Thursday, September 30, 2010


"Pagbabago" ...or change. A simple word with a lot of meaning.

We all undergo so many changes in our lives - good or bad, slight or drastic, trivial or significant... as many might say, "change" is the only thing permanent in this world. But whatever change takes place, I believe what matters most is that we experience this change to be a better person.

I want to share my personal story of "pagbabago". If I were to mention my most significant transition or "change" in my life, it would be no other than the first time I met her...

This is my current girlfriend, and also my very 1st girlfriend.

I met her 4 years ago. At that time she was still working with my current company in a different department. At work she was the silent type and always busy with her duties. Me being the shy guy and sometimes being described as a "snob" by others, at that time I couldn't imagine how relationship came to be.

To meet up with her, I even had to ask the help of one of my female officemates so that I could get a chance to talk to her (how torpe can I get?). The first time we went out, I remember she called me weird because I didn't know how to react to some situations... but I did my best to cope up. :)

After a 2 weeks of dating and going out, she finally gave our relationship a "YES". Frankly, I did not expect it to turn out getting an answer so fast because I knew little of dating or courting (as in no experience). I admit I'm not handsome, and most of the time serious. I was very delighted that I now had my very first love affair.

The first few months of our relationship was a big adjustment for me. I remember one time she complained to me that I did not give her any attention.

"Why?" I asked. "What's the matter?"

She mentioned that I was a poor boyfriend because most of the time we go out, I wouldn't offer her to dine out and eat. And sometimes when we travel, we would walk all the way to our destination rather than taking a ride. What could I say? That was my way of life. My motto... going through life the cheapest way possible. Walk the extra mile, lining up on free taste counters, scrimping on food, buying the best bargains, etc. That was the "kuripot" way. But all that has to change if I wanted to keep her. I knew that we were very much different, so slowly but surely, I had to unlearn the excessive kuripot ideology.

First thing I had to unlearn is to scrimp on food. Before I met her, I don't take merienda breaks or eat out. But now I have her, I always tell myself, whenever we meet, I must allocate some budget for food. I always remind myself that eating out doesn't have to be expensive... what's important is we enjoyed our food together.

Spending and enjoying food with company was one of the first things I had to learn to make our relationship work. Enjoying food in any Goldilocks branch was my way of saving money and eating tasty Pinoy treats!

Also, I had a habit of walking the distance. There were times we walked from place to place because it was relatively near. But because of long office hours, a lengthy walk in the afternoon makes her weary. I never noticed that, until she said so herself. That was a lesson for me to be more sensitive to her needs.
walking the distance - one of my favorite kuripot techniques

I admit I was more of a loner before I met her. I was more into video games and never had a social life. This I had to change because I now share my life with someone I hold dear. And to help me with being more open to others, she introduced me to her family. She even asked my to become the godfather of her nephew. I was reluctant at first, but decided to say YES because it was the first time anyone asked me take an important role.

My godson, also my girlfriend's nephew is now three years old going on four. Funny, but his age also reminds me of how long our relationship is with her.

As time went by, I relationship with each other grew, and I started enjoying a lot of things and learn a lot of new stuff with her. Here are a few of my treasured moments with her...

1. I learned how to ice skate! Learning something new is really fun and memorable. We learned how to ice skate on our own at the Mall of Asia. I did not mind spending for the entrance fee (unlike before, I will fuss at the idea of spending) because I know it will be worth it. I even remember we were stumbling on each other at first...

2. I practiced singing more! Because she loves to sing, I have to follow suit or be left behind. Up to now, I am not that great a singer, but at least I am still trying...

3. I traveled a lot more with her. We would travel inside and outside of Metro Manila to enjoy the beauty of the Philippines.

I started paying less attention to spending for transportation, as long as we enjoyed our journey together...

4. I joined more contests. Before I met her, I was active in joining contests but suddenly gave up on it because I lost interest. But after a few months being with her, I decided to give contests a go once more.

Joining contests can also be a way to bond with each other more. We joined art, food and photography contests. Most of the time, we didn't win but the journey to creating them was fun. And we get twice the fun if we did win! :)

Some of the recent contest entries we made together include:

a) Goldilocks Cookie House contest. We submitted a photo entry of our cookie house that had a Pinoy themed bahay kubo. Unfortunately we didn't win but seeing our entry completed was enough reward.

b) Assembly Art contests. We joined an assembly art contest two years in a row which required the use of wrappers as art materials. We won 1st place and 2nd place in the succeeding year.

Our assembly art entry for the 1st year...

c) Photo contests. We would usually join photo contests that has a theme on food (probably because we both love to eat, hehehe). We work as a team taking turns as photographer and assistant.

And because, we kept on winning contests, I felt that God blessed me with my very own lucky charm. I know for a fact that she is because she has a lot of what I like in a lady: charming, witty, understanding, adventurous. The list goes on, and I am glad I have her. I realized that without her, I would have been enclosed in a nutshell where I never learned anything new, never met new people and never discovered new places.

I also learned from her the value of being more generous to others. If I compare myself now with the person I used to be, I can say that before, I was too afraid to spend my time and resources with others, not realizing the scrooge that I was.

And so, from time-to-time, I would visit my father in Antipolo city to treat him and the kids (also my relatives - nephews / nieces and their playmate neighbors) there with different treats specially after winning some contests we joined. It is also my way of saying thanks to my dad for all the support he also gives me whenever we win.

Going back to Antipolo with Goldilocks goodies. My father would prepare food for the kids because of his generosity. Whenever I bring food, he also share it with the kids. Check out this blog about the story of these kids from Antipolo city...

eager kids waiting in line for their Goldilocks treats!

kids doing their pose before merienda time!

My dad giving their share of Goldilocks macaroons! He did this to make sure everyone gets a fair share... see video below about 'what if he didn't distribute...'

We made a game out of the remaining macaroons. We asked the kids to race for the remaining Goldilocks macaroons. See what happens!

Seeing the happy faces of the people you opened up to is reward in itself. Thanks to her, I was able to experience all these and more! Because of the pagbabago in me, I am no longer the self-centered person I used to be.

And this is my "pagbabago" story.


P.S. Thank you Ariane, I have learned a lot about sharing and opening myself up to you, your family, to the kids, to my nephew and to everyone else. You showed me that I am truly blessed and that I do not need to be an extreme kuripot anymore. Thank you for sharing your life with me so that I could experience all these things.

If you're reading this 'wify ko', I am also sorry for the times I disappointed you and caused you to doubt my feelings for you. I know I have changed a lot ever since we first met, but I know I am far from perfect. There are a lot of things that I need to change so that we can be happier together. Please bear with me, and I will do my best to bring out he pagbabago in me no matter how hard it is.

Love you always.

This is my Entry to the Golidlocks Pagbabago blog contest sponsored by Nuffnang Philippines and Goldilocks. Deadline of this contest is extended up to September 30, 2010. Coincidentally, this date is also our 4th anniversary :). To get to know more about this contest, check out Nuffnang's Pagbabago Contest page.

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