Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Eve At The Mall

A Love Story. Kinda brings a tear to your eye.

A couple was Christmas shopping at the mall one Christmas eve and the mall was packed.

As the wife walked through the mall she was surprised to look up and see her husband was nowhere around.
She was quite upset because they had a lot to do.

Because she was worried she called him up on her mobile phone to ask him where he was.

In a calm voice, the husband said, “Honey, do you remember the jewelry store we went into about five years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we could not afford and I told you I would get it for you one day?”

The wife choked up and started to cry and said “Yes, I remember that jewelry store.”

He said “Well, I’m in the bar next right to it.”

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Love Story For Golfers

An elderly couple was having dinner one evening when the husband
reached across the table, took his wife's hand in his and said,
"Martha, soon we will be married 50 years, and there's something I have
to know. In all of these 50 years, have you ever been unfaithful to

Martha replied, "Well Henry, I have to be honest with you. Yes, I've
been unfaithful to you three times during these 50 years, but always
for a good reason."

Henry was obviously hurt by his wife's confession, but said, "I never
suspected. Can you tell me what you mean by 'good reasons'?"

Martha said, "The very first time was shortly after we were married,
and we were about to lose our little house because we couldn't pay the
mortgage. Do you remember that one evening I went to see the banker and
the next day he notified you that the loan would be extended?"

Henry recalled the visit to the banker and said, "I can forgive you for
that. You saved our home, but what about the second time?"

Martha asked, "And do you remember when you were so sick, but we didn't
have the money to pay for the heart surgery you needed? Well, I went to
see your doctor one night and, if you recall, he did the surgery at no

"I recall that," said Henry. "And you did it to save my life, so of
course I can forgive you for that. Now tell me about the third time."

"All right," Martha said. "So do you remember when you ran for
president of your golf club, and you needed 73 more votes?"

NOTE: Thanks to Dan Ciria Cruz who sent this story via email.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Cheating Story

By Cindy English

I was one of the walking wounded…the cheated.

My story is not “unique” by any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, it is almost a cliché!
Sadly, hundreds of good women will see themselves in my story. But, just because it is so familiar, doesn’t make it any less painful for each woman who endures it. 

Let me tell you what I have learned.

At 20, I married my long time friend and lover. He was a handsome ‘bad boy’ who was fun and had a terrific sense of humor. He was very spontaneous and he was great in bed! What else could any young girl possibly wish for? 

We were young, “in love”, and having the time of our lives. We hung out with our friends, we partied hard, went games, concerts and everything else that was ‘important’ in life.

Hell, three of us even ran a police car off the road in the middle of a high speed chase once and got away with it! We didn’t do it on purpose, it’s just that my guy was a better driver than the police officer was…apparently.

True story! 

People in that little town still talk about “Bo, Luke and Daisy” (Dukes of Hazard) coming into town one dark night in a Black Camaro Z-28! Everyone knew who did it but not one sole ever ratted us out. What a rush! Yup…those were the ‘good old days’! We were running on pure adrenaline!

So, when this exciting ‘bad boy’ asked me to marry him? Wow! Of course I did! 

Fast forward. 

One year later and expecting our first child. What the hell happened? I’m 8 months pregnant and definitely not feeling very sexy. The responsibilities and expenses of having to run our own household are piling up. Where’s the joy?

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I resented my husband at times for his ‘we’ll worry about it tomorrow’ attitude. And why shouldn’t he feel that way? Being pregnant wasn’t stopping him from drinking and partying and having a great time with our friends. He wasn’t the one trying to figure out how to pay $500 worth of bills on $400. He wasn’t the one that had to keep the house clean, cook and work.

Well, somehow, we survived that hurdle although, due to his lack of participation in child rearing, I vowed not to have anymore children. What for? He wasn’t having anything to do with the little girl we already had? He had a real aversion to changing diapers. Nope, no more kids!

Through the years, my husband changed very little. Growing up did not seem to be an option for him. He still went out with what use to be ‘our’ friends and partied, He played hockey, baseball, pool and darts and much to my envy, HE still seemed to be having fun – damn it! I still wanted to have fun too, but obligations seemed to get in the way. After all, someone had to be the responsible adult in this family and it certainly wasn’t going to be him!

Looking back, this is was the beginning of the end for us. Women seem to ‘grow up’ and accept the responsibilities that come with raising kids and running a household much more than men do. A guy thinks that he has done his part once he brings the paycheck home.

While I was busy working, raising a child and tending house, he was busy working and having fun! When I got out of work, I still had work to do. When he got out of work, he was ready to play. A squeeze on the backside while telling me I had a ‘nice ass’ use to be enough to get me into bed. Why wasn’t it working anymore? Same old tired story – the child was sick and kept me up all night, I just got home from work, I have to bake cookies for school tomorrow, I am too tired, I have a headache, yeah, yeah, yeah.

This does not compute with guys. They want sex! Don’t get me wrong, I did too. I just wanted it to feel like love and not just a ‘service call’ to be added to my already long list of duties. My ability to ‘stop, drop and roll’ was hindered by my sense of obligation. So needless to say, the frequency of our intimate times dwindled and as any woman can tell you, with a child in the house, spontaneity went right out the window! We were still good together, just not as often as needed.

I guess that I knew in my heart for a long time that my husband was cheating on me. As the years rolled on, there were nights when he didn’t show up for supper. Hell, there were nights when he didn’t show up at all. By most women’s standards, I suppose I should have called his bluff and thrown in the towel. But, when he was home, I saw the ‘bad boy’ that I fell in love with. That boyish grin, the hilarious answers and that familiar squeeze on the backside would warm and win me over every time. 

We didn’t fight much. As a matter of fact, we worked and played well together. We completely renovated our entire home together without killing each other, which is rare. We made plans, we had dreams, we were still best friends and most importantly, I felt loved.

I remember the day my world blew apart quite vividly. September 16th, 1994. It was surreal. As I entered our bedroom to put away freshly folded laundry, sitting on our bed, back to me, was my husband talking on the phone with his girlfriend. I said nothing. I sat out of sight and listened. My heart was pounding so hard that I could hear it in my ears.

Prior to overhearing that phone conversation, I had absolutely no idea that my husband was about to leave me. I am not sure that he did either.

I often wonder if I had not confronted him about that call, would he have continued life as it were? After all, what did he have to gain by leaving? He had a terrific home complete with all of the gadgets current to the technology of the time. He had a swimming pool, satellite TV, two good vehicles, one cat, one dog, one wife who he knew loved him unconditionally (obviously) and a daughter who thought the sun rose and set on her dear old Dad. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

I do know that once I did confront him about the call, his whole demeanor changed instantly. I never saw my happy-go-lucky, fun loving husband again. He was replaced by a man I had never met. One who seemed dark and peculiar. He never smiled. He admitted that he had no answer when I asked “WHY?” By his own admission, I had been a good wife and mother. It made no sense. In the days that followed, he alienated his friends, his family and everyone he held dear. It was as though he were a trapped animal, trying to be set free. Perhaps it was easier to escape than to stay and deal with the embarrassment, I will never know for sure.

Then chain of events that followed were, I believe, partly due to peer pressure and the ‘unwritten laws’ on how to deal with adultery.  It is universally accepted that:   
All men who cheat are the ‘scum of the earth! 
There is absolutely no excuse for adultery whatsoever.
Any man who does cheat does not love his wife.
The woman is not to blame in slightest, it was completely the man’s choice.
No self respecting woman will stay with a man who cheats on her.
The only sensible outcome is to dump the cheating bastard immediately.
Although I did ask my husband to stay, it was not meant to be. I told him no one would have to know, that we were a family and that we should stick together and fix whatever was broken. I was unaware at the time that the whole damn world already knew. I was the last to find out.

True to form, and guided by those unwritten adultery laws, we followed the path of least resistance. We dumped 15 years of history, family and friends because of pride and how it would look to others. When I think back on it now, I believe it is the cowards way out. It is much easier to blame and flame then it is to stick it out and work it out.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t about love for my husband. He dumped the woman he was talking to on the phone immediately. I think often, unfortunately, women involved with [tag-tec]married men[/tag-tec], misinterpret sex for love when in fact there is no love involved. Men are doing what by human nature, comes naturally – they are satisfying an urge.

I know that statement is going to send droves of jilted women into a frenzy but, I am entitled to my opinion. We are animals. Animals do not mate because they are in love, they mate because they have the biological urge to have sex. It is undeniably natural.

I am not suggesting that cheating is okay. Unlike other animals, we have been granted the powers of higher reasoning. With those powers comes the ability to weigh the consequences of our actions. It should be enough to deter people from throwing away a good life and family but sadly, that is not always the case.

What I am suggesting is that “sex” can surely not be all there is to love. Did my husband stop loving me at the moment he had sex with someone else? I don’t think so. Was the entire 15 years of love I felt for him severed instantly the moment I discovered his infidelity? No. I loved him for who he was. He made me laugh and he made me cry. He is my daughter’s father and he was my friend. That is why I loved him.

Today, marriages have an astonishing failure rate. I think if people took the time to communicate, and realized that infidelity, although hurtful, is not the hill to die on, we would have a much healthier society. A society with real families, with secure, happy children who knew whose house they were sleeping at tonight.

My family became a statistic and I do regret it every day. Over twelve years later, I can tell you that a small part of me still loves my ex-husband and a huge part of me still misses my friend!

The really interesting thing about all of this is, that almost 13 years and 2000 miles separate us. Imagine my surprise when my ex-husband called just recently to say that he was “sorry” and that he regretted his mistakes!

He is a day late and a dollar short, but somehow, hearing it was somewhat gratifying just the same. He is my friend, and I do miss him, but that part of my life is long over. 

Upward and onward!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thank you, more please

By Jean Charisse A. Arboleda

Alright, so we have established the fact that I can be slow. I just realized after three years that the failure of my marriage has prepared me for life in the mean, gritty, and unsympathetic New York City. I never would have lasted this long here had I not made that first mistake of getting married to the wrong person.

Throughout my life, I’ve always had an able, responsible man provide for me. My father is the standard by which I measure all the men who’ve come through my life. He is strong, honest, kind and dependable. So it was with a little trepidation and a lot of youthful stubbornness that I cast aside my ideal and married my boyfriend of three years. He vowed to take care of me as my father did. Like passing the Olympic torch.

We didn’t get married young, mind you. I wasn’t pregnant either. I was 28 and he was six months younger. We had been in a relationship for three years but were actually physically together for a total of two months. I lived in Manila and he in Davao. I would travel to see him every few weeks for a weekend and he’d travel to Manila to see me.

Our fights were passionate, protracted and draining. With all the fights we were having, a rational person would have walked away and started fresh. But one is never rational when it comes to love, right? So I did the next best thing to suicide. I married the guy.

Not surprisingly, we went from being happily married to being estranged in a few months. I left the job that I liked so I could be with him and work things out not realizing that he was already done with me. Annulment was the solution for him. Travel was the way out for me.

I left Manila for New York in 2008. Just mustering up enough courage to open my eyes every morning on my aunt’s couch and making breakfast was a huge effort. I cried openly to anybody who’d care to listen, I wasn’t picky. I spent a bus ride to Boston with a childhood friend bawling my eyes out. I cried during long distance phone calls to my parents. I tried to keep the waterworks under control as I told my story to a college friend while we sat under the bright lights of Times Square.

As a people, Filipinos are full of empathy. They feel you, will let you grieve for however long you want to, and care for you as patiently as your own parents would. They will spoil you if you cry longer.

But I wasn’t with Filipinos most of the time. I work with a diverse group of people and it was only a matter of time before my separation became water-cooler topic like the freezing weather or plans for the holidays. There was exasperation in my co-workers’ eyes and I could just imagine them shrugging, “Big deal.”

You and your husband got separated after five months? Lady, you must really be a horrible person. Your ex-husband told you in several dialects that he doesn’t love you anymore and would rather die than be with you? Big fucking deal. He lied, so what? It happens all the time, join the fucking club.

But wait. These are caring, loving, warm people. In their world, they were telling me to snap out of it, offering me walk-it-off kind-heartedness that is true and authentic. They’re not being short or cruel, just telling me there’s no sense in crying over something that happens in this city every day.

I live on my own now, far from family in New Jersey and the West Coast. I pay for everything, rent, school, phone and hospital bills and travel, eat out and entertain myself. I am still in the process of finding my place in this city, and while my father will always be there to support me, I’m loving myself and my independence more everyday that I’m in New York.

I guess I can love two places at the same time. The East of my youth, the West of my future.

Jean Charisse A. Arboleda works two jobs: She’s a receptionist at a theater district Manhattan restaurant and a paralegal-in-training at a law office.  This article came out at The FilAm on January 21, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Puppy Love

By: Rica S. Facundo

This is a story of girl meets dog, but you should know upfront, that this is a love story.

I was in a relationship with a dog, Kippy, my Japanese Spitz, for 10 years. That’s one decade. That’s one freaking half of my life.

He was there when I first got my period.

He was there whenever I fought (do still fight) with my dad.

He was there whenever I fretted (do still fret) over boys.

He was there whenever I needed a break from work.

He was there whenever I needed him to be. I, on the other hand, wasn’t always there for him whenever he needed me.

I could never really be home during the week partly because I’m a dormer, and partly because during those rare times when I’m actually home I would spend it by going out at night.

I stopped taking Kippy for walks or jogs around the village partly because I was lazy and partly because he was getting old and he couldn’t keep up with me anymore.

I would give him a bath about once a month (fine, once every two months), partly because I would forget and partly because it’s really such a chore and I didn’t really like doing it.

I forgot his birthday (March 10!) many times, partly because I’m generally not a date-conscious person and partly because I would just, well, forget.

Perhaps I wasn’t the most responsible pet owner, but he wasn’t a saint either. Trust me, Kippy had his fair share of kalokohans which got me into a lot of trouble with my parents.

Being the matapang and alpha-male dog that he was, I got the flak whenever he attacked another dog. I defended him tooth and nail whenever my mom threatened to give him away. If he left, then a part of me would too.

Being the makulit and adventurous dog that he was, I had to run after him whenever he would bolt out of the gate, and I had to carry him all the way back to the house (sometimes barefoot) afterwards. I shifted between flinging him over my shoulder and carrying him like a sack of flour in my arms. He was heavy, and it was a long walk.

Being the intelligent and street smart dog that he was, I had to be the one to wash his mouth whenever he killed a rat, or to suffer my mother’s wrath whenever he would snatch a cooked chicken from the dining table.

Being the matakaw dog that he was, I had to be the one to clean up his vomit whenever he ate something he wasn’t supposed to, which happened often, mind you. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I suggest you flush the tissue down the toilet instead of throwing it into the trash can.

Perhaps Kippy and I weren’t the perfect couple, but we made our relationship work. He would want to bite me whenever I gave him attention, while I was never there whenever he looked for me. But now that he’s gone, he can’t give me any more trouble. So it mostly makes me sad to think that I have no more reason to give anyone else any more excuses to defend his misdemeanors.

Honestly, I still can’t get over the fact that he just won’t be there to greet me when I go home this weekend or to keep me company while I watch TV or go online or do my homework.
I can’t get over the fact that it was so unexpected.

I can’t get over the fact that when I was crying a couple of nights ago he wasn’t there with his head and doleful eyes by my bedside to comfort me like he usually did. I can’t seem to get over the sad truth that now he never will be with me again or I with him.
I can’t get over my frustration that I wasn’t there when it happened or that he’d be buried by the time I get back home.
I knew Kippy would die eventually, but definitely not in the way I pictured he would leave me. I wanted to be there with him when it happened, holding his paw in my hand. You can’t tell me he’s happier in doggy heaven now when he wasn’t even suffering here on earth to begin with. Well, at least not in the way I know of.

I know he was just a dog and people may think it’s silly how worked up I’ve become, but he wasn’t any old dog. He was my dog, you know? He was my dog for 10 years.

I’m not the most affectionate person, and it’s not often that my apathetic heart cares more than it should. But now that he’s gone and I’ve cried myself to sleep, his passing made me realize my own capacity to love.

Death may be the absence of life, but it’s also the presence and a reminder of love, though in its crudest, most heartbreaking and suckiest form.

What I learned from Kippy is that genuine love doesn’t discriminate whether it’s between man and woman, man and man, woman and woman or, in this case, between a girl and her dog.

I miss you, Kippy. Thank you for teaching me how to love.

FROM: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 20, 2012, captioned "One doggy love story."

NOTE: Rica S. Facundo, 21, is a fourth year AB Communication student at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

12 Easy Tips for a Happier Relationship

The best way to have a happy relationship is to keep working on it, so even if you're not currently in a relationship rut, follow these 12 tips from our staff and you'll keep being happy.

1. Say "please" and "thank you." This shows your partner you appreciate them and keeps you from taking each other for granted.

2. Grab your partner's butt every day (or at least every other day).

3. Kiss every morning!

4. Say "good morning" every morning.

5. Cuddle.

6. Spend at least one night a week with your significant other and family/friends, i.e. don't hole up all by yourselves.

7. Use baby talk/pet names very sparingly. If you overuse these, you could damage your relationship since you won't be able to relate to each other seriously.

8. DO THE DISHES. Set up some type of system for who does them when.

9. Practice listening.

10. Practice honesty, even when it's uncomfortable.

11. If you and your partner are indecisive about where to eat or what movie to watch, play the "5-3-1" game. One person names five choices, the other vetoes two of them, and then the first person eliminates the remaining two. Ta-da, no more "Where you do want to eat?" "I don't care, what do you want to do?"

12. If you live together, make sure you each still have your own private space where you can retreat to work, think, or partake in bizarre grooming rituals that the other person wouldn't want to see.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Marriage: A Christian Vocation

by Josemaria Escriva

For a Christian marriage is not just a social institution, much less a mere remedy for human weakness. It is a real supernatural calling. A great sacrament, in Christ and in the Church, says St Paul. At the same time, it is a permanent contract between a man and a woman. Whether we like it or not, the sacrament of matrimony, instituted by Christ, cannot be dissolved. It is a permanent contract that sanctifies in cooperation with Jesus Christ. He fills the souls of husband and wife and invites them to follow him. He transforms their whole married life into an occasion for God's presence on earth.

Husband and wife are called to sanctify their married life and to sanctify themselves in it. It would be a serious mistake if they were to exclude family life from their spiritual development. The marriage union, the care and education of children, the effort to provide for the needs of the family as well as for its security and development, the relationships with other persons who make up the community, all these are among the ordinary human situations that christian couples are called upon to sanctify.

They will achieve this aim by exercising the virtues of faith and hope, facing serenely all the great and small problems which confront any family, and persevering in the love and enthusiasm with which they fulfil their duties. In this way they practice the virtue of charity in all things. They learn to smile and forget about themselves in order to pay attention to others. Husband and wife will listen to each other and to their children, showing them that they are really loved and understood. They will forget about the unimportant little frictions that selfishness could magnify out of proportion. They will do lovingly all the small acts of service that make up their daily life together.

The aim is this: to sanctify family life, while creating at the same time a true family atmosphere. Many christian virtues are necessary in order to sanctify each day of one's life. First, the theological virtues, and then all the others: prudence, loyalty, sincerity, humility, industriousness, cheerfulness.... But when we talk about marriage and married life, we must begin by speaking clearly about the mutual love of husband and wife.

Their pure and noble love is a sacred thing. As a priest, I bless it with all my heart. Christian tradition has often seen in Christ's presence at the wedding feast in Cana a proof of the value God places on marriage. "Our Saviour went to the wedding feast," writes St Cyril of Alexandria, "to make holy the origins of human life."

Marriage is a sacrament that makes one flesh of two bodies. Theology expresses this fact in a striking way when it teaches us that the matter of the sacrament is the bodies of husband and wife. Our Lord sanctifies and blesses the mutual love of husband and wife. He foresees, not only a union of souls, but a union of bodies as well. No Christian, whether or not he is called to the married state, has a right to underestimate the value of marriage.

We have been created by God and endowed with an intelligence which is like a spark of the divine intellect. Together with our free will, another gift of God, it allows us to know and to love. And God has also placed in our body the power to generate, which is a participation in his own creative power. He has wanted to use love to bring new human beings into the world and to increase the body of the Church. Thus, sex is not a shameful thing; it is a divine gift, ordained to life, to love, to fruitfulness.

This is the context in which we must see the christian doctrine on sex. Our faith does not ignore anything on this earth that is beautiful, noble and authentically human. It simply teaches us that the rule of our life should not be the selfish pursuit of pleasure, because only sacrifice and self-denial lead to true love. God already loves us; and now he invites us to love him and others with the truthfulness and authenticity with which he loves. It is the paradox expressed in St Matthew's Gospel: "He who seeks to keep his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it."

People who are constantly concerned with themselves, who act above all for their own satisfaction, endanger their eternal salvation and cannot avoid being unhappy even in this life. Only if a person forgets himself and gives himself to God and to others, in marriage as well as in any other aspect of life, can he be happy on this earth, with a happiness that is a preparation for, and a foretaste of, the joy of heaven.

As long as we walk on this earth, suffering will always be the touchstone of love. If we were to describe what occurs in the married state, we could say that there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand, there is the joy of knowing that one is loved, the desire and enthusiasm involved in starting a family and taking care of it, the love of husband and wife, the happiness of seeing the children grow up. On the other hand, there are also sorrows and difficulties — the passing of time that consumes the body and threatens the character with the temptation to bitterness, the seemingly monotonous succession of days that are apparently always the same.

We would have a poor idea of marriage and of human affection if we were to think that love and joy come to an end when faced with such difficulties. It is precisely then that our true sentiments come to the surface. Then the tenderness of a person's gift of himself takes root and shows itself in a true and profound affection that is stronger than death.

FROM: Christ Is Passing By