So, this is probably really odd that after not writing for almost a year, the first post I write is about death.
I'm not dying.
Not yet, anyway.
But I was reading this book and it suddenly dawned on me, why Chinese parents (in the olden days) married off their daughters even if they loved them dearly. Ofcourse, there were those who wanted to get rid of another mouth to feed but let us assume that half of the population loved their daughters.
In Chinese traditions, male descendants were entrusted to worship and care for the dead, who were believed to reside in the spirit tablet. Have you seen the Mulan? Remember the ancestor hall? Yun pala yun.
If heaven forbid, an unmarried woman was dying, she was not allowed to die in her family compound. My gulay. Hassle. Mamatay ka na lang lilipat ka pa!
Then her spirit table was not permitted to be enshrined in her family's ancestor hall.
That is why daughters need to be married, so that her husband or her descendants can put a red dot on her spirit tablet. Only then could she journey to join the band of ancestors, destined to watch over the clan. Assuming she wasn't a shitty person on earth. If she was, then she's end up in one of the many hells of the Chinese afterlife.
If an unmarried dies, with no spirit tablet to live in and no descendants to do offerings, she would end up as hungry ghost.
The Chinese believe that even in death, people experience human emotions: hunger, anger, jealousy etc. So the ghost, tom jones na tom jones na sila. And their clothes also experience wear and tear, that's why paper money need to be burned so that they can shop in the afterlife.
This also explains the practice known as the Ghost Wedding. May movie dyan, starring Kim Chiu. Perhaps, this will be another post.
Papa gave me a very tough training in life. I started working when I was 9 years old and I was constantly reprimanded when I didn't take work seriously. This instilled in me a work ethic that drives me to always deliver the best work. Although, this very same trait also makes me very intolerant of mistakes.
I have met many who are very rich and smart, yet they don't seem to take work seriously because they don't need to work.
Papa said, when you feel anger, hatred and HUNGER...these are the greatest fuel to drive ambition to succeed and perseverance to work hard.
He said, "Rarely will one aspire to succeed if one is happy and content with life. "That's what he believed in.
So, when we graduated from school, papa said we have no place in our family business and we have to find our our purpose and build our own fortunes in life. He also took our credit cards and stopped our allowances.
Without having anything to fall back on, I was forced to make something out of myself.
Without having an allowance, I learned how to budget. Without having a car, I learned to commute. Without having a fortune to inherit, I earned my own.
Some parents want their kids close because they expect their kids to take care of them in their old age.
Papa wasn't like that.
He wanted us to be away from him so that when the time comes that the Lord will take him and mama, we will not be scared to face the world on our own.
As a parent, I realize that this mindset is very selfless. Ofcourse, I want to be with my daughter forever. But I learned that while this may be beneficial to me, it won't be for her.
She needs to learn to survive. And survival is not a walk in the park. The fact that the entire theory of evolution is hinged on survival means it is a great undertaking.
So, to let me and Louie leave home to find our place in the world...is perhaps the greatest and most selfless thing papa ever did.
I used to wonder if he doesn't love us enough for him to let us all leave home. Louie was sent away when he was only 11 years old.
But now, as I meet more people who have money but are clueless with their lives, I learned that papa did a great thing.
Painful but great.
So papa, I know you are celebrating Father's Day in Iloilo alone . I want you to know that we are out here, living independently and making sure that everything we do will make you proud.
A couple of days ago I received a very very very very long letter from a 21 year old Pinay girl who shared her story about her 23 year old Fil-Chi classmate/friend/ MU.
To make the long story short:
She developed feelings. He reciprocated. His mom found out. The mother made really scary threats. They agreed to be friends with feelings for each other.
I actually do not know why she wrote to me. It seems that she has already made up her mind.
I know she was looking for a reassurance but how can I give one when the threats are extremely dangerous.
I tell you, I have received so many emails about Filipino-Chinese relationships but the threats that she got are the lowest of the low.
Usually Fil-Chi parents threaten to disown their sons and daughters or cut off financial support and remove their inheritance.
In the case of Financial Support, I usually say..."Go ahead and fight for it!". To begin with, you shouldn't follow your parents just because you want to be financially rewarded. you follow because you respect and love them.
To those who tell that they are torn between losing their family and losing the love of their life, I usually tell them to choose their family. Otherwise, their partners will have very large shoes to fill in making them happy. It's like losing a half of your life and the other half will be working extra hard to make you whole again. It's unfair for the partner.
So when do you give up on the relationship? When exactly do you stop fighting for it?
1. First make sure that there is a relationship.
Baka sa isip mo lang yan. Sure na sure ka ba na mahal ka nya? As is super dooper love? Kasi ako love na love ko rin ang egg tart ng Kumori pero pag walang stock na, ok pa naman ako.
2. If you receive threats that will endanger your life, your family and your sanity.
Hindi na uso nang Romeo and Juliet drama. There are so many men and so many women out there. WAG MONG IPILIT ANG SARILI MO SA PAMILYANG AYAW SAYO. Have some self respect and self love please!
3. If you have waited more than 7 years!
Sa marriage nga may 7 year itch eh.
4.If you are female and 27 and you still haven't been introduced to his parents.
Remember you have a biological clock. Ang eggs po natin ay hindi unli.
5. If the guy/girl breaks up with you but still asks you to be his/her friend.
Ano ka libreng GRO? Libreng Shrink? Libreng emotional crutch? And worst, ano ka para-usan ng sexual needs nya? Haller!
6. If you are continually ask to change or improve.
You don't need to be "MORE" successful so that she/he can introduce you to her/his parents. Truth be told, kahit gaano ka pa ka successful sa work mo, they will always have their bias against you.
Lover boys and lover girls, I want to tell you something very important.
Parents, in general, want their children to marry well. This is particularly true for FIL-Chi parents.
There is a a mindset that if my son/daughter marries well, it means that something I made was valued by others. Which is why, some moms cry when their daughters get shitty Ting Hun jewelries.
While this sounds very selfish, sadly it is a human flaw that you also find validation of your own self worth through your children. This is in the same league as parents bragging when their children do well in school or parents being ashamed when their children f*ck up. Normal emotions po yan. Just different manifestation depending on different cultural norms.
So ask your self...
Maganda/Gwapo ka ba?
Do you come from a good family?
Are you a good catch?
If you are his mother/father will you like yourself to be his GF/BF?
If you seem confident that bongga naman ang credentials mo pero ayaw ka nila..
THEN MOVE ON NOH!
You obviously think you are good enough and if they can't see that...
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
This is not just for Fil-Chi relationships. This applies to any relationship!
One of my many Chinese New Year traditions is to wear new underwear on the first day of the lunar new year.
New beginnings daw yan.
Since I don't really have any idea what day of the week it is na because I've so busy with the baby #bangag, I only got my CNY must-haves on the eve of CNY mismo. I went to the mall right after the CNY dinner with my husband's parents.
Ay sus, since eto nalang na abutan ko sa Marks and Spencer sale...eh di see-though bra and panty ang lola mo nung pumunta sa temple.
Mura lang yan. Ung panty sale, so 175 nalang. Ung bra, sale din 300 nalang!