Roles we play

I miss having my mama around. I am 37 years old, married, with two precocious kids, paying mortgage for a house, hold a quite important position at work, and I am pining for my mama like a 5-year old.

I am telling you that I can and will survive on my own. I can make food, I can ride public transport, I can wash and iron clothes, etc. etc. But I miss mama’s presence at home. Just the presence. That there is an extra pair of eyes watching over my kids.

I am a wife and a mother, but I am still a daughter.

Hello Kitty and friends fashion show

The little girls got lucky again because they got to watch another live show, this time Hello Kitty and friends. I am not so much a fan of the girly cat but I would always take the chance to spend quality time with my babies. And who can say no to free tickets? lol.

They didn’t delight in it as much as they did with the Disney on Ice, probably because Mickey really does have quite a pull with kids. What I liked about the show was the interactive parts when they engage and let the audience join in some parts of the script. There were huge bouncy, lightweight balls that the kids can catch and pass on, then there were the long swaths of cloth that each had to hold so that Kitty can do her fashion pieces.

Frankly, I dozed off on some parts, still I was happy because I didn’t have this much opportunities as a kid growing up. We stayed pretty much at home, going out just to visit family at their homes, but never going out as much as we do now. You could say I am living a second life, and I cannot be more thankful for it.

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Validation

My team at work recently had a sort of debriefing cum relationship management session. As it is related to the workplace, we talked about relationships of all sorts, including the ones with colleagues. This session was very different from the one we had about two years ago, when we were all stressed out. We were more relaxed definitely this time!

Anyway, among all the things we did, there were several activities that made us take stock of our relationships with each other. And I was so touched with my staff’s messages for me:

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These validate that I must be doing something right and good in this world. That, aside from being a boss, I am a mentor, a confidante, and a friend. That I am helping them enjoy their journey as workers. In all the harshness around us, I am happy that somehow, I eased someone’s pain or I lifted someone’s spirit, even though sometimes I know I do the stressing. Hehe.

Back from the desert

I’m back from the land of perpetual sand, heat, dates, and good-looking guys. I haven’t said much on this blog but I was totally apprehensive prior to my departure for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. While far from being a jetsetter, I could say I have been around. However, this is the first time I will set foot in a foreign country that has a lot of restrictions. Truth be told, being a woman, I initially feared for my safety because of the numerous reports of abuse and crimes inflicted on Filipino women. Nevertheless, armed with years of traveling and professional experience, confidence, my gadgets, my abaya and hajib, and other whatnots, off I went to that arid part of the world.

Turns out, as with my other foreign trips, I went back chock full of new memories, fresh insights and learning I will forever treasure. My senses were on high alert as I savored and absorbed everything I saw, heard, smelled, felt and tasted. It was a total feast! I cannot of course, cram all of that in one go so I am chopping my posts in pieces, and hopefully, I get to cover everything–from the food, to the places we stayed in; from the peculiarities of other cultures, to the feeling of home because of the ubiquitous Filipino everywhere I turn.

In all those four cities I visited–Jeddah and Yanbu in Saudi, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, I was sure to bump into a kababayan. I now realized that it is true: that the Filipino has gone global! I have been studying and eating and drinking and breathing the phenomenon of Filipino migration in almost thirteen years now. And I have conducted dialogues with Filipino communities worldwide, but seeing the diaspora in the Middle East has brought it to a whole different level. I have never seen them almost run a foreign country! It may be a little exaggerated but I thought that so many establishments and companies will greatly suffer should the Philippines pull out its numbers. Really. I think Filipinos are that important. They may get other expatriates to run their businesses but they will never get the same results as when Filipinos have run them. Never get the same competence, care and compassion. They make businesses and industries thrive in their own unique ways. They need not pretend, put on fake accents, or try to integrate hard or blend in. They just do naturally. Too bad, they aren’t doing it for their own country. It was really an eye opener for me. I never felt more Filipino pride when outside the country than during these last two weeks.

I will miss these guys

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We were brought together to take on a not so pleasant task. None of us were really friends the first time we convened, although of course, I had worked with some for the longest time. The circumstances surrounding our “get togethers” were not so great but really, I will miss these guys. It was tension- and stress- full two months, yet we found time to laugh (and eat!). I wouldn’t call them friends now but there’s a start. It is now easier for us to bump into each other at the office and cast out those smiles more easily, knowing that we all shared something, whatever that might be. Till the next big project!

30 over 30

Got this list from Cosmo Ph. I’m now over thirty, but I believe that it’s never too late for anyone to try anything. Okay, so I’ll highlight what I’ve done..

Before reaching the big 3-0, make sure you’ve made the most of your 20s by trying out these to-dos shared by real 20-somethings who’ve made their bucket lists happen.

1. Travel to at least two countries around the world. Check! Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Singapore

2. Try an extreme sport or (or ride a really legit rollercoaster).

3. Plan a backpacking trip with your partner or barkada. Check!

4. Visit at least five beaches in the Philippines. Check! Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Panglao, Subic, Puerto Galera, Batangas

5. Go on a retreat a la-Eat, Pray, Love. Check!

6. Rough it up and go camping. While you’re at it, ditch all your gadgets for a whole day!

7. Set up a part-time business as an extra source of income. Check! It paid for my trips.

8. Take a post-graduate degree overseas. Just a post-graduate degree.

9. Have an adventurous love affair. I don’t know about being adventurous but yeah.

10. Go on a cruise. Check!

11. Hit the party scene and feel like you’re twenty-two-oo, as Taylor Swift would say. Check!

12. Experience living in a different country for a few years.

13. Find a new hobby, like yoga, pilates, or rock climbing. Does aerobics and zumba count?

14. Go scuba diving. Does snorkeling count? Maybe not. lol

15. Take a food trip around Asia. Check!

16. Finish a marathon.

17. Hook up with your childhood crush before settling down. I wish I had a real crush when I was a kid. They seem to be all celebrities!

18. Have at least one kick-ass job you can be proud of. My job is not kick-ass but I’m proud of it.

19. Open your own bank account. Check!

20. Move out of your parents’ house. Check!

21. Have a stable group of friends. Check!

22. Forgive your enemies and cut ties with anchors. Check!

23. Buy your parents a major “thank you” gift. “Major” is such a subjective word.

24. Have an impressive resume that doesn’t need padding. Check!

25. Buy something ridiculously expensive as a gift for yourself. Check!

26. Save enough money to buy a car (a secondhand will do).

27. Know how to fall in love the right way. Check!

28. Ditch your insecurities and embrace your curves! Check! I have a lot of bikinis to show for it. Proof.

29. Overcome a fear. Check! Majorly done at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver where I almost died of a heart attack. lol.

30. Learn how to say “no. Check!

22 of 30 ain’t bad, right?