Here's a tribute to my friends and "enemies" who have shaped and molded me for the past 49 years. Without you, I wouldn't be what I am now (or should I say I wouldn't be still here at all?). Thank you, thank you all!
What I Learned from my Friends and "Enemies" (in random order)
1. Use of Hula hoop to trim the belly
On my 26th birthday, Tess gave me a hula hoop and made me understand that there are no belly dancers with excess fat on their bellies. Since then, hula hoop has been part of my physical fitness routine. At my age, I could still make 500 rounds in clockwise direction and 500 rounds in counter-clockwise direction. If your goal is to sweat after 5 minutes, you may want to try the hula hoop.
2. Sunset at Manila Bay
A former boyfriend brought me and my friends to Manila Bay and watched the sunset. When I broke up with him, I cried my heart out at the back of Folk Arts Theatre from sunrise to sunset. The following day, I moved on with my life. I still go back to Manila Bay from time to time to watch the sunset but no longer to nurse a broken heart. I go there with my kids, admire the breathtaking view and simply feel the warmth of the sea breeze tickling our skin.
3. Unwind at Siete Pecados
When Marilen first brought me there, we watched the show from 9PM to 1AM. We only ordered 3 bottles of beer (1 for her, 2 for me) for the whole time. Yet we asked and asked again for refill of potato chips (with dip) which was still free during those days. Now you know why they scrap their free chips . . .
I was also with Marilen when I first went to a Spa. I asked her where she wanted to go during her short vacation from Canada. She told me she wanted very much to relax and pamper herself in a Spa and I couldn't say "No" to her although deep inside, I was quite hesitant. Thanks to her I found out that it was an exhilarating experience after all.
4. Exercise in the Morning
Gay (that's her nickname). Can you believe her full name is Scholastica? I can never fathom how her parents knew that this child of theirs would someday live exactly to that name. Anyway, Gay never fails to exercise upon waking up in the morning. That's the first thing she would do. At her age of 45, she has maintained her all-time weight of 90 lbs.
5. No Salt, Sugar & Cooking Oil to lose weight fast. Also from Gay.
6. Skyflakes diet after stuffing your stomach with too much food. Also from Gay.
7. Run and Win the Race
When I was in CRC sporting the quadruple chins and log-like body, somebody commented that "Nora, you shouldn't only exercise your vocal chords but your body as well." Then one of our arrogant teachers challenged me that there's no way I could be in top form and trim my body. I took the challenge. I ran with my friends and eventually won the Center's 800-m. race.
By the way. I won the race because of Jessy's running tips. Since he claimed to be a former member of DLSU Running Team, I believed him. He taught me the proper way to sprint. I owe him my victory.
8. Float in Water
It was raining mad that day, in one of our school's field trips. Agnes taught me how to float. Because of her, I was able to overcome my fear of water.
9. When Elsa took her vacation in Pampanga, she taught me the back float/stroke. I cannot put into words how I felt that night (I used to swim only during nights before because "panggabi lang ang beauty ko"). It just felt soooh good!
10. Mountain climbing after heavy rains with Ning, Jessy, Gay and Tess. I think I'll write a separate post of what happened that muddy day. Bottom line is, after the hardship that we endured along the way, Imelda Falls at Majayjay, Laguna is truly worth the trip.
11. From Grade 1 to 6, my classmate Leandrino made it his supreme vow not to bully anybody except me. I dunno why he had to pick me as the object of his aggression. He insulted me with names, contradicted me about anything and everything, even influenced his buddies to physically fight with me. I begged my mother to enroll me in Karate so I could defend myself like Wang Yu and Meng Fei but she wanted me to join the ballet class instead.
Anyway, I thank Buboy for exposing me early to the harsh realities of life--that you cannot please everybody all the time. And you should never allow people to treat you the way they want to treat you. You should only allow people to treat you the way that you like to be treated. You should never think low of yourself just because other people criticize you. You are what you are--inside. It takes courage and strength to face the world's trials and disappointments but you just have to do it. You cannot solve your problem by running from it. You have to face it head-on. You cannot have everything you want but you can still choose to be happy.
12. Trim my Eyebrows
Among my different set of friends, Luz (Stat Group) and Sis Mila (Handmaids of the Lord) were both very vocal about my horrifying eyebrows which appear right above my eyes! Well, after their prodding and nagging, I finally asked an expert to trim my eyebrows.
13. I have never met a woman who walked as slow as Angie. It was a major problem for the both of us because according to her, she had to run in order to keep pace with me. So we made a deal. She'll walk faster and I'll walk slower. It was so irritating at first but I did learn to walk slower because of her.
14. I used to be very conservative in the way I dress like I didn't want to wear sleeveless shirts, open necklines, body-fit pants nor go out in my shorts. My Ex-M.U. changed all that. He told me "You've got assets, lady. Why don't you show it?" And the rest is history.
15. When I was small, we used to have a Ladies Dorm. in Marbel, South Cotabato. One of our bedspacers was Ate Neneng. If I remember right, she was in her first year in College. She had a childhood sweetheart who came to visit her every week. My father was so strict that she was not allowed to go out with her boyfriend without me as their chaperon. During that time, the only place for recreation in my hometown was the theater. I grew up loving all kinds of movies--from romance to horror to comedy. In short, I became a "movie addict" because of Ate Neneng and her boyfriend.
16. Two things I learned from the father of my children:
a) I learned to quit drinking because according to him, it is so unbecoming for a respectable woman like me and
b) I learned to stretch my patience which I thought didn't exist before. I was able to prolong my marriage to 5 years, instead of 5 months! Whoa! What a feat!