Made for each other


It was a hot sunny Thursday, and I was late for school.

Being an 18 year old college student in Manila (Philippines), we normally take a jeepney going to the campus. A jeepney by the way, is a public transport pretty much like a small bus, but with passengers sitting in two long parallel seats facing each other. Me and my friend (a guy classmate) were rushing to make it to the passenger queue as the last jeepney was about to leave. Any other day and it would’ve been easy to get to school, but my day started out a little different that time. I just came from my friend’s, house where me and some other groupmates have stayed for the week, since we were finishing up on our thesis. We had barely slept to finish our project, missed our breakfast, sweating from the heat and from running to the Jeepney queue, and was now about 10 minutes late for first period… so yes, it didn’t seem like a very promising day to me. But you know, life does have a way of making it up to you. Just as we thought that we wouldn’t make it to our ride, it turns out that there were 2 more seats left. And boy am I glad to have made it to that jeepney that day.

Who would have thought that riding a jeepney that Thursday afternoon,  thirteen years ago, would be my best ride ever

Who would have thought that riding a jeepney that Thursday afternoon, thirteen years ago, would be my best ride ever

After getting ‘comfortably’ seated inside the jeepney, I immediately noticed a girl sitting across us, and a bit to the right. She was wearing a black shirt, and jeans, had dark short hair, and a fair complexion. She was cute, and looked nice, but nothing that jumps out of the ordinary. I tried not to pay attention to her since I was already worried about being late for class (not to mention being hungry too). However… there was just something about her that day, and I couldn’t look away. Was it her eyes, her hair, her smile?… nothing seems different. I don’t know. Somehow, for some reason, I wanted to keep looking at her, to see her face, and her eyes. Then I noticed a certain radiance about her, a certain charm. I kept trying to steal a glimpse of her from time to time, and it made me feel nice, and warm, and happy. With each look, my heart started to beat harder and started to race. I was excited to meet her and get to know this pretty and charming lady. Unfortunately, I’m not the most straightforward of guys. I am confident being around friends and other people, but not around people that I like… people that I Like… yes, I think I was starting to like her already at that time. Like a little gradeschool boy, I was having a major crush on this girl in front of me.

Then, it didn’t take too long for her to notice that I was stealing glances of her, and she somehow was also looking back at me from time to time. We both quickly tried to look away whenever our eyes meet, and it was getting to be fun and exciting. My heart was overjoyed whenever I see her laugh a little as she catches my glance (and I cowardly look away pretending to look somewhere else). I was in this happy mood, as we continued to travel to school, when suddenly, my friend blurted out in a loud, monotone voice “JP (for Joan Paula), IS THAT YOU?”.

The girl smiled and nodded her head in agreement. My heart was filled with joy.

My classmate knows this girl. This is it, this is my chance. Feeling like an athlete who was given a chance to go and play in the Championship game, I had to try and make my move. I slowly, carefully, whispered to my classmate “You know her, bro? Can you please introduce me? I’d love to meet her please…”. So then he plainly said, in his same loud, monotone voice “MY FRIEND HERE SAID HE WANTS TO MEET YOU”.

The entire jeepney heard him, and they giggled, and tried to muffle their laughs. I suddenly felt like I wanted to put a paper bag on my head. But she just smiled, reached out her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Paula”… I was frozen and speechless.

After I got to gather some courage and introduce myself, I did try desperately to hold a conversation (in the best way that I could without stuttering). But soon, our Jeepney has eventually reached it’s destination. I found out that she also goes to the same university as me and my friend, but in a different course. Also, that my classmate was her classmate during primary school and that’s how they knew each other. By this time, I already forgot that I was late (and hungry). We then got down from the jeepney, said goodbye and parted ways. And sure enough, “mucho-suave” me forgot to ask her for her phone number or if we can be in touch.

After that one encounter I had no way to reach her so I just tried to move on. But whenever I think about it, I always smile…I was happy. I realized that I missed her and that I wanted to talk with her some more. So, I kept bugging my friend to check if there was a way to get in touch with her. If they have a common friend, or former classmate who know’s her number, or if there is a party of a common friend that we can go to. Sadly, I did not have that much luck.

After a month I had the chance to bump into her again. This time, it was at a walkway outside the campus as I was about to go with my groupmates to buy project supplies. She stopped to talk to me, and said Hi. She asked me how I was and where I was going. My heart was beating fast again, while frantically trying to tell her the details of what she asked. But more than details of what I was doing, I wanted to tell her how great it was to see her again, and how I was trying to find a way to contact her. I wanted to let her know that I missed her, and that just by meeting her there, she had brighten up my day again. But before too long, my groupmates reminded me that we should already get going, so I hurriedly said goodbye… and again, in the anxiety, forgot to ask her how we can keep in touch.

A few weeks have passed and my friend finally comes back to me with a phone number… just a phone number written in a piece of white paper. Without saying anything, without writing anything, I already said a whole lot of Thank you’s, as I know to whom that phone number belongs to.

Getting home after school, I hurriedly changed from my uniform, and was excitedly about to call that number which I got from my friend. I called the number on that white piece of paper, and I was not disappointed. It was finally her.

For me it was like a dream. Her voice sounded like music to my ears. (And it really is, until now).We found out that one of her close friends was a classmate of my best friend. Later on, we also found out that some of her guy friends, were also my group mates during our cadet training in school. And her uncle even knew me, meeting me with my mom when I was younger, as they both worked in the same hospital. We discovered that we shared a number of other common acquaintences and friends.

It was a bliss to have finally found the girl I was looking for

It was a bliss to have finally found the girl I was looking for

It was then that I realized, that it was really only a matter of time before we would meet. And maybe, even if we were not able to see each other on that day in the jeep, we would still end up in each other’s arms because we were made for each other.

This has all happened more than 13 years ago. We are now happily married and blessed with 3 wonderful and lovely kids. We have had our share of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ but through all the times we’ve spent together, I’ve always considered her as the ‘highlight’ of my day. Looking back after all these years later, you still are.

It was an unexpected ride of my life that took me to where I am now - ihand in hand with the woman I love

It was an unexpected ride of my life that took me to where I am now – hand in hand with the woman I love

To a caring mother and a great wife…
Happy Valentines day Paula.
I love you.







Below are the 13 great dads who braved the Daddy Matters Valentine’s Day Series. Their love for their wives are  truly amazing and hope you find time to check the links out 🙂

Nick Pan

Eddie Yii

Howard Lee

Andy Lee

Patrick Pang

Darren Yang

Winston Tay

Edmund Tay

David Sim

Daddy M

Isaiah Kuan

Kelvin Ang

Lucian Teo


My first love

Lucky are those who have come to know and witness the love of our creator. That’s the most important gift in this world.

We are created to love too, in some ways, we return the love to our God by simply loving our family. Without their love, we are alone, or worst, we are nothing.

During my teenage years, I have been giving my mom countless headaches and heartaches. I thought I’m so grown up. I thought I knew better. Since I’m missing my dad a lot, I kept looking and searching for something that would compensate my feelings, the one that would make me whole again.

I tried attending church activities. I thought that it drew me one step closer to God, but I also felt that it took me a step farther from my mom. Because of my pride, we seldom talk, I never kissed her and never showed respect.

I prayed harder each day. I was still sad and lonely and I felt so lost. That solitude made me miss my dad so bad.

Though I was religious, I have been a bad daughter. The love of God does not reflect on me.
Then I get tired of our situation.
I have come to understand the things I did. I screwed up pretty bad.
I’ve caused her too much pain and I realized that it’s not pleasing to the eyes of my creator.
I can not even show love to the most important person He gave me.
I have to make it up to my mother.

Each passing day, I tried letting her know that I appreciate her, I tried letting her know that I love her. It is a rough road for me, but I tried not to give up…

Years later, four blessings came into my life, I felt God’s love once again.
I am now a mother and I now fully understood what it is like to be in her own shoes.

I remember the scriptures mom wrote on a piece of paper that night when I was younger.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails … 1 Corinthians 13:4–8

Back then, I was easily angered. I was not patient. I always kept record of wrongs. All I ever care about was my pride. I was unfair. I was not an instrument of God’s love.

How can I not love a woman who loved me despite of all the things I’ve done?
How can I not be proud of everything she endured for our family?

PicsArt_1390358775117Thanks mom for understanding me during my darkest days. You are a reminder of God’s love for me. I will always be grateful for everything you taught me. And you will always be in my heart and in my mind until my time is through. You are my first love, my first valentine.

A birthday poem for my better half

These are just words that I know won’t suffice in exchange for the love that you’ve given me, and the people around you. I always pray that we stay happy together day after day, month after month, year after year, birthday after birthday…



I caught one big fish from the ocean
The most caring man I’ve ever known
The happiest when we’re together
And I’m proud to call him my own Continue reading

Today is December 1st… Don’t forget to spread the love… starting right now!

What happened to the months of  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November?
I know, I have been terribly busy taking care of my family and that’s just it. Time flies by so quickly, the year is almost complete but something ELSE is missing.

Ah! Christmas! Your thoughts, exactly. The season of cheers.


And so, starting today, the first of December, I will go the extra mile (okay maybe I’m a little exagg), er, extra step to
build friendship
give hope
or learn from other people.

We have been blessed and surrounded by such loving and supportive family and friends and now it’s time to pay it forward.

This is my last chance to be good this year or else, I’ll be out on Santa’s lists! No more excuses, spread the love,  starting right now! ^_^


Everything looks perfect. Until one tries to break-away.

I had several attempted break-ups with my husband before we get married. Imagine the drama. I myself witnessed how calm he was each moment I whine and complain about our relationship. He was motivated and a fighter for love.
Until one day…
I tried breaking up with him again.
He said “yes”  “I will let you break up with me for the first and the last time.”
His voice was serious and I got really scared.
Then I asked him why you’ve given up on me.
He answered…
“If you don’t want me anymore, what’s the use of fighting for something that isn’t there.”
After hearing that, I changed my mind, and he won me back again.


Image courtesy of Facebook, via Ms. Joanna Tan




My +1

Paula and Ken


A lot of wonderful things have happened to me in my adult life which I am very thankful for. And to top it off, I’ ve been blessed with beautiful and loving kids. Looking back, I remember, that it all began with a simple phrase that was said to me  on this day, some years ago, “Yes, I love you too.” -KEN

You are a constant reminder that God loves me very much. Even when I get jealous and out of line, immature and exaggerated at times, complaining or in deep drama, you are always there, never leaving my side. I wouldn’t brag about the years of love that bound us together- those are just numbers.  But what I’m proud of is how God made us wiser and stronger as a couple and as parents. I am always thankful that He gave me you. I am truly lost for words whenever I think of the love and happiness He had blessed me with…on this day, some years ago… and “yes, I love you too.” -PAULA



“The Post”

A Post is a vertical structure, solid and sturdy, that serves as a foundation to support a certain area.  With regards to houses, it is mainly built to support the ceiling and the roof.  And it is a fundamental element in making walls which serves to protect, and also set boundaries for a certain place.

Today is Father’s day, and in the Philippine culture, a father is distinguished with the title “Haligi ng Tahanan”, which literally translates to “The Post of the Home”.  It is amazing as I contemplate on how appropriate this term is used to describe a Father’s role.

As most of us know, life isn’t always easy.  Well, realistically speaking, it is hard… a lot of times.  And it is during these hard times that it’s nice to be reminded that we’ve all had, even for a brief moment in our childhood, these posts that we could lean on.

As a man, when you become a father, you become a Post.  You no longer have the luxury to be weak-hearted nor to be scared.  A Post is, after all, solid and sturdy for those that it protects.  You hold the roof which is the family’s main shelter from life’s “harsh weather”.  Fathers do their best to be strong for their loved ones, and at times would have to serve as boundaries on what they believe would be best for the family.

Being a father also means that you are one of the two most influential people during a persons childhood, and this is no small responsibility.  For sons, it is from their Dads that they learn the art of being a “manly man”. And for daughters, he is the protector that they can always count on, and run to for their troubles.  For those lucky enough to still have them even in their adult lives, they continue to open our eyes and teach us through their example.

It is not so often for men to talk about their feelings openly (and most especially fathers, we’re supposed to be toughie’s, right?).  But we’ve had the privilege, and the honor, of hearing insights from some of the several great dads we know.  Let us look back in the past and try to remember the most important thing that our fathers have tried to teach us, which in turn, we would like to pass on to our kids as well.  And just as the Olympic flame is being passed from one torch to another, so is the knowledge and wisdom between a father and his child.


Noel Nicolas

Daddy Noel Nicolas with Tatay Carling and Manman

The most important lesson I learned from Tatay Carling is not what he told us but what he showed me. I grew up with no spanking, no cursing, no shouts, no outburst of rage, in other words, he was very gentle and caring. Whenever we get out of line, or made a mistake, or committed a wrong doing, he would simply put his  arm around our shoulders, give us a short story… the pros and cons of our action… the consequences of what we did… then he will let us handle the situation ourselves.  He lets us decide on which path to take, because he had always stressed that the captain and architect of our future is us, and he is just there to show us the possibilities of our actions.  He simply trusts us, that we will pick the right things to do.  In turn, we do not fear him but respect him.  I would like to emulate this, but good luck to me because this would be very big shoes to fill.  I do not think I have the patience and the wisdom.  His famous words were,”Pulutin mo ang makakabuti sa iyo at itapon mo ang sa tingin mo ay makakasama, sabay lingon sa pinanggalingan nang makarating ka ng maayos sa papatunguhan.”  (only take what can be good for you and throw away things that are bad. Always look back to where you came from, so that you can arrive well to where you are headed).  As to my son, there is no greater gift.

Continue reading

The surprise date night

It was summer, exactly a year ago, I received a message from my husband, telling me that he’s going to take me out on a date. I was a bit hesitant at first, but somehow I realized I should give it a go since the two of us seldom go out together because of our children and his busy schedules.

Prior to asking me, he already requested his brother to look after the kids. Luckily, he had no plans that night, and thanks to him, I left my children without worrying too much.

I excitedly asked my husband some questions while we were on our way. He just patiently smiledlike in fairytale... back at me. And then I thought at that moment, he is up for a little surprise.

He took me to a huge beautiful picnic area within the city. There was a nice looking carriage, just like the ones you’ve read in fairytales.  Me and my husband had the chance to ride in it and for me, it was like a dream come true. There was a band on the stage playing sweet Bossa nova; couples like us were everywhere enjoying the music. Not for long, a romantic film was shown. It was my date nightfirst time to watch a movie at the park, under the moonlit sky. I was smiling the whole night and I thought I was the luckiest woman on earth. We spent our date night with bliss; we traveled back in time reminiscing our get-aways, night outs, the concerts we’ve watched and some adventures we’ve had when we were young. It’s been 12 years, and there I was, feeling very blessed sitting beside the man I love. “Our dating years are not over yet,” he said…

He surprised me with that date. We went out that night knowing that we will just have a coffee-after-movie routine. And I was incredibly wrong. one romantic nightIt was exceptionally romantic… I still remember how his arms were wrapped around me as he gave me the longest kiss I’ve ever had.



Photo credits : NTUC U Family

When apology is more important than pride


mom and dad and their riftIt was one of those days of not talking to each other.

We had a rough day and it was distressing for both of us.  Neither of us swallowed our pride and so we went to sleep separately. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw him quietly seated doing nothing.  I wanted to say sorry, but I did not do anything. I shook my head instead and went back to sleep.

I woke up the next morning with a heavier weight in my chest. I was crying. I had a nightmare and it felt real.

I checked my husband if he was still breathing. I kissed him and his eyes opened. He did not say a word. The look on his face was enough for me to understand that he was waiting for me last night. And so, I apologized.  We hugged each other and we started anew.

Marriage has always been a roller coaster ride. What’s important is that couple should be holding on to each other, not against each other. As for me I don’t care anymore who is right or who is wrong, if I could reach out and make peace right away, then I don’t have to worry about waking up in a nightmare.  

This experience reminded me of a valuable lesson…

You may always have an argument with your spouse, but never sleep and let the day pass with an angry heart.


photo credit: Ms. Anne Kristine Lamadrid

Friends forever

The school holidays have started here in Singapore and my children are finding ways to keep themselves busy. One afternoon, my eldest son asked me,

“Mommy did you stop growing already?”
It was a sudden question so I surprisingly answered…
“I guess so…”
He asked me again,
“How about your classmates, did they stop growing too?”
After a moment, I realized that he was thinking of his classmates.
My son misses his friends in school, and it was a nice thought. This made me remember my old friends as well, and how they might be doing.
I have made a few friends. Some I still keep in touch with, some I totally lost connection to, and some thanks to the social network, I have reconnected with again.  
It was a great feeling as I recall how these friendships started. These friends of mine kept me company whenever I felt sad or alone, or got embarrassed, and also when I’m happy and excited, and wanted to share new things. Just by simply being there to play with until we have nothing else to do was a nice memory. Back then I thought friendships were easy to have and maintain, but as I grew older, i also lost touch with some of these special people.
I turned to my son and daughter and asked them,
“Why is having friends important to you?”

They replied in an instant…

“Because they play with me and they talk to me.”


“Because they are always happy to see me.”

It is true, plain and simple.  Even now that we are old, we take time to have chats with our friends, and share bits and pieces of our lives. We invite them to be around during our time of recreation and celebrations, because we enjoy each other’s company. 
Life is definitely much more colorful having your friends around. And even though we may sometimes have disagreements, with each of us having our own shortcomings, real friends would still understand and accept us. And these people are true blessings in our lives which we should keep and treasure.


To all of us, friendship matters. Building friendship is easy; cultivating it takes time and effort. But it is all worth it in the end. Friendship gives us happiness in return.

How about you? Have you lost touch with a friend? Take time to reconnect, they might be waiting to hear from you.


credits to

Ms. Kezia Hartono

Ms. Ting Ting

Ms. Mabel Legarte Dela Cruz

Ms. Anne Kristine La Madrid

Mrs. Chan and Ms. Huda of PCF Tampines 262 Marigold class 2011