Going Double Two

Beautiful sunset at the river near school.
School has officially started. I'm taking my last elective class in graduate school, a course in International Marketing taught by a Fulbright professor from Philadelphia. I've also registered for thesis and fortunately with prayers, the thesis advisor I've been eyeing has finally said yes and has accepted me as her advisee. To make myself a bit busy, I again enrolled in a special Chinese class catering to exchange students and those taking their masters. I will try my best to make the most out of this semester to graduate asap.

In seven days I'd be turning double two. I don't really feel quite excited about celebrating my birthday this time, unlike when I was back home when we plan where to celebrate it and what to do. Last year, believe it or not, I celebrated it in Ikea, of all places. I was with Bea and Diet, two of my closest scholar friends. We ate Swedish meatballs with gravy and unlimited refills of softdrink. I had one tiny strawberry shortcake which we shared. It was a nice celebration and when I got back to the dorm, I Skyped with my friends and little did I know that they prepared an online surprise. I was even crying when I Skyped with mom because I really felt so distant at that point.

This year I think I'm much stronger. With the new sense of maturity this independence had given me, I think I am more than ready to face the world. Setbacks come and go, but with faith and hope, I know I'm bound to overcome them, just like how I have survived in more than one year of living alone. It makes you realize that the most important things in life need not be bought.

Happiness springs from within, cherishing the most important people in your life and caring for them. What would definitely make me happy on my birthday is knowing that people love and care for me and being able to give back the love they deserve.

Second Pair

Black Manejo Loafers Php 999.00
Classy and comfy.
This is my second pair from Suelas, black Manejo loafers. I got them before I left home and I wore it to the airport. I love how comfortable the soles are and how they can easily fit in my bag. I stayed in my friend's place for two nights and when it was time for me to move in to my own place, I packed all my stuff including this pair in my suitcase. I folded and rolled it in the Suelas bag they gave me. So pretty and can match with all casual outfits. 

Sleep Well, EJ

It took me so long to write an entry about our closest cousin. Up until now I kind of refuse to imagine how's Christmas or New Year gonna be like. I grew up being in the same table with him every noche buena, but this year it will be entirely different.

No one will wolf down on my spaghetti, or finish a plateful of mom's chicken macaroni, or have two servings of the graham cracker cake, or even the fruit cocktail jelly. It's so hard to write this because I am imagining him at the dining table, so happy, always so full of life.

When we were young, while I busy myself with my barbie dolls, my brothers and my cousin would be playing the family computer, then later on Sega. We had our own classic gameboys, we swap Super Mario tapes or whatever he has that we do not have. He's the youngest and the only son, so he was always taken cared of, until his last day on earth.

There's this sense of protection you feel when you're with him. He's too huge he can easily crush someone with his fist. Yet even at his wake, even if he's lying there peacefully, I can still feel that sense of protection from him, because I know he will always be present wherever we are now. He will take care of his mom, our beloved auntie, his sisters, his nephews and niece, our relatives, our family.

Earnest, I know you can hear me. Wherever you are now, I know you are happy and free from all your medications. I always ask Mama Mary to be with you there in heaven.

This noche buena, there will be a plate for you at the table. Help yourself with all your favorite foods. I miss you, pinsan. I will miss you, forever. Please say hi to Lola.

Sleep well.

My New Home

My room.
The lovely view at night.
The living room where we can receive guests.
The hallway to my room and the small receiving area.
The meal schedule where we can sign up for brekkie, lunch and dinner.
After one year here in Taiwan (September 7, 2009), I can finally say I am home. My new place feels very much like home, well, without my mom, pop, my brothers and cousins. It's just too homey and cozy, sometimes I don't even want to go out anymore.

I think I'm meant to be here. The moment I stepped in this place, I knew this was going to be it. Thank You big Boss for making my life steady at the moment. 

I'm finally "at home" in Taipei.