W A R N I N G : L O N G P O S T A H E A D!
There are just people in our lives, no matter how much we wanted them to, are not meant to stay whilst some would do the needful to be there regardless of their very own lives going. And while I strongly believe that birthdays of people are opportunities to pay tribute to them, I would like to take turns in thanking the people who one way or another had injected me lessons that contributed to the person I’ve become.
The people I’d also want to consider as Job Steves put it, invisible dots connecting you to places and life events you were meant to be in inasmuch as staying with you through the ones you haven’t set foot in just yet.
H E R E O N A R E T H E P E O P L E O F M Y 2 5 Y E A R S
1. The Terrible Two(s): Mom & Dad!
When I was in college, I heard this story from a professor who said that we get to choose our parents. More than our ability to understand it, before we were born, we were the ones who chose our parents – as perfectly imperfect as they might have been, we chose them.
One of my favorite authors, James Redfield in his book the Celestine Vision made sense to that story when he wrote;
“It was no accident that we were born with our parents and no mere act of chance that their wisdom and still incomplete approaches to life were exactly the stimulation we needed in order to find our own viewpoint & to discover the direction we desired for our lives.”
And you know what? I believe so.
I may have so many excuses, defenses and probable reasons I had came up with while growing up to prove a point and how easier it had been to point fingers for life’s each and every blow – and believe it or not I have done so for the past years – I still may have so many questions longing to be answered, so many point of arguments I feel the need to discuss with them, and believe me when I say that the list is infinite … regardless of them all, now that I know better, now that I realized that they too more than anybody, didn’t planned and wished for those blows to hit hence forgiveness to thyself, I am thankfully blessed and couldn’t be any grateful to be their daughter. Its amazing how the questions are in fact the answers.
Parents – they need not to be perfect. We don’t even have to like or agree to every decision they make wanting only the best for us. But we love them. And for what its worth, I made the right choice!
2. Prophecy of Sisterhood.
Nothing beats the comfort of a sister! That one of a kind comfort that even your best friends won’t be able to provide – sarcastic-mean-blunt-straight-in-the-face-punch blow by blow just when you needed it the most!
I gotta’ agree that there’s a point in life when a person really have to take a punch by a younger soul – when you start to worry about what your parents are worrying about because you are not getting any younger, a sister perhaps is a walking reminder how you used to funk the fun and still could be … only now, with moderation.
I take pride of the very rare bond that we were privileged to have, ’cause though every sistership is special, ours is just flabbergasting! We managed to be each other’s catty commentators in the shadows of staying up until 5am analyzing cool stuff; from trying to figure out our parents, our professors and the school, our cousins, our friends, our life, the future, notwithstanding the boys and men of this generation down to our dogs – everything crazy and morbid and creepy, we can name it. We tried playing situations throwing crazy scenarios and what we could do or could have done. Until we get tired and fall asleep and finally get awaken by mom’s siren(ish) voice, only after few hours of what then turned out like a nap. For 21 years, though its not everyday a shiny day, especially not each time she ransacks my clothes without my permission or a buzz, its nevertheless a pleasure sharing a room with her.
I’m thankful for having a sister who legitimately knows how to listen, to keep a secret with a touch of a bully that I’d like to believe she’s gotten from me. I’m thankful of a sister who stretches her horizon to reach my point of view enabling her to speak about whatever I’m going through. However it made sense or pointless at times, I appreciate it. The effort to make me feel better at least if not to slap me with the hurtful truth is more than enough.
I’m thankful because her totality as a person she has become, keeps sending me this nagging reminder not to forget to go crazy and live life!
3. Cousins Are Outlets Away From Home.
I was nineteen when I braved to lead the role of an ‘ate’ not just to my sister but as well as to these girls, my cousins. I have to be really honest, it was tough! Alongside my own struggles going, these young teenagers back then were inasmuch battling the generation’s call of rebellion seeking answers to so many questions that life has put them through. It was in all sincerity one of the most challenging responsibilities I had to take in full time. I myself have learned the hard way how evoking it is to go over and get over unfamiliar things most especially when in doubt to be understood.
From then, I offhandedly have gotten equipped on how to be cruel to be kind, I managed to way tricks in communicating matters with them and gained the reward of having them opened up with me – on family, on friendship, on relationships, career and whatnot – the table is open.
All the same, I’ve learned things from them too! Most importantly, I discovered something about myself I never would have thought I am capable of. And for that, I am thankful.
4. The Childhood Best friends viz. ‘Oyheahz’
One of the many best things only 90s kids will appreciate is putting up a clever if not crazy name to their peer group back in high school. Some of the names I remember are; (1) PG (Padrones Gang) – which was named after our Filipino teacher, (2) Kamotxt Republic, (3) Negenerdz, (4) Weirdaz, to name a few.
And of course, ours truly, ‘Oyheahz’
Derived from the word “OYE” which means “Listen Up”, “Oyes” is a call given to command silence and attention before the announcement. Our very own version stretching the spelling a little bit cooler, “Oyheahz” to listen and to pay attention when a friend is in need has been our mantra all these 15 years and thus far a success!
High school best friends for me are incomparable to any other ones because aside from growing up together, there are lists of ‘first’ times I would never have done without them;
4.1 Like wearing these awful-uncool eyeglasses. What on earth, right?
4.2 The first time you have your fashion sense established were with them.
4.3 Editing group photos as cheesy-girly as this one because filters back then were nothing but materials used in Chemistry class.
4.4 Your first overnight happened somewhere in between.
4.5 The first time you had your alcoholic drink and get drunk were nonetheless with your high school best friends otherwise you get to witness how crazy a first time drunken lady could get. I played the latter.
4.6 The first time you’ll ever get serious in high school probably at the recollection were all the same well spent with them.
4.7 The first time experience of being together away from home was with them.
4.8 The first time you learned the art of letting go were through them and of which made you realized that long distance relationship do work.
And there are so much more on the list!
The first time we had our hearts broken we were with each other. Life will definitely go on and we will forever have each other. Distance means so little when someone means so much – we are thankful that life had taught us that early on in life.
There are just lines we wouldn’t cross though given a chance, the answer will always be no. For whatever reason, we have ‘that’ thing! The thing which proves the existence of our 15 year friendship and for that I am thankful.
A n d j u s t w h e n y o u f e e l t h e n e e d t o t a k e a b r e a k f r o m a l l t h e d r a m a s..
Call out on these guys and surreal, before the night changes, you just had been taught how to think like a man!
Take it from the experts!
5. There is a place for everything and its called College!
Thinking about college tickles an immense happiness within. College had been a fruitful basket of everything I’ve done that came out to be a gain, everything I’ve accomplished added to the feel of being invincible. I love college so much that I want to go back! It’s the only place on earth where crazy things for once were right.
In college, I’ve met and have encountered many different people. All of them in which way possible had contributed to what I am now. The learning process is endless but without the influence from these people, I can’t imagine how much more fun it would have been.
T h e B’h a u s E l d e r s & T h e G a n g !
If parental guidance is not concern, I wished to mention every single thing these ate’s and kuya’s had taught us. I can’t thank these crazy people enough for their eye opening, nerve wrecking approach in making us realize how life looks like on the other side.
Thanks for all the cigarettes that we puffed, to all the drinks that we cheered on, to all the tears and laughters that we’ve shared. To all of your mind-blowing-thought-provoking manuals. Never we would have been misinformed hadn’t it with your updates – enough said.
T h e O J T A d v e n t u r e s
September 2009 marks the beginning of my dauntless explores. I was nineteen but my will to live independently away from home even just for awhile had grown vast and with so much excitement, I managed my worry warrior parents especially my mom to agree.
Just the thought of being in a place where nobody knows you, a place where you have never been to, a place where making friends and gaining experiences has a promise and the promise of knowing yourself differently was on a high, nothings beats that.From the initial plan of staying in Bacolod the entire time, I left 3 days after an opportunity in Boracay on the spur of the moment bobbed up.
It’s amazing to know and to meet people with so much passion in them. For others, housekeeping job is nothing but a nanny-job with a degree. These people, they don’t even have one but trust that they love their jobs and it showsin they make.
After more than a month in the housekeeping and learning everything that I could, next stop was a little bit more exciting – kitchen! Being a person keen on paper works more than the leg work in the kitchen made the experience more exciting!
If I remember it correctly, MO2 Wave Kitchen is only one of the many kitchen outlets in Boracay Regency. The kitchen’s concentration is on a variety of appetizers like finger foods, sizzlers and pizza. I was in awe of their trust on sharing and teaching each recipe, something that as it seemed, hard to believe. As hard as the fact that I’ve learned everything they taught me. What an accomplishment, their patience were unbelievable! I can only pray for them to pay back for the blessing I’ve been given.
Not only that these good people are passionate and patient, they too knows how to have fun! Drinks on the house, a little bit of singing, dancing and unlimited photos were taken on my last day.
Met people of which some became my friends. I was having so much fun and hoped I didn’t had to leave but even that is part of the training – to know when it is over and learn to let go, so I did.
From the island, 20 minutes via boat to Caticlan, nearly 6 hours via bus to Iloilo, and on to another boat to Bacolod. Just after a week of a little adjustment, I started training with Grand Regal Hotel.
At first they were curious why I traveled all by myself just for an on the job training. I didn’t think it would be a question and I honestly can’t even remember how I answered. But all the same they’d been very nice and I find them curious just as I am.
Far from the extensive training I just had in Boracay, my training with food and beverage department lasted only for a week due to low season, there was nothing really much to do and the boredom only led to more consumption of caffeine.
From F&B department, I was assigned to work with the purchasing department where the deliveries of items and the distribution of requests are being made. Two weeks after, they assigned me to work with the Accounting Department.
Two weeks of paper works & I finally got transferred to the Kitchen Department. There’s really something about kitchen crew, isn’t it? They are bubbly, funny, crazy and they always laugh! In every kitchen I was in, from each kitchen crew to the other, most of them are happy people. No dull moments policy made me look forward to train even better each day and made the day as well faster.
Here, I also made friends. Would you believe that I even learned to speak their language? Thanks to my roommates and dorm mates. To the sleepless and burger nights we’ve shared, to the blow of every mixed-on-pitcher drink we’ve dehydrated ourselves with, to the rooftop moments, to every little jam, to introducing Paulo Coelho that made an en-route to my life, for making the Maskara Festival celebration extra special, thank you!
The journey had been one of the best times of my life!
T h e C o l l e g e B u d d i e s !
From minor to major subjects and to even bigger projects! To the people I’d always want to work with, to the people who knows how to work hard and play harder, Cheers! I’m grateful to be part of the team and if given a chance, I ‘d die to be working with these guys again!
The best place to learn the craft of drawing the lines between the drink you are holding whilst conceptualizing and the objectives to follow whilst adventuring all in one breath is through these people.
T h e C o l l e g e B e s t F r i e n d s c u m T r a v e l B u d d i e s!
It’s extraneous how people sometimes are destined to meet each other. Our first familiarization came from enrolling in the same school, taking the same course with the same classes, in a department exclusified with foreign personalities. We have our individual groupie of friends back then. It was just that. Not until a common friend tagged her along to my house and were introduced to me.
From then, we became acquaintances. It was never easy due to our clashing personalities. I couldn’t track back anymore when the clashing personalities have stopped clashing. All I remember was, it just stopped. And from that stop starts the adventures of our lives!
And now, another kwela soul joined in to the looked forward adventures!
T h e H o t t i e & T h e N a t t y
From basic nutrition to our first laboratory experience, from the life we only imagined in the classroom to spreading our wings outside school campus, from books to living the realms of reality, thank you for being the wind beneath our wings.
For being the compass that activates the magnets of our curiosity, knowledge and wisdom. For being our mentors and our parents. For being our friends, Cheers!
6. Ex It to Exit! Because you too, can still be friends as much!
To the first person who saw me and taught me how amazing it is to forgive, thank you!
7. The Robin.
“Thank you. Because once upon a long time ago, it was our destiny in a cup.”
8. There is a place after college and its called Life!
C a r e e r & M o n e y
As early as on our second year, we were already trained to treat each and every work assigned equally as a job. Talking about call time, pre-preparations, the actual, trouble shooting and early anticipation before it even arise, to stay graceful however annoying, tiring, sleepy and starved we were then. All of which are worth experiencing!
I first landed a job at Banwa Art House. Few months after graduation, I was on a high figuring out what would I be really wanting to do when an offer bobbed out from my college professor. I wasn’t sure then but she was, which is why she recommended me to her friend who owns the art house.
I was offered the managerial position but being fresh out of college, I didn’t believe I could do the job so they offered me a position a little low-key than that – front desk clerk.
Far from the corporate office or environment I imagined, Banwa is a way station for backpackers traveling all over the world. A place where they can rest, eat, make friends, tell stories, contribute and learn while experiencing the city until their next destination.
The place where I’m allowed and somehow encouraged to wear my lip ring, maybe get a tattoo, polish nails, hair highlights and wear clothes need not to be the same everyday viz uniform. How cool was that, right?
After sometime, I’ve gotten the hand of things so when they proffered the managerial position for the second time, I took the offer.
And lastly, I learned that no matter how we want to freeze that certain moment of bliss, we are entitled to learn and experience so much more. We are entitled to be more than just one thing. As heart breaking as it shouldn’t be, I left Banwa with the thought of all the fun things I imagine I’m going to miss.
Without pain really is no gain. For all the stressful nights, the fun nights, the sleepless nights for guarding our drunk travelers, and for days of conceptualizing the betterment of the place and the service, for the music we sang while cooking, cleaning, accounting and whatnot, to respect and loyalty, to the friendship, for the opportunity and trust first & foremost, thank you!
A co-worker from Banwa introduced me to his friend who happened to own AWI Call Center Solutions. I attended the interview to my intention of only working part time. I got the job and I was even flattered to be asked which International School I graduated from because of my accent which was in fact a Catholic School.
I moved along working with both. Part time in AWI, full time in Banwa and the point where I have to do it all the way vice versa. It was certainly fun, boredom couldn’t harm me anymore and the productivity at the time was eminent. I knew exactly that was the rush I’ve been longing for, to do two different things in one breath.
Then teaching happened. In college, I remember being appointed to handle a class couple of times or more and I believe it was an indication of why I was offered to teach. Thenceforth, I had to leave AWI for a while and give myself a shot in teaching while contending my responsibilities in Banwa.
When both of your jobs and your personal life demands more of you, I learned that’s the time to choose and let go of one. That’s when I finally let go of Banwa and dedicated my focus to teaching. Soon enough, the school has founded its own training hotel and luckily I scored a position before it’s opened and proudly been part of the opening team.
Juggling both the teaching and supervising, at the age of 24 was thrilling. But the thirst to seek and search for what truly makes me happy is firm and I know that the journey to my career doesn’t settle from there, which brings me to the life abroad.
L i v i n g A b r o a d
To imagine a life in Dubai picturing it as ‘the american dream’ of some sort is insane! Life abroad is way vigorous than the ones residing at the comfort of home. The challenge to live independently measures not only your capacity in landing a job or for you being able to manage living with people you’ve only known, or being able to finance yourself buying the things you’ve always wanted or going to places you can only liked on facebook, and the list goes on. But more than any of that, is yourself and the people that you love. How much you value the truth that brought you here at the first place. Learn not to forget.
M a n g o T r e e P r o d u c t i o n s
From wanting to be an advocate to trying to create a podcast. For holding each other’s hands at the pick of our confusions on career and nonetheless our financial strategy discussions over coffee if not homemade chai, made our last few months in Palawan puertorific! I cannot wait for the next taping to discuss unresolved issues about many different fields of concern with these two.
S o u l S i s t e r
I can’t help but to think if everyone has someone they can call a soul sister. Not the creepy sister who died and still lives with you version in movies but the one who knows you very differently from others. Not only that I’m really curious but also so I could take pride and boost about it.
I met mine from work. One step closer was when we discovered we both love Paulo Coelho books, then we started talking about the universe, luminosity, and synchronicity. Then I got my second very devastating heart break and she was there. She had a different take on such kind of heart break because of what she’s gone through. Then we call them Robins. Now we laugh at ourselves why we’ve wasted so many years getting over those Robins..
It’s hard to go through such and even harder when nobody else understand the way you want to be understood. Trying every possible thing to forget a soulful-seemed-to-be-unending-crazy-kind-of-such, our friendship serves as the omen that unconsummated love do exist. And for that, I am thankful!
L i f e G r o u p
To the people who helped me find my way back to the Father, thank you! Words are not enough to even justify the enlightenment I encountered amid iniquity. Surreal I was one of the many stubborn ones they didn’t gave up on.
T h e f r i e n d s f o u n d b e t w e e n t h e p a g e s o f a p a s s p o r t.
T H A I L A N D
D U B A I
I N D I A
S R I L A N K A
Make sure to keep them.
P A S S I O N
Lucky are those who are living the life. Passion and money do not get along much together but I always bring with me what my professor in college said once:
“Do not chase after the money, let the money chase after you.”
Learn to love the job that pays the rent. Value the people you work with even to the most catty annoying co-worker. And make sure to gain a learning experience both from every accomplishment and failure however little.
Believe that its the only way possible to learn what is needed to be learned to gear you up to that dream job.
“Let’s not hesitate to pause and award ourselves with 30 seconds of heaven – even if it means you are in the middle of a running crowd. – MSYOGSC”
Never ever run away from yourself. No matter how blurry and irrational things might be at times, confront your thoughts rather and take to heart what is essential. Learn to listen to the voice within. You may find it different, but listen. Listen until you understand. Listen until it made sense. Listen not only through your ears but also through your heart. Learn to see beyond what meets the eye because only then you can really see. Be grateful and trust your struggles. Learn that everyone you meet is a teacher. Make the most of it.
For taking to heart the lessons in life you were assigned to. For realizing that helping others always end up helping yourself more than anyone. For getting out of your own concerns and carrying out someone else’s life for a while, of which reminds you that you are not the center of the universe.
For grabbing the good people and not letting them go.
For forgiving yourself from things you have no control of.
For carrying on even in confusion and perhaps trusting the unknown.
For keeping the fight of what you believed in however far from the norm.
For knowing your worth.
Congratulations! You’re up for another quarter!
W H O A R E T H E P E O P L E Y O U W A N T T O T H A N K W I T H ?