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Its Own Time

Life, with its unexpected twists and turns, is a big tiring game. But, most of the times, what we initially think as wrong decisions and stupid mistakes are actually the biggest blessings in our life and the pieces eventually – at the right time – fall in the right places.

Let me tell you a story of a supposedly wrong decision but which turned out to be the right move.

My then boyfriend came back to the Philippines in 2013 to get his college degree. However, the college we chose which was supposed to be the best in the field of study my boyfriend chose which is I.T. turned out to be a total fail. Not only did they not teach well but the professors did not speak in English in supposedly English classes, leading my boyfriend not to understand a word of what they’re saying. So, we decided he should transfer schools. School number 2 was alright at first but then the same problems came up – not really teaching and not speaking in English in English classes. Once again, my boyfriend and I decided that he should transfer. Needless to say, he had to change schools 2 more times until he found a better school. What was just supposed to take 3-4 years has taken 7 years now of college education. We’ve gotten married and had a child and he’s still not done getting his college degree. Of course, my now husband has dealt with depressions and frustration because of the delays in his education. He keeps saying that he should have just stayed with the first school and somehow pushed through. But you know what? If he did that, we might probably be worse off than we are now.

First and foremost, we’d probably be settled in in Ohio since 2017, and why would that be so bad you ask? Simply because of the pandemic affecting the whole world. Yup, Covid 19. And, unfortunately, the US is one of the worst hit country and their economy is taking it badly. There’s a ton of jobless people right now there and who knows, my husband might be one of them. And with a child, he can’t afford to lose his job. And to top it off, we might become homeless because he lost his job and we can’t afford to pay either the rent or the mortgage. Given all of this is hypothetical but one can’t be sure of things and say, “Oh, we’re going to be okay.” Because life is one big soap opera and it thrives in drama.

So that’s why it’s actually a blessing in disguise that it took him so long to get his degree and we’re still here in the Philippines. At least here we’re not wanting for food and shelter.

Taking all these into perspective, it’s always a good idea to never rush things and to just go with the flow. Trust in the right timing. Trust in God He’s the one who is running our lives. He lets us make what seems to us are stupid mistakes and decisions for a reason. Sometimes, to save us from a worse fate or for us to learn life lessons that we can share with our children one day so they won’t make the same mistakes we did. Everything happens for a reason. We won’t immediately know what that reason is but in time we will. Have faith because when all else fails, faith will be the light in the dark that will give us strength to keep going on. Besides, stupid mistakes give us the biggest lessons in life, making us wiser in the long run. Trust in time. Trust in faith. Just trust. Breathe. And live.

My Bipolar Journey

I have been meaning to write about this but I don’t know where or how to start. I guess I could give you a history of mental illness, Bipolar in particular or when I started showing symptoms of Bipolar or how I knew I had Bipolar. But none of these will truly bring justice to my journey. It took me 5 years to get well, and mind you, I’m not really all that well. I’m just starting to heal. The wound is deep and only one layer has been covered up. I have no idea how long it will take me to truly be okay but I keep taking it one day at a time. If even that overwhelms me, I take it one hour at a time.

It has always been hard for me to let people know I’m not right in the head, let alone admit it to myself. It’s even harder when people you know, like a neighbor or a beloved cousin, calls you abnormal to your back and smiles at you when you’re face to face with them.

I first found out that I have Bipolar back in high school but I really didn’t do anything to treat it. Years later, my mom would tell me the bullying caused my Bipolar but because of my husband and my psychiatrist, I know better. My Bipolar is caused by an imbalance between the chemical transmitters and receivers in the brain, brought on by genetics. Too sciencey right? To put it simply, the chemicals in my brain are not enough to work right. It’s not balanced. Besides, when it comes to genetics, my dad has it so I have it. Bullying just aggravated it.

As I grew up, I sought solace in reading and writing. A lot of people say I have a talent in writing but I have doubts. Maybe I got really good in writing because that’s what I always did, not something natural but practiced. As they say, practice makes perfect. Whenever I was feeling clinically depressed I would write and it always made me feel better. More connected to the world and to life. Unfortunately, I always thought my Bipolar made me write really well so I let it go untreated, even up to my college days.

Reading too was a welcome respite for me. When the world got too much, I’d open a book and immerse myself in a world of fantasy.

Over the years, I’ve exhibited a lot of symptoms. One of them is crying for no reason at all aside from the fact that I’m clinically depressed. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep. I’d get very down and suddenly cry so hard it hurt me.

Another symptom I exhibited which is a classic Bipolar action is spending money I do not have. No one has any idea how much money I spent in one sitting, or in one month when I got my Bipolar attack. To give you an idea, it’s more than a million pesos. It’s not even about being a shopaholic because without my Bipolar attack, I rarely buy stuff that I want unless I still want it after a week or two of letting the feeling pass. It’s just that the urge to keep buying is so strong it engulfs me and I get lost in it. Even if I had only Php20 I’d spend it just because I want to spend money.

The urge to keep going out, somewhere, anywhere is another symptom of Bipolar. Whenever I get my Bipolar attacks, I can’t sit still. I have to go somewhere. I don’t care where but I have to go.

But Bipolar is not about tears, sadness, and spending copious amounts of money for the heck of it. It’s also about happiness and when I say happiness it’s not your ordinary happiness. It’s a very weird high state of happiness where you feel very confident about yourself and feel like you can do anything and you are indestructible. It’s also about making unbelievable plans that you normally don’t make when you are, let’s say, sane.

I remember one time when I was in this state, I came up with a plan to open an online pet shop that only sells organic stuff. I contacted a lot of suppliers and even already made an FB page of my pet shop and advertised the stuff I’m going to sell in it. I was highly confident and was making impractical plans and decisions. When my elevated happiness went down and I was back to normal again, whatever is normal for someone like me, I had to close down the planned pet shop because I didn’t even have the start-up capital for it. And this with already contacting suppliers and them giving me the go ahead to buy their products at a discounted reseller price.

I get offended when people use the term Bipolar jokingly to describe their moody friend or the weather. Bipolar is not a trivial matter. It is dead serious. A lot of people have killed themselves because of it. Yup, suicide. Not because they were weak but because they just want to have peace and death brings you peace. It is the end of all darkness and pain people with Bipolar and other mental illness are experiencing.

I’m no stranger to suicide. I’ve thought of it many times and yes, even attempted to do it many times. I was always unsuccessful though, because of my ever present husband. Everytime though, when I’m at a mall, more often than not I am overwhelmed with the feeling of jumping from the highest floor and falling to my death. It seemed such an attractive and highly addicting feeling that I almost did it some of the times if not for my husband holding on to my hand. Also, there’s that nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I don’t want to die. It takes all my strength to fight it and it leaves me tired.

Actually, every attack I have leaves me tired as it is almost always violent. Hitting myself, screaming at the top of my lungs, picking fights…the list goes on.

When I went to Law school, I was okay at first but as time went by, my Bipolar was so bad that I my weight yo-yoed; going from 100lbs to 140lbs in two months then dropping to 100lbs the next. I also stopped brushing my teeth and taking a bath. I’d just lie the whole time and alternate between sleeping and either eating or not eating. Most of the times, the thought of doing anything other than lying and sleeping tired me out and overwhelmed me. I even developed anxiety attacks because of the fear of being called upon to recite in class. I’m a shy person so I dislike recitations and the thought of reciting made me so anxious it gave me heart palpitations and paralyzed me. That on top of Bipolar? It was living hell.

If bullying aggravated my Bipolar, Law school was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.

It’s been five years since I was in Law school. I’ve been on medication since 2016 and have recently started dieting and taking care of myself. It was in January of this year that I started brushing my teeth everyday and it was around April of this year that I started cleaning myself and washing my face regularly. And it was just this month that I’ve finally started to take a shower regularly. I have no idea if one of these days I’ll feel overwhelmed again and and I’ll stop doing all these things but as I said earlier, I’m taking it one day at a time. I feel like I am healing and I am fervently hoping so. Even my finances have started picking up! I have a budget book again and have finally started saving. It has been a torturous journey, with my mind being ravaged and my body being neglected.

Having Bipolar or any mental illness is no joke. It is life threatening and isolating. I barely had any friends in college because I had an ongoing Bipolar attack – yes, for four whole years. It stopped me from making any connections with anyone. I thank God everyday that I have a very supportive and understanding husband and that I am still alive despite my many attempts at killing myself. So please be sensitive. Don’t use the word Bipolar lightly. And if you know someone or are suspicious that someone has a mental illness, be there for them. Your mere presence is a powerful gift you can give them. Mental illness is scary but there is hope. There is always hope.

And you, the one with the mental illness reading this, I want you to know that yes, there is light despite of all the darkness you are in. You may not be able to see it yet but it is there. You will get well. Just take it one step at a time. Breathe and live.

My Husband’s Love

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Love often comes in unexpected and mysterious ways. There are times no matter how much we search for it, we fail in finding it. But stop searching and it will come. That’s exactly what happened to me so many years ago. I was on an online dating site, searching for the love of my life. Unfortunately, most of the men I contacted either ignored me or turned out to be total jerks. I was about to give up but I gave it one last shot when I saw a cute photo of a guy. Without thinking twice, I clicked on this photo and sent a message. Before I knew it, he replied to me and the rest is history. Yes, at the point when I was about to give up, love decided to smile upon me and finally give me what I was longing for. My husband.

My husband though, came at a time when I was not that serious with love. I know, I was looking for love but I wasn’t quite serious about it, a bit confusing huh? Well, let’s go back to a few years before all this happened. I got my heart not just broken but slashed twice in a row. After that, all the guys I ever dated were only interested in one thing – sex. So you could understand if I wanted to find a guy who will truly love me but at the same time I was also cynical. Then came my future husband.

He was everything I wanted but never thought I could have – he was attentive, he was patient, he was thoughtful, he was understanding, he was kind, and he loved me with all his heart. No, he wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. Unfortunately, at that point in my life I didn’t appreciate nor realize this. I actually, dare I say it, took him for granted. At the very start of our relationship I suddenly stopped communicating with him only to feel so guilty about it that I sent him a message a few weeks later, apologizing for it and explaining why I did it. He, with all his goodness, took me right back in. But that wasn’t the end of it. Through the course of our relationship, there were times when I’d tell him I needed space or a breather to find myself. He would lovingly comply with my wishes. Always, I’d end back running to him after just a few weeks. I guess I loved him so much too but I just didn’t realize it then. During those times, I wasn’t that serious with love. I thought love was just a game. Sad to say, he was the unwitting victim. But he stayed with me through all this.

There was a time though when he thought I cheated on him and he regretted being so attentive to me. I was very hurt then, as if a knife pierced through my heart. I was deeply hurt that I hurt him. I think that was the time I realized how much I loved him. After that, I became serious. I took our relationship seriously. And I loved him with all my heart.

My husband doesn’t remember this incident though. I guess that’s one part of love that I really like and that is love is forgetting and forgiving with everything you’ve got. With love, you don’t hold on to grudges or the wrong things your partner did. You talk about it, ask for forgiveness and move on. Love is never about keeping a record of the things you did wrong.

Fast forward to 2015 we finally got married and are now together for the rest of our 105lives.

So why did I write about this? I guess I just wanted you all to know that love is resilient. No matter how much hurt we receive from loving, no matter how much pain we suffer from loving, it will still always be there and it will only grow stronger as time goes by. I guess I wanted you all to know that love is not the one to blame but the unfortunate pairings we get because maybe we rushed into a relationship or we needed to learn something that’s why that relationship happened. But please never give up. Your happily ever after is in the wings, still waiting to happen.

Love is and will always be the best thing that will ever happen to us. It just takes time to find it. Don’t let a painful relationship harden your heart like what it almost did to me. Always have hope that maybe next time, it will be the last time. Don’t let an ugly relationship kill your dreams. Nurture that wish in your heart that your partner is just one step away and you’ll get to him or her. Love is all the hopes, dreams, and wishes in our hearts and let it strengthen your resolve to find that one partner who may not be perfect but is perfect for us alone. It will happen. Just keep believing and praying. Your forever after is just around the corner.

Toddler Lessons

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My darling baby Jace is turning 3 on Sunday, March 3, and I find myself getting sentimental at how grown up he has become. It seems just like yesterdy that I gave birth to him and now he’s running all over the place and talking up a storm.

Now that he is a toddler, I can’t help but look in awe at all the milestones he has gone through. From walking to speaking to doing things on his own such as putting away his toys. He now understands us more than he ever did when we talk to him. And he is now more aware of the world around him.

Toddlers, in all their awesomeness and naughtiness mixed with lots of charm and adorableness can be a handful but if you look close enough, there are life lessons that our toddlers can teach us. Some things we already know but have lost along the way in the process of growing up.

It can take us by surprise, these lessons they impart on us but they are all worth it to be able to share this journey with them. Jace, in all his tantrums and playfulness have thought me a lot of valuable lessons about life that I know I should already know but I really don’t or really don’t fully understood until I saw it through the eyes of a 2 years old.

1. Be in the moment

Anytime Jace eats or plays, I notice that he is focused on doing these things alone. His playtime or his eating time. He doesn’t get distracted by anything, even if it’s his favorite person calling for him. He is just there, enjoying wht he is doing until he is done with it. Looking at him, I have realized that in the chaotic world of adulthood, I often get distracted by a number of thimgs that I usually leave what I’m doing half-baked. As a result, I never get to enjoy the task at hand as there is another thing I seem to need to do. Looking at Jace, I realized that I just have to pace myself and focus on what I am currently doing. I realized that I should not let distractions take me away from what I am doing so I will finish it quicker.

2. Express yourself

Jace, as a 2 year old, has epic tantrums. I swear, the whole neighborhood can hear his cries and sobs. I don’t know exactly what sets hims off but sometime it can be as silly as not being able to catch a bubble with his toy claw. He is not shy about it, he will let out a humongous sob and cry his dear little heart out. Yeah, I know it can be annoying, maybe even irritating but upon relfection, Jace is just letting out his feelings. His feelings of annoyance, frustration, anger, or joy as when he jumps up and down and claps his little chubby hands when he gets somehting he likes. He is not shy at all to express his emotions. And I have learned that I shouldn’t too. Growing up, I have slowly been indoctrinated to keep my feelings in check. That is, shouldn’t let it show that much or people will think your strange or weird. However, bottling your feelings inside you isn’t good at all too. It can lead to many mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. So from now on, I think I’m going to be more like my son. Of course I won’t go as much as throw a tantrum when I don’t get what I want but I will surely, but politely, let my feelings be known.

3. Determination

Many times have I been thwarted by my enemy – resignation – when I do something and after a couple of times of doing it I keep failing. I just fling my arms into the air and give up. I mean, I did try it a lot of times already, right? If it’s gonna fail, it’s gonna fail. Or so I thought. My son, who is a box full of determination never gives up. He tries to attach his tiny toy car to his tow track and it keeps falling but he keeps doing the same thing over and over again, without fail. I, already getting frustrated for him, wish that he’d just give up but no, he keeps pusing through. Finally, on the nth try, the tiny car attaches to the tow track. My son was determined to do it and he did. That really hit home with me. It made me think that maybe instead of throwing in the towel, I should just keep pushing through because maybe I’m going to faill 99 times but succeed on the 100 time.

4. Unconditional Love

There are times when it is so hard to love my partner, parent, or even my child but Jace has taught me the beauty of unconditional love. Jace’s love for all of us shines through him and makes him glow. He always has his arms wide for a hug, his mouth is always turned into a smile, and his opennes to just accept anyone of us astounds me. I mean, there are times when we scold him, berate him, and sometimes yell at him because we are at our wit’s end because he is being too much but he doesn’t take it to heart. I think he know we are not perfect, we get irritated at times but he still loves us no matter what. With this, Jace has taught me to look beyond imperfections and just concentrate on the love I share with my partner, my parents, and my child. Without even trying to, my son has taught me the beauty of understanding where people are coming from so I won’t be that irritated anymore and to just accept them for who they are and love them.

5. Patience

I’ve lost my patience a number of times but looking at Jace, he has reminded me how it is to be patient. Jace, in his littleness, has learned how to patiently wait while his drink is being made, or while his favorite motorcycle is being recharged, or while his food is cooling down. He doesn’t frown or pout but silently sits in one corner and waits until everything is done. He even patiently waits for his Papa or his Daddy even when he’s itching to go already and they’re being slow. Something that have always annoyed me to no end. But Jace has taught me stop and slow down. He has taught me that not all things should be rushed. I should enjoy the slowness of things sometimes for it is in this slowness that we become connected to ourselves.

My son may still be all of 2 years old but the life lessons he has taught me has already reverberated into my being. He is growing up fast and I am getting heartsick about it but looking forward, I know he will remind me of the many things I have forgotten as I grew up, as much as I will teach him the beauty of life. Through his eyes, everything will be more colorful and through his love, everything will be fun. Yes, he is turning 3 on Sunday and yes, he is fast becoming a big boy but that big boy will forever be my baby and have my heart.

 

Of Flowers and Chocolates

When I was young, Valentine’s Day was such a big deal for me. I always imagined getting a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolate. It’s all the grand gestures that are the best – or so I thought. Well into my 20s, I always felt jealous of girls receiving bouquet of flowers on Heart’s Day. I did have a boyfriend already then but we were on a long distance relationship and sending me flowers would cost a lot. So we just settled for our usual chat. It was okay, but I still longed for that bouquet of flowers.

Years later, now that I’m married to said boyfriend I’ve realized that it is the simple gestures and low-key celebrations that take a big chunk of my heart. Flowers will wilt, chocolates will melt but a cuddle and a sweet kiss and hug will forever be imprinted on my mind and be part of my memories. Now a days, I just settle for a heat-felt love letter. Something that I can read over and over again and will last long after we’re gone, for my son and my son’s children to learn of the love his and their grandparents had for each other.

I don’t mind people spending an x number amount of money to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Nor the people who buy bouquets of flowers and boxes of chocolates for their loved ones. I just wish that they’ll realize one day that the money spent could be put to better use, like putting it in a bank, and that the flowers will wilt after a few days and the chocolates will be eaten in just a day. I just hope they’ll realize that you don’t need grand gestures to celebrate Valentine’s Day. All you need is a love letter, a couch or a bed to snuggle up in and maybe some wine. I hope they realize that it is in the company of their loved one that the essence of Valentine’s Day is realized. It is in the look of love in their eyes and the sweet simple ways they show their love.

Valentine’s after all is not in the grandest gesture but in the sincere sweet ways that make the heart flutter and the soul sing.

Faith is a many splendored thing

Faith. The essence of everything that’s hoped for and everything we strongly believe in. I remember when I was young, I had a strong faith – I had a lot of faith. However, over the years, I admit my faith dwindled. I don’t really know why. Maybe because of all the experiences I had that either broke my heart or broke me all together. It’s not really easy hanging on to my faith when my heart’s being broken to pieces or I am being broken to pieces. Which leads me to think, maybe my faith wasn’t really that strong to begin with.

As a child, I used to love listening to Bible stories. Every night, my mom would read out loud about the wonderful characters in the Bible and I would feel so content listening to them. I remember reading the Bible and even wanting to attend a Bible study class. As I grew up, I thrived on my faith (it helped that I went to a Catholic school). So much so that when I was in 8th grade, I seriously considered becoming a nun. Back then, thoughts of being a nun filled my heart with joy and a quiet contentment that I never knew I could feel. I didn’t become a nun, though I don’t exactly know why I never really pursued it but a talk with my mom comes to mind. As I experienced devastating moments again and again, I began to question that thing  that makes us hold on to something even though the odds are impossible. I think somewhere along the line, I lost my faith. Not completely though as there’s still that little spark in there that now, as a married woman with a child, I am beginning to rev up.

Having a child scares the hell out of me because of the oh so many responsibilities that lie on my (and my husband’s) shoulders. Like all parents, I want to give my son the best, especially in terms of education. But with the rough times I am going through now, I don’t know if I can give my son the best. All these thoughts swirling in my mind, darkening my heart, and clouding my soul have found me reaching out to something I thought I have lost – my faith. Yes, my faith is the hoped for sunshine after weeks of torrential rain. It is the proverbial light at the end of a long, dark, and winding tunnel. It is the air that gives me life. It is my hope. And it is what I cling to whenever the future overwhelms and scares me.

Right now, I hang on to my faith for dear life, and it has saved me from drowning. Faith has given my weary heart and soul a rest from all my fear and anxieties. Life is tough but as long as I have my faith, I will survive. My fear and anxiety still get the best of me from time to time but I know as long as I remember to have faith, everything will be okay. Life is not perfect – my life is not perfect – but with my family and my faith beside me, I will be okay.

Future (Un)Tense

As far as I can remember, I’ve always lived in the present, never thinking about what may be. All that changed when I got married and had a child. Suddenly, I get cold sweats, worry frowns, and anxiety attacks when sudden thoughts of the future permeate my consciousness. It’s not even on purpose. I’m just sitting there, minding my own business when “wham!” “bam!” thoughts about the future invade my mind and crush my soul. There’s no delicious release in sight. It’s just one overwhelming anxiety after another.

I don’t know what it is about the future that I dread so much. Well, I guess not having a stable job and a savings account would do it but it’s not like it’s too late. I can still remedy those things. I think it’s more that I have a child whose future highly depends on my present actions. The constant question, “Will I be able to give him a good future?” looms over my being. I guess it’s the fear of the unknown. I have always thrived on planning and knowing what’s going to happen but the future is a whole new ball game. It’s so dark and murky and that’s why it’s so scary. Also, the fact that all our decisions and actions in the present affect our future. Who knows how my future will turn out because of what I did in the present. Add to that the fact that I have a child who I want to give a bright future to. Pressure much.

I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if I had a stable job and savings but right now I’m so up to my head in debt that I live from paycheck to paycheck, as most people say. Having a glimpse of the future would help ease my fear but then again wouldn’t the future change when I change something in the present? The future is anything but certain. Scratch that one out, I guess.

Right now, I’m holding on to God and trying to change my lifestyle so eventually I will have some savings. I hold on and pray that it is not too late to save my future, God willing. Hope is all I have and I will cling to it with all my might. That, optimism, and action.

Being married and having a child changes a lot of things, especially your outlook in life. So, before it’s too late, especially if you’re still single, do yourself a big favor and SAVE. Sure, living in the moment is fun but life is not always only about fun. It is also about stability and responsibility. Try to balance having fun with those two and you’ll have a nice future. Your future self will thank you.

Planning to Unplan

There are moments in our life when we either regret or bask in the choices that we make. I hope I can just simply choose what I feel with the events of my life but with the one thing, I wasn’t given a choice, with the other, I kept going back and forth until I just went with the flow. But whatever I feel with the life I lead now because of these events, I know I won’t have it any other way.

My son, Jace Gabriel Wisen, came to my life as unplanned as IMG_3985it can possibly get. I even cried when I found out I was pregnant, as unsure as I was of motherhood. Two years in though, I could say that Jace is my sunshine. My light at the end of the tunnel. My rainbow after the rain. All his giggles, coos, and gurgles send my heart a leaping and it always feels close to bursting because of so much love. He is the best unplanned event that has ever happened in my life. I never thought I’d be grateful for this unexpected surprise but I am, each and everyday.

 

 

On IMG_3872the other had, our dog Hunter, might not have come unexpectedly but he was surely not planned as well. I just came across his picture on Facebook and decided right then and there that I wanted him. Not the most ideal of life decisions when you go about it but I know I made the right decision. He may be an overly rambunctious, hyper social, and somewhat stubborn five month old Siberian Husky I have ever met but he is also the sweetest dog that has come into my life. He may have brought a lot of changes into my life like waking up real early to feed him and getting soaked every week because I’m giving him a bath but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love this dog and every waking hour he just worms his way into my heart more and more.

So you see, making plans for your life is a good thing but sometimes, it is the unplanned ones that give the greatest joy and brightness into our lives. Maybe because it’s God working. It’s His plan, not ours. He planned for our life to be like this, not us. It’s only unplanned because we didn’t take these things into consideration when going about our life. God did and that’s why it still perfectly fits our life.

Ang Panday

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I remember watching my first ever Panday movie, I was about 5 years old and Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ as he is more popularly known was the dashing hero. Fast forward 30 years later and I am now 35 and Coco Martin is the dashing hero, or the poging tagapagligtas, according to him.

I never would have guessed it but Coco Martin’s take on Panday is one exhilarating, joyful, and roller coaster ride through different worlds of good and evil. There never was a boring moment in the theater as the pacing of the movie was fast. Coco Martin as a director is a revelation. The kid has a knack for directing. The actors were an absolute joy to watch, each and everyone of them was superb. All of them delivered, especially Jake Cuenca, he was so good as Lizardo, the villain. All those courses in the US was worth it.

The movie though, was not without its flaws. It kept jumping from subplot to subplot without ever solidly establishing the subplot and the characters in it. Some of them were, in my opinion, unnecessary to the story line such as the gay pageant and the revelation that Diego is gay. What does that have to do with the movie’s storyline? And speaking of fleshing out the characters, Flavio’s (Coco Martin) love interest, Maria (Mariel de Leon) didn’t have that much dialogue going on for her. She was (almost) just a wallflower in the movie. Why did Flavio like her? Just because she’s tall, beautiful, and sexy? Come on – that’s too shallow.

Given the flaws though, Ang Panday delivered lots of thrills and entertainment. The comedic timings were perfect and the action was jam packed. Despite the mini subplots, it still delivered a cohesive story when it comes to Flavio’s backstory. The CGI was really good, it blended well with the background that you can’t tell it was computer generated. The sceneries were astounding, you’d think they shot in different countries instead of just here in the Philippines.

Ang Panday is as good as it gets, just don’t go into the movie with a bloated expectation and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After all, this is no Hollywood movie but a Filipino movie who is still into its toddlerhood and is still looking for its identity.

A Mother’s Heart

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Before I had my son, I didn’t know I could love as much as I do now. Friends kept asking me, “What changed?” and during my son’s early months, I couldn’t answer them. I think the change came gradually. Before I knew it, everything that I did was because of my son and for my son. My thoughts and life purpose is consumed by him.

I never knew love as pure and as overwhelming as I look upon my son. He has become not only my world but my life. Sometimes when I hold him, hug and kiss him, I feel as if my heart is going to burst from so much love for him. I think all mothers would agree with me when I say that our heart has grown exponentially just to accommodate this humongous love we have and feel for our child/children. I look at my son and I could see all of my hopes and dreams in this little guy. He has become the personification of all my hopes and dreams. It’s like falling in love for the very first time. The kind of love that you discover the first time, without any pain and heartbreak.

Like all mothers, I know I will never get tired of my child. He, along with his father, is the love of my life and my world. I know nothing is perfect but my life now with my son is close to it. It doesn’t, and will never, get any better than this.