Saturday, September 4, 2010


Celebrating my 2nd birthday

I used to be a very shy girl (stress on the word “very”). I would easily hide under my shell and retreat to my room whenever my parents would have visitors in our home. And when this would happen, I would overhear my parents apologetically tell their “kumares” and “kumpares”, “Oh, that’s our youngest, you see, she’s very shy.”

Our family picture (I'm the youngest in a brood of 5)

I have never been a sociable person, more so, the “biba” kind. Maybe as a way to overcome my shyness, my parents would usually ask me to play the piano to entertain our visitors. Just the thought of unfamiliar faces watching me would make me cringe, what more when it was actually happening? Yes, I would oblige but those moments were like, killing-me-softly-moments. Thinking about it now, I’m glad I had those moments. It just proved that my parents believed in my capabilities so much and were very proud of me.

During my Graduation Day (Grade 6) with my groovy dad and my glamorous mom

I didn’t know why I was shy. I was probably too conscious of my two crooked front teeth (sungki). They were so evident that I just couldn’t smile confidently for fear of revealing my two crooked teeth, which resembled vampire fangs, only shorter. My parents would actually tell me that because I had cute dimples, my “sungki” added more to my cuteness. Of course, I believed them and that helped boost my confidence… but still I was shy.

see my "sungki"?

That all changed when both my parents passed away and suffered a tragic death in the hands of our houseboys. I wouldn’t go into details anymore because that’s like an epic story worthy of another blog entry. All I know is that the tragic incident TRANSFORMED me BIG time. You see, I should have gone with them had the trigger been pulled and had minds not changed. But for whatever reason, I have been spared. I was 15, then.

From that time on, I learned to depend on no one but God. I didn't want to burden other people, not even my siblings just because I was the youngest and the sole witness to that tragedy. My attitude was, we were all going through the same thing, facing a great loss and I was not any different from them to be given any special treatment. I didn't want to stay helpless and I refused to go on a self-pity mode so, I learned to move on rather quickly pouring everything there was to pour out to God, until my cup was empty.

I became fearless and brave all of a sudden. I felt I had no other choice but to unleash that hidden courageous animal in me. I was determined. All of a sudden, I was no longer this shy little girl. All of a sudden, I had new found confidence. I was confident that I would pull through even without those people who mattered most in my young life. I felt that this one more lease in life given to me was a make or break thing. I chose to come out of that episode of my life a better person and not a bitter one. I did not allow myself to be traumatized by that tragedy. I chose to believe that everything has a reason. I chose to believe in Someone much more bigger than my pain - God.

Well, just to segue, I still had crooked teeth for all those years that I was a teenager and up to the early stages of being a yuppie but it didn’t bother me at all. My teeth and my looks didn’t define who I was. Oh yes, I had my teeth fixed when I was already working and earning my own keep. I felt fixing them would make my smile look better. That’s all. But yes, I’m still cute... a cute wife and mom (lol!). Now, I don’t see any traces of me being a shy girl. As a matter of fact, I’m the exact opposite of what I was before.

no more "sungki"

I can very well say that my meaningful and deep relationship with God developed during my parents' untimely demise. Because I was a still a child yet at that time, in my own childlike way, I would run to God for everything I needed and without really meaning to, I requested Him to be my "papa" and "mama". It was only then that I began to really open my heart to Him. Little did I know that He would take my request seriously. Yes, I bore the burden all because of God.

I remember vividly this one particular instance when I had my very first date with God. It was a story I would share with my children over and over again. Every time I think about and remember this special night, it never fails to put a smile on my face. Let me share it with you ---

Being orphan, independent and still single with no boyfriend at 27, I thought it would be a great idea to have a simple evening date with God. Oh I had it all planned perfectly.

It was a perfect summer's night in 1996, I excitedly finished my day's work, left the office at exactly 5:30 p.m. and stopped by Goldilocks in Makati to buy that perfect cake for that night's very special occasion -- my very first dinner cake-date with God.

The man in the counter greeted me with a puzzled look as I handed to him my message request. The message on the cake said, "Dear God, I love You." Hurriedly, I took the bus home while carefully balancing the box tied with a yellow straw on my hands, rushed to my apartment unit and donned on that perfect simple black cocktail dress. I set the date at 7:00 p.m. and I didn't want to be late for my date.

I lit up the candle on the round, mocha cake and started to talk to Him. Whatever heavy load I had then was made so light as I poured my heart out to Him. Just the candle on the cake served as our light that night. Through the darkness and silence, I got to know Him a little bit better. Whoever heard or saw me that night (maybe from my window) could have mistaken me for a fool, but that was the least of my concerns. What mattered most was that I had the perfect night with my perfect date - God, me and Goldilocks cake.

The experience had made a lasting impact in my life. It was a very special moment that left me with feelings of joy, peace, calmness, blessedness and assurance of God's love. Remembering that moment humbles me and makes me ever so grateful to Him who has been my Everything. God has been so real in my life. He is as real as the one reading this piece of story. Dating God was a privilege that I would cherish forever.

It has been 15 years since the first time that I dated God. It has been 26 years since my parents passed away. Both incidents made a great impact in my life. Both incidents changed me...for the better.

Celebrating my 40th birthday while I was pregnant with our 3rd daughter

The Goldilocks birthday cake my hubby bought for me

I still have a lot of things to look forward to and two of them are: growing old with my hubby and seeing my children living their life to the fullest with God in it. And oh, my secret wish is for each of our three daughters to experience having a cake-date with God, too :-) I know it would be great!

Photo taken during my 41st birthday last year (with my 3 angels)

I'm extremely grateful to God for my family!