Monday, October 29, 2012

A Child's Love

Yearly we get teary eyed around this time of the year thinking of the great love we have for our moms. I am positive that the love I have for mine is only a fraction of her love for me. How can you top your mom's love, there is jut no way. So if you have tons of money you buy her a sports car like what Manny did for Mommy Dionisia right? If there is one thing I love about Manny (other than being a Filipino and winning all his matches...), its the love he has for his mom. Now that he is lying in a bed of riches, he laid his mom in the same bed of riches. He loves his mom well and he tells the world about it.

Now imagine how his mom feels, she brought Manny into the world for starters, she nurtured him and planted the seeds of dreams and aspirations, she supported him all the way, she can downright claim that she had a significant hand in what Manny has become. She is the only one who knows the champion when he was just a little boy, a teenager, a young man and now a world champion whose billboard for Nike is at a subway in the U.S. Ok so Manny is an over-achiever, it must be because he was well loved by his mom.

If I were as rich as Manny I will do the same thing and make sure that my mom will never need nor want for anything. She will never lift a finger in labor. Because I am pretty sure that the love he got was the same brand of love I had. 

My mom went to all my school affairs, even if parents weren't invited. She bought all my clothes until I can buy my own. She threw my birthday party every year till she could not do it anymore because of her illness. I lived with her to the ripe age of 31 and never once thought of living any other way.When she was still around I'd always kid her that even if she threw me out I won't leave because no one else is capable of loving me and taking care of me more than her

im crossing that bridge with lessons ive learned
playing with fire but not getting burned
i may not know what you're going through
but time is the space between me and you
life carries on, it goes on

Author: Monie Maunay



With Friends Like These...

Imagine this, you have a batch-mate in high school whom you probably exchanged no more than five words with send you an friend invite in one of them social networking sites. You try to place their face from 15-20 years ago and if you fail you check which friends you have in common. You see a fairly good number of common friends so you go right ahead and click the accept button. Instantly you get a blow-by-blow account of how their life is going, you get heaps of notifications requesting you to be their neighbor and worse, you get tagged in ugly photographs of you that you never even knew existed!

If you are not cyber-phobic you probably do not have a method to accepting friend requests and if you are not cyber-savvy then you are in for a rude awakening -- that you cannot immediately undo that simple act of accepting a friend request from a non-friend. You can thank the developers over at that social networking site you signed up to for installing a sometimes intricate set of functions to undo what you’ve done (unfriend, block, hide, unsubscribe...). They do have a confusing function that will allow you to categorize the texture of your relationship with your online friends. Little by little you get to filter every aspect of your account and by doing so you finally enjoy the experience. But not before all your friends have seen what you do not want seen...

Last time I checked I had 800 plus friends half of which I probably do not know from Adam. These days when I log on to my Facebook account my first act is to either hide or unsubscribe from people I do not really know nor care to know. That is because I have not figured out completely how to filter my friendships properly (and I’ve had the account since 2008 I think). Social networking is indeed a two-edged sword of entertainment and frustration. 

Author: Monie Maunay



Being a sister or having one becomes an important role or disposition in one’s life. Do you notice how people love to call their close friends “sister”. It might have started as part of gay parlance, a way for our gay friends to assert their womanhood. But even girls tend to call their close girl friends their sisters. We use sisters for people who aren’t our sisters more than men use brother for their male friends.

This suggests that being a sister or having one is really a biggie. You share your blood and dna with a real sister but the bond goes much deeper than biology. A sister is an ally by default, a team member playing on your side forever. Sure there are many doomed sisterhoods but only a fool would hold a grudge against her sister for a long time. A sister is a lifeline, your extension and so you cut your life short if you break bonds with your sister.

While you may look alike you will realize soon enough that the likeness is not just skin deep. You understand that you have specific traits that you share with them, same belief system, same philosophies. And if these aren’t the same then you find yourself being more tolerant of your sister than of your friend. My dad always say that you cannot put sibling against each other in sports because they will always have the tendency to give way to the other, even without meaning to. It is this giving feeling that is foremost in a sisterhood. It is almost instinctive, like you did not need to actually say anything but they would always know. Now that is just one sister I’m talking about, imagine the force-field of loving and giving emotions when you have six.

Author: Monie Maunay

The Tears I Cry Aren't Tears of Pain (and the things I say to myself)

I cry at the slightest provocation, I'm your run o' the mill, garden-variety crybaby. Touchy commercials, sad movies, hell I cry at the drama the unfolds live during those "sugod-bahay" segments at Eat Bulaga. I relate a sad story and my eyes well up. It's just how I'm built. I don't see it as a sign of weakness though others may. It is just biological.

Another thing that brings the water works in is when I'm angry and I don't want to be. Anger is the emotion I hate the most (and I seldom use the word hate). When I am so angry, I get angrier at myself for being angry. I guess the only time I feel I should manage myself is when I get mad. When you're angry you get partially blind and deaf. You only see things your way and you only hear the thoughts in your head. That is the road to isolation, self pity and low self esteem. Being the gregarious person that I have am I simply do not wish to waste time wallowing in my grief. There is just so many more things I can occupy my brain with. 

That is why I have trained myself to shun anger, that's not to say though that I don't get angry because I still do. But it is the kind of anger that quickly turns to reason. My heart rate goes slower, my voice grows softer and my words become almost kind if not reasonable. I'd like to think that I have mastered the art of tactful discourse. When I am at my angriest I force my mind to shut out my anger and let reason prevail. I still shed the tension tears, which is the result of my efforts to process my anger. 

I'd be a fool to expect this kind of self-management from anybody, but anyone who wants a fight with me will go home empty handed. I think it is so much better if one party in a battle would just take the default stance of reason. "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument" says Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It could be terribly boring but hey I'm not out here to entertain.

Author: Monie Maunay



Dead But Never Gone

One thing that stood out to me in the Harry Potter stories is the idea that nothing can touch Harry because he is protected by his mother's love. His mother who stood in the way to take the deathblow of the enemy intended for him. In the stories that love became a physical shield an almost palpable lining that ran through his skin.

They say if you have been lucky enough to experience abundant love from your parents you increase the chances of turning out to be a basically good person. I think what it does is prepare you for whatever life has to throw at you. Having known unconditional love like that assures you that it exists and that you are capable of giving it just as well. My mother has passed for over a decade now and yet she remains to be a force in my life. When I make a decision I always consider how she would feel about it or how she would decide on it. This is the same with my father. 

My mom's birthday was yesterday the 19th of November and this event brings into focus just how big an influence she is in my life. She's no saint, she can rant and rave all day long, but not being with her for a decade now all I remember are her qualities that I admire most. She did not have a good education but she is the most politically correct (even before these words were coined) person I know. There is not a mean bone in her body, no vulgarity comes out of her mouth. She is also very refined and tasteful, that is saying a lot considering that she lived most of her growing years in the province. It always seemed like she perfectly fits into any place or situation she is in. Many people trusted her to always be fair and above-board. When she gets wind of nasty things said about her she just shrugs it off and waits for the right moment to confront her haters. She listens to people's problems but seldom bothered anyone with hers.

Her love may not be equally distributed (as there are some needing it more than others) but there's no question that she loved us all completely and utterly. Sometimes we disappoint her but she never hated any of us.She doesn't know how to hate.It is no wonder that I can relate to that mother's-love idea in Harry Potter. I know that kind of love because I have experienced it first-hand, i feel its protection, and so I wish it for everyone else...happy birthday mommy (11/19/36)

Author: Monie Maunay


Tuesday of My Being Sick

Can you believe this is actually an OPM song title? The group is all girls and they call themselves the Chain Gang and they actually have a following, about 2000 people viewed their live performance of the song in you tube (you can check it out if you like, its there i shit you not... hehehe). Anyways, the song is not really that great and I would not go too far as to review its merits (not that I ever could). The title just plain grabbed me the first time I heard it. I just love it. For me it says a thousand things, implies a thousand possibilities. 

Today the song popped into my brain again and only because I have been pretty sick early this week. I've been nursing my coughs since Friday last week and it came to a head last Monday when I completely lost my voice and started to run up a temperature. I was in no shape to work that night so I slept it off then visited the doctor the following day, a Tuesday. He told me to rest for one more day and gave me antibiotics to take along with the cough drugs. One more day to rest and do nothing but get better. The Tuesday of my being sick. After buying my meds I took them and settled myself on the couch to watch television. Although my head felt like a marshmallow got stuck in it, I attempted to actually watch TV, attempted and failed ending up asleep through the rest of the day and the rest of the night as well. Such a waste of time! I would flit in and out of my drug-induced stupor to catch bits and pieces of whatever was on TV. I came full awake at around 4am Wednesday and finally got to concentrate on the TV. 

I had a lot of fun channel surfing. I got to watch a bunch of reality shows in the History Channel including a documentary on the Manila hostage crisis to mark one year since the event which happened in Aug 23. It painted a pretty ugly picture of our government and our police force. I wonder who produced it (too groggy to check the credits). I also watched an episode of "Heavy" a more intense and one-on-one version of the Biggest Loser. Then there's "Relapse" where addicts who cannot recover are helped by sober coaches for a week prior to enrolling to rehab yet again. Both Heavy and Relapse are on the Biography Channel. I also saw "The Craft" in the new channel called "Thrill," plus a lot of celebrity shows on the E! channel.

All in all I felt miserable but at least I got entertained at some point before I got back to the real world to work with real people

Author: Monie Maunay


You and What Army?

There are certain times throughout the course of our lives when we get involved in some messy business with our names getting dragged in the mud through no fault of our own. When the only thing left to do to save our own ass is to fight back and get even…yes to go for the jugular.

And not a few times during situations like the one I described above, do we get the whole thing just blow up in our faces. Our grand scheme to get back at someone backfires or bites us in the same ass we tried to save, our ass that is.

I have to say I am a peace loving person. I abhor any form of fighting and the only battles I fight are the ones that I am certain to win. I am now reminded of a line from a Hall and Oates song that goes: "Being too strong is a weakness girl, cuz when you fight the world you know who's gonna win..." The battles I cannot win, I walk away from. Never ashamed to throw in the towel or raise the white flag. More importantly, I am never embarrassed to extend the olive branch.

But what really excites us are the battles we know we're going to win. And whenever I get those, I prepare for it, I lay it down carefully and I savor every last bit of my revenge. Let's say you had a beef with a total loser, someone who has made it their mission to destroy you, to bleed you to break you…someone who has it in for you. Maybe you just rub them the wrong way or maybe you have offended them unwittingly. Maybe you out-shined or upstaged them and instead of fighting fair they start attacking you.

Now some would declare war outright with guns blazing, but some would retreat to regroup before making an exquisite counter-attack. I fancy the latter and I know I can only maneuver my revenge if I am completely clean and faultless in the whole mess. My favorite weapons are silence and kindness . My good friend Jun Co couldn't have described it better when he quoted the Romans, and I mean the bible's book of Romans:

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath,
for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Author: Monie Maunay