Monthly Archives: February 2013

To all of you who waited.

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“You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

I have wanted to write about this for a while now. More specifically, since that time when my dgroup planned and hosted a “Love Courtship and Marriage” dinner talk for singles. We prepared for over a month, and part of our prep included watching Andy Stanley’s video series: “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating”.

I love that series. Seriously. Andy is super hyper and engaging and so darn convincing, and his message very timely too. Very unforgettable. But not as unforgettable as the discussions we had following every message, nor what my dgroupmates told me after going through the entire series, which could basically be summed up into: “You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

Lucky Me! (So they say)

See, in a dgroup technically formed for singles, I was the only actual single member. As in unattached, not-in-an-exclusive-relationship, single member.

“You’re so lucky, Sarah.” So I am, I guess. The thing is, after hearing that, I couldn’t help but echo what Andy Stanley kept wondering in his messages: “Didn’t anybody tell them these things? Didn’t anybody ever set an example for them?”

And just as Andy arrived at the conclusion that “No, no one probably told them”, so did I arrive at the (for me, rather amazing) conclusion that perhaps, no one did actually tell them. No one actually set an example for them. No one guided them, told them the truth, warned them.

“So lucky, Sarah. You get to get it right when you finally get into a relationship,” is what they told me. And I thought to myself, yes, how lucky I am. But not just because I heard these messages by Andy. In fact, that was not the first time I’ve heard of these messages.

With ate Flor, one of my awesome "ate"s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

With ate Flor, one of my awesome “ate”s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

They Were that “Ate” to Me

I am so fortunate because I had older, mature people – single and married – who set examples for me. It’s a beautiful thing about our culture, I believe, that gives the older person the responsibility to set an example for the younger, for the panganay, the ate and the kuya to be models to the younger.

I had and have ates who showed me that a woman could be single, happy, dreamy and fulfilled. Ates whose identities are complete and full, even without a man.

Who waited and yes, had their dreams of marital felicity come true.

Who waited, and did not end up married, but still are fulfilled and happy beyond measure (and shows it!).

Who made mistakes, and owned up to their mistakes, finding their identity and meaning in the One.

And I had and have kuyas who showed and continue to show me that godly, wisdom-filled, faithful, gentlemanly, disciplined men do exist. (I was genuinely shocked when my dgroupmates told me emphatically that they had never met true, godly, gentlemen).

It tells a lot about our culture when we have all these messed up relationships and messed up people and no one warns the others. Or they do warn them, but in a poor, unconvincing, judgmental, myopic manner.

So to all of you who waited, thank you. To all the ates and kuyas who told me and who showed me, I am grateful. You inspire me, compel, remind and warn me to be that kind of “ate” too.

To all of you who are waiting

And of course, to all of you sisters and brothers who are in the process of waiting, I extend my (virtual) hand to you in solidarity and encouragement.

You have dreams, I know. Wishes and prayers seemingly endless, at times seemingly impossible. You are not alone.

Thank you for choosing this road. The world is in need of people who can show them that there is an alternative to what the world has to offer.

Again, thank you. 🙂

Bad Parenting in Baker King

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Nothing like a good old family-centered makjang* drama to get you thinking about your own family.

I started watching Baker King, Kim Tak Gu not long ago because of Yoon Shi Yoon and Joo Won (both of whom I am now a new fan). With the hero as an illegitimate child, illicit affairs, an evil household madam and business corporate machinations, the show is veeery similar to most of the Pinoy soap operas we have had in the last decade, and still have.

Except that at 30 episodes, Baker King is more…  hmm,  how should I put it? More watchable? Because yunno, the story actually has to go somewhere, and get to the point already, because of the limited number of episodes. Wow, I rambled.

baker king 1 pangako sayo 2 walang hanggan 1

What can we say? Illegitimate children, illicit affairs, evil household madams 
and business corporate machinations are the staple of Pinoy drama shows.

The story is solid enough with strong and believable character motivations and family strife, and because the show is Baker King, there will be a turn where the underdog-illegitimate-child-who-is-actually-a-genius-prodigy-baker will, of course, attain the titular Baker King claim.

But I am only halfway through, and have barely reached the “underdog baker turns into a genius baker” part yet. Instead, the drama has been rife with family strife, setting us up with conflict after conflict after conflict, to make the underdog win sweeter (it better be!).

And after almost reaching the half-way mark with a drama of family conflict, this I have to say: wouldn’t I love to bring you all to a Parenting Seminar and Family Retreat.

Seriously. All THAT conflict and evilry would have been done away with had someone been yunno, nicer, kinder.

 

The Crazy Cycle

All that wrong obviously points to none other than: BAD PARENTING.

Had the matronly grandmother been kinder to her daughter-in-law, we could have done away with it. If only she didn’t meddle too much in her son and daughter-in-law’s marriage affairs too much!

If only the husband had backbone and actually showed affection to his wife and children.

If only the wife loved all her children (a concept somehow foreign in this drama).

If only someone told the children they didn’t have to do so much just to get their parents’ approval.

Pretty darn messed up, huh.

Now, I obviously am very much invested in the characters, and one may argue that the argument is a bit lacking. After all, it’s just a show, right? The extreme individualist may laugh it off as ridiculous, pointing at this as the weak point of the family-oriented cultures, much of which Asian cultures are.

Still, no matter what the individualist claims, are we not all somehow, a product of what our families were?

Honestly, have you never wondered?

What would have been different if only my parents treated each other differently? What would have been different if I and my siblings had grown up in a different setting? If my parents didn’t do that? If my parents did that instead?

 

Disclaimer: I had a happy enough childhood, thankfully. I was not abused, nor were my siblings. Still, no family is perfect and each has its brokenness, including ours.

 

 

 

*Makjang definition from dramabeans: a sylistic, tonal, or narrative element in dramas that chooses to play up outrageous storylines to keep viewers hooked despite how ridiculous the stories become (adultery, revenge, rape, birth secrets, fatal illnesses, and flirting with incest possibilities are some makjang favorites). Shows can be part of a makjang class of dramas (Wife’s Temptation is a makjang series), or they can have makjang tendencies (Mary Stayed Out All Night went makjang toward the end). Generally considered a negative thing (“Gah, how makjang can you get?”), unless a drama intentionally embraces the style (such as Baker King Kim Tak-gu or Flames of Desire).