Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mugs of Accomplishment

My mugs are scattered all over the house. Yup, these are my coffee mugs bought from all the travels I did in the past decade with some given by friends. If other people collect postcards, keychains, pins, antiques, etc. from their travels, coffee mugs are a perfect fit for me. Since I love coffee as much as I love travelling, these mugs are soooo me.

I begged my Mom to vacate several shelves in our living room area so I can situate all my mugs in one place. They used to be in my room, all beautifully arranged as if I have a shrine. But since the number of my mugs kept growing for each trip I made, I had to find a larger area to keep them safe and, uh, well-displayed.

Yup, this time around, I wanted all of them displayed instead of taking shelter in my room. These mugs are my trophies, not merely of my travel accomplishments, but also of battling my life's difficulties. These mugs are a constant reminder that I am blessed.

A decade ago, I dreamt of travelling and seeing the world. But mishaps in life happened and well, I was in a deep shit -- emotionally, financially, professionally. Name it, I gathered all the bad luck in the world. Who would have thought that when I decided to have my son on my own while in a great financial crisis and such an emotional basket case, I will be able to travel throughout the country and in some Asian countries... and with my son at that?

I am truly blessed. The Lord, not once since I had my son, did I feel I have been forsaken. He provided even before I knew I needed something. Nope, I'm not religious. My family and close friends can attest to my non-attendance in church activities. Mabibilang lang sa daliri kung kelan ako nag-simba. But it doesn't mean that I don't pray. Each day is an opportunity for me to thank the Lord for the life I've been living now.

Enough of the sentimental talk. Back to my mugs.

I decided to take pictures of my mugs. But I wasn't happy with the result, but I've posted them anyway. I'll just wait then when my director gets back so I can borrow lights from him (for free!) and take proper photos of my mugs. (Ang arte!) But for now, I'll just have to make do with the picture I took this morning.

Unfortunately, my mugs aren't complete. There are provinces in the Philippines that I've been to that didn't make mugs as souvenirs. Sometimes, I settle with shotglasses and penholders. Lately, I discovered the ceramic city mugs from Starbucks, which can be a great alternative should there no other mugs to buy.

To date, I have a total of 44 mugs, 11 shot glasses, 3 penholders and 1 toothpick holder. Hehehe! And the number, definitely, won't stop there.
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P.S.: This is how important my mugs are. A couple of years ago, a fire broke out from a neighbor's house. The house on fire was like 5 houses away from us. Since the fire was spreading quickly, we immediately packed clothes, shoes and important documents and brought them out on the street. When I finished brining out the necessities and went back to my room, I suddenly had a dilemma. Still in my room were my books and notes from graduate school (at that time, I was suppose to write my thesis and these books were so fundamental in my studies), CDs (original ha!), photo albums, memorabilia from my college theater guild, and my mugs. I was still contemplating then as to which of my things should I bring out next when my Mom told me that the fire has already moved to the next house, that's four houses away. Shocked, I slowly sat down on my bed, not really knowing what to do. What should I bring out next? Teary-eyed, I made a decision. CDs can go, I can always download music from the internet. Photo albums can go, most of my travel photos are uploaded in the net. Books can go, I might never even get to finish my thesis. Mugs are it then. But if I bring them out now, there's a great possibility that some will break from all the commotion happening. I took as many mugs that my hands can handle and sat back down on my bed. I can't let any of it break. I finally heard sirens outside. I slowly placed back all of my mugs in my "shrine" and went out. I watched as the firemen tried to put the fire out. Silently, I prayed... And honestly, it wasn't a prayer for the safety of other people's lives and belongings. It was a prayer not to be in a dilemma about my mugs again. Adik!!!

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