Monday, May 31, 2010

Leaving Tracks

” Are you ready for me to leave ? ” the child asked while on his death bed. It was a resounding NO from the mother, ” I’m not ready yet and I will NEVER be ready for you to leave.”

Those were the last conversation my late cousinbear had with Tita, the rest were nothing but crying out for pain, fighting back for LIFE because he knows he can’t leave yet…not till she’s ready. But will we ever be ready for something so final as goodbye ? No matter how you look at it, how you draw the scene, no amount of preparation will make us say goodbye the easy way. There’s always this tug in your core that feels a certain pain no matter what kind of heart you’re made of.

Its almost the same kind of feeling whenever I go to the airport to send off my husband to another land. It’s a constant effort to convince me that I need to drag my kids with us making my suffering twice the amount. I don’t want them to have the idea of separation from him no matter how short 1 or 2 years is. The last hug, the take care, the i love you, then the final walk you painfully watch because you know it will take awhile to see him walk back again from that glass panel doors. I never get used to it, every year is just like the first time he went away to work abroad. The pain of saying goodbye is always there…year after year.

At work I tried to be unattached to anyone in particular. Loner is just a good word to substitute ” Autistic ” I guess. It takes a good amount of faith and trust to make me feel relax to that person. When they leave, you wonder the very reason you’d decided to put down your defenses, putting yourself an easy target. When Bossman said he’s leaving for a career growth, there comes that old feeling. Of leaving, of goodbyes…the pain, hurt, anxiety just differ in levels but its still there.

I realize that leaving though may be a hard part for almost all of us, its still manageable. Because those people have been part of our lives, played different roles in our story, have made an impact on who and where we are now. Then no amount of separation, whether temporary or permanent could ever erase the tracks they left behind in our lives. They all made their marks distinct from the rest. Its there to remind us and a lane for us to visit when we feel too far away from them.

To my cousinbear JanJan, to my Hon, my Bossman and to those who will come and go, here’s to a safe trip… and a meaningful journey.

Echoes of the Heart

“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones…but in the echoes of our hearts…”

Everyone will agree on me if i say that long distance relationship is one if not the hardest kind of relationship to maintain. Most lovers often just let it go to stop the pain and complications the distance is causing them. Giving up on someone who’s thousand miles away may not be that hard as it is from someone who’ just around, regardless of how much we love the person. Maybe because we are too focus on the physicality of the relationship that we do not pay importance on the love itself? Or we can also be too tired to give love a fight ? It is indeed admiring to know that other people are willing to ache, fight and work out on their relationship no matter how far they are from each other.

Dwelling and sulking on the distance will definitely not help you ease the pain of missing him. Distance is a very frustrating fact of reality whenever you feel like touching, holding and feeling that person and the least you can do is grab a pillow and hold it too tight. Hoping and wishing you’d feel that familiar warmth. So instead, we try to stay away from that line of thinking just to keep our sanity.

We long and ache some more when the person we love is either sick or down or is feeling that same ugly feeling you do, and you feel ready to swim the ocean just to be near him. Climb on the mountains just to be half way to where he is. So instead, we close our eyes and dream. If wishes are true…we’d be holding each other in a blink of an eye.

Then we realize how hard it is and painful could be an understatement. But love is there shouting and striking both your very hearts, so you have to deal with it and deal with it good! So instead, we try to meditate on the other avenue of thought. We dwell more on the feelings, on love and of trust that LOYALTY and FAITHFULNESS are being pledged in the absence of physical nearness. With every beat of your heart is a faint sound, an echo of a heart beat with love all around, The message is simple as it calls out to YOU…”The love will be there forever…our whole lives thru…

“ We may be 8000 miles away from the one we love but hang on and keep loving, keep fighting, let the LOVE echoes from our hearts and be heard…8000 miles away.

Monday, July 6, 2009

the lamp...

Its not everyday that I can reconnect myself into the past. I sometimes think I'm too busy to walk back on that avenue, too busy? too afraid? too tired? I thought that i've gotten way past that thunderstorm, but in the faded glow of the night's light returns all of my fears...all of my hurts. Then i know its not over yet.

Its never been easy to be a secretive one but I figured its a lot better than being on a complicated one, isn't it? Why do I have this tendency to hide and let the tide take things in stride-- on my expense? Because I hate complications-- afraid of making it difficult and worse. I've never been an attention grabber as far as my memory can recall, so I certainly don't want to be put on that spotlight where people can dissect everything in me and make their every conclusion look scientific and real. Should i put my broken heart on the line along with my damaged self esteem? or stay calm and bleed inside knowing that SOMEONE up there never sleeps?

Somebody told me I'm smart and even strong, am I? She said she's proud that I'm happy and fulfilled, could I ever be? I don't think that I'm half as smart as I was when I was a toddler and strong can be synonymous to the word pretending. I'm happy yes I am! because I chose to be that way. Fulfilled because I'm still breathing and being given the chance to continue doing just like that-- breathe.

More than that I owe it to my Savior that I was able to go this far and have this much in life. The pain, bruises and lessons I was trained to endure along with all my joys, happiness and success that I enjoyed whole heartedly... all of it! is what makes me the person I am today. Perfection is way too much to describe me nor my life and challenges have become a regular thing to me. I may not be completely healed--yet, but i know I'm getting there. In the faded glow of the night's light... in the light cast by the lamp... I'd be able to look back and say " its finally over " as i get way past-- the twilight of my journey.

Friday, May 29, 2009

cry me a river

tears has always been associated with extreme emotions, whether of happiness or of pain. the eyes can’t hold them back anymore when words are never enough to express that certain feeling. more often we tend to hide it…look away so others wont see the pain that goes along with our unshed tears. then we thought we have fooled the world by that magnificent smile we tried so hard to paste on that cold face of ours, bloodless…lifeless. one look, a peek from the window of our souls or even just one word–one word, is enough to betray that darn pride!

“I AM HAPPY, really happy”, said the woman behind me. I looked at her and i knew it was just a line. A line that always comes from the unhappy ones. Fool me alright but to fool yourself is absurd! I may be deaf but never blind (well at least on that matter). “See i’m no longer crying? I am so much over him!”, she continued and I almost choke all the food i somehow managed to eat for the past 10 years of knowing her.

there’s nothing wrong with being sad every once in a while. it doesn’t makes us less of a person when we cry and admit even to ourselves that we are hurt and is still hurting. hiding the tears will not eliminate the pain and the smiles will never heal the wounds. remember, a heavy clouds will always find a way to pour its rain. besides, its not really the tears that measure the pain…sometimes, its the smile we fake.

Friday, April 17, 2009

my call...

Racism was something i thought was over years ago even before a black became the President of the world’s powerful country, but i guess i was half sleeping to consider that “a thing of the past.” Usually, those topics does not successfully aggravates me for i am a believer of democracy and freedom of speech. But there will be times when you feel sick swallowing such a bitter pill.

A week ago I read a post from a friend spitting fire with a racist writer in one of her journals. I even thought it was cool and very well said or written. Strong and direct. Then she emailed me a site about another writer discriminating the Call Center Agents this time and questioning the reason why jobs are being moved in Manila (in particular) when we can’t hardly speak good English (according to that air head). To make the plot thicker, few days back I’ve spoken to another member of the “Asian Are Lower Than Us” club, blaming me for the global financial crisis and the unending issue of unemployment rate.

So here goes my not so patient hands:

1. Filipinos are everywhere and anywhere in the world. Our services are sought after because of our passion to our jobs, skills and dedication.

2. Companies would rather spend a dollar getting a Filipino to work with them overseas because profit is GUARANTEED than to spend a penny getting a local who’s INCOMPETENT.

3. If you believe that Filipinos are stupid and don’t deserve the job, then i will boldly say that your BUSINESSMAN are bunch of morons entrusting their fortunes all for nothing. Now tell me who’s dumber?

4. People have different accents just in case you came from Mars white skunk! Yours may sound just as someone who’s constipated but that makes you and your people unique and so are we as Filipinos.

5. Understanding and hearing are two entirely different things just in case you never heard of “Dictionary “. While Telecommunications has improved a great deal over the centuries, there’s still a so called technical problems or bad connection that’s making us hard to hear the other person on the line.

Bear in mind that a person who’s stress and angry can have an oversight on some things. This frustrations are being carried over through our body language and even voice. Sometimes what seems to be a major problem of yours, say on your computer?, is actually something so simple as inhaling and exhaling. You call people who’s half the world away to question their technical skills and mocked them with their accent, then yell, curse and discriminate them to the best of your knowledge and ability, only to find out that you failed to plug your PC (just as the same as you failed to plug your brain perhaps). No computer not even the brand new ones will work without electric power just so you know.

At the end of the day, I will still stand before my flag and my people with my head up. I guess i’d rather go with a bad accent… than a BRAIN FART!

* Purposely withheld the site of that racist skunk in this post to stop any traffic on her DUMP SITE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

american dream...

american dream...

hearing that foreign voice every night, imagining the prominent streets, avenue and roads that leads to places that are starting to be familiar, I can picture the face behind those distinct accent smiling or yelling on the other line. I sometimes wonder if i'm still here where i thought i am or am i along with that foreign voice, living a US life.

I already give up my American Dream or so i thought i did in exchange for the gift of having my own family. Until just recently when the opportunity came knocking on my door--second time around. is it hope i'm feeling? then why hope for something that you don't want? will i make it this time? or am i heading towards another avenue of disappointment? i wouldn't know, not until i take the first step.

part of me wants to pursue that old American Dream and embrace the fate and opportunities that will be given to me. while the other half is convinced that i should stay put to where i am and be content with having my kids and a stable job. i always believed that life itself is a risk. a risk that each of us will take one way or another. the greatest warrior in the history of battle was never afraid to take them, as that leads to the glory of their success.

so here i am gradually taking each day, one step at a time. until my journey lead this feet... to where its fated to be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


(thank you soulmate for making this cover article possible for me)

"Blood is thicker than water", an old cliche na masyado ng gasgas so to speak but will always hold true among every family. A few days ago i posted on public what to me can be considered a very private journal entry. It was written few years back for my father. For some reason, I just felt like posting it and so i did without giving it much thought. I bare my heart and soul in that piece and it did evoked different comments and views from friends and loved ones alike. All of them were taken in good spirit, hehe!

My dad has been an OFW for as long as I can remember. When I was young and I think of him, all i can see is a plane taking off or the jewelries I will be receiving in a few more months. Everything was superficial back then. Suki na sya ng mga airlines bound to Saudi Arabia. That was the second country i remember i was able to write when i was in Kinder after learning to write Philippines syempre. Then I grew up with my Lola and Lolo who think the world of me (spoiled brat? nah! I'm not).

Needless to say being an OFW is never and i guess will NEVER be an easy job, either for those who will be working overseas and to the families they will be leaving behind. Our local church pastor is even vocal in saying those jobs post a big threat on our family as a unit. You never see your children grow and so you end up not knowing them at all, some marital responsibility will be overlooked and so the risk of being cheated is on and will highly be there, the physical and emotional distance he said will test every part of the family and if you're not strong might lose it. "Is it worth it?" I once asked my dad then he would say "May choice ba tayo?" and I'd fell silent. Oo nga naman, our country is rich with talented and brilliant people but its the resources or the opportunity of a good job that we are lacking. As a result some people pack their things and with eyes half closed they go to a different land and seek a "greener pasture" like what my dad did. Not because he wanted to but more because he NEEDED to. On our end naman we tried to have our presence felt by him. Snail mail pa lang ang uso noon and of course a few calls every once in a while. Maybe that developed my love for writing, and the burning desire for PLDT to install a phone in our house has influenced me too in a way, so ngayon Call Center agent ako, haha!

Physical distance from your family especially your kids can be a good faith-testing-exercise. Your strength and patience being developed whenever there's a bad news about the country lalo na pag sa pamilya, nakaka loka talaga! But like what dad once said "we don't have much choice daughter". Because there are people who rely and depend on us and we love them too much to let them down. So the new label for OFW "Bagong Bayani" fits them well. Hopefully more than just the label there will also be an added benefits for the unsung heroes.

My dad was not an exclusion in those pain and so am I being his child. His constantly being away and the diminishing communication with him made the love somehow withered and insecurity slowly crawled in. Communication just like in any relationship be it short, medium or long distance is very important like water to plants, oxygen to humans, fertilizer to soil, we just can't live without it. Buti nga ngayon there are so many ways to communicate, there's internet that allows you to even see the person on your screen, cellphones to call and TEXT to the point that our thumb gets stiff, snail mail of course (i find it sweeter pa nga to receive one), there are so many medium now to communicate to somehow lessen the pain of missing one another.

Two days after posting that painful journal entry out of the chest i received a call from my stepmom, telling me my dad is in the hospital and in not so good of a condition. Without doubts and hesitation i went to see him. He look pleased in seeing me though he was in ICU, he opened his eyes three times to look and smiled at me. I stayed with him everyday at the hospital and realized how fragile LIFE is. I could have lost him without telling him i love him. Well, that will be water under the bridge now.

I wonder why did i post that journal? Is it because I've been thinking about my dad lately and pains me to realize how did we end up to? Or is it because he's been thinking about me too or could it be because he was in the hospital at that time? And just what a coincidence of after posting it we finally have both the courage to face the ugly truth that we lost each other somewhere along the tracks? But that's okay, we learn from our mistakes. No matter how painful it is its still a lesson well learned.

"Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matters most in life". In my experience, I allowed too much pain and insecurity along with self pity to see beyond my father's motives in working abroad. It was hard for me but must be hell for him too! In my deepest understanding of what a FAMILY is, i came to realize that no matter what you've been through, where you've been at and how different you seem to be, CONNECTION will always be there in different forms and different meanings. For almost every bad fall or bad things that happens to us our FAMILY will always be the last to leave us, after all as an old cliche says "Blood is thicker than water".

*Published in TF Newsmagazine as September 2008 cover issue.

Friday, November 28, 2008

dusk till dawn...

When it rains it pours but if you look very closely you will always see a silver lining. Life is not at all perfect for perfection just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What's perfect to me may be insanely awful for the others and vice versa. But through all Life's inevitable change and undying hardships-- comes the grace to overcome them all.

They say that true friends and real people can be seen during the twilight of your life. When you're on your way down to the growing darkness and hope is what all you've got. You become sensitive and aware of all the things and events that's going on around you. You become more appreciative of even those little kindness people are showing you, like giving up a seat for you, adding extra on the food you're buying, friends paying the cab for you and stuff like that can really make your heart feel light. Then you meditate yourself on all the positive thoughts and try to stay away from the ones that will only doom you to more insecurities and further pain. So, you grope, struggle for that "silver lining" and strain your eyes from seeing what lies ahead...

Life is good to those who are good to life itself. The ones who believe that obstacles and trials are there to keep you strong. People who have faith to know that there will be a rainbow after each storm. Those who have endured the test and still managed to walk despite their every fall.

I had my share of twilight and will always have another. But the day won't start and end with darkness. I am at the dawn, where sunrise is just but a few blinks away. So, I'll just sit right here and camp for a while... tired from the journey-- but not giving up.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

her song...

When did time has ever been so right nor the place has ever been perfect? FATE, has its own paths and patterns unknown to any soul. Sometimes it play tricks on us not even the brightest player could ever play...nor could ever win.

Your heartaches comes not from loving less or falling out of it . Instead the heart bleeds more from walking away with someone who holds your heart. Its the courage to play the game the fairest way you could. When the future is as empty as a cloudless sky and the promise is as vague as a fog in the air. It takes a brave heart to let go of someone you love knowing that his happiness and dreams lies not with you. The tears will be bitter and painfully flow but the love has earned its spot... deep-- in your core of heart.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

trick or treat...

Trick or treat is not a very typical sight in Filipino community, some malls, exclusive village or subdivision may have been practicing it but not everyone does. We are privileged enough though to have them in our village and every year me and my kids keep on missing them since we need to go to the city (Manila) so I could visit my loved ones who departed from Avenue of Life and are busy walking the street of gold. But this year we decided to go and participate the Halloween Parade.

It was a chaos, unorganized event to a point of being on a stampede and the bad weather is not helping any. I guess we have been treated and tricked afterwards, haha! It was a beautiful sight at the beginning watching Casper walking along with Batman while a Witch was having a girl chat with a Fairy but the moment candies were given i found myself in a parade of disaster. At one time, there was a fourth grader who took a bag of candies from my son's Halloween loot bag just when he was about to open it to receive another candy from a good soul. That explains why he was losing goodies instead of gaining them, because a "real ghost" was on the site! So, I told my kids just to stay away from them.

I've been to a point of taking them home when older kids started to stepped on the younger ones with their umbrellas almost poking the lil one's eyes just so they can get candies. I told myself that if i just bought my kids candies and goodies instead of paying the registration fee then i don't have to put myself on a risk of heart attack! Darn people! You don't make a career trying to get as much candies on a trick or treat you know! So long at last the parade was over and the dinner party isn't much fun at all. Hamburglar (Mc Donald's mascot) was dancing over the soaking wet kids under the rain and the host was asking if they still wanted to play a game while parents are wanting to go home and call it an early day at 7 in the evening.

It was such a relief to finally be inside and embrace the warmth of our house. All of my disappointments and fatigue has disappeared especially when my kids told me they had fun and would wanted to do it again next year! In some ways it was fun, with people ready to give away their time and effort to organize a party like that and make children happy. Bless those souls who spend money buying those goodies and candies despite our economic crisis just to put a smile on our kids face. Bless that Hamburglar mascot who chose to dance in that Halloween party instead of being home.

If we only see things through the eyes of a child and be happy in simple things like they are, LIFE perhaps will not be that complicated. Then we can learn to appreciate everything and everyone around us. Find blessings either on being tricked or treated. So at the end of the day we can enjoy the fruits of success-- SWEET as candies!