Sunday, November 8, 2009


When I left the Philippines, I left my loving family and my hundreds of friends. I was clueless with the kind of life or adventure waiting for me abroad. Days before my flight, my schedule was packed with finishing and tying loose ends. With the rakets and some work with my previous company, my day was consumed in a fast-paced rhythm and I ended up so tired. Thankfully, the left and right despedidas for me reminded me how I am loved and how I will be missed by the people dear to me.

Hopping on a plane and working abroad was a major leap for me. In the first place, I never thought I will be given a chance to work abroad. As a very patriotic Iskolar ng Bayan, I always believed in serving the country first before anything else. I’m not saying there’s no hope for the Philippines but when Brunei knocked in my heart, I was lonely, lost and depressed. The only thing running on my mind that time, I need a new place and a new air to breathe. Come to think of it, I was mourning for the passing of my mom and I was just starting to find myself after a “not so good” experience from work. With that, I withdrew from graduate school and packed my bags to find the kind of change I’m longing to save my sanity. Brunei opened its doors for me with lots of opportunities and most especially, experiences which can never be learned inside the four corners of school.

My family shot last 8 March 2008 at the Airport.
It was a mixed feeling for me to go abroad. There’s fear and excitement. Anxiety crept in. I was afloat thinking the uncertainty in a foreign land. Positively, excitement surfaced more because instead of delving on the blur what ifs, I focused more on the enriching experiences I can absorb from independent living and coming out of my comfort zone. On top of that, I knew from the very start that I can save for a bright future.

Most of my friends prophesized I will be back in the Philippines after three months. They thought homesickness and living without a helper will surely be a struggle for me which may lead to my defeat in going abroad. I proved them wrong. Of course, the first few moths were rough. But as a tough cookie, I survived! Imagine, I’ve been working here in Brunei for almost a year and eight months now. Four months to go and I’m done with my two year contract! Whew! Time flies so fast! And believe it or not, I'm no back to postrgraduate studies!In that case, I'll be working while studying! =)

There are a lot of factors which contributed to my survival in overseas life. Apart from constant communication with my family through chat, blogging, cam whoring to showcase the beauty of Brunei, working out in the gym, food tripping, DVD marathons, book reading, and a lot more, it’s making friends and joining a Filipino community topped my list. And speaking of Filipino groups, last Saturday, we had an All Filipino Night packed with delicious Filipino cuisine, entertainment with the magic sing, and loads of cam whoring!

It was a potluck session wherein most of the foods were cooked and brought by Ate Aileen and Ate Marisol, and some brought by others. Shiela, Cecil, Jomai, and I had our contribution too. We brought the drinks and lots of “Noise” to hype the night!

The moment I entered the house and saw the spread of mouth-watering cuisine on the table, my eyes popped out and I was slapped in silence. It was a “Jaw dropping moment!” Seriously, I was soooooo surprised with the loads of food. And I’m not talking about salty and instant meals I normally digest on my busy days; the foods laid on the table were authentic Filipino dishes which I had never tasted for the longest time since I came here in Brunei. To mention a few, there’s Dinuguan, Crispy Pata, Chopseuy, Ginataang Isda, lobster, BBQ and a lot more! Then, there are the desserts – macaroni salad, buko salad, brownies, cake, and leche flan! Having mentioned that, obviously, we went home with a BIG TUMMIES! I was soooo full!

The venue if our get together was held at Ate Marisol’s cozy place. We were just amazed how they get so much value with the rental fee they pay on the house because seriously, it’s so charming, clean, spacious and family-friendly. With the well-organized furniture and cool ambiance, their hub perfectly resembles their happy and close family. On top of that, the Christmas spirit was so felt within because of the Christmas tree around and some decors placed all over. Namiss ko tuloy house namin at siempre ang aking family!

The gathering was a stand out for me because the Filipino spirit was evident. There was the unstoppable ala-concierto with the magic sing (yours truly sang!). There was picture taking all over. And there was a ‘TAKE HOME’ for us. And speaking of ‘Take Home,’ up to now, our fridge is packed with the dishes on last Saturday’s celebration! *Drool*

So how did I meet such fabulous group? Well, they are my gym buddies. We go to the same gym. Positively, with a knack for food and fun, we all clicked. And seriously, I’m so thankful and lucky to have them. I guess I’ll stay longer in Brunei if I’ll have them around! =)

If there’s anything I learned from this gathering, indeed, having our kababayans with us on our happiest or saddest moment will surely fire the hope and support we need to find the Philippines we totally long in a foreign land. Although yes, we miss our loved ones in our mother country, but with the acquaintances we get abroad, we can find happiness and contentment to make us strong and be a better person!


  1. Thank you Earvs for the compliments...and thank you at na meet ka namin..reading your blogs is knowing you more...such a talented person na anlakas magpatawa..sobra!...a good son and brother..'di ko pa lng mabasa ng todo mga blogs mo kasi ala pa kaming internet connection sa bahay,phone lng gamit ko as modem (lakas kumain ng load, whew!) Di ko nga namamalayan nagiging fan mo na pala ako ha,ha,ha!!

    Hayaan mo more gatherings to come pa,para 'di kayo ma homesick at mafeel nyo ang 'Pinas dito..

  2. Salamat din Ate Marisol sa pagbasa at siempre pagimbita sa amin! Hahahaha!

    Nako parehas po tayo. phone lang gamit as modem! hahaha! Natawa ako sa Fan! Hahaha!

    Sige po sabihan niyo lang kami, punta po kami! Salamats! =)