Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Golden Girl Belen

As an excellent communicator and educator, Madam Belen would probably dislike being called a "golden girl" but I can't help it. I missed attending her birthday this year- her golden year, thus this blog. It's a great coincidence to find out that her birthday falls on the same day and month, well of course on different year, with that of my mother's. I always take time to go home to my parents' house and join my family in a quiet celebration. This means that I have to miss joining Belen's own celebration, including this year which was the biggest so far. After all, its her golden year so she by all means deserves a huge birthday bash.

I met her few years back , when I enrolled in a postgraduate studies in Speech Communication in the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She was my assigned course adviser and at the same time, my professor in my Performance class. Having finished a Bachelor of Science from the UP at Los Banos, I am certain that I am treading a different path and she, just like my other professors in the College of Arts and Letters, were quite interested why I have decided to take this course for a master's degree. My standard answer was that, taking this course brings me personal fulfillment and I have always wished to open a speech school catering to children from all socioeconomic background in an island, probably where I was raised. I have always wanted to take up arts related course back in college but special circumstances led me away from it. When I have started earning my own money, I tried putting myself back to school to fulfill my wish. I have enjoyed writing, performing and the most memourable was directing for the Children's literature part where I realised that I have the capability and the patience to handle children. At the same time enjoyed meeting up individuals who turned up to be my friends from the communication and arts field. I was enjoying a lot and was bent on finishing on time, side by side with my achiever classmates who provided lots of inspiration for me.

In a twist of fate, I was unable to finish Speech Communication and did Political Science overseas. Yet it did not stop me to maintain my friendship to my mentor, Ma'am Belen, who has turned to be a close friend and in many ways like an elder sister or cousin to me.

Catching up with them in Dumaguete City(they literally picked me up at the city's boulevard after sunset), and taking our trip together to the Siquijor island in July 2007 with our filmmaker friend, Mirana and the expatriate Roshan brought us closer than ever. I had a personal emotional turmoil after leaving the island few days after and even though I had a very sympathetic and unbiased listener in Mirana, I sought refuge in Belen's home and felt a lot better afterwards. My apprehensions became valid few months after but I learned immensely in this situation that could greatly help me in my adult life. Most importantly, my friendship with this golden reached a different level.

I have seen her losing her Mom in January of last year and I was privileged to be able to join the necrological service prior to the cremation of her Mom. A couple of days after, her already bedridden father had a heart attack. Those are definitely sad, trying and difficult times for her yet she maintained her grace and has been a pillar of strength for the family during those trying times. I was no longer around when less than five months later, it was her father’s turn to go home to heaven but I was glad to see that she has been recharged after she decided to go overseas, in Germany and Prague where the photos above were taken by her friends.

Somehow I am mixed up with what to do in my life yet untiringly, she understands and encourages me to go one step higher, evaluate all my potentials and go for my dreams. She tirelessly gives encouragements and she never fails to highlight my untapped or unused talents.

These and for many others are the reasons why I enjoy calling her "the golden girl."

Hope you had a great golden year birthday celebration and wishing you happier days ahead!


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A kaleidoscope of people, landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes and things which, to my perspective- are wonderfully made. It features, but not limited to the faces of people who makes me happy and vice versa,man-made creations, lovely places where I have been-and wish to go to when I can.