19 December 2013

This Time, For Real

Originally posted in https://www.facebook.com/notes/precious-gan/this-time-for-real/420476571075
Note: Link in Part 2 no longer works, but the related post has already been migrated to this blog

I think the best thing about moving on, as in REALLY moving on, is that it makes you realize how strong you actually are, and how lucky you are not to have ended up with that last person you were with (to nobody's offense). Moving on lets you dream again, maybe not of happily ever after, but a happier after. And if there's anything I learned in my nearly two decades of existence, dreams are a very powerful thing.

I'm including two works in this note, the first is an article from PDI, the next is a random free verse poem I wrote about the love story I want for my life. Funny thing is, when I wrote it, I didn't actually have any particular person in mind, even though I was still very much into a relationship at the time.

Well, "Caleb". Whoever you are, wherever you are, I still haven't found you, but I don't mind waiting. Just please don't take too long, and don't give me a hell of a time when you finally appear in my life. You owe me that much for making me wait so long when we could have spent so much time together already. Then again, if you came too early and we end up wasting what we're meant to have, that would really suck too. Okay, never mind. Just so you know, I'm waiting. Don't take too long, but don't rush either. <3

My daughter's letter to the man she will love someday
By Cathy Babao-Guballa, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Date First Posted 22:05:00 08/08/2010

RELATIONSHIPS ARE always a difficult terrain to navigate.

As a woman, you spend hours pondering—alone or with your girl friends—the intricacies of the human heart. You always hope and pray that the next generation will get it better than you did.

Below is a letter I found in my daughter’s website (I have her permission to share this). She wrote it to “the man I will someday love.”

I was expecting to read a gushing, romantic, idealistic tome. I was humbled instead by her sentiments. It’s filled with sensible expectations.

I pray that this will make every girl believe that hope does spring eternal, and even if your heart has been broken a few times, you can always put the pieces back together, and make it right the next time around.

Take your time. Don’t rush and don’t just “settle.” If it’s part of His plan, God’s best awaits you out there.


Dear You,

I will admit that sometimes I really do wonder if you exist.

There is a part of every little girl’s heart that envisions her prince charming. At age three, it is usually of a man who can save her from the wrath of an evil stepmother, wake her from eternal slumber or give her that true love’s kiss.

In elementary school, he becomes the boy with the least cooties, the one who’s willing to cross the playground to share his Oreos even if it makes him a target for the week of all the other boys.

Come high school, it’s that boy you stand with at prom, who your father stared down at the door, who provided you with an experience complete with photos you will cringe at a decade later, a corsage that yellows in the refrigerator, and a faded memory of a night that seemed almost too magical to be real.

Nineteen years into this life, however, and still unwilling to give my heart away, I am still that same little girl who hopes for her prince charming. And although I wonder why it has taken you this long to sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to your palace on horseback, I know that it is probably because meeting you will be better than any fairytale I could’ve read as a kid.

A couple of heartbreaks and a few years wiser though, I will admit that there are times when I question your existence. Because I have yet to meet the guy who makes me hear songs like “All My Life” or “A Whole New World” in my head when I see him does not mean I don’t hope that it’ll ever happen.

I may already know you or may still meet you someday—something I leave completely up to God because I’m pretty sure our story will be epic.

However, I can’t promise you that I’d make the world’s most perfect princess. In fact I’ll probably keep you on your toes and amuse you with my eccentricities—there are a lot of them. I’ll probably steal a bunch of your T-shirts and turn them into shirt dresses, or drive you slightly mad with my obsessive compulsivity and my need to fix your collar constantly.

I can promise to be your best friend however—that person you can rant to after a rough day, the hand you can hold when you get sad, or the person you can text when situations get awkward.

I’ll probably mess up your hair sometimes and hug you for too long, but that’ll only be because I absolutely adore you. I’ll bury my head in your shoulder during scary movies and make you feel like superman when you kill those flying cockroaches that really shouldn’t exist. I’ll cook your favorite food on your birthday and try my best to make friends with your mom.

I’ll respect your nights-out with the boys and make you seem like the perfect guy to my barkada. I’ll watch basketball or soccer games with you, and not complain when you cheer too loudly at the TV set.

I’ll know the difference between giving you space and being constantly there for you—even if it means sitting and playing video games with you or taking hot chocolate runs when it rains.

I’ll listen to your music and we’ll go on epic adventures together—seeing the world, taking awesome pictures, eating awesome food, and never running out of things to tell each other along the way.

I won’t be waiting for you to sweep me off my feet and take me on a magic carpet ride, because I know I won’t need anything like that to fall for you—I will love you for you.

You will be that someone to make goofy faces with in pictures, to lace fingers with when I’m lonely, and to take long walks under the stars with on the beach.

You’ll be the guy who takes me the way I am—and will laugh as I burst into Disney song or pick out pink wallpaper.

You’ll be that someone I envision a future with—us filling out visa forms as we travel the universe, picking out our first dog together and arguing about what to name it, or being snap-happy stage parents in our preschooler’s annual mini-plays. And I keep hoping that maybe someday when we find each other, you will become that someone whose smile I wake up to in the morning and the last one I speak to every night.

So to the man I know does exist, and who will help me maybe make sense of the world someday, this man I can’t wait to love. Please know that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. But for now, I wait. Fingers crossed and palms held together, I hope that you’re out there somewhere, waiting for me, too.

With the hope I will be yours for always,


E-mail the author at cathybabao@ gmail.com

My Love Story
By Precious Rochelle O. Gan, Bittersweet Honesty: Dare to Dream
Date First Posted: 21:02:00 06/28/2008

I don't want my love story to be of any interest to anyone.
I want it simple, insignificant, barely making ripples in the water.
I don't want my love story told and retold,
As if it was a legend that must be known to all.
I don't want to feel the pains of being heartbroken again and again,
Nor of being left alone for a long period of time while he goes to war.
I don't want to wait indefinitely for a love that may never be mine,
I refuse to be a desperate damsel in search for the perfect man,
Or be left by a man for another man.
I don't want to be the subject of a tale of a love lost,
Or of the reunion of childhood lovers.
I don't want to wait until the end of my days,
And I do not want to tell of a love that can never be.
I want to read the colorful stories of romances of heroines
And smile to myself because that's not me.
I want my love story to be short, simple and sweet
That no one will care to know about my life of love.
No one will know of it, and it will be completely mine,
Never to 
be witnessed by all except the wind and the sky.
Completely unique, forever entombed in my heart,
It will be my little secret, shared with only one person.
And when we are gone from this earth,
We will carry our story to our deaths,
Forever gone from the earth,
The most insignificant love story never told.