14 May 2011
Hello, blog-world! :)
I have absolutely been dying to blog for a long time now, but I've just not been able to give it time. So much has happened since I last blogged. And, when I say so much, I mean SO MUCH and I mean every single letter of it! Haha! :)
My last blog was dated March 23, 2011; that was my birthday. I had a wonderful day. I felt loved and special. Oh, but, I'm not going to dwell on that in this entry. What happened after my birthday is what I want to talk about.
March 27, 2011. I GOT MARRIED!!!
Yes, me! I actually did get married. Me! The very person who couldn't even place a shadow of a man in the future she imagines herself in! The same person who does not get kilig whenever people or other girls around her talk of love and dream weddings, the person who would rather listen to a Biology lecture on frog dissection than listen to some girl gushing about her dream wedding! Yes, that person has gotten married! Now, don't get me wrong. It's not that I never wanted to get married or that I hated men or love, it's just that I couldn't imagine it. I just wasn't really that interested. Well, not yet, I guess. Or not at the time before my wedding.
In my culture, it's not a surprise when a girl suddenly gets married off. That is, arranged marriages are not new to us. But, was mine an arranged marriage? Well, in some way, you can say that. Arranged in the sense that my husband-to-be, at that time, contrary to what most people think and assume, was not my boyfriend, it was really my mom who wanted it. At first.
Our story is like this:
We've known each other since college as we were classmates in one subject (Latin 1) and we were both part of the editorial staff of our official college publication (Bidlisiw), we were both members of some organizations, like the College Debate Society among others, and we participated in some programs both locally and nationally. So, naturally, we were friends. Not very close, but friends. That was in college.
After college, I left for SSEAYP and for Masters in UP immediately after. But, right before I left, some of our common friends were already "whispering" about how he liked me and all. I didn't really mind. Hell, I didn't even care! I was too busy with other things and other people, if you know what I mean. He gave me a book as a keepsake. It was really no big deal to me.
Forward to five and a half years later, I came back home and started teaching in the same college we went to and where he was also teaching while taking up Law. We'd see each other from time to time and by that time he was able to tell me that he did like me. We'd go out for lunch and all. He officially started courting me. After some time, I started to like him back and I told him so. But, we didn't really get together as I wasn't one to get into that kind of relationship. We hung out more, though. And then something happened that caused us to drift apart. We stopped seeing each other. Whenever we'd have no choice and see each other in the hallways, we'd be civil to each other and we treated each other like any other colleague. It was like that for quite some time.
Forward again to a few more years later, we became friends again. Good friends at that. But, it was clear to me, as he made it so, that he wanted to marry me. He had always wanted to as he had always been in love with me. Since college! His words, not mine! Hehehe:) But, like I said, I couldn't really picture myself married. But, I let him be. Yeah, it's like that in my culture, you see. A guy who wants to marry sometimes doesn't really need to go to the girl he wants to marry. Instead, his family would go directly to the girl's family and officially ask for her hand in marriage. And, if the family agrees, the wedding is set. Something like that. In the Islamic point of view, the girl has to agree or say yes before the marriage can be arranged. But, in most Meranao cases, girls are left by their parents with no choice but to say yes. Traditionally, courtship, for us, happens after the wedding.
Anyway, he finally passed the Bar Examinations and became a lawyer. Again, he made his intentions known to me. But, he also wanted to make sure things fall perfectly in place before taking his first step towards asking for my hand. But, by this time, lots of people were telling my mom about him and the more she knew him, the more she liked him for me. He visited me at home once and he got to talk to my mom. My mom was very much impressed and she told me that if he wanted to marry me, she'd most definitely agree. I really didn't know what to make of that as I wasn't really feeling very romantic or anything. At that time, all I knew was that I didn't want to get married yet. Not to him, not to anybody.
We continued to be friends, but I was also giving him some hint of how I was feeling. But, he never gave up. When he was able to save enough and things were in place, his parents and sister came to our house to have "the talk" with my mom. It was the first day of this year. January 1, 2011. They also wanted to see me as it was our first time to actually see one another. They told me that he had made it very clear at home that I was the only one that he wanted to marry. My mom, needless to say, was beyond herself with excitement. She really saw that he was good for me, that out of all the others, he was the best for me. So, she said.
After my mom accepted, it was made official. They started talking and arranging things that were to be considered, like the dowry for example. It was at this point that I started to open up to the idea because I knew that there was really no stopping it any longer and, not exactly that young anymore, I really had no excuse to postpone things. Besides there was no valid reason why I would say no. It was also then that I started to really open my heart to him. Meanwhile, everything was settled. On February 18, 2011, his whole clan came to meet my whole clan for the Dialaga (Official Engagement Party) and the date of the wedding was set.
March 27, 2011. The wedding! I was, by this time, quite happy about what was going on. The moment I accepted things and the fact that there was no stopping this thing and there was no turning back, I began to feel less stressed and somehow happy about how things turned out. I couldn't really be the one to plan everything for my wedding. Well, not that that's exactly allowed in my very strict culture. I mean, it's normally the families who plan, not the bride and groom themselves. The couple to be married can suggest. That's it. Besides, up until March 25, I had work. I had deadlines to meet and all. Those weeks were the busiest I'd had in my life. It was good of my mom to ask me from time to time what I wanted for the wedding, my dress, the invitation, etc.
As it turned out, it was the perfect wedding for me. It turned out to be exactly the wedding I wanted. Like I said, I never really was the kind of girl who had a dream wedding, but I'd say now that my wedding would have been my very dream wedding if ever I had one. I loved the invitation. I absolutely loved the way my dress turned out. I loved the motif (PINK!). I loved the cake. I loved how the events were arranged. I loved that it was simple and a gathering of people close to our hearts. I'd say I couldn't really ask for more. It was just perfect. And, most especially, I was happy that I was marrying the person who, by that time, I've realized was really the one for me. He was able to prove and show to the whole world that true love really did exist.
Today is May 14th, it's been more than one month that we've been married. What can I say?
Only that I married the perfect guy for me. I can not imagine being with someone else. I can not even remember how and what life was like without him. I know our marriage is new, but I can not, for the life of me right now, imagine life without him. When we got married, I was scared like hell because I didn't really know what to expect, I didn't know what will come. Now, it feels silly that I even thought of that. It feels utterly weird that I wanted so much to postpone it. Some of my married friends always told me that there's this something, maybe a bond, which you can share only with your husband/wife, now I understand that. There's this feeling of security, of safety, of satisfaction. There's this sense of peace and tranquility that envelopes you despite everything. Of course, I'm not saying it's all bliss. We have differences, we even have issues sometimes, but at the end of the day, I look at him and thank God vehemently for giving him to me.
Now I can say that I am happy to be married. I am happy with my husband. Yes, like I said, we do have differences. There may be things that he does that I may not like in the same way that there are also things that I do that he may not like. The key is acceptance. We have both accepted that we are two very different individuals with different backgrounds. He can teach to be more like him, I can teach him to be more like me. We have resolved to become better persons everyday not only for ourselves alone but for everyone around us. Of course, there are times when we get in each other's nerves. But, what I like about our relationship is that we both like to communicate. We both like to talk. Both of us, we exert effort to understand and accept each other. Like I always say, any kind of relationship, even friendship, needs effort for it to last, right? Respect is also primary in our relationship. We've talked about how important that is. Even more than love as I always say. Love, sometimes, is not enough. It takes more than that. But, love has to always be present. It's one of the foremost things in any marriage. And, there's, of course, the choice, the decision to make things work. As Boy Abunda puts it, "Everyday is a choice." Indeed, everyday is a decision. Everyday will be a happy day that's full of love if we want it to be.
When we got married, he wasn't even my boyfriend. Other people wouldn't believe that, I know. And, now that we're married, I just love him to bits. The moment I decided to accept him and his proposal, I started seeing him the way he should be seen and that made all the difference. I realized how lucky I am. He makes me happy every day. He makes me smile and laugh. He makes me understand myself more and the world as a whole. He makes me want to be the best. There is just no one I would rather be with. And, thinking back on everything, I wouldn't want everything in any other way. Magical, absolutely magical. That's how this marriage feels like. :)
With that I would like to make it known to the whole world how happy and proud I am to be Mrs. Ibrahim M. Mimbalawag!
Thank you, Bes, for never giving up. Thank you for loving me the way you do. Thank you for the respect. Thank you for being the "dream" husband. Thank you for being my very own "Ronald Reagan" and "Coffeemate"! Thank you for making me feel I'm the most beautiful and the sexiest woman in the universe! I love you for everything that you are. And, I pray that we have years and years of happy and contented togetherness. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. And, I will value that for the rest of my life. :)