Adventures of Love in Manila
Back in October 2010, I wrote this song called “Mr. Wonderful” (it’s part of my solo album “Love, Life & D’Light” that will be launched real soon) and its Chorus goes:
“I don’t want Mr. Perfect
He’s someone I’ll never find
I don’t even want Mr. Right-Now
He’d just be wasting my time
I just want my Mr. Wonderful
The one who does but doesn’t know
That he’s just right for me
To find him, could it be possible?”
I spent a few days in my recording studio alone just listening to this song and crying to myself out of loneliness. I was turning thirty and seemed to be such a failure at the one thing more than music and coffee that makes me get up in the morning: that darn thing called love.
Three days after I started writing the song, the universe actually answered my prayers! I could not believe it. While going out with friends, there he was at a club in Makati…Mr. Wonderful…we’ll call him Dan. Dan was visiting Manila by accident and we thought our meeting must have been meant to be because neither of us had planned to be at that club that starry starry night.
He was amazing from the start. Took me out to dates like a real gentleman. He wrote me letters. He gave me thoughtful gifts. Opened doors, pulled out chairs, paid for everything… And most of all, treated me like a real pinay queen. He wasn’t like these other foreigners on P.Burgos Street. He was just what I needed at the time.
Things progressed quickly because we didn’t have time to waste. He’s a Naval Officer and was only in Manila for 9 days that first time. We spent every day together and made his best-friend quite upset. Then every day we talked on the phone, texted, and/or skyped. He even came back for my 30th birthday and met all my friends AND my parents (who were visiting from Los Angeles). He was already talking to them about my hand in marriage…and I was ecstatic that I finally found someone I can consider that huge leap with.
But our fights were horrible. We would have screaming sessions that pulled out a side of me that usually does not exist in my confrontations. I did not like this Chelo or this Dan. Something about our personalities brought the worst out in each other.
NEVERTHELESS, when 2011 came I was still deeply in love and with his birthday approaching in March, I decided to spend some of my savings on a ticket to Hawaii (where he is currently based). I was supposed to leave February 24 and come back March 12…just in time for a huge show I’m suppose to perform in.
I did leave on February 24, but I came back March 2. Ten days shorter than planned…
Life never happens like in the movies. I was in a daze while I waited to leave at the Honolulu Airport in Hawaii. There was no dramatic scene where he ran through the terminal desperately trying to reach me before I boarded the plane. There was no running into each others’ arms proclaiming our love for each other in front of a whole crowd of travelers. There was no applause from our unexpected audience as we kissed in a passionate embrace as the camera pans to the ceiling of the airport. And for sure, we did not live happily ever after.
Dan and I fell out of love as quickly as we fell in love.
He did cry for me. He cried at the airport when we spoke on the phone. He cried at the 5-star restaurant overlooking the ocean and fireworks on my last night. He cried randomly on the phone when he could not hold himself back from calling. He didn’t want me to go and begged and begged for me to stay. But I could not get past what he did to me before all of that. And what I did to myself.
I’ve never done this for any man before. I’ve never run off to another country just for his birthday. I’ve never introduced anyone to my entire world two months after meeting them. I’ve never considered leaving everything I’ve built just so I could be with who I thought was the most wonderful man on earth. And he was that…sometimes… Other times he was neglectful as he focused on his precious career. But I didn’t mind that. Other times he was a brat when he had a little too much to drink. But I didn’t mind that. Other times he would tower over me, cuss me out, and would make me scared for my life. I did mind that.
The Saturday before I left (to make a long story short as this is my first blog here and I do not want to over-write), we got into a small argument that escalated into me grabbing all my things and leaving his place. It wasn’t so bad at first and when I went to the lobby, I couldn’t reach my friend to pick me up right away. So Dan found me there and begged for me to come back up. Though he wasn’t exactly apologetic I was still willing to work it out. But then in the afternoon, we got into another ridiculous fight. He said all sorts of mean things to me, pushed me while I was re-packing all of my things, and put his hand to my throat. I was never physically hurt but the emotional damage had been done.
I have never been in an abusive relationship and never will be. That night as I cried in my friend’s living room sofa, he proceeded to text me the most hurtful and nasty things anyone has ever texted me. He threw our whole relationship out the window at this point.
Then my mother found out, and nothing he could do will ever take a mama’s scorn away. Of course he’s apologized since. Of course he said he’ll change. Of course he said he didn’t mean any of the things he said and that it’s normal for couples to fight like this. But I am a strong, intelligent, and beautiful Filipina. I just released the song “Pinays Rise” about woman empowerment. There was just absolutely no way he was going to convince me to stay in Hawaii.
In my despair, I posted this status on my FB page: “Sometimes monsters dress up in gentlemen’s attire and call themselves lovers of women. Then they tear us down with their words and might…but they don’t realize they’ve only torn down their disguise…”
And so, I’m back in Manila. It was a waste of money and time, but it’s a good thing I cut my losses early. My friends sometimes say my love-life is like a soap opera and they enjoy hearing about it. So with this new chapter of my life as a single girl, I decided to blog about it all…my mis-Adventures of Love in Manila… Past, present, and future…will I ever find my true Mr. Wonderful? The song is now on repeat on all of my music players as I dream about him again…
Can you relate to this experience? Please share it with me and leave a comment…would love to hear from you. –Chelo A.
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Here’s an ironic twist to this post. The day I wrote it is actually my 5 Month-sary with “Dan”. I totally forgot, but he just texted:
Happy 5 months… It’s our lucky number! I’m praying for us! I love you!
(Oh dear he’s delirious)
Oh mehn! I still couldn’t believe what happened. And I thought this was the end of the soap opera! I guess some good things don’t last… But hats off to you Chels for sticking up for yourself. Pinays are meant to be served like princesses! Haha! Too bad for him, he just lost a rare gem(s) (pun intended).
RE: Mr. Windangful
Yea tama ka tzy! He stressed me out! I got fever and muscle spasms from this last week! and he definitely knows now that it was his loss :) well at least…my soap opera continues (i finally have a title) LOL
proud of you
Chelo, congrats on your new blog. Plus what a powerful first time post! I am proud of you. it took inner strength. some people are so afraid to be alone and not loved by anyone that they would stay in a disastrous abusive relationship. I know people can be inspired by your story. hugs and Mabuhay—LifeLightLove (sisters in)
You're not alone!
Wow, Chelo. I seriously didn’t expect your experience to be SO parallel with mine.. Only difference is, he and I haven’t reached the endstage quite yet. Let me share a bit.. I’m a 24-year-old Filipina raised in Dallas, TX. Established singer and keyboardist. Left my hometown and family to be with this guy in Corona, CA, who initially gave me every reason to believe he’d be the one I’d marry in the future. Hate to admit it took this long, but after 3 years of being together, I’m beginning to conclude that our differences overpower the similarities. The way he was raised contradicts mine, so arguments are a common sight between us. Also extremely hot tempered, quick to judge others, and cusses up a storm on his gloomy days.. no pun intended. Like what your person did to you, he’s brought out a side of me I didn’t like. Habit of cussing frequented on me too. I told my older sister this, and she was very upset that I yanked this habit from him. She reached for and lit one of my lightbulbs. And I must say, I kept this lightbulb off for a LONG time..
Chelo – I applaud you for running fast the other way. The sad statistics are that women in these types of abusive relationships stay for too long. Back and forth, back and forth for at least 7 times before they leave, if ever. Often times, it ends in tragedy. Based on his actions, he seems to be an alcoholic…the volatile temper, the flaky behavior. Count your blessings that you got away from him.
Your story touched me…because of our culture of “pasensiya ka na” we are tolerant of relationships that should be unacceptable. I have written a few stories along those lines. Currently, I’m trying to compile a book on Love Stories, the good, the bad and the ugly…from women in the Phil and here in the states. How are they the same? How are they different?
Would you be interested in being included in my book?
Sorry for late reply Pinays!
Hey all…so I got caught up in another relationship that took my breath away at first and made me want to stop breathing in the end! And though I am fine now, I was totally overwhelmed with that and life in general. Only now can I think clear enough to write.
Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Perla: salamat din and continue doing your work with this site, I think you are building something great.
Nezzmeister: so happy we are both out of those nasty relationships!
Jazzyrice: yes, you can use my story (if it’s not too late) :) You can reach me quicker at email@example.com.