Love brings out the best and worst in people.
This will be a 2-part journey back in time as I attempt to relieve one of the happiest moments in my life. I will also be taking you to my husband’s world, the so-called “military” that I seldom talk about in this blog.
June, they say is the wedding month. Some will contest to this statement because there are more couples wanting to tie the knot in December. But that’s not what I will share with you today. Let us look back in 2010, the year I blissfully bid singleness goodbye. I will also take you to a KG’s heart — mine.
CONFESSIONS OF A KAYDET GIRL
I really don’t know how to go about this story without mentioning some jargons: one is, “Kaydet Girl” [KEI-det] [gurl] (KG).
A KG is a special woman in a cadet’s life, in this case, a Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadet. If my fact serves me right, a KG could be his mother, sister, or the most-widely known: a girlfriend. Yes, I was a KG for almost 2 years to CDT. But unlike any other KGs, I was not frequently seen in the portals of the Academy. It was only during CDT’s last year in the Academy that we’ve mutually decided to make Baguio City, my “new Cubao.”
I check out from my old office in Eastwood City at 11PM, Monday-Friday back then. If I knew that I needed to be in Baguio City that weekend to attend an affair, I’d already be bringing in my traveling buddies: a backpack containing my clothes, a small pillow, and my malong (tube skirt) to serve my blanket as I ride that Victory Liner bus at midnight.
For 6 hours, that Baguio City-bound bus would be my bedroom. I was at the City of Pines almost every weekend of my cadet’s last academic year to do the “responsibilities” of being a KG. One famous duty is to serve as a “drag” (a partner, date, companion) to each battalion and ring hops (a formal dinner party). They also have activities such as Barrio Fiesta, 100-nite show, open houses, etc.
So when my cadet finally graduated from the Academy, I felt like I also graduated. I graduated from my frequent long travels, patiently waiting if he could get a weekend pass (so you can go out on a date), beating the 5PM curfew inside PMA, eating together at the Boodle Bar or Maagap Cafe, riding a cab alone from SM Baguio with matching boodles (food) as pasalubong, and snooping around if there’s any cadet dress cap, or an umbrella placed near the Kissing Rock. I bet you’ve also followed or watched the ABS-CBN’s soap called, “Tayong Dalawa” just because you can relate with Kim Chiu’s character being a KG, just like I did.
His graduation was also a sigh of relief for the couple of years of understanding him, and getting through our one-of-a-kind love affair. (Did you also know that PDA is not allowed while your cadet is on his uniform?) Being a KG is one stage in my life that I really find exciting, colorful, but challenging because it honed my patience, independence, and strength as a woman. If you can somehow find yourself smiling and nodding while I talk about these ways and traditions, I bet you are or have been a KG.
ON BRAVING THE DISTANCE
My relationship with now Lieutenant T (LT) even became stronger when the 2nd quarter of 2008 started. Just when I thought all these “understanding” is finally over, I was wrong all along. It was just the beginning of more challenging days of our relationship. For the coming years, our love needs to survive the distance because of deployment. And he was first assigned in Mindanao! I could still clearly recall that last night before he left to report for his first assignment. I cried a river when he told me about the possibility of not being able to go home for 1 whole year! No breaks. No passes. Could I survive this?
By God’s grace and blessing, I made it through the first few years of his deployment as his girlfriend. I survived by keeping myself busy. I poured my heart to working so I don’t think about him a lot. I also prayed without ceasing, not just for him to be safe always, but for us.
I thank the Lord for allowing me to go through the KG stage because it prepared me for a greater battle. It gave me a glimpse of the life that I need to face in case this relationship leads to marriage. It takes great strength to love a soldier. But this doesn’t mean that you are or need to be strong all the time because you just can’t. There are days that you also feel like giving up because you already have enough. You just go tired of understanding, waiting, sometimes, your trust is put to the test. I also often get questions from friends like, “Do you believe that long-distance relationship can work?” Speaking at this point and referring to everything I’ve been through, I’d answer a resounding, “Yes!”
On my next post, I will share with you how we took this relationship to the next and a more beautiful level — the day we got married. I will also try to talk about some military wedding traditions that are usually being practiced during the ceremony and reception.
I’d also post the same question for you: Do you sincerely believe that long-distance relationship can work? Or if you’ve got an encouragement for couples who are in this kind or relationship, feel free to use the comment box below. Let’s talk. ❤