Thursday, December 25, 2008

Coming Home for Christmas

Left the office at 4pm, asked my boss if I could leave early so that I have ample time to prepare for our noche buena. Good thing, he's kind enough to give me a new project in the morning and finish it at 4pm so I could leave. Ugh, talking about making the most of the time.

I suddenly felt the warmth of Christmas in the air. Trains are all crowded with people rushing from buying last-minute gifts and groceries. I was in a rush too. I went to Cold Storage hoping to get our planned christmas turkey. I was so disappointed to find out that it was already sold out and I had to settle for australian beef marinated with herbs. 

When I got home, I finally ate my first meal of the day at 8pm. And the last meal I ate before that was lunch time day before. After eating, I then stepped into preparing for the much-awaited noche buena. I prepared food for 7 people-3 of those are invited guests. I did try to make the christmas dinner much like of a formal celebration. I prepared australian beef marinated with herbs, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. It was served together with chardonnay and strawberry zinfandel. How about that? Jhet also prepared baked macaroni. While Kate and Medz brought chicken afritada. After that, we succumb ourselves into drinking that korean alcohol (Soju) Leo gave Jayvee on her birthday. We were singing and talking about anything to everything to nothing-and loving every moment of it.

This is the second Christmas I am away from the Philippines. First was in China. Now, it's here in Singapore. Both are incomparable. I loved christmas memories in China too. But maybe now that I've grown older, I finally realized that being happy and contented is a choice.

I didn't celebrate Christmas 2008 in the Philippines, but I can say that I am home-where home is not a place, but a state of being-a haven, a comfort zone. I am content. I am thankful.

So, did you come home for Christmas this year?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

God did send a BIG smile yesterday.

This was how the sky looked yesterday. I was a rare phenomenon. Venus and Jupiter appeared the brightest as the crescent moon is just below them. I wasn't able to see it personally, but I'm hopeful to see it five years from now.

Indeed, God did send a BIG smile yesterday. He's there. He's always been. And will always be.

A BIG smile back at you too, God!

*photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 29, 2008

An angel crashed into our home yesterday.

I would want to believe that she is an angel.

An angel crashed into our home yesterday.

Three of us went home early yesterday after a busy work week. Dinner was served. Just enough for the three of us. Then, an old lady speaking in mandarin knocked on the door, talking to us. She resides just beside our flat. She was trying to open their door, which actually has 4 locks. 3 of it were unlocked already. The other one, she was struggling to open it since she forgot the key inside the house. Jayvee started and tried to help her. She has used a lot of stuffs just to unlock the damn door, but I think she really has no future in being a member of "Akyat-bahay Gang." Sweat all over the poor old lady. I got her a chair to sit on, and a glass of water.

I got only few mandarin words to say. She only knows little about the english language. But I tried to understand her, and I think I did. And I think in a way, she understands me too. Then sparked a conversation.

We ate dinner together. She shared her food bought from hawker. She talked about her family, her 2 daughters and 1 son, and a 7 year old grandchild, her husband who died because of a heart ailment due to smoking. She told us how old she was. And I can say she has aged gracefully. At 72, I think she looks way much younger. She shared the places she's gone to-Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and many more. She said that Australia and Japan are very nice places. She even told me that they dumped the idea of going to Bangkok for a holiday because it's dangerous at this point in time.

I asked what her name was. She has a chinese name I cannot fully grasp. I asked if she has an english name, but she doesn't have. So I asked if she could just write it down. When I handed the paper and pen to her, she wrote mandarin characters, which of course I cannot read. Then she started apologizing because she cannot write the english alphabet. She didn't go to school. During their time, women are just left at home, while men gets an education. Her mom didn't want her daughters to have a good education. I think it's a belief long time ago that women are just homemakers. She said she promised herself to send her daughters to have a good education. And I think she succeeded on that. Her son and daughters are now successful in their field.

The hours are long. We waited for more than two hours for her daughter to come home so they can open the door. I got tired understanding her and making myself understood. But I think it was one of the best moments of my life. Then that moment stopped when her daughter already came. Her daughter is a nice person. Thanked us for welcoming her mother into our home. She speaks english fluently, so then I realized, the old woman raised them very well, with a good education and with good moral values.

Then suddenly, the angel who crashed into our home, walked away just like that.

I firmly believe that she has done a very good job in touching our lives, especially mine. During that short span of time, I have learned three things which I want to share with you.

1. God is Omnipresent. God will always send signs especially at a time when you feel you are all alone and bound by challenges the world gives you. In this case, He used the body of an old woman to come into our home and spend time with Him. The woman gave us food-God provides. He knows just the perfect time for everything.

2. It is true that when you want to have the best time of your life, spend time with a kid, or with an old person. Spending time with a woman who has lived seventy-two years of her life is a very nice experience. It made me realize that this might be a long or short journey, nevertheless, I have to make it worthwhile. I have known the way she sees things, her struggles, her victories, but never refuses to give that sweet smile on her face. Hope radiates from her. I have learned last night that I shouldn't be tired at a young age, where problems arise one after the other. I have not reached even half of her age. I still have a lot of sunrises to catch. I should be hopeful than ever.

3. Communication knows no boundaries. I have not realized not until she left that we have talked a lot of things. We exchanged a lot of stories. What more if I could speak fluently her language, or vise versa? That's why I don't understand why the world is in chaos. If only we could use communication as a tool to making ourselves understood, and make an effort to understand others too, then I believe, this would be a better and safer place for our children to live in.

I still didn't know her name. I can only keep the memory we had that night. She moved me. What an early Christmas gift.

That's why dear reader, be watchful of the signs. You might bump into an angel one of these days. Drop that busy schedule. Get away with everyday routine. Spend time. Make it worthwhile.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Traveler Now Moving On

Today is exactly one month since the traveler has started to pack up and decided to move on ... hoping and praying that there's a better perspective and view of things on the other side of the world.


Been on a long hiatus. And now am back on track.

Glowing and growing...

Unravelled a bigger world of more beautiful things...

Am not scared anymore.