This entry, serious na kasi, will basically chronicle not only the yummylicious food that I had for the past three days. I will also be sharing the wonderful feeling I've been containing since Monday. As you all know, siempre hindi niyo pa knows.
So if you think this entry deserves some reading from your tantalizing eyes, then read on!
It's energizing. It's rejuvenating. It's essential. That's what I felt when I received the great news last Monday. As soon as I opened my email, I read that I'm offered with a full scholarship. Meaning to say, I'll get a stipend, accommodation allowance, access to the University's facilities, and health coverage. I was just soooooo elated to digest the information. In fact, I screamed nang bongga bongga.
Tears ran on my cheeks as I processed the information. Sabi ko sa sarili, halos isang taon din akong nag-apply, nagproseso at naghintay para lang makamit ang inaasam na makapagaral sa ibang bansa. With all my prayers and high hopes, God gave me what my heart desired. On top of that, I'd been receiving truckloads of blessings for the past months - one was when I won the 2012 "I Love Brunei" National Day Competition which let me walk away with 2,500 Brunei Dollars and an Airticket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It was tears of joy. I've never been this so happy, that's what my mind and heart said. Hindi rin kasi biro ang pinagdadaanan ko sa Brunei. Despite the happy times with friends, hiling ko ang lumabas ng bansa at sumubok ng oportunidad na alam kong mas mag-grow ako. Di na rin kasi ako maligaya sa piling ng kompanya ko. And finally, God granted me my wish: to do a PhD at hindi lang overseas, may scholarship pa.
There were fears and anxieties as well. Una, I felt that I'll be starting over again and build a life in a new environment. Di tulad sa Brunei ay halos kabisado ko na ang galaw ng paligid. Although there were times that I feel homesicked, still, with one text message from friends, nagiging okay na. Second, PhD is gonna be challenging. It entails extensive and independent research. On a brighter side, I'm confident (with God's guidance) that I'll be able to win my PhD through dedication, hardwork and trainings I got from UP and my professors. And lastly, I fear that I'll get fat. As in may ganon. Kasi sabi nung friend ko na nasa Australia na, ang sarap daw ng food. Anyways, sideways, and highway, I'll watch my weight para healthy living pa rin.
For the past days, I had a grand time contemplating on my commencement date in Australia. Since I won't be able to fly in August, the start month of my PhD, I deferred for few months. Positively, the University is considerate enough to let me know that they're flexible with my request, especially relating to employment commitments. On one hand, with student visa application and processing in mind, I thought of setting up a timeline. In the end, the University told me that end of November is the recommended commencement date. I agreed. So now, naghihintay ako at magaayos ng gamit dito sa Brunei.
The past days were exhausting as well. One of the main reasons for it was filling my resignation in the office. Super kinakabahan ako kasi kahit may bitterness ako sa company namin, iba pa rin yung magpapaalam ka at aalis ka. Mabait naman yung boss sa akin. Imagine, they allowed me to do rakets - hosting and singing in events. Kaya wala rin akong masasabi. But then again, the time has come and so I have to go na rin.
Prior to giving my resignation letter, I checked on dates and months. Kailangan ko rin kasi ang sahod for few months to cover the months na jobless ako. On top of that, I also want to give extra money as a contribution with our family's daily expenses lalo na't magstay ako sa house.
Finally, I picked 22 September as my date of departure in Brunei.
Perhaps you may wondering why I'm coming back in September in the Philippines yet I'm commencing my PhD in Australia on November. Well, apart from anticipating student visa processing and approval, I have a paper presentation in Thailand on October. It would be practical to just come from the Philippines and go to Thailand. On top of that, I want to spend few months with my family. Matagal na rin kasi akong makakauwi pag nasa Australia na. Dagdag pa riyan, mag-a-advance research na ako. Me ganon?
Now that I'm months away of doing my PhD, I feel really really (million times) BLESSED. Since the start of the year, God has been showering me with blessings. From graduating with Honors (MA), winning competitions, being accepted from another University and offered with a scholarship, and a recent one which I can't disclose as it's very private, I'm just thankful.
There were times that I want to give up. That's the truth. I'm tired of waiting. Dumating pa sa punto na sinabi ko na sa sarili ko na baka nga destined talaga ako to stay in Brunei. Tutal naman eh may mga kaibigan na ako rito na itinuturin akong pamilya at ganon din naman ako sa kanila. But I dreamed big. I never stopped in believing. I even claimed hopes and expectations that are far beyond my control. Yet, in the end, God gave me all of those.
I'm speechless with what's happening in my life right now. I may not have things that others have but I've never felt deprived or I lack something. When I'm feeling blue kasi madalas ay namimiss ang buhay sa Pinas, I look on the tons of blessings that I have. On top of that, I never fail to call God. In times of happiness or loneliness, God is with me.
Most people say that I'm blessed. I believe that. Sa sunod sunod na pagbagyo ng biyaya, halos hindi ko na rin alam kung papaano ko pasasalamatan ang Diyos. The best that I could do is to share my talent and be in the church every Sunday. Nakakatuwa lang isipin. Back in the Philippines, before getting my bags on the plane, I promised myself that I will join the choir and share my talent as my way of thanking God for giving me a job in Brunei. Tinupad ko ang pangako kong yan.
As of writing, umiiyak ako. My faith in God was once tested. I can still recall that one night in my room that I was crying and praying. I was asking God na pahabain pa ang buhay ng mommy ko. My mom was in ICU then. Sabi ko sa dasal ko, gusto ko pang makasama mommy ko sa matagal na panahon, na makita niya na grumaduate kapatid ko (who was in college then), na mas magsama-sama pa ang family, at makita niya na magtagumpay kami sa buhay. Unfortunately, days passed and I found myself crying over my mom's casket. Yes, it was devastating. Ni hindi ko nga matandaan kung kumakain pa ako noon.
I never questioned God sa lahat ng mga nangyari sa buhay ko and for my family. Sabi ko noon, walang pagsubok na ibibigay si God na alam niyang hindi kakayanin. Slowly, months and years passed by and we (my family) were able to heal.
God is good. The time I was depressed sa pagkawala ng mom ko, narinig ni Lord ang ninanais ng puso ko. Gusto kong makalimot sa lungkot na nararamdaman ko. My heart longed for a new environment; a place where I can slowly cope and regain strength. God offered me Brunei.
I've always thought that now that my Mom is with God, pakiramdam ko ay binubulungan niya ang Diyos sa kung ano man ang dumarating sa buhay ko, ng aking pamilya.
Ang pagkawala ng nanay namin sa aming pamilya, six years ago, is a humbling and learning experience for everyone. Mas naging matatag ang bawat isa at mas naging malapit.
I miss my mom. Di niyo lang alam, ilang beses na akong umiyak sa room ko habang kausap ang Diyos. Naiiyak ako especially whenever I receive a blessing from God. Na para bang gusto kong yakapin nanay ko and share with her all my achievements. Yun kasi ang unang nagwawala sa saya pag may na-a-achieve ako sa buhay ko. She's my number one fan. Hindi ko rin naman mayakap ang family ko kasi nasa Pilipinas sila. But thanks to my friends in Brunei, I get to celebrate whatever simple or big blessings that come in.
Now that I'm on my way to another exciting adventure, I wish for God's guidance. I wish that he'll bless me with strength and dedication. I pray that I'll be able to meet people who'll be by my side and treat me like a family, and vice versa. More than the excitement, I feel humbled. I know that the road to getting a PhD will be tough - sleepless nights, a test of flexibility, soul-crushing sessions, extensive research, and loads of revising - but as long as God, my family and friends are with me, I'll never lack the inspiration to succeed in my endeavors.
To God be the Glory!
Now, here's what I have for the past three days... sit back, and wag magulat.
DAY 16: Someone celebrated his birthday in the office so me kainan galore!
DAY 17: I was invited by Ma'am Betsy to come over for dinner. Kailangan niya kasi ako interviewhin for her research paper. What I love about her menu eh healthy ang food - paksiw na isda and ginataang kalabasa!
DAY 18: I craved for buttered fish and had my dose of Tea C Special.
Point is, YES, DIET AKO! #yeahRight
as I always say,