THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2011.

WHEN IT rains, it pours. And when it poured, I got really soaked.

Just a year ago, I would not have imagined anything so dramatic ever happening to me. Everything was going my way. In my own little world, I was Little Miss Perfect (or that’s how I saw it). I never complained about anything.

I was in my junior year in law school then. I was the president of the entire college, as well as the chapter president of Lente (Legal Network for Truthful Elections), a nationwide organization of lawyers, law students and trained paralegals. I had my hands full and I loved every bit of it.

My life before that was also pretty awesome. I breezed my way through elementary, high school and college. I was a consistent honor student. My family is also pretty closely knit. Although I am from a middle-class family, I never had to worry about money; life in the province isn’t that expensive after all. I was also in a stable relationship with a guy I met in college. Life can really be that good.

But you know how unfathomable God’s ways are? Just when you thought you had it bagged, jack pops out of the box. A sudden wave of “misfortunes” came crashing, a year-long streak of bad luck, if you may.

My six-year relationship ended bitterly with my boyfriend dumping me for my best friend. It felt like everyone had turned against me, everyone I loved and trusted. At my lowest moments, I sought comfort from a friend, and we ended up dating each other. It was a clandestine relationship. No one knew we were together. I never thought it would end this way.

I never had to worry about money; life in the province isn’t that expensive after all. I was also in a stable relationship with a guy I met in college. Life can really be that good.

After months of dating, he got me pregnant. Everything changed after the night I told my family about my pregnancy. I was not shunned, but I was definitely treated differently. I had to drop out of school because I had lost focus. It was a personal choice.

Because I held top positions in our school, everybody was talking about my abrupt and mysterious absence. And in a place where everybody knows everybody, everything was magnified. For months, I stayed home, hid my bump and went into isolation. I frequently stayed in Manila until the sixth month of pregnancy when traveling became hard. I even stopped going to church.

My family could not accept my child’s father, so I have to deal with my pregnancy by myself. I am just grateful that my family is supportive of me, and even more thankful that even though we are being forced apart, my boyfriend is determined to stick with me, just waiting for the right time. The hardest part is when I turn hormonal and throw fits or become very emotional.

As I write this, I am on my eighth month. This hasn’t been an easy year, with morning sickness, terrible loneliness and humiliation, pre-term labor, family altercations, just to name a few. But when I first felt my baby move and saw his face during my 4-D ultrasound session, all my fears vanished. Everything else seemed trivial. My misfortunes ceased to exist, and they became merely inconvenient and unfamiliar paths to eternal bliss. For had they not occurred, I wouldn’t be sitting here, with a faint smile on my face, rubbing my tummy in between breaks, and thanking God for the rain.

Do you know that famous Tagalog saying, “Bilog ang mundo (The world is round)”? It indeed is. But whichever way you are facing, you can still bounce back, even higher than before.

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