Reality Bites

This is not about that 1990’s classic film. I love that movie though and I’m glad Winona Ryder’s back on track with Stranger Things–which I absolutely love too. Anyway…

So life caught up with me and I have to juggle my attention between work, family and responsibilities. My last post was…last year! I didn’t even do a 2016 Wrap Up post which I intended to do towards the end of 2016. I know I don’t have a fan base of readers but some people came up to me telling how they enjoyed reading my posts. Very encouraging. So here I am, my first post for 2017.

2016: Wrap Up

Last year went by in a blur and a lot of changes happened: My boss (the guy who hired me) left the company, Jason and I moved to a new apartment and money was a little tight–an effect caused by Malaysian Ringgit dropping against US Dollars. I moved offices–from a brightly lit open space, we moved to a higher floor with black metal fence space dividers. At first our reactions were like “What the hell?!”–the office look like an amateur MMA fighter ring. As days go by, it grows on you and you realize it’s kinda cool–industrialized, utilitarian chic. I got a new boss–he’s cool. How did I know he’s cooler than my old boss? He stayed till late during our office Christmas get together and drank with the rest of us alcoholics. It was bad ass–I’m not sure it’s ok to drink alcohol inside our office. I guess the most interesting thing that happened last year was when my 5 year old put a small battery up his nostrils. It was both terrifying and hilarious at the same time. All in all it was a good year. The family is healthy and we got by just fine.

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My MMA-inspired office space.

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New apartment, new space.

2017: First Quarter Storm

We started off this year on a good note. We came back to work refreshed and revived from the time spent with our family and friends back home. We even have plans of taking the kids out overseas. Well you know what they say about best laid plans–they go awry. So Jason has to move back Singapore leaving our family of five spread across 3 countries. Talk about LDR, right? So after packing up things at the end of 2016 and unpacking them in a new apartment, we have to start packing again–this time dividing things to “bring to Singapore” and “leave in Malaysia”.

Jason had to be in Singapore by February so you can just imagine our rush in packing and securing accommodations in Singapore. We realize that our expenses might go up–and go up it did. But you know, God is good. He sends help when you’re drowning so your head can stay afloat. We were able to find a reasonable room for rent. It’s a little far out from the city but the distance to Jason’s office is just nice that it doesn’t take more than an hour’s commute.

First few days was tough especially if you’re not used to being totally alone on a regular basis in another country. Malaysia is generally peaceful nation. The country is made up of people coming from different race and belief but they all live harmoniously. If there were any discrimination, it wasn’t something people talk about in the open. Being alone here, I got to be more observant and aware of my surroundings. Being a female, even more so. I had to start commuting to and from work. My current best friend is Grab. I had to prepare meals for myself–I realized I used up too many utensils and kitchenware when I cook so even if I’m cooking just for myself, I end up washing utensils, cookware and dishes equivalent to 2 persons dining. Recently, I just buy cooked meals.

So yeah, change is not all that bad. 2017 started off with storm and a little uncertainty but what’s good about storms is the aftermath. Sure, there’s destruction and a loss but it also gives you opportunity to rebuild and re-set your goals. And this year, that’s what 2017 is going to be all about.

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My Father The Hero

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

This post was originally a Note I published in Facebook 5 years ago. Today is my Dad’s 64th birthday and I’m just so grateful how far we’ve come along since I wrote it in February 2, 2011. You can find the original post here.

It’s still more than a month before my father’s birthday or even Father’s Day but today I called up my Dad and realized it’s never too early to give him the honor he deserves.

Flashback 12 years ago:

Me: Dad, mag-shift na lang kaya ako ng engineering? Masyadong mahal ang archi. Ang dami kong kailangan bilhin na gamit eh wala naman tayong pambili ngayon. (Dad, should I shift to engineering? Archi is just to expensive. There are a lot of things I need to buy but we don’t have any money right now.)

Daddy: D bale anak, ituloy mo lang yang architecture. Kahit igapang natin ang pag-aaral mo makatapos ka lang. (Don’t worry child, just continue with architecture. We will do everything so you can finish your studies.)

Further back:

Me and my Dad were at the mall. He was looking for a cheap tennis shoes to replace his worn out pair. I saw a Reebok tennis shoes…’new arrival’…would really look nice with my high school PE uniform.

Me: Daddy, gusto ko yung shoes… (Daddy, I want those shoes…)

Daddy: Sige na nga, ikaw na lang ang ibibili ko. (Alright then, I will just buy for you instead.)

February 2, 2011:

Me: Daddy, ok na. Nakakuha na kami ng flight ni Kiel. Iu-uwi ko na siya sa February 12… (Dad, it’s ok. I finally got a flight for me and Kiel. I will bring him home on February 12…)

Daddy: Ah ganun ba. Si Kuya na lang ang susundo sa inyo… (Is that so. Your Kuya will be the one the pick you up…)

Me: Ha? Ah…bakit? (Ha? Ah…Why?)

Daddy: Iko-confine na ako this Friday or this weekend. O-operahan na ako… (I will be confined this Friday or this weekend. I’m having my operation…)

My Dad is never the one to complain. He deals with his own pain as much as he can and despite all his struggles, he still manages to take care of his family. He already had a heart problem when he was younger but choose to ignore it while he served in his family, his church and his community.

I remember telling him one afternoon that he’s going to be a grandfather soon–the context being me not yet married. I saw a millisecond flash of anger and disappointment. It was so fleeting that you wouldn’t notice it because his countenance changed so quickly into compassion and just said, “Kailangan mo nang alagaan ang sarili mo at si apo.” (You need to take care of yourself and my grandchild.) He is so forgiving and he does not hold any grudges on anyone. He made sure I start my own family right and until now, he’s still a pillar of support for me–even as his heart problem worsen. And this weekend and in the coming days, we can only lift up our worries, anxieties and fears to our Lord.

March 17, 2016:

I wrote a prayer as an ending but I thought I should just leave that one out. Reading it again made me feel it’s too personal…too raw. Until now, tears well up my eyes while reading it. I would like to end this post with a thank you: Thanks Dad for everything. Thank You Lord for answering my prayer.