My last post tells me that it’s been a year and four days since I last updated this blog. That was such a long hiatus if you ask me! I did try to write from time to time, but I guess all those things I’ve written would remain in the drafts folder in the mean time, if not end up in trash soon. For now, let me recount what happened between now and then, at least the firsts or the memorable ones, and why out of the blue I’m coming out again to resume blogging. Bear with me as this could take long, but then you’re reading a journal, so you would understand. 🙂
During this month, we’re still living in that tiny bungalow that we’re renting in Binan, Laguna. I was also slowly getting used to being a full-time homemaker/home buddy. I was no longer as active as I used to be in my anti-aging business. I started seeing and talking to my business partners and (prospective) clients less and less, and started getting in touch with my old friends. One of them was Ailhey, who also happens to be a wife to an OFW. Oh, we have so many things in common, and it was like having a new best friend!
For the first time since my mother’s death four years ago, I could truly say that I have finally moved on, accepted her death, and contented with the blessings my family and I have been receiving. Gone were the days of sadness, especially as her birthday (August 10) or death anniversary (September 9) approaches. It was a long time in coming, but just the same, I was grateful to be finally healed. Maybe the preparations for my trip to Singapore and our house renovation project––both scheduled for the following month––also helped.
For the first time in our ten years of marriage, my husband and I felt like real honeymooners. I visited him in Singapore and went out on seemingly endless dates. However, since I went to Singapore alone–another first– it was also the first time that our daughters were left to the care of my in-laws for several days. It was the longest time we were separated from each other, not to mention the longest time they were without either of their parents by their side.
Other memorable events this month: 1) Meeting a former high school classmate at the airport–going back to Manila–and we were on the same flight. 2) Having my ATM card captured by the BPI ATM at the ground floor of NAIA 2. I implore you not to use that same ATM, especially if you do not have the patience to deal with lousy customer service the bank has to offer. 3) Going home to Laguna alone at night, by cab, because neither of my brothers both could make it to the airport to pick me up.
House renovation was finally underway, and I met many challenges. Nevertheless, I learned how to deal with suppliers, contractors, carpenters, and unwelcoming neighbors.
We also celebrated my eldest daughter’s 10th birthday, and it’s probably the first time we did it without so much fuss, since we were busy preparing to move and we had been spending a lot of money on our house renovation project. She had a small yet beautiful birthday cake, which she shared with two of her closest friends and sister, and we invited my in-laws for a simple dinner. That was the first time my mother-in-law set foot on the house we were renting at the other side of the village, by the way.
This month, I also met one of Philippines’ National Artists for Literature, F. Sionil Jose (and his wife). One of my business partners happened to be a celebrity doctor and she has a school for physicians who want to practice aesthetic and anti-aging medicine. Although I was no longer very active in the business, I have to support her, of course, and so we were present at her organization’s (PAMCAS) annual convention. Mr. Jose was the distinguished guest of honor, and he visited our booth. I was even the one who gave him and his wife a free health check, using the Karada scan!
Lastly, this October, I had my husband’s first e-book “Crimson Cramming” published online at Amazon.com. It’s the first e-book I had copy edited and published online, though it wasn’t the first writing project I had with my hubby. We used to work in tandem, writing and editing together teacher’s manuals for Sunday School and DVBS for CSM Publishing, Inc.
I celebrated my 36th birthday, and received my first 5-figure income from the business just before my birthday. Why was I suddenly doing the business again? Because we were launching a new product and I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of it! Nevertheless, it was a huge blessing because we went over the budget in our house renovation project, our savings account depleted, I even pawned a couple of jewelry items, so the money really helped. Yet, that blessing was also a reminder to me that God knows my needs and will always take care of them – I just have to trust Him. See how timely it is that I should receive a huge favor from Him just before my birthday? I believe it was also an affirmation that I can succeed in the business if I really want to, with God as my champion partner.
We spent Christmas and New Year with my husband for the first time since he started working in Singapore. I guess it pays to be an employee of Airbus (wink). We also invited over guests at our newly (half) renovated house for the first time, and it had been fun! At Christmas, we had my father and siblings and their families come over; between Christmas and New Year, we hosted a special dinner with the Bigornias, our business partners who also happened to be our church mates and friend(s) from a previous job; and on New Year itself, we had dinner with my husband’s relatives. I couldn’t have asked for more!
My first time to fast. Seriously. For a few days. And I felt empowered each day as I went through it, disciplining myself, started having longer prayer time, immersing myself in His Word!
However, on the fourth day, I was reunited with my high school buddies, Leslie and Cherry, and my resolve was weakened. Cherry has been living in Australia with her own family for years now, so it’s a must that we three gather together when she visits. It’s also the first time she and her husband visited with their one-year old daughter Sophia–their much-awaited, answered prayer, wished-for baby! Of course, good conversation always happens with good friends over good food…
Got a new school service provider for my daughters for the third time in one school year. Can you believe that? I think I’ve become an expert now on how to choose the right one and I shall blog about it one of these days. They had the same service provider for three years, but since we moved, they had to change their school bus. And that’s when the problems began.
As another school year ended, I put on one of my LBDs again and went up the stage. This time, however, not once but twice in the same program, since both of my girls now belong to the same school.
Ali has consistently been a recipient of an academic excellence award, a special award, or both every school year, and would always receive a medal. On the other hand, this was Zoe’s first time to receive a medal although she had consistently been a recipient of special awards herself in preschool. (I still strongly believe though that she ought to have received academic excellence awards in preschool as well!)
Finally met my long lost niece––the eldest among my nieces and nephews from my sibs. I expected the meeting to be very emotional, but it wasn’t, really. And I was rather disappointed. I thought it would be as dramatic as is usually portrayed on local TV drama series! After all, we weren’t able to confirm her existence until she went forth to look for her real dad–my eldest brother–after her step father died and before she got married. She made sure that my brother would be the one to give her away on her wedding day. See, I told you, the meeting was supposed to be – oh, never mind!
We also met her husband, mom, and two younger siblings. After visiting my late mother’s grave–too bad they didn’t have a chance to meet each other–we went out for an intimate family dinner at a Chinese restaurant. My niece is very pretty, mind you (that’s her in the middle in striped dress with her husband), and seemed to took after our side. At a certain angle, she looks exactly like her dad’s female, glamorous version, and at another angle, she looks just like Mama.
This month, I was also reunited with many of my co-volunteers/former workmates/church mates from GCF South Metro through Saddleback Church South Manila. Guess what? I’m officially onboard the latter’s Marketing Communications Team as a volunteer, handling one of the church’s social media accounts and helping with their PR needs. Saddleback South Manila will be launched on 19 July 2014, 3 and 5PM, at The Monochrome in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa – consider yourself invited!
I volunteered as a staff at Saddleback Kids’ Camp, with my girls as participants. My children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and more so, because my husband was home again that time and he would go with us. He was home for only a week, but we sure made lots of memories together.
We watched Rio 2 in theater, shopped for new Apple gadgets, including this Mac I’m using now as I type these words, tried different restaurants where lasagna is served, and went to Splash Island for Little Z’s 7th birthday. We’ve decided that Almon Marina has the best lasagna, by the way. And no, I still did not try the Magellan’s Drop even if it’s already my second time at Splash Island and my husband and daughters kept sliding on it – head first, on their chests. (The lifeguard eventually allowed my kids to slide despite not meeting the age and height requirements due to their persistent demands, and yes, much to my horror.)
This May, we also bade my sister and her daughter farewell as they left for the US for good. Before that, however, we went swimming as a whole family and had so much fun at Water Camp Resort in Cavite. That resort was awesome, by the way. It was the first one we’ve been to, where you could swim from morning until midnight at an affordable price of only PHP240/head. They have six pools (if I remember it right), and the place was like Splash Island in some ways, but a lot better.
Ali and Zoe also finally learned to swim before the month ended. We had always planned on enrolling them to swimming lessons every summer, but it was only this time that it materialized.
We also enrolled the girls for the coming school year and paid their tuition fees in cash. Well, that’s a nice first, since we always used to pay in installment basis. The real benefit though in doing that is being able to save from the interest that the school charges if you pay in installment basis. Also, with the money that’s supposed to be spent monthly on their tuition fees, we could now continue with the house improvement little by little, at the same time, enroll the girls in private music lessons, martial arts, or Kumon. Thank God for husbands like mine, who put the needs of his children first! Did you know that he’d been saving up for our daughters’ school fees since last year?
Lastly, this month, we finally earned our Elite Membership at Shopwise. No big deal; I’m just relieved that I no longer have to spend nearly all of our monthly shopping allowance at Shopwise alone, which I did for six consecutive months just to qualify. The advantage? I should be able to save a considerable amount of time from their long cashier queues once we’re officially Elite members, since there are designated counters for us.
School has started, and I find myself spending the day all alone again. I read, write, think about things, experiment in the kitchen, enroll in free online courses, continue to keep the house tidy, etc. All our books are now finally placed on decent bookshelves and that is such a real treat, making our dining area less cluttered too!
I also learned more about social media as I attended Saddleback South Manila’s Social Media Summit. I met wonderful people there, who are passionate about using the Internet for a good cause, sharing their talents selflessly to those who want to learn.
Lastly, I have also taken on the challenge of organizing a press conference for the grand launch of Saddleback South Manila. It’s nerve-wracking, mind you, and I’m starting to have cold feet just thinking about having to contact all those Lifestyle editors from various newspapers, whom I have not seen nor talked to in years, except for Mr. Arnel Patawaran, who graciously answered a question I posted on his Instagram account. And I continue to wonder – did I really say yes to that project? I must be crazy! Pray for me.
So why am I blogging again? Five reasons: 1) Because I realized that I get crazier, less productive and no more creative when I’m not writing. 2) Because I have something to say and I just have to let it all out. 3) Because one way or another, I know that I can help enlighten, if not encourage a fellow mom or wife, who might be going through the same things that I did. 4) Because God gave me talents that I should not dare waste, and 5) I need to perfect these talents, including writing, by using them, at least one at a time each day. ❤