On Wisdom in Matters of the Heart

“What blows on my face often has my name on it,” said the pastor just this Sunday’s service at Word for the World, Makati. And he was right. Most of the time, we, ourselves, are the causes of our own problems, our sufferings.

Recently, a guy friend shared to me that he got turned down by a girl. Sure, that was unfortunate, and I would have sympathized with him deeply, but after telling me the story, I didn’t know what to feel anymore. I understood the girl’s decision and I couldn’t seem to get what went on this friend’s mind (Sorry, friend, if you ever get to read this. Yikes).

The story went as simple as this: The two got to know each other well in March. They went on a date once where he told her he likes her, but after two weeks, the girl flew to Dubai (I guess it’s safe to assume it’s for work). He continued wooing her but the girl stopped him saying she doesn’t want to be distracted.

Seemed like the girl’s a little harsh, right? How dare her not give my friend the chance to prove himself to her?! Who does she think she is?! Err… Not really. ‘Cause here’s the thing: He knew right from the start that she’d be leaving but he still decided to court her. BOOM. So who’s at fault now? And I think the girl was just being polite when she agreed to go on a date with him.

Of course, I am a friend to my friend so although he didn’t ask for any advices, I tried to point out to him his area of mistake–‘cause it bit me like a snake upon reading the story on chat, and it should bite him, too—and with a lot of smileys so as not to be hard on him.

What was the error? He lacked Wisdom. I knew I was right when he said he didn’t get it so I produced a 411-word explanation for him.

I told him I think he loses wisdom when he falls in love. He’d been devastated by love twice and in a span of 3-4 months and it was because of no one but himself. And I think that’s something serious.

The first has a boyfriend. Oh, yes, you read that right. They met when he visited his province, got her number with the help of one of his sisters, and exchanged SMS for a few months until he fell for her. When he came back to the province, he told her he liked her only to be indirectly rejected with the words, “You may have to wait long,” in which he responded, “I’ll wait.”

Oh, did I mention that all along she already has a boyfriend and he perfectly knows about it? When he told me the story, I got pissed off immediately so I was reluctant to help him. Still, I kept my cool and I said, “Sometimes, girls don’t say things directly. You have to read between the lines.” And he was asking for an advice for a very obvious baloney (I’m sorry for the term): “What am I going to do, the girl I like has a boyfriend?” He said it was complicated and the girl’s words made it hard for him because by then he didn’t know if he’d just let go and look for another girl or just really wait. Complicated? I wanted to uncomplicate things for him then by smashing the table on him. BAM!

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

And the worst part there was I could see him in pieces while being in a state of limbo. He is the kind who can look straight in the eyes of the person he’s talking to, but during the time I was reprimanding him, he was reduced into someone who busied his hands fumbling nothing and kept his gaze on the table while trying to answer my questions the whole time. He was like a kid I was scolding for breaking the vase. But since he isn’t a child anymore, the scene was both sad and irksome.

Then there came a new girl after three months. I think she turned him down because she could already see that it won’t work, apart from the part that she said she didn’t want any distractions. And well, honestly, it was obvious she was not into him.

I have a friend who has a very successful long-distance relationship, but that’s rare, most of the time, its survival rate isn’t exactly okay, so what more the long-distance courtship that doesn’t have any foundation yet? I think the girl has wisdom and I admire her for that. She didn’t want the two of them to waste time anymore for something that’s bound to die down sooner or later.

But then one may say taking risks is important and we may be missing a lot in life if we don’t get out of our comfort zone (Oh, I’m so boring!). But the thing is, in this recent situation that my friend was in, it was quite obvious that he was gearing toward disaster lane. It was like insisting on stepping forward when it was crystal clear that it was the edge of the cliff right in front of him. I don’t know, but with my friend’s short story, I felt for the girl. In fact, I would have done the same if I was in her position.

If my friend let his wisdom work, she didn’t have to turn him down and he didn’t have to be rejected. So now, she’s tagged the heartbreaker and he’s the person with the bleeding heart (Oh, so now I’m slowly getting unsure if he really likes her!). And again, that was the obvious outcome right from the start. But she could move on easily, big time, and since my friend was the one that got rejected, he is having the rough time. Why? Because rejection bites and viciously gnaws on one’s pride. So who dug his own grave?

My unsolicited advice to him was to work on his wisdom. He should make wise decisions especially when it comes to love and avoid rushing into it like it’s some limited edition collectible. It’s wiser to sit down first and mull over it. Especially with him, ‘cause he’s supposed to be analytical and he’s proud of it, but he lets his heart govern himself when in love. Mind shouldn’t be set aside at all cost no matter how hard it is when it comes to love. It’s important and it can help him heaps.

And I hope he won’t let what I said above about getting devastated by love in a span of 3-4 months be his norm. He’s turning into an embarrassment. We weren’t born for constant suffering but for happiness.

Lastly, I told him that love isn’t supposed to make life complicated, it should simplify it. So he should stop looking for love that could turn his world upside down in a very messy way.

I sent the lengthy explanation to him, got a “Wow” as a first response (prolly because it’s long), and then “Well said! Hehe.” as the second. I simply scratched my head as I understood that he doesn’t have any plans on taking my advice. But oh well, it’s his choice, at least I was able to tell him what I think about his decisions in love. 🙂 Besides, it’s better to tell it to him first before putting it on this blog. LOL.

P.S. I would like thank Ramon Baustista’s Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? for a wonderful insight about the mind, heart, and “bird” as the decision-making bodies of people, Pastor Raymund of Word for the World for teaching about wisdom, insight, and understanding, one meaningful Sunday service, Kuya Kevin’s Basta Lovelife for telling about the importance of wise decision-making in love, and of course, my little experience in love which made me seek friends’ and self-help books’ advices about it, take them to the heart, all of which somehow made me wiser and stronger. hehe

Advertisements

Lovin’ the Right Way with Kuya Kevin’s Book

Basta Lovelife (Kuya Kevin)

My closest friends have found my battered heart on the ground some time ago. And while most of them showed support and gave me honest opinions and advices about it, my college buddy coupled hers with a book called Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions by Kuya Kevin, an American pastor/minister and blogger living in the Philippines for a decade now.

It just got buried on my pile of unread books, though, ’cause I was too busy both with adjusting to my new work and with helping myself stand up again. And besides, there’s that term “lovelife” on the title, and I didn’t need it then.

But now that time is swiftly turning the pages of my life’s book to my 25th birthday, and I’m starting to wonder if I was born for single blessedness or married life/committed doublehood, I remembered it, and so I dug my dusty pile, read it, and enjoyed the pieces of information I got from it.

Basta Lovelife answers relationship questions about love (like the right age to be in a relationship, dealing with rejection, same-sex relationships, etc.) and sex from a Christian’s perspective and with pieces of evidence from the Bible to support the ideas. Its aim is to help young Filipinos make wise relationship decisions.

When it comes to sex, those addicted to a premarital one may not like it because the book has a strong conviction about sexual purity. Kuya Kevin discusses why one should keep their virginity until the day they get married by comparing  purity and impurity with fresh water from a water dispenser and contaminated one from a freshly painted curb, and asks which one would people drink. He also tells sex is the highest form of intimacy and that each time people engage with it, they give a piece of themselves to each sexual partner, so just imagine what’s left to offer to their future spouse if they do it outside marriage. Sex even loses it true meaning in the process.

Likewise, the book may also receive a couple of eyebrow-raising from the close-minded people because it discusses the double standard in males and females. They say that men, unlike women, don’t lose anything in premarital sex. But the Bible, through Kuya Kevin’s simple explanation, says it is untrue. Men lose too; they lose self-control, intimacy, themselves, safety, and security. Men’s sex drive is also explained in the book to make it clear if it’s a blessing or a curse.

The book isn’t just being conservative. As Kuya Kevin says in the book, “I base my beliefs on biblical commandments and principles.” So if the Bible has no clear stand on a certain act, like kissing and masturbation, he doesn’t say no to it although he also explains the potential consequences of such. And he didn’t condemn anyone who has made the mistake of having premarital sex in the past. God, after all, forgives, as long as one will be committed to change.

Potential detractors’ reactions aside, Basta Lovelife is a must-read for people seeking a more fruitful relationship in the future, the book is after all made for them. If you want to be enlightened, too, about its subject and others that surround it, this book is recommended to be added on your book list. Its 161 pages sure have a lot to teach you.

 

***

I got a shocking question from a guy friend a few weeks before reading this book: What’s your opinion about sex? It was shocking because it was the first time I got such query (He even added: I can ask anything, right?and yes, he could, I guess, since I indirectly agreed to have that Q&A session with him. But still…), so I didn’t know which part of sex I should talk about, how to start with my answer, and it was awkward for me speak about it alone with a guy.

It took me maybe about a minute to compose myself before I finally said something like: I’m open-minded about it and I can talk about it with people. I don’t even have a problem saying sexual words like penis, vagina, and sex, unlike most people who bleep them, since I don’t find anything wrong with them. I surprisingly know a lot about sex as compared to what my personality would suggest, so I can talk about sex in an educational way–although I haven’t done it yet, mind you–and laugh wild with people dropping green jokes all the time. But I won’t do it. (I just find it fulfilling to be knowledgeable about any stuff foreign to me, but no applications, please. It’s way too early for that.)

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

The texts on the photo sum up my stand on premarital sex.

Later on, I started questioning myself with my answer, thinking maybe I was way too conservative that I’m now missing a lot in my life. But as I read Basta Lovelife, I began feeling proud of myself and my beliefs and I decided to hold on to them tighter ’cause I know that I’m on the right track. The book is now a favorite. 🙂

Visit Kuya Kevin’s blog at: kuyakevin.blogspot.com

 

Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.

–William Penn

Ramon Bautista’s Funny yet Logical Book about <3

Love can rock your world, but it can also pick rocks of different sizes and throw them to you.

Indeed, love is both wonderful and crazy. And when it has already turned your world upside down and whichever way it wanted, who’s the best person to run to? Well, believe it or not, it may only be Ramon Baustista.

Ramon Bautista's Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? book cover

Ramon Bautista’s Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? book cover

A self-proclaimed Internet action star, Ramon Baustista began conquering the local print world in 2012 with the publication of his first book, Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?: At Iba Pang Technique Kung Paano Makaka-Move On sa Wasak na PusoIt is basically a compilation of some of the questions and answers about love from his formspring account, one of the platforms of his popular Internet trapezoid.

His book gives smart and oftentimes sarcastic answers to bothered and usually stupid love questions like:

Q: Sir RB, ‘yung GF ko niloko ako. Naghanap ng iba. Pero di niya pa din ako binibitawan at nilagay ako sa friendzone, di niya daw ako kaya mawala kasi ako lang daw nakakaintindi at nakakaunawa sa kanya. Ano gagawin ko?

A: Malandi yang GF mo at makapal mukha niya ginagawa ka pa niyang reserba. Anong gagawin mo? Do whatever makes you less tanga…isip!

and

Q: Hello Mr. Bautista. My friend is an NBSB (no boyfriend since birth) and she’s already 29. She feels really down about it and embarrassed. She feels ashamed for her situation and feels she’s behind life. She’s never dated either. What advice can you give?

A: Nararamdaman ko ang pressure niyong mga girls sa tumatandang NBSB. Kung pakiramdam niyo na it makes you less of a woman dahil wala kayong BF, ibaba niyo ang standards niyo. Pero para sa mga “wala akong BF hanggang ngayon, weno ngayon?!” ang attitude, saludo ko sa inyo!

and even to school-related queries like:

Q: Sir Ramon! Naramdaman n’yo na ba ‘yung gusto n’yo nang sumuko noon sa pag-aaral at iwan ang lahat ng hirap? Sir!! TULONG! Pagalitan n’yo po ako para matauhan ako. 😦

A: Hindi option ang pagsuko sa school. Kalma lang at isipin mo na lang ang future mo. Papanget ka rin someday at pagdating ng araw na ‘yun, atleast may trabaho ka.

Of course, it also contains the 10 possible reasons that answer the book’s title:

1. Panget ka.
2. Masama ugali mo.
3. May shota siya.
4. May shota ka.
5. Bakla/Tomboy siya.
6. ‘Di kayo match sa horoscope.
7. Okay ka naman pero siniraan ka ng mga friends niya.
8. High maintenance ka.
9. Trip mo ‘yung mga ayaw niyang TV show.
10. Wala ka sa radar A.K.A. Hindi ka niya napapansin.

A 90’s-inspired notebook with a note that says “Study hard!” that comes with the book. It seems like a friendly reminder like what he always tells his viewers in TFTFZ that “There’s more to life than love.”

A 90’s-inspired notebook with a note that says “Study hard!” that comes with the book. It seems like a friendly reminder like what he always tells his viewers in TFTFZ that “There’s more to life than love.”

The book is entertaining with the approach that’s funny yet not without logic. Ramon Bautista made sure to give advices based on his rationale and not just his emotions and carnal desire.

In fact, right in the introduction of his book, he explained to his readers that he believes that human beings are composed of three decision-making bodies: the mind, the heart, and the sexual desire. And among the three, the mind must be the strongest since it should be able to control the other two when both have decided to join forces.

But when in love, it is natural that the heart and the sexual desire succeed in beating down the mind. And with that, his formspring account was created, and then later on the book, to give wise and truthful advices to troubled and dumb hearts without making the situations too heavy.

My friend and I became instant fans of Ramon Bautista just recently when one night, while talking about what else but love–a topic that never seems to go out of style–on Facebook chat, then I suddenly remembered watching episode 6 of his YouTube show, Tales from the Friend Zone (TFTFZ), and I told her that I could relate to it. We then got inspired in seeing all its seven episodes which made both of us laugh and trace his Internet trapezoid sites on Twitter, Tumblr, Formspring, and Instagram. And thus, the story behind my purchase of this book.

You don’t have to be in love or be broken hearted to buy this book. If you’re in for some entertainment in the Filipino language, this book is a good read.

The Brilliantly Crafted “Mother”

There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.
―Stephen King

Photo grabbed from Wikipedia

We receive the greatest love from the tender person who brought us to this world, but how far can this adoration go? In the film Mother, she’s willing to reach as far as hell, so don’t you dare provoke her.

Mother (마더 ; Madeo), a 2009 South Korean movie of the acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho, tells a story of an unnamed woman (Kim Hye-Ja) who is deeply devoted to her mentally-challenged son, Do-joon (Won Bin), to the point of taking the role of a gumshoe to clear the latter’s name, and thus, humiliating the investigators of a criminal case.

 

The film’s maternal figure lives a quiet life with her only son, Do-joon, in a village and makes a living as a medical herb seller and unlicensed acupuncturist. Then though not quite right in the head, Do-joon is the shy and quiet type, a perfectly harmless guy–except if he’s called retarded–with a pretty and innocent face.

That is, until a schoolgirl is murdered, and few evidence, like a golf ball with his name on it, say that Do-joon is the one behind it. The case is immediately closed and he is jailed, while his mother, along with her firm conviction, does all she can, dedicating her time and exhausting all her resources, to prove that her son isn’t responsible for the hideous crime.

The powerful storytelling and phasing of the movie is effective and extraordinary. Viewers will be persuaded by this mother’s careful inquisition and sneaky probing that she’s already near the truth and they will agree with her, thinking, “Yes, that’s the real one!” only to be disappointed with her because she’s actually very far from it yet. But failures don’t discourage her, after all, the title of the film ins’t named after her for nothing.

Expect multiple shocking twists thrown at the right time and impressive acting especially from the two awarding-winning actors, Kim Hye-Ja and Won Bin, in the entire 128 minutes of this magnificent film.

A real piece of art that garnered lots of awards and nominations. A must-watch, so you should see it. 🙂

“Late Blossom”: Love is Ageless, it Knows No Limit

Photo grabbed from AsianWiki

Though your hair may already be graying, your skin sagging, and wrinkles long been forming on your face, it can never be too late for true love.

Late Blossom (Keudaereul Saranghamnida ; 그대를 사랑합니다), a 2011 South Korean indie film and one of the featured films at the recent 2012 Korean Film Festival in the Philippines, revolves around the lives of four old people whose ages do not limit their abilities to love and be loved. 

 

The Story

Kim Man-Suk (Lee Soon-Jae), a milk delivery guy that uses his motorbike, is a grumpy old widower on the outside but is really soft and sweet on the inside, while Ms Song (Yun So-Jeong), a scrap paper collector and seller, is a soft-spoken old woman who is alone almost all her life. They run into each other before dawn a few times and eventually, develop a strong affection for each other.

Meanwhile, Jang Kun-Bong (Song Jae-Ho), the neighborhood parking lot manager, and Jo Soon-Yi (Kim Soo-Mi), who has Alzheimer’s disease, are a married couple who once had their three children living with them but, naturally, as they started having their own lives, left the couple living alone yet contented together.

The two couples journeyed through old age accompanied by each other’s love and new-found friendship.

Just like what I said in my blog entry, All Hail the Hallyu Wave! (2012 Korean Film Fest)Late Blossom is very touching and was worth more than the every tissue I pulled out of my pack during its screening in the film fest. I am not the emotional type, but I cried while watching the film, when my friends and I were talking about it right after seeing it, when I retold its story to my sister, and even when I remembered some of its scenes while I was on my way to work. The film was that amazing in pushing the right buttons of its audience.

And how can it fail to be great when each role, whether major or minor, was played by an actor who’s expert in his or her field, plus the fact that the South Korean film industry has a seemingly effortless ability to make everyone cry with just the right facial expressions, words, settings, and angling of the scenes. With that, it is not surprising when it became a box office hit in its home origin.

 

Thoughts, Sentiments

(Warning: Spoiler Alert)

“That’s how I wanted to grow old,” Ms Song murmurs as Jang Kun-Bong slowly walks away, relieved and thankful, while carrying his wife on his back. Already late for work, the old man accidentally leaves their home’s gate unlocked which enables his wife to go out and wander around the village, oblivious of how she’ll go back. Upon learning about this horror, Kun-Bong then spends the next hours running and shouting around the neighborhood, looking for the love of his life. When he finds her walking with Ms Song and Kim Man-Suk, he runs toward her, very much worried, and holds her tightly. This scene, filled with strong emotions, is when one can learn how powerful love is, that it can incessantly work its magic despite oldness and the other half’s shortcomings.

The enormously worried Jang Kun-bong holds his wife tightly when he finally finds her. (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Ms Song’s sentiment may be the reason the movie gets a sobbing crowd. Or at least in my case. Everybody wants to grow old with someone who shares the same passionate feeling as ours, and whose only condition in perpetually loving you is just you being at their side through good times and bad times. Just that. It doesn’t matter if you’re not able to give as long as you’re simply there, breathing the same air they breathe, and occupying the same space that they do. So just imagine that thought, coupled up with a film that shows exactly that kind of unending love rolling right before your eyes, and you’ll surely be fumbling through the things in your bag, hoping you can finally get a hold of your tissue. I’m speaking based on experience, yes.

Then as though the tears that already flowed out of your eyes aren’t enough, the film continues and later on, the viewers are presented with a weeping old man on the verge of committing suicide with his wife. He can’t take the fact that due to a severe disease, death will soon be snatching his beloved away from him. “Goodbye. I’m a timid old man. I couldn’t go on without you. So hold on to my hand. Let’s find each other again,” the married old man is saying behind the camera, as the scene zooms out showing the now departed couple, peacefully holding each other’s hand.

Again, everybody wants something like that. Who doesn’t? There’s a realest of the real love that even death can’t completely break into two. It’s somewhere out there, and the only thing you can do is wish that someday you’ll be one of the fewest lucky winners of that kind of love. But what are the chances? That is the question.

Like teenagers. Grumpy but sweet Kim Man-Suk and soft-spoken Ms Song on a date. 🙂 (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Then if sweet love exists, there’s also a bittersweet one that no matter how you admire each other, you have to willingly let go of the relationship right away out of fear for possible heartaches and sorrows.

While walking home from the late married couple’s wake, Ms Song tells Kim Man-Suk that she’s going back to her hometown ’cause due to age, both of them will both depart from the world soon, and she won’t be able to take it if the latter goes first. As a person who has been lonely almost all her life, she thinks it’s better to stop what they share right away than wait for that moment to come. Upset by what he just heard, old Man-Suk walks out, leaving behind the authentic, black leather gloves which the old woman gave her, but comes back immediately when he finally comprehends Ms Song’s sentiments. He agrees about the set up but asks the woman if they can meet each other before they both pass away. At the end, Man-Suk leaves the world looking elated while Ms Song hears the familiar sound of Man-Suk’s motorbike, opens the door, and finds him outside, flashing her a smile and inviting her for a ride. They’re finally reunited and nothing can hold back their happiness together anymore.

I read before that if a man truly loves a woman, he will let her go. Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s it. And that form of sacrifice is indeed very touching.

 

How about you, have you watched Late Blossom? Did you cry as much as I do? If so, what do you think is the reason it was able to conjure so much emotion from you? 🙂