Riding in tandem shouldn’t make us criminals.

I am frustrated by the growing bias people are beginning to have against people who ride motorcycles in tandem. Moreover, I am furious that there are efforts to formalize this bias by making it into a law. While I do not deny that there are people who commit crimes while riding in tandem, I do not think that riding in tandem itself should be made illegal.

According to Senate Bill 2344, “An Act Prohibiting Backriders on Two-Wheeled Motorcycles/Scooters and Exceptions Thereto” introduced by Senator Sotto III, “No back-rider shall be allowed on a two-wheeled motorcycle or scooter unless the passenger is the spouse, child or parent of the driver.” The minimum fine is P20,000 for the first offense.

There are good citizens who ride together on motorbikes who do not shoot other people or commit hold ups. Many ride in tandem just to save time and money. Others simply do it because it’s fun. I do not see anything wrong with these. Furthermore, I find the exception for passengers who are the “spouse, child or parent” of the driver too narrow. Among people who ride in tandem are friends, dating couples, domestic partners, and even neighbors who may have just agreed to ride to work together for practical reasons.

When told that many are reacting negatively against his proposal, Sotto responded saying, “This may be frowned upon by some members of society, but we have to think of the higher good of protecting the life and limb of our citizens.” (Canadian Inquirer) Wow! Are we motorcycle riders not citizens too? (When I bought my motorcycle, I had to pay tax. When I register my motorcycle every year, I pay tax. When I buy gas, I pay tax. Why are we being treated like we’re just secondary citizens on the road? My hope is that the taxes we pay will somehow translate to a safer riding environment for riders.)

The proposed law is not only insensitive; it is also stupid. How are the police and the traffic enforcers going to check if people who ride in tandem are indeed qualified for the exceptions? This means that they will have to stop every pair on a motorbike. This can mean that more enforcers will be needed and more traffic for everyone. This also means that every rider with a passenger will now have the burden of proof and can be flagged down even if they are not doing anything illegal. Oh, and does this mean that we now all have to bring marriage certificates and birth certificates? A driver’s licence used to be enough.

On the other hand, if I were going to commit a crime, all I have to do is avoid main roads and check points, or even just drop of my passenger a few meters before a check point. Regular commuters who ride to get from fixed point A (house) to fixed point B (work, school, etc.) without being late will not enjoy the same flexibility.



Related Articles:

https://www.senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_res.aspx?congress=16&q=SBN-2344 (This is the official government site where the bill is registered)




http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/371995/news/metromanila/ordinance-bans-riding-in-tandem-in-mandaluyong-except-for-family (The City of Mandaluyong has implemented an ordinance patterned after the Bill.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mcrightsorg/permalink/1014692505223623/  (Riders react on Facebook)


Photo Credit: http://www.pexels.com/photo/2120/



Fearless or Foolish?

When would you call an act courageous and when would you call it stupid?

What do you think?

Let me tell you a story that has been handed down in my family for generations. People who hear it today have different reactions. Let me know yours.


Marcial’s Hospitality

What happened took place in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation in World War II. My grandfather, Marcial, was a young man then who had a family of his own. His wife and children lived in a small house.

One day, a friend came to visit Marcial. It so happened that he was still out on errands. His wife told their visitor that Marcial was expected to return in a little while and so the visitor just decided to wait for him.

Suddenly Japanese soldiers barged into the house. There was a lot of commotion. They were apparently capturing all the fathers in the neighborhood. Since the visitor was the only man in Marcial’s home at that time, they thought that he was the head of the household and so they took him.

Marcial returned home soon after and his wife told him what had happened. His wife was trembling. Children were crying. Everyone was afraid of the Japanese. Simeon decided that it was not right that a guest in his own home who deserved his hospitality should take his place in danger. Despite his wife’s and children’s pleas, he immediately left the house again to run after the soldiers and his visitor in order to tell them that they’ve captured the wrong man.

My mother told me that his family never saw my grandfather nor his guest ever again since then.


So, what do you think?

My grandfather is not known by many. He is neither known as a legend nor a hero. He is just one of the many victims of war in our country’s history, but his story was passed on by my grandmother to my mother and then to me. I have told this story to younger relatives. Some admire my grandfather for his courage. Others criticize him for leaving his family. What do you think, is this a story of virtue or imprudence?


Photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/question-mark-question-response-96287/

“Top 10 Reasons Why Women Should Become Motorcyclists” – Explains why I am one (more or less)

People often ask me why I ride. Thanks to Tom Roderick ‘s Top 10 Reasons Why Women Should Become Motorcyclists, I found ten instant answers. Maybe I should print the article out and bring it with me next time I go to the gas station.

I even found the article more amusing because of its disclaimer: “Just remember, ladies, this list was written by a man (who really tried not to mess it up too badly), so an open mind and a sense of humor is encouraged.”

In case you’re also considering riding, or are just curious, let me share the reasons with you, along with some of a girl’s comments (which are just mine; other women are may see differently.)

“1. For The Same Reason Men Do, Because It’s F’ing Awesome”

This is the most accurate part of the list. Being on a motorcycle is an awesome, exhilarating, fun, spiritual, physical, challenging experience. On the bike, I don’t just see the world around me. I experience myself as part of it and as asserting who I am in it. Riding is my metaphor for freedom.

Riding is also awesome because of a host of practical reasons. The motorcycle consumes less gas. It’s also easier to find parking and I get to my destinations much faster.

“2. Be Sexier, Happier And More Confident”

While this comes from survey results released by Harley-Davidson, which I would tend to take with a grain of salt because this information also serves as their advertisement, I have to generally agree. Riding has positive effects on how I feel about myself. I’m not an expert, so every little improvement and every new learning, is for me, a success worth celebrating.

“3. Be An Inspiration To Other Women”

I haven’t really thought about this until now, but it’s true!

I visited a friend one day, and the daughter of his friend’s neighbor saw me arrive on a motorbike. The little girl was shocked. With big round eyes on her face, she exclaimed, “You’re a girl!” I pointed to her bicycle and told her that she doesn’t need to be a boy to do the things she’d like to do. All she has to do is practice.

Other women riders have also inspired me. I admire Elena Myers who is the first woman to win in AMA Pro Road Racing. She’s a young woman with a fun personality who keeps her Facebook updated. She’s open about her feelings of defeat and victories. She’s a winner who shows that life is not just about the trophies.

Liz Jansen is a new discovery. I’m excited about her blog and podcast. She explicitly hopes to empower other women.

“4. Reduce Wrinkles, Tone Your Thighs And Firm Your Buttocks”

I wish. I must admit that this part isn’t very true. If you want to improve on your thighs and buttocks, riding a bicycle might be a more effective way of sculpting your figure.

But, riding does involve the whole body and a lot of muscles too. We can never just drive motorcycles; we can only ride them.

(Which is also why I don’t drive my husband crazy.)

“5. Be the Be The Coolest Soccer Mom Around”

I’m not yet a mom and I don’t know if I will be but this sounds like a good plan.

“6. It’s Riding A Motorcycle – Everyone Should Do It”

In my country, motorcycle riding is often associated with working and lower classes. It is also often associated with criminal activity. For this reason, we often experience discrimination on the road, too many check-points, intimidation, and a lot of other awful stuff.

If #6 were to happen, many biases could be overcome. Yes, I hope more people would at least try riding. It’s a good way to develop alertness, respect and compassion.

“7. Reveals Men With Ego Problems”

A guy once told me that he chased a girl as soon as a red light turned green just because he couldn’t accept that a girl on a motorbike went ahead of him. Really serious ego problem here.

“8. Men Dig Women Who Ride”

I’ve often encountered extreme reactions. Some men seem to hate that I ride (#7) while some men find it really cool (#8). I must admit that I appreciate the positive attention, but I consider this to be just a bi-product, since my main reasons are #1 and #2.

“9. Stock Up On Leather Apparel”

Leather. Yes, there’s always a discount somewhere, and not everyone has a reason to wear it. Riders always do… well, okay, not exactly always. In my country, we only have two weathers: sunny and rainy. Both aren’t the best for leather.

However, I could still pull off wearing leather without looking entirely stupid. After all, I can still say that leather is for safety, right?

“10. Do Something Most Females Don’t”

Being unique is indeed one of the many perks, but this is double-edged. It’s both interesting and annoying.

Until now, the riders I know call everyone “Bro.” I still haven’t found gloves that are really my size. And, people still call me “sir” before I remove my helmet.

Guy? Gay? Girl?


Riding Self-Defense

I used to take self-defense classes and I remember my instructor telling me that getting away from danger is still the best way to defend oneself from an attacker. Don’t try to copy the stuff that happen in the movies. The aim of real life self-defense is not to win a street fight, but to survive. Try to avoid the scenario wherein you’ll have to fight. If it’s a hold-up, just give them your stuff. Your life is more valuable. Run away to a populated and well-lit area as soon as you can. In the event that you can’t run away, use whatever it is that you can use to prevent your attacker from hurting you, and then as soon as you can, run away!

I thought that that was really sound advice. Fortunately, I have never found myself in a situation wherein I seriously had to find out whether I could use any moves I learned from him.

However, there was one time, when I found myself in a situation wherein I was able to apply his “get away!” principle.

There was this creepy guy at work who used to make me feel uncomfortable. I already told him I wasn’t interested but he would still try to get close to me.

One evening, I got off from work and found him also there at the parking lot. His motorcycle was parked near to mine.

Creepy Guy: Hey! Since we’re both done with work, let me bring you home so that I can also find out where you live.

Me (as politely as I could):  Thank you, but as you can see, I’m already on my motorcycle, and I’m about to ride away from here on my own, so I don’t really need help going home.

Creepy Guy: I insist.

Me: (Not out loud) Oh shit. (Out loud) No thanks, bye!

I have never valued the fact that my bike had an electric start instead of just a kick start as much as I did at that moment.

I rode out of the compound as quickly as I could. But, he was after me! On the high way, vehicles were packed all around us. Cars were moving slowly. Traffic! I took advantage of every space in front of me as quickly as I could so that I could get away, but Creepy Guy was still close behind me.

My instant impulse was to ride faster. I knew that my motorcycle could go faster than his on a clear road. However, my better judgment kicked in and told me not to go for it. Creepy Guy could be a better skilled rider. I might also endanger myself if I go beyond my comfortable speed. There must be another way to get away. I had to think fast!

I did want to get away from creepy guy, but not at the cost of my own life. I didn't want anything like this to happen.
I did want to get away from creepy guy, but I also didn’t want anything like this to happen.

And then, a flash of insight! I deliberately slowed down. Apparently, Creepy Guy didn’t expect this so he suddenly found himself ahead of me on the road. All I needed to do then was find a turn. It was easy. He lost me.

Of course, I had to take quite a long detour but I didn’t mind it. I felt safer.

I must admit that my thought process when I slowed down wasn’t very clear to me. It all happened so fast. Survival instinct? Intuition? What I found crucial is that I stopped myself from just thinking about outrunning Creepy Guy. A realistic assessment of my capacities and limitations, as well as the environment, somehow enabled me to find a safer option.

After all, I wasn’t in a race; I was in an act of self-defense. The point was not to compete in order to prove anything or win anything. The important thing was to survive.

How about you, do you have your own experience of being followed? How did you deal with it? Or have you had to defend yourself whether on the road or off the road? Self-defense tips are also welcome.


Photo Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/sign-icon-symbol-drawing-40000/

3 Life-Lessons Not to Be Taken For Granted (from the point of view of someone who did take these for granted)

Are you a busy person who feels like you always have to run after deadlines? And do you feel that no matter how much time you spend working, there’s always still so much to be done to accomplish your goals?

I’ve considered myself to be a very busy person too. My “to-do” list has been my best friend and my motto has always been, “If only I had the time…”

However, time suddenly paused when I found out I had a cyst and I had to undergo a surgery. Since then, time has sloooooowed down. I’m still stuck at home recovering from my exploratory laparotomy. Now, I have all the time to ponder over some important life-lessons I’ve taken for-granted. Let me share three of them with you.

1. Prepare for the unexpected (or even prevent it).

I used to think that the unexpected is precisely unexpected, which is why we can never be prepared for it. My experience led me to realize that yes, we can never be fully prepared for the unexpected, but somehow, we can develop different capacities and cultivate some resources that can help us deal with what comes our way.

After the doctors told me that my husband and I that I had a tumor, my husband sighed, “All the while we thought you were healthy.” I must admit that I didn’t really pay much attention to my health. I didn’t go for a check-up when I first noticed the lump in my abdomen. I just neglected it until it suddenly hurt. Luckily, I did eat and exercise as regularly as I could, so the cardiologist easily gave me a go signal for the surgery because he felt confident that my heart could manage it.

Be prepared for life by also paying attention to your body. You only have one. Instead of saying, “Mind over matter,” say, “Both mind and body matter.”  After all, you’ll need both to face whatever comes your way.

2. Real strength cannot come from pride.

I used to equate strength with the capacity to do difficult things and appear strong. I considered myself strong because I had stamina for work. I rode motorcycles even when people doubted whether a girl could. When people used to ask me how I was, my answer would always be “I’m okay,” even when I wasn’t. I often avoided asking for help about anything.

Shortly after the surgery,  I experienced not being able to do much on my own. I had to rely on colleagues to cover for me. Riding the motorcycle was prohibited by the doctor for 6 months; but I could hardly complain, because just walking was already difficult for me. I couldn’t even hide behind “I’m okay” because the lie would be too obvious. I needed help with almost everything. Soon enough, I found myself sulking and crying. Losing control and needing help was too much for me. I felt so weak and helpless. I began feeling ashamed and sorry for myself.

Then, I realized, it was my pride that was stopping me from being the strong person I needed to be in order to keep myself together while in a difficult situation. I was too attached to a rigid notion of strength that set unfair expectations upon myself.

Jessi J says, “It’s okay not to be okay.” But it’s not easy to admit that you’re not okay. Real strength requires humility. Humility that enables a person to be open to others who are willing to help, and to be accepting of oneself even in times of weakness. Strength that comes from humility is the one the leads to healing and produces excitement for life again. A strong person is someone who is not ashamed to cry.

So, go ahead and cry and admit it to yourself when you are not alright. It is by listening to ourselves and loving ourselves no matter what that we can eventually find the strength to wipe our tears as we find more profound reasons to smile again.

 3. Take time to say “I love you” when you mean it.

As I mentioned in my other post, Surgery Story, my husband told me that he loved me right before I was brought to the operating room. I wasn’t able to reply because…I don’t know…I was trying to be strong and unemotional. I wanted to keep my composure while I was preoccupied with what was about to happen. He later asked me why I didn’t respond.

Now, as I look back, I see a moment that meant so much for the person I love. If only I could go back to that very moment, I would have told him that I loved him too. It would just have taken me a few seconds to console him and create a good lasting memory.

I’m just glad that I am now out of the hospital and my husband and I still have more opportunities to say, “I love you.” I am determined to live knowing that every moment has the potential to be a precious part of life.

Don’t take the minutes that go by for granted. Each encounter with a loved one is an opportunity to create a lasting memory. So, make it count.

I found this artwork entitled “Teratoma” by Maruhana-Bachi in DeviantArt very comforting and disturbing at the same time. I immediately liked it because I think it expresses what I’ve gone through.

Photo Credit: http://maruhana-bachi.deviantart.com/art/teratoma-136386338

Priest shames unwed mother in public then apologizes

Religion is always a sensitive topic, which is why I am always hesitant about writing it. A recent video, however, has really provoked me and I do not think I can just let it pass in silence. Let me tell you about and then tell me what you think.

Here is the video I am talking about:

This video, which has enraged many viewers, shows a priest scolding and humiliating a 17-year-old girl for having sinned (because of pre-marital sex) and then having her child baptized without being married. This video was taken by the girl’s sister and uploaded by their mother as an expression of protest for what the priest did.

Crying, the mother of the teenager said that the priest didn’t know what her daughter has been through. Her daughter’s boyfriend left her when he found out that she was pregnant and this led to an emotional breakdown. The mother said that it would have been better if the priest advised her daughter in private rather than shame her in front of the congregation.

Soon after, the priest issued a public apology admitting that he made a mistake and is asking for forgiveness.

The priest’s apology, taken from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/617844/priest-who-scolded-unwed-mom-apologizes

His congregation also assures us that appropriate sanctions will be applied.


What are your thoughts about this? Is it appropriate for the pulpit to be such a position of power? Or is it? Was the priest that bad or wasn’t he just concerned for the youth of today? Do you agree with the mother that a priest’s advice would have been appreciated if it were in private? Should this indeed go around in social media? After the priest has apologized, should people already let it go? Are there still other things that should be changed in the Roman Catholic Church or are the sanctions enough? Do you think that this is just an isolated case, and there are in fact, more pastorally sensitive priests out there?







Surgery Story

I have survived June. It didn’t go as well as I expected but I did survive nonetheless.

June was supposed to be the start of another school year. It was supposed to be a very busy month filled with studies, projects, research, etc. It was always a challenge to survive all these but I considered myself prepared.

However, something I did not prepare for came my way and it changed everything.


One day, my abdomen suddenly began to hurt. It felt like cramps but I wasn’t having my period. The pain slowly began to increase and spread; it became so unbearable. I was rushed to the ER. After a series of tests and hours of being starved for these tests, the doctors informed me they found myomas and a large tumor, bigger than an infant’s head. They explained that the tumor, which turned out to be a teratoma or a dermoid ovarian cyst, had already grown so big that it was pushing my other organs around it towards different directions and this was what was causing the pain. They recommended that I undergo surgery. I was even told should the procedure be delayed, the tumor might even explode.

Because I was sufficiently threatened and in pain, I found no difficulty agreeing to their suggestion. Anyway, I had a health insurance and I expected much financial help from this.

Soon after, more doctors came to conduct more tests to ensure that I was fit for surgery and then the anesthesiologist came to explain how they would prepare for me for the procedure. They told me that anesthesia will be injected into my spine and the effect of this is numbness from below my waist and so I will not be able to move my legs. Next, they will give me something that will put me to sleep. The thought of losing all control and being at the complete mercy of others, even if they were undoubtedly skilled doctors, terrified me. While I was told that they were confident that I would survive this operation, since no surgery is totally without risk, thinking that I could be put to sleep and then never wake up also scared me.

However, I tried my best to be brave. Anyway, fear was not my only emotion then. I was excited. I was truly anticipating that the teratoma would be removed so that my pain would go away (and maybe my tummy might get even smaller, as a bonus!) My husband accompanied me on the way to the operating room. Right before we parted, he held my hand and told me that he loves me. His hands were clammy so I knew he was nervous. I was more preoccupied with what would and could happen. I wasn’t able to say anything before the nurses rolled me away.

I was eventually brought inside the operating room and placed on the operating table. The OB/GYN surgeon asked me where I would prefer her to cut me. Because I was more preoccupied with surviving rather than aesthetics, I told her to cut me where she felt most confident. She decided to make the incision from rightbelow my navel downwards. After this, the anesthesiologist did what they said they would. The injections were painful but I tried my best not to move for fear that the needle would hit something else in my spine. And then the numbness they promised took place. I couldn’t feel my feet. Then… I slept.

I suddenly woke up while I was still on the operating table. I was conscious of people around me, holding me. Someone just told me to relax. I saw the surgeon walk from somewhere towards me. She said something about myomas, and then, returned to my incision. I felt her proceed with whatever she was doing, but I felt this bluntly and without pain. Then, I fell asleep again.

I woke up in the recovery room. One of the nurses came near me and emptied something with reddish liquid by my bedside. It took me a few moments to realize that this thing was connected to me; I had a catheter. Realizing that I was already conscious, the nurse talked to me to explain that the teratoma had already been removed, but the doctor wasn’t able to save my ovary and had to remove it as well. The doctor was also able to remove some myomas. After a few more minutes, I was able to move my legs and this signaled to them that I could already be returned to my room.

I told the nurses that my husband may still be waiting outside.The nurses told me that no one was there anymore because my operation took around 5 hours and it was already late night. I was brought directly to my room and there I found my husband waiting for me. I immediately took the opportunity to tell him that I love him.


I thought that the ordeal ended with me surviving the surgery. Little did I know that the healing was a difficult part of it as well. The first few days was like a constant hangover (without even the beer, which makes it worse than a hangover). I needed to depend on people to care for me and help me with even the simplest things. Sneezing, coughing and laughing was painful, if not impossible.

To make matters worse, I have already missed more days of work than I had earlier hoped for. I already feel very bad for the guy whose substituting for me. Before the surgery, the doctor told me that I could go back to work in a month. She later decided after a check-up that I should have 2 months. She also insisted that I do not ride my motorbike for half a year. (Well, she originally said “forever” and I bargained for 6 months, so it’s still a good compromise).

So, here I am on the first day of July, still in a bit of pain but improving. I still couldn’t sneeze but I can already laugh again.


Image from: chrystalscreative, http://pixabay.com/en/nurse-woman-person-nursing-medical-359324/

I am a Cat

A poem written by another motorcycle rider entitled “I am a Dog” caught my attention. I felt myself relating to many of his experiences but I also saw how different mine is at the same time. This inspired me to write a little response entitled “I am a Cat.”

I ride a 135 cc Kawasaki Rouser. This is much smaller than what would internationally be considered a big bike and admittedly less powerful. My bike however, is already perceived as “too big for a girl” from where I’m from. I also ride in cities with terrible traffic. Getting to my destination requires some squeezing-through skills. 

Riding is also a very solitary experience for me. With my head inside a helmet, I become aware of nothing but myself looking out into the world. While this situation offers much room for introspection, and affirms in me a sense of speed, power and independence, it at the same time urges me to recognize my own vulnerability on the road amidst huge trucks, faster motorcycles and uneven roads.

I am a Cat.


I am a Cat.
I purr when I ride.
And I ride where I please.

Balance and flexibility
Keep me on the street.
Even when I fall,
I land on my feet.

I can squeeze my way in
And squeeze my way out.
My fur is never a mess
As I roam about.

While a dog is man’s best friend,
From me, you can’t have that loyalty.
Cuteness is my quality
But so is ferocious felinity.

I am a Cat.
I can’t do tricks.
But I can ride.


Photo source: http://pixabay.com/en/tabby-cat-close-up-portrait-feline-114782/

What keeps you trying?

Except for probably a few people, excellence and success is not something achieved at the first attempt. And, even those who do well in the first few tries still have room for improvement. However, that road towards improvement and excellence can be full of challenges, pains and even failures. These experiences can be very discouraging. What keeps you motivated despite these?

I made a fool of myself in front of 200 people the other day. Being the master of ceremonies of a big event wasn’t easy, especially because I’m a very shy person. I felt very self-conscious when because I knew that people were looking at me. I felt very uncomfortable saying things I knew other people will hear. (Duh, isn’t that the point of talking! Well, that is precisely why I prefer not to talk at all). I made so many mistakes that I think I managed to confuse everyone much more than any of the speakers who used highfalutin terminologies.

Why did I agree to be the master of ceremonies in the first place? It’s as if I didn’t know that I would just end up stammering and trembling while dying in a very shameful way! Okay, that’s exaggerated. I didn’t die. But I did end up stammering and trembling. And because I am still alive, I will still have to face the people who saw me made a fool of myself.

But back to the question I’m asking myself: Why did I agree to do it?

I decided to take the job because I didn’t want to be shy any more. I no longer wanted fear to rule over me. I wanted myself to be the one to define what I can do, rather than just allow what I can do to define me.

Did it work? Well, by actually performing the task, I went beyond the confines of what I thought I could do and was able to act in a way that defied my own fears.

I am still a long way from being a good confident speaker, but I will never get there if I don’t try, and so, I have to keep on trying. I am writing this blog post to remind myself and to tell you, whoever you are reading this blog post, that even after a very negative experience, I am not giving up. I believe that I will look at this blog post  as a more confident person someday and thank myself for not quitting.

Before “someday” happens, I will still probably look at this blog post once in a while when I need some encouragement. Here are some quotes to make sure that I, and any reader who may also need it, find some:

How about you? What keeps you trying? What keeps you from giving up?


Unhappy Bride; Happy Wife

This is the first time I’m writing about my wedding, which happened about 9 months ago. It’s a topic I’ve never really enjoyed talking about either. Whenever people bring it up, I just smile and say nice things to cover up my ranting and raving heart.

They say most girls have their dream wedding. And when they become women, they try to make that dream real, even just approximately. I have attended weddings of other people and most of these seem really beautiful and lavish–flowers, music, the wedding gown, flower girls, bridesmaids, dresses for the bridesmaids, all the other people in the entourage, great food, etc. People who spend much on weddings often say that it’s more than worth it. For the women I know, it is the fulfilment of their life long dream. They say that it is a priceless experience for the bride to finally enter the church and walk towards her groom waiting for her in front of the altar. I have seen many women do this and they all seem happy.

When this happened to me, I wanted to cry.

You see, I didn’t have a dream wedding. What I had was a vision of how I didn’t want my wedding to be. I disliked flowers and lacy dresses, especially if this had to be white. I hated formalities. I felt uncomfortable when people put make-up on me. I wanted a wedding with none of these. I wanted a wedding where no one had to walk down the aisle. I hoped for a wedding that just went straight to the point without the fuss.

But because people wanted me to be happy on my wedding day, they insisted that there should be flowers. They made me hold that bunch of flowers they called a bouquet. Even my hair had flowers. My friend and my groom’s friend insisted that I walk down the aisle. Despite my pleas, I ended up doing so. That experience was gruelling.  I hated the feeling of being looked upon by everyone in the church. I was the saddest person in that place, but I had to make everyone happy.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, and I have loved him as a boyfriend and as a fiancé. It was the thought of eventually being with him, without anyone else telling me how to be, that kept me from hopping onto my motorcycle to ride away from that whole thing. (Okay, that and the fact that I was in a dress.) The wedding was something I just had to tolerate if I really wanted a life with him.

But it was all more than worth it.

Walking down the aisle towards my groom is nothing compared to charting life’s new paths together with my husband. After all the photos have been uploaded, after all the gifts have been unwrapped, and after all the greetings have subsided, what is left is the ordinary married life of a man and woman. This ordinary life is filled with ordinary days when I find myself waking-up with no make-up on but nevertheless very much accepted. It is also filled with many ordinary nights when no matter how tiring work on that those days are, I am simply filled with the happiness of knowing that the one person who matters to me most is safe with me at home.

What I have learned from all this; however, is that if ever we do have a daughter some day, I should teach her that it is not the “dream wedding” or the “wedding one hopes it won’t be” that should merit all the anticipation and preparation. It just happens for a day. It can turn out well or, as in my case, it can end up being tortuous. After that moment, however, nothing more can be done. On the other hand, it is the marriage that follows after the wedding that continues to demand self-giving while constantly giving new chances everyday. The point is not to make the passing happiness during the wedding the goal, but to make the process of cultivating a married relationship a happy one. After all, it is the marriage that happens “until death do us part.”


Photo credit to: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=39343&picture=wedding-day-in-red