** experiences

Experiences could sharpen or could traumatize you.  Life may seem unfair to you or to others but you’ll never realize how lucky you are unless you’ve heard another person’s story.

It was one afternoon when my friends and I have a deeper conversation about life.  Because of what they’ve currently experienced they’ve thought of what if one of them will go to afterlife first before the other.  What would one do, the guy said he’d just probably be serving the church for the rest of his life and let his children serve the church as well.  The guy said that the lady would probably marry again if he died first.  They were in this conversation and trying to explain each part when I decided to butt in to their conversation.  I told them, your problem is so small compared to mine, my question is would I even marry, hehe, we we’re all laughing.  They then question there must be something in me why I did not get the chance to marry which I also asked why.  I told them that two of my sisters marry at a not so young age, which is probably the result of my father’s strictness. One of my sisters has two children out of wedlock and from that time on my father has been very strict to us.  My friend explained and said that it could have traumatized me thus creating a fear within me unconsciously.  True or not, he has a point, maybe yes or maybe yes.

Unconsciously there are things that have become so natural to us but are not normal to others.  These experiences have been considered lessons and thus we create our own shield to prevent ourselves from being hurt or from experiencing the same things as others have experienced.  We need someone to inform and tell us to help us wake up to our so called norms.  It is good to listen to someone who can tell us things even if it thus prick or hurt us a little.  That was indeed an insightful afternoon we have.

** Outlets…

If you’re far from your family there are always times you think of going back because the feeling of homesickness is kicking in your senses over again.  I have felt that, not just once, twice but countless times.  I know it’s not only me but hundrends or even thousands of OFWs who are away from their families, friends, loved ones and enemies (chos, hehe). The feeling of Christmas songs playing on malls but the spirit of Christmas is not just there.  You want to do a teleport just to experience the fun of Christmas back home but you’re also worried to see your neighbors, relatives, long distance relatives, your inaanaks, pamangkins and even your not so close friends who are asking gifts or pasalubong from you not just because it’s Christmas but because you’re a balikbayan and you smell like bucks.  Kidding aside but this has been a reality to some if not most but maybe not me, thank God.  Christmas and New Year is never the same in pinas, it’s always fun, enjoyable and enjoyable.  I missed it this year but I do hope that I could spend it in Pinas the next years to come.

Going back to my topic, as an OFW, you tend to look for lots of outlets just to cure homesickness.  Sometimes you join clubs, events you don’t even like hoping that you would love it someday.  You get to grab all outing opportunities as long as it’s On the Budget and if time permits.  Oh yeah, all these in the name of curing homesickness, oh well good if you have your close friends and family with you coz they would be your outlet.

As for me, I’ve never been happier after finding my nightly outlet and dose of my favorite series.  I do watch a replay of it every night and never had skipped, or maybe yes, since July and imagine until now..  It’s not a drama series by the way, it’s a local pinoy series and yeah they have been in the mainstream for 6 months as of this writing.  Call me addicted but who cares it’s my dose of happiness and laughter every night.  It does cure boredom as well as pissed off times.  I’ve noticed myself to be different from before, not moody, always forgiving and understanding.  If this was the result of watching this kalog serye, who wouldn’t want to continue right, especially if you are far away from home.  I’m not gonna mention the serye or the team up but, yeah, well, I admit I am a fan. Do find your happiness as well, coz it’s a really good feeling. LOL, this is me when i watch it. 😀

**Looking Back

It was not so long ago when i thought I couldn’t escape life’s adversity.  My father died from stroke in 2012 after spending Christmas and New Years in the hospital.  It was during those times that I needed to decide things that hurt me most.  I went back home in Cebu thinking I could help and leaving my work and this country.  I realized that instead of the help I could extend, i felt that I’m more of a burden coz I am not giving enough money to sustain the hospitalization bills and medicines.  I decided to go back and look for a job even if my heart and my mind was filled with worries.  My father past away without me on the burial coz my job application was pending for pass release. I thought of going back but I know that no one could pay our debts except me.  I felt the guilt inside me but no one in my family blamed me.  I spent sleepless nights filled with worries but none of those nights have my father showed me in my dreams.  I later realized that my father loved me so much that he don’t want me to worry thus I forgive myself.  Debts has been paid and  a feeling of happiness enveloped me after maybe a year of feeling guilty and unworthy.

After a year or so, I decided to build a house not for myself but for the my mother.  It took me more than 2 years to finish because of some unexpected situations, e.g. can’t find a good carpenter and even the budget. I thought I couldn’t finish it coz I was alone and I still have to support my nieces school fees plus other emergency situations like my brother’s fee abroad or my sister’s operation.  Looking back, it was indeed a relief that I never stopped nor give up.  The house was finished although there are some yet to purchase and buy stuffs.  Just this year I decided to buy a second hand car for my family in between my niece’s tuition fees.  It was kind of heavy yet I’m thankful to have paid it.

I know that I couldn’t surpass and carry all those things if God had not laid His mighty hands on me.  Looking back I could have done or decided differently if I’m alone in those fights, but i guess He watched me closely 24/7.  I realized that I haven’t done much for myself these past few years but it’s never too late to give myself a break.  I still am hopeful for God’s blessing in any form and kind.  I could still feel the pain when I write this blog but reading my previous write ups, it helps me release those painful memories.  The more I release it, the less painful it is, this indeed is true.  I feel that whatever I will experience through, it’s just so easy now that I’ve been through some painful journeys.

There’s no secret to it, you just have to accept, chew a bit and release everything but most of all, everything will be lighter if you trust and believe Him.  When you are in an adversity, we always question, sometimes give up and oftentimes run away.  But again if you look back, you’d realized that situations are perfect experience to sharpen you and remind you that He is always there.

My life is not perfect, no one is.  But with my experience I’ve learned, loved, forgive, forget, believed, trust and get through it.  We cry, yes it’s normal but we must be happy and thankful as well for those small little things we’ve come accross.

p.s. i’ve decided to blog again after reading my previous post and happy posts should come after this 😀

**A driver’s journey

It was one tiring Tuesday evening when I was battling deep inside whether to take a cab or take the bus. I was reasoning deep within me that I am so tired thus I need to take a cab and I should treat myself once for a cab ride. The other side of me is saying that I am on a tight budget.

Taking a cab won and thus I go straight to the taxi stand of the hospital where my office was. There was no queue and thus I took the incoming cab. I told him my direction and with a smile he responded, “would you mind giving me the postal code mam” and so I did told him and he said that he don’t want to trouble me for I might be using my phone. This has been the trend because of technology and the easy access to internet.

And so our journey begins, he asked me if I’m from Myanmar coz I look like one and so he thought he offended me, so I said it’s fine I am used to being mistaken as Malaysian, Indonesian, Cambodian, Thai but I really am a Filipino and my face is just a typical Asian so I was fine with that.

He shared that he was once a retired seafarer and had a stop over in Cebu and stayed at Hilton Hotel. He retired but need to work as a cab driver for his wife who has brain cancer coz he needs to send him for a chemotherapy everyday for 400sgd per session. I was astounded by his words and asked who took care of his wife. He has a helper from Iloilo who stayed with them for 17 years, the lady never married for fear of money milking, if there’s such a term, from men back in her hometown. She’s taken wherever they go and eat the same kind of food, I salute him for his kindness. Our talk became so interesting that he almost send me to the wrong address.

When we reached my destination, without thinking I told him that I’m hoping for his wife to be well. He stopped for a sudden, as he was about to give me my change, and told me that he appreciates me for giving those kind of word to a stranger and said that from the time I approached his cab he knew that his passenger was a kind lady.

Right then and there I knew that I was an instrument of God to give uncle (this is how they call older man) a compassionate and a listening ear.

I was in awe and inspired by his love for his wife and kindness to everyone he meets despite his adversity. I pray that his wife will be healed in Jesus name. Seldom can you see a person who has a problem and his face bears not at all. Instead, he has a pleasing personality that leads you to talk in all honesty.

And that ends my cab journey….

** Joy in giving

It all started with the 2 aunties who collects boxes from the nearby hawker centre.
Every morning while going to work, i always saw these 2 aunties from different locations collecting boxes from stalls, hawker centres and even nearby fastfoods.  In the busy streets of Singapore, these old uncles and aunties are sometimes forgotten.  Blessed are those that stayed with their children for they are being taken cared of.  But there are a few or say still a number of those who lived on their own left to work also on their own to sustain their everyday meal or two or the high cost of living. 
Everyday, a friend of mine and her daughter riding in their bike would almost always buy a bread from a nearby bakery to give to these aunties. When nighttime comes, if he’s lucky enough to catch these oldies, he also buy bread for them for their dinner.  Living in the same house, i was inspired when my friend told me his acts of giving.  One afternoon, as i was on my way home, i saw this auntie busy picking up those left over boxes.  Off I went to the bakery and bought 2 bread.  I was too hesitant, too shy to give because i fear of rejection or being mocked.  Afterall my thinking, i decided to come near her and give just one piece of bread and hurriedly went off while she was saying something in chinese with a smile on her face. I totally do not understand but it brought tears to my eyes and smile on my face.  Walking and waiting for my friend from afar, I saw her trembling maybe because she’s already too hungry, with that i went my way to the bakery to buy another bread and water.   If i could remember and if I have few dollars left, i try to give something every other day.  A friend saw this and followed this act of giving.  Initially, this brought tears to her eyes but the smile you can see in their eyes is more worthwhile, thus she followed this acts of giving.

In this year and age, sometimes, it is too easy not to care than to care at all.  But once we showed care to people we do not even know of, we never realized that we might have cured a missing/broken piece in their lives.  This might be too cliche to say in this age, but let the goodness starts in every one of us.  Let the giving spread whenever and wherever we are.

Reading for today 24 September

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.  If anyone hits you on one cheek, let him hit the other one too;  If someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well.  Give to everyone who asks you for something, and when someone takes what is yours, do not ask foe it back. Do for others just what you want them to do for you.

** Childhood Memories – my P4

Can u still remember your childhood days??
Do you miss those days, those memories and friends??

Well admit it at times we imagine how nice it would be to be young again. All you need to think is eat, play and sleep. Who wouldn’t enjoy childhood when we have all the laughter when we play with our messy noisy friends. We never thought of any problem except the school’s homework. We never thought of any solution except to play in the sun and rain. We need not worry about anything and everything.

Those are the days when our TV is a box-typed with no remote control that you need to twist just to change the channel, but now we all have the plasma, LCD or touch screen TV. Those are the days when we need to share with siblings or even friends just to be able to play brick game/game boy/playstations; yet now smart phones has all the games you can name. Those are the days when we used tin can in playing street games with all our messy face and hair yet we don’t even care and bother. Those are the days that we don’t have internet and we spent most of our time with our neighbours, friends and families but now, we spend most of our time using our phones even in front of our friends, boyfriend/girlfriend and families.

Remember that time when cassette tapes and VHS tapes used to listen to music and watch movie/video; now youtube can do both. Ever heard of Macarena while singing and dancing along with the tune? How about singers like Mandy Moore, Britney Spears, Christina Aguillera or Backstreet boys.

Do you also remember autographs or slum books as a remembrance of your classmates before graduation thinking that you’ll never see each other again. How about eating sweets like white rabbit and lollipops.

Who would forget the cartoon/anime/disney movies/series like mickey mouse, tom and jerry, astro boy, power rangers, captain planet and the planeeters,spiderman series, powepuff girls, Digimon, lion king and pokemon. Til this day I still like Mulan that even I watched it a couple of times, I would never get bored at it. Do you have the Archie comics? I may not have but I still could remember my classmates saving penny for it.

Now that we’ve grown up, we still long to be child again. We collect toys, cars, barbie dolls, stuff toys we never have before. We sometimes buy these things to bring back old memories or to please oneself of something we long and never had before.

We tend to queue for the famous hello kitty or incredibles toy at McDonalds, some may even had a fight.

I still remember that time I went to the cinema to watch the cartoon movie Brave, and I so like it and even laughed along with my friends 5yr old daughter.

We may have grown in age/numbers, in size or in height and even in weight, but we still have that yougness buried within us and waiting to be revealed in each passing day. It might be a good remembrance of who we once were and have been. You may be a 70s, 80s or 90s baby yet these childhood memories brings back those times that we’ll always be thankful of.