As someone who has gained some years in life experience, I believe I have a good grasp of what love is.
But first, let me define what it is by differentiating it from “like” or “liking,” which is often mistaken for love because both “loving” and “liking” can produce good feelings.
Definition Of Love
Like is akin to Love. But when you like someone, you don’t necessarily love them and love doesn’t always begin with liking. In fact, sometimes you can detest someone and later, hate can turn to love. Then again, you can just like someone and the feeling stays there and does not develop into something more.
Love, which can be a high level of attraction, may be applied to things and not just people. There are things that fall under the “I love” category because my fondness for them is off the charts.
Things I Love
For instance, I love gadgets. My friends and family know that I am obsessed with having the latest smartphone, laptop, smart pad. Why do I love gadgets? It’s because they have allowed us to understand the world a little more and be more aware of what is happening around. My love for gadgets is not blind. I temper it through limited gadget time, and by becoming discerning of what I see and hear online. I have always believed that we must keep an eye on technology. People should always be aware of technology because it is the door that leads you to future prospects.
Another thing I love? Rubber shoes. I love them because they are so comfortable to wear. My current favorite is All Birds, an American brand that makes sneakers and other footwear made from wool, castor bean oil and recycled materials such as plastic bottles. My niece and nephew introduced All Birds to me, and my sister and brother-in-law gifted me with a pair last Christmas. All Birds kicks feel heavenly on the feet. I also love my Skechers and Geox rubber shoes.
What else do I love? I love business class airline seats. When you have traveled economy a lot, going business class is just bliss—especially for long-haul flights.
Places In My Heart
Speaking of flying or traveling, I also have love for certain places.
I love my home in Greenhills, San Juan. It is a small three-story townhouse where I have been residing and working for 20-plus years. It is a cozy place for meetings, parties, dinners, and friendly get-togethers. My residence may be simple by showbiz’s standards, but it has kept me comfortable and safe.
Now I am loving my sister’s residence in Massachusetts. I have been quarantined in this house with big windows since March 2020. The view is not the only welcome change. In Manila, I live alone with my trusted staff. In Massachusetts, I live with my sister and her husband with another sister close by. Other family just around. Their presence is a boost to helping me cope with the pandemic.
Of all the places I have traveled to, New York City is the one I love the most. I enjoy NY for its character, great restaurants, museums, wonderful plays, and the fact that you can walk around and not need a car.
Loves Of My Life
But no matter how much we love things and places, the ones we love the most are the people who make life worth living.
Family is love. When I say “family,” this group does not only include those who are related to me by blood, but also those who I have a close relationship with. Family are the people who have been in your life forever and will always care about what happens to you.
Without a doubt, the persons I love the most are my grandbabies. Everybody who has visited my Facebook page knows that I love the sons and daughters of my nephews and nieces. I have five grandchildren now. In May 2021, there will be six of them. Like any doting “lola,” my “apos” have special mention. They are one of the main reasons why I travel often to the States. Being with my grandbabies fills me with indescribable joy.
Thankfully the pandemic has not prevented me from seeing them. We do Facetime, Facebook Messenger, and Zoom. Before the pandemic, I was able to visit my oldest “apos” and stay with them for more than a week. Middle of 2020, I was able to go to the beach with my second pair of apos. Over the Christmas holidays—to my delight—my youngest apo stayed at my sister’s home.
Love And Marriage
So there’s love for things, for places, for friends and family. And then there’s one for that special someone, the partner in life.
I am thankful to have witnessed the love stories of couples unfold, and delighted that some of them chose me—an unmarried woman—to be their wedding godmother.
I am Ninang to actress and International Olympic Committee board member Mikee Cojuangco and athlete Dodot Jaworski, singer Rachel Alejandro and journalist Carlos Santamaria, adman Miguel Gallardo (son of my friend Celeste Legaspi) and his wife Julia, singers Ali Alejandro and his wife Lougee, actress-turned-chef China Cojuangco and chef Gino Gonzales, my nephew Justin Rodis, and his wife, Naomi, and to a few of the kids of my first cousins.
I take being a wedding Ninang very seriously. I feel honored to be asked. I am always happy at weddings because it is the beginning of a life shared. After the ceremony, I check on my inaanaks from time to time, and I always pray that their marriages remain strong. I am sad when I find out that some decide to separate.
For those who stay together, I am happy for them. Marriage did not happen for me but I never felt that I missed out on anything; it was just not the life for me.
Love evolves as one gets older. When you are in your 20s, everything in life is new and exciting and that is also one’s perception of such a broad and personal concept. By the time you are in your 30s, you gain more confidence and become more daring and prouder in attitude. In your 40s and beyond, you become more introspective; you analyze past decisions, regret mistakes and resolve to make the most out of the remaining years.
To be honest, at this point in my life, I prefer the serenity of working on creative and legacy projects. As I have found out, life can still be filled with love through things that spark joy and through the company of devoted family members and true friends.
Besides, love and romance are really never too far away from me or from anyone, for that matter. We can always enjoy a good love story and a heart-tickling rom-com on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Girlie Rodis, fondly called GR, is a talent manager, producer for film, concert, and stage, ana marketing executive. She is President and CEO of her company Global Resource Creative Exchange Inc. Together with Celeste Legaspi, and Rachel Alejandro, GR is founder and co-executive producer of Culturtain Musicat Productions.
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