Thankful Tuesday: My Loving Mama

Every Tuesday from now on (hopefully) I’d like to post a blog entry about people/things/blessings I am grateful for. There’s actually tons of them it would take a lifetime for me to even get close to half of the list. Needless to say though, I won’t get anywhere unless I start from somewhere.

So today I would like to shine the spotlight on my mother, Candelaria Conde Solivio. She won’t be able to read this, but I do let her know how much I love her vocally and in letters. This time I just want the whole world (wide web, that is) to know how great she is. The woman who raised me, Mama, as we call her, is without a doubt the best in her field – motherhood. Let me share a few reasons why.

Mama serves selflessly.

Pride? Time? Work? Relaxation? Friends? Herself? Name it. I’m sure one way or another, she has given up everything that is required for her to take good care of her family. After the death of my eldest brother in 1987, life has been rough for us. Mama needed to think of ways to feed 2 high schoolers and 2 babies (I was one of them ^^), not to mention my father who went through depression and couldn’t work back then. She gave up all earthly vanities and just got up, stared trials in the face and got to work. She did not have a real work, but for about a year, she kept the family together by plain diskarte and some really good pakikisama.

Mama forgives wholeheartedly.

She forgives everyone. When people hurt her, she doesn’t hurt them back. She would cry though, a lot. But regardless if the person asks for forgiveness or not, she just forgives. That’s how forgiving she is. There were people and  events in her life that caused her unimaginable amount of pain. I would sometimes hear her recall those memories but I never see anger in her eyes. Just sadness. Many people, including myself, ought to learn a thing or two from her about forgiveness.

Mama loves unconditionally.

All mothers do, I think. And everyone has this potential. But growing up, Mama gave me the best possible example of unconditional love in action: her life. I will never succeed in putting into words how deeply she shares her love, and shows it in her simple ways. I am blessed to witness her devotion up until this very hour.

I am so grateful for having been raised by a wonderful mother. And my child is lucky to have a grandmother like her. It would be an honor to be even half the mother she is. She doesn’t just know best. She is the best.

Mama and me
Mama and me

A letter to my child

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Liriko, our precious little man.

We know that in life the roads aren’t made of gold,
That people cry and people die, and memories grow old.
If in a mess you get caught up and feel you’re in a trance,
Stop and pray then read this letter once you get the chance:

My dearest child, remember that you are loved
By your parents on earth and your Father above
Your life is precious, your roots are divine.
When tested, be patient, perfection takes time.

Sometimes the world would mock what’s right
And one must choose between fight or flight.
In such a time child, firmly hold your ground.
Fear will wither where faith abounds.

Sometimes your plate might seem awfully full
And you’ll even wonder why you have to go to school.
In such a time child, think of what really matters
A few things are treasures in the grandest ever after.

Sometimes the righteous, they suffer even more
And you’ll see good people dragged further to the floor.
When it seems like for evil the stars are all aligned
Remember that for this, justice He designed.

Sometimes you’ll get hurt and sorrow you’ll find.
You might even lose hope and faith in mankind.
But think of how once He atoned for your sins,
And learn what great joy forgiveness can bring.

Sometimes in love, you think He’s unfair
That He answers others yet ignores your prayers.
When in waiting it seems your life’s mostly spent
Just think that it would all make sense in the end.

My dearest child, remember that you are loved
By your parents on earth and your Father above
Your life is precious, your roots are divine.
When tested, be patient, perfection takes time.

Love and Dreams: Summer Engagement Photos

I never really thought I’d have one, I’m not the kind who plans everything. But somehow this photo shoot turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences we have as a couple.

This happened sometime in April 2011. It all started when a friend of Danel told him I’d never use a picture of us together as my profile picture in Facebook. I told him that wasn’t true at all. And then I mentioned I wanted to have an artistically taken photo of us two. I shared all of that with a good friend at the office who happened to be a model with lots of contacts, Mary, And then we had a short talk with another good friend at the office who wanted to practice his photography, Aaron. After Mary found a location and a few clothes from her friend’s online botique, she contacted another professional photographer and a make up artist, She really took care of all the details. It wouldn’t have been close to reality without her. She said I could consider that a birthday gift. It was one of the best gifts I had, really.

And so the pictures below happened. The experience for me was new, exciting, tiring, memorable and magical. I couldn’t be more grateful. ^____^ I’m sharing these in here just so I could keep the memory beautifully in tact. The proposal actually happened a few weeks after the shoot,and that deserves a separate post. Anyway, below are the rest of the details:

Location : Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, Quezon City Philippines
Creative Director : Mary Anne Tuazon
Photographer : Aaron Medina
Hair and Makeup : Clarins Torrentegui
Clothes : MargaritaDreams Shop and my brother’s closet =)

And finally, some of the photos! pardon the varying quality. Notice how they are very different and very similar. We were a bit (or a lot?) awkward in posing, so it’s an unspeakable miracle how wonderful these tuned out! Enjoy!

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Not everyone lives

Not everyone with eyes sees
Not everyone with ears hears
Not everyone with heart loves
Not everyone with lips speaks

If not everyone who exists lives,
Then what good is the breath He gives?

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*Finished this poem in a few minutes after I got really frustrated with people who just don’t listen (so the original first line was “not everyone with ears listens”). So much in the world would be better if  we would only seek to understand a little more…*

Comfort playlist: “Musing mood”

We all have that, I believe. Once in a while we set back and enjoy a set of songs that allows us to sink deep into the realm of pure thoughts, or lack thereof. Music is one of the most magical things on earth. You can be reminded of your distant past, be hopeful about your future and enjoy the emotions of the moment with melodies. My playlist aptly titled (I believe) “Musing Mood” does all of these for me.

Allow me to share  part of it with you. It’s my loyal company in times of meditation and dead serious work. ^__^ Songs vary from sweet and slow to fun and fast. There are times when I actually stop working and just feel the words or the rhythm. I believe those moments are not wasted, since I get to take a break from thinking and just enjoy listening and feeling. There are a lot of songs included but below are the 10 11 most played ones, in no particular order:

1. Deep by Binoculars
2. Samson by Regina Spektor
3. Sweet Disposition by The Tempre Trap
4. Out of My League by Stephen Speaks
5. Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones
6. Quelqu’un m’a dit by Carla Bruni
7. Chasing Pavements by Adele
8. Ang Huling El Bimbo by Eraserheads
9. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
10. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
11. Penny and Me by Hanson

These songs are just…treasures, in a way, for me. I can’t really sing along to all of them (which is a shame) but the melodies and messages are all imprinted in my memory. I never get tired of listening to them. In fact I listen to them so I don’t get tired. ^___^

Of course there are days  that I really really just want to listen to melodies and I can’t afford to get distracted by words. That’s when my Sungha Jung playlist comes in handy. He’s a really young talented Korean guitarist who has done covers of so many songs. You should check him out!

So there – tired, sleepy, bored or happy, there’s just nothing like a good old playlist to keep you company. What’s your comfort playlist?

3 things to look for in a husband (a.k.a. wedding anniversary realizations)

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Credits to Kuya Felvir Ordinario for the picture 🙂

Ito ang nagagawa ng first wedding anniversary. You suddenly become a guru…not.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert of some sort on such colossal topics. In fact if I were to write self-help books they probably wouldn’t make it past the editor. But being married for a year now (yep, this exact same date last year! hurrah!) and already with a little infant as an addition to the family (baby bear Iko!), I should perhaps, at the very least, have valid basis for my opinion. My husband has taught  me, sometimes on purpose and most of the time without him knowing, a lot about what one should note down when trying to find someone they’re willing to get stuck with for all eternity. ^___^

Find someone imperfect with a desire to be perfected.

My husband is not perfect. Let me start with that. Well, I know no one who would claim otherwise when they speak of theirs. I married him with flaws and he married me with flaws (with more, I believe) and we recognized those and decided to work on them together. A year later, he still plays DOTA every now and then and I still raise my voice every now and then. But we are each other’s constant reminder, because we know we are not perfect and we need to be reminded.

Find someone with a heart of a child.

I know, I know this is hard, and cheesy. But this is true and vital. With marriage there is a tendency to just get tired of things and of routines especially when the going gets tough. But when your husband is a child at heart, surprises will never run out, fun will never stop, and laughter will never be missed. It’s refreshing to live with someone who can turn an awful day upside down just by his antics (Ex. a really loud and looong fart. Hah!) . And lets face it, in this life of demanding work and exhausting troubles, we all need play, and who knows play better than a child’s heart?

Find someone who loves you, and I really mean Head-over-heels/You are my world/I can’t live without you kind of love. 

News flash: This kind of love exists and it’s as real as the pain in your in grown nails. Love songs that tirelessly talk about such kind of devotion are not there for nothing. When you find and marry someone who actually makes all the love songs finally make sense to you, then half of your quest is made light. To me, everything can be a lie but my husband’s unconditional love for me will always be my basic truth. And because he loves me the way he does, doubts and fears take  the sidewalk and faith and happiness run the main road of my life.

Marriage is not easy, and to have the best companion is a must. When we make our choice, it always comes with the other end of the stick. I’ve realized that acceptance and learning are both important. And because I have my husband, I’ve realized that in the end, happiness becomes a constant choice, with conscious effort from both of us to make it last for all eternities – because that’s how much we love each other. 🙂

eternity is my theme. writing, my release. reading, my pleasure. and living, my purpose.