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Archive for the ‘All Things Heart & Love’ Category

 On June 2012, I flew to Cebu, Philippines for my best friend’s wedding.

Christine and I had been friends since Kindergarten. Best friends from the age of nine till I had to move to the United States at the age of 16.  My last memory prior to moving from Cebu City, Philippines to Union City, California was going to tennis camp during the summer with Christine and squealing over how hot Patrick Rafter was.

In the years that followed, I had seen her a few times as I visited the Philippines and she came to visit the United States.

However, despite the time and distance that had separated us, I was proud to stand as a bridesmaid at her wedding to Mr. Romeo. No, literally, his name is Romeo. But we all call him by his nickname…Junie.

Here are some photos from her wedding:

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Marcus is sad that my mom is packing my suitcase. “Please don’t leave me…”

 

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The bridesmaids get their make up and hair did…

 

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I’ve never had so much make up on my face…guess it has to stand up to the weather and bright lights. I feel like a celebrity. Mwahaha!

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At Sacred Heart Parish. Full Circle since they both went to Sacred Heart Schools (one for Boys and the other for Girls).

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Filtered.

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What a Rock n’ Rollin’ Entrance to their reception!

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The Groom also served as the Entertainment that night! Lead singer status!

 

It was such a fun night. I always wondered who my friends would have been or what kind of person I would have grown up to be if I had stayed in the Philippines. If Cre and her friends are any indication, I think I would have been just fine…a little more metal in my music, maybe a little more in touch with creativity, too.

I know Cre and Junie will have an amazing marriage. They’ve already been through so much together, and have always supported each other. I believe in both of them, and they make me believe that there is a happily ever after.

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I have been MAD obsessed with this song for a while now.

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The push and the pull.
The unraveling.
The slow drawing apart; the quiet need.
Underneath my skin, burrowed, entangled.
It wasn’t what I wanted. It’s not what I meant.
And yet here we are again. Here I am again.
And so it begins.

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Or Why I Can’t Talk About My Dad without Feeling Conflicted.

When I went back to the Philippines in March, it was to accompany my grandmother back home so she could see her oldest son sworn in as he took command of the Philippine Navy.

This also meant days upon days of ceremonies, parades, luncheons, dinners, and general hob-knobbing. It also meant that I would tag along and be introduced by my uncle as “Alex T’s daughter,”…”Yes, that Alex T, Class of ’77.”

It was odd and awkward.

Most of the current Generals of the Military, the Admirals of the Navy, and the Chief of Staff of the Philippines were Class of ’77. They all knew my father. They all told me stories.

Some stories I had heard before from years long past. The same stories that made me look up to my father and idolize him completely. Stories about how he stood up for a fellow “plebe” during “hazing” and ended up being beaten by a steel pipe. A few broken ribs later, that fellow classmate became his friend for life. Some stories were funny, like using spit as a quick shoe-shine during inspections. Others told about his slightly reckless, often brave acts during guerrilla fights in the South. Still, there would be a few officers who would just smile, shake their heads and say, “He was so young when he died, wasn’t he?” I would nod and confirm, “44, sir.” A hand would be placed on my shoulder. “He would have been up here with us, no doubt. He was on the fast-track to Five Stars.”

In moments like those, I would hold my head up, smile, nod and be proud that I was his daughter.

But no one ever tells stories about the darker side of a person. No one ever goes to someone’s kid and tells them what an awful father she had. No. But I know. And it is because of that knowledge that I cannot simply smile and be proud. Instead, I feel ashamed that he was such a good man in some contexts, and such a terrible one in another.

I know we cannot expect our idols to be forever perfect. We cannot expect to grow up and not find out some terrible things that our parents did when they were young. But my mom once told me that it was my father’s sins and the secrets that he kept that ultimately killed him.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s just my mom being hurt. But I do know that I cannot talk about my father without that double edged sword sliding in between my ribs and stabbing me.

I loved my father. He was my hero.

He also ultimately fell from grace, and yet despite that, I still remember being a seven-year-old, watching wide-eyed with pride as my father suited up and pinned all those medals of honor on his uniform.

A fallen hero is still once a hero. That doesn’t change.

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I like when burned bridges are rebuilt.

It renews my faith in the idea that there are just some people that are meant to be in your life.

It also reminds me that when it comes to real friendships and real connections, there is no such thing as pride. It’s easy to say sorry and to forgive when it means that you get to tell funny stories, lament about problems and maybe go to the beach together again.

I’m glad that those people in my life that I had once thought to be indispensable also feel the same way about me…whether the reason for the distance and silence in our relationship was my fault or whether they hurt me, there will always be room in my heart and in my life for these friends.

When I got that voicemail from one, I was astonished because I had been the bad guy in the relationship. If he could see me as a friend again, I am certainly not above saying how sorry I was.

When I ran into another old friend and he offered me a smile and a joke, I was just relieved that the snark and sense of humor that had once made us inseparable in high school was still intact. “I’m sorry I stopped talking to you,” I finally blurted out at the end of the night. He smiled, “All water under the bridge, Iz. This,” he gestured between us, at the invisible bond that somehow was still there 12 years later. “This doesn’t just get washed away.”

Looking back at us, at myself, at everyone else who have since walked in and out of my life…I realize that maybe there really isn’t much that cannot be forgiven after all. Time does heal old wounds. Age gives us wisdom to blunt the edges of our pride. Love, laughter and the memories drawn from those may sometimes fade, but remember, the heart is a muscle…and muscle memory is pretty powerful. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to pick up old friendships right from where you left off. It’s just like riding a bike!

Today, I’m just grateful for water under the bridge…and for bridges that were burned, but were somehow rebuilt over time.

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On the heels of my last somewhat anti-Valentines Day post, I turn on the TV and see this:

And it made me go, “Awwww.” I guess I like the idea of Valentines Day being about more than “I love you” but being about an “us.” I think it really is a celebration of what makes things work between two people. The laughter, the shared interests, the hand-holding, the leaning-my-head-on-your-shoulder, the cuddles, the telling of secrets, fears, hopes and dreams. I guess I do like the “us” part of Valentines.

Now…if I’m okay with the “us”…I gotta find out what I’m not okay with about the “you” and “me” components.

But that’s for another time.

For now, here’s that montage from Up that had me and @Sigh tearing up in the movies. This is what it’s all about.

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