Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cleared :)

Long day.

I started out as early as 4am to line up for the NBI clearance our company had been reprimanding me to acquire. 

The husband, who was kind enough, was there with me.

The original plan was, he was just to see me off because he had to go to work at 5am. 
But when he found out that it was difficult to get that document, and since he was already there, he decided to stay and  get his own copy too. 
When we arrived in Robinson's Metro East(as one of NBI's sattelites was there and it was the nearest to our house), there was already a long line of people. I couldn't imagine how early the very first guy in the line woke up today just to get his clearance. Or, did he even sleep? Oh, yes. He might have. He might have slept in Robinson's, at that. 

Anyway, so we were there. At first, I didn't have any idea how many people there were before us. I just had a ballpark figure that there were less than a hundred, at least. So we waited. And waited. Until we've almost ran out of stories to tell, jokes to crack and people to observe. At 8am, the guard finally gave out numbers. I was right. There were less than a hundred people before us. I was even the 76th person in the line. 

The system was good. Actually, it was better than I expected. There were four steps to go through. First step was for payment. A hundred and fifteen bucks for your clearance. Not bad. With prices of goods skyrocketing these days, this is one of the very few items which didn't have any increase. It hasn't changed since the last time I went to get one. Well that was 3 years ago. Second step was to have your data encoded. I was lucky because the woman who typed in my information was quick. I just didn't like the idea that one of the monitors was facing the entire line of people while she was encoding all the information about me. That meant the people at my back knew what my name was, where I lived, who may parents were. Gawd. Anyway, third step was for picture taking. No time for retouching or anything. It wouldn't matter anyway. NBI picture is in black and white. So your red lipstick would appear black in the photo. Again, it was quick. No chance for a retake. Just pure luck. The last step was for you to get the finish product. You're required to buy an envelop (smaller than the usual brown envelop you bring with you during job interviews), but it costs 5 pesos. Well, business is business.

I got mine without any problem. The husband had., he had to go back after 2 weeks because his name had a hit. Don't get him wrong. He's innocent. Haha. It was just that, his name was so common and someone who's got a name like his was at large, for robbery. Oh well. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Once upon a time, I was your son-seng nim. :)

Six years. It had been six long years.

When I was at the age when people started asking what I would like to be when I grew up, my response was a simple, “I want to be a teacher”.  I wanted to be a teacher for no specific reason. I couldn’t even remember if I had a reason at all.  Since I was an only child, I remembered playing with my dolls – I was the teacher and my dolls were my students. I had a blackboard, a box of chalks, a blackboard eraser…and oh, I even had a teacher’s record book! 

As I grew older, my plans and dreams changed. I took up Tourism because I wanted to be a flight stewardess. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy landing on such a job. Right after graduation in 2005, I was so eager to find a job so I sent resumes to a lot of companies right away. No calls. Until I felt desperate so I went to this employment agency in Kamias, Quezon City. The position I was applying for was an encoder at a bank. During the interview, the interviewer said I could speak English quite well so she’d like to endorse me to a Korean company which was located in that same building. So I went there, had my interview…

And just like what they always say, the rest was history. 

I’d say the job I had for six years realized my childhood dream – teaching. But who would have thought I’d love that? And loved teaching English to Koreans, for that matter? In my six years of working in this industry, I’d met different types of people – people from various walks of life, ages, personality, economic status, etc. Some of them became my very good friends, some just came and went. Some made my everyday life miserable and made me hate my job, but surprisingly, most of these students were the ones I had a hard time saying goodbye to. In short, the people I talked to, laughed with, corrected and taught, and sometimes shouted at, left a special place in my heart – something that would always remind me that once upon a time, I was called a teacher.

I must admit, it has just been almost 2 months since I last talked to my Korean students. And I miss the job. I miss doing the things that I had been doing for the last six years. I miss the fun when my students and I played tic-tac-toe. I miss asking how their days were. I miss asking what they had for dinner, what they’d do on the weekends, what movie they’d watch and what a certain idiom meant. These were just the almost everyday questions I asked them. Almost every day that I felt sick of asking these questions. But how I miss them now! 

I think there is a fine line between letting go of the things that a person is used to doing/having and letting go of the things that a person is used to doing/having BY HEART. The latter is way harder.

I may not had been a teacher by profession. 
I may not have had the proper training.
I may not have had the license to do it. 
But I knew I had the most important thing…
I had the heart.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bjorn's Little Prayer

For the past few weekend nights (as these were the only times we got to go to bed together), I had been teaching Bjorn how to say personal prayers. Last night, as we closed our eyes and prayed, this was what he said...

"Dear Jesus, thank you po sa mga binigay Ninyo sa amin ngayong araw. Thank you po sa food, sa water, sa toys, candy...etc. etc."

What struck me the most (and made me open my eyes to look at him) was when he said:

"Thank you po kase nandito si mommy ngayon pagsleep namin."

In silence, I thanked God more for that night too. ♥♥♥

Monday, July 25, 2011

On our fifth year together

In a world like this, where many unpleasant things happening around plus having temptations here and there, it is considered a miracle when couples, married or not, reach their first anniversary, never mind their fifth.

We are indeed, very, very blessed.

Just last weekend, my husband and I spent our fifth wedding anniversary. Originally, our wedding anniversary date fell on a weekday and we thought it would be better for us to have it on the weekend. Few weeks prior to this, we had so many plans. Soooo many that we couldn’t choose what we really wanted the most. Of course, there were also many factors to be considered – one of which was the budget.

Since I was the one who stay in front of the computer most of the time, I was in-charge of looking for a good place. I got excited when I saw Zoobic Safari’s discounted fee in megadeals. I thought it was great to spend our ‘day’ there as it was something ‘new’. Then, I thought too, that it was a bit inconvenient for us to go there because we would commute with the kids (that was the original plan, to tag-along the kids). Then I opted to contact our friends who happen to work in hotels so we could ask for discounts. Still, it was no-good as we were a bit behind in making our reservation (and use their names to avail the 50% discount). A week before our anniversary, I found this Manila Bay Cruise. I inquired and almost had my reservation made but last minute, my husband backed out and had ‘Shunji Resort’ instead.

At first, I was not so eager to go there (again) because it has been our ‘home resort’ for the past year. We’ve had celebrations there before because the place was near our house and the rates were really affordable. I still went resort-searching on the internet the day before the ‘day’ but I was not successful in finding a good place. So, we ended up going to Shunji’s.

I had no regrets. There were no other guests during the weekend so it was like we rented the whole place. We just bought food outside, had some 10 bottles of Tanduay Ice (which, btw, was my first time to have a taste of it), sang our hearts out until 4am, swam in the not-so-cold water and woke up at 8:30 in the morning and went swimming again. We left the resort at noon.

It was really a great weekend. Too ordinary for some. But for us, it was one of the best weekends we’ve had. I’ve realized that it didn’t matter where and how you and loved one spent your special day.

What really matters is you being with the person you love. Me being with him. J

thank you for the flowers delivered in our office :)

swimming at 4am

tanduay ice - my new favorite :)

he had these shirts made for us :)

videoke again in the morning

dwarfina me

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 2 - Romblon

Wow. It took me a month before I wrote again. I was really very busy these past few weeks (actually, I am still busy). The book thingy has been making me work my ass off. Arrrggggh!!!

Anyway, to get myself back to sanity, I would like to destress and continue the story of our Romblon getaway. Ha! Too late? Not yet. I thought I should write the memories down now before it would really be too late (to remember everything, that is). Okay...okay. so here it goes..

Day 2 was still activity-filled. After the long day ONE, my friends who were sober (because they didn't drink or should I say, escaped drinking -- you know who you are, guys!), woke up early. I was oblivious of the time as I took off my watch as soon as we stepped foot in Romblon (and I didn't use my cellphone much). Maybe, it was around 8am when I woke up. We had coffee by the beach, took pictures (again), and went boating. Oh well, I didn't, but most of them did. I regretted not doing so because I thought I missed a lot. They had great experiences seeing the mountains and peeping through the very clear waters of Calatrava. While, I, had my own share of me-time lying on the bed and thinking about the previous night's happenings. I laughed as I shared stories with Lea (who also did not go boating). We reminisced all the things that had happened the night before as if they happened ages ago. And oh, of course the highlight of the story was when we were all about to sleep and yet, Phay, my sometimes-normal-but-oftentimes-crazy friend, brought our spirits up by her renowned anticness (Oh well, that's Phay for you) and we all ended up laughing until we fell asleep.

Anyway, before noon, we decided to leave the island. The owner of the resort was kind enough to let us go island-hopping. But actually, we just stopped at one island which was really, really wonderful. We were awed by the beauty of it. It was called "Tinagong Dagat". Well, by name of it, you could already tell what it was. There was this part of the sea surrounded with rocks which made it look like it was hidden. Well before we saw it, we had to trek first. It was not easy as the rocks were really big and sharp. One mistake and you'd end up bruised or worse, ran to the hospital (which was, by the way, hours from where the island was). So there, we were so careful but at the same time, very excited. Then, we took pictures again. We didn't stay for a long time because that day was a total scorcher. We would have stayed longer had we remembered putting sunblock on.

Then, we rode the boat again back to Calatrava where the van was waiting for us. Since it was already past noon and we hadn't have lunch yet, Lern and Jon decided to take us to Mack's. We thought it was MAX's, so we were like, "Ah, talaga? May Max's dito?" Haha. Then we found out that it was a house-turned-restaurant. Nevertheless, the food was equally yummy (for starving stomachs).

I was having a superb time when my manager texted me. Didn't I say I didn't use my cellphone much at that time? Good thing, I glanced at it and saw text messages and missed calls. I was supposed to send an article for my VIP student. Whoa! I totally forgot it. Fortunately, we were in the town and internet shops were just around the corner. I rushed to the net cafe and sent the article right away. Whew. Thank God. My head nearly rolled. (--.--)

When we arrived at Villa Teresita (Lerni and Jon's house), we JUST changed our clothes (yes, that's right) because we were off to LOOC. From Odiongan, it took an hour of a car-ride.Since my aunt lived there, I took the chance to meet her. We talked for just a few minutes because we were about to go to SANCTUARY.

Sanctuary was where Looc's sea treasures could be found. It was in the middle part of the sea (shallow part) and a big nipa hut stood there.  When we reached Looc, we rode a motor boat to go there. Since it's a tourist site, a fee was required (Thanks Lern and Jon!). We were given life vests and snorkels. Again, we were so excited! When we arrived there, we put on our snorkels and swam our way. At first, I felt some pricking i-don't-know-what on my legs. I panicked because I thought they were jellyfish. Then my friends said they were just miniscule fish. I didn't believe them until I saw some. Haha. Oh well, they were really prickly! Jet, my risk-taker slash adventurer friend, swam a bit far from where the hut was and said it was wonderful out there. So we thought we should see it too. Indeed, on that part of the sea was where big corals, shells and colorful fishes lingered. It was really amazing. For a while, all of us where silent as we looked at these awesome God-made creatures. It was..really.. indescribable.

As it was already getting dark, we decided to get off the waters. We stayed in the hut for a while, drank some beer, ate fresh-off-the grill fish,  and talked and laughed about the things we saw under the water. After some minutes, we cleaned up after ourselves and went back to Lerni and Jon's place.
Just when we thought the night was over, we were wrong. Lern's mom prepared a lot of food for us. Honestly, my diet was devastated in this Romblon getaway. She cooked 'yellow adobo' and another dish (which I couldn't remember now, don't get me wrong here. Both were delicious. "Yellow adobo" just stayed in my mind coz it was unique). Anyway, after taking a bath and feeling fresh, we ate dinner and spent the night with JC (guys, you know who JC, right?). And of course, videoke (again)!

It was around 3am when we thought we should call it a day. We were all dead-tired but happy. It was really one-of-a-kind experience! :) 


At Sanctuary
phay :P
snorkeling at sanctuary
having a blast
treking at 'tinagong dagat'
we are survivors :P
tinagong dagat
dinner at Jon and Lern's house
the villa

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 1 at Romblon

As a mom, I thought I needed a break too.

I haven't had any out-of-towns in years until April 16th 2011 came. My super friends and I planned a getaway in one of our friends' hometown -- Romblon.

It had been an overdue plan, actually. We had been think thinking of going there since were were all single but there was never a chance for that plan to push through. So when the perfect time came, we were all set and ready to go!

It was an 11-hour voyage. The ocean trip to Romblon was really a not-so-good experience. We arrived at the port at 1pm. We thought it was better to be there early since many people might be going home for the holyweek. We were right. There were so many people. We were just glad that our friend (the host), asked somebody to help us get the tickets. Still, we had the economy ones which meant we'd be in the crowded area with just hundreds of bunk beds. We didn't have any choice though. (--.--)

Montenegro Lines was not so organized. There were no spare beds for us as the spaces we were assigned to were already occupied. So we stayed at the ship's cafeteria (turned place-for-unlucky-people-like-us). We stayed there until one of our friends finally found some extra bunk beds. They found just 4 beds so we had to squeeze in ourselves to those. Good thing, we were just 8, so there were 2 people in one bed. :) Nevertheless, the unoccupied beds were just next to the restrooms. Well, that explained why those beds were empty. Nobody wanted to stay there. Then again, did we have any choice? None. The trip was for 11 agonizing hours so we had to rest our backs to prepare for the next day's activities. From time to time, we spritzed some cologne and alcohol just to get rid of the foul spell coming from the public toilet. Gawd!

We also spent most of time in the front deck of the ship. It was fantastic, and scary at the same time. The voyage was at night so we saw nothing but the vast sea. We found comfort and relief whenever we saw islands or lighthouses. Aside from that, there was nothing. Oh, but of course the dolphins were amazing.. and the stars.. and the moon...

We arrived at Odiongan at 4am. It was 2 hours later than our expected time of arrival. Well they said that the ship we were on was really slow. At the port, our friends (a couple) were there waiting for us. As we got off, Lerni (my friend) took pictures of us. Haha. We felt like celebrities. Tortured, smelly celebrities. :P

We went straight to their house which was just 10 minutes away from the port. The house was spectacular. It used to be a marble factory so it was really huge. They had 3 living rooms, and there was an indoor pool (which was still under renovation at that time). Though tired, we felt rejuvenated and took pictures at the different parts of the house. After resting, we went out to have breakfast at the town's tapsilogan and we visited Lerni's mom's house. :)

After breakfast, we went back to the house and rested for a couple of hours. I, for one, took some power nap because I knew that it would be a long day. Indeed, it was.

Lerni and Jon took us to this secluded resort 1 hour from Odiongan. We first took a motor boat for 20 minutes then voila! PAKSI RESORT COVE. Very virgin. Very beautiful. We took many photos as the place was really breathtaking. The resort was owned by a family and they have just started running the business so it was not yet fully-furnished. It didn't matter though, the surrounding was serene.

We then cooked food for lunch. We had sinigang and inihaw na pusit -- Just perfect for the getaway. In between cooking, we took pictures all over the place again. We had lunch at around 2pm, took some rest, changed to our swimming outfits and went out to swim. There was a low-tide in the afternoon so we waited until the water went back to the shore. Since I'm not crazy about swimming in the beach, two of my friends and I stayed on the shore and sang our hearts out with the videoke and started drinking too. ^^

At around 5pm, we decided to go swimming. My friend brought her snorkel with her so I borrowed it. I had a great time snorkeling and thought how wonderful it was to be a marine biologist. ^^

At night, we continued singing, dancing and drinking. We had dinner at maybe 8pm or so. We had smoked longanisa which was really superb! After dinner, we went back to singing and drinking. The night was really good. Since we were the only people in the resort, we partied like we didn't care. Until now, I don't know what time I went to bed that night. But one thing's for sure, I went to bed with a smile. :)

At the ship's cafeteria (slurpee was bought before we boarded, hehe)

at the back of the ship

"I'm flying!"

the boat ride to Paksi

before we rode the boat

paksi resort cove - fantastic

we're here!

Friday, April 8, 2011

mic whore

Singing makes me happy.

May it be in the shower or karaoke rooms, I sing my heart out. It's one of the activities that can relieve my stress and can make me feel so alive.

I'm not a good singer, though. I am just confident enough to take hold of the microphone and belt whatever song I want to sing.

My top karaoke favorites are:

1. Linger (Cranberries)
2. Everything I do, I do it for you (Bryan Adams)
3. Fame (Irene Cara)
4. Break Away (Kelly Clarkson)
5. Head Over Feet (Alanis Morissette)
6. Make It Real (The Jetts)
7. Dancing Queen (Abba)
8. Akap (Imago)
9. Torete (Moonstar 88)
10.Dreaming Of You (Selena)
11. I don't want to miss a thing (Aerosmith)'s been a while since I last sang (I mean, in a karaoke room, that is). Oh well, I think for now, I'm just going to sing in the bathroom. (--.--)

Trying to belt out "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" :P

"I guess I missed a thing." :P