View My Stats

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On Tenderhooks

You would think looking and waiting for a guy to come along is excruciating. Wait till an actual guy comes along and then you’re on tender hooks once again, & a flurry of questions about relationships and what it all means starts once again.

My friend Jercyl asked if this was a fling or this might turn into something serious. Well, this could definitely be something serious already. So what’s so special about this guy?

* The way he looks at me. That he even looks at me at all.

* How he smiles at me so tenderly. Again, that he smiles at me at all.

* He texts me to tell me what he’s doing at the moment, & asks me what I’m doing. Inane things such as: I’ve just finished eating, how about you? Am I sleeping already? That he will now sleep, coz I’d just replied to his text. If I was home. The simple, ordinary things that make up a life. Of course, I know that a few texts then & there does not a relationship make. So how often is often? Well, we exchange texts at night (before he goes on his 10pm shift), when I wake up at 2-3am (just a few texts, then I go back to sleep), & he wakes me up in the morning (we exchange texts for a time & then he goes to sleep). Is this enough to qualify as a relationship?

* Only gone out on 2 dates: but these were heavenly! Our 1st date, he was quite the gentleman. I was so frustrated! I had to take matters into my own hands. Probably why I succumbed to something I’ve never done before on a first date.

* And the thing is although I love the intimacy, sex does make things complicated. Especially for women, or maybe it’s just me. It’s confirmed: I really can’t do casual sex. It’s not like I can take my heart out of my chest, put it on a shelf where it’ll be safe & hop on the bed with my significant other. “Sides, doesn’t putting your heart into it, what making love is all about?

* This feels different though. He hugs me & keeps me close, after sex. Kisses me on the forehead, takes the time to smell my hair & run his fingers along my spine. I turn to mush….

* And he texts me first the day after! (Has never happened before!Yeah I know,I'm such a loser)
* After that first time, he told me he wanted to sleep with me next time. Not just have sex, but spend the night with me, till dawn. How romantic is that?

Oh my, I guess only time will tell.

Friday, February 20, 2009


An officemate recently invited me to join them play badminton in the afternoons, after working. I told them that I never really liked playing sports that used balls. She said: “Leony, badminton doesn’t have any balls, but uses a shuttlecock”. To which I replied, “Well then, let me paraphrase what I said. I’m really not into sports that uses balls and cocks”. Now that surely sounded like something else.

Hmm, never really thought THAT was a sport for that matter. Although I read in a Readers Digest article once that “bed-minton” uses up 60 calories per exercise.

But this is not a note about that particular kind of exercise. But that badminton invitation did get me thinking about the sports I love and enjoy. Come to think of it, the sports I’ve been into are the kind that is best enjoyed when done alone, & with no sports equipment of any kind. Not that I particularly call myself athletic. I may not be as physically active and agile as I was way back in college when I was the only girl in the Ateneo Karate Varsity Team. Also, there used to be a time when I loved running, especially waking up at dawn & breathing in the crisp morning air as I went jogging. Nowadays, I’m starting to exercise again (after a hiatus of what, 15 years?!). I’m running once again, and going to the gym, although not as often as I would like to, given my hectic schedule. But then it just means I have to be more disciplined and put exercise as a priority. (Yeah right)

Still, I would love to be more physically fit. Although, time has been kinder to me than most women my age. I just had my annual physical exam (APE) last month. I’ve been having one yearly since I started working, but was looking forward to it this time coz it was my very first comprehensive executive check-up (the benefits of being a manager). Imagine my shock when the doctor asked me to completely disrobe & take off my blouse so he could check for lumps in my breasts. It was a good thing he was a bit effeminate, because that was the closest thing I’ve had to being touched by a man in quite a while. Seeing my belly, he asked if I was single. I told him I had 2 kids already, & he said he was surprised because I didn’t have any stretch marks. This led to a long discussion about the benefits of cocoa butter lotion (I did tell you he was a bit gay). My APE numbers were quite good. I’m 5”2”, 117lbs, with vital statistics 36-26-36 (though I would love to cinch 2-3 inches off my waistline), my cholesterol levels are in the desirable level, as well as my EEG & other test results. Not bad, at 35.

Just this morning, I was one of the judges for an inter-college speech contest. At the end of the program, one of my co-judges said he was one of my high school students. It had taken him some time to recognize me because he was surprised to see me looking this good. After 15 years, he was now a lawyer, & I tell you, he looked way older than I did. Now experiences like these sure make me smile. So I guess, exercising & adopting a healthy lifestyle does help.

I still don’t see any balls and cocks in my future though. The sports I would love to do and explore someday use no equipment of any kind. I would dearly love to do oar/solitary rowing (sort of like Geena Davis in the Commander-in-Chief series, or the more popular example would be Richard Gomez in that old Bench commercial). Or ballroom dancing! I just purchased a CD of different ballroom dances. I’m afraid, I have two left feet though & dancing would prove to be quite a challenge. And yes, I have signed up for a belly-dancing course to start next week. Not that this counts as a sport. But I am looking forward to shimmying and undulating my way through life. For I don’t intend to grow old gracefully. I intend to fight it every step of the way.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So Far Away...

No one in particular really, just that I've been hearing this song on the radio quite a lot lately. The poignancy and haunting melody of the song touches me somehow. And makes me yearn for all the foolish things that makes this month the crazy time that it is. I saw the video last week, when I was all by my lonesome too in a hotel in Makati. Its a song I've often sang to, while listening to the radio & lounging in bed, thus I was surprised to see the exact same setting in the video, being played out by the singer. Hmm, life imitates art. Or vice versa. Anyway, for now, this is my song.

Tell Me That You Love Me (by Regine Velasquez)
So far away on a cold, lonely night
If I could only hear your voice,the I’d be alright
Tell me that you love me,Tell me that you care
I just want to hear your voice
Come floating through the air
Telephones are lonely
Tell me you’re alright
I just want to feel you near
When I lay down tonight.
I’d give anything to see your face
Just to share the silence of your eyes
Your love is something no one can replace
So I just want you to hold me one more time.One more time.

Tell me that you love me,Tell me you’re okay
Telephones are lonelyIt sounds so far away
Tell me that you need meTell me it’s alright
I just want to hear your voice
When I lay down tonight.

I’d give anything to taste your kiss
Just to feel your body touching mine
It hurts me to be wanting you like this
So tell me that you love me one more time
One more time…Tell me that you love me
Tell me you’re alone
I just want to hear your voice
I’m so far from home
Tell me that you love me,Tell me that you care
I just want to hear your voice
Come floating through the air.
Tell me that you love me,Tell me that you care
I just want to hear your voice
Come floating through the air
Telephones are lonelyTell me you’re alright
I just want to feel you near
When I lay down tonight.

Monday, February 2, 2009


(This is the speech I plan to use for the International Speech Contest. Pray for me. Area contest is on Mar.1)

It was a dark and rainy night. As I got ready for bed in my sexy negligee,I turned to my special someone to bestow a goodnight kiss.When, all my senses were suddenly aroused… by this, not so innocent question…

“Mama, what is sex?”It was my 7 year old daughter, looking up at me, as I was tucking her to sleep.Ladies & gentlemen, Toastmasters & friends, have you ever had a time in your life when you were at a complete & utter loss for words? This is the moment every parent dreads. All the Table topics questions in the world, all the Toastmasters meetings, all the speech contests I had joined, could not have prepared me for the anxiety of this moment. I had to think of an answer…and fast!

“Well, babies come from the stomachs of mommies. Sex is how the baby gets there. But don’t think about it. Only BIG boys and girls when they grow very old, only then do they have sex.” I desperately wanted to end the discussion right then & there.

But with the natural inquisitiveness (& stubbornness!) of a child, she persisted: “Do people like to have sex?”

Reluctantly, I replied. “Well, yes, it feels good so people like to do it”

“You mean, like eating ice cream!”.

‘Yes, but sex is hot, not cold”. I could have kicked myself for saying that. Stupefied at what I’d blurted out, my mind blanked & flickered back to the past.I was 14 years old, & had asked my mom that same question.Did she also look as terror-stricken as I did now?

What I do remember is my Mom, a staunch conservative, telling me…“Sex is something only married couples do. The best gift you can give your husband is that of being the first.” Heavy! Only my mom could talk about sex & virginity in one sentence.

Still, even at that tender age of 14, something inside me rebelled at the thought.Being 1st should not be the best gift, me being anyone’s wife should be!

And to think I followed her advice to the letter. There I was, at 25, a quarter of a century old!It was the end of the millennium, & people were frightened of the Y2K bug. Me, I was more scared of bigger, more important things.What if the world came to an end, & I would die… a virgin!
And so, I met this man, & we were both the first for each other. We even got married!No, Mama. Older & wiser now, I can tell you: “You were wrong. It’s not about being first.Being last is the best gift.”

Its time for us to face all the myths we’ve been bombarded about sex. Why the taboo, the hesitation to talk about it. Not with our children, because THAT will always be awkward.
But hey we’re all mature adults here. Let’s talk about sex. We shouldn’t cringe to talk about something so basic. After all, Edmund, you wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for sex.

Sex shouldn’t be seen as something dirty. Perhaps that’s why sex puts us in a setting where we are naked, as the day we were born. Because it’s supposed to be innocent.Well, I’m going to talk about sex. People like to do it because sex satisfies 3 needs: sensory, safety & self-actualization.

1st: sex is sensory. It’s physiological: a need as basic as food, water & air. Simple as that. It’s about feelings, the physical, elemental kind. Talk about spontaneous combustion, of fire & perspiration, of a feel-good wrestling under the sheets kind of thing. A lot of men though get stuck in this stage.

Not for me. My sexual fantasy is to meet this really fabulous guy & as we are kissing each other, I’d say: “I’m sorry, I don’t believe in one night stands”. & he’d tell me, “Lenore, don’t worry, we’ll still be doing this for many nights to come. & I promise you, you won’t be doing much standing…” a steamy kissing scene follows & the camera shoots upward...As it always does in the movies…!)

2nd: Sex is safety. But nowadays, sex is FAR from safe. Back in Gov. Noli’s day, you ask: “Are you safe?” so as not to get a girl pregnant. Today, we have AIDS, STDs & multiple partners. “Are you safe?” means more. But on a deeper level, some have sex to feel secure. Having someone hold you tight, even for a brief moment, can lull you into a false sense of security. And yet, you do need to be with someone you feel safe with. After all, sex needs trust, not all thrust!

Lastly, sex is self-actualization. It’s about finding and becoming the best person you were meant to be. How? Because you’ve found that one person to say, “You complete me”. It’s finally, finding someone to fill up that emptiness inside you (figuratively AND literally). It’s someone looking at me, really looking at me, & seeing not just a body (although I have to admit, it is a pretty ravishing body). For my lover to see me as a person (with fears, hopes, desires & dreams). It’s being naked not just with someone, but being naked TO someone. To bare not just my body, but to bare my own soul.

For all fortunate enough to find this, making love (not mere sex) feels like coming home, a transcendent bliss & complete union; a coming together of two bodies, & the melding of two souls. This is the kind of sex that can’t be rushed, & yes, dear daughter, this is the kind of sex worth waiting for.

And that’s how I will explain sex to my daughter, WHEN she turns 14.

Fellow Toastmasters, whatever state you find yourself in:
Whether you’re after the pleasurable sensations sex brings;
Or whether you just need to feel safe in the haven of someone’s arms
Or, if you’re seeking & willing to wait for so much more ---
My one, fervent desire for all is only this ---
I wish all of you…love.

Contest Host.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How I Got Angry...& Ended up a Billboard Model

Last week, I really got fuming mad. For a week already, my brother-in-law has been in the hospital due to complications from cryptococcal meningitis (it’s difficult to explain but yes, it’s a bit serious). Since June of last year, he’s been in & out of the hospital & this was, I think, his 6th hospitalization. So, the objects of my ire this time were hospital lab technicians & a resident doctor. My brother-in-law was supposed to have his MRI exams (3 different exams the whole day to figure out what the problem really was). He already finished with the 1st MRI, but his sched for the 2nd one was bumped because a doctor had prioritized the case of another patient. My sister was crying to me already, being worried about her husband & all, & that it was already 9pm but he still wasn’t scheduled for the MRI. I had to go down to the lab, castigate & demand with the medical personnel to have the tests done. Rare moments like these are…. the only way I can describe it is, these are the times I put on airs, am so haughty, & use my “Ar-neoww (Ateneo)” accent to the fullest. I usually think (a lot!) before I say anything (my Toastmaster friends know how much I hate Impromptu Speaking or Table Topics). But when I’m really mad, even I marvel at myself! I can speak volumes, impeccable English at that, & the closet bourgeois in me comes out. & its not like I’m roleplaying or anything, it just naturally comes out during these times.
Now, perhaps this incident doesn’t really stand out. But well, I really don’t get mad that easily. I do consider myself a very calm person, and amongst my HR colleagues, I’m known as the one who rarely loses her cool. The last time I got angry was 5 years ago (imagine!). Funny. Same setting (a hospital) & characters (hospital staff). My 2 kids were both admitted: my daughter for dehydration (diarrhea), & my son due a head concussion. It just happened at the same time, a nightmare for any mom. I got mad because they were insisting on putting a dextrose tube on my son’s arm. I protested: my son (4 at the time) is autistic & this might start one of his tantrums. So there I was again, lambasting the nurses & going on my spiel on why it shouldn’t be done. My son’s doctor had to talk to me & placate me. I had to take a breather after a week of looking after my kids in the hospital. I went to the office & the first email I saw (in a long line of emails) was about a company-wide search for models (among the employees) for a Lexmark billboard ad. Out of sheer exhaustion & for the heck of it, I submitted my picture. A week later, I was picked, along with 13 other employees, for a photo shoot. 7 couples were made up, & photographed by Cebu’s top(& expensive!) photographer. Out of the glossies & resulting shots, our CEO chose (what else, miracle of miracles!) the photo I was in.

So for a year (525,600 minutes of fame!) I was up in the clouds. Or should I say, suspended in a 20 x 40 billboard at Ayala business district (in Ayala & Mabolo intersection). I wasn’t paid anything for my experience of being a Lexmark billboard model, but it was fun telling all my friends about it. So, lets just say, I do try to channel whatever negative emotions I feel into more creative pursuits. & I did help my brother-in-law last week. After my tirade at the lab, they were able to put him in for his 2nd MRI, & even had the 3rd MRI (supposedly scheduled for the next day) done as well. Yes, it does pay to get mad now & then.
Now if only I could get another photo shoot out of this....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

If a tree falls down in the forest & no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

I start with that thought-provoking question (well I do hope it is provocative) because its a scenario I would like to parallel with my love for writing.

Obviously, I love to write. I call it, "thinking on paper". Of course most of my blogs and writings start out as rambling musings in my mind, & then I wait when I have the free time & opportunity to write it on the computer. I write, to form my thoughts in a cohesive structure, to portray my innermost thoughts & feelings, & in some instances, to arrive at a particular choice of action or make my stand on a personal matter that has been percolating in my thoughts for a time. But basically, I write because I need to write. As Hugh Prather said: "If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire must be not to write". Fortunately, my writing muses are never too far or too busy to keep me company.

Having an audience, or someone who stumbles on whatever prose I conjure, is just an added bonus. But it would be hypocritical of me, if I didn't say that it gives me a delicious thrill, to have a friend read what I had written. More so if he/she writes a comment about it. So yes, even if the tree falling does make a sound, you so obviously want someone to hear your words, or the song it brings.

A word of caution though. For me! I find it interesting that the 2008 Word of the year is "overshare(verb): to divulge excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval". I am so guilty of this! I just hope most people are in too much of a hurry, to read & think about what I write.
And for those who do matter, that they do take the time to read & think about what I do write.
Many times I find, in that space between writing & rereading what I have written, that I do have second thoughts lest someone think ill of me, or judge me hastily. Still, the writer has to write what needs saying the most.

So yes, I'll be writing from hereon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Top 3 McDo Memories

Niel's post of the McDonalds commercial: My First Love: Huling El Bimbo (loved the ad!) reminded me of why I love & prefer McDonalds over Jollibee. So these are my top3 McDo memories: Fun with Enta; Bonding with Ate; Getting Picked up(at Mcdo!)

(1)Fun with Enta: College will always make me think of living & spending within your means (ie.allowance). I remember times in McDo with the Entablado theater group. Many times, after practicing for a play, we’d chip in whatever money we can spare each (1 would give P5, another P20, & so on). Then we’d buy several large fries (& make do with loads of ketchup!!). The food was never enough, but we’d be satisfied(busog!) laughing & being in each other’s company.

(2)Bonding with Ate: In college, my elder sister & I joined the Ateneo Karate Varsity Team. Aside from our usual varsity practices, both of us would also go jogging around the campus. Many times though, we’d end up jogging from the college grounds towards Gate2. Reaching it, we’d be so tired, we’d end up crossing over to McDo & having our snacks (yup, this kinda defeated the purpose of exercising).

(3)Picked up (at McDo!): I was eating with a friend in McDo & these 2 guys came up. The friend I was with was their old high school teacher. My friend had to leave for another appointment & I ended up talking the night away with these two really nice guys. They even offered me a ride & dropped me off to my apartment. I became really close with one (Marco): just friends, nothing romantic. So close, we’d spend Sunday afternoons volunteering at the White Cross orphanage, & he even became Ninong(godfather) to my son. I will never forget a bday gift he gave me: a large bouquet of chrysanthemums from their family farm in Tagaytay (heavenly! My favorite!) & a card which read: “You should never get into cars with strange men. But I'm glad you did!”.
McDo: Love ko 'to!