Archive for ‘Relationships’

22 May 2014

Life’s a b*tch and then Juanderkid dies.

by misslampa
Amer, more popularly known as the blogger Juanderkid was all about finding and spreading light and love.

Amer, more popularly known as the blogger Juanderkid, was all about finding and giving light and love.

 

The week former Department of Interior and Local Government Sec. Jesse Robredo passed away, you wrote what remains to be my most favorite Amer Amor quote of all time:

What does [death] tell us about life? That it is indeed fleeting. That we should always be grateful. That a life well-lived and well-served will be remembered long after we’re gone. And that we should not delay love. We should not delay love.

You simultaneously touched on loving and living a full life and being grateful for everything – things we relentlessly talked about whenever and wherever we wanted to indulge our patriotic, hopeful, dream-big selves. It didn’t matter whether we were exploring the cobblestone streets of Intramuros together or simply exchanging messages on Facebook or WordPress at two in the morning; we’d find a way to feed off of each other’s positive energy, love of travel, and addiction to stunning sunsets.

 

We were supposed to have a repeat of this soon. I guess this means we're gonna get stood up.

We were supposed to have a repeat of this soon. I guess this means we’re going to get stood up.

But I don’t know how to proceed from here, now that it’s you who’s gone. I’m sorry, but right now, I couldn’t care less about all the prose and positivity in the world.

Alam mo, I just find myself really, really stumped.

I was so certain I’d see you again sometime this month or the next, you know. So much so that I had the gall to repeatedly say no whenever you asked for details when you found out I’ve fallen for this awesome guy while I was living overseas.

Anuba! ikuwento mo na kasi, Donna. May malalim kang pinaghuhugutan.

Saka na ‘pag nagkita na lang tayo, Amer. Wala namang masyadong ikukuwento. I think hinayaan ko siyang matapos bago pa man masimulan.

Kahit na. ‘Yan ang mga the best na love story.

And so to make you stop, I’d laugh and tell you I miss you and I love you and I’d tell you about it in time. It was the only time I remember saying no to you because for the most part, ours had been a giving relationship, of supporting each other’s dreams and simply letting the other be. Of not sweating the small stuff whenever meet-ups got cancelled or promises weren’t kept. Of poking fun at each other’s quirks and sharing our intense hatred for incorrectly used expressions and phrasal verbs. (I can still hear you ranting about why people keep using “touchdown” to announce their arrival in a city or town when they didn’t even take the plane to get there. Wala namang gulong ng eroplano na nag-touchdown, ano kaya ‘yon?)

I was looking forward to years and years of our crazy little talks and adventures, dude. :(

I was looking forward to years and years of crazy little talks and adventures with you. :(

I don’t even know why I said no and chose to delay love that one time, Amer. But if telling you all about it now could bring you back, I’d bore you with everything I can remember about that non-love story. I’d break our journalism code of ethics even and throw in some details that never happened if that would mean I’d get to hear you laugh and see your face light up again. Anything to undo the motorcycle accident that took you. Anything to keep me from having to grapple with the reality that you are gone too soon, and for good.

Because in all honesty, of all the plot twists that could ever happen in this life, this having to dream and do and explore and love without you from here on out was something I never saw coming.

Which is also why exactly a week after you’ve left, I’m still bereft of whatever life skill or mindset can get me through this grief. I’m just really, really sad that you had to go.

I still can’t bring myself to say goodbye, Amer. And I’m not sure how long it’d take until things start to make sense. But I’m hoping you’re happy and at peace wheresoever you are Juandering now. I imagine the sunsets we’re so crazy about look even more magnificent from where you’re now watching them.

Also, I bet there’s no one there to infuriate you anymore by using “touchdown” incorrectly. And because I love you, I’m going to try very, very hard to at least be happy about that.

 

 

 

 

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In memory of Amer Amor aka Juanderkid (23 Oct 1982 – 15 May 2014)

I miss you, I love you, and I'll see you on the other side. <3

I miss you, I love you, and I’ll see you on the other side. (PS: I took some of your pictures for this post. I hope that’s okay.)

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17 March 2013

The Look of Love

by misslampa
Giddy and grateful, definitely. But in love? Whatever.

Giddy and grateful, definitely.
But in love? Whatevs.

 

At no other point in my life have I been told this often that I am sporting the look of love.

I don’t remember exactly when it began, just that people started pointing it out some time last year. There’s something about my aura in the pictures I post on Facebook, they say. Or something about my eyes when I remove my nerdy specs. Or something about my smile. And before I can even say a word, they follow up right away with query after query about this supposed someone who’s bringing this something  into my aura, about this guy who’s putting this something on my face.

They don’t use those words exactly. There are way too many somethings in the last paragraph, and of course, my friends are more eloquent than that.

So for the most part, they skip all the polite inquiry and just repeatedly accuse me of being in love.

And I, for the most part as well, just laugh it off. Then I attribute whatever it is they’re seeing to whatever I feel like saying at that moment – from living in a foreign country to getting enough sleep or even having better makeup skills.

It’s  one habit I’m starting to get good at, actually, which is why I was surprised when reading this bit on a message thread with my MA-classmates-turned-friends got me to shut up:

 

We are all different now… Donna has the look, hair, eyebrows… as if she is coming into a romance.

Here are some of my friends from the uni. Hieu is the pretty girl in a pink dress.

Here are some of my friends from the uni.
Hieu is the pretty girl in a pink dress.

 

It’s not the simple yet poetic phrasing that got me, I think, but the fact that the words came from someone who does not know me as well as everyone else who has been insisting all this time that that look on my face is the look of love.

Ha! It’s funny how we sometimes choose to ignore feedback from the universe until it’s delivered through someone who knows close to nothing about us.

Granted, Hieu’s not a complete stranger to me and we’ve actually become quite good friends. We’ve taken a lot of classes together and talked about life at and outside of grad school. But apart from classroom teaching and the English language and good food, she doesn’t know a lot about what and who I’ve loved in this lifetime. She’s not privy to what and who I’ve stopped loving, and more importantly, what and who have a hold on me still.

 

Because I can’t accuse her of prying into my affairs or insinuating something about my past or having an agenda, I’m left with no other choice but to listen and consider if there’s truth in what she’s saying.

So in the wee hours of this quiet Sunday morning, I stand in front of my bedroom mirror and stare at my reflection for a good five, ten minutes, all the while thinking of my other well-meaning friends who have dared to ask that one thing I don’t even dare ask myself these days:

 

"What and who has your heart, Donna? What and who do you love?"

“What and who has your heart, Donna? What and who do you love?” Ang hirap naman! (That’s such a tough question!)

 

I don’t have the answers just yet, so it’s a good thing I don’t feel such a strong urge to know them all at this point.

Likewise, I still don’t see that something which is supposedly in my aura or on my face. But at least, for the first time since it has been pointed out to me months ago, I’m starting to believe that it’s there. Ü

 

 

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Short but sweet thank-you’s go to Dee, Nasime, and Chris who took the pictures I used for this post.^^

16 January 2013

The Middle-Child Syndrome

by misslampa
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Why, Mama dear? Why?!?
Joke lang po! ILoveYou!!!Ü

Earlier this week, someone wanted to know if I sometimes feel that my parents love me less compared to my siblings. It was already a tough question in and of itself, but what made it even tougher this time around was the fact that the one who wanted it answered was my mother.

I mean, why would any parent ask her middle child that of all questions? Hasn’t she heard of the middle-child syndrome? Did she want me to give her a reason to be sad? Haha!Ü

In the end, because she brought me up to be honest, I said yes, growing up, I have at several instances felt that my parents were playing favorites. To illustrate, I told her I remember them taking my sister on a shopping spree just before they sent her off to college in UP Los Baños, and that I remembered it vividly because we were forced to tag along. Clothes, school supplies, stuff she was going to need in the dorm, the works. But then when it was my turn to go, I got nothing. Not a new blouse or a bag or a wallet, even.

(Oh wait, I think they gave me money to get myself a pair of maroon shorts because I needed them for PE. Lucky me!)

I was quick to reassure her, though, that I can be mature about it now – that I have been mature about it for quite some time, actually. Like all that’s happening around me but not really to me, I’ve chosen to look at what they did for her as something that had nothing to do with me. My sister Diane was the first to leave the home, so perhaps that was their way of loving her, perhaps they wanted to prove themselves to the world, perhaps that was how they coped with her leaving.

Plus, in all honesty, there have been many instances too when I felt like I was the favored one so in the end, it’s bound to even out. Which is why my mindset for years now has been that whatever isn’t about me shouldn’t affect me so immensely. Makes sense, right?

As it turns out, not necessarily.

—–

I recall this memorable conversation on birth order and personalities which I had with a fellow traveler several months back.

Somewhere during the week we happened to Sydney, the brilliant Rodz told me about this TED video where a journalist (I did a quick search and found out much later that he was referring to Jeffrey Kluger, and that it was, in fact, a TEDx video) talks about how, like animals, we do everything in our power to get our parents’ attention from the moment we are born. And that, as middle children, we’re at a natural disadvantage simply because we didn’t get to be the favored eldest or the favorite youngest. Now as much as I wanted to disagree with him, I couldn’t. I mean, never in my whole life did I hear my parents go, “Let her have it. She’s the middle child, for crying out loud!”

This, however, doesn’t deter middle children from fighting harder to get recognition in the home. According to Kluger, we do this by being different – and by working hard to be very good at that different whatever that we choose to do.

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In true middle-child fashion, Rodz wore work clothes while on holiday. Who does that, seriously?Ü

So aboard one of Sydney’s trains, Rodz and I took turns talking about how we are indeed so different from our siblings, especially the first-borns. I told him I was the only artsy one in my family, he said he was the only tech wiz in his – differences we both seemed keen on keeping and making even more pronounced. What amused me the most was discovering that even our favorite chicken portion – the thigh part – was heavily influenced by siblings who loved chicken legs, haha! I got tired of competing with my siblings for them, he wanted to be different from his brother. Crazy. And cute, too.Ü

This preference for what’s different doesn’t stop here, though. Outside of the home, I often go for what’s eclectic or eccentric or asymmetric – options which usually appeal to the least number of people. Moreover, when something I really like starts gaining popularity, I find myself losing interest. Unless we’re talking about John Lloyd Cruz or Derek Ramsay. Oh, but I digress. :))

All this, he said, can be traced back to our supposed natural longing to be the favored one back when we were young, a longing that some middle kids never outgrow, sadly.

So there I was thinking, have I been wrong all this time to think that anything that was between my parents and my siblings shouldn’t affect me?

Probably. But should I allow myself to feel any less loved because of it?

Nah. Not necessarily.

—–

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When I’m hit with a new idea, I tend to get consumed by it for a while. It’s just me.

I didn’t talk to Rodz for a good eight minutes the moment we got off the train, so much so that he had to ask if I was okay – because if you’ve traveled with me, you’d know I’m one to keep a good conversation going. The meanie was delighted and amused that I seemed perturbed.

And I was, for I was having a hard time getting my head around the thought that Kluger could be right – that like most middle children, I’m different from my siblings not because I’m unique and independent and couldn’t care less about what the world thinks, but because I wanted to give my parents a good reason to sit up and take notice.

Which means I’m not that different after all, right?

Maybe, probably, most likely.

But once again, as with most things, I’m choosing to go with no, not necessarily.

I’m a middle child, after all. I should feed this tendency to be too cool for anything most likely. :))

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This one’s for Mama dear and Papa dear, who are immensely, completely and absobloominutely loved. My siblings and I are a pretty awesome bunch because of you! <3