulations and best wishes to all of you. I’m sure your Christmas and New Year will never be cold.