Monday, June 17, 2013

The Anchor of My Ship

I would be devoting this entry to the first man in my life, to the first man who taught me love, the first man who took my kisses and hugs away, the first man who saw me ran with wild abandon to this unpredictable world.

My father. My Papang.

"Nono" or "Bulano" as he is fondly called by his family and closest friends, my father is a tall, 51 years old man who at the age of 18, fell in love with our mother and gave us - his four biological children - the chance to experience life. He never finished High school but his means of providing for our family and for being a good father competes with and even surpass those who have PhDs. 

He reared us under a very disciplined environment. Back in the days when spanking was not yet considered child abuse, my father would subject us to unforgiving belt-slashing punishment in order for us to realize our mistakes and correct our bad manners. The disciplining proved to be useful as we grew older as it gave us the necessary pain tolerance while struggling to face life's challenges and in dealing with hardships. The disciplinarian character of our father helped us to become stronger and to become reliant in our own strengths. It did not just harden our characters and strengthen our spirits but  it also taught us to become good people whether in dealing with others or in dealing with ourselves.

As a father, he is usually quiet when it comes to our personal choices - college course, lovelife, etc. But he never missed to advise us to lead a good life and strive for more than what we are used to. He is always telling us to be better than what we can do on the average. My father sometimes has a strange way of telling this..sometimes, in a very calm voice..other times, in a very "challenging" manner. That's just he is. But he sure delivered his point well. Those advises were well taken by far. We ended better than what other people (I call them haters) thought we would be.

As a husband, my father is my mother's constant frenemy. Both of them can't stand each other when together but can't stand together apart. After we, their children, have outgrown our sibling quarrels, our parents became the cat and dog in the house.It's their daily dose of vitamins without which, both of them will find the day so damn boring. My father is not expressive to our mother (atleast when they are around us or around other people) but they are each other's best friends. My father is my mother's anchor and her constant strength in times of need. 

My father is my mother's errand boy and her personal driver, he is my mother's "muscle", he is my mother's protector. He may not be the best husband in the entire world, but he is perfect for my Mama. My mother gave her life up to be with my father at the age of 18 and they've been together for thirty-three (33) long years now so, my father must have been a good man for my mother to stick with him that long, don't you think? 

As a grandfather, he is completely different. When we were tiny, he won't hesitate to discipline us when he sees that we are being spoiled brats. But to his first apo, his granddaughter Zieanna, he is so soft as a marshmallow. He is so proud of his apo and always wants her to tell him "Papa Nono ko 'yan!". He wants his apo to completely own him!

My father is a kid lover. As proof, he decided to add a baby boy to our family whom he can play with and be a father to - Azing, our adopted brother. He loves this boy so much and his attention is with the kid now that all of us are grown up already and are living separately with them already.

 My father gave up his youth for us, his children. Along with my mother, he hurdled all the challenges in order to provide for us. He protected us against the harsh elements of this world, provided us with secure shelter and fed us. He was not able to protect us from some hardships but he is always there to support and guide us. His teachings and examples are inculcated in our minds and which serves as our guide to succeed in every endeavor we find ourselves into. He would lay his life for us. If we would ever face pain and if he would be given the choice to take away those pain from us, he would, without conditions and without hesitations.

I love my father so dearly. He is getting old and is now feeling sickly because of his stubbornness sometimes. I am living away from them now and I always ache for their presence. I wish that one day, I will be able to fulfill my dreams of becoming a lawyer and in effect, fulfill theirs.

If I have to live again, I would love to still be his daughter. If I have to choose my father again, I won't have anyone but him. We deserve him in this family and we can't thank God enough for his life. 

I am praying that he lives to be a hundred and more and witness all of us, his children live our lives the way he has prayed for to God.

You deserve nothing less from us than our complete devotion and unconditional love.

Happy Father's Day Papang. 

 “That was when the world wasn't so big and I could see everywhere. It was when my father was a hero and not a human.”
                                                                             ― Markus Zusak, I am the Messenger

I am on twitter: @kareenlacorte

+Fretzie Layos +Fretzie Lacorte Layos 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Landmark Moments

My life is not as simple as you may think. Nowadays, apart from the "regular" few lucks, few roadblocks, several dangerous risks, impulsive decisions that put me in the most difficult situations, and some "muntik na!" moments, my day is composed mainly of boring stuff. :)

You might say, "who cares?"..Well, I can say that despite my age, I have experienced things that not so many people faced, I journeyed in less traveled roads, stumbled hard but stood up brave. 

You might say, "So?"..Well, I learned valuable lessons in those experiences and you might want to know what are those so you won't or you would do the same for yourself.

I want to share this to you because, today, I realized that  extraordinary blessings are given to me everyday without me noticing them (apart from the fact that I am still alive which is in itself, a miracle..) and I want you to notice yours too and so you won't waste your time NOT thanking the ONLY ENTITY responsible for this. You know Who. 

Landmark Moment #01: 
Self-supported my studies

I graduated in college struggling to provide for myself when things were too difficult for our family. While in college I worked as a househelp and applied as a secretary/personal assistant aka house help pa rin in two different years under two different employers. It helped that I had tuition privileges back in college. It decreased my expenses dramatically.

 I also tried to sell bread sticks and stick-o when I was in 2nd year High school while studying in a private school and experienced to be called by my teacher telling me to stop selling because I was competing with the school canteen, all of these only to be able to buy one kilo of tilapia that will be our viand (my younger brother and I) for three days. My father visited twice the Principal's office to make a promise when to settle my accounts before I was allowed to take the periodic exams. Still, when I was in 2nd year high school, my brother and I learned to play tong-its and played against our boarding house' old landlady and we always won most of time, by playing tricks against the old woman. :)

My entire family struggled during those times when we hit rock-bottom financially due to  El-Niño / La Niña crisis. My sister and brother had to stop schooling and looked for jobs to support the family.

This is a landmark moment for me and my family because our family have proven that we can survive together despite the absence of help from our relatives. This is one of the greatest moments in our family. We were devastated, but we were not broken. We emerged triumphant. With the constant support of my family, I graduated in college with a high mark.

This goes to show that YOUR FAMILY GOT YOUR BACK. Do not worry.

Landmark Moment #02: 
Tried activism

I am a Political Science graduate from a state university where freedom of expression is tolerated and actively practiced. I tried attending rallies and shouted "Tama na! Sobra na! Palitan na!". It was an exhilarating experience. There came a point that I was NOT talking to my mother without injecting some nationalistic, patriotic principles in the conversation. There was one time that my professor had to make a note in my essay paper which read like this: "Please tone down. This is a test!". I was ranting about inequality, injustice, and cried idealism and socialism in my essays!

I tried holding placards, rallying against imperialism, corruption, and other anti-poor policies of the administration. I met so many activists whose lives were devoted to "serving the people". I met a lady who graduated Magna Cum Laude from UP, met broadcast journalists, human rights activists, leaders of civic organizations, and even went as far as joining a dangerous fact-finding mission in pursuit of finding the truth about a certain human rights violation committed in one of the most dangerous places in Mindanao.

I eventually outgrew the idealism injected to me during my studies and detached myself from the group when I started working to earn money for my allowance in school. There were more pressing personal issues that I had to deal with than deal with the decays of our nation.

But these moments taught me great things about being selfless and becoming an advocate of something universally good. This experience taught me to be involved in my society and be one of the catalysts of change. It was a rewarding moment.

Landmark Moment #03: 
I decided to fall in love many times 
until I fell in love involuntarily..

I first had a boyfriend when I was in 3rd year High School. In my entire life, I had two "childish" relationships (3rd & 4th year High School), I had two "scary" relationships (2nd year college and while I was already working), and then I had two "serious" relationships (3rd year college and now, the present).

You might think that I was such a play girl. Oh no! I am not pretty nor attractive. I don't make a man glance at me twice. The men I had were people I met and became friends with before I developed romantic relationships with them. The childish relationships were those that made me feel "kilig" and made my young heart beat fast..more of a puppy love. The feeling was really good and I kinda miss the feeling. When I became older, I kept wishing to turn back time and experience the same feeling. It was not because of the "boys" but more because of the wonderful feeling and I wanted to experience it again.

The scary once were the risky relationships that I dared enter. Those were destructive relationships that made me hurt other people and made me ignore other people's feelings. It is a bad way to treat people - hurting them intentionally. Intentionally in the sense that, I knew I could cause pain but I continued anyway. It was risky also because I didn't realize back then that people are capable of causing danger to you if they could not handle pain so well. Bottom line is, try not to hurt other people. Karma is very real.

Finally, the serious relationships. Yeah, I think it is true that we could romantically love opposite sex (or same sex to the LGBT) more than once. The first one was a trial-and-error. A disaster waiting to happen. Luckily, I was brave enough to fight the feelings and moved on quickly. I am now in a 7-years old relationship with a person I CHOSE to stick with.  I did not wish for him in my life but he came anyway. I am happy.

I learned that people come and go and that no matter how strong you fight for each other if the bond that ties you together is not strong, the relationship will fail and you will eventually drift apart. 

I learned that we should not waste our lives spending time with the people who only MAKE US LOOK GOOD. We should instead spend those times with the people who MAKE US HAPPY and ACCEPT us regardless of our appearance, of our possessions, of our social status. 

But I also learned not to regret the experiences I had with my past relationships because it made me appreciate my man now..the pain and heartaches are worth it for the person we truly cherish. 

Landmark Moment #04: 
I Chose my Best Friends Well..

I have so many friends in different circles. I have high school friends, friends when I was just a "nene", friends in college, at work, and many other circles. But whoever I meet in my journey in this lifetime, I will only have two best friends. 

I shared many great moments with them and I am amazed by the bond that we built over the years because despite the physical separation for many years, we are still in-love with each other. I love them truly. 

My bestfriends never miss to tell me what's happening to them and how much they miss and love me. I love them too. Best friends never forget. Best friends keep to their hearts how valuable and irreplaceable you are in their lives.. @lemuel C. Leal and @marc lynch maguan.

Landmark Moment #05: 
I Chose to pursue my dream

I am continuing my Law studies this year 2013. It has always been an aspiration and it has always been my family's dream for me. I want to become a lawyer and make a difference to the lives of other people.  I want to honor my family by reaching this dream.

I want to become an inspiration.


There are more landmark moments in my life that taught me valuable life lessons, both happy and sad experiences. The five (5) landmark moments in this entry are those that I am willing to share. The rest, maybe I will share later. Or maybe not.

I hope that at the very least, I shared something that made an impact to you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Charice, Cebu Pacific, Dan Brown..and a little of everything

I am happy to tell you that I will go back to school this June 2013. I will be continuing my law studies at the University of Mindanao as promised. (see related blog: 

I just completed the 4th process in enrollment today..and I am so excited to finish the last stage! I will be writing more on this when classes begin this 10th of June. 

I'd like to thank my parents, brother Jayson, and sister Fretzie for supporting me..and to my man for encouraging me..I am also thankful to my bff, Atty. Lemuel Leal for the inspiration. I promise to do good. Of course, I am thankful to my employer because they are showing positive signs that they will consider my request for a change of shift so I can squeeze in my classes and be on time (every night, six days a week). I am thankful to my boss for the full support and understanding. Oh God, the pressure is on because a lot of people are expecting me to triumph in this. Guide me dear God..


Charice Mania and Lesbianism!

I watched the interview of Mr. Boy Abunda with Charice Pempengco on the Buzz last Sunday (June 2). It was so shocking to see Charice transform from being a "singing princess" to a lesbian..with all the short hair, tattoos, manly gestures/movements, and by admitting she is inspired by a girl. I was completely blown away.

 I have strong opinions on a female liking a female or in lesbianism in general as compared to gays maybe because I often see gays around flaunting their skills that I have come to accept that there are men who "prefers" or are "urged" to act, talk, and walk like women do but do not diminish their value and worth in the society.  

I don't judge female species wanting to act like men but I still could not fathom how is it even possible for a woman to fall in love with another woman much like I don't understand gays liking men. I do not condemn them because I am not in their position and I do not know how they truly feel. I just don't completely understand them. 

I hope that LGBT will come up with a better way to let the general public know, especially those who do not completely understand them yet, what really is happening why they are what they are. Many studies (medical, psychological, social) have come up to explain these but not in layman's terms. Meaning, not widely understood by majority of the people. This is like RH Law, many people are condemning the passage of the law but the proponent fails to completely educate the public what it truly is, what is its essence. 

I hope that LGBT will make more efforts to be UNDERSTOOD and not just to be RECOGNIZED. To let the conservatives open their minds and hearts and eventually accept. Did this occur by choice? or by urge? 

According to the Holy Bible, in the beginning of days, God created a man and a woman and nothing in between. This is the basic argument by which LGBT is made to be a sin.  But I'll say it is not for US to say whether it is against God's law. It is God's. Only God can really say whether He condemns this or whether this is part of his Master Plan for mankind. What we can do is maintain our RESPECT for them as human beings who were given a will to decide on their lives and how they will live it.

I respect Charice. I just hope she is sincerely happy. I also sincerely hope that this is not just a "phase" that she is going through otherwise, all of this is not worth it.


Cebu Pacific Horror!

The recent accident involving Cebu Pacific is not at all surprising to me. I had several bad experiences with this airline and vowed that If I have a choice, I will never ever ride on their plane ever again. This accident I think "was" an accident that waited to happen.

The first time I rode a plane was when I was tasked to travel to Nueva Ecija, Cauayan, Isabela, and Tuguegarao last 2011. It was supposed to be an exciting "first time" but it turned out to be a very traumatic experience for me. I don't want to belittle pilots because I know how many years they had to surpass to earn thier license to fly an aircraft but in this particular trip, I was so scared that I thought my spirit flew out of me. The final descent of the plane was so rough that I was praying to all the gods and goddesses and was shaking so hard because I thought that we will not be able to land alive! I let out a deep sigh of relief when the plane already halted. I could not believe we were alive. When  I traveled to Iloilo City with my cousin and aunt just this April 2013, I experienced the same horrific landing. Actually, when I learned that we were boarding Cebu Pacific, I wanted to back out but of course, I could not. 

I never experienced this when I'm flying on board Philippine Airlines or Airphil. Yes, CebPac is cheap. Value for money is also cheap! Meaning, our safety is cheap.  

Aside from that, Cebu Pacific customer service is the worst of all. I once missed a flight with them because they told me I was late for boarding when in fact I was already in line waiting to check in four (4) hours before my flight! The ground crew completely ignored me and like an automated machine, told me to purchase a new ticket instead. I suspected that they overbooked their online bookings at the expense of those who are already in line. 

So the call for boycott by the Ateneo De Davao President is just proper. The manner by which the CebPac crew treats their  clients is not how you wanted to be treated as a customer. See news -

I applaud the aim of Gokongwei to provide cheap airfares to Pinoys since the vast majority could not afford expensive plane fare. But in doing so, they mislooked the importance of customer service in the process, which includes satisfying the customers by ensuring their safety and that they can go home to their families safe and sound. Gumawa ka na lang din naman ng advocacy na ganito, gumawa ka na lang din naman ng kabutihan, lubusin mo na. This goes to show that above anything else, this is still business. This still all boils down to profit.

It is good to know that no passenger was hurt during the accident. Otherwise, this would become Cebu Pacific's greatest nightmare.


Dan Brown is Right!

Dan Brown depicted Manila in his book "Inferno" as it is. Exactly as it is. The people who keep on commenting and reacting violently on this are hypocrites. The truth will set you free man.

Enough said.