Heavy Heart

Little discoveries brought to you by my heavy heart (note: not broken). My friend and I ended up at this courtyard which was formerly the military families village. 

I've been overly dramatic lately. Well not that I bawl my eyes at every given situation, but my heart feels very very heavy. My hormones are out of whack, so maybe that's partly to blame. However, there are some issues that need to be sorted out.

You see, these are the times when I want to book the next flight to Manila and just hop on the plane, never mind my job. There really are things I want  to change, but I have no control over them.

Sorry for being too vague, I still do not have the courage to pour what's in the depths of my heart, of what I truly feel. But I'm disappointed at how things are, of late. I'm certain God hears my prayers, and someday He'll light the way.

I know cannot just sulk and wallow in self pity.I remember my Mandarin language teacher telling me that we are not supposed to feel bad about our lives, to pity ourselves. We should take it as an opportunity to improve, to work hard and make ourselves better individuals. These words have since been etched at the back of my hand, kept inside my heart.

I try to let go of all these emotions when I'm at work, and replace all negativity with smile and optimism. I appreciate the presence of friends- conversations over afternoon tea dates. Last Saturday, my friend and I went out for our long-overdue tea date. It was pouring hard so we hailed a cab at the City Hall station, gave the address to the driver and found ourselves at an old courtyard. There seems to be no coffee-tea shop place here, I thought to myself. The driver must have heard my thoughts and told us we have to walk over the courtyard, and we'll see the coffee-shop right across. The location was just too pretty, we learned that it was formerly the military families village. Ah, what discoveries my heavy heart can bring.

I also shared this bowl of fresh mangoes-strawberries-mochies shaved ice last night with a good friend. It did help a bit :)

Lighten up, my heavy heart.

Philippine Independence Day

Last Thursday, I was invited by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) to attend a cocktail party in celebration of the Philippines' 116th Independence Day. MECO is the representative office of the Philippines to Taiwan in the absence of bilateral ties. This year's celebration is pretty memorable after the Taiwan-PH rift last year, when our coastguard reportedly shot a Taiwanese fisherman.

Amb. Basilio, MECO's resident representative in Taipei, said Taiwan-PH relation is now back to normal after having gone through the most severe test (Side note: The Ministry of Labor Affairs almost did not approve my work permit application at the time. They stopped processing Filipino work permits from May to August because of the conflict.). The Independence Day celebration was held mainly to give thanks to Taiwan, for all the relief efforts and donations they have extended after Typhoon Haiyan.

Fellow Filipinos gathered at the Shangri-La Plaza and enjoyed a feast of Filipino cuisine. It was nice seeing many familiar faces- those we usually see in Zhongshan (which we refer to as Little Manila), or at churches with Filipino communities, even the people working at remittance centers, to our Filipino-Chinese doctors.

We enjoyed the desserts- turon, sapin-sapin, mango tarts, leche flan and the halo-halo bar. They also served salpicao, camaron rebosado, beef roast, and lechon de leche. There was a raffle draw where several airlines gave away roundtrip tickets to Pinas, and the grand prize was well, a flat screen TV. My former colleague from China Post could have won the raffle, but because he left early, they had to re-draw. I wanted to go up the stage and claim it on his behalf but my boss was around hehe. My churchmate, Ate Era who works for Dominican School, won the grand prize and I'm pretty sure the TV's on its way to Manila now.

With my friends Martin, Kuya Ronald and Kuya Ferdie- all working in Taipei

The Bukas Palad Choir flew from Manila and was invited to perform 3 sets. My friends and I were singing along the entire time and caught some Taiwanese glancing and smiling at us. Yes, we grew up listening to Bukas Palad songs, kulang na lang sumayaw din kami nung kinanta yung "I Will Sing Forever."

I had a nice week, and hoping to have a nicer weekend. Here's what I'm doing now- brunch in bed. What a lazy Saturday.

Lastly,  I just wanna share a photo of our Strawberry Cheesecake Frappe, which Starbucks should rename as "Diabetes in a cup." And because sharing is caring, we had to split the calories too- we ended up dividing this into 6.