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Of Dowry and Arranged Marriages

22 Aug

After enduring two missed flights and delays, unpredictable August monsoon rains that caused terrifying turbulence, some heated discussions, and weeks of contemplation of whether I should push on with this trip, I finally landed in the thriving city of Bangalore. I couldn’t believe it. I am in India. I finally made it after almost a decade of wishing and hoping.

Unsure of what to expect in this foreign city, I only have one mission – to see him for the first time, and maybe for the last time too. Having gone through a stressful flight and being in a foreign country in a different time zone and culture, not to mention the incessant news about the sexual assault on women, I needed to feel safe. I looked for him in the crowd at the arrival area, hoping he’ll be there to make me feel alright. It was the farthest place I have been so far. I looked at the crowd once more, there I found a tall, dark man with charming set of eyes holding a sign with my name on it. But it wasn’t him. It was the chauffeur the hotel sent to pick me up.

I observed this new world from the untainted windows of the luxury car as we drive to my hotel. The scenes weren’t totally new. I see these daily back home – people trying to board a loaded bus during the 6pm rush hour, honking cars trapped in a chaotic traffic, barefooted kids running around, and random people on the streets. Yet seeing Hindu temples left and right, women with bright-colored saris, men in vibrant turbans, Bollywood stars in enormous billboards, and the distinct Indian features of most people, still made it so foreign to me. It was a glimpse of the country and culture I so longed to see, a fascination that started 9 years ago when we first met.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I finally saw him for the first time. It was magical. Even more magical than the enchanting beauty of India.

The next few days exposed me to what this city has to offer. I visited the historic Bangalore Palace, walked through the MG and Brigade roads where the locals frequent, rode a rickshaw, witnessed a Kollywood movie being filmed, smelled the exotic aroma of chicken biryani, and spent unforgettable moments with him. Bangalore distracted me too much, it made me forget all these has an ending. The magic didn’t last long.

Back at the airport once again, I saw him ran towards the departure area looking to find a familiar face. I tapped the giant glass wall that separated us. His eyes found me. “They won’t let me out anymore,” I said. He looked at me with piercing sadness as I showed him my boarding pass. I am leaving in an hour to go back to Manila, but I am leaving my heart in Bangalore.

Behind the glass, we talked through our mobile phones saying the saddest words ever told. “It’s not going to be the last time,” he said as he fought back his tears. I disagreed. Still on the phone, I headed to the immigration checkpoint. From the blurry glass wall, I saw him looking back at me. Our time was running out. He cried as he started to walk away but stopped and turned several times to see me until he faded before my eyes.

It was the day India broke my heart. The culture of dowry and arranged marriages tore me apart – his family arranged him to marry someone else.

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One Year Ago – CMH Road

23 Aug
CMH Road from the Pharmacy

CMH Road from the Pharmacy

One year ago today, I went to that pharmacy in CMH Road, right across the KFC. 

We didn’t spend time together that day. You already told me the day before that you cannot come because you have something to do. I did understand.

Later that afternoon, you told me you are not feeling well, that you have fever but still you went to work. I was worried of you at the same time feeling very very sad.

I knew it. It is coming near. And all I wanted was to spend more time. To take advantage of the moment.

I cried in my hotel room that day.

One Year Ago – Bangalore Palace

21 Aug
One year ago today...

One year ago today…

Time heals nothing

19 Apr

Joanna J - Giving you my words

Like a lost file in an archive, your most painful memories rest somewhere nearly untraceable in your head for months or even years,  without having any effect on you. Although they are always there;  somehow they cannot touch or reach you. Hovering around invisibly,  almost as if long forgotten. You are doing beautifully fine, life is good and things are looking up. Besides, compared to what some other people have been through, your story, your problem: it seems unworthy to even mention.

I have never been a self-pity kind of person.

But then again, the time will come when the winds change and the files that appeared to have been forgotten about, run their stories clearer and louder than ever before. When something or someone has hurt you so deeply, there is no such thing as forgetting. There is no healing, not even scars. Forever you will carry it with you, waiting inside for a…

View original post 153 more words

30 Mar

It has been 6 months…
And I haven’t forgotten
No.
And I don’t know how to forget
Or if I will ever forget
It still feels like yesterday
Fresh in my memory
Every moment, every hour, every minute spent
My heart still hopes
And I don’t know why it still fucking do
I should have given up
I shouldn’t hope for anything
What a fool I am
This song playing
Takes me to the time
The wounds become fresh
The hurts, the pain becomes real once more
Why do I still think about you?
Why do I still hope that you’d come back?
I’m supposed to hate you
I’m supposed to move on
To let go
I wish there was a way to prevent it all from happening
If there was, I would do it
I just can’t stand this pain no longer
Why didn’t I give up?
Why didn’t I just stop long time ago?
Why did I let it come to this,
When my back is already against the wall?
When I am already too involved?
I should have given up one month after we’ve met
When you worried me so much after you stop talking for the first time
I should have stopped in that moment
So I won’t be in this situation
So I won’t be writing this…
Me and my foolish heart
I believed too much
I let my guard down
And let you in
It was already too deep
There was no way out without getting burn
Now, the core of my being was smashed
Everything I believed in,
Everything I hoped for
It’s all gone. All gone.
Everything I thought I was
Everything I thought was the truth
Were washed away
And replaced by cynicism
And the culture and the country I fell in love with
Backfired
I now despised everything that has to do with it
The optimist and the defender of prejudice I was
No longer exist
I am wrecked.
My whole being was shaken
I am not this.
This isn’t me.
But I don’t know how to get back to who I was.

I am here to remind you of the mess you left

11 Jan

I am here to remind you of the mess you’ve left when you went away

It’s not fair to deny me, of the cross I bear that you gave to me…

Congrats Stallion FC – 2013 UFL Champions

28 Jun

So I’ve been following the local football league in my country (the UFL),  hence the reason why I didn’t blog for quite a while. (Well, football is just one of the reasons.)

And this year’s champion is my favorite team – Stallion FC! Woohoo!!!

Blurred pic I took of Stallion FC footballers celebrating after the Global's lost to Kaya.

Blurred pic I took of Stallion FC footballers celebrating after the Global’s lost to Kaya.

Actually I am supporting another too – Global FC, which was last year’s champion and a tight rival of Stallion. Global used to be my first favorite club, primarily because most of those playing for the national team are there, including my favorite Denis Wolf . However, during the first season of 2013, things quite changed. I got to see how Stallions play, met and interacted with their players and I became a fan. Eventually, I fell in love with the team because aside from being great in the pitch, they were also nice lads who won’t treat you as fans but as friends. Not to say that Global FC aren’t nice to fans but I don’t know, there seems to be some kind of barrier, something that makes you feel that hey, you’re just one of the fans. Probably because most of their players are famous because as I said, they are playing for the Philippine Azkals. Plus, I don’t like their coach Brian Reid, he is just conceited! I don’t know, but it is not just me who felt that way. I know a few. Oh well, I still support them though. But I have shifted, Stallion is now my first favorite team in the UFL, even before they were announced as 2013 UFL champions.

 

DSC_0985

Stallion FC vs Airforce during the 2nd season of 2013 UFL

 

In fact, when they faced Global back in May, although I was torn in between at first, I have realized that I can’t be neutral and I have to pick just one team and I chose Stallions. They lost to Global that night with 2-1 score. It was a sad night for me, while most of those in the Stadium were rejoicing including my cousins who sided with Global. But I pledged to stay with them, win or lose.  And that is called commitment.

This Sunday, June 30, they will finally be crowned as the 2013 UFL Champions. A back to back win for them, for being the 2012 UFL Cup Champions too! Woohoo! So they both have the league and the cup titles!

Forget Calm and Cheer for Stallion FC that I created. :)

Forget Calm and Cheer for Stallion FC that I created. 🙂

Congrats to Stallion FC!

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