An Old Fashioned Love

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Our society today has been too inclined with instant things: instant noodles, instant coffee and sad to say, instant love – fling, as people nowadays would call it. According to the Urban dictionary, fling is a deliberate short-term relationship, sexual, between a couple; this relationship, accordingly, is just a sexual relief from stress and worry; just sex and attention, no deep personal involvement required. Although, one may not be able to fully qualify this kind of relationship with love but it is what the people of today call it. This essay does not really aim to define what love is, but to describe the traditional and old fashion way of attaining it.

To begin with, I am going to be presenting the old fashioned steps in arriving at love which I learned way back in my grade school days. According to my teacher, arriving at a deeper kind of love involves six steps: acquaintance, friendship, courtship, going-steady, engagement, and marriage. This is what she calls the love-chain.

Every relationship begins with acquaintance. During this step, one begins to know each other superficially.  It is the introduction of parties, one knows the other by name; usually, a third party is involve here; the so called “bridge”. It is the meeting of hi’s and hello’s, a casual talk may be present but still both parties may not be really comfortable going into the details of their personal life. Although it may only be the initial stage, but this stage could last a life time for some relationships; the couple may only be until this point and could no longer arrive at the next step.

Following the acquaintance stage is the friendship stage. After being acquainted to each other, the couple slowly, if the circumstances will approve, begin to talk, have longer talks, until both of them becomes comfortable with each other and will slowly feel at ease. Their meetings become more frequent than the acquaintance stage; they will slowly value each other’s company. They will soon be sharing with each other some experiences, may it be significant or insignificant, these experiences will become the foundation of their friendship; the more experiences they share with each other, the stronger their friendship becomes. This is the most important stage of all; if experience is the foundation for friendship, friendship is the foundation of every relationship; the stronger the friendship, the stronger the relationship becomes.

Once the friendship develops between couples, the next stage of the love chain is the going courtship stage. Of course this stage is not for everyone. This stage sprouts from the intensity of the couple’s friendship and the level of attraction between the two of them. During this stage, one of the couple, usually the male, expresses his love for the other. If we will try to put it in our own dialect, this is the stage wherein the other will suyo (an act of pleasing and gaining the trust or the love of the other person). This stage usually takes place in a day, a month, a year, or even a lifetime. This is the so-called waiting area, or the port in a certain relationship. When the beloved response to the call of the other, then we can now move on to the next stage.

After the response of the beloved to the call of the other, the couple is now in the stage of the going–steady. This is the stage wherein the couple will try to be exclusive to each other, share private moments with each other, and let the romance freely spark. Here, the commitment becomes explicit; the couple becomes obligated to each other, to be responsible with each other. Here, the loving relationship becomes stronger and the couple begins to know each other deeply.

Moving on, we have the engagement stage. According to Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, there are two types of engagement: the Informal engagement, which follows the moment when a man explicitly proposes marriage to a woman and at least an approximate time frame for such is agreed upon privately between them, and the formal engagement, the stage after a man formally proposes marriage, for a specific date, and such is communicated to relatives and friends. It is the stage wherein the couple begins to prepare for the long-run. They make all the necessary adjustments they needed for their married life; adjusting things which they have not settled during the going steady stage.

And last but not the least, the married life stage. This stage is seal with a sacred promise of a life time commitment of the couple to each other. During this stage, the couple stays together and lives together in a single house. In its early stage, the adjustment period becomes more crucial. Couples will learn that the person they have married are not the same person they were with during the previous stages. But eventually, they will need to settle things up, lower their pride as much as possible, they will need to understand why things are no longer as sweet and as romantic as it were before. Once they will understand how to understand each other, married life becomes what it is supposed to become.

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An Absurd Love

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Prometheus, a titan god, a god of crafty counsel and forethought, was task to mold man of clay. He loved his creation. Because of this love, he wanted to make their live better and stole fire from the heavens and brought it to man kind. As a punishment, Zeus created the first woman, Pandora, and sent it to mankind; she was sent to bring misfortune to mankind. Meanwhile, Prometheus was sent to Mount Kaukasos where his punishment was waiting. An eagle was set to feed on his liver during the day, and his liver would regenerate during the night, to be fed upon by the next day.

What Prometheus has for man is an absurd love. He made man, he made every effort to make man’s life better, he gave man every pinch of love they could possibly get, but at the end of the day, his effort boils down to nothing. What could he possibly get from all his efforts? Let us recall that he is a titan, from this fact alone, it means that he could get anything he wants, but why give and give and give even to a point wherein he could compromise his freedom and comfort to an eternity of pain and suffering?

As the great thinker, Albert Camus, would say “Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them”, one things comes to my mind when relating this quotation to the story; the free smile of Prometheus during the night. In this pause, he looks at man, sees what they have become, and even though amidst the pain his is bearing, and a pain he is to bear, he is able to make that small but great act of smiling; A pure kind of gladness. “What makes them happy, makes me happy”, absurd isn’t it? How could one’s happiness make you happy? Taking that pause, making that glimpse, and having that smile, simple yet intriguing.

Perhaps no one could tell me, no matter how great one’s name in the field of philosophy maybe, how this absurd love is. Only one thing is for sure for me, Prometheus made a choice. His happiness was not just a product of any given fate, if that would be the case, he would not be able to do does acts, his act of giving and loving, why should he do it if he knows for certain that he would end up in an eternity of pain and suffering. This choice was so mystical and great that it made his punishment not an eternity of pain and agony but of pain and gladness. Prometheus learned to live in spite of his absurd situation.

As what Albert Camus has done to Sisyphus in his essay, I leave Prometheus in the dawn. Wherein he would leave his comforts of the night, and welcome the pain of tomorrow.  And I conclude this in the manner in which Camus concluded his, “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Everything is in the hands of choice, no matter how absurd the situation is.

A Journey to Love


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Every journey begins from a single step. From this step sprouts many other steps, may it be a tiny step, or maybe, a large leap. Eventually, these steps, when gathered, form the person we are today; it depends on where we step on and what we are stepping on. Just last Saturday, I helped my friend take this first step, her launching pad, the first page of a new chapter of her life – the life of a person with someone on steady.

It all began a few months back; I was telling a good friend of mine about my ideal “confession night”, I told him that I wanted to tell the girl I love, on what I feel for her, in a seaside venue. He told me that he loved my idea and asked me if he could use it too and if I could help him achieve it; then i told him it was fine. He told me that it was to be a secret, yet, however, he told his “girl” about his plan; his action made me confused and had me felt silly – why the hell would someone tell another person a surprise he was preparing for that person?

Now, his “girl”, just lately, asked me if I could help her with the “plan”; I was surprised with her action; then she told me that she was ready to take a leap to a new “life”; so then I agreed. So I set every preparation needed for this big event; I have had to cancel all my scheduled activities just for this day. After all the preparations, the only left thing to do is to hope and pray.

Finally, the day, the big event, has arrived. Everyone, the people who helped us, was excited and felt nervous, I did not know why but they did. We prepared the venue, had everything in place, and finally had my friend, the “girl”, in the mood. Then I took off the fetch the guy. This time, I used my convincing powers to have him go with me since the venue was quite far from downtown. I told him that I was to court this girl, and that I really need his help to have everything in place, luckily, he went with me. When we arrived at the place, I was forced to make another lie in order to have him isolated; I told him that I needed to fetch the girl who was waiting for me. So, when he was left alone, the “girl” came near him and brought with her a cake; to his surprise, he was not able to say anything. They sat for a while and spent some time talking to each other. We, on the other hand, were busy fooling around; we took some picture of ourselves while waiting for them.

Finally, after all the waiting, my friend finally has said the right words, at the right time. This was one of the sweetest moments I have witnessed in my whole life. Love was really one the air. Now, they are taking their first step of their new life as a couple. Now, I could only go so far in hoping that they will both take each step of their life together, happily and contented with each other.

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I Am Who I Choose to be (An Autobiography)

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I am who I choose to be – this statement has been my life’s statement ever since I started thinking critically. Well, I believe that a blissful life is basically rooted on each choice we make. Each day we are faced with different choices we need to deal with; we never ran out of choices – there is always one, unless of course if one has already shed last and final breath. I believed that we are in this world without any attachments to the thing they called fate; well, whenever I hear someone saying “baby, I was born to love you”, my mind screams silently saying “hey, love is never based on fate, it is a choice we should make, something we should stand for and not just fall for”. This is me. And I am currently molding myself through the choices I am making.

Speaking of fate, there is this one thing I considered to be fated – being born in the family I am with right now; though we can consider this a product of their choices, we can never remove the question “why me?”. So yes, being born in this family marks the beginning of my existence. And this marks the beginning of the “factual” information about myself. I am Jezreel Bacadon Jariolne. I was born on December 12, 1989 in this city, Cagayan de Oro. Though I can remember much of my childhood, but I am not going to disclose it here, it’s a private memory I dearly cherish. Let’s move on, I began my schooling when I was 5; I was enrolled at Xavier University as a kinder 1 student then. It was on this school where I spent 8 years of my existence, we also left a mark of being the last batch of all boys – I am really proud to be part of it. Then I entered High School, this school had the same name as my Grade School Alma mater but I was located in a different location, Pueblo de Oro. It was quite far from our place, but it didn’t matter much since my parents wanted me to have “the best education” available in town. Then I graduated and enrolled in college, still, Xavier University. I first took up Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, however, due to the lapses of the choices I made, I ended up shifting to Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – this school year marks my 6th year in college, and I’m proud of it. Honestly speaking, I’m not that much of a student, but I think I am doing well in my role as a person – just as my Alma mater has taught me.

I am who I choose to be. Everything I do, everything I am, is a product of my every choice. Before writing this, I was planning to write a full autobiography of myself, now I realized, I will never be able to do so. Writing my full autobiography means putting myself in a box; limiting my unlimited possibility and inexhaustible self, into a few-page essay trying to fathom my very self.

Credits: photo by Zangerpwn

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