[noun] from the Turkish and Arabic word, qisma : fate; destiny; a power that is believed to control what happens in the future.
Do you believe that destiny plays a hand in how our lives will turn out? That everything happens for a reason and is part of a grand design? Well, I do. Here’s why —
I was born in March of 1974. At the time, my would-be husband Caloy was about to graduate from high school. Between us, there is an almost 17-year age gap.
I was born and raised in Olongapo City. Caloy is a Manila boy through and through.
In 1991, when I was 17 years old, I stayed in a dormitory along Maria Orosa Street in Ermita, Manila. I was a freshman in college. Caloy, who was already a lawyer then, frequently visited the Court of Appeals, which was located in front of my dormitory building. We never met that time, of course.
By some stroke of fate, I got admitted into the College of Pharmacy in UP Manila. Science was certainly not my strongest subject. I wanted to take up a course in Communications. I struggled through my first 2 semesters and had to take a leave of absence, also due to financial difficulties.
While I was on leave from the university, I was just bumming around at home in Olongapo when I chanced upon the TV program Remembering the Beatles. I watched it about a hundred times and became obsessed with the band and its music.
In 1994, I decided to start working in an office while pursuing my college degree in my hometown. I worked as a secretary in the Seaport Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, then went to school from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. everyday for 3 years.
In 1998, the SBMA had a tumultuous change of administration. Caloy, who disliked traveling outside of Manila, found himself in Subic as the deputy of newly-installed Chairman Felicito Payumo. He would shuttle from Manila to Subic and back every week for the next six years. I had already graduated from college, took the civil service professional examination and passed, so I was already made into a permanent employee.
Caloy was married to his first wife. I was in a long-term relationship. I really thought the guy I was seeing was the one and I had no doubt we will end up together. I’m so glad we didn’t. Fate brought us together for a very important purpose: so we can both become Christians.
In 1999, I applied for a higher office position and was accepted for the job. Caloy — who was the highest official of the Business Group to which I belonged — and I finally met. During one of our conversations, we discovered that we’re both avid fans of the Beatles. There was an instant connection. We became very good friends.
In June of 2001, I flew to Germany for further studies sponsored by the German government. Four months later, Caloy’s wife, Maybelle, passed away after a long bout with cancer. I came back from Germany and back to my old office in July of 2002.
In August of 2003, Caloy took me in as one of his executive assistants and we worked very closely together. A month later, he proposed to me. His exact words were, “You will make me the happiest man if you’ll marry me.”
So you see, if I hadn’t been admitted to the UP College of Pharmacy, I probably wouldn’t have dropped out; if I hadn’t been a bum for a year, I probably wouldn’t have become a Beatles fan; if I didn’t leave UP, I probably never would’ve worked for the SBMA; if I hadn’t worked there, I probably would’ve never met my Caloy, the love of my life. Our paths never would’ve crossed. And the rest, as they say, is destiny working its magic.
Until now, I still could not believe that Caloy chose to marry me — a simple, provincial lass — when he could have picked some sophisticated, beautiful, smart and a far more accomplished woman. And I know for a fact that there were so many women throwing themselves at his feet, widower or not. After all, he’s an accomplished lawyer, a brilliant professor, a responsible father and a very charming, funny guy. He’s someone I never even knew I dreamed of marrying all my life.
And whenever I still wonder why he chose to marry me, I can only think of one answer: kismet.