The Broken Vase

The week has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. From the effects of Ondoy to having to carry on with work to dealing with personal issues – these things have basically broken me down. I know that what I am going through right now is nowhere near what my countrymen are experiencing, but it is keeping me awake tonight, as it has been keeping me awake for the past few nights.

One thing that keeps going through my head is that I have this deep feeling of being unsatisfied; of needs not being met. These are not new; indeed, the issues are getting old. This is, in fact, what is prompting me to think that maybe the solution cannot be found anywhere (or in anyone) except “in me.”
A friend sent me a quote earlier.

“Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole” – Derek Walcott

I thought to myself, how timely. It suited the (then) prevailing atmosphere. I was not jubilant, but I had enough optimism to believe that somehow, some way, this too shall pass.
Several hours later, I find myself in my self-proclaimed spot on the couch. I sit here thinking, thoughts going in circles.

Is it right that I spend practically every night feeling “cold”?

Is it right that it takes me hours to finally fall asleep and still not feel better?

Is it right that I dread certain nights, knowing that differences in points of view, habits, and personalities will result in unpleasant exchanges?

Is it right that I spend practically every waking hour catering to someone else’s needs, only to find my own needs unmet?

Is it right that I am constantly finding myself being pushed to second, even third, place by someone who has always been on the top of my list?
When I read that quote for the first time, I was looking at the glass half-full. Now, I realize that there was an assumption made there; that there is something to reassemble those fragments, but is the assumption a sound one?
This is not a cultural thing. This is an issue that has deep roots, roots that you would find inside a person: core beliefs, core values, priorities.
The message I am getting is that the core values are totally different; that I am not high up on that priority list; that if there is anything to reassemble those fragments, it is up to me.
You see, uttering words is one thing.  How easy is it to make promises? As easy as it is to break them.
And believe me, it seems to me that broken promises are all that I see these days.
Saying things is not the same as DOING things. I am a person of action. I believe in doing things to show your true feelings, your true intentions.  This is what I have needed for the longest time, and it doesn’t look like I am getting it anytime soon.

TOP 10 Reasons A Filipino-American Cannot Be President Of The USA – David Letterman

10. The White House is not big enough for in-laws and extended relatives.

9. There are not enough parking spaces at the White House for 2 Honda Civics, 2 Toyota Land Cruisers, 3 Toyota Corollas, a Mercedes Benz, a BMW , and an MPV (My Pinoy Van).

8. Dignitaries generally are intimidated by eating with their fingers at State dinners.

7. There are too many dining rooms in the White House – where will they put the picture of the Last Supper?

6. The White House walls are not big enough to hold a pair of giant wooden spoon and fork

5. Secret Service staff won’t respond to :psst… psst” or “hoy…hoy…hoy”

4. Secret Service staff will not be comfortable driving the presidential car with a Holy Rosary hanging on the rear view mirror, or the statue of the Santo Nino on the dashboard.

3. No budget allocation to purchase a Karaoke music-machine for every room in the White House.

2. State dinners do not allow ‘Take Home’.


1. Air Force One does not allow overweight Balikbayan Boxes.

Hilarious, isn’t it? I guess D.L. has a Filipino writer hidden somewhere!

Job Opportunity @ goFLUENT Philippines

One of the foremost concerns of foreign spouses living in the Philippines is the availability of job options.  For some, it is easy as pie.  For others, it is a more complicated deal.

If you speak English and you have taught the language before (OR think that you can teach it), you may be interested in a job opportunity as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher.  goFLUENT Philippines is a distance learning company catering to European business people, and we are currently hiring teachers.

The position is actually open to anyone who speaks the language and has a passion for teaching – regardless of race.

There are two offices – one in Eastwood City and another in Alabang.  Work hours will depend on your specific circumstances, but the earliest shift starts at 12 noon and the latest at 7pm.  Compensation is above average (Manila standards).

If you’re interested in applying, send me a message and attach your resume.  The hiring period ends on September 30, 2009.

My Massage Convert

I have always been a sucker for massages.  Even as teenagers, my sister and I would take turns giving each other a back massage.  If I remember correctly, she did it pretty well while I would find ways to excuse myself.  Lucky me – I was the older sister! 😉

massageAnyhow, I did not get rid of the habit (of getting massages) as an adult.  Even luckier for me, massage services have become very affordable these days.   Here in Manila, you can call for home service for a mere PHP250 per hour; during off peak hours (1-5pm) you can even get 1.5hours for the same price!

Naturally, J got curious about my “addiction,” as he likes to call it.  He really didn’t like the idea of getting a massage as he is a bit sensitive as to who touches him (or maybe he just says that!).  One time, though, when he came back from football practice, his muscles were aching all over and he finally gave in.

Now you have to understand this: when I get a massage I always ask for the girl with the hardest pressure.  I like my muscles being kneaded and pounded down to the core.  I suppose that it was only natural for the masseuse to think that she would need to apply as much pressure – or even more – on my husband as he is over 6 feet tall and weighs double than me (oh, he’s gonna kill me for saying that).

Much to my surprise, a few minutes into the massage, J yells “Tell her to do it more gently!!!”

Apparently, J is indeed a softie – not only of heart, but also when it comes to massages.  I guess you can liken it to the times when I ask him to do something.  I have to cajole and woo him – coercing simply doesn’t work.

So now we have two massage addicts, who cannot go by a week without getting one.  Believe it or not, my tough guy of a hubby is now a massage convert.

For those of you who want good home service, here are my favorites:

My Spa: 0917 814 0908 (Look for Beng, the owner.  Their best girl is Emily)

Happy Massage: 0917 795 4888 (Tata is the best, Rose does a good job as well)

Photo courtesy of HealthSpaBlog

And That’s How The Fight Started…

Thanks to Facebook Notes, I had a good laugh today. So married couples, how do fights start? Read on and let this post make your day!

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, ‘I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.’

I bought her a weighing scale.

And then the fight started…


After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

The woman said, ‘Unbutton your shirt’. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, ‘That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me’ and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.

She said, ‘You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.’

And then the fight started…


My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.

My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’

‘Yes,’ I sighed, ‘She’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.’

‘My God!’ says my wife, ‘who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?’

And then the fight started…


I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.

“I’ll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.”

He said, “Aren’t you worried about the mad cow?””

Nah, she can order for herself.”

And then the fight started…

(My father-in-law would love this one!)


A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, ‘I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.’

The husband replies, ‘Your eyesight’s damn near perfect.’

And then the fight started…..

(I guess I am still lucky we haven’t had this conversation!)


I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for $14.95.

Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95.

I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.

And then the fight started….

(Winning entry, hands down!)


A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies.

Suddenly, at 3 o’clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside.

The woman, bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man ‘Holy crap. That must be my husband!’

So the man jumped out of the bed; scared and naked jumped out the window. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and to his car as fast as he could go.

A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, ‘I AM your husband!’

The woman yelled back, ‘Yeah, then why were you running?’

And then the fight started…..


My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, “Do you want to have sex?”

“No,” she answered.

I then said, “Is that your final answer?”

She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying “Yes.”

So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

And that’s when the fight started….


When our lawn mower broke and wouldn’t run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first: the truck, the car, e-mail, fishing, always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.

When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors.

I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a few minutes. When I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.

‘When you finish cutting the grass,’ I said, ‘you might as well sweep the driveway.’

(And while you’re at it, you might as well take the trash out…)

And then the fight started…

Taking Compromise To A Whole New Level

I think that’s what’s happening right now.  We’re both tired.  We’re both wanting things to go the way we want.  We’re both trying to get what we want.  In many little ways, they’re different.  But the ultimate goal remains the same.  Hence the unspoken compromises we make along the way.

We’re making headway.  One day at a time, even an hour at a time.  This is hard work, but I am pretty sure that the journey is worth it, and the end of the road is going to be even more worth it.

Tempest In My Tea Cup

I haven’t posted in a while. Things are not going so well. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to work it out, but I am going to try again. I hope J will want to as well. Cross your fingers and say some prayers for this cross-cultural couple, if you will.

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