When I Am Full Of Myself

 

When I was 9 years old, I got molested by my own uncle. I felt so helpless. The years after that incident, I slowly learned how to fight and defend myself. When I went to college, I was ready to fight for my right against any professor who abuses his authority and I was always ready to win any argument. Whenever I hear that any member of my family got wronged and they didn’t do anything about it, I always feel frustrated and angry. Now that I am married, my husband is not an exception. Last week, when I asked my husband about his work, he told me that someone embarrassed him. Instead of encouraging and consoling my husband, I got upset with him because he didn’t do anything to defend himself. I even gave him an ultimatum that unless he promised to report the incident to his superior, we won’t be okay. These are my husband’s words,

“I thought when someone slaps you in the cheek, you should give the other side of your cheek? I don’t want that person to be in trouble because of me, I already forgave her. You only heard my side of story, let me decide for myself”.

When I heard those words, I calmed down and said sorry. I knew I was wrong. I needed to go to work so I was crying on my way. When I reached the office, my boss was already there and I couldn’t help myself but told him what happened and I cried even more. My boss said,

“When a person is so full of himself, he has less frustration tolerance for obstacles that stand in his way to get or achieve what he wants.”

Why did I get upset with my husband? Because I wanted him to defend himself but he didn’t want to. I tried to dominate to get what I want and when I didn’t, I felt frustrated. I was full of myself. I was reminded of my role as a wife, and that is, to support my husband with his decisions. It was another lesson for me. My husband is the head of the family, and God will lead our marriage through him. That’s the very reason I need to pray for my him everyday. If there are times that I don’t agree with his decisions, I should trust God and submit to my husband. God is good and faithful for bringing people who support and guide our marriage. I am very thankful.

Old vs. New Philippine Passport

At last, after months of waiting, I finally got my new passport!

Getting a passport appointment from the DFA website was a long wait. I was waiting for a slot since September to renew my passport, but the schedule was full until December! I made it a habit to check the website for a slot, but there was no luck, every time, not until I saw a post from an FB group which I am a member of. In that post, it says that there was a site where you can access the DFA real time calendar. I click the link and lo and behold it shows a calendar that has a number of available slots. I immediately click the earliest available date in DFA Alabang which was December 5, a month away from the time I booked it. When I clicked the date, I was directed to the official DFA website and I was able to book my appointment. I couldn’t believe that I already had a passport appointment after waiting for months. I visited the site last week and checked if still works, I noticed that when I click some of the dates it doesn’t direct to the DFA website anymore. I also noticed that the dates were already synchronized to the DFA official website, which is good. As of today, there are no available slots anymore.

I was so excited to go to the DFA to renew my passport, but when I got there the personnel told me I needed to get a CFO (Commission of Filipino Overseas) certificate because my husband is a foreign national. They told me I had to get this before I can renew my passport. I panicked a bit because I thought I had to get another appointment but to my relief they extended my schedule for a month and I could come anytime within that time frame. Same goes to the people who didn’t have valid ID’s, so make sure you have the requirements needed to avoid delay. Check my post about requirements for updating your civil status and getting valid IDs with your married name.

I got my CFO certificate last December 12 but I decided to go back January 4 to take advantage of the 10-year passport validity. I advise you to come an hour before your appointment because the line is really long. The guard will check the time of your appointment so you can’t enter too early. My original appointment time was 3pm but I went there at 12 noon and the guard let me in because I got extension written on my application.

After all my requirements were confirmed complete, I was asked to pay the fee. You have two options, pay 950 for regular processing time (15 business days) or 1,200 for express processing (7 business days). I was not in a hurry so I paid 950. After that,  my information were encoded in the system and my photo was taken. The man who came before me was given a hair clip cause his bangs keep on falling, so gentlemen, make sure your hair is not covering your eyes and ears. Get a clean cut if you don’t want to wear hair clips. After my photo was taken I was directed to pay for the delivery. You have the option pick up your passport so you don’t pay or have it delivered to your door. You need to pay an extra 150 for LBC delivery. Mine was delivered on time.

So here’s the comparison of the old and new Philippine passport.

The covers have the same color but there’s a little difference with the seal.

Passport 1

In the first few pages, you will immediately notice the difference in color. The new passport has more of a bluish color. The Philippine flag is replaced by the Philippine eagle.

Passport 3

The signature is now signed on a separate page. When you scan the pages of the new passport, they are not plain anymore. You will see the different famous landmarks of the Philippines and the lyrics of the National anthem.

Passport 4

Here is the famous Mayon Volcano in Page 20 & 21.

Passport 5

At the back of the new passport, you will see a Pawikan,

Passport 6

So overall, the new passport is better not only because it has a 10-year validity but it’s also way better aesthetically. Good job to DFA with this one. I hope they will also make the passport appointment system better.

What can you say about the new Philippine passport? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Pamamanhikan (Supplication)

The Philippines has a rich tradition with regards to courtship. In old days, men court their maidens through songs, poems, and letters. Women are not allowed to entertain men outside the house. They must court the women inside the house. Women cannot go to a date without a chaperone. I have a lot of first-hand […]

I’m learning French!

Yes, you heard it right, I’m learning French. Thanks to Duolingo, an app from playstore, I can learn French for free. I like Duolingo, it’s easy, fun, and challenging. I know now some vocabularies and can write simple sentences in French, though I’m really not good in the pronunciation part. My husband is Canadian so he knows French, I am overwhelmed when he teaches me how to say the words, it’s hard! so I told him I’ll just concentrate on the writing part for now. I’ve noticed that some words are exactly the same in English. I guess some English words were derived and adopted from French. Anyways, I am determined to finish it, up to the last lesson. I’m not sure how long it will take but I’m definitely taking it seriously.

I’ve read in some articles that learning a new language has a great benefit to the health of my brain. It can create new neurons, they call the process neurogenesis. We lose neurons as we age and this affects our memory. That’s why old people often have difficulty with recalling information or retaining new information. Omg, I tend to forget a lot of things now!

According to the research of Dr. Sahay a neuroscientist, neurogenesis can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and reduce anxiety. When more neurons die there’s a huge possibility to get Alzhaimer’s. I have also learned that depression can make a part of our brain called hippocampus where neurons grow, shrink. It’s scary! I remember one of my favorite actors Robin Williams who had Alzheimer’s disease and took his own life due to depression. Depression prevents neurogenesis!

The good news is, moderate-intensity exercise like aerobics, walking, jogging, and swimming can produce more neurons. That’s really good for me because I don’t like working like highly extensive workout. Any activity that is engaging and relieves us from stress can increase neurons. We also need to prevent things that damage our brain, like not getting enough sleep, eating unhealthy, and not managing our stress. And to tell you honestly, I was scared a little bit upon learning this because I’m guilty of all of it! Who else is guilty?

My mind is all mess since I had my miscarriage. I told my husband I’m gonna take a break and will stay at home for about two to three months before working again and he supports me in it. I have so many anxieties and it messes my brain and makes me unhappy. So now, I’m trying to fix myself little by little by writing a blog, learning French which is really fun for me, eating healthy, and go out and do some walking and jogging. I admit I haven’t done the latter part because I don’t like going out. But you know learning these facts makes me wanna do it. I have to live a healthy life and being healthy is one of the ways to be happy. So maybe I will find some dance exercise in Youtube and dance along with it. Lol.

What new things are you want to learn? What relieves your stress?

Mt. Pulag Adventure

If you have read my Most embarrassing moment entry, you know that I nearly died that day we climbed Mt. Pulag. I’m glad I survived and reached the summit.

My husband put Mt Pulag at the top of the list of the places he wanted to go to in the Philippines. I wanted to do a do it yourself trip for this climb but when I researched, it’s kinda hard to get transportation, so I decided to book with Trail Adventours. The slots are easily filled so I booked six months prior to my husband’s arrival. The guides were very friendly and accomodating and everything were taken cared of including our food.

The Trail Adventours team met us at Victory Liner terminal in Pasay and we left Manila at around 11:30 pm and arrived in Baguio at 4:30 am. We slept in the bus the whole time. When we arrived in Bagiuo, the guides split the group into two and we were designated to our respective jeepneys. We made several stops to our hostel. First, to a small restaurant to eat our breakfast, next to a clinic to get a medical certificate. You can’t climb without this. My husband made some friends here while we were waiting and everyone was amazed because he could converse in Tagalog. We went to the a dam and took some pictures.

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After that we went to a mud spring. It was my husband’s first time to see something like it and he was amazed. After that we headed to our hostel. When we were near the hostel, we were allowed to ride at the top of the jeepney. We really enjoyed it.

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We arrived at the hostel and a beautiful scenery welcomed us.

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We rested and freshened up before dinner. The guides gathered us in the dining area and each participant was asked to introduce and say something about himself. We were about 20 in number and it was fun. People got to show their personalities and we shared good laughs. After that we ate dinner and went back to our rooms. We woke up at 12 am to prepare and started hiking at 1 am. We reached the summit just when the sun was rising, it was wonderful.

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We enjoyed watching the sea of clouds

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After a couple of hours we started going down.

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We passed by some farmers who were loading carrots in a truck and said hello.

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We made it to our hostel by lunch and we were very exhausted. We freshened up and headed back to Baguio.

We stopped by a bridge and crossed it back and forth. It was exhilirating!

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Until now I couldn’t believed I had climbed Mt Pulag. It was one of a kind experience. Here is a video of our trip.

Thank you for reading, I’m happy to share this experience.

Hear me…

My burden is weighing me down

Why it never ends?

Don’t punish me Lord

Spare me me from the consequences of my sins

I’m afraid, I always am

When I listen to your Word, I am comforted

It gives me strength

Don’t let my joy be stolen

I am seeking you for shelter

Reveal to me my trangressions

and cleanse me with your love and forgiveness

Don’t show favoritism

I am your daughter

I am longing for your affection

Soften your heart and have mercy

Take me out of darkness

Ease my mind

Fix my heart

Bring me healing

Day 22 – My Worst Habits

Today’s topic is Your worst habits

One of the worst habits I have is procrastination. Definitely it. It’s the reason why all the videos from our vacation are still waiting to be edited.

Picking the cuticle of my nails. I don’t do it that much anymore, which is a good thing.

I don’t know if its a bad habit but I always miss words when I write. It always happens in whatever I’m writing, like for example this blog entry. I had to reread it a few times to insert the missing words.

Eating sweets. I’m very guilty of that. It’s like a day is not completes without something sweet.

These are the things I’m still working on and and trying to break.

How about you? What are your worst habits?

If you want to participate in this challenge, please read the Start blogging with the 30-day blogging challenge post.

Day 15 – Where Will I Be In Five Years?

Where will I be in 5 years? This is the easiest question in this challenge.

I will be in Canada, God willing!

If you have read our love story you would know that my husband and I, met and dated online. My husband came to the Philippines for the first time last May, and we got married!

When people found out that we were getting married after just seeing each other for the first time, some raised their eyebrows. Some said I was really brave. How can I marry a person when I have just been with him in flesh for four weeks? I guess I am brave. But all I can say is I made sure that I knew what I was doing.

Maybe you are thinking that I was not being careful, I totally understand. But to tell you I was very cautious. I know anyone can be dishonest online, but how can you not know someone when you talk with him for 2-4 hours every single day, sometimes a half day, and sometimes even a whole day for one straight year! Yes, that’s how committed we are until now. Even if it’s online, you will get to know the person well enough. You just have to find ways. I talk to his daughter and I talk to his mother too. I ask him about everything in his life, and I don’t know if I’m just really good in knowing someone or I just got lucky. I want to think that it’s both.

I don’t encourage others to do the same because there are all kinds of people out there. You have to be very careful. This is not for everyone. Not every long-distance relationship succeeds just like non-long distance relationships. There could be horror stories in any kind of relationships. But for me, it turned out good.

In six weeks that we got to spend time with each other in flesh, he exceeded my expectations. He’s a great person that I could go on and on in telling good things about him. I can’t count how many times I picked a fight, threw tantrums, and got dramatic yet he stayed calm and spoke gently. When I’m so emotional and blow things out of proportion, he never raises his voice or says anything mean. He’s so kind that I ignore how he feels.

When you know the person loves you so much, when you know he is always there, when you know he would never hurt you, when you know he will always forgive you, you tend to take him for granted. I’m glad I realized how self-centered I was because I definitely don’t want to be an awful wife!

Waiting is hard, but if after that, I get to be in my husband’s arms again. I’ll be happy to wait.

If you’re reading this honey, I love you very much. I thank God for you everyday.

How about you? Where will you be in 5 years?

If you want to participate in this challenge, please read the Start blogging with the 30-day blogging challenge post.

Day 10 – the Trip Of My Life

This task made me put together the videos we have from Palawan. If there is one trip I would consider a trip of my life, it would be our honeymoon. When my husband and I decided to get married we agreed to make it simple and intimate. If we are going to spend a lot of money, it would not be on the wedding but on our travel. We wanted to go to as many places as we can with the money that we have and we’re very happy of how it turned out. I treasure those memories and I’m excited for the coming years of traveling together.

I will write about our honeymoon in details in the coming days, but for now here’s the video.

If you want to participate in this challenge, please read the Start the 30-day blogging challenge post.

What I’ve learned after my miscarriage

Before my husband went back to Canada, we found out that I was pregnant. Everyone was happy and excited but at week eight, I lost the baby. I bled and had a severe cramp. When I was in the car to the hospital I told God, “please don’t let me have a miscarriage, don’t allow it to happen. I have prayed to you and for my baby a thousand times, you can’t allow this God.”

I was in the ultrasound room, still hoping that the baby was still there but the doctor showed me the image on the monitor, the baby was not there anymore. I held back my tears until I got out of the room, I was brokenhearted. I blamed myself, that maybe I was not careful enough.

I believe in God and I believe everything happens for a reason, but in my heart, I still ask, “why did it happen? What’s in it for me in the future?” I prayed more and allowed myself to grieve and be sad. I decided to read the Bible again from Genesis, but something happened when I reached the story of Saul and David.

It is said that David is a man after God’s own heart and I thought it was only because he was a worshiper. But I realized that he is a man with a humble heart. My heart felt heavy that I literally got down on my knees. I said, “God, I was arrogant!”

One by one, there were flashbacks just like in the movies. I remembered the comments I made. I remembered the time I judged and condemned other people’s actions because I thought what they were doing was not right and sinful. I was very ashamed of myself. I was proud. I was foolish!

One person stood out as I remember those I looked down to. This person had said unpleasant things to me but I didn’t say anything bad to her. But in my heart, I looked down at her with disgust. I thought she was low and that I was better than her. How proud I was comparing myself to her.

King Saul has wronged David and even attempted to murder him numerous times. But David didn’t take revenge. When Saul died he even grieved for him. How great this man’s heart is!

I was not like David. When I’m wronged, my pride carries me away. I look through other people’s mistakes and character, I judge them and speak ill about them. But that day, God spoke to me and touched my heart. He created each one of us after his own image. All creation belongs to God and it includes people that I hate. I have no right to look down, judge, or ridicule his creations. I am but a speck of dust and God can take away all that I have. God can strip me of the things that I boast of in a snap of a finger.

I realized if had my baby, the more proud and arrogant I will be. Truly, it was a humbling experience. Now, I understand why he allowed it to happen. He is gracious to me. He wanted me to learn something!

I confessed.

I repented.

After that I felt like I was released from my prison of hatred for this person. I prayed for her, that God will bless her life and her family. It was liberating. And most importantly, I’ve learned a valuable lesson, and I know my life will never be the same.