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In The Mourning

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I’m not really a morning person. These days, I find it more difficult than usual. It has been nine days since my father passed and everyday when I wake up I am reminded of my loss. A gaping hole in my chest that I only knew of from reading novels and watching movies is now very real to me. I knew losing someone was hard, I didn’t know it would be this hard. As i’ve told many of my friends who sympathized during the wake, losing a parent was like losing a limb. I can feel I am incomplete. I am fatherless.

At 62, he has lost his battle with Parkinsonism. Sparing you from all the hospital horrors we’ve been through for the past 4 months, i’d like to share how he was in real life.

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He was a pain in the ass – short tempered, impatient, strict, thinks he’s right most of the time, and a stickler for rules. I wouldn’t blame him really, he did have a difficult childhood. Growing up, he got beaten up, spent his early teenage years away from his family, and in order to go to school he had to work at a sugarcane farm. He would tell me and my brother this story when we whine about “our difficult life”. Eventually, he entered the military, got married, had two kids.

He was a hands-on dad. He’d be the one to send me to school on his bike and during my bad clingy pre-school days he would bring a stick and threaten me with a spanking if I don’t get inside the classroom. Yes, I was that kid. I outgrew that thankfully and became this school-loving achiever. I would beam with pride when my father would attend school functions in his blue Philippine Air Force uniform.

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When the angsty teenage years happened, I wanted to trade in my curfew-loving father for a way cooler dad who would let me attend parties and go out till late on school nights. But he was not like that. He knew the importance of teaching responsibility and the value of hard work. There was no sleeping in on weekends and chores were a must. I thought I could cry my way out of it but the water works do not apply. At all.

My father thought that we should learn things the way he did. The hard way. When i was younger, I hated him for it but now looking back sometimes the best lessons we learn are the lessons we learn the hard way.

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In the last 10 years, he was a retiree who enjoyed drinking his morning coffee or tea, answered crossword puzzles, did some gardening, baby sat the dogs, and even drove me around if I needed it. The scary soldier we all knew became this cool lolo who was more chill and easy to talk to. He constantly took care of my meals (like he always does coz my mom’s cooking is very limited to spaghetti & eggs) and other handy man things around the house.

We were never really the affectionate type but he had his ways of showing his love. Whatever he lacked in words he made up for in action. When he was around, there were no busted lightbulbs, leaking sinks, clogged toilets, untrimmed plants, hot meals were at the table, and everything he could do for us… he did. That was the kind of man and father he was.

He was a pain in the ass, MY ass. He was not a perfect person or a perfect father but he was mine. He was my father. I am who I am because of him and my mom. Now that he’s gone, I’m sad, heartbroken even, that he will not be around to see me walk down the isle or meet his grand kids. But I am happy that he is in a much better place now.

I don’t know how to move on from this really. Or if I ever will. But one thing is for sure, I am happy that he was my dad. I hope he is proud of me as I am of him. He has served the country, he was a family man, and he lived a full life. I’d like to think that I was able to show him and make him feel my love especially during the latter days of his life.

He will forever be in my heart and his memory will live on. But for now, as I try to continue my life without him, I will feel the loss of my father in the mourning.

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I Got My Eyes On You

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Earlier this year, I started reading Shonda Rhimes’ book “Year of Yes”. I haven’t finished it yet because, you know, my job always gets in the way of me doing the things I actually like which includes sitting around, watching TV, and reading a book. But anyway, its got quotes from Grey’s Anatomy and here’s one that really got me:

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If you have been following this blog, you might have noticed that I have a history of being a push over and a metaphorical punching bag for people. But. I have since tried my hardest to not be that person anymore. Thus, making myself scarce to people who, I think, have used me as a door mat, back up plan, fixer upper, pick me upper, or whatever it is that they needed to make themselves feel better.

Although I have improved in the “loving thy self first” department, I sometimes feel like old habits die hard and I subconsciously fall back into situations with people who tend to abuse and use my kindness.

They think they can just get away with doing crappy things to me. And I admit guilt. Maybe I let them do it to me. Before. Okay, maybe still. Sometimes. Subconsciously. Or maybe I’m just too friendly. Too trusting. Too… whatever.

But the thing is, unlike before that I’m clueless, now I actually know it. I got my eyes on you. Now I actually know what they’re doing but I choose to let it go. Not because I’m a push over. But because I know that “fighting” it is a losing battle. I will not stoop down to that level because I’m better. Not giving a flying f*ck is probably the best way to handle difficult people.

What these mean individuals do or say to me says a lot about them and not me. I almost felt bad for myself there but then I realized that they give me crap about myself but it doesn’t mean that I’m a crappy person. It means that THEY ARE. And that my friends, is just sad.

I feel like I’m too old for this kind of shitty things but I guess shitty people don’t get old. They exist still. Everywhere. But it’s okay, the universe has its way. A balance. It’s called Karma.

 

 

 

 

#SG2016: Stop SingLishing Me, I Panic Lah.

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So I just got back from my trip to Singapore and i’m having a little bit of separation anxiety (read: hangover) from my short-lived but nevertheless fun vacation.

My childhood friends and I have always wanted to travel together but since they all have gone to different countries for work there are only three of us left here in the Philippines, one is in California, one is in Dubai, while the other two are in Singapore. Due to life happening to all of us, Dale and Faith can’t just go and fly halfway across the world, Lorainne can’t just leave work and the kids and come with us so Pam and I decided to push through and visit Ejay and Byron in Singapore!

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Changi Airport

It was Pam’s first out of the country trip so she was a little bit praning in immigration while i’m a little bit praning about the Zika virus outbreak in Singapore so I brought a bottle of insect repellent and a box of mosquito patch good for four people.

 

Anyway, to say that their airport was beautiful would be an understatement, I mean, they have an MRT station inside the airport! Giving you easy access to anywhere in the city. How freaking cool is that?

We stayed at the J8 Hotel in the corner of Townshend Road and Maude Road, Lavender, Jalan Besar.

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J8 Hotel

For our first night, our friends took us to Chinatown for dinner. There were a lot of people, tourists mostly, enjoying different kinds of food available in that stretch of food stalls. Varied choices from stir-fried stuff, authentic Singaporean laksa, Satay, Indian Prata, and Ramen among other tasty stuff (i’m not really good with the food description, i figured! haha)

Day 2 – we had the whole day to ourselves. So while our friends went to work, we roamed around the city and the best thing we did was to buy that expensive local sim card! (Thanks to our sponsor/ ninong Ejay) Hahaha! It was 15SGD (Php 525) with 100gb (Whoa?!) of data and enough credits for call and text valid for the rest of our stay so it was worth it because you know what, we did get lost! It took us 30 minutes to find that freaking taxi stand and in one of our taxi rides the driver even dropped us off at the wrong place so thank goodness for their organized trains we we’re able to go to the River Safari, The Orchard Road, and the Ion Orchard Tower (which was closed unfortunately).

That night, after a hearty meal at Astons we went to the Gardens by the Bay to see the lights and sounds show which was A-MAH-ZING to say the least. We then went to the Marina Bay Sands for more must-have travel photos and that building just blows my mind. The architecture was genius. I can’t wrap my head around how they made that beautiful building. So after, we went to the bay front to go see that famous Merlion. The Grand Prix was in full swing so some of the roads were closed we had the walk all the way around and I tell you, it was faaaaaaar! I have never walked that much in my life! But, it was the best way to see and experience the city. Walk the streets with the locals and the other tourists. It was a new and exciting place with everything waiting to be seen and explored. It was so much painful for my feet but it was so good for my heart and soul. 🙂

The third day was meant for buying pasalubong so we went to Bugis Center. It was one of my favorite places. The boutiques in Orchard Road was too expensive for me so Bugis was right up our alley. We also went to Madame Tussaud’s and The Universal Studios later that day and it was like when we were kids and we would go on field trips together. It was also like all of us going to Star City but only with better rides, longer queues (with remarkable smell), and a whole lot of people we don’t understand.

 

With all the fun things we got to do, new places i got see, the precious time spent with people who are very dear to me, i’m finding it hard to go back to that “work mode” just yet. I am truly thankful for having life long friends who were so accommodating. I can’t thank you guys enough for making time for us and making us libre. You guys are the best!!!

This Singapore adventure made me realize how friendships really stand the test of time and even distance. I am amazed how we still don’t know some things about each other (Pam wants to sleep with a little bit of light on, who knew Ejay & Byron could be so patient and accommodating with us lost girls haha!) despite the fact that we’ve known each other almost all our lives. Coming from the same place and being together in a completely new and different one together and sharing this adventure was truly awesome. I wish we could all do it again together with the whole barkada.

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The trip was a good reminder of how there’s more to life, you know. There’s so much of the world we have to see and explore. I’m so excited to go out of the country and meet new people and experience different cultures. It was such a great trip and I’m stoked to travel more in the coming years!

 

 

CHOOSY

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DECISIONS.

We are faced with dozens of decisions from the mundane to the life changing ones every single day.

Where do we eat? Should I go out tonight? What clothes should I wear today? Should I stay? Should I go?

Often times, we find ourselves in situations where we feel like we have no choice making us dread the fact that we have to decide on something.

But then, we are never out of a choice. We always have a choice. It’s the result of that decision that we are truly afraid of. It’s the consequence that we’re scared of.

Seeing that making a decision is not something that we can avoid, I guess, in the end, you’ll have to decide and stand by that decision.

Because at the end of the day, not knowing and living with endless questions of “what-ifs” and “what-could-have-beens” is worse than the fear of making a choice. May it be good or bad, right or wrong. Either way, it’s the risk you have to take.

The Year That Was 2013

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No more kids running around, constant shouting, and clanking in the kitchen. The house has returned to its quiet and peaceful self. The holiday season has passed and a new year has begun.

I haven’t got the time to reflect, rundown my 2013, or even think about my resolutions for 2014 in the past weeks (come to think of it, I haven’t been posting here since September 2013. Saying I’ve been pretty busy would have to be an understatement) because I’ve been really busy with work and I spent most of my free time with my extended family (the cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews were all here for the festvities) and get-togethers with friends I haven’t seen in a long time.

Now that I finally found the time to reflect and now that I’ve got my computer all to myself, it is time to start my year right by posting something about the new year. (What blogger doesn’t write about new year, resolutions, and other shiz, right?)

Looking back on the past year, it has been a very interesting roller coaster of emotions and learning. Pretty cliche don’t you think? But it really is. I’ve experienced the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. I’d be really happy and thankful one day and really pissed off the next day. Now that made me sound like a crazy person but that’s how the year went and as much as i’d like to sugar coat it… I can’t.

2013 has been a year of fulfilling moments, disappointments, triumphs, failures, and rude awakenings but most importantly it has been a year worth remembering. Here are the things I’ve learned in 2013:

1. Let things go. If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll probably know that i’m a bit sentimental (okay, a lot!) and it’s hard for me to let go of things and people but 2013 has shown me that sometimes we just have to let it go. Holding on to things and people (especially) does not make things better, it just holds you back.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others. I am guilty. Guilty of checking my Facebook news feed whenever possible (which is always! With the technology these days, people are always online rather than offline living in the real world and actually socializing. Anywho! Going back…) And whenever I see people getting married, buying a car/house, flying somewhere, having a baby, or whatever momentous event plastered all over Facebook I always ask myself why I’m not doing the same and I end up feeling bad about myself. It’s a shame. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m shallow like that. Hey! I’m human aren’t I? Those who are never envious of anybody or anything, please cast the first stone. But now that I’ve come to terms with it, I realized that it is NEVER OKAY to compare yourself to anybody. We can never measure our successes or failures based on other people’s lives. Success means different things to different people. We just gotta count our blessings and always be thankful.

3. People (and things) are not always what they seem. This one I learned the hard way. In a working environment that relies on other people and team work it is imperative that you’re able to count on those people around you but sometimes you just can’t. It’s a harsh fact but it’s true. Someone who’s friendly in your face might probably be the biggest jerk when your not around. But don’t think that it’s all bad, sometimes people and things can pleasantly surprise you. All you can do is hope for the best and don’t pass judgments.  

4. You can’t control how people treat you but you can only control how you react. I’m a control-freak. But you probably knew that. We are all different. Some people may nice, too nice to a fault sometimes. There are those who are indifferent while others are flat out assholes. And as much as you’d want to push these not-so-nice people off a few flight of stairs just to give them a bitter taste of their own medicine, it’s not worth it. Unfortunately, we can’t ask people to act a certain way that is pleasing to us but you can always control how you react. Be nice to good people and be nicer to the bad ones, that’ll piss them off more and it’ll make you feel better. Win-win situation.

5. Be firm! Don’t ever be a push-over. Stand by what you feel and know is right. The real world may sometimes feel like high school with all the bullies but it’s never an excuse to be a push-over. I have been tested on this all through out the year and the only way to beat bullies is to stand up to them. People-pleasing is not a good habit. Believe me, I know. If you are are ever in a position where you are pressured to do or be something you are not comfortable with, have that courage to say NO.

Wow. What a list I got there huh? 🙂 I guess, 2013 did make me a better and smarter person! Kidding aside, I am truly happy of how things went. I mean, I could proudly say that the turn out was great. I may not be earning a lot, my passport may not have a single stamp on it (yet!), I may not be a size 2, I’m as single as I’ll ever be, and I may still be a little lost about my future plans but I’ve definitely had a great year. This year there are no promises and no plans just adventures. Here’s to a year of worrying less and living more! Cheers to 2014!