Like I mentioned in my welcome post, I am an introvert which is why the work that I do as a virtual assistant makes me so happy because I don’t have to face people and deal with them every day. I prefer to be on my own and not talk to people. I work on my own time, in my bedroom or in my study, on the beach, in the mountains, at a cafe, or wherever I feel like working at the moment. It’s just me, my computer, and of course with my Mahal and bebe Tuz in tow and voila — I am very happy!
Needless to say, the lack of social interaction with people, I do make up for by writing down my thoughts and feelings and this is why I’ve always loved blogging. It’s not the kind that pays though because I am a diarist after all. I don’t blog to sell stuff or to earn from ads or to get invited to events which naturally happened before. I got tired of it coz again, it involved being with other bloggers and as an introvert, my energy gets expended much more quickly when that happens. In short, attending events with lots of people drains me. As for the ads though, that might be an option I could explore in the future like maybe do affiliate marketing and the likes. Anyhoo, I blog because I want to express myself and share my thoughts and experiences and not to earn. I already have more than enough money anyway from my investments and other sources so blogging is just really FOR ME — to make myself happy. And now that I am back to blogging, I am so much, much happier! Thank you to my best friend and life partner who generously supports me in everything I want to do. And not just the kind of support that lets me be or the “do-what-you-want-and -I’ll-do-what-I-want” type of support, but he teaches me things and suggests things I can further do so in that area I really am lucky.
So anyway, how did MomTraNeur really come to be?
I became a mother last year when our first child was born (will have blog posts dedicated to this for sure). All my life I never wanted to have kids but here I am now telling my old self “What was I thinking not wanting one? It’s the happiest thing that ever happened to me!” But I guess who I have a child with does play a big part. So that’s the Mom part. Then I’ve always loved to travel. Been traveling since I was 6 years old and it has always left a mark in my psyche. So whenever budget and time will permit it, no let me rephrase that, whenever my whole being wants to go and is itching to explore, I go wherever the wind blows me. That’s the travel part. Then I’ve always loved selling stuff since I was 7 years old, mostly stuff that I made myself and growing up, this passion has never faded. I made and sold stationery, trinkets, drawings, beaded accessories, soaps, spa products, etc. If I only have the extra energy to design my own clothes and sew them as well, I will! I’ve already been featured before at Philippine Daily Inquirer for my spa products, aired at QTV (now GMA News TV) for the Sexy Nomad Apparel I was in and featured in Rated K and Bandila of ABS-CBN for being an online entrepreneur a.k.a. virtual assistant. And this entrepreneurial spirit in me never subsided, just replaced by other more urgent and important stuff because for the most part, those ventures didn’t really earn me much, just enough to keep the passion going until I stopped because I wanted to do something else and travel more. And now that I am better at designing my life the way I want to live it before God decides that my time on Earth is over, I am taking steps to become a full-pledged business person. That’s the entrepreneur part. And I am just so lucky because I have for a life partner, a man who shares all these aspects of my being. Mahal is a devout father to our son, a traveler himself since we’ve been traveling together as best friends since a few years back, and he’s already an established businessman who owns his little resort down south – OSLOB NEW VILLAGE, so I am really learning a lot from him. We’re learning a lot from each other. We’re really partners which was what I’ve always wanted to have and thank God He finally gave him to me and he’s now here loving me and living with me as we raise our happy little family. I just want to document as much as I can the life that we’re living.
So to start it off, I want to share here our love story. Below is its summary which I posted on Facebook before as part of a 7-day challenge of loving your spouse. We’re not legal spouses yet, but just like President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and his common-law wife, Honeylet, we already consider each other as each other’s better half. My annulment to my ex is in the works and hopefully, by the end of this year, I’ll be legally single again and free to marry for real if I want to, in a church or by the beach, and this time, for all eternity. But in the meantime, here’s our love story…
“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
In celebration of love and marriage, I was challenged by an FB friend to post a photo of me and my better half every day for 7 days to let the world know “merong FOREVER”!
WARNING: Below is a summary, but it’s a LONG summary. So go get a popcorn and soda before you start reading. This is not advisable for people with ADHD. Lol!
A SUMMER TO REMEMBER IN 2012
I don’t know if ours is a typical love story. But Mahal knew me since we were in high school and he was already intrigued by me coz according to him, my name was very famous among the boys of Ateneo de Cagayan back then. Maybe because I was always representing my HS, Lourdes College, and winning in various quiz bees and competitions that my name would always crop up in inter-school news. Had he known daw that he would end up with me, he wouldn’t have had all those 30+ girls coming and going in his life (Chos! Ang guapo naman! 30+ girlfriends and flings???! IKAW NA!!!)
As for me, despite my “being popular” (so they say), I was a pretty quiet girl, just studying hard and maintaining my scholarship. I had a few very close friends and my life would just revolve around schoolwork and home (I was living under the strict supervision of my grandparents then). In short, I didn’t know him. Hahaha! The first time I met him was when he invited me to visit his resort in 2012. Because he was a stranger and was claiming that we were in the same circle back in HS, I contacted all my close friends in Cagayan de Oro to verify his claim. True enough, they knew him and even vouched for his kindness. So off to Cebu I went to visit the whale sharks and met Mahal for the first time. He toured me to other tourist spots as well like the Tumalog Falls and the overlooking view at Santander and was very gracious and kind. My first impression? I thought I saw a gremlin! Hahaha! Promise! That was what was going on in my head — na may tao palang mukang gremlin. Hahaha! Sorry bebe. But behind that pogi gremlin face is a dear kind soul whom I immediately felt so comfortable with which I’ve never felt for anyone before. Not even with my exes (and I only had 3, 1 of which was my best friend since grade 6). I didn’t think much of it then but I did welcome the feeling of just being so comfortable with someone that I thought he was gay! (Coz my college best friend is gay and I loved that best friend of mine to bits). So anyway… that was how we first met…
2012, A YEAR OF MORE TRAVELS WITH MY NEW BEST FRIEND
After that fateful summer when I found a new best friend in Mahal, we were already talking non-stop via FB messenger, Skype and text. For some reason, we never run out of things to talk about. I’d often tease him and we’d just end up laughing our hearts out. But for the most part, he was healing a broken heart around that time and was contemplating on going on another “escapade” with one of his Fubu girls. I would advise him against it, but what do I know? Boys will always be boys, right? But to my surprise, he did go with me September of that year (2012). He never really traveled much before that. Haven’t been on an airplane that much either. So I was happy to show him the world of traveling by visiting beautiful places here in our own country.
We visited a couple of places in Mindanao — Ma. Cristina Falls, Tinago Falls, Timoga in Iligan; Katibawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, Ardent Hot Spring, Sto. Nino Cold Springs, JA Fishpen in Camiguin; Dahilayan Park in Bukidnon and partied with our HS friends in Cagayan de Oro City. He was really so much fun to be with that I’d once again doubted if he’s really a guy guy coz the last time I had this much fun was back in college with my gay best friend! At the back of my mind, I would think that maybe all those sex stories he told me were just stories. Maybe he was a closet case kind of guy. Hahaha!
So despite my “doubt” about his manhood, I got to know him better. He told me stuff he never told anyone before (or so he says). I told him stuff I never dared tell anyone before. I never had many friends… friends that I really confide in… so it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to air out all my grievances, my rants and raves to someone who really listened… AS IN REALLY LISTENED. Hindi yung makikinig kunwari tapos maya-maya, tungkol sa kanila na naman ang topic. Ganun kasi some of my friends sad to say. With Mahal, it was different. Kung pwede lang wag na sha magsalita para makinig sa lahat ng kwento ko, gagawin nya (If he could only listen to me 100% of the time, he will.) Kaya lang very inquisitive din akong tao and mala-Kris Aquino magtanong, so I’d also end up asking him some of the most uncomfortable questions a person could ever ask like… “What’s the shape of your penis?” Hahahaha! You can ask my college block mates, I am cruel and kinky when it comes to things like this.
That one week trip of ours solidified our newfound best friendship to the point that he went crying in front of me when I made him listen to Kamikazee’s HULING SAYAW and told him that this might be the last time we’d be traveling coz I’d already be busy. Of course I was just joking! I didn’t think he would cry! But he did! And so once again, I thought… this guy could really be gay… Hahaha!
2013, A YEAR OF “AWAY-BATI” (FIGHT THEN kiss & makeup)
The thing I love about us ni Mahal is that we were best friends first. And no matter what happens, we will always be best friends first. This means open communication, HONESTY IN ALL LEVELS NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL IT CAN BE, and respect. After all, isn’t that how we want our bestest friend in the world to treat us? I’ve been in a dishonest relationship which lasted for more than a decade and he has been in one quite a few times himself and we both know how devastating it can be. So 2013 was all about being that — TRUE FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT AFRAID TO SHOW OUR TRUE COLORS TO EACH OTHER. Yes, we traveled a lot (we toured El Nido, Boracay, Bohol, Camotes Island, Gigantes Islands, Oslob, Siquijor, Cebu, Dumaguete), and in those travels we fought a lot too, AS IN A LOT! We were like high school siblings. Hahaha! I was never really close to my brother and sister because I’ve always been the person of authority for them but I did witness the closeness my brother and sister had growing up and just like us, they fought a lot too. I guess it’s like that when you’re truly close with someone. You are not afraid to really say what you really think and feel because you know after the fight is over, you’d be a lot closer than ever. At least that’s what happened with us. We’d tease each other, we’d say what’s on our mind, we’d cry, we’d shout, even pound our fists on the table, we’d fight like there’s no tomorrow then we’d say sorry and be better best friends. It’s weird, I know. But it helped us grow. It made us understand each other better. It made us better human beings. Little did we know that we’re already building the kind of foundation strong partnerships are made of.
2014, an unexpected revelation
Despite the many travels I did with Mahal in 2013, I was always on the brink of despair and depression. All my long-time doubts and fears about the relationship I was in at that time were coming true. My world was crumbling to pieces and nobody really knew.
From the outside, everything looked fine and great. 2014 came and little did people know that things were just getting worse day by day. So I’d travel some more to get out of the rut I was in… to escape the eternal loneliness I was feeling. I wanted to be saved by a knight in shining armor but I slowly came to terms that nobody can really save me but me. When worse came to worst, I decided to take steps to be happy. I was so fed up at feeling lonely, suicidal, betrayed and unhappy. That was not how I wanted to live! So I thought maybe that was the time to explore other possibilities.
I had suitors… multitudes of them actually, but who knew what their real intentions may be? I never really dated in my life. I always ended up with a close friend or a best friend growing up. As I was contemplating on dipping my toes in the world of dating, “bessy Mahal” put his foot down and declared his love for me. I was stunned, skeptic, full of butterflies in my tummy. And in my head I was thinking “Oh no! Here I am again, my best friend falling for me!” Though I love him as my bessy, and we have so much in common, and I feel so safe around him, I didn’t know if we can ever really work out. We both have this terrible temper, he wanted kids and family and I didn’t, he lives far and had plans of going to Norway and I don’t ever want to be in a long-distance relationship. But I guess love has its ways. To dissuade him, I offered A LOT of conditions. I made him woo my family which my ex never did — I made him ask permission from my grandfather in Cagayan de Oro. I made him go through my sister’s inquisition. I made him go to my mom’s office to lay down all his plans. I made him talk to my brother and daddy. In the midst of this, I half expected him to buckle down in defeat. But he treaded on like my knight in shining armor indeed. And after getting all my family’s approval, we became official. We were us! Despite the fact that his favorite sister doesn’t like me, despite the fact that maybe all of his family doesn’t like me, despite the fact that I broke it off with him quite many times because of his family, he never faltered and continued loving me. And when I finally accepted in my head that we were no longer just bessies, that my old life has really ended, and I’m finally starting a new life with him, the clouds disappeared in my head and for the first time in a very long time, I felt peaceful and happy.
2014, strengthenING our bond through monthly get-togethers
In August of 2014 when I said yes to Mahal, I didn’t foresee how much he’d change nor did I think that he can. As his best friend, I loved him, flaws and all, as long as there is respect for each other then we can always have a ball.
Though hot-headed, with a strong sense of pride, he knows his place, is respectful of people and with rules, he abides. He’s down-to-earth, industrious, religious and very funny, doesn’t like being controlled, likes to go to church and is an easy company. What you see is what you get, he has no “fronts” or “projections”; he can easily detect when someone is lying so better be careful with your lies and self-corrections.
He’s very honest, true to his nature and likes to tease me until I cry… he doesn’t think I’m sexy, even sees me as chubby, nor am I a lady in his eyes. He treats me like a cowboy and doesn’t consider what I want and like. Between us, he’s always the boss, even if he sees me as a half-guy.
He’s never the one to say sorry first whenever we’d have an altercation. He wouldn’t woo me either even if I was the one who paid for our vacation. He’s a guy-guy alright, he’s lost when it comes to the understanding of the female psyche. But he has such a big heart dreaming big dreams of someday helping the poor and the needy.
So when I gave him my sweet yes, it gave me such a shock when he’d suddenly open doors for me, hold my hand, put his arms around me like a jock. Then he’d look at me with those loving eyes. Sometimes I would get that funny feeling in my tummy as if it’s full of butterflies. After all, I stopped expecting him to treat me like a lady long ago when he first looked at me as a cowboy when we first became bessies. Now he’s so much more different, he understands me more and is the first to say sorry. Though his understanding of women is still limited, he willingly studies relationship books with me. And if before he’s the boss, now I’m his forever queen, and since we’ve been together day in and day out, I can no longer remember what life without him has been.
All I know is that we used to fight all the time. Now it’s all laughter, joy and cheer since the day he became mine. We may not be perfect, but who is anyway? One thing is for sure I tell you, truly he’s not gay (haha!)
Then my days became bright and sunny, with him I suddenly want a kid. This came as a shock to my system, my family, my friends, oh God I hope I’m not barren heaven forbid!
2015, life-changing year
The beginning of 2015 has been very challenging for me. All aspects of my life seemed lost especially financially. I already lost my car to my ex. I was on the verge of losing my house too, I wondered what’s next? All I wanted was to leave everything behind. Forget it all, give it all up, after every pain I’ve been through, I really wouldn’t mind.
I wanted a simpler life, one with no heartaches and pain. But how? Mahal and I just saw each other once a month and for the most part, everything just seemed in vain.
I was always alone and lonely. There’s also the question of my infertility. All these questions and troubles cannot be answered nor pacified even by constant traveling. We really needed to take action because my clock is all the more ticking.
So we started addressing my infertility medically. We decided to live together in another city. We risked our last few savings to the gold biz. And devoted all our energy, time and resources to trying to build a family.
Lo and behold, slowly our prayers were getting answered. One by one request for blessings are starting to get heard. It’s as if God was telling us that we’re on the right track, that we’re doing good, we’ll be fine, God has our back.
The pregnancy was quite a challenge at my age and it’s such a miracle that we were able to manage. Though always tired and sleepless, we couldn’t be any happier. Baby Tuz brought us so much joy I ditched being a worrier.
Now we are three and more trials come our way. But we know as long as God is with us, we can keep all negativities at bay. There’s so much hope and happiness now in our lives. Everything is all good, all fine, we just want to maintain the good vibes.
2016, LIFE is JUST GETting BETTER AND BETTER
2016… Ahhhh… what can I say? So far, it feels like it’s been one long holiday. You know that feeling when you’re always on vacation? For the most part, we just feel relaxed, chill and happy like any staycation.
Though there’s work, praise God, tons of it even. Sleepless nights, fatigue, we enjoy this life we’ve been given. We just take life as it comes one day at a time. And with Tuz around we know that our days are gonna be more sublime.
To more happy years and beyond!
6 years after I wrote this (April 2022), we finally said yes and got engaged! Ours is a very unique engagement and as proof, each of us got our dream bespoke engagement ring! Subscribe to my personal blog for more of our life stories, reviews, travels, self-help stuff and more! God bless!