My Year in Review

Let me take you into a journey on the whirlwind of events that took place in my life this 2009. Recalling memories, fond or not, is always a nice way to end the year.

January- I resigned from my first job. I realized there is something more to life than sitting in a cubicle and waiting for a marketing miracle to happen to boost the brand I'm handling. This resignation was easy for me as there were no regrets. I have always set high high expectations to myself and I think I didn't even make it to level 1 of my standards. The first day of the month was also the day when one of my favorite teachers in high school died. She was truly one of the best. Happy first year in heaven, Ma'm Babes!

February- The month I began my journey to finding what I want in dear life. I started submitting my application to various masteral programs and scholarship just because I think I need an experience on higher learning. Well, on the real sense of things, it's just an excuse on my road to discovering what to do next. I also applied to Eat Bulaga spontaneously. Emailed my resume on the day of the deadline. Got a call and was invited for an interview. Good vibes during the interview because it was mom's birthday that day. My beautiful mom turned 50 this year. She still looks young.

March- Here's the most exciting part. Being part of the creative writers team of the country's longest running television show. Accepted the challenge, and was enjoying all the stress, fun, and negativity the job has to offer. I think this is also the end of my social life. No going out on weekends, no dates with friends, not even shopping. It was work from Monday to Saturday. Tiring but fulfilling.

April- Parents are thinking twice why I have to work that hard to earn my own money. They didn't like the idea of me going home at 7 in the morning and going back to work at 10 the same morning to be at the studio. I also started complaining and ranting, but at the end of the day, I felt satisfied, I felt so fulfilled. Afterall, the projects given to me was that one thing I wanted to do in life- sending children to school.

May- Parents cant stand me anymore. I have to let go of the job some people have been waiting for all their lives. It was given to me and yet I surrendered. I gave up too easily, I wasn't even able to defend my love for the job. But deep within, I have questions if everything was truly worth it. I called it quits. I knew God will give me another path to take.

June- The results of the masters program and the scholarship were finally out. I was jumping for joy, not thinking about what will happen in the months to come. I never have thought of leaving things behind. But I know it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was God's gift and I prayed for it. Perhaps there is a reason why He gave it. It is His will, and I will do everything to be whoever He wants me to be.

July- Getting ready for all the requirements needed for my scholarship and masters. This was also the month when my brother, James, left for Jeddah to work as a civil engineer. Everyone's sad after he left, but we all know that it is for his future and for his success. Well, I have always blamed the economy of our country for people leaving for higher pay. I hope one day, when everything is good, people abroad can go back to their families and be with them, and enjoy the opportunities available in our homeland. Hong Kong & Macau trip with the cousins too!

August- My one-month break from everything. A break turned mourning period as my grandma passed away 12th day of the month. It was a quiet passing. She was old and needed to rest in the arms of God. She will be celebrating her birthday on January 1st, and it will be the first time that lola will not be physically there. President Cory also passed away first day of the month.

September- I left Manila on the seventh day of the month. It was raining, like tears from the eyes of the sky, joining my own, as if patting me on my shoulder, high heavens telling me I'll be okay. I eft to study abroad. I left to grab the opportunity given to me. I left without knowing that I would miss my family and friends this much. It is my first time to live alone, in a foreign land. But I lifted everything to God… guidance, safety, protection. He gave me everything I needed. He is and He will forever be my security blanket.

October- Celebrated my birthday alone. It wasn't bad but I cried. All my friends went online on my special day and I was filled with love. My brother also celebrated alone in Jeddah. First month away and I'm still groping in the dark.

November- Second month and I felt I'm already adjusting well. Doing great in school. I also got a happy and sad news from my eldest brother. He will be leaving early January for work. Which means that all three of us will be away. Also, Poligov professor friend in DLSU, Jason Hecita went for a visit slash conference. That's my small family enjoying the blessing of Skype and the so called video-based online communication.

December- Made a surprise trip back home to be with my eldest brother, and to bond with parents and friends. Everyone was shocked, they never thought I could pull a surprise, with the help of my mom. This was also the month that I thought I was gonna die from that big earthquake here in Taipei. Around 6.8 magnitude and I'm inside my room, shivering and crying from the cold and fear. Christian Terrazola of Plaridel also came for a visit. And of course, first Christmas away from home. Sad and empty, but I made it through with my friends here. Two days after birthday, my aunt was rushed to the hospital. Prayers are constant conversations with God to heal my dearest aunt. She is on her way to recovery now, praise God.

2009 is definitely filled with firsts. But with these "firsts", I learned wonderful lessons of cherishing every moment I have with my loved ones, and showing them how much I care and love. We don't have forever to tell them we love them and we care for them. If there's something I'm grateful for about me being away, it's the irony of keeping my family members closer to me despite the distance. I learned to live with prayers, with God being my constant companion. I learned to thank technology. And above all, I learned to thank life. For without the life that He has given me, I wouldn't be here smiling from all the joy and happiness my family and friends bring. I wouldn't be here crying for all pains, fears and at times loneliness. I wouldn't be here sharing these wonderful pieces of lesson to you without the life He bestowed upon me. Goodbye, 2009! I welcome 2010 with open arms. Let us sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to a better year! Happy 2010!

To God be the glory!

Maligayang Pasko po!

Matagal na rin akong di nakakapagsulat gamit ang ating sariling wika. Pero bago ang lahat, isang MALIGAYANG PASKO mula sa isang bayang ni anino ng pagdiriwang na ito ay di ko maaaninag.

Ngayong pasko napagtanto kong unti-unti nang namumulat ang isip ko sa katotohanang hindi na nga ako bata. Hindi na importante sa akin ang mga regalo. Lalo pa't nasa isang daigdig ako na mahal ang shipping fee, haha echos lang. Anu pa nga ang magagawa ng isang nilalang na nasa ibayo? Wala nang mas mahalaga pa siguro para sa mga Pilipinong nasa iba't ibang lupain kundi ang makasama ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay sa isang masayang pagdiriwang na ito. Pero dahil hindi nga magkakasama ang mga mag-anak ngayong araw, sapat ns ang marinig ang boses nila. Konting tiis, ika nga.

Sa kabilang banda, masaya ako at ginawa ako ng Diyos na Pilipino. Sa katunayan, di ko maisip kung ako ay isang Kanluranin. Ganito pa rin kaya ang aking mga pagpapahalaga? Dito ko nakita ang pagkakaiba natin sa ibang lahi. Kung paano natin pahalagahan ang pamilya natin, kung paano tayo magmahal, kung paano tayo magdiwang sa ispesyal na araw ng pagdating muli ni Hesus. At dahil mag-isa ako ngayon, kahit walang dekorasyon sa aking kwarto, o walang makukulay na ilaw sa mga kalsada, walang masasayang batang nangangaroling sa kalye, kahit papano ay buhay pa rin ang diwa ng pasko sa akin. Nananalaytay sa kailaliman ng puso ko and tunay na kahulugan ng pasko: ang pagmamahal sa kapwa, gaya ng pagmamahal Niya sa atin.

Muli, Maligayang Pasko po!

Home for a While

I went home for a couple of days to visit my mom and my brother who will be leaving early next year for Chicago. He will be assigned there for one straight year and since not one of us is sure if we'd still be able to catch up on January (I will be going back on Jan 14) I decided to just make a quick trip. It was a surprise trip. Only mom and dad knew about it. My brother and friends didn't have the slightest idea. Papa was supposed to come over but he changed his mind. I will try to compensate for it next month, I'd stay in Cagayan longer.

It was fun surprising everyone. And it was so nice to be welcomed back with smooches and hugs from my mom. Even if she has to wake up at dawn to go pick me up at the airport, she still cooked adobo and sinigang for me. After lunch I headed to the salon for some pampering. Gah. No pedicure for 3 months. My toes looked pretty with the delicate pastel pink polish painted on em. My closest friends had the shock of their lives when I went out of the room when mom told them to Skype with me Live. I couldn't even stop laughing when I saw my best friend, Monica's reaction when she saw me. I realized that I really am unstoppable. When I think of something, I should really do it. I had the time of my life surprising everyone back home.

Now that I'm here again, I'll push myself to eat all bland foods for five more weeks until I go back to the warmth and coziness of our home. Final papers are due before I leave so it's just a matter of writing and writing till kingdom come for the coming weeks. I actually have started scribbling on my new Starbucks planner courtesy of Ahia. There's no lines on the pages, I'm OC like that. I want my handwriting neat on my planner so I don't know how I'd manage to write without lines.

Moving on, for Christmas and New Year, I don't know what the plans are. Hotels are fully booked on the 31st so I don't know where to stay after watching the fireworks in 101. So help me God.