Saturday, January 30, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: Mama, we miss you!

Yesterday was the 4th Year Death Anniversary of my mom. Time flies so fast. It’s been four years but the memories are still fresh and clear. How can I forget the day an angel came by at our doorstep without any warning and instantly took away the most precious person in our family, in my life, my mom.

I am very close to my mom. Actually, my siblings and I are. We call her mama. Sometimes, we call her Momsie. Sometimes, we just say Ma if we’re in a hurry. Nevertheless, whatever monicker we use to address her, our dearest Mama never fails to brighten and beautify our day. Here's more. By merely looking at the interior of our house, friends and relatives can say it’s my mom’s personality – colourful and vibrant.

My mom worked in GSIS for 32 years. She died on the year she was planning to retire. We were shocked.

Mama was a diligent and industrious government employee. My siblings and I were a witness to that. As I remember, there had been a lot of instances wherein she brought us to GSIS for different purposes. First, she wanted us to get free dental in the office. Second, she wanted us to participate in events or parties held by the office. She was a very proud Mom whenever we get to participate in any activity. In my case, my singing talent was discovered to the fullest because of her. And lastly, she tagged us along at times we need to have our eyes check. All these reasons were achieved through her constant undertime in the office.

My mom made us closer to God. She was the backbone behind our strong faith. When she found out I have a talent in singing, she prodded me to join the choir in the church. She also encouraged my brothers to be a Sakristan. On top of that, Mama encouraged Papa to be active in various church activities. Currently, my father is very active as a Lay Minister and never fails to support the church in any way. In addition, my mom and dad once held a high position in our Parish to oversee and run the line-up of activities mounted by different organizations. With these, most of my Mom’s time was devoted serving our Lord and reaching out to our community. As what her friends describe her, my mom was full of PR skills. And we miss that.

My mom loved jewelleries. She had lots of it. She also had tons of clothes in different colours and pairs. Her vanity table was packed with accessories. But despite my mom’s knack on these things, she always shared to us her mantra: “the more you give, the more you will receive.” How can I forget this once instance when my mom had only 100 pesos in her wallet when we attended a mass and instead of keeping it, she gave everything as a love offering. I was inspired at that moment.

My mom was a very supportive woman. She’s more excited whenever she’ll find out her siblings are recognized in different fields. She was very proud of us. She was there together with Papa ecstatic on my declamation competitions. She always extended a hand to whatever my brothers wish to explore. She was very strong when my youngest brother had an unexplainable illness. My brother can definitely prove how Mama with Papa stood up for him. Indeed, Mama gave hope. Mama comforted us. Mama’s smiles inspired us. Mama showed us how to see the world with positivity.

My Mom was the reason why we grew up with a big appetite --seriously. As a good cook, she always pacified our palate with delicious dish. Oh how can my siblings and I forget the times my mom will feed us with her bare hands with her specialty – fried pork and rice seasoned with the pork’s oil. Talagang nagaagawan kami. On top of that, my mom never failed to bring us pasalubong. That’s almost everyday. Name it, we got it - cake, polvoron, brownies, and more. And whenever she attended a party, pasalubongs were expected to be seen on our dining table the next day.

My mom inspired me to be a singer. She was there with me on my singing performances. She clapped with gusto. She smiled with confidence. She was my number one fan. She was the melody of my life; the lyrics that complete our family’s song. I must admit, I always imagine my mom seated in front of me whenever I sing in any occasion. And that gives me joy and confidence. I know in my heart that singing is a way I can express what I want to say to her – that I love her, we misses her.

At this point, our family has already coped up with her passing. However, it will never be the same again. Christmas, New Year, Birthdays and all celebrations of the year will never be as fun, colourful and loud as before. But I thank all our relatives and friends who helped us, sympathized with us. Indeed, we can only get our strength not only within ourselves, but also to those people who are willing to draw the light closer to our darkest moments.

On this fourth year of her death anniversary, I would like to say THANK YOU to my mom. THANK YOU for giving me life, for bringing me in this world. THANK YOU for putting God in the centre of our lives. THANK YOU for making us selfless rather than blinded with material things. THANK YOU for nurturing us to grow as responsible individuals. THANK YOU for sharing us your strong faith. THANK YOU for the comfort, support and love. THANK YOU.

Mama, I love you very much. I miss you. We love you. We miss you.

Till we meet again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm just so excited. Yeah. A month from now, finally, the semester will end.


Goodbye to sleepless nights of readings tons of school papers.

Goodbye to endless researches and interviews.

Goodbye to shooting and editing for a documentary.

Goodbye to deadlines, critical papers and examinations.

Goodbye to migraines and headaches.

Goodbye to blur visions.

Goodbye to nightmares.

Goodbye to mood swings.

Goodbye to worries and anxieties.

But despite all the goodbyes, one thing will always stay with me.


Okay. Fine. It's too early to say goodbye. Sometimes, it helps to look forward at the finish line of our life's journey to remind ourselves how far we have gone in reaching our goals.

I'm hoping everything will be smooth and organized as I temporarily close a chapter of my postgraduate life.


Monday, January 25, 2010


I’m shocked. And that is for real.

When I watched the documentary titled “Secret” – which originally was a book – I realized one thing: to think good in order to feel good (our thoughts send messages to our emotions). The next day, I tried thinking of positive thoughts. And guess what, my day started with a light, fun and positive surrounding.

Surprisingly, after days of always looking at the bright side of things, here comes another positive change. And I mean positive, a blessing.

After six months, our company restores our original salary! There will be no more 10 percent deduction. YES.

As you all know, my company cut our salary with 10 percent last August because we weren’t earning much. As they said, we’re on recession. But just today, the good news pops out. Thank God.

I’m just happy about this good news. More greens, more savings for my future positive change plan.

Indeed, sometimes you just have to be patient. That despite the odds, you have to be strong. They may call you crazy for always thinking positive, but being positive won't cost a penny. be it as simple as imagining good things, you know you can sweeten your longing heart.

I know God is always there to listen. I don't have to speak. I just let him touch my heart.

I guess, what I experienced for the past six months of recession blues is a humbling experience. It taught me to see life as packed with compartments and chapters. There will always be an end to everything.

At least, I learned to make loose ends meet. I learned to compromise. Just like a bamboo, I gracefully danced with the raging storm. And now that the sun is up, it's time to prepare for another battle. Complacency might push me to the ravine of uncertainty.

I want to be certain. I want to succeed where all my efforts are aligned. This is why, I thrive on positivity.

The greens will pour once again. But just like an Ant, I will save, save and save. No one can predict when will the next storm is coming.

For now, seize the moment.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Blogging hiatus ends today. I want change.

Change is everywhere. Change can be felt in our surrounding. Change can be seen on people. Change can affect people positively and sometimes, badly. Yes. The only constant in this world is change.

I change. You change. We change. Change is part of ever new beginnings, of new years, of opening new chapters in life, and of wanting to deviate from what is stagnant or routinary.

I can say, I’ve changed a bit. Gone are the days of movie marathons and pig out sessions. Such relaxing sessions have been changed to sleepless nights of reading and shooting. Yes. I read a lot of modules and research papers for my postgraduate studies. And yes, I also shoot (recently, edit too) for the documentary I’m to produce at the end of this semester. You can say I’m stressing myself. Oh well, It’s better to think of school stuffs than let homesickness pull me down.

I change. I see that. I feel it. My mood evidently swings. My smiles sometimes are kept. I prefer silence. I prefer being alone. I find enjoyment on my solidarity. That is because I’m able to see the world in a different perspective. Plus, being alone makes me reflect on the direction of life I want to take. I reflect a lot. I think a lot. I think, I can do more and better somewhere. It’s just that, school inspires me. And so, I currently see work as a plateau. It’s just there – flat. Should I sing, it’s all about the money?

Yeah. It’s all about the money. I want to save up. I want to save more. And with enough investments and experiences, I can start building my real dream – I will be a professor. Perhaps a more exciting job like where I can talk loads (DJ?) or share my craft in performing arts (Singer? Theatre?). Yeah. It’s all about the money. I want to have my business in the future to support myself and help my family. The greens support. It makes us survive in a commercial world.

I’m not closing my doors for future overseas opportunities. But hopefully, if ever I’ll move to another country, it has something to do with education or into performing arts. Listen to my heart.

I know people will move in and move out. Yeah. They come and go. They become a part of our dream building. It’s part of change.

There have been a lot of changes around. Some people move to another sanctuary. Some stay and share each day with me. While some, opt to build their world in a different time and space. I can’t blame them. We have our own lives. We have our own plans to fulfill.

I always believe that the world has a special order. Everything happens for a reason. And change is part of that everything. Change happens for a reason. And changes are part of destiny’s hands. However, sometimes we repel what life offers us. We become impatient. And so we can’t blame the world for our hardships. Change roots within us.

I am happy with what destiny has brought into my life. Here I am in a rich and peaceful country. I can save money. I experience different cultures. I enjoy fresh perspective. I feel safe. But I still don’t feel its home. Just like a tree, I can only grow this much because I am not in my own soil – The Philippines. At this point, change brings me the companion of advantage and disadvantage. I am lucky. I am in a spot where most Filipinos would want to have – a comfortable life in a greener pasture. That’s what you call advantage. The disadvantage? Yeah. There are moments money can’t replace genuine happiness. And that’s how homesickness strikes.

Homesickness is a change along the serenity of my life abroad. It’s my number one enemy. It’s an unexplainable feeling. Thankfully, I am able to contain such feeling because I invite positive change. Nevertheless, homesickness will never fade away. It will always be there. It will always be a part of someone’s leaving their mother land. I hate the feeling. However, it makes me strong. It makes me understand why emotions are made – - to make me, us sane.

Positive change is about thriving on optimism. I know life is not perfect. Sugar coating sad and real situations has limitations. But as long as positivity is on the middle of struggles, at the end, a special light can be viewed.

Postgraduate studies change me. Sometimes I feel giving up. I’m just tired. I’m just stressed with what I have to study and produce. There’s pressure. And sometimes, positivity is eaten up by tiredness. Thankfully, prayer lifts up my spirit. A short chat with my family inspires me more. And can you believe it, Facebook comments gives me tap on my shoulder to remind me how lucky I am with what I have now. These are changes; changes that pushes me to look at life in a positive side. And despite the odds, I survive. I’m just happy, soon the semester will end. One final examination, a portfolio and a documentary to do and I will be done with school.

Appreciation of what you have is a part of the overarching concept of optimism. I appreciate my life. I appreciate with what I have. I appreciate I have loving family and friends. I appreciate I am studying right now. I appreciate I am single because I can get to know more myself. I appreciate Brunei because it teaches me to build life with respect and focus. There are endless portions of my life which I appreciate. But just like any human, despite the appreciation comes the depreciating happiness because of too much thinking. Let it be.

Just like any human, I dream of stepping into the other side of the world. I want to go to places which I feel I will grow more. I want to be in an institution where I can share more my talent. Honestly, I feel like there are spaces that need to be filled. I am not being ungrateful with all the blessings. Perhaps, I just need a new direction.

Taking new directions is part of change. I dream of taking another direction in 2012. The reason I’m taking up my postgraduate studies is because I want to land a job in the academe. If given a change, I also want to proceed with a Doctorate after I finish my masters. I’m just confident with these plans. Hopefully, God will guide me.

I choose 2010 the spring board for change. I choose change. I choose to live in a new path because I choose change. I choose positive change. Positive change makes my feelings kick in excitement, in joy. And with such good feeling, I appreciate more of life, my life. For every appreciation ends the line of wishing to be in a different world. At this point, fulfilment paints the essence of change, of positive change. If only I can be on a direction I want, I won’t look at “what ifs.”

I dream of change. I chase my dreams. But I promise to live change.

Change is about getting my dreams in action, seeing every bits ot it unfold in enchanting landscape. Change perhaps could be about publishing a book or finishing my masters. Change is venturing into good investments. Change is building a business to help my family. Change is defined on how many friends I gain. And sometimes change can be as simple as thanking each day waking up with a healthy body and soul.


Friday, January 1, 2010


Two days before magpalit ng taon, everyone was sooo busy for fireworks shopping at grocery for the media noche. In my case, busy rin naman but in an odd case. I was not preparing any stuff for the coming of the New Year. In fact, super busy ako sa pagcomplete ng requirements sa masters class ko. But despite the kangaragan, there were happy moments which made the ushering of 2010 in my life truly sparkling and a blast!

Two days before 1 January 2010, I met the Philippine Ambassador in Brunei, Si Ambassador Alexander Yano. Yan eh dahil I have to interview him sa isang feature article that I'm doing for my postgrad class. Sadly, di ko naman siya nainterview because he has to run sa isang Jail visit in conjunction with the Rizal Day commemoration in Brunei. However, I was still lucky dahil nalaman ko in our short talk na siya ay malayong kamaganak namin. Tama ang aking tatay. Taga-Bikol ang Ambassador! Take note, may I request pa ang Ambassador na papicture kami! kakatuwa! =)
Maybe you're wondering if ano na ang nangyari sa feature article na dapat kong isulat. Well, luckily, sinagutan ni Ambassador Yano ang questionnaires na inemail ko! Galing galing!

Same day, 30 December, ay nagbigay ng Dinner Treat ang aking company sa amin. We ate at the Airport Restaurant. Airport Restaurant dahil nasa Airport!
Obviously, kainan to the highest level na naman dahil buffet! And honestly, sira na naman ang diet ko. Ang dami kong nakain!

Ang aking plato: Punong Puno! =)

The next day, 31 December eh busy pa rin ako. Ang dami pa ring tinatapos sa opisina. Pero siningit ko talaga ang paggawa ng blog ko which has my New Year's Resolution. On the side, I greeted everyone Happy New Year! Then sa gabi, simula na ng preparation sa pagsalubong ng 2010!

First, grocery kami sa Supah Save to buy ingredients for the Steam Boat. Buy ng 13 fruits as pampasuwerte. Buy rin kami ng Cake. At siempre, some fireworks!

Sa gabi, two hours before mag-12. Naku po. Kantahan. Watch a movie with some tawanan. At siempre, pagdating ng 12, putukan na! We had sparklers and one fountain! Saya saya!

During the kainan naman, mas bongga rin! May dalang ham at ice cream (coffee crumble) si Jomai from Pinas. Ayun, sira na naman ang diet! Well, natural na ata talaga na masira ang diet ninuman pag December. I-work out na lang sa January as a New Year's Resolution!

Nawindang lang ako dahil hindi kami nakapagchat ng family ko. Siguro busy na rin. Di rin naman ako nakatawag coz super busy network! Then again, bumawi na lang ako sa pagbati sa kanila the next day!

With all of these good things, talagang nagpapasalamat ako kay God. Malayo man ako sa family ko, I still felt the coming of 2010 extra special.

Happy 2010 everyone! Cheers! =)