Life Update

Last photo of Taipei taken from my window seat

September 7 was supposed to be my 8th year in Taipei. I could have gone through my usual routine
of waking up before 7am, reading my daily devotional, taking a shower and heading to work at 8:10. I could have waited for bus 311 which arrives at exactly 8:15, then pass by a breakfast shop to get either a sandwich or egg crepe with warm soy milk before clocking in.

I woke up on September 7 with a breakfast, which my mom had lovingly prepared, waiting for me on the table. We ate together- I think it was rice, tocino and eggs, and hurried to take a bath. I left home before 8:00. Not my usual morning routine in the last 8 years, but it was a happy, comforting change. I arrived at the office at 9:00am. It was my 11th day with the new company I'm working for.

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I started looking for jobs early this year. Not that I'm no longer happy with my previous work, but because I was looking for something more. I searched for jobs both in Taipei and Manila. Taipei openings were very limited and I needed a back up plan. I was open to leaving Taipei for career advancement, and because I was already granted permanent residency, it will be easier for me to go back if (and only if) things will not work out in Manila. Soon enough I was fortunate to chance upon a corporate communication role vacancy with one multinational company in Manila.  I clicked apply and took an online exam.

Thinking I flunked the test (50 questions in 12 minutes???), I didn't bother emailing to follow up on my application. In late March, while I was in Seoul for a training, I missed a call from an unknown number twice. Then later that night, I received an interview request via email with the company I applied for. 4 months, 4 interviews and 2 exams later, I received the offer.

Of course I was reluctant. It would mean leaving a very convenient and comfortable life, saying goodbye to 7-Eleven and Family Mart that are just less than 100 steps away, missing my efficient train and bus rides, parting with dearest friends. I prayed and cried over it, even when I had not yet received the offer. Sometimes I would tell myself these tears will be useless because I will not be accepted yada yada yada, but I continue crying. I asked myself so many questions that made me sleepless for some nights but in the end, I just had this one thing on my mind and I knew that this time, Manila wins: Family. The last few years, I only get to spend not even 15 days in total with them in a year. I do not know how is it to be with them anymore, because each time I visit, I feel like a "visitor."

Manila will always be home

But now, things are different. I'm slowly adjusting. Today, for the first time in 8 years, I'm celebrating my birthday at home. I went to Mass and the homily was just beyond beautiful. It resonated with me in so many ways. I had to keep my tears from falling because all my favorite songs were sung from entrance to recessional. It was like the heavens speaking to me, greeting me a very happy birthday. The Mass ended with Panalangin sa Ina ng Santo Rosario, one of my many all-time favorites. I felt Mama Mary embracing me and welcoming me back home.

Thank You, Lord. I will glorify Your name all my life :)