Reading, Writing & Re-writing.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Photo by Lito Sy.

I celebrated eight years of marriage with my wife today. And after all this time I still believe that marrying her is one of the best decisions I ever made. I think that is one of the thoughts in my mind that will remain the same, always and forever, no matter what.

I always had the necessary strength to get through the hard times and I am lucky that like me, Emafe also had the strength to make it through the rain when things got rough. Now it's 2018 and we have been married for 8 years!

The biggest lesson I learned from being married to Emafe is that health is certainly wealth, and that all things worth having are healthy. Everything else that's unhealthy leads to suffering in the end, one way or another.

So Emafe, Love... thank you for teaching me the value of health. And thank you for learning with me side-by-side. I will do my best to focus on health and I will try to get better at being and remaining healthy. That way all of us can live a long and happy life together. You, me, baby Zac and all of our loved ones. Thank you for being nice to me and Happy Anniversary to Us!

I love you. (and baby Zac)

The food that was cooked for the celebration.

Some of the friends that visited us for the celebration.

Monday, February 5, 2018

September 10, 2015

Movies in the United States and abroad have created ideas about marriage that involve two people "falling in love" and ​all of their dreams coming true. The ​story-line​ is usually a romantic​ love story ​with a couple who beats the odds and overcomes the challenges that threaten their relationship. Sometimes in the end, the inseparable couple gets married, and as we all know.. they live happily ever after. But is that what it's like in real life?

Here are some of the details of my marriage that aren't usually included in the entertainment industry's portrayal of a perfect marriage:

  • Our happily ever after did not start the moment we read our vows. It started around 7 years after our marriage and it didn’t happen until we learned enough about each other, life and ourselves to reconcile our differences and live in harmony with one another (this can take a long time and it is usually not portrayed in movies).

  • Romance is not what led to our love story becoming a "happily ever after". I have found that caring about someone and showing concern is a more reliable relationship tactic than sensing out romantic (emotional) highs.

  • Problems did not cease the moment we started living a happily ever after. There are still challenges and problems will always show up sooner or later but that is not a part of our marriage per se, it's an aspect of life.

December 1, 2017

So to cut to the chase, a perfect marriage is one that involves mutual respect, trust and an ability to understand each other. If a husband & wife (or wife & wife / husband & husband) have that, they are in a perfect marriage. It might not always feel perfect but feelings don't always reflect reality.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Father & Son.

While I write this I am in our room listening to music and bicycling. Zac is sleeping and Fema is browsing the net. The air is cool in our room and there is a slight breeze from the air conditioner where the wall meets the ceiling. I spend time reading and writing everyday and it's a great time to exercise on a stationary bike.

I started to exercise and improve myself after thinking about Zac. I was thinking about his future and I realized he will have a good one if I make good decisions now. So I am changing and adjusting my lifestyle to get healthier. That way I will be able to guide him in living a healthy lifestyle by example.

To get started I downloaded an app called To-Doist to better organize ​each day. Apps like this are important in this day and age where it's hard to stay focused and distractions abound from Facebook to Instagram. I plan on teaching Zac to check his daily tasks early in life but in order to do that, I need to do it first!

In addition to keeping track of things I started to take an online course on 
edX to improve the thinking I do and to get advice from world-class teachers. The course I am taking is titled "Philosophy & Critical Thinking". It will help me clarify some of my ideas and should improve my ability to write articles. 

Those are some of the things I am doing to prepare for the future. I will try to remove most of the uncertainty in Zac's life to guarantee that he has a good future. Wish me luck!

A stationary bike!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Our Santa Baby of Christmas 2017.

Right before you were born I made a decision to stop dreaming. To just live things as they are. I felt like everything I asked for was given to me but that the cost of my dreams were too high, and then you were born. 

You were born a bit preterm but got older. As you got older you got stronger, and now I get to see the sparkle in your eyes when you smile with joy. That’s when it hit me. It actually just hit me today. I can dream again. I can dream again for you. This time I’ll analyze my dreams so that no one will be hurt and so that everyone will benefit. I’ll dream of a better society in the same way I dreamed of you.

You are when dreams come true. I love you, Baby Zac.

The New Year 2018.
Zac's Grandparents and Cousins (Fema's side of the family).

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fema, Zac and I.

I had the joy of going to Crocodile Park here in Davao City with Fema, Zac and a good number of family members. I got to see a monkey ride a bike, ducks marched in a parade, and I saw a crocodile whose mouth stayed open like a statue.

The biggest joy was seeing Fema’s expressions during the animal talent show and seeing the pictures of Zac floating in the arms of his Tatay above the coy fish. I also got to see Papa's reaction to the tall ostriches and I fed the same birds with special food held in my hands.

It's definitely a good experience to get up close and personal with these animals. Like all animals and babies they have a great amount of innocence, especially the friendly ones. I will try to visit more tourist sites and travel more often. That is one thing in life that is worth doing.

Jake, Jon-Jon & Renz at the entrance.
Ate Talanga taking a picture at the selfie-stand.
Fema sitting on a crocodile statue.
The crocodile kept his mouth open like that for 30 to 45 minutes.
A real bird is standing on Papa's hand.
Papa saw an ostrich for the first time.
Fema is feeding an ostrich here.
Jake and Renz are feeding the bunnies.
Mama, Tito Titeng and Tita Flor. Zac is laying down on the left.

This is a YouTube video of our day at Crocodile Park.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Baby Zac with Tatay.

Together as a family we visited Eden Nature Park with Ate Talanga and Ate Bebe. On the drive over we listened to Ed Sheeren and some of the latest 2017 music mixed up on a USB. The view at the park is spectacular, at least for someone like me who is used to seeing houses and commercial buildings.

The park had some horses inside so the kids and I went horseback riding for the first time. It was a short ride but was long enough to breathe in the fresh air and get a feel of what it's like to ride a horse.

I also captured some stolen shots of the family, we ate spaghetti as a group and took selfies with baby Zac before ending our day with new memories and a fun time. I hope everyone enjoyed the trip as much as I did. Thank you for reading and I hope you like the pictures.

Gathering for a mini-dinner.

Ate Talanga, Mama & Ate Bebe.
I'm riding a horse here.

Jake riding a horse.

Renz riding a horse.

Jon-Jon riding a horse.

Papa riding the line swing.

Mama riding the line swing.

Fema hanging out on the playground.

One of Fema's friends was at Eden Nature Park!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Spending time w/baby Zac.

In five days baby Zac will be 3 months old. Every day that he grows older and each month that goes by is another reason to celebrate. He's healthy and strong now with the cutest little laughs and I’m so happy that he’s experiencing joy at such a young age.

I will do my best to maintain good health and use all the resources I have to help raise him. It will be challenging but I believe I am up for the task.

Thank you baby Zac for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for coming into our life, laughing, and of course crying when your hungry so that we can meet your needs. I love you baby Zac and I’m so happy seeing you grow.

Baby Zac is enjoying our time together.

I love Zac's legs and feet :)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ford Ecosport in Mars Red.

From this angle, our new car might look like a Honda Fit but it is a Ford Ecosport. It's the car Emafe and I just purchased in order to prepare for Zac's arrival. It makes me happy since it isn't too small but not too big either. I don't understand the validity of climate change and global warming but if any of the claims made by environmental scientists are true, our Ecosport will probably harm the environment less than other cars would.

I didn't think I could ever purchase a brand new car but Emafe helped me do it. That is one of the reasons I am happy to be married to Emafe, the two of us have different strengths. She is industrious and I am good at staying calm. I let her know that it is okay to feel stressed and she instructs me in areas that I am too simple minded to understand on my own.

Thank you for helping me purchase our car Emafe, I love you :)

Emafe and I before going to bed.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

I love you, Emafe :)

Emafe and I went to SM Ecoland again today. And once again it is now part of our weekly routine. Sometimes we visit the mall 3 to 5 times a week. But it is different this time. Instead of just shopping or window shopping we now take time to relax. We still eat at cafe's and restaurants like Blugre but it is now common for the two of us to sit at a nail salon and get a foot massage.

I used to feel guilty whenever I thought about getting a massage. Like I would be wasting money on something that wasn't important. I avoided treating myself for relaxation and self-care. But after years of doing that, the lack of care that I showed myself was visible in my appearance. Not only in the clothes I wore and my personal hygiene but the things I would say and the things I would do.

I am now recovering from years of self-abuse. I hope that unlike me, the world is already taking care of their mind and emotions. Just in case, I'll send a thank you to everyone who is kind. Thank you for being the light of the world.

Our wedding rings.

Husband & Wife.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Grilled Tuna Belly.

At a ripe age of thirty-two I am now starting to get more health conscious. I am eating grounded corn that tastes like rice instead of standard white rice and I usually drink water instead of juice or soft drinks. Sometimes it’s hard to only drink water if people are encouraging me to drink Sprite or Coke during family get togethers but other people have abstained from drinking soft drinks for years, so I can too.

I am also exercising a bit. I started doing 10 push-ups and 20 bicycle crunches a couple months ago and I have more than doubled the repetitions since. I think I will be in decent shape in 2 to 6 months. We'll see! :)

Another thing that helped me was taking photos of healthy food. I still eat unhealthy food sometimes but photographing healthy food on Instagram encourages me to continue a healthy diet. As the saying goes “Health is Wealth” so let’s not spend it all at once.

Pancit Lug-Lug from Jaltan.
Peanuts with a little bit too much salt.