Yesterday, My longtime, all-time friend, Gel, and I, together with her mom, went to Quiapo. Our main agenda was to finally purchase Gel's dream of a camera-- a Canon 520 something-something. Gel, a photography enthusiast, has finally decided to try-out digital cameras, but not until Gel's mom had led us through Avenida's labyrinth of alleys and christmas tiangges to discover yet what Gel and I thought was a frugal shopper's haven! As we walked through Avenida that morning, glancing at the small stores that had opened business for the day, and the sidewalk vendors 'proudly' showing off their wares, we saw, among others--- home-made herbal concoctions, cellphone cases, platic toys, gift wrappers and boxes, christmas ornaments, shoes, triple xxx vcd's, and to much our surprise, 'adult' toys.
Gel's mom suddenly turned left in an alley which led to, what we describe was like a hideout for gangsters, etc. We went up a flight of stairs and reaching the landing, we were in a warehouse-like building that housed smaller stalls where hundreds of Made-in-China sunglasses, watches, and Christmas decors were sold at wholesale prices. The usual P150.00 watches found in tiangges inside the malls fetch as low as P100.00 for single purchase, or as low as P80.00 for a minimum of 6pcs. The P50.00 sunglasses in tiangges were as low as P20.00-P30.00 here! Those cute, cute colorful earrings in tianggges that cost P50.00 a pair, we 'OMG!' discovered, cost P50.00 - P80.00 for a BOX OF 8 PAIRS!!!! As much as we would like to browse around forever and gawk at the prices, we had to purchase Gel's camera and go. We definitely would return with more friends in tow! We took the LRT and after 35 minutes (from Recto to Marikina) I was home.
I arrived at around 2:30 pm and had to rest a little and get ready. I was to be picked up at 5:00pm by a high school buddy, Grace, to attend the wake of the husband of Celynne, one of our classmates in St. Scho. When we arrived at St. Paul's Church in SSS Village, there were 3 more of our high school batch who were there. There was an 'updated' exchange of hello's and how are you's since we last saw each other in Feb 2005 during our 20th year homecoming. How fast time flies!
It seemed only yesterday when we got used to hearing batch mates getting married and having babies. But know it feels different when we talk about death, especially with people our age. How ironic it is when we say that we are 'old' at age 37 when we kid about living, yet very young at age 37 when we talk about death? Now it made me think, how much of my life did I make the most of? At what point do I say that I've finally done what I'm here for, therefore be ready to go? Can I be proud with my achievements, failures, joys and heartaches that made me what I am now-- seemingly alone? Uncontent? As I look at the abundance of flowers at the wake given by friends and family, would I be remembered like this as well?
About this time, Celynne arrived with her two little boys, aged 8 and 2, who looked exactly like their dad. Seeing the two tykes go straight to their dad's casket brought tears to my eyes (actually bringing tears to my eyes right now as I write this). What will become of Andee and Diego? In this fit of uncalled for paranoia, life maybe too long or too short, depending on which side you see it... the problematic side, or the hope side. Now I have to decide which side I should be in.
Good 'ol friends
From the wake, Grace and I took to road to White Plains to attend the batch's Christmas party. It took a while before our other high school classmates arrived and we really had a great time. During one of the lull moments, discussion became a little on the serious side. We were solving each other's problems, giving advice, etc. My ordeal was known in my batch by most and they were really up to it. Tess, who came in from Harry Potter's Surrey for the holidays, is a practising family and divorse lawyer there. She used to handle annulment cases here before she left for UK. It was quite uneasy listening to her, and 2 more of my friends, whose parents also handle cases like this.
With all honesty, it had always been an option for me to file for legal separation, but NOT for annulment. With any mental, physical or whatever torture the hubby has done to me, I don't have the balls to go on and do the right thing. Maybe because of the kids, or pity,.. or love (alright, anyone can smack me in the head now). But after last night, after I came home at 3am this morning, I've been thinking the whole day.
Talk about great finds, life, death, love, annulment.
Yesterday was a day full of lessons in life. The trip to Quiapo, is a trip knowing that beautiful things can be found if you looked hard enough and be resourceful. Of life and death at the wake, is an answer to probably what I was looking for. Maybe it was a realization (and it took you THIS long. Reia?!?!) about was life really is. I don't have to pity myself or sulk or think that I might never stand up and recover once again. I don't have to think of the times when I was so happy about life that I am stuck to thinking what should 'should-still-be'. Yes, maybe I do still love Nikki, but I have to love myself. Why should he matter when I have to fix myself up first? And for all my friends' suggestion and support last night, or rather, early this morning, I've thought about it. Hard and good. For all this cowardly time I've been stuck and had been thinking of going on to the next level for the longest time but ever really doing what should be right. I wanted to do it but thinking about the kids makes it so painful. I've hurt other meaningful people too in the process.
The decision wasn't easy. They say it will be a long gruelling process. It would involve much emotion and hurt. But it would finally set me free.
I tucked 3 year old Diego to sleep, I stroked his hair, planted a kiss.
"Good night, baby"
"I love you, baby"
"Lab you, mama. Lab ko rin papa" (Love you, mama. I also love papa)