I’m Sorry Will You Forgive Me? (updated)

Learning to say “Sorry” I realized then is one of the toughest things to do since I got married. But going 4 years soon this May (all by God’s grace!), I learned how valuable this word was to be restored to a loving relationship to my husband, and also to God.

You see I grew up in an environment where saying sorry is cheesy and unnecessary. Things just eventually work out sooner or later.

Back when I was younger.. Had a big fight with my older sister that involved some unladylike behavior? After a week we talk normally, as if an explosion didn’t just occur a few days before. Got into an argument with my mom? The next day one of us just asks a question, then it’s back to regular programming and the relationship will be restored. Or so we would like to think.

As Jason learned in GLC 2 (CCF), family life is a priority. To have a good relationship with our family.

Good relationship I guess is defined as peaceful and harmonious. Later on my husband and I realized saying sorry is just the tip of the iceberg.

During our first year in marriage, saying sorry was still a struggle (at times until now), even with Jason.

I don’t know when it happened. One day after some arguing to see who’s got the most explanations up his or her sleeve, Jason suddenly said, I’m sorry. I was surprised. In the following days or whenever some fights would occur, I was shocked to see Jason initiate those words. Even when I would sometimes provoke him after his apology, he would say I’m sorry… the next part was.. “Will you Forgive Me?”

What was I to say?? My pride told him, “I’ll think about it” but of course the next day I would tell him that I do forgive him and I also apologize.

I believe this sparked some change in our crazy cycle of arguments. By Jason modeling how it is to say sorry. It took some time but when my husband – the leader of our family, comes to me in humility, my wall of pride is slowly crumbling and I become unguarded and softhearted.

I guess this applies to all relationships.. If you’re the one who feels disappointed and hurt, be the one to say sorry. If you feel discouraged, encourage others (nick vujicic, life without limits). Even with employer-employee relationship, parents and children, managers and the people they manage. When the leader is unwilling, even the followers will grow cold. But when the leader shows humility, this changes the course of the relationship. Because even leaders make mistakes. It’s better to come in humility than be unyielding when they make a mistake. Humility isn’t weakness in fact it saves us from disgrace.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

It’s so much easier to move on with our lives after arguments, after a misunderstanding with our loved ones, workmates, and friends. Later on though, those unresolved matters puts tiny dents in our relationships that will blow up later on. It’s so easy to leave it at that for the meantime, but it takes someone strong to confront a situation and be genuinely sorry and apologize.

The apology is a way of accepting responsibility for our behavior and expressing regret – Dr. Gary Chapman, Love Language Minute Devotional.

Soon it’s becoming a practice in our relationship. Saying sorry is not enough (at least for us). There must be a confession of what offense we committed, and then the question, “will you forgive me?”.

In our marriage, there must be a question if the other party has truly forgiven the offender.  Or else we might just be saying sorry for the sake of ourselves than for the person we offended. Marriage is not about me. It takes the selfishness out of me.

Now we know that these are the 2 phrases important to keep our marriage healthy, (because in marriage we will make mistakes and apology is necessary for good relationships according to Dr. Gary Chapman), we mustn’t abuse it and just go through the motion of “I’m Sorry will you forgive me” speech.

It’s important to have a relationship with God, because only God can truly impress in our hearts the faults we have done, we’re doing, and we are contemplating to make. Only God can compel us to feel truly sorry and even identify what fault we made. Even if I am stubborn refusing to apologize after a heated argument with Jason. When I come to God in prayer, He tugs at my heart to be humble and apologize. I often get no sleep and have no rest for my soul when things are left unresolved and I suppose this goes for my husband too.

So whenever I’m feeling pride in my heart I know it’s best to come to and learn from the one who has perfected humility. That King who came down here on earth to live a life unfit for royalty and even chose to be crucified – to die for the sins of many, Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 11:29 He says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from mefor I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Almost 4 years down the road, our communication line has become easier and more open only by God’s grace. In counseling other couples we noticed how our “harmless” pride can ruin a smooth sailing relationship. Pride in the things we do, pride in forcing what we think is right (what is our basis of right?), pride in not accepting our mistakes.

I share with my ladies that as a wife it is my role to Help, Encourage, Respect and Submit (H.E.R.S) to my husband as I have learned in a marriage retreat early this year.

The moment I become disrespectful to Jason or raise my voice in a discussion, no matter how much he was wrong will not justify my action and make it right. I too am in err. Two wrongs do not make things right.

God convicts me every time with this. I need God in my life and the moment I am not in good terms with the closest person in my life (my husband) (later with other people too), it strains my relationship with God as well. God forgives but the moment I am unrepentant, I lose the joyous and peaceful fellowship with Him.

I am thankful that when I apologize, God forgives me and restores me to Him.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

I am also thankful that God has given me my husband who is committed to follow Christ. That he also forgives me whenever I apologize.

This doesn’t mean though that I continue making mistakes since I will be forgiven anyway but rather I continue to live a new life in Christ.

It has been quite a journey! And I am excited on how God continues to answer our prayers on taking away things in our lives that are displeasing to him – pride included, and saying sorry in humility has been one of the best remedies.

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Misibis Bay Review Part 1: The Resort and the room | Legazpi, Albay

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For our late anniversary celebration, my husband and I decided to go to my grandfather’s hometown in Legazpi Albay. We were so happy that Misibis Bay had a promo! We’ve wanted to visit Misibis Bay but we wanted to wait … Continue reading

3rd Anniversary at Minami Saki, Astoria | Review & Reflections

For our 3rd Anniversary celebration, since the hubby loves Japanese food, (God really knows and provides!) we are privileged to dine and have lunch at Minami Saki ℅ a good friend. Yay!

Minami Saki by Astoria is a new restaurant located at the ground floor of Astoria Plaza in Ortigas. They usually open at 11AM for lunch. Prior to going to Minami Saki, I checked some photos and their dishes are really photogenic and enticing. It got me excited about what awaited us.

Our first order: Ume Sashimi (Php 580) 3 Kinds of sashimi – tuna, salmon and lapu-lapu.

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What we liked about it was the cut! It was very thick – a mouthful and it was also very fresh. The 9 slices were just enough for the 2 of us.

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Then we had Tobiko Orange Sushi (Php 180) which was flying fish roe. Their sushi orders were just 2 pieces, as if it were meant for dates – a person gets one each. xp They were very generous with the flying fish roe to the point of it almost spilling over. I couldn’t eat it without the fish roe spilling a bit.

We also got Nihonsan Tako (Php 220) which was Japanese octopus. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take a photo of it. Surprisingly the octopus was very tender. I imagined it being gummy and like rubber, but it was very soft to the bite. It was an octopus I enjoyed.

Aburi Sushi (Php 530)

Aburi Sushi (Php 530)

Minami Saki boasts of their Aburi Sushi which was slightly burned sushi tuna, salmon, and lapu-lapu with their special aburi sauce. It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth! I enjoyed the special aburi sauce combined with the burnt cheese and the flavor of raw fish plus a hint of natural sweetness from a slice of fruit. What a treat to our tastebuds! How did we eat it? We halved all of it. xp It was “bitin”! We are definitely going back for this especially if we want to indulge on authentic Japanese food.

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For their noodles, we tried their Tempura Soba (Php 475). With its serving, it was pretty much good for one. But since we had other orders, we split the soba and it was enough for both of us. The tempura was also fresh and wasn’t drenched in flour. It was really quality food. Even the noodles!

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Our Minami Saki experience was such a treat to both of us! It is quite upscale and the prices are a bit steep, but if you’re looking for authentic and quality Japanese food, this is the place to go. 🙂 It is still cheaper than going to Japan. :p

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So what happened on Year 3?

[May 2013 – 2014 Year 1] – The Rollercoaster Ride

[May 2014 – 2015 Year 2] – Exploring our Differences

[May 2015 – 2016 Year 3] – ???

When I look at our 3rd year as husband and wife and if I could describe it in one word it would be stable. Jason said his word was better.

Stable because I feel that we became more adjusted with each other’s quirks and habits, by God’s grace more understanding, more patient with each other and accepting of our distinct personalities. There are still some minor disagreements here and there but when it boils to our foundation and our faith there is no argument there, our God is God. Without Him I honestly don’t know how both of us who are very distinct from one another would settle our differences and even celebrate our uniqueness! 🙂

I believe we are getting more intertwined with each other, more in stride to one another. I am becoming more of him (in his corniness :P), and he is becoming more of me. err. in a good way hopefully. 🙂

Jason said his word was better. Better in communicating with one another. I would agree! There are many other ways of expressing than just being angry. :p Communicating is really key… He can’t just keep guessing and assume why I’m irritable at times, I have to tell him in an honest and respectful way. I also can’t be left in the dark on why he’s suddenly quiet, he has to tell me lovingly and gently what upset him.

I praise God for His goodness in our 3 years as husband and wife. When I reflect on God’s love for us, I am moved to love my husband more! We can only love each other because we know (how much!) God first loved us. Love truly comes from God.

Every year since our wedding day this verse holds true in my heart.

1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.

Lessons from a 3 Year Old

Last week, Jason and I had the opportunity to take care of our 2 nephews who slept over for 2 nights. For almost 3 years, we have been looking out for just ourselves here at home and suddenly we are a (temporary) family of 4! 🙂 I have just been cooking in a small pot for the two of us, and all of a sudden I had to use the biggest pot we have last week. From 1 cup of rice to 4 cups of rice. How fast our family has grown. ;p

On the boys’ last day, we watched a dinosaur movie on Youtube. And you know how sometimes there are ads in between the movie? This movie had lots of it. The first time I saw an ad during the dinosaur movie, all kids decided to skip it. I didn’t know how to operate the multiple remotes of the TV (in the other house), so we asked TopTop’s (our nephew) nanny to skip it for us.

So we watched again.

After a few minutes, the ad went on. again. I was feeling that the kids were going to get impatient and I was also a little annoyed at the “pause” due to ads in the movie and wanted to get it going. So I said to Top, let’s skip the ad, and call your nanny again. Then his answer caught me by surprise. He said “Be patient” I said, “What did you say, Top?” He told me again, “Be patient”. Then he got a pillow, put it on my lap and laid down.

What just happened? I was really surprised. Here was a 3 year old telling a 28 year old to be patient. How ironic could that be? I pondered this in my heart and it was impressed on me to evaluate this aspect of my life. To be honest I was really rebuked. He was like an adult giving me wise advice.

When I think about it, I realized, how many times have I been impatient? Wanting to press on to the next chapter of our lives because I thought of how people will think? How many times have I wanted to try to control things at my own terms for the convenience of it?

But God is so good that He’s stopping me from being controlling.

It was impressed on me that sometimes God brings a pause on our lives or a pause in the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts to teach us patience – to trust in Him COMPLETELY and His perfect time, in His own terms. Not mine.

Through Top, it was impressed on me the image of what patience and waiting on God is – to choose to rest on Him, to watch and wait (expectantly) on Him knowing that He WILL come. How beautiful this image was! Is this what God wants of us?

Most of us are waiting – to get married, to find our purpose in life, to get work that will be fulfilling and meet our needs, to have a child, to finalize a deal or transaction, to get a spiritual breakthrough, or even to get our break in our careers. The transitions in our lives or the “pauses” are inconvenient but I have the assurance of His truth that He loves me and He loves each and everyone of you too, and He wants what is best for us.

In one of the devotions I read from Oswald Chambers, I would like to paraphrase that the life of faith is indeed uncertain, and the only certainty is God.  I can trust Him, cast our anxieties on Him because He loves and cares for me. 1 Peter 5:7

When pauses come, thank God! Because there is a lesson to be learned about Him. Maybe it could be for our protection or for us to realize that He is sovereign. Whichever it may be, we have the assurance of His word that He will sustain us throughout this season and that He has made everything beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

Psalm 27:14 Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

Isaiah 40:31 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

How to Apply for Schengen visa / Spanish visa with a Philippine passport (updated)

UPDATED as of March 2, 2017 *Thanks to the comment of a guest, the new Spanish visa can be applied thru Philippines BLS Spain: https://ph.blsspainvisa.com/ and NOT thru VFS anymore.

Submission Timings:

07:00- 11:00 am (Monday – Thursday)
07:00- 09:00 am (Friday)

Passport retrieval time:

14:00 – 16:00 (Monday – Friday)

Address:
First Maritime Place,
7458-60 Bagtikan St. San Antonio Village,
Makati City, Philippines

Phone: +632-841-55-60 / 61
Email: info.mnl@blshelpline.com

It was in 2011 that I first applied for a Spanish visa for the World Youth Day (WYD) held in Madrid.  During that time the process was a bit different since the church organizers applied for us delegates. It was also different since I was single and employed then. There wasn’t any appearance and we weren’t required to have our fingerprints scanned. It was pretty much smooth and easy. We just submitted documents and later on, voila! A Spanish visa.

Because of the WYD experience, it was my husband’s dream and mine to travel and visit Spain and reunite with my foster family. Last year December 2014, I have been receiving emails of discounted airfare, around 33% discount. We also received news early this year that my foster mom will be having a baby! It was so exciting!! 🙂 Since the airfare was discounted, the value of euro is low compared to before, my papi Cefe and mami Juani are having a baby, though visiting Spain is a long term goal, we decided, maybe 2015 is the year.

We prayed about it but then between January and May 2015, the airfare went back to its original price which was too heavy for both of us. I was asking God and praying to Him for His will that if it is His will, the airfare will be more affordable and go back to its discounted price. We waited and God answered. Last June 2015, the airfare was discounted and back to the 33% discount! We instantly booked it by faith. By faith because the tickets cannot be refunded since it was a promo fare, and we didn’t have a visa yet! The visa must be applied 3 months before with no assurance that we will be approved.

They say that applying for Schengen visa is relatively easy compared to US visa but as I have been reading in blogs, some still get denied due to some unspecified reason. And this time I felt that there may be some difficulty since I wasn’t technically employed but I was working as a financial consultant and had my income. I am not technically considered a full time housewife either that my spouse can vouch for and support my trip. Later on and good thing that my husband and I have already adjusted our ITR based on our married status and our respective income.

We checked out the travel fair last July to see if a travel agency can assist us in applying for the visas. But as we asked around, we decided that we can do it on our own. We went to the VFS website which stipulated all the requirements we had to submit. I then booked an appointment in the website for September 3.

June – July 2015 – Pre-VFS Appointment

Travel Insurance. Prior to the appointment, we had to get a Blue Cross Travel Insurance (one of the accredited insurance by Schengen visa) which is a requirement in the visa application.

I called Blue Cross and they gave us an application form which I had to answer and fill out. I took a photo and sent it back to them. As they received our application form, they gave us a reference number which we will use to pay in their BDO/BPI/Metrobank account. We paid around 36 Euro each = Php 1,848.96 each that time for the Travel Insurance. We had a  bit of a challenge because they said we should receive it in 2-3 days. However it took 4 days! I called Blue Cross on the second and third day to follow up which I found out there were courier delivery problems and we received the Insurance finally on Day 4. It was a good thing that I called because I found out that they archived our insurance policy already due to their delivery problems.

Documents we prepared were the ff.

I prepared one for me and Jason plus one photocopy of each document:

  • Duly accomplished Schengen Application Form with 2 passport sized photos. (I didn’t leave any blank, for those that don’t apply I answered N/A). I submitted 1 Original and 2 Photocopies as required.
  • Cover Itinerary. It was recommended by our friend Vince. It was helpful to me personally since I can already plot our trip. He recommended the website, Rome2Rio. I used this format because I was OC. At the end of the page we also signed atop our printed names.

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  • Original & Valid Passport. I photocopied first and last page and all pages with stamps and visas.
  • Old Passports. I photocopied first and last page and all pages with stamps and visas. This included my Schengen Visa in 2011.
  • Original Bank Certificate. I got mine for Php 100 at BDO.
  • Other Investment Certificate. I submitted the original and a photocopy, they just got the photocopy. 
  • Investment Statement for the past 6 months. In support of my investment certificate that it was active.
  • Credit Card Photocopy. I photocopied the front and back of a visa / mastercard credit card.
  • Credit Card Statements for the past 6 months.
  • 2014 ITR Photocopy.
  • Travel Insurance. Travel Insurance with a coverage of 30,000 euros. Ours was named Royal Prestige plan in Blue Cross.
  • (Husband’s) Business permit, Business Registration photocopy. Since my husband was self-employed.
  • (Mine-Financial Consultant) Certificate of Creditable Tax Withheld at Source of 1 Year. I submitted this as proof that I was a financial consultant at Prulife UK. This is provided by the company quarterly.
  • Confirmed Airline Booking & Itinerary. Flight Reservation is acceptable but for us since we booked and paid a promo fare with Etihad, it was pretty much definite and final.
  • Confirmed Hotel Reservations. I booked with agoda.com and booking.com. I reserved and confirmed the booking using my credit card but it can be reversed. Make sure to book it in Peso! What I forgot to do was charged it in USD instead of PHP so the amount was still converted. When I had the amount reversed in my credit card, I lost a few pesos because of the currency conversion.
  • NSO Marriage Certificate. 

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September 3, Thursday – VFS Appointment 

VFS Address: Spain Visa Application Centre Manila, Mezzanine Flr, Ecoplaza Bldg., Don Chino Roces Ave. Extension Makati City.

Our schedule was at 7:45AM, we arrived at 6:30AM. There was already a line at that time for those who had an appointment and the walk-ins. The far left was for walk-ins, the 2nd line was for those applying for Spanish visa, the rest I can’t remember but the security guard was the one assigning and fixing the lines.

A few minutes past 7, we were ushered in. We left our phones in the car, but we forgot to bring a pen! Bring a pen, you’ll need it to answer the feedback survey and details of address where the visa will be sent.  At the reception, the officer checked our documents then returned it to us along with a number to bring into the other room.

When our number was cued, though they provided a seat while submitting the documents, I couldn’t sit down as the docs to be turned over were really a lot. I also organized and  them into Original-photocopy, original-photocopy, original-photocopy labeled by a post it.

Docs

.I should have organized them into 2 only – a compilation of the original and a compilation of the photocopies because that’s how the officer separated my docs.

After, I paid the following fees:

Visa Fee: Php 2910

Logistic Fee: Php 970

SMS Fee: Php 120

Courier Fee: Php 370

We could have saved in the SMS fee because we received an email anyway which is exactly what we received via SMS. The email even arrived earlier than SMS, and the status can be checked in the VFS website. But anyway…

After which, we had our fingerprints scanned. It took me several minutes, Jason thought there was an officer interviewing me! It turned out that the lines in my finger were too light it can’t be read by the scanner.

I asked the officer if I will be required to have an interview. She said that usually the consul requires interviews for first timers but it is still their discretion to require an interview for 2nd timers. But she also said that if I don’t receive my passport in 2-3 days and if I don’t receive any notice, I automatically need to be interviewed.

September 3, Thursday – VFS Appointment 

On that same day, I received an SMS and and email from VFS stating,

Visa application has been dispatched to the Spain Consulate – General, Makati City on September 3 for processing and assessment. 

Jason received a notice that he was required for interview and that he may go to the Spanish Embassy from Mon-Thurs 8AM

September 8, Tuesday

I received an SMS –

Processed visa application has been couriered to you via 2GO. You will receive your passport in 24-48 hours. 

September 9, Wednesday

I received my passport and stamped on it was the Schengen Visa! 🙂

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September 10, Thursday – Spanish Embassy for Interview

Spanish Embassy Address: 5th Floor ACT Tower
135 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue
1227 Makati City
Metro Manila, Philippines

We arrived early maybe around 7AM and parked in Starbucks, we had to eat there of course. Jason fell in line at around 7:30AM and along with others they had to write their names on a sheet of paper which will determine their line number.

Jason had to wait until 9AM I think and he was asked the ff questions:

How long will he be staying? What was his business? etc.

He returned to Starbucks where I waited at around 10:30AM.

September 14, Monday –  Post Interview

Jason received an SMS –

Processed visa application has been couriered to you via 2GO. You will receive your passport in 24-48 hours. 

September 15, Tuesday

Jason received his passport and the Schengen visa looked back at us as if to say, Hola Espanya!

For us both, the process took around 2 weeks.

I can only thank God that He answered our prayer on discounted flights, visas approved plus everything in between and gave us the opportunity to visit my foster family again! The last time I flew to Spain on my birthday August 8, 2011, I had jitters and I had the stomach flu but I pushed thru. So now we’re praying that we stay healthy and we enjoy our honeymoon and reunion in Spain. Click here for our Spain trip.

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*Kindly note that I am not a representative of VFS or BLS and not an employee of the spanish embassy. Please refer to the official websites for the official documents needed. This blog is based on experience only.

Post VFS Application at ChopStop

Post VFS Application at ChopStop

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When we support our husband’s ideas

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It was a regular Wednesday night at home. Jason paused for a while in speaking to chew  his dinner. Without any hesitation I grabbed that moment of silence to blurt out, “I don’t like to push through with your idea.” … Continue reading

5 Things I appreciate about YOU in Year 2

Hi Beb, Happy Anniversary! 🙂

There are so many things that I appreciate about you but I’d like you to know some of the things that I feel any wife would appreciate about their husband. Written here are the things I appreciate most about you in Year 2.

It’s been a while since I wrote you so here it goes.. 🙂

Don’t you agree that year 2 passed by too fast? I would often ask you, can you imagine us when we’re old and gray? And it’s true what you would often say, “mabilis lang yan” and fast it was. You would often tell me you won’t see me looking older because I will always look the same to you, you will always see who I was when you first met me, I will always be beautiful in your eyes.

I still remember when I first met you 9 years ago in my white shirt, jeans and slippers, I was young and idealistic and highly argumentative and defensive. Am I still now? I hope not (except for the young part because I will always be 5 years your junior) :). Thank you for bearing with the 19 year old me.

Soon I’m turning 28 and you 33. A lot has changed but I’m glad some things are still the same. I’m glad that though we lost some things – you your hair, me my wisdom teeth, my cyst and other things, I’m glad there are things that have grown –  My knowledge of you and also my love for you everyday, only by God’s grace.

This year 2, I would like to tell you how much I’m thankful to God for you. When things get the best of me please refer to this. 🙂

Beb I thank God for you…

1. For being accountable to God and to me

I really appreciate it whenever you confess and talk to me about your honest feelings. For telling me what’s going on in your mind, for being transparent to me this year 2. If there’s one thing that I love and get irked at times with your personality, it’s your honesty. :p But please don’t change. I like it when you talk to me about anything and everything whether work, your devotion, God’s lessons to you, your dreams, plans and everything in between. I also feel secure whenever I see you bow down to pray in the morning and at night and when I see how God transforms you everyday. I know you are telling God everything too. I praise God for you.

2. For understanding and being non-judgmental of me

I also appreciate it when you are understanding of me and non-judgmental of me. That you don’t dismiss me and confine me to my personality but understand that I change too.

I appreciate it that when I admit my shortcomings and mistakes, you don’t grill me but instead you praise God and say that He is answering your prayers (for me to realize the mistakes on my own?). 🙂 I know it takes a lot for you not to say “I was right”, or “I told you so” and I know that it is only the filling of the Holy Spirit in you that you are controlled also when you are gentle and kind.

I also thank God for you that you take time to listen to me. I appreciate it whenever you understand where I’m coming from and when you are open to improving yourself to better our marriage.

3. For your humor!

I thank God for giving you the gift of making me and people laugh! Sometimes you are just plain corny but I know you really make an effort to humor me. I will always be the first one to be annoyed and yet still be your number one fan when it comes to your crazy corny jokes. :p When you would even dress up in your polo and your boxers at home just to create a semblance of a romantic date among your other crazy ideas.

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4. For yielding to the wisdom God has given you in leading me

I appreciate it when you take the time to find out my strengths and weaknesses and know how you will “train” me in my skills and even in my spiritual life. I remember that whenever I get frustrated in my work or spiritual walk, you would be steadfast, set my mind aright and encourage me to push forward. I praise God for you. You would give me books to read, tell me your experiences, and be my “life coach”. Please don’t change. 🙂 There may be times that your corrective nature may get the best of you but I appreciate it more when you take the other direction and be more encouraging. 🙂

5. For striving to keep the romance alive

One of which includes you prioritizing this marriage.

I appreciate it when you keep your promises and try to keep the romance alive. During Valentine’s Day I thought that I wasn’t going to get flowers. You promised several years ago that you would give me flowers every special occasion. (I don’t ask for it and I didn’t even before but somehow it makes me feel like a woman! and a woman who is loved). I thought that this year, after our little misunderstanding, I wasn’t going to receive any.

But when we got to a watch store in Eastwood, I thought you were going to purchase something. I saw behind the counter that there were flowers which I thought belonged to the cashier staff. Then the next thing I knew, you were suddenly behind me holding those flowers with a big smile on your face! I really thought it was a joke. But apparently you prepared them in advance, I still don’t know how you did it. But thank you for those things. 🙂 I praise God for you, for always proving that I could trust you, your vows and even simple promises.

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When I reread my wedding vows, this was what struck me and this is what I’m most thankful to God for you.

“Throughout the years, God has turned you into His best for me. I came to know God through you, and that was the best gift that you have given me. To acquaint me with the author of love, our heavenly father. 

Thank you for loving me in my many shortcomings, I know that God is truly alive because of the unconditional love you have been giving me in all my childishness, in my moments of doubts and my emotional ups and downs.”

The romantic story that would be my favorite and that I would love to read would be the one of you and me. But when God sent Jesus to die for you and me…, that is the real love story.

I love you Beb and Happy 2nd Anniversary 🙂

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1 John 4:19 We love because HE first loved us.

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The Unintentional Disconnector

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Imagine going out on a date, talking about those good ol’ days or just holding hands under a blanket of stars, and suddenly “ding!”, a notification! or “beep beep” a text message from work that you “just have to” check. How would … Continue reading

How I Met My Husband

Last Thursday I delivered my Advanced Speech Project #2 of the Storytelling Manual in Toastmasters entitled, “How I Met My Husband”.

Just a side note, In Toastmasters International, once we accomplish the Basic Speech Projects (BSP) to get our Competent Communicator (CC) norm, we move on to the Advanced Speech Project (ASP) to get our norm of Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver, and Gold (ACB, ACS, ACG) recognized in all Toastmasters worldwide.

For my husband’s sake and mine, I decided to write it down so when we get the lapses, we can look back and check what really happened. :p

Some details were omitted when I delivered them in Greenhills Prime Toastmasters (my home club), but anyway, more or less here went my speech.

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How I Met My Husband

If you’re a regular attendee of our club, you’ve heard the story of how Jason and I met probably a thousand times from Jason himself. But let me share with you my side of the story. The real story.

So this was what really happened.

8 Years Ago, I experienced my very first heartbreak. It was a rainy July Monday – the perfect day to get your heart broken.

As I rode the car on my way to school, I looked outside and a tear fell from my right eye. Have you ever experienced a heartbreak? You feel unloved, unappreciated and unwanted. You feel devastated and frustrated.  Especially when you think of the past – those happy moments, and the future – what could have been.

I was moping in my heartbreak and I felt my world crumbling down. Until my friend, let’s call him Jez (Because that’s his real name), told me he knew someone who gives love counsel because that person has also given him some advice.

I was curious who he was. Jez invited me to go a friend’s house where we could possibly meet the “Love guru”. As I was in that house, I heard Jez talking to someone over the phone in Chinese. It sounded something like this, (insert Hokkien here :p) but seriously it sounded as if that person was coming over.

After a few minutes, the door finally opened. I saw a man wearing a white shirt and sweatpants. I told Jez, “Is this the Chinese guy? But he looks Korean!” (intended for storytelling purposes, not what I actually said :p).

We were then introduced to each other, Gia this is Jason, Jason this is Gia. I was so eager to share my predicament with Jason. I wanted my problem to have a solution and be over. So over merienda, I grabbed the opportunity to be seated next to him.

Without any hesitation or reservations, I shared with him in detail what happened why we broke up. “Yesterday, we were just texting, and he suddenly broke up with me. What should I do? Is something wrong with me?”. He was listening intently and nodding his head like this. At that moment I felt understood.

Soon it was time for us to depart. We all rode in Jason’s car and he dropped us off one by one to our destination. Before I went down, He asked me, “Gia, I’ll get your number okay?” In Filipino, “Gia, kunin ko number mo ha?” .

When I got home, beep beep. A text message. It said, “You’re too pretty to frown”.

And suddenly, my heart beat beat so loud.

2 days after, we saw each other again. Jez invited him to watch his volleyball game in Ateneo but somehow Jason ended up jogging with me during my fencing training days (in his polo shirt, jeans and fancy sneakers). As we jogged, we continued to converse. Soon our friendship blossomed into romance, and as they would often say, the rest is history.

At present that guy who made me smile after a heartbreak, is now my husband of a year and a half and since we got married I’ve never stopped smiling, frowning and smiling again.

God has a purpose for everything and my heartbreak had a purpose. (Sometimes when Jason and I would try to figure out if we would ever meet if not for that moment, we realized that maybe we really won’t. We had very different sets of friends and our networks do not coincide with each other.)

As I look back, I learned that I wouldn’t know what pure joy is if I didn’t experience pain and sadness. I wouldn’t value relationships if I continue to think that they last forever and are permanent. I wouldn’t know what it means to be whole if I’ve never been broken.

Love is really a funny thing… especially if you love a funny guy. And I can relate with what Jason Mraz said, “it’s nice in this life we’ve got each other, (he) is right beside me, more than just a partner or a lover, he’s my (counselor and) friend.”

Heartbreaks truly aren’t the end, sometimes it’s just the beginning of something new, something better.

8 years ago I had my heart broken.

But 8 years ago, I also met the man whom I learned to love.

And that’s how I met my husband.

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Forget Me Not

Do you (seldom) make requests (or lambing) to your significant other or your spouse? I feel that somehow I seldom make (affectionate) “requests” to Jason so there was one time that before he left to meet our friend at the mall I “sweetly” requested him to 1. please have my concealer sharpened 2. please bring me home something (pasalubong).

He came home after work and I was anticipating what he would bring me. So as I heard his footsteps in our hallway, I was eager to see his “surprise”. Until he finally came into view and…

…I saw his hands empty.

I asked him “no pasalubong?” And Jason said “Shoot!! Oo nga pala!! (in English, I forgot!!)” I asked him again, “how about my concealer?” And then again.. He forgot and said that he couldn’t squeeze it in because he was pressed for time.

I kind of sulked during that time. Maybe because I just read something about how a wife doesn’t necessarily like to receive a particular gift – any gift (or pasalubong) is okay because it signifies that during the day, her husband thought of her somehow.

I was frustrated inside. I was hurt because I felt that he didn’t remember me during those times. Internally I was reasoning, “I seldom request and he couldn’t even manage to do it (In Filipino, minsan na nga lang, ‘di pa nagawa)”.

But then Jason gave me a logical explanation that it shouldn’t be made into a big deal and asked me do I think the longer, mature, married couples fuss about these small matters? He also said that it wasn’t his intention to forget about it and really come home empty handed of my requests.

I was stumped for a bit and I didn’t have anything to say. I reflected for a while and thought about what he said and my actions too. He may be sincerely wrong, but how about me? where was I wrong?

He came home tired from his activities and errands, and instead of the usual “welcome home” greeting, I asked him what he brought home for me. I didn’t even check on him, how his day went, how his meeting went. I was more focused on the gift than the giver. More than that, I was selfish to want myself to preoccupy his mind as he was away for just a little while. When I dug deeper in my heart, I also realized that part of me was setting him up to test him. The thing that I read stuck in my mind to see if he could manage to remember me amidst his busy-ness throughout the day. And then when reality didn’t meet expectation, I grabbed that opportunity to show my disappointment.

But his failing to meet my request doesn’t give me the right to act that way towards him.

Should I just be loving and respectful of him when he is? Does love mean just loving when our spouse is loving towards us? But, what credit is there to act lovingly when our spouse acts lovingly towards us as well?

The next day I shared with him my feelings and again he apologized that he didn’t mean to. I was also apologetic on my part especially since I was too intent on seeing what he brought me instead of being glad that he came home safely.

Things that I took away from this were:

1. to not test my husband (the intention of testing our spouse is just setting us up and giving us wives a reason not to trust them).

2. the giver is ALWAYS more important than the gift.

3. To understand where he is thus I should extend grace because

4. In Love and Respect, I should “remember that my spouse is really a person of goodwill” meaning he doesn’t intend to hurt me.

My husband is a person of goodwill and I must take that to heart. Sometimes it’s so easy to  test them and see where they are wrong, but this verse encourages me whenever I feel righteous and ready to pinpoint his faults,

Psalm 139:23-24 Examine me, God, and know my mind, test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive tendency in me, and lead me in the eternal way.

I have easily said, “Don’t forget me” to my husband while he was out and away, but I realized that more than me, whether or not he brings home/provides/gives me anything he was also telling me, “I hope I’m more important than anything,” “I hope you forget me not” as well.

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