Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Risk Takers

According to Wikipedia, In 2013, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimated that approximately 10.2 million Filipinos worked or resided abroad. And the largest population overseas is none other than the Land of Free. From this number, the percentage of Filipino emigrants and or immigrants that do not have proper documents is still unknown (need for further research, will get back to you on this).

Also from Wikipedia, Filipino diaspora was sort of a temporary solution during Marcos' time to address two issues: oil issues, and to ease the unemployment problem in the country.

As promised, this is not a political post but rather a point of view from a person who's a product of two (2) OFWs.

Leaving home to emigrate or immigrate is most of the time, a big decision to make. It's never easy. Have you heard of the term “brain drain” ? Yes, it’s true. It’s a combination of diaspora and migration of skilled workers and professionals to move out in search of a better life. And when you're out there and you see a small window that would bring you and your family together, risk takers would definitely take it. Why? Because, why not.

But then again, this is a small window that could be closed anytime. And if that happens, the risk takers are left with 2 choices: some would take more risks to reach the ultimate goal, while some would quit and fold.

This post may not make sense to others. Nevertheless, I hope something from the other side of the coin will somehow make it to the social media as an eye opener to us, all. We will not judge. If the risk takers decide to come home, we should open our arms and embrace them once again. Because those balikbayan boxes that, arrive in our doorstep full of imported goodies that we demanded, were products of their braveness.

At the end of the day, the family / loved ones who were left behind will cherish the fruits from the risk takers. If shit happens, let’s just deal with it later. Que sera sera.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Life Teacher: Father's Day Special

Today, I pulled out one of our photo albums from the cabinet. It was dusty as it remained untouched for a long time since e-photo came to the world. My purpose was to reminisce the good memories I had with daddy. 

This photo was my first birthday, 14 Aug 1986.
If you ask me how many birthdays I had with Dad physically with us.. I'd say, few times. Not sure, actually.
Dad was a seafarer. He spent almost all his life away from home. We didn't have much moments together when we were growing up. He wasn't the one who taught me how to ride a bike. He wasn't there when I learned how to swim. To play the piano, the guitar.
But I never hated him for that. Because growing up, he taught me bigger things.
He taught me to dream for the stars. He taught me to never doubt myself. He said if there's a tiniest chance of getting it, then do it. He taught me not to self-pity. With all his tough love, I grew up having a strong heart. He was a people person and he showed me how having tons of people around looked like. It was fun until you're left alone realizing that not all things are worth it. He said people come and go so be prepared to learn things the hard way (for that matter).
He was my life teacher. He was my hero.
This Father's Day is painful for me to celebrate. Had been cringing since those father's day feels started to kick in. I hope he's with us today. There are no words to describe the heartache I’m feeling and how much I miss him... but that's life now and will never be the same again.
So here's to all the daughters who have lost their father but trying to be a living testimony of their father's greatness! There will be more heartbreaking moments like these so let's brace ourselves and try to cherish we had together.
I love you daddy. This time, I will not wish or wonder if I made you proud. But rather, wish that I made you feel how proud I was of you.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


World Health Organization defines depression as "a common illness worldwide, with more than 300 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds."

I can only talk about depression from my own experience so I would appreciate your understanding.

When Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in September 2017, the whole family went from denial stage to depression. I myself couldn't believe that it could hit a person that's known with a strong immune system until I, myself witnessed his health deteriorating.

It was excrutiating, really. My friend who had a similar situation became my manual and she told be what to expect and whatnot.

I was confused. Everything went extra stressful including work not to mention my attitude towards friends and colleagues. I wasn't sure if things normally became more difficult or I was just vulnerable. I guess until today, I still don't have the answer.

I am a strong person. I had a lot of struggles in life that no one could've experienced. I am strong because I survived (and still surviving). I know that some people are having worst but let's not compare more and just leave it right here.

But when Dad died, I forgot how strong I was. I can still remember his last moments when he even had the energy to ask me "ito na ba ang feeling ng naghihingalo?"

I answered him "yes daddy, yan na siguro yun.." without dropping a tear.

Crying is not a thing for our family. I wasn't raised like that. We were not vocal and showy with our emotions either. We curse, we give tough love, but we don't show our weaknesses.

But during that specific moment, my heart was crushing, my whole body was in pain. But I had to contain my emotions because there's another person struggling with me in that same room. She never asked helped from me but I felt it and that was the least I could do. I always thought I got my strong heart from Dad but I guess Mom is stronger.

After Dad's funeral, I went back to work immediately because I was afraid. I was afraid to face the reality. I was afraid to feel weak. I was afraid to grieve.

Then I realized, I was depressed. The day when the 1st tear dropped after Dad's passing, that was the day I started to feel everything.

I felt alone. I guess I got tired of being strong. I didn't want anybody's support. I wasn't open for anything. I went back to black. I thought that nobody will ever understand the pain until it's there time to feel it too.

Because when Dad died, I felt like I died with him too.

I started questioning things. I wanted to hate everyone. I wanted to talk to God in person and ask Him why. I wanted to hate Him too. I got mad.

I also didn't understand why some people get to be happy around me while I'm at my lowest point of my life.

I fell flat on the ground hitting the rock bottom. I was done.

But God was NOT.

While I admitted to myself the depression part, He must've felt it too. More confusing days came and so I went back praying. I realized that if nobody could really help me, then it's just me to help myself. Because while I couldn't keep my sheets dry, the world will still revolve and life must still go on.

"But please promise to forgive yourself for all the choices you thought were good for you, for following your heart even if it was against the will of people around you, for all the times you felt weak and at rock-bottom." - Thought Catalog

I learned to forgive myself and opened my heart to forgive others as well. I also learned that not everyone can really understand what I'm going through but I need to give them a chance to absorb things and be a help during my bad days.

I'm not afriad to die. The scary part is knowing that every love one will die too.

But there's heaven. And I know its real.

Months later, I guess I'm feeling better. I may cry again later, tomorrow, or the next day.. but I know I'm stronger.

I will never be as normal as I was before but who cares about being normal anyway? I will always miss Dad but I know everytime I think of him, he will just be in my heart to comfort me.

Happier days will come. I claim it!

Like Rainbows :-)

Monday, October 09, 2017


Dad would always insist for mom to travel even though it was always debatable whether his presence was really necessary. He said he has traveled the world already and he’s just glad to be home to relax.

I remember they were a bit pushy to get their visa application done because finally, they both agreed to travel together. One take, and they got it.
Unfortunately, dad’s work schedule was a bit tricky. He was sent back to work for a 6-12 month contract. Come September 2016, without dad, mom and I traveled together and we were both excited.
Dad arrived in Philippines a day after our departure. I remember he was ecstatic about mom’s first time in the Land of the Free. He would call me just to ask how our day was reminding me to look after mom. He was very proud of me. He said I’m used to travelling so I should know the drill.
Then he spilled the news to us.
His loss of appetite.
I was never that worried of him but when I was travelling back to the Philippines, I couldn’t stop myself from tearing up. I arrived home and he was the first person to welcome me. He looked pale. He’s definitely sick. After several tries of convincing him, he finally agreed to see the doctor. It was a normal busy day at work. I was facilitating a meeting when my phone rang.
BOOM. He’s diagnosed with colon cancer, stage 4.
I went back to the meeting room and forced to finish the discussion so I could absorb the worst news I just received in my life. What would a normal person feel? Do I need to hysterically cry over it? But where? I knew I needed to burst out. But how? Days after, my mom finally arrived in the country. We had our family photo taken and a little dine-out-together. We were glad to be complete again but we all knew that something was wrong.

Fast forward to May 2017: Though, I will never know what was on his mind during that time, I felt that he was happy and contented on his birthday. It was a usual celebration with family and cousins. As I was observing him laugh his heart out, I wondered if that would be his last birthday with us. Reality bites, I know.

02 July 2017: We brought dad to the hospital due to unrelieved pain in his stomach. Had I known that it was his last day at home, I would have taken a lot of pictures with him all over the place.
07 July 2017: His body started to release blood which we couldn’t trace where it was coming from. I thought that was the end. I wanted to wail my heart out but I had to hold it because mom was having her moment too. But dad was a fighter. He survived.
09 July 2017: Dad died in the afternoon. We talked about this when he was still alive. We had our long discussions on how he wanted to die. Mom was not happy about it but dad was clear on
everything. He wanted to be in his sleep.

Dad did not die while sleeping. He was fully awake. While he was catching his breath,

I was praying to God to stop his pain. It was my birthday gift. I asked for it. And HE answered. God doesn’t make mistakes. He has decided. And that was it.
I could have asked God to prolong his agony but I didn’t. I could have asked God to let him live longer so I could celebrate my birthday with him alive but I didn’t. Maybe that was a bad call, but I knew that time that my dad needed to go. Dad taught me well. He would always let me have difficult decisions on major things without any regrets. And so I did.
Now, a month later, I still can’t believe that he’s gone. Dad wanted me to get married and have a happy life. He told me not to be too bossy and picky otherwise I’d be all alone for the rest of my life. He even joked about getting me a “taong grasa” to marry. He was a bully like that.

I miss dad everyday. I will miss him when I get married (someday). I miss his random messages when I’m not around. I miss his hard advices. I never got the chance to ask him to teach me how to operate the complicated videoke he bought for me at home. But I will try anyway.
Despite everything, I hope he’s proud of what I have become. I hope I made him feel loved. He was my idol. He lived a tough life and he was successful. I know that dad is now in heaven. I know that he is just sailing around. I know that he is watching over us.
Til our next reunion, dad.

I’ll see you at the crossroads.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Extra Mile

Some will boast about how extravagant their work is. Some will tell you their fat pay checks. Some will show their freebies. While some will share their experiences how they've saved someone today. How they've served a stranger. Or how they've crossed the line just to help a family.

And that's not easy but someone had to do it today. You may choose to follow your dreams but your mission in this world is your detiny.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Sana ganon lang kadali ang buhay.

Sana pwede mo makuha ang trabahong gusto mo at ito rin ang trabahong magpapayaman sayo. Sana totoo ang “walang personalan, trabaho lang.” Sana lahat ng trabaho na binibigay ng trabaho ay nagagawan ng paraan. Sana ganon lang kadali.

Sana hindi mahirap magpapayat. Sana kapag nag skip ka ng meal, mababawasan ka ng taba ng ganon-ganon lang. Sana pag naisipan mo magpapayat at nag exercise ka ng isang araw, mabawasan ka na agad ng timbang. Sana tuloy-tuloy.

Sana crush ka din ng crush mo. Sana kahit yung one time sulyap e maging crush kadin niya. Sana walang effort, tapos MU na kayo. Tapos ma in love nadin siya.. Ganon.

Sana hindi mashado nakaka pressure ang society. Sana kahit lahat sila may boyfriend na or engaged na or may asawa’t anak na e sana wag nila isipin na END OF THE WORLD NA PARA SAYO AT KAILANGAN MO NA DIN MAKITABO. Na sana wag isipin ng mga tao na gusto mo tumanda mag-isa at mamatay ng walang kwenta. Dahil hindi naman totoo yun.

Sana lahat ng tao marunong makiramdam. Para di sila nakakasakit.

Sana pwede mabigay lahat ng bagay na magpapasaya sa magulang. Para quits!

Sana hindi ganon kamahal pumunta at lumibot sa ibang bansa. Sana pwede mo ito pagplanuhan ng isang araw lang tapos lipad kinabukasan.

Sana ganon kadali ang buhay. Pero hindi. 

Hindi natin ito kontrolado. Kailangan natin maging matibay para mabuhay. Pwede ka manalangin. Pwede ka mangarap. Pwede ka din mag-imagine na nangyayari yung mga gusto mo mangyari tapos magigising kadin sa katotohanan na hindi lahat ng bagay pwede mo makuha. Hindi lahat ng gusto mo pwede mapasayo. Dahil ang totoo, kailangan mo makipag-laban. Sa araw-araw ng buhay mo, hindi ganon kadali. Kailangan mo paghirapan para makuha ang kung ano man ang gusto mo. Pero hindi ganon kadali. 

Hindi ka rin pwede mag reklamo.

Minsan nakakagalit, nakakaasar din. Minsan nakaka walang gana. Pwede mo gawin yun. Pwede mo maramdaman. Pero wag mashado. Wag matagal.

Wag forever.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Life As We Know It: Favorite Quotations Part I

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more comforting to me than when someone tells the truth about their life. Even when it’s f_cking difficult.  When they just go there, you know? Without the bullsh_t and without hiding behind a carefully crafted people-pleasing persona. When they stand up and say, “Listen, here’s what I’m going through. It’s not pretty, but it’s what’s happening.” And then they rip themselves open and share their truth. (
  • I think I should tell this one to myself. It’s really hard to lay your cards to the world and just expect people to understand it perfectly. I mean, who cares, right? I am always anxious to tell what I really feel about things because I was too afraid to show my weaknesses and I know that nobody really cares if I’m miserable. Well yeah.. whatever.

“Dear God, I’ve tried my best but if today I lose hope, please tell me that your plans are bigger than mine”
  • Faith.

I always pray to God that if ever I get too attached to something that's not meant for me, that God may detach me without making me suffer from separation anxiety.
  • My favorite prayer in the world. I would never surpass all the challenges without this. I believe that it’s a human nature to get attached to something too much but I also believe that always following thy heart will kill me eventually. Just saying.

"When you are kind to someone, you set in motion a chain of events that makes each life it touches a little bit better. One by one, that act of kindness is paid forward ... till one day it comes back to you multiplied."
  • When doing good to others brings you harm, do it anyway. Doing good does not always end up to charity, too much kindness is not applicable in real life.

Don’t get stuck.
  • Life doesn’t owe us anything. We need to accept the fact that sh_t happens sometimes. Acceptance/Healing, though, is a process – and we know it. We just need to deal with it, keep calm, and move on. Better said than done. C’est la vie.

Sometimes you grow out of people. And if you are overwhelmed with the same feeling of “Ugh, why are these people still talking about this tedious shit?” every time you sit down at the same bar with your same group of friends, it may be time to freshen up. It’s not a bad thing to have to trim down contact with certain people — or broaden your social horizons — but we are often convinced that if we feel the need to change things, there is something ultimately wrong with us. Obviously, if you are changing hangouts every two weeks out of a need to avoid people you once called friends, there is an issue. But if you just need to see some new faces (that aren’t 50 percent people you’ve already slept with) once in a while, that’s probably a pretty healthy move. – Thought Catalog
  • I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one who’s gone solo from the groupies and explored more. This is normal, right?

“When you have worked as hard and done as much and strived and tried and given and plead and bargained and hoped - Surrender. When you have done all that you can do, and there is nothing left for you to do. Give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself and let it then become a part of the flow.” – Oprah
  • This must be, by far, theee most emotional quotation I’ve ever read in my entire life. I just thought that when I was going through tough times in 2011, this quote lifted me up from the ground. 

 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • Doing something you hate is like forcing a dead person to breathe. It will never work.

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he/she comes home and rests his/her head on his/her old, familiar pillow...
  • Travel is wealth.

There comes a point in life when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it’s not giving up.  It’s realizing you don’t need certain people and things and the drama they bring. (
  • We don’t control the world. We don’t control minds either. If some people we value chose to value something else, then f_ck it and let go.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not by words, but to live by them.
  • Happy people are the thankful ones. Happiness comes with contentment too. So yeah.. let’s try harder.

To be continued………