Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The One that Got Away...Wrong Time, Wrong Place

It was just 5 months after I got married, I finally got through college after six years and landed my first job at a bank. It was a totally new thing for me, earning my keep and starting to face the world with survival on my mind. It wasn’t easy though. I had a child who was already 4 years old and a wife whom I thought God gave to me as my trophy. Nothing else mattered but as time passed, like all normal relationships, arguments and misunderstandings would eventually lead to falling out in the relationship, yes even marriages as we can see today, with the countless cases of divorces, annulments, and legal separations. I felt like I was in total disarray, just trying to make things work but acknowledging that I still had a lot to learn as far as maturity was concerned.

So it was totally routine to me. Work, go home, sleep and work again. There was no meaning fro me back then. Unfortunately, I wasn’t informed that in my department, there was still someone who I haven’t met, someone who was on study leave.

One morning, I went to work, and was totally surprised to see an unfamiliar face. She was a pretty face, someone whom instantly made my heart beat faster. But alas, she was already committed and the word around was that I am married already so in any case, a lost cause for courtship. Even though, at times when I was working on the computer, she was parallel to my vision, I sometimes find myself staring at her, and she would catch me looking at her to which I would look at a different direction. At times, I thought it was imagination but I too would catch her doing the same thing.

The rainy season soon came and most of the time she would be left stranded. I would offer her a ride, since she lived near my place, dropping her off where public transportation was readily available. From there, everyday we would have lunch together, and if she was going home early, I would offer her a ride home.

One time, I asked her if she would want to have dinner with me to which she obliged. We would usually share jokes, pleasantries and some personal problems. The routine would continue for weeks to a month. Strange but I fell and fell for her even the more, but I knew I would have no place in her heart since she loved another.

One night, I asked her out, took her on a private candlelight dinner. We did the usual things, jokes, laughing all the time. But suddenly, I felt the urge to ask her and admit to her what I felt. Like what did I have to lose? So I did. She was sort of shocked in a way and became speechless. I asked her if everything was OK, and she said she would be fine. I asked her if she wanted to go home so we rode the car and drove to her place. On the way, I drove slowly and asked her what she thought and that I was sorry because I just could not allow my heart to get the best of me. She took my hand and just simply told me, “Isn’t it obvious that I feel the same way?” My world jumped for joy but then again, being committed is still something that became a stumbling block to this unorthodox relationship.

The relationship lasted for about a year. I separated from my wife because we could not really settle our differences. But if there was a person I missed, it was my daughter. She was not aware of this and I could not bear to let go. The end came when the girl asked me that we should split up. It wasn’t the first time we would split up. The first time she said it, I just asked her to tell me that she didn’t love me, to which she cried. This time around, there were no tears. Her reason was that she wanted to get married and knowing my situation, she knew I could not marry her. So no matter how painful it is to finally find someone who would tame me, I had to let go, something I guess that has become normal for me.

To this day, I can and will never forget those days. No matter how immoral or illegal it was, I will treasure those days with her. She is married now and happy. Me? Well, I am separated since my wife cheated on me and may have probably married another guy, but in another country to avoid controversies and legal summons. Probably a sign of karma, but as a man, I would accept this since I know I deserve it. But I still have the one precious gift which I wanted before, the reason for me to try and work things out with my wife back then, my daughter is with me, all grown up and about 4 years from being a professional like me. This is all that matters, seeing someone follow my footsteps.

Today, in my late 30’s, call it crazy, but I seem to lose the need for someone to love aside from my daughter and immediate family. Many say I am just saying this because of what my wife did to me, but there is more to it than they can see. I admit that I have cheated before and the sum of all of these may be the result of what she did right now. In a way, no matter how hard it is, I understand her reason in a way, the level of satisfaction to which she is looking for.

I have met some fine women from the past years, but being in the situation I am, I don’t expect to get anywhere with them more than friendship.
The world is full of lose ends, and I guess I am caught in one of them. How I wish that girl came at this moment of my life...oh well, thats how the cookie crumbles...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Dreamer: The Sacrificial Lamb

All people are entitled to being happy. As much as possible, most people would want to lead a simple life, avoiding complications and added setbacks that would eventually make life harder for them. While the world is full of complexities, people want to avoid such problems. Some say, a person without problems is probably someone who is suffering from a certain disorder, refusing to take on reality and preferring to live in a world that is free from problems and suffering.

With so many to mention, the most notable problems for people in the world is finding someone who will reciprocate their unseen need. This need comes in many forms:
1. Attention
2. Importance
3. Love
4. Complement
5. Assurance
6. Security

Among the aforementioned, people would add other requirements for sure, probably money, wealth, isolation, or privacy. Whatever the case may be, it is a fact that despite being able to answer all these there will always be lacking satisfaction. This is the problem that most people face, the rate at how they can be able to satisfy themselves, saying when they are fulfilled.

For the people who would say that they are not happy, a good question to throw back to them, “What makes you happy?” Money? Love? Attention? For sure, such responses will be among the ones mentioned above. But one thing that is for sure, people should understand that God never made everything easy, and that a purpose for such is made. For if everything were served on a silver platter, what would existence mean for them anyway?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mixed Feelings in a World of Deception

I am totally in a mixed stage right now. I don’t know if I am happy and content or if I am sad and have a certain space to fill. The price to pay for living up to your principles in life truly has its downfalls, and while people may not understand or view it in a different way, the final say will still be on my part.

At this point in time, I cannot say that I am accomplished as far as my career is concerned. I admit that I am sometimes taking it easy, sort of like playing around and am handling pressure well as far as management directives are concerned. Compensation wise, as before, I feel is short changed, thus leading me to adding other tasks such as article writing, trading, and consultancy and so on. People may ask where I get the time and strength to handle all of them. My answer is simply because I love doing them and I always strive to accomplish something despite evident time pressure.

On the personal side, I content myself with spoiling my nephews and nieces who always take my stressful week away with their antics and providing me laughter with their cute wise cracks and my daughter who is growing up to be a lady now, and slowly seeing the realities of life, experiencing the outside world unlike before when she was stored in a container house by my great ex-wife at her so called successful parents. If I understand it right, basing it all on what I gathered from Vanessa, it was similar to being in prison walls. While protection may only be natural, you simply cannot hold on to something and keep it that way all your life. The growth and maturity of a person cannot be measured by always monitoring them. You have to let go and the best you can do is provide restrictions in a nice way for them to be able to know up to what extent they are being allowed to do so.

Taking my cue from what I said earlier on “you simply cannot hold on to something and keep it that way all your life”, this also holds true in my social life. People have different views of a person. Some would want to get close to a person because he can be of use to them, while others simply treat friendship for a time being when someone is always there for them in times of personal pressure. The world is full of deception, and the so-called friends for a time being will disappear after some time. This is not really surprising. All through my life, I can say I only have one true friend in each of my growth stages that I can shout out as a true friend indeed. Sad to say, but this is a reality and people you meet can be classified as a bunch of hungry sharks waiting to feed on you and leave you out in the cold once they have consumed every ounce of privilege they can get from you.

In my former married life, I tried to shift from being a nosey and strict husband towards a more flexible and mature person. I thought such a move would keep the ties better. Well, obviously it did not work out, but I am not sorry. There are two things I learned from it, one of which is, if people are truly meant for each other, they would stay together through thick and thin without bounds and secondly, letting go of someone and not being a watchdog may be an error, but as long as it makes the person happy, believe it or not, you should be too. Why? Because the price to make people happy comes at a stiff price, sometimes a lifetime of sorrow for which you have to cover by resorting to other means such as working hard for your daughter to be successful, keeping yourself busy 24/7, and giving your all to a bunch of kids who will remember you once your time has passed.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stepping Up, Trying to Gain the Fire Again

Big shoes but something needs to be done. This is what these bunch of players needed, which I admit I have lost guidance to ever since I took over the chores of league commissioner of our annual event here in Greenhills. Well, it wasn’t an easy task, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass by.

Well, today, having the spare time, I tried to fill the role of acting coach, trying to teach them what I learned from my stint with the Ateneo MBA Blue Eagles last February. I must say, it was kinda new, something I have totally packed up since years ago. I gave up on coaching, admitting I lack the qualities of a good coach, and left it to the ones who had the ready experience. Besides, I just did it for fun, a sort of community thing to get the kids involved.

It is no joke that I want these kids to enjoy their summer. But along with it comes responsibility, discipline and dedication. Seeing the serious ones working their butt out and the others whom have placed success in their heads is something I will not tolerate. This is what I emphasized earlier to them in my short pow wow with them. As usual, the ones who think they are good did not attend, and well, I wasn’t surprised at all. So I just had to do with what I had, and thankfully, everyone showed a semblance of fire in their eyes, something I hope they will retain for their next game where they must win.

Tiring as it was, I was happy to see the group bonding together. I just hope that come game time, this rubs off on everyone. If not, it’s the end of the season for them.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An Annual Event, An Annual Competition

With an event that means so much to me, I made a decision not to invite any of my friends to the opening. Aside from probably getting in their way, considering it was a Sunday, a rest day and family day, I don’t want to get upset on a day that I have worked so hard on. Besides, basing it on experience, they would not appreciate the entire thing anyway.

All that mattered was that my whole family was there, my daughter, Vanessa, ever present and muse of our team and my staff to promote and sell our products to the players who are naturally going to be thirsty after their games and being under the sun at that this summer. Hopefully, the response they got from the reception of the product will boost their morale and allow them to use it as their asset in marketing the product a lot more with confidence.

It was a simple affair. Some new faces, some old ones. Safe to say, it was another successful event, despite having to do majority of the preparations. No regrets but success does not come cheap. Handshakes and commendations given, all accepted and acknowledged.

People would not appreciate such things or events. So why bother inviting them. Anyway, as I told my best friend some time last week, I will kind of lay off the group for a while. Nothing personal, but I do have some disappointments to some people. But why let them know when you can just simply disappear? I did it before so why not do it again right? I just told my best friend, if he needs help, he knows where I am and I will be there for him.

Sometimes, people just have to move on and get on with their way. There is no need to force people into going to something that means so much to you. This is probably the best way to determine which friends, who say they will always be there for you, are sincere and true and will forever be friends with you for the coming years.

For the ones who only call, text or appear when they need something, well, I will be here. But please bear in mind, a person can only take so much. So much that one day, you may just end up finding someone who you have lost already.
Whether this would matter or not, well, I don’t really give a damn.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Start of the Annual Greenhills Basketball Season

The start of a busy month ahead. Ironically, such a phrase would mean all work and no play, but it is really a combination of both. The Inter village basketball league, headed by me again, will kick of this Sunday and I am cramming as usual to make sure I can make it as successful as last year. While it may sound stressful, providing fun and joy towards the teenagers and young kids of tomorrow for the villages is more than enough to gratify my efforts. While I expect another tumultuous and issue laid conference, well, that is part of it I guess. What is a successful project without issues, but hopefully, these kids would grow up soon, something that is academic at this point.

Unlike last year when it reached until the seniors, because of the never ending bickering of the supposedly mature players, I decided to limit it to the kids this year. Besides, I enjoyed watching them last year and I guess I owe it to them to have fun again. Funny how the professionals should be the ones acting maturely, but then again, you cannot teach old dogs new tricks and have them listen to reason.

To kick of the festivities, well it would be the usual parade of teams, then invocations, speeches etc. A 3-point shoot out, courtesy of well-known celebrity Bobby Yan will open up the events, to which 3 games will be ushered to start the month long tourney. While I am part of one of the teams, I totally wash my hands to their performance and leave it up to them to play fair and square without using my powers as league commissioner.

Good luck to me and of course my deputy, Vanessa. Its gonna be one hell of a week again!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Color of Money, Memories Within...

In my college days, I had this class; I think it was more of a psychology class where we were required to make reflection papers often, mostly pertaining towards the everyday encounters we have both in the outside world and in our homes. Eventually, this became my outlet in writing about what was going on in my mind, and writing it with gusto. I got high grades, but usually the grades did not matter to me, it was being able to let go of such pains that I was experiencing back then.

It just so happened that I had a bumpy road back then, I just got back to study again after my first and only child, Natazha Vanessa, was born. Just like most parents, the mother and their side were always the ones to have the first and last say on the baby, leaving me out of the cold and just earn a living to sustain all the needs of our kid.

I cannot say that I was a good provider. I mean, studying again, working part-time just to have extra income to buy diapers, milk and other necessities of my child was no easy task. I always felt down, since my former in-laws always put me down, saying I was no good, had no guts to raise a family of my own… well something usual for a pair of hypocrites who would just to ruin a person and make fun of him because he had nothing to prove. Along the way, my estranged wife as well came into the fray, making me the most depressed person in the world at that time. Well, who could blame them? I had nothing to show to my child, and Vanessa rarely had the knowledge of what was going on back then, didn’t understand anything and only had one side of the story. In short, what was instilled was she had a very irresponsible and incompetent father.

Just the same I took it all in stride. I was and am never the type to prove people wrong. I had nothing to show, not having graduated then, or working for my own keep. I endlessly relied on my parents, grandparents of both sides for support. Deep inside, I was a mess and no one would really understand and thanks to that class I had, I was able to retain some sanity in myself.

Today, people say I have come a long way. My parents, friends, even my daughter all say I have been through a lot and that they are proud of me. Honestly, these are just things that I feel like decorations for a person, but these entire mean nothing if the person is foreseen as an incompetent individual. But then again, gaining a degree, obtaining a good position at a young age, being able to bring up my child on my own and owning a network of selected friends, I am just glad to be alive and cherish these undertakings.

To some people money may be the most important thing in judging a person. To others, being who you really are and not pretending who people want you to be is the most important thing a person can truly make a person smile.