It's Sinking In

Enough of the sad posts because reality is now sinking in. Im two-weeks away before I invade Jerry Yan's territory. I'm excited, nervous, scared, happy, sad and insert all other possible emotions in between. Sometimes I think I'm losing my mind, staring blankly at the ceiling, watching TV but not really watching, listening to songs but not really listening. You get me?

Good news though, I have started some get-togethers, the first group I went out with was my highschool friends last Saturday. Guess what we did for bonding? After lunch at Chili's Greenbelt 5, where we wolfed down 5 plates of bottomless nachos, we went target shooting somewhere in Chino Roces. I will upload pictures of me holding a gun and shooting (ugh, first timer) when the camera-holders of that day send me some pictures.

Moving on, I still haven't bought a luggage. I hope I can get the brown Delsey or the red Samsonite I'm eyeing. The one I bought in HK, I gave it to my brother who left for Jeddah last midweek of July. I have a long to-buy list, mostly necessities, and the medicines- mom promised to take care of it. The packing I will have to do by next week.

Now I'm just busy thinking of what other necessary steps to take, aside from having my travel tax certificate renewed because of my misspelled name. I wonder, stress has not yet taken its toll, but I'm now breaking out like crazy. I miss my crystal clear skin, like the one I have in that snapshot taken last January in Tagaytay. We're wide awake til dawn just playing taboo, and yet my skin didn't even break out. Well I'm crossing my fingers that in a few days' time, my skin will be back to normal with the help of my really great dermatologist. She removed all traces of zits this afternoon. Oh, beauty is painful. But as the old adage goes, "No pain, no gain."

I trust my dermatologist in all things skin-related. I'm really OC when it comes to my skin because I don't use powder or foundation. I go out everyday without make-up on and that's my reason why it has to be clean and clear. By the way, it's good I went to see her because I was planning on applying moisturizer come winter season in Taipei. She almost freaked out when I said that. No moisturizers for oily skin, only around the eye area. That's a little beauty tip coming from a doctor!

Ciao! Am trying to finish Eat Pray Love. I heard Julia Roberts has started filming! :)

Her Memory Faded

Memory is the ability of the mind to recall and perhaps rekindle an event, a place, a person or whatever that is worth-remembering. When you lose your memory, I think it's tantamount to saying you have lost your everything.

She knew my face. The face of the little girl she once adored and cuddled in her arms. But she can't remember my name, nor my brothers'. It's not Alzheimer's. It was her memory fading, being selective as she had aged. I was not hurt when she cant remember me anymore. As long as she knows and remembers my mom and some of her siblings, I'm okay.

Although there were days when I'm still hoping that she would remember me. Hoping that apart from the usual greeting during her birthday, I would have talked to her about school, work and other things grandchildren tell their grandparents.

And I wish I was a lola's girl, but I think I'm not. She lived an hour away from our place and when we went to Manila to study, we only visited her every New Year and during the summer. I'm praying though that the affection I had shown her when I was little comforted her-- a little assurance to her that I'll grow up to be a fine young lady one day.

There was this one birthday of mine when lola went to Manila and visited our place. She learned that it was my birthday and before I headed to school, she handed me P200.00. She said it's her birthday gift to me. Maybe it was my 10th birthday. It made me happy then. And many Christmases ago, she gifted me a pair of porcelain shoe figurines. It was her last gift to me before some parts of her mind went blank. It was one of the most beautiful memory I have of her. I wish she could see me now, writing this. I wish she's also proud of me. I wish she's now happy in heaven. And I wish I was a lola's girl. Maybe I am, afterall.

(This is the Thank You Card I made and we will be sending out for those who offered their sympathy in our moment of grief.)

Rest Well, Lola

My Lola Amparo (my mom's mom) passed away last Wednesday, August 12. I have three lolas, don't make me explain why because it's going to be a long story. But most of my close friends know the story behind. Lola Amparo is my only lola who saw me grew up. Lola Puraw died when I was 7, and Lola Otillia, I never had the chance to meet her for she died years before I was born.

During the church service before Lola Amparo's burial. All my aunts, and even my mom, assigned me to do the "response" (family members speak before the flower offertory). And so here was my piece. A short note of gratitude and reflection I wrote only for my Lola Amparo, for I will miss her, forever.

Good morning everyone! Before anything else, let me introduce myself. I'm Jacqueline Dy Uy, one of the 25 grandchildren of lola Amparo, also the daughter of her youngest, Juliet.

Please allow me to speak on behalf of our family. To all our relatives, friends, neighbors, everyone close and dear to my lola, everyone who were by my lola's side when she breathe her last, until today, when we are finally laying her to rest, our family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for being there in our moment of grief. The words Thank You may never be enough to show our appreciation to all of you who shared with us your love, prayers and sympathy.

We will always remember Lola Amparo as a lovely, kind-hearted, religious woman. When lola was still strong, and her memory sharp and vivid, she would visit us in Ballesteros. She would usually go with Auntie Ining, the late Lola Maling and Lola Nena, and spend the night at our place. And when I was still a little girl and she still had that small sari-sari store, Lola would always give me paperdolls, and my brothers would usually eat the chicharon or whatever chichirya she is selling. Mama would sometimes say, "Ibusen yu ta lakko ni lola yun." But that was lola, she was fond of children. Although her death brought all of us deep pain and sadness, at the end of the day, we can't help but be happy because she is now resting in the arms of God.

Death of a loved one shouldn't bring much sorrow. In fact, death, like life, should be celebrated. Afterall, Lola Amparo lived such a beautiful life with her husband, my Lolo, together with their eight beautiful children- my Auntie Luming, Auntie Herminia, Auntie Mely, Uncle Jun, Uncle Ruben, Uncle Sanny, Uncle Rey, and my mom, Juliet. And yet til the very end, Lola Amparo died a peaceful beautiful death.

With this, we would like to invite everyone to join us in celebrating Lola Amparo's well-lived life, in a simple salo-salo lunch prepared by our family after the burial. Again, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Image Credit:

Bactidol and Cetaphil Saved the Day

My Thursday and Friday were truly unforgettable. Here's a detailed account on what those two days looked like. Thursday morning, I was literally running around Makati to do some errands, buying stuff I have to bring home for my 2-week vacation in Cagayan. Thursday night, TECO's Director Wei, together with Ms. Happy, hosted a gastronomic feast a.k.a. superb dinner at Mey Lin Restaurant in Jupiter. Ms Happy also handed me my passport-to-the future, *drumroll* my Taiwan Visa. Just look at my happy face in the picture. In exactly 29 days, I'll be strolling the streets of Taipei and studying again!

So anyway, all of us had fun during the dinner as we feasted on Mey Lin's renowned Hong Ma or Pata Tim, Three-Cups Chicken and all other Taiwanese foods. We chatted about Director Wei's life, love life, Taiwan life and all other things. In between stories and laughter, little did I know that I was up to some adventure, or misadventure to say the least, in the next few hours. And can I just say that the dinner in Mey Lin was my last decent meal in 2 days? Read on and go figure.

After hours of chatting with Achie Gracie (my cousin who accompanied me in the bus) inside the bus, we both fell asleep. At half past twelve, that is Friday morning, Achie woke me up saying that we might go back to Manila since there's a landslide somewhere in Nueva Vizcaya. Five hours later, we were still on that same place. What a great time to be stranded in the middle of nowhere, without mobile signal (I'm a subscriber of the telecommunication network who claims that they have the nation-widest coverage.). After three hours, the driver finally said that we're gonna go another way, via Ilocos then Cagayan. Well, I hope he was smart enough to have thought of that plan earlier.

To sum it all up, I stayed on the road for 32 butt-breaking hours. But thanks to Bactidol, my partner-in-crime who gave me fresh breath all throughout, and to Cetaphil, my-no-rinse-needed-facial-wash, I felt clean and energized nonetheless. Bactidol and Cetaphil were my heroes during my entire stay in the bus.

I was home by around 4:30 in the morning, Saturday (supposedly, I should be home by 8:00AM Friday). I still thank God I was able to reach home safe and sound. I'm also praying that no one got injured with the landslide. My plan for the entire two weeks? Finish my reading list and eat a whole lot of Ilokano home-cooked meals. Sigh, I will be missing them in the coming months. So I will eat and eat but I think I need some physical activity here, so maybe I can do some brisk walking tomorrow, when I'm well rested. Or maybe on Monday. :)

The Last Farewell

One day I would have the greatest story to tell to my children and grandchildren. That I, their mother, lined up for an hour to pay her last respect to the woman who gave their country democracy. I'd describe to them the week that must have been the most sorrowful for the Philippines as a nation, and how the Filipino people mourned over a death of a mother, a president, an icon, and above all, a simple woman who had an unwavering faith to God and to her religion.

If the nation's in utter confusion, she would clasp both of her hands, intertwined with a rosary, and kneel down in prayer. If there is one great thing I have learned this week, it is the importance of one's faith. No matter how much you have, or how rich you are, if you don't have faith, if you don't have God in your heart, everything fails, falls, and falters. President Cory Aquino gave voice to the voiceless, gave hope to the hopeless. She will forever live in our hearts, and we, Filipino people will forever be indebted to her.

As I took a glimpse of her seemingly frail body, she was wearing a peaceful smile, as if bidding everyone a good farewell, over a beautiful death. Goodbye, Tita Cory. The one and a half hour of lining up under the sweltering heat was nothing compared to what you and Senator Ninoy Aquino had to endure for our nation. Seven years and seven months of separation, torture and assassination, and yet the flame of their love for each other did not even dwindle. It is true love in every sense of the word. Now that we lay you to rest today, we thank you endlessly. For everything, thank you.

Scholarship Awarding

So officially, I'm one month away to a new journey in life that is Taiwan.

Everyone seems excited to have an escape from the humdrum of Manila life. I think even the Ambassador is pretty excited for us, as he kept on encouraging us to meet new people, well not just "new people" but boyfriends and girlfriends at that. The room was filled with laughter during the entire ceremony. We were all treated to a buffet of dimsum. Taiwan scholarship grantees from earlier batches came to orient us and share their experiences in a different city bursting with a diversity of culture and language.

After the awarding, I'm happy to say that I was able to meet new friends! We went to the Department of Tourism to get our travel tax certificates, and had the interview for the visa at around four in the afternoon. The interviewer was pretty cool, she was quite surprised I can speak Mandarin. She even asked where I graduated from high school (CKSC alumni here).

Here's the loot we received during the awarding. The scholarship certificate was placed on a classy wooden frame. We were also given a map, which will be the most important thing in my next 600-something days, the guidebook, and the DVD which is aptly titled as "Dream" or in Mandarin, 夢 想 .