Friday, August 10, 2007

I Made It Through the Rain

I know what you're thinking. You probably think I still ran in spite of the heavy rain. Sorry to disappoint you but I didn't. Hmm . . . maybe when I could already run 10k I'll ask Jaymie to run with me. Knowing this woman, she'll be more than delighted to run even in the middle of a storm.

Yesterday afternoon when the LTO staff handed me my new Driver's License, I read and reread and reread (repeat 100x) my new name: DEL ROSARIO, NORA DE ALA. I couldn't believe that after 5 years of waiting, I'm back to my beautiful name again. I almost hugged and kissed the person beside me. I wanted to jump with joy and shout at the entire universe that I am now back to being "me" again.

But wait. I specifically asked for a correction in my first name as well. I have been using Nora all my life but Norberta-Nora appears in my passport since it is based on my birth certificate. The same is true with my Marriage Certificate. When I went to the bank to apply for a change in name, there was no problem with changing my married name to del Rosario again. The discrepancy lied in my first name. They requested me to submit an affidavit stating that Norberta-Nora and Nora del Rosario are one and the same. They also wanted another ID (preferably my driver's license) aside from my passport showing my true name.

To make a long story short, I submitted to LTO my 1) Marriage Certificate with Annotation of Nullity, 2) Birth Certificate and 3) Affidavit of "one and the same". I even explained to one superior there what name should appear in my driver's license.

Frankly, I am quite happy with my old, plain name Nora but for purposes of consistency in all my personal records, I have to carry Norberta-Nora though against my will. And so, I had to go back this morning to LTO to settle this issue once and for all.

While waiting for my new driver's license, I recalled the past 5 years that I have waited for my status to be single again. I wonder why the first question that people will ask upon knowing that I filed for annulment is "Ang laki siguro ng nagastos mo noh? Mahal ang magpa-annul." My ready answer would be: P100,000 is a small price to pay for one's independence. Freedom is priceless. Then their next question would be "Ang tagal mong nag-antay. 5 years!" I just smile and tell them: 5 years is nothing compared to a lifetime of misery and pain.

When the LTO personnel finally handed me my new driver's license, I read and reread and reread (repeat 100x) my new name: DEL ROSARIO, NORBERTA-NORA DE ALA.

I couldn't stop myself from crying, not minding the people around me. After what I've been through, I made it! I made it through the rain: 5 years of living with my narcissistic husband and another 5 years of waiting for the approval of my Petition. Thank you, thank you, Lord!

2 comments:

  1. Dear Norberta,

    What a nice name! It sounds like you're a Puerto Rican or a Mexican. In my heart and mind you're still my baby Nora way back when I used to play with you at the Ladies Hall in Marbel. You were my friend & playmate at that time. I was in my first year in College at that time. We were together until I finished my first degree. The most memorable thing is, you were my chaperon when I go out to watch movies with my boyfriend.

    Ate Neneng

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  2. Hi, Ate Neneng,

    You know, after I read your letter in the program during the golden wedding anniv. of tatay and nanay, I told the audience that I became a movie addict because of you! Tatay was so strict that you couldn't go out with your boyfriend without me as your chaperon. And the only place to go for recreation in Marbel during that time was the moviehouse. So I grew up as an avid fan of all sorts of movies. And I thank you for that. Until now, I enjoy watching movies.

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