9 Reasons Being A Military Spouse Is The Toughest Job In The Military

“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required.” -Winston Churchill

A military wife goes through a lot of things but chooses to keep it to herself because she doesn’t want to bother her family or friends, after deciding to marry the love of her life, who happens to be in the military. That’s why, those emotions and thoughts were only kept unsaid and remained as secrets that only those who go through it could understand. Nevertheless, here are some of the things which justify why being a military spouse is the toughest job in the military.

9 Reasons Being A Military Spouse Is The Toughest Job In The Military

1.

Parenting. Especially if you’re a first time Mom, even if you’ve tried baby sitting before, this time, it will be different, because it’s your own kid who is on the plinth. Not only the baby care itself, but when your kids start to comprehend, you are left to answer difficult questions like, “Where does Dad sleep?” or “When is Dad coming home?”

2.

Budgeting. A military spouse should be savvy when it comes to money because she has no other choice. She is left in the house to dole out what is left from all the loans, and expenses they got when they started their married life. What’s left is what she will budget or manage until the next allocation comes.

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3.

Quick-house fixes. Sometimes, when there is a plumbing-problem situation in the sink, or the screen door was suddenly detached from your backdoor, there’s no other way but to grab the plunger to unclog the sink, and buy new pair of hinges and drive the screws to reattach your screen door tightly. ‘Cause if you won’t, who will?

4.

Problematic Situations. You cannot avoid problems even after you’ve tied the knot, because it is inevitable, and it’s a part of life. However, sometimes it’s not the problems that weigh you down, but it’s the bitter fact that your better half is a thousand miles away from you. Even though you want to scream, cry, or just want to let it all out, you have no choice but to hold it together while your hubby is away fighting in a really dangerous place.

5.

Your career. Most of the time, the spouse is left with no choice but to give up her own career, especially during the start of their married life. This is a bit saddening but being a military spouse entails that you should take care of your kids and manage the house solely. Even if you can ask someone to take care of the kids, still, nothing compares to the hands-on care and motherly love you could ever give to your children.

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6.

A sudden change of address. This is true to all military families whose Dads need to transfer from a place to a new one for a long period of time. This is quite tough because it implies that you need to change schools, friends, house… everything. Not only tough physically, and emotionally, but also, financially because you need to start all over again turning your new house to your very own, yet another home.

7.

Lonely nights. There are no exact words which you can use to describe how you miss your husband so much, and how his touch, hug or a simple tap on your shoulder from him could give you the assurance that it’s all going to be okay after all your failed efforts and sad days without him… and let me say it… of course, your bed time moments.

8.

Sudden seafaring. Being a wife of a military man means you need to get used to sudden calls from your husband asking you to bring the kids to insert the place where your husband is deployed because he can’t come home, and there’s a family activity you need to attend. Again, tough, but exciting.

9.

The Military Community. Most of the time, you have no ‘civilian’ friends who could understand your toils, and you always end up keeping it all together. But gladly, as the year adds up, you get to meet new people from the same page who could understand you and help you with things only your group could ever understand. Sometimes, their presence is an assurance that military life is somewhat possible because someone came out alive from your current situation.

Not everything in life comes easy. It will always depend on you how you react or survive from it. Military life won’t get easier if you look at the obstacles that block your attention to real contentment. I say, it is not a chore, or a work, hence, it should be considered as a lifestyle that you should get used to in order to come out cheerfully and blissfully after all the sacrifices.

“Love is a kind of military service.” -Latin Proverb

Above photo from snapwire via pexels.com

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A Holiday Spent in The Camp: The Military GF Experience

“Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.” -Oscar Levant

A Holiday Spent in The Camp: The Military GF Experience

This is a long story so buckle up, and prepare the popcorn.

Contextual definition:
* BOS: Branch of Service
* Sancho– our code for: The boyfriend, who is an Army Soldier
* “KM” -Military Vehicle
* BDA: Battle Dress Attire (the uniform the soldiers use during combat, or during ordinary day)
* Company: a single unit belonging to a battalion
* “Area” – the place where the soldiers were deployed, usually a remote area where there is no electricity, yet
* Leftists– people whose ideals are not the same with the Government; those who fight for their rights which often lead to bloody encounter
* “operation”: combat between the military and the rebels

EI:
* BF’s BOS: Army
* Area: Highlands
* Weather: Cold and Foggy
* Timeline: Last week of December, 3 years ago

Then the story begins…

First of all, I don’t really have the intention to visit my Army man in his workplace, because after all, I don’t have any business to do there, right? But I realized, maybe, after all his countless invitation from before, this time, I think I must give it a try.
It was early in the morning when I rode the plane, ooppss… skip… 🙂

So we saw each other after 5 long months of deployment when he fetched me from the Airport. Since we were already in the City, (which means there were still stores, malls, electricity, computers, etc, in short, civilization LOL) we decided to dine out for lunch and buy some snacks and a hefty amount of ingredients for the holiday’s small year-ender party.
In the supermarket while shopping for the goods: every time I offered something to buy like bread, cookies etc, he always stopped to think if what I’ve put in the basket is enough for everybody (his thoughtful side, that is). I wasn’t expecting a lot, but actually, we ended up buying food which we cannot really personally carry comfortably, so imagine, that was really a good bulk of it.

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While we were eating our lunch, and assumed to at least rest for a while, his phone suddenly rung, and he was being asked to report back to his Battalion immediately. Have gotten used to sudden changes, I expect that we were about to do ninja moves, because I know exactly that when duty calls him, wherever he is and whatever he is doing, he must leave it. So we dashed back to his Battalion. This was totally a new experience to me, because this time, I was already going inside ‘the hard cap area.’
I wasn’t sure where to go, and I never even asked anything, I just followed. We traveled for 5 long hours via bus, and we got off in a dark side of the street where there were tryke or habal-habal waiting for passengers. We rode the habal-habal and for some twenty minutes of joy ride, we got off. Finally we reached the place where the barracks of the other soldiers was located. It was a cemented, abandoned small house with 3 rooms full of soldiers. It was a bit awkward because I was the only female there, and they were a bit surprised when they saw me.
I thought we were going to stay there until the morning but during midnight, he woke me up. He told me to hurry up because the vehicle was already waiting for us. I have no choice, I changed my clothes, wore my shoes, got my backpack, and dashed to the toilet at least to brush my teeth and wash my face with water. I wiped my face dry with paper towel and fired up to wear my glasses. Hastily, I went outside the barracks, and true enough, the military vehicle (KM) was out and about; yet, we were the only ones they were waiting for.

When I glanced back to the vehicle, my heart rate raised a bit, well who would’ve? Lo and behold! Ten soldiers with live arms and some sash full of bullets were there seemingly ready to shoot? But then on the other hand, I was also a bit kilig (touched) knowing that they were there to protect me. Of course, I got more kilig when I saw my man wearing his BDA. (Haha How cute.) 🙂

I got back to my senses when he asked me to sit in front of the vehicle asking me to wear the heavy bulletproof vest, and he even had his M-16 ready when he sat beside me. I don’t have any choice, do I? So I wore the vest which I think was 2/3 my weight, LOL, and sat beside him, sharing a spot which is supposedly for a single person only. I wasn’t sure where to go, but I think it took us an hour to reach the Battalion Camp.

So we met their honorable Battalion Staff, and of course their Head, their very kind and accommodating Battalion Commander. Of course, I won’t mention their names for security purposes; but if I could, then I must; because the truth was they were really accommodating. Sancho was the lowest ranked Officer in there, but they managed to converse with me even if they had a choice not to. Originally I remained inside the KM and want to just wait for the troops to come back, but the BatCom asked Sancho to call me for midnight snacks, at least. Then they asked me to sit with them, in their dining table, and offered me a slice of cake. While Sancho was receiving instructions from the other Officers, I was being entertained by the other Officers together with the BatCom himself. **This is one of the many things which made me changed my past views about battalion commanders and other military upperclassmen, I thought they were really unapproachable, chilly, or aloof, but in contrary, they were actually very friendly.

It was midnight, and they ordered Sancho to have us be escorted back to his area, because it was a bit dangerous. I thought everybody will be back in the KM, but to my surprise, they huddled in a big circle, then a Soldier led a prayer. I was really touched, even if I cannot really comprehend the words, I know in their own unuttered prayers, they were asking for His Divine Intervention to guide and protect them.

Just when I sat back to our original seat, I remembered someone told me before that it is a menace to be escorted by a KM because most of the time, the vehicle is being ambushed by the leftists. My heart skipped a bit, and I felt butterflies in my stomach. I got really nervous. I might be dead anytime. LOL. Then he asked me if I was alright, and asked me to wear the vest again. He said we were only going to travel for a short time to reach his area.

Then we started traveling. It was so dark, and we did not experience any flat and steady road. The entire trip was so bumpy. Not only rocky, but also muddy. As we traveled, nobody in the front seat was talking, neither the driver (who is also a Soldier, with his own M-16 on the side), nor Sancho. I want to talk but I couldn’t find any correct words to utter. It was so dark and cold. Although the windshield of the KM was so husky, still, I could feel the cool breeze kissing my cheeks and blurring my eyes.

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The silence of the two men seated beside me was deafening, and I could only focus my attention to the sound of the water which is 2-feet high as we passed by that road. Then we passed through a trail where all I could see was an area full of grass. I was amused when the meadow’s height was higher than the KM. They simultaneously waved as the air gushed towards us, as if they were waving goodbye as we passed by them. I wasn’t sure where we were, but actually I saw some small houses with lamps, but there were a few, and the darkness ruled the place.
The “short” trip Paul told me was actually about 4 lengthy hours. My sitting bone (coccyx) was aching because we only shared one seat, even my back was painful; my knees were also nagging, because they hit the vehicle’s front compartment as we traveled along the bumpy road because I was only sitting on the edge… and oh… my left hip bone was crying for help, because the edge of the tool box beside me was hitting my hip every bump we bolted. I do not have any choice, and those times were a call for patience and sacrifice. Indeed, this was what I signed up for years ago when he asked me to be his girlfriend. 😛 Kidding aside, I was really lucky to experience this, and I was thankful we arrived safe and sound.

Then we came to his area. We passed by the gates, it was still dark so I cannot see anything but the light his phone was providing. He asked me not to dare get off the vehicle because it was wet and muddy. So I asked him what to do, he told me to wait. I really couldn’t see anything at all, I was disoriented, a little girl waiting for his verdict. I was only listening to the voice of the gentlemen asking for coffee, and the others laughing, as if they were only seeing each other for the first time, in a long time.
Then Sancho came to my rescue. He asked me to remove my shoes. I asked him why, he said I should stop asking questions and just follow whatever he says, I was laughing inside, actually, 🙂 those moments when I see him so serious about something, I couldn’t help but laugh, but this time, I must be in my proper behavior. I remembered that time I was their Officer’s girlfriend. I couldn’t help it, but actually what he asked me to do next surprised me. He asked me to heave on his back, the classic piggy back which we haven’t done, yet. Haha. That was awkward because the soldiers will see me for the first time… on their Officer’s back! That was so embarrassing but I was left without a choice. Too good it was still dark, and he carried me straight to a room which has 4 galloons of gas, and some pieces of military equipment. He said that was the only space available for me. So imagine a room which has been a storage place for kerosene, guns and ammo. The air I breathe in smells like gas, it caused me headache but to my awe, I forgot about it.

He asked me not to put my feet on the ground because it was muddy all over. I was curious about how the room looked like, because all I can see are the things which his phone light could only reach.

We were so tired from traveling all they long, so we decided to retire our tired bodies. Amid the cold dawn and the smell of kerosene, innocently, we managed to snooze off and bade goodbye to the world.

The heat of the sun roused me up, I woke him up and told him it was already morning and he said, it’s fine if I still want to sleep, but I couldn’t hold my bladder anymore, so I told him I have to pee. He got up, draw a pair of combat boots from the side of the bed and asked me to wear them. The boots were full of mud on each side and seemed like worn out from excessive usage. It was his size, of course, and it seemed that each shoe was heavier than my foot. Haha

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I wiped my face with wet towel and wore my glasses, to my surprise, my feet were already touching the ground! I looked at it closely, lo and behold! It was really muddy all over. The room which was built from pieces of wood and military rain coats was endowed with 1-2inch muddy floor, and some grass were growing from the foundation of the folding army bed. My bag and his were only placed on top of a plywood beneath a few rocks so that it wouldn’t touch the muddy ground. I could also see the rays peeping through the lines of the wood which served as the walls of the Macgyver-built room.

I also remembered I was smelling kerosene, but the coldness of the morning really caught my attention. Mr. Sun was already up in the sky, but its rays were underestimated by the coldness brought about by the altitude of the area. Peeping through the uneven lines of the walls, I could see mountains.

Paul asked me to bring my things because the toilet is quite far, so instead of going back to take a bath later that day, it’s practical to do it all at once. He asked me to wear shorts, because according to him, it’s even muddier outside. I didn’t bring any shorts with me, and so he offered his army shorts. So imagine I was wearing the olive green shorts, his combat boots, and my violet hoody. 😛 I wasn’t in my best appearance to meet the army men from his company, but at least, they know, I wasn’t maarte (stagey, choosy) to insist my girly look despite the situation and place we were at. LOL

We went outside the room, the fog welcomed me as I moved the military raincoat which served as our door. The soldiers were busy doing their own stuff, I know they’ve noticed me but from my observation, they were only shy to initiate conversation or a simple eye-to-eye contact. I smiled to them and greeted them a good morning. I guessed that was their queue because after breaking the ice, I looked to them and waited for their reply; they smiled back to me, and asked me if I wanted coffee. They do not know what to do or how to entertain me, maybe because, at the back of their minds, I am their Boss’s girlfriend, as I perceived it. But I was so happy because, despite that, they were very friendly and accommodating.

As we started walking out from the gates of the camp, it gets harder and harder to carry my foot one by one, because the mud gets deeper and deeper as we move past the gates. He noticed I was having a hard time, so he asked me to piggyback on him, once more. I guess I have no choice, that was the only way we could move quickly. So I did.

We passed a trail which you couldn’t almost see the path because the water from the spring is moving steadily, and it covers the whole trail, sometimes you also have to leap, jump, or walk tiptoe just to overcome the part where all you can see was water. I was amused by the ducks passing through the swamp. They were not shaken by our presence and it seemed that they were playing together.

We reached the place. It was a house of a community folk who is always in the farm, his kindness provided the company a place to do the laundry and do their personal business. Gladly, the comfort room/bathroom has a door, but it doesn’t have lock, so I used a bucketful of water to stop it from opening. After Paul washed our clothes, 🙂 we went back to the barracks.

The soldiers were happy that time because it was a holiday. It means they do not have operation or long walks and hikes in the mountains. As we were eating, I heard a sound of motorbike (habal-habal) headed towards us, and suddenly, the gates opened. It was the family of one of the soldiers. That single motorbike carried a family of 6. The driver, the mother who was carrying a newborn baby, 2 toddlers (a boy and a girl) and a teenage boy. As the soldier saw his family, it almost made me burst into tears because the soldier’s face brightened up and he almost cried as he carried his children down the habal-habal. He was very happy to see his family. I remembered we traveled almost 5 hours in a commercial bus, and almost 4 hours riding the military vehicle up in the mountains. But they only rode a motorbike together with the kids. I think that was too sacrificial, and dangerous. But their love to their Dad surpassed all the fears and troubles just to reach him.

I was overjoyed to know there were other civilians (like me) who came to the camp, and little kids, too. They joined us eating, and I was captivated by their lil rain boots each of them wore, looking very prepared to go to their Dad’s area.

I cannot forget this moment because it taught me one thing; to be able to get the most out of the lemons life is giving you. Choosing to be happy amid the hardships and sacrifices the Army life has to offer… and being able to see the sun even if it’s all foggy and rainy.

After having breakfast, Paul and I started to prepare the ingredients of our menu… **drum roll** spicy Spaghetti and Carbonara. Haha no doubt we love pasta 🙂 and so we got busy in their outdoor kitchen while other soldiers started preparing their own menu, while others butchered the swine to cook as letson. 🙂 It was my first time to see how letson was cooked “at home” where everything used were freshly picked from their mini farmville (especially the swine, it was from their own mini hogpen).

As the dusk approaches, community folks started to come over and we all started to partake all the food that was prepared for everybody.

The night was perfect, because aside from thinking I was in a dangerous place, it came to me that somehow, although it was only temporary, the civilians, the community folks and the military men gathered together in one long table without arms and without bullets being fired, and no grenade being tossed.
I don’t know where to end the story, but I think that’s all I have to say. Military life is difficult, just as I described a single night alone with them. But now, I realized, I was blessed to have someone who knows how to live a simple life, and chose to live it even if he has the expediency to choose sophistication over simplicity.

“One day we will realize that big hearts will bring us more peace than big weapons.” -Anthony Douglas Williams

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The Day He Asked

OPEN LETTER TO MY FUTURE HUSBAND

Read Back Story: The Great “TAKE LIFE” Experience

08 September 2017

Exactly a month ago, I fetched you from KIX and we went straight to this Anime area I’ve been wanting to show you esp because of this giant Gundam you were excited to see. On our way there, I asked you why you came here all the way from the Phils and besieged the tedious process of owning a Japanese Visa (and not to mention the scuffle you had before riding the plane with these edgy Immigration Officers of our beloved country); I was astonished by your answer, when you said you just want to make sure I was doing fine (after my Dad went to rest).

The moment we arrived at our destination, you saw the huge Ferris Wheel even from afar, and you told me that in Japan, “Ferris Wheel” love stories are so prevailing, and some what romantic. You asked me if we could go there. I said, fine, wala namang problema. Hehe Although I’m not quite sure if I could still take the pressure of my fear of heights. Masyado na kasing mataas iyon, this Ferris Wheel is the tallest Ferris Wheel they have here in Japan (123 meters high overlooking Expocity), but then again, what do I have to lose? I’m with the person who means the world to me; I might as well do the scariest thing I could ever imagine now that I’m with him. LOL Nagtatapang-tapangan, kasama ka naman e.

After we paid for the tickets, we went straight to the receiving area where they let you ride the cable car-ish, capsule-looking thing, I really don’t know how they call it. Haha. I was amazed because it was so clean, and it was so cold because of the capsule’s individualized air conditioning (super hi-tech naman hehe), also, they gave us ice pops for free. Lucky!

We took some selfies as soon as we rode the capsule; it was so romantic because of the twilight.

As we get higher and higher, I was so bewildered as I see the famous Tower of the Sun from Banpaku Kinen Park getting smaller and smaller as if it were the size of my thumb. I was so excited I haven’t even noticed you were talking (hahaha, I’m really sorry about that), I even had my back against you because I was trying to capture the exquisite view from the park behind us, and then when I was satisfied by the photos I’ve taken, I glanced backed at you, and there you were! Down on your knees holding a small red chest with a diamond ring on it. OMG. This was the moment where “the Earth moves normally on its own axis while the sun is slowly setting as normal as it happens everyday, but this time, with the love of my life in front of me holding a ring and asking me to marry him” kind of moment where I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to respond, I couldn’t even hear what you were trying to say because my whole world gone mute and slow-mo, and I feel like I’m having a heart attack at that moment.

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I didn’t hear what you were trying to tell me, only the words, “Papakasal ka ba saakin?” …Then my head cleared out, I said, “Oo naman.”

It was a month ago, but only these days have I gotten my mind to process it. OMG ngayon lang nag-sink in saakin. I am going to marry you. You, my best friend, my partner in crime, my sounding board, my raison d’etre, my everything (just like what you are always telling me, that I am your everything).

First of all, I want to apologize, because at times, you might feel it isn’t a big deal to me, but I’m telling you, it is. I’m sorry for all the times I’ve been taking you for granted because of work; for a day or two not having to text you; for the nights I’ve chosen to sleep instead of talking to you on the phone; for having you wait more than a year just to see me; and for all the times I have disappointed you because of my bad decision making. I would also want to say sorry because I promised you before we will keep our relationship private, but please, just this time, let me tell the whole world this story as I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I might not be having these lengthy stories when we get old, you know.

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Second, I want to thank you for sticking around when I’m difficult to be with. You know me; how stubborn I am, how quick my temper is, you know my deepest secrets but you never judged me, you know my goals and my dreams which are some what impossible to achieve, but you always encourage me to do my best, because you believe in my potential, you believe in me.

I cannot promise a beautiful or perfect life ahead of us, because life as we know it, is difficult. But I could promise that whatever we encounter, I will always be right beside you, just like how our own parents love each other.

“Why one man rather than another? Because he was the one you met when you were 19.” I can’t remember who wrote this quote, but yes, it’s true. We met when we were 19, from then on, we couldn’t spare long enough not to see each other again; and this year we turned 27, it just gets intense, haha. I couldn’t stand the look on your face whenever we part, and I couldn’t bear the pain when I know you are shedding tears because we will be apart again for so long. (Akalain mo iyon, naging iyakin tayo) And even right now, as I write this, I can’t help but weep. I don’t know. I think we’re just so in love we can do anything just to show for it (like cry like an ugly person haha).

As we come pass the “young” age, I just want you to know that my love for you when we were 19 is still here, on a 27-year old beating heart of mine. Haha ang corny ko na, sorry. But then again, 8 days from now, we will be celebrating our 7th Anniversary, yehey! Congratulations to us! We’ve reached the point of no return. Haha I love you so much, but I love and respect your parents and family even more for without them, you will not be here. First and foremost, I thank the Lord because you were the one who made me closer to Him. You were the reason I came back to Him. Thank you.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.” 1Corinthians13:1

Photos from that special day. <3

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The Great “TAKE LIFE” Experience

Disclaimer: This is a love story. LOL You will not be able to see/read any heroic deed done by a Soldier in the battle of some sort, hence, this is a story of a Soldier Boyfriend who took every difficulty into an opportunity to prove his love to his girlfriend.

***This is a story about a “take-life” out-of-the-country travel.

EI: “Take Life” (def: anything done against the rules) more definition of terms below

A LITTLE BACKGROUND. It was our first time to travel outside the country. But not the typical type of “travel” where both of you availed a promo a year earlier from an agency and together you go and enjoy a 2n3d tour. It’s more of a “visit” I think; him, coming to see me here in Japan. I’ve been here for almost 3 years now for school and work.

Unfortunately, my Dad passed away earlier this year (Read: To Moving Forward), it was devastating, I don’t know if I could still make it in life without my Father. I was so close to my Dad since I was the only girl among 5 siblings (I am 2nd to the last according to birth order), and I communicate with my Dad every single day especially when I was already working overseas. I didn’t see it coming, and still, up ‘til now, thinking about my future without my Dad is horrifying—that every single day when I wake up, I couldn’t find will to live. This prompted my boyfriend to get his visa to visit me here, to know if I was really doing ok. Even if he knows he has to go through tedious process of acquiring a visa despite his busy schedule, you know, he is a Junior Officer in the Army, that means he only gets to have vacation during their R&R (which he could use to complete the requirements for the Visa).

I won’t continue my story about my loss or anything that will make you feel sad because believe it or not, I get too sad easily, too. Hehe Dapat happy lang lagi diba? I am writing this article to share to you how my boyfriend beat the odds of acquiring a Japanese Visa and how we experienced the first trip we had internationally.

We have some experiences roaming around far flung areas in the Philippines, given that he was assigned to the South (we are both from the Northern part of the country). We tried going to places where there was no electricity, no phone site, the roads were eaten by wild grass and the trail were bitten paths; not only that, the walls of your room were only Mcgyvered military rain coats and your bed was military folding bed beside gallons of gasoline supply and arms and ammos. We survived it. We’re both simple individuals so whatever the situation is, I think we could make it through and could make the best out of any circumstance. But this abroad experience of ours is kind of amazing. It will be one of my favorite adventures.

Japan is only 4 hour-plane ride from the Philippines. Many yuppies visit Japan to unleash their otaku inside. It is very possible and somehow very easy for others to get Japanese Tourist Visa after completing paper requirements which they get from different government offices, but for a Soldier, it’s kind of impossible, unless mag-take life.

So there he was with his burning desire to see my face in flesh, hoping that all the circumstances will conspire to make his trip smooth. First, he completed all the requirements to be submitted for visa approval. Not to mention how it cost him extra bucks for the visa assistance fee, and his unending take life from the CP to the city where he is assigned to get the papers ready. (Imagine how long and grueling the hours of trip from the mountains down to the city where there is civilization, I know, because I’ve tried visiting him in the CP.)

Even before submitting the papers for visa approval, due to his excitement, he already bought plane tickets way earlier than his planned visit. Hehe ganun niya ako ka-miss.

He was very excited to complete the papers and this time, it is in the hands of Japan Embassy if he gets to see me or not. It took him a couple of days to be able to know the results, and luckily, the universe conspired, his visa was APPROVED.

He was given 3 long months of Tourist Visa. If only he could stay that long, I’d be very eager to take care of him even after every tiring day from work and school. Hihihi Kilig much naman, pero I booked him for 11 days only, his R&R was only 15 days and manggagaling pa siyang Mindanao.

On the day of his flight, we both hoped for it to be smooth and it did, for the earlier part of his entry to the boarding area until the Philippine Immigration section where he was grilled. The Immigration Officer was asking for his R&R permit/letter from his Boss. Oh my. It was 5am! How will he produce that kind of paper at these wee hours of sleep?

At that very moment he was still able to message me to inform me that he was asked to come in the Immigration Office because of his papers (or because they’ve learned that he was a Soldier that’s why they were strict to him haaays!).

Meanwhile, that exact time, I was having breakfast at the nearest Mcdonald’s before my airport limo bus arrives. We were only communicating through FB Messenger and I was using McDo’s WIFI. Lol I was so worried that even the WIFI connection got lost and I don’t know how to contact him. (I’ve already been living in Japan for almost 3 years without phone line/personal WIFI; imagine how thrifty I am! Haha I am only using free WIFI the whole time for 3 years!)

Is he going to be ok? Will he still be able to ride his plane? Will I still have to go to the airport without the certainty if he comes or must I now head back home? I was spiraling. I was with my Japanese friend that time and because my friend was also stressed out because of the immigration issue of my beloved boyfriend, it caused her to light a cigarette. Haha. Napa-yosi pa siya dahil sa kaba. She was sharing the same emotions with mine. Haha. But going back to reality, I really don’t know if he passed the Immigration, but I trusted my guts and still rode the limousine bus heading to the airport. It was 4 hours of WIFI-less ride, imagine how worried I was the whole trip, but I still managed to sleep, haha galing pa kasi akong duty nito, I was so tired, I couldn’t help it.

Blessed enough, his Mistah, the very person who can only give out official papers/permits in the Battalion was awakened by my boyfriend’s call. He responded immediately with a scanned permit allowing him to travel outside the Phils, with my Japan address, and his Mistah’s very important signature. We were very lucky.

I faded off to sleep for a couple of hours, and I arrived safely at KIX. As I opened my phone, it kept vibrating as if my phone was committing suicide haha. I know he was also eager to hear from me, and yes he had messages 4 hours earlier. Just as he left the Immigration Office, he messaged me and told me that everything went well according to plan and he was able to catch his flight. Whew. Thank God I didn’t think twice, and thanks to his kind Mistah, he didn’t fail him.

I really didn’t know what will happen to our fate that time, haha will I see him or not? But, I know, all this time, love keeps us through. I entered the airport and went straight to the sink because I want to be looking ok when I see him again after almost half a year. I waited for only a few minutes and out of a sea of unfamiliar faces, from a distance, his face rose vibrantly as he approached me. I was so happy to see him, even if we were only a hundred meters apart, I could see his face lighting up when he spotted where I was. This face, even if I don’t get to see it everyday, when I remember it, I remember why my heart still chooses to beat and continue on with life. My Dad never left me empty-handed, yes he rested, physically, but his love for me is unending when he accepted this unknown man to be a part of my life—to be a part of our family. I was glad that we were able to bond with my Dad for quite some time before he passed away.

Now, at this very moment, right in front of me is a man, who may be an ordinary person to others, but for me, he is the resemblance of a million reasons to stay alive and continue fighting. He is a gift I open everyday. I promise from then on, I will wake up with grateful heart because God gave me a future, and more importantly, a present to love and nurture everyday.

Oopps… What happened to my “travel” story? Ayun, natuloy siya dito sa Japan, after all those uncertainties he faced, sobrang take life lang talaga ito. Masyado kasi talagang farfetched or imposible for him to visit me here, akala ko panaginip lang lahat, pero natuloy talaga siya. We had a great time and I didn’t see what’s coming next.

Continue reading: The Day He Asked

EI:

R&R: rest and recreation

Yuppies: young professionals

Otaku: someone who loves anime so much that he/she lives/drinks/eats and dreams anime every waking moment of his/her life (Def from Wikipedia: Otaku (おたく/オタク) is a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom)

CP: Command Post: A small unit belonging to a Battalion

Take Life: Doing something against the rule (or ask your Soldier Boyfriend to explain this term to you, I might be wrong LOL)

Mistah: Classmate (term used inside the Academy)

Sink: Military term for restroom

Above photo from Josh Sorenson via pexels.com

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10 Things Never To Say To Someone Who Has A Soldier Deployed

1. “Do you miss him?”  hmmm… Are you really going to ask me that?

2. “I don’t know how you do it.”
 Dear, you have no idea how I do it.

3. “I know just how you feel.” Really?
 Just really?

4. “Are you scared something may happen to him?”

How will you feel if you know that someone who means the world to you is going to leave you anytime? Like, permanently? Then please don’t ask me if I’m scared that something may happen to him, or I will just give you an ultimate crazy look which will burn you. LOL

5. “I would die if my husband left me for that long.”

Oh common.
 You don’t even know how to give significance to every single waking moment with your husband ( you know, the word MAXIMIZE, ’cause in the military, this word means so much to us, so stop telling me off, will you? Haha

6. “Has he had to kill anyone?”

Do you want me to kill you? haha. kidding! But, do you really want me to answer that?

7. “Aren’t you afraid of him now?”

No, because he taught me the basics of MMA, and I might use it anytime if you continue asking me such kind of questions. 😛

8. “Aren’t you worried he’s going to cheat on you?”

Is he worried I’m going to cheat on him? Of course, not.

9. “Are you excited he’s coming home?”

That question? Can you go now? Really, I beg you to. haha

10. “Why couldn’t he get a REAL job?”


Why can’t you get a life? Stop bothering me! haha

These are a few of the many things we often hear from our family or friends regarding our military relationship, but, however annoying some of these things may sound, sometimes, we don’t have any choice but to get used to it. But hello, if you often ask us those questions, we always feel unaccepted or being pitied.

So please refrain from asking your military-spouse/girlfriend friends these things, if it may not be a burdensome on your part, thank you 🙂 What we rather need is assurance and a helpful friend to divert our mind from thinking of our military partner being so far, far away from us. Just my two cents! 😛

Above photo from Pixabay via pexels.com

This is one of my favorite thoughts about the military life, originally taken from.

 

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5 Ways to Love A Soldier

“She wasn’t looking for a Knight. She was looking for a sword.” ~Atticus

1. Have a Flexible Job

A job which will permit you to fly anytime, when the need arises. (ie when he needs you, or when he simply misses you).

This might sound crazy to other people who are outside the military world; because they think it’s kind of absurd when you start to prioritize your partner over your career (no matter how you try to explain  your situation, they can’t understand, or may I say, they won’t understand, so stop explaining yourself LOL). Yes, at first, it is. You may even feel you are depriving yourself of a better career opportunity or so, but don’t get me wrong when I say, “flexible work,” what I meant was to look for a job which will give you more time to visit him. I know, it isn’t ordinary, people may even roll their eyes, but, it’s a part of loving a man in uniform. It’s not crazy, it’s selfless.

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2. Be Supportive of His Dream

I’ve been in a military relationship for more than 7 years now, but believe it or not, sometimes, I couldn’t get myself to be supportive of his dream (becoming a Military Officer). To be honest, when he was still in PMA, I somehow hoped that he will change his mind or he will be discharged (Haha sorry naman, but I really hoped nung kumuha siya ng Physics Removal’s Exam niya noon, I wished hindi na lang siya pumasa). I’m sorry if I am saying this right now, because, sometimes, it’s hard to be supportive when you know that his first priority is his job. This means he will not bend for what you want, even if what you only want him to do is to come home every single day after a tiring day from work–like most regular husbands do (when you get married).

But here you are still loving him, despite his dream of serving the country and leaving you home to protect and make other families safe–even if it means leaving yours unattended. It’s difficult and a bit sad, but you have to be supportive, because remember, you are his strength.

3. Be Selfless

I couldn’t explain #2 when I won’t involve the value of SELFLESSNESS, right? LOL I told you I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that the man I am going to be with for the rest of my life is going to be away from home/from me for the rest of his career. But thinking from a different perspective, I am with a person who is very devoted to his goals and dreams, that he chooses to forget about his own comfort and chooses to serve the Nation instead.

What I could do right now is to support him and to not be selfish. I know, I only think about myself, I only think about our future family, our unborn children who will not have the privilege to grow with their Dad, but I know for a fact that I can do something. There are a lot of women out there who could take my place, but luckily, I am one of the chosen few to be in the “Silent Ranks.”

Instead of weeping, or feeling sorry for our situation, in the future, when we’ll have our own family, maybe I could bring our kids regularly to the Camp so that they could be with their Dad, and my husband won’t miss any milestone of our kids; I could learn to drive his car to take the kids to school or to drive myself to the supermarket; I could learn to manage the household independently; I could take care of his parents, or his family as I take care of my own–I could work double time for us. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I could choose to be strong for us to make it through. Just like him, I should be selfless.

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4. Be Respectful to Him

Love comes naturally, but respect does not. I could say, because as the relationship gets old, you make fun of each other more often, and sometimes, kapag pikon iyong isa, it will lead to serious fight. Lol

Respect is very important to make a relationship solid. NO MATTER WHAT YOU TWO ARE GOING THROUGH, TREAT EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT.

5. Build Your Own Empire

This is the most exciting part of being in a military relationship. This is my favorite. <3

As you take the courage to maintain your relationship, you get to be the “man” in the house to decide on what to do with your life. As he is out there fighting the battles unknown to you, you have all the time to find yourself, or find what really makes your heart ignite. Masiyado naman yatang ma-drama, what I mean is, you have all the time in the world to actually do what you really wanted in life. It might seem contradicting to #1, but here in #5, while he is away, you can do whatever you want to do, build a business, continue to graduate school, travel, start a blog, build a new hobby, learn a new interest, learn a new language–as long as it is beneficial or worthy of your time.

The importance of having your “own thing” is to make your own diversion so that you will not feel that you are always “waiting in vain.” Be practical. Don’t just bum around waiting for the next allocation to come. While you are taking care of the kids, or waiting for him, or having a daytime job (which makes you feel inggit when your officemate gets hatidsundo by her Boyfriend vs. your virtual Boyfriend who is in the mountains hehe), do something productive. There is always time. Do your own craft, focus on it like your breathing depends on it. Build your empire. Remeber, you are a Queen, only, your King is away fighting the bad guys–for now.

A GOOD RELATIONSHIP IS LIKE A GAME OF CHESS. THE QUEEN SHOULD ALWAYS PROTECT HER KING.

Above photo from Lukas via pexels.com

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6 Reasons Every Military Wife/Gf Should Visit The ‘Camp’

“Behind every strong soldier, there is a strong woman, who stands behind him, supports him, and loves him with all her heart.” -Anonymous

Most of the military women especially spouses have formed the habit of staying at home. They wait for their Soldier knocking by their house’s doorstep, and some divert their longing and focus their attention to take care of their kids or manage the house. But this habit of not visiting your military partner in his work area doesn’t usually help the relationship grow, sometimes, it leads to future gap or misunderstanding.

After having asked military spouses who stayed stunning even after giving birth, and from collected experiences of awesome military girlfriends, and Officers’ Girls, here are some of the many reasons why every Military Wife/Gf should visit their man in the Camp.

6 Reasons Every Military Wife/Gf Should Visit The ‘Camp’

1st

To let all the troops know you are their Boss’s Girl. You, and nobody else. This is a bit rude but a great number of the soldier men opt to tolerate their buddy’s acts of unfaithfulness, because they haven’t built their solid relationship and respect to their buddy’s wife—the only woman who should pay regular visit in the camp, not someone else from the nearby town.

2nd

To experience FIRSTHAND what it really feels like living in the woods, without the comfort of electricity, bed, comfy chair, leveled and cemented floor, decent toilet, and most of all, without the phone signal or internet connection. After having seen your man in his worsts and in his bests, especially in his bare work set-up, it’s always relieving to know that your respect and love for him will never, ever change, even if what he only has to offer is a folding bed placed on a muddy ground, surrounded by 4 raincoats which serve as the walls of your instant room (by the way, this is the ARMY setting) 😛

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3rd

To get you closer together. Isn’t it sweeter if you both stayed in love after having experienced 1 km-walk before you could even make bathroom privilege #1? And isn’t comforting to know that after having placed your phone to its “flashlight-only” functionality, which puts you to “it’s just you and me” situations, you managed to stay happy just talking, without feeling any slightest form of boredom? Kidding aside, getting to know your man in his own ‘territory’ will only give you higher respect to him. This time, no kidding.

4th

To stop you from becoming too demanding of his time, attention, phone calls, text messages, or even a like button using his FB from that photo of you together, which you posted a week ago. Someone said, Love makes someone understand after having seen the mean ALTHOUGHs. True enough, you won’t be able to understand something you haven’t really experienced first hand, but when you only try to look closer, even if there are a lot of “Kahit na’s” or “althoughs” in your relationship, you could always shift your gear from becoming too demanding to becoming more understanding, instead.

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5th

To give you an idea what else to prepare for the next care package you will send him. I can say you are truly a certified military girl if you already used the services of PhilPost, TransTech, FedEx, LBC, 2Go, MailMore or JRS, (name it) even once. Just to send him his care package; full of love notes, chocolates, your favorite perfume in a mini bottle (for him to spray on his pillow or blanket), and a good bulk of his favorite food, and some medicine, extra socks and mosquito repellent cream on the side. If you visit the camp, you know exactly what he needs, or what you think he needs that he hasn’t even realized he does, actually. With the help of your mommy instincts, of course.

6th

To get to know his deeper side, and to be able to accept any insights from that reality. Every military personnel, be it the Enlisted Personnel, the Staff, the Kitchen Aide, and even the Officers always have their frustration from the fact that they are always away from their families. I know, because, that was what I noticed when I had the opportunity to visit my man in his camp. (Click here to read A Holiday Spent in the Camp: The OG Experience) If you haven’t tried to visit and stayed for a while inside the camp, you will never know and understand a bit of his life in his own career. I cannot explain it any further, but from this, I hope you’re already planning to finally say yes to his invitation to visit him in the Camp. Nothing beats experiences over just-told stories, right?

These are just a few of the hundreds of reasons why you should visit your man inside the camp. I know it takes a lot of work to do, from applying your leave, or even thinking what excuse you might use for your leave (haha), to the budget you will prepare for the tickets, or whatever preparation you need. But I tell you, it will all be worth it! Good luck!

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Memoirs of A Kaydet Girl

 

Memoirs of A Kaydet Girl
This article was originally published in The Corps Magazine, the Philippine Military Academy’s Cadet Corps Magazine, Alumni Issue 2011. Original title: “Memoirs of A Weekend Girlfriend.”

Memoirs of A Kaydet Girl

“Nakauwi ka na ba? Musta pala iyong pinanood mong movie?”

These were the last words he sent me through SMS. It was only 2030H then and it was Saturday. It’s the 30th day of October to be exact. I thought he just fell asleep because of the exasperating activities he is doing habitually inside the academy. After an hour, I texted him again, saying,

“Sleep tight, antukin ka talga. Nga pala, wag kang masyadong malungkot dyan ah kahit mag-isa ka sa barracks. Nand2 lang ako sana hindi mo iyon maklimutan! Good night, my Indian! ^^”

Waking up from nowhere from one of my midnight sleep-awakening episodes during that night, I reached out for my cellphone, expecting a message from him. Nothing. So I just continued my sleep and thought that maybe he was just back from the routine of logging in the cellphone and so much of that what-have-you’s inside.
October 31, November 1, 2, nothing… 4 days… 5 days… 6 days… still, there’s no text from my beloved Cadet.

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As time passed by, I was becoming worried and so much of being anxious since I thought he was unable to text me during those Undas days (which supposedly an “authorized” time for them to use their non-camera-owning cellular phones ), because he was punished. He said before,

“Makkpagtx lang ako ng weekends, pag holiday dto o after 2300H ng weekdays pero take life na un. Pag di nkreply, nag-log in lng, nagtago o d worst, nahuli.”

That last text of him was on a Saturday night and the following days were supposed to be their break, but he did not message me. So it came to my mind that maybe, he was caught using his cellphone during a “take life” situation while he was texting me. I was so worried and I think I was the one to be blamed, and thoughts of him staying alone inside the barracks as punishment, came to me. Worry warts were really eating my brain that time. I was really longing for him.

Then came Saturday again, he called from a different number, he was apologizing what had happened. He told me that, yes, indeed, they were unauthorized to use their phones for the whole week. I realized I was just freaking out which made me think of things way too different from what is really happening to him inside. My desire to see him, to speak with him, or at least to know that he’s okay, made me crazy. My cadet is not that too expressive, but this time was different, I can feel from his manly voice that he is really resentful for letting me feel so worried about him, or not being able to text me, at least to tell me that he’s doing fine.

Having a boyfriend who is studying inside the Academy is so much challenging. I cannot see him when I want to, if I’m so happy, or got so much pissed off because of petty things from school, I have to wait until Friday or Saturday to share with him the story, so at least I could tell him the gist of a happy or an awful encounter I had. If there is a family gathering or a simple birthday party, I cannot just fetch him from his school anytime I want to, or ask him to accompany me, because there is so much rules, protocols inside their school. Indeed, I feel like I’m only a “Weekend Girlfriend.” However, let’s do away from talking much about the downside of having a Cadet for a boyfriend; because nothing can change the fact that however difficult our situation gets, I still love him at the end of the day. What makes the relationship going? Maybe this one word: COMMITMENT. This summarizes all the words which will be mentioned below.

Now I realized that commitment is necessary in a relationship. It is not because it will give me the right or the authority to tell a person what I want to happen. It is because commitment makes me feel certain that whatever we share is going to lead us somewhere. It’s a nice feeling to enjoy being with somebody not because of who or what he is but because you can’t think of yourself in another place with another person. But a relationship goes deeper than that. And that is where commitment comes in.” -Lotis B. Soriano, The Best of Young Blood, 1999

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If you really love someone, you will understand the whereabouts of his toils. Another word which comes important next to commitment is ACCEPTANCE. You have to accept the fact that you are not the only person around who makes his life revolve. Accept the fact that sometimes you cannot cuddle on a rainy evening, or watch a movie together on a cold night, or walk hand-in-hand on a beach side. Accept the fact that he will not always be there physically. He will be there when he’s free, but majority of his cadet life will be spent away from you, but the moment he’s physically there with you, you should make the most out of it.

The next important word, maybe, is UNDERSTANDING. Total understanding. He is a Cadet, nothing more, nothing less. He has rules to follow and he will always and should be doing his hourly duty. He cannot always hold or keep his phone with him at all times just to respond to your petty text messages because he has rules to follow. One of those numerous rules that they have is logging in their cellphoens during weekdays. Understand that he cannot always text you, call you, especially when your Cadet is “properly” (because mine is, and I’m proud of him because of that).

EXPAND YOUR HORIZON. You have different career paths don’t you? As for me, I’m working my brains out to graduate this March and hope that I will be able to pass the board exams with a bull’s eye. Improve yourself more so that both of you will grow. As he is inside, and you are studying or working outside, direct your love to him with the things you do, so that you will be productive and you will be successful with your own career path.

SUPPORT HIM ALL THE WAY. You have to support him with his chosen league. If you’re really serious with each other, then you have to start showing that you are one, it’s like, one heart-one mind. So it means, the failure of one is the failure of both. Support each other all the way. Sustain his strength in pursuing his aspirations in life. Isn’t it sweeter if both of you succeed in your own chosen career, and yet, you end up together? Love as they say, is bringing out the best in each other, right?
Don’t waste your time waiting unproductively. Do your own thing. Make yourself busy with things which would help you to become more triumphant.

Dearest Kaydet Girl, until the weekend comes, live to exist. Don’t feel so depressed. He loves you more than you could ever imagine.

To our Dearest Cadets (especially to my Cadet), you have so much catching up to do during the weekends, okay? So load up and make us feel loved and remembered even more. Be more expressive and communicative. Please don’t make us feel unloved by neglecting us and being lazy to text us. Tell us you love us once in a while, because we need it for another week of twinge. Do your best inside the Academy, and don’t be worried about us outside, because we know that no matter how the silence is unbearable, at the end of the day, it’s still us that you are thinking.
To my Cadet, Buga lang. Kaya mo ‘yan. I love you!

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