Mera Joy Aniolga

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

To Cathy

In Family, Personal on March 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

9 months ago, she told us she was leaving soon. She did not give specific dates for she herself did not know when. We didn’t know if soon meant tomorrow, a week after tomorrow, a month after May or a year from now. We just held on to the idea that she is leaving soon. We did not want to worry over the specifics of soon.

We focused on making the most out of the time that was left. We ate outside, we frolicked in the beach, we visited waterfalls, we met at the malls, we celebrated her birthday early, we laughed, we gossiped, we raised our brows, we had our hairs rebonded, we danced under the moon, we sang like there was no tomorrow, we mourned over deaths of celebrities- we did all those crazy things.

Time passed, we weren’t that bothered about her leaving anymore. We knew it was soon and I thought I was ready for it. But here I am crying in front of my computer knowing that a friend is leaving soon.

Now I know that soon meant summer (our favorite time of the year!) and that I will never be ready for goodbyes.

I know I should be happy and all
But I feel like I am Kevin Roy
Who just lost Karl Roy
Over something which is undeafeatable

I know she’ll still be around
But not in the way that I want to
I can feel feel my heart pound
Because I know that she is leaving on the 22

She may not be my sister
But I really liked her
There are times when she is so crazy
But I can’t blame her, after all her name is Cathy

I know this is an end of an era
For soon she will be in New Zealand
But I will always remember, the days of Cathy and Mera
Laughing, singing and doing crazy things here in their homeland.

Advertisements

Happy Birthday Tatay

In Family on September 2, 2011 at 4:55 am

When I was a kid I thought  my father had two birthdays. But now I know what the other birthday is. Today is technically his birthday, the day that he was born and all as stated in his birth certificate.

I wanted to give him a new Ray Ban Sunglasses but I run out of funds. I gave him a cell phone instead. Not those high end mobile phones of course,just the ones that I can afford.

We had chicken soup, fried chicken and fish for lunch. He cooked it all, nothing fancy but I know that it was some sort of celebration for his birthday, his health and all that.

Happy Birthday Tatay!

You are the best father in the world and I love you with every fabric of my being.

Old Maid at 25

In Family, Personal on August 26, 2011 at 2:37 am

At 25, I feel like an old maid. Don’t get me wrong, I am in a relationship and I don’t have a child out-of-wedlock. If civil status in legal papers is to be considered, I am single in every essence of the word. If you base it on social networks, then I’ m in a Relationship.

It’s not that I feel bad about being single. I feel so blessed, I feel ecstatic and I have always been thankful to the fact that I get to live my life in a way that I want. No child to think of, no tuition fees to worry about and so on.

Early this morning, my mother told me about my cousin who just gave birth. She is five years younger than I am. She just graduated last March. My mother who is fond of putting two and two together is very disappointed in her niece as she was already pregnant when she graduated five months ago.

This cousin from the mother side is the third niece in the family. I am the first girl granddaughter, 25 and as I’ve said, single. The second granddaughter who is three years younger than I am is married twice, it’s the same man that she married twice. Church and civil wedding is what I am talking about. They have two kids now. The third granddaughter is the one who just gave birth. She graduated as Summa Cum Laude in their school.

Last March, the rest of the family was just so proud of her. My mom claims about the “smartness gene” coming from them. Now, everyone is disappointed in her. I think so, I mean I can see the disappointment in my mom’s face when she told me about it. I imagine the same disappointment from the siblings of my mother, most especially my uncles, my cousins father.

On my father side, I am the 4th granddaughter. All three cousins who are ahead of me are now married. The first one married after her debut, 18th birthday. The next one married while she was still in college thus she quit school. The third one is now married, unlike the first two she was older when she decided to tie the knot and it was not because she’s knocked up. Unlike the other two who got hitched because their bellies are growing bigger and bigger each day.

At 25, I feel like an old maid in our family. An old maid who has seen the world. An old maid who travelled. I may not have the fulfillment that they have, you know the stuff about motherhood that they are talking about but at least I got to enjoy my singleness. I pity these cousins. It’s not as if they have better life as we belong to the middle-lower class. ( You know, lower-lower class, middle-lower class, upper-lower class, lower middle class, middle-middle class, upper middle class and so on.)

I feel sorry for these cousins but most of all I feel terrible for their children. Well not really all of their children just the elder ones who one day may wake up and realize that it’s not just virginity that their mothers lost because of them but more. They lost their lives and an early age, they lost the opportunities that may have come their way.

But then again, I can see that their mothers (my cousins) are in love with their dads. Love might really make things different for them. I hope it does.

Hippo Bath Day

In Family, Personal on August 22, 2011 at 8:28 am

This is my friend Cathy. I knew her from way back then but it was not until 2009 when I got to know her better.

In ever thought that she would be an important part of my life.

Felix Compleano Mi Amiga!

20110822-042900.jpg

The Philosophy of Intention

In Family, Personal on August 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Picture this: A mother hugs her baby tightly because she has no other means of providing heat other than the human warmth that she can give to her child courtesy of the hug. In the morning, she wakes up with a dead child in her hand. The cause of the child’s death is due to the tightness of her hug.

This is where the philosophy of intention comes in. While her goal is noble, her actions apparently did more bad than good to the child’s fragile body.

Yesterday, my mother told me about my father borrowing money from his brother in Manila. He is set to have an FSB check up, I think he has diabetes or something like that. According to my mother, my father’s salary was late. This is why he borrowed money from his brother. I feel bad for this because he didn’t approach me first. It’s not as if I’m earning millions but I have a little savings and I can provide him with the money that he needs. His intention of not bothering me may be for my own peace of mind but his actions hurt me. It didn’t really hurt me but it kind of “emasculated’ me. I mean, I’m his child, I should be the first person that he should turn to if he needs something.

Anyway, after my mom told me about the borrowing incident, I decided to give my father the amount that he borrowed from his brother. I didn’t give it to my mother because she is some kind of a “fixer” in our home. She would usually cut from what I gave or something. I decided to give the money to my father myself.

Early Sunday morning while we were having our coffee, I gave my father the money. But he didn’t even look at it. He said, I better keep it. I know he is struggling but he is too proud to accept the money from me. I think he sees me as nothing more than the little girl that he raised and supported.

I am 25 but every time I leave the house, my father still gives me “baon”. It’s not that he has a lot of money but I think he feels obligated to give me that “baon”. I think it asserts his  “provider’ role in our family. Yes, my father is the best provider. I look up to him and I want to be just like him. This is why I work my ass off to be a good provider. I just don’t understand why he’d refuse money from me. My intentions may be pure but I think I sort of “hurt” my father by what I did.

Now Machiavelli, can you please tell me if the end really justifies the means?

Love Child

In Family, Personal on August 4, 2011 at 7:16 am


To be conceived outside of marriage is to either be a love child or an “anak sa pagkadalaga or binata”. If your parents decide to tie the knot or at least live together, you become the former. If they decide to go on with their single lives and marry other people or not marry at all, you become the latter.

I belong to the former, a love child. Back when I was younger, I used to be so proud of the fact that I am my parent’s love child. That if not for me, they would have not been together. That my sister who was born 10 years after me was born out of hobby or something like that.The label, love child made me feel more special. But as I got older, I started to see my love child-ness  in a different perspective.

My parents had me when they were in their 20’s. My father was 23 while my mother was 26. Yes, my mom’s a cougar! I am 25 now, a college graduate working and earning enough for myself. I travel once in a while, I meet up with my friends on weekends and is in a happy and long-term relationship but I don’t see myself getting married or at least settling down at this age. 25 for me is just too young and even if my boyfriend means the world to me, I am not just ready.

Compared to my parents, I have a better life. I finished college while they were both drop-outs. I traveled here and there while my mother’s travel is limited to that of Manila, and the Visayan Region. My father used to be in the army so he got to travel but its job related, my travels are all for pleasure.

Yes, my life is easier and better compared to theirs but at this age, I would feel cheated if a love child comes my way. I think I would even blame that child for stealing the chances and opportunities that may come my way. My father had better chances but he gave it all up because of me, the freaking love child. My mother had better opportunities too but she gave it all up because of me, the freaking love child.

When my mother got knocked up, her former boss in Manila offered to take her in. The boss  who I suppose is gay is willing to help my mother. The plan was that my mother will stay with her boss until she gives birth to me and after that she can work for him and he will babysit me. Another option for my mother would be to marry this old man who owns a mall or something like that in Recto. He was as old as my mother’s grandfather, that’s what she said. Heck, if I were in her place, I probably would have grabbed it  as the old man does not mind my mother’s state, pregnant with me.

My father on the other hand had to give up his dreams of becoming an army officer after I was born because I got sick every time he is away. At 23, he was a college drop out because he punched his professor. He taught himself how to drive as he does not know any legal means of supporting his soon to be family. In the 80’s weed are the thing, my father would have been rich because he used to have a plantation at the back of his parent’s empty lot but my mother did not approve of it. Considering that my father has a green thumb, I think we’d really be rich if my mother only approved of my father’s plantation.

They were never a couple,  I owe my existence  to my mom’s religious upbringing. She could have had aborted me but she didn’t. I could have been an anak sa pagkadalaga but she made me a love child instead.  The things that my parents have to give up because of me are no joke. The adage you owe everything to your parents has a deeper meaning to me. I do not only owe my life from them but I also stole their lives away from them.

I am thankful but at the same time I feel guilty. I just can’t help feeling that way. Two people who may have committed a mistake out of drunkenness, a dare or could it be that my father raped my mother? LOL. I think my father is in love with my mother this is why the idea of rape comes to my mind. Prior to my father, my mother used to have a long term boyfriend. But you see, my mother is a devout catholic, she imprisoned herself with the belief that marriage is sacred, abortion is a crime and that she must give it all up because she was pregnant with the most amazing person in the world. (Kidding!) Don’t get me wrong, I was raised in a happy home where we would go to the beach, eat out, my father would laugh ala Santa during Christmas and the like. This is what makes me feel bad even more as they did it all because of me.

You see my father is the typical  guy, by typical I meant the typical characters of Fernando Poe, Bong Revilla and the like in the movies. He is respected in our places, he wears Levis 501, Topsiders, White Hanes Shirt and an Aviator.  He can be the “Robin Hood” of the Slums. My mother on the other hand is a devout catholic who wants to have religious husband. Their characteristics, personality and goals differ. I am their only thing in common. Oh shoot I forgot, I have sister. That makes the 2 of us their something in common.

Its weird how it works. The two people whom I love to the moon are the two people whom I caused “eternal” suffering. The gifts that I give them during Father’s day, Mother’s day, Christmases and Birthdays can not amount to the sacrifice that they had because of me. I imagine their sacrifice to be worst, love makes things bearable but they are not a couple to start with. I think my father was in love so things were bearable for him but I think it was my mother who suffered the most, emotionally suffered that is.

No, I am not my parent’s love child. I am the thief. I stole their freedom, their choices and their options.And yes, this is the reason why I am Pro-RH Bill.

The Borrowers

In Family, Personal on April 29, 2011 at 7:45 am

 ‘Amicu certus in re incerta cernitur’, this Latin phrase means, ‘a sure friend is known when in difficulty‘.

It would be so much better to rely upon superheroes like Superman, Spiderman and the like in times of need but they don’t exist. Therefore, we have no choice but to turn to our friends in times of needs.  These needs may be a matter of life and death. It can also be as shallow as Paris Hilton. Whatever these needs may be, it is comforting to know that you have someone that you can always depend upon.

Two hours ago, I have this friend who came at my place. She wants to borrow 6000 pesos because her brother is on the verge of losing his apartment in Thailand.  Usually, I would give her what she needs. Today, she left without a single cent from me. I said no.

I’m saving up for a new laptop and I just did not trust her anymore. If my memory serves me right, she still owes me 500 pesos from a “previous transaction” ( This previous transaction was actually when she borrowed money from me in the middle of the night because her son is sick.). But she acts as if she forgot about it and I am too shy to bring the topic up. It’s just 500 pesos anyway.

Even if I’m this outspoken and blunt, money matters still make me cringe. They say I am a/an (im)perfect candidate for lending money because I’d be too shy to take it back. It actually depends on perspectives as a person who has no intention of paying me back may see me as a perfect lender while a person who genuinely cares about my “funds” may think of me as an unfit lender. My friend who just left a couple of hours ago knows this. I don’t know what her perspective is but I think she’s using my (im)perfect lender-ness  to her advantage.

It’s quite flattering to know that I’m the person that she turns to when she needs anything, money especially.  But I’ve learned my lesson and I’ve learned it the hard way. I’m not the first person whom she borrowed money from. We have this common friend whom she borrowed money from, I don’t know if its settled or not. But I know that that common friend does not trust her with money matters any more. In fact, he is hiding from her.

Last June, I asked this friend of mine to buy me a camera. She was in and out of Thailand. Nikon has factory there so the cameras there a cheaper as compared here. I asked her to buy me a Nikon D3000. According to her, its cost there is just 14,000 pesos. Way too cheap as compared to the 21,000 pesos price of Nikon D3000 here. I gave her the money on a Saturday. She says that her friend will go home from Thailand on Monday. She will do me a big favor by asking her friend to buy the camera for her so she can give it to me. Perfect plan, right? By my friend’s estimate, her friend with the camera will arrive on Monday. I was so excited for Monday to come but Monday came and left without a camera in my hand.

She asked me if I want the money or she’ll personally buy the camera for me as she is going back to Thailand anyway. I agreed to plan B, she will buy the camera for me herself. I was not in a hurry to have a camera anyway, 7000 pesos makes a huge difference. She promised me that by July, she’ll be home and she’ll have the camera but nothing happened.

By mid-July, she told me to send her extra money, 3000 pesos to be exact. She says that she’s in Manila now but their company’s secretary is coming to the country and she says that the visiting secretary will bring the camera. The price may have increased but it has freebies like a Nikon Tripod, Filters and the like. I was thinking that 17,000 is still way too cheap and I am still willing to wait but July became August and I got tired of her alibis.

Her alibis are as follows:

1. I’m stuck here in Manila. I have a lot of work ( Fine with me because I was just asking her a favor.)

2. Your camera is here with me but I need to go back to Thailand, I’ll be home soon.  ( I asked her to ship the camera to Iloilo but she says she does not know where LBC or Air21 is. I researched and gave her numbers of several couriers, she was not able to contact it. I ask her where her address in Manila is so that one of my friends can pick it up in her place but she declines)

3. Whoa! The camera is too expensive, my brother wants it too. My mom says I will give you back the money instead. ( I actually am devastated with this. I knew her brother and I really thought he was interested in the camera. I buy that lousy excuse of my friend. For weeks, she would come at my place promising to bring the camera but only to arrive with nothing but herself because she can’t SNEAK it out. )

This is when I decided to get the money instead. Early September I told her that I will get the money, 17000 pesos that is. I will buy the camera myself. This is when she tells me that she will do her best to sneak the camera out. For 1 week, I actually waited for her at coffee shops, I waited for her cousin to bring the camera but nothing happened. So I made a mental note to myself to really get the money from her.

I was expecting her to give me the exact amount in full and in cash when I said I wanted the money instead of the camera but boy! I was wrong. First week of October she gave me 10,000 pesos. It was okay with me because she promised to pay it back the following day but nothing happened. I let it pass.

I went to Bacolod on the last week of October. I was using my Bacolod trip to get the money from her. If I count the money I spent on the load I used to text her in between June to October, it would have cost more or less 1000 pesos.

I feel bad for turning her down but I don’t want to take the risk again. If this happens again, I might not beg her anymore. I might be mad at her and it might take a toll on our friendship. I have this gut feeling that she’s taking advantage of me. It’s up to me to let her do it or not. Other than her “borrowing issues”, she’s a good friend. I don’t want to totally lose friendship with her just because of money.

I feel guilty for lying to her but I don’t want to feel stupid. I’d rather be a bad, unhelpful, unreliable  and lying friend than a stupid and abused person who never learns from previous mistakes.

Quality vs. Quantity

In Event, Family, Personal on April 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

My first and last expensive watch.

When I was 11 years old, I saved up for my first expensive watch. It was a Casio Baby-G which costs at about 5,ooo Php. For my cheapskate and pessimistic mother, it was too expensive and too risky.

Why risky?

I might lose such an expensive watch or I might lose an arm if the “snatcher” decides to chop off my hand along with the watch. But that’s just Medialyn being Medialyn.

After a year or so, my blue Baby-G vanished into thin air. The sad thing about its disappearance is that I don’t know if it was stolen, misplaced or forgotten. My mother was right all along, I will lose it. Had I known it earlier, I would have had my name and address engraved on it or I would have purchased a knock-off. But I was being me, stubborn and so I got what I deserved.

The disappearance of my watch did not bother me one bit except for the money issue. The watch was really nothing to me. It was just a trend, the fad faded and I was not into the watch anymore or shall I say, I was never into watches.

My father would buy watches for me every now and then, same as my mother. My boyfriend used to buy me watches too. But if it were up to me, I would never buy a thing as horrible as a watch. Don’t get me wrong, I was not traumatized by my Baby-G incident, it was just the tip of the iceberg. I have a bigger and better reason to dread watches, clocks, sundials and other means of telling time.

I find watches cute, I buy them or I make my boyfriend buy them for me so I can coordinate them with my outfit. These cheap watches you can buy in different colors and design. Blue watch for blue shirt, pink watch for pink shoes and so on. As these are cheap watches, no one is interested in snatching or stealing them which is good. But they damage easily. Their straps break, their batteries run out, their colors fade.

This is when I realized that I was wearing watches not for the time but for shallow reasons. One is for fashion and other one is for the  ‘status symbol” that it offers. The more expensive your watch is, the higher your social status will be.

Its no wonder they break and disappear easily. Geneva watchmakers say that watches have souls. If what these watchmakers say is true, I must be violating the soul of the watches that I wear.
This is why I decided to stop wearing watches. I am not into them. Just because my Nurse friends have colorful and fashionable watches does not mean I have to jump at the watch-bandwagon too. I am so over the stage where I use watch for fashion.
I am always late anyway. Having a watch on wrist would be like wearing an orange shirt with a P on it after you’ve escaped from prison.

They would say, “Why are you late? You know what time is it, right? But if I don’t have a watch, I have an alibi. Sorry, I don’t have a watch. I was not aware of the time.

For me, time is qualitative. I don’t want to measure in minutes, seconds or hours. You don’t say, “I got married at 3:45 pm.” But rather, “The TIME when I got married was the BEST TIME of my life”. You don’t say, I hate 12:15’s because it is the time my Grandpa died. You say, “I hate TIMES OF GRIEF.”

You forget the time and the date but you don’t forget the feeling. I forgot what time is it that we went to Sagada but I will never forget the time that we spent there. I forgot what time is it that Basti Artadi handed me the autographed album sleeve but I will never forget what I felt that that moment.

Specifics are important, most especially if you are in court or under investigation. I have my unreliable cell phone to tell me the time, the quantitative time for that matter. I have my ever-reliable heart to tell me another kind of time, the qualitative time that is.

I refuse to wear a watch. I don’t wear a watch. I don’t need it in my life, not right now at least. The last thing that I would want to put on my wrist is a time-bomb ticking every second telling me that time is indeed running out.

For now, I am happy to use adjectives instead of numbers when telling, measuring and reminiscing time.

The (little) Girl from Boracay

In Event, Family, Personal on April 24, 2011 at 5:11 pm

This is Ara Sastre.  She is Harren’s adopted sister. By adopted I mean contractual adoption. By contractual adoption I mean as long as Ara wants to live in iloilo, she gets to live with her Kuya Harren.

I don’t know the basics, the ins and outs of the deal. All I know is that Ara is the little girl who accompanies Harren’s mom if she is in Boracay.

Last June, Ara was made to stay with her Kuya Harren in Iloilo. Since Harren’s mom travels here and there as part of her job.  My friend basically lives by himself. This is where Ara, the adopted sister comes in handy. She will keep Harren company.

On the weekends, we would usually go out somewhere or hang out at Harren’s place. Ara, in some way became “part” of the group. I became her Ate Mera, Timi became her Ate Timi and so on. She would draw us as princesses, cats and the like.

This March, she decided to go back to Boracay. She probably misses her old life, her parents and her extended family in the island.

I miss her. This photo of her made me cry. This was taken last week when Harren went to Boracay for a vacation. Ara looks so different in this picture. She looks at home. She is at home. She looks happy. And as I’ve said, I miss her.

Birthdays and beyond….

In Event, Family, Personal on April 23, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I love birthdays. It does not matter whether it’s my birthday, my mother’s, my father’s, my sister’s, Augustine’s, my friend’s or my friend’s friend’s birthday for that matter. I love knowing that this day is someone’s special day. I love birthdays so much that my faith is somewhat connected to it.

You see, the only times that I go to church or hear mass is during Jesus’ birthdays. He is so cool that he has two birthdays. One of his birthdays is on December 25 and other one is his “resurrection”. Technically speaking, it is not his birthday. But my father used to celebrate his “resurrection” too. As a kid, I thought my father has two birthdays. One is on September 2nd and the other other one is on October 30th. The former is his actual birth date as stated in his birth certificate, the latter is his “ressurection” after he got shot, survived and lived to tell the tale.

I think Jesus, who is much of a big-shot as compared to my father has the right to celebrate his second birthday too. Catholics are celebrating “easter”. Jesus must be celebrating this second chance to live on heaven with his Father. He probably is having a drink along with his 11 disciples. 12 if Judas asked for forgiveness and repented before he hang himself so that the pearly gates of heaven would open up for him.

This is the kind of Cake that I would bake for Jesus. The baby in the middle for the December 25 birthday and the crown of thorns for the holy week birthday. Talk about hitting two birds with one cake!

My mother is a devout catholic and I know it pains her so much that her catholic school educated girls won’t even accompany her to church on Sundays. My 15-year old sister is too lazy to hear mass and I’m too smart to go to church.

I have a lot of rebuttals, arguments and the like that my mother would not argue with when it comes to religion. For 10 years, I went to a catholic school so it follows that I know the “basics” of religion. Had I taken Theology in College, I would have had a chance to be part of Dean’s List. Thanks to my 10 years Christian Living courtesy of Colegio De San Jose.

As I’ve said, the only times I hear mass and go to church with my mother is during Jesus’ birthdays. Thank God, Sundays are just Sabbath days, rest days. Had it been Jesus’ birthday’s too, I would have no choice but to drag my lazy ass to the church each and every Sunday. Talk about incessant love of birthdays and birthday parties.

Happy birthday Jesus! Happy Easter Everyone!