We Eat. We Bond.

It was October 2015 when I last went home to the province. Though, I have seen my family during the wake of my aunt in Pampanga.

Everyone was already sleeping when I got home at 1 AM on March 27, 2016 excpet my sister who patiently waited for me. When I told her that I missed my drop off point, she said she will be calling father (tatay) to fitch me using his motorcycle. I told her not to because I don’t have helmet. She did not insist.

At 6 am, the kids are already awake. As a customary gesture, they grabbed my hand and bring the back of it on their foreheads to show respect. They immediately asked for my mobile phone to play games. Their tab was busted. I willingly unlock the screen. My niece was excited that day. She even called me to tell me to go home so she can borrow my device. At 7 AM, I told them to get ready. We went to the church and ate at their favorite fast food store, Jollibee after going to the church. I ordered spaghetti for them. Just before ordering, upon entering the store, they saw the play place inside. They strouted their way to the slides. We let them enjoy before eating – just before the food is served, they’re back on our table waiting for the spaghetti.

My niece went to the counter when I was already placing my order. She requested for a chocolate sundae. After eating, they went back to play in the slides.

After 20 minutes of playing, I called them to put on their shoes and we are done.

They still wanted to go somewhere else – they gave me the name of place – Sun Plaza. I dismissed the idea of going instead we headed to the salon and had their haircuts.

It was fun seeing them having fun even it is the smallest things.

 

Traveled Back Home

I was definitely late for the Thursday and Friday holiday. Most people from Metro Manila went out of the city to their provinces. Others just went out to enjoy the beaches on their long weekend vacation. I was at work until Saturday, 4 PM. After my shift, I went straight to the apartment to pack my already prepared things that was lying on my bed. I hurriedly packed them in my back pack. When I was done, I went out of the house and off my way to the bus terminal.

I left the apartment at 6 PM.

Got on the bus at 6:50 PM. Imagine the waiting time. I transferred to the opposite terminal that time. The bus took off at 7 PM.

There were only 6 passengers when it took off. And at 10 PM passengers were picked up by the roadside but not enough to fill the huge bus.

I overheard the passengers in front of me who asked the driver and the conductor to drop them off to their destination. The driver affirmed that even if they are (the passengers) first time travelers to that place, they will be dropped off to the correct place. That was the case maybe for them. I am not a first time traveler.

I fell asleep while waiting for my drop off. I slept like a log. In short, I missed the drop off place. The conductor noticed me when some other passengers were dropped off.

Sir, aren’t you getting off the bus? Really? Why he was asking me. I said I will be getting off Socony (that’s the place – near my village). He said we are in Magsaysay. I have no choice but to get off. I don’t know the place. I immediately pulled out my mobile phone to check the Google Map – it is 53 mi away from my drop off point. Time was 11:30 PM. It was 30-minute early than I thought.

I have waited for another bus, going back. The right back is never easy – because buses follow certain schedule. I was still lucky that an empty bus passed by and I got home safe.

 

No Meat | Thursday and Friday

In the observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, my housemate planned to not prepare something that is meat. So, he went to the market as early as Wednesday to avoid rush hour before the mentioned days. He was able to get fish and vegetables which is good for two days. We will not prepare large amount of food as we observe Holy Week.

Today, I had fried milkfish and eggplant – omelet style. My housemate prepared the food and he prepared sandwiches for us.  I woke up at 5 AM, went straight to the bathroom, took my  quick shower since I bath before going to bed last night. I had my lunch packed and the sandwiches were packed as well for my breakfast. I ate one while on my way to work. When I got in the office, I ate the second packed sandwich.

I took my lunch break at 9 AM – too early for lunch time but I have to comply with the schedule. I ate my packed lunch.

We plan to prepare another fish and vegetable meal tomorrow – and will pack my lunch as well.As part of light fasting, we are not going to eat too much. So sandwich will do in the morning and fish and vegetable for lunch and dinner.

We will have our day off on Saturday. I will go home after my shift work on Saturday afternoon.

Long Weekend – What Is It?

Employees from the public offices and other private corporations are taking their time off because of the holiday. Their holiday – am I bitter, not really. But I wish to experience a long weekend vacation to stay away from the bustle and hustle in Metro Manila.

What is long weekend? These organizations, public and private, sent their employees to take vacations to observe Lenten season (Holy Week) which already started today, Thursday, Philippine time and will be back to work on Monday. And to start their long weekend, they have sacrificed hours in long traffic in major roads in Metro Manila and nearby places.

What is long weekend? I don’t have this so I don’t know what it is. That is what I want you to know. I work until Saturday.

What is long weekend? For them, it is all about fun, for others who observe the Holy Week, it means sacred and holy.

I am in the office taking my lunch break after processing tickets from our valued customers. Log them and work with customers and technicians to resolve their requests.

What most people do during this time of the year? They go to Boracay and have fun. Others go to holy places – like in Kamay ni Jesus in Quezon Province, Monasterio de Tarlac in Tarlac and other places – holy and sacred.

I can’t remember the time when I experienced going on vacation during the Lenten season. I can remember the re-enaction of Christ’s crucifixion. In the province when I was still a kid, during Saturday – Black Saturday, we go to the beach or river to dive and swim after 3 in the afternoon.

How do you spend long weekend? Do you observe Holy Week? Time to reflect and pray and be thankful for everything aside from taking a long weekend vacation.

She’s a Scanvenger Now | I Can’t Believe It

Another direct report messaged me on Facebook last week.

“Hello boss, how are you? You know what I am a scavenger now”

I was shocked with her message. I asked what happened. She said that when her 10-year old son died, she have lost her passion and sense of direction. The direction to work – she is a single mom now. She had 3 kids, now 2. I asked her where she’s at. She is within the vicinity.

I know God is challenging me. The day I got the payment from Sheridan, my former agent messaged on Facebook. I know the money I got from BlogJob will be an instrument to help her.

I messaged my high school friend (who I call Bhy – short for baby – our endearment). I told her what I have learned that day. I told her that I want to help. We had the same question in mind. If she’s scavenging, how she was able to PM me on Facebook. I did not ask her directly. I asked her where she’s at. She said that she is staying on the street. She gave me the exact direction. I wanted to message everyone on Facebook – to contact my former team about her situation so she can get help.

I dismissed the fact of helping her last week. Then my high school friend suggested to ask where are the kids. I did not ask – I don’t want to know because I am afraid of her answer. Today, I received another message from my former agent. “Yung inaanak mo nasa mga madre, doon sa mga nagpaaral sa akin dati” (Your godchild is with the nuns, those who sent me to school before). I was like in tears – this answered my question. I asked where is the eldest son? He said that he’s with the dad. Told her to apply for work. Her reason – she broke her dentures and no money to secure an NBI Clearance. I really wanted to help. But there is one thing that discourages me to help. I am asking her frriend who happened to be my former subordinate too. I am waiting for an answer to clear up things.

And now she is asking for food.

We Talked About Stuff

On my previous post, I mentioned that I met my former subordiante in SM City Mall. We talked about of things – he was the speaker and I was the listener. I shared what I do at work – my offline work – now. Things we talked about yesterday.

1. Work – I completely understand my former direct report who is now my friend. We have met yesterday after almost 2 years. We missed each other’s company. I listened to his sentiments. He enumerated the things he likes and dislikes about his current set up. He is been in the company for almost 5 years. Congratulations to him.

2. Love Life. Not his love life but his friend (my former direct report as well). We were supposed to meet her but she did not come. As an alibi, she said she fell asleep. I don’t buy the reason. He said that he don’t know what she really wants – I told him to just let her do what she wants. I have done what is right as a friend.

3. Management. He thinks that his former boss was unfair. I told him not to take it seriously – of course managers have the reason to be strict like that of what he mentioned. Told him that leadership, good leadership should be pro-employee.

4. Family. He is a good brother and a son. I salute his love for his siblings. He is worthy to be emulated.

As always, I provided a single sentence reaction and feedback.

My take for yesterday’s talk:

He is too tired with everything. He likes to stay away from all of his problem but there is no way because he needs to work to survive – like everyone does. I work to survive too. We have problems and it is part of life. I know he is a tough person. I can see it in his face that he is not okay and he is holding his tears. I know, I can feel him. He wants to leave his current work but can’t leave the people who are helping and supporting him.

It was a good time to talk about these topics.

I Listen, I Comment Less | Met Up with My Friend

I spent many hours sitting in front of the computer. I logged off. I lay down on my bed, stretched a bit and I laid flat on bed. Then, I received an instant message on FB messenger. My former direct report messaged me. He wanted to meet up with me together with others. I was about to sleep since it is almost 7 PM when I finished my online task. But I immediately replied to him where to meet them. He proposed they’d go here in the apartment. I disagreed because my place is disorganized and it is too warm here. I suggested meeting with them in the mall. I was expecting 3 of them but the others did not come. We dined in – we ate at KFC. We talked a lot of things.

I Listen, I Comment Less

I felt like I was back to my previous employer, my former subordinate talked about stuff in their company (my former employer). He said that he still wants to stay because of the people around him. He likes being with his team. I told him that we have an open position in my current work. I told him about the benefits, he listened and said “not now”. I respected his decision. I don’t want him to make that decision to leave his current position if he is still enjoying what he is doing. I was happy to hear that from him. I told a lot of stories. Some good and some bad. I listened to him because I like listening to others’ stories. I listened to him but I commented less. I say things that I think valuable and relevant to the topic. I just let him speak and let him rant because I know that’s one of the ways he can release what is inside his mind and heart. We touched base on customer service. He learned something – not to argue with his customers – that I like. He learned things and continues to learn more.

Yes, my high school friend confronted me – I am “man of few words” but she said when I say something, it is timely and with sense.

 

 

My Journey to Philippine Sports Arena

Weekend is a game day for the UAAP Volleyball.

While in the office, I researched how to get to the Philippine Sports Arena by foot and by car. I knew where it is located because I was able to see the location when I was in Pasig City renting a room in 2010. And it is near the Ortigas Business District.

After my shift, I log off at exactly 4 PM and sprinted to the elevator. I got out of the building looking for someone to ask. I spotted a security officer, I politely ask where to ride. He gave me the instructions but the comute is difficult during that time. I stopped a cab and got in.

I was stuck in a traffic for 15 minutes. He dropped me off at the Gate 2 that says “Entrance”. So, I gave him the payment and willingly get off the cab. At the entrance, I asked someone people where to buy ticket. I got a “go straight there” answer. So I did. I got to the Gate 3 – I approached the table. I was directed to the Gate 1. I was a long journey before I reached the ticket booth. That for me was fun – an adventure. It was my first time to watch live volleyball action in that venue. But never again will I watch the game at the said arena. It was far from my usual traffic path.

After the game, I told myself to follow my instinct. I don’t know which way to go. Seeing a lot of people go to the south and north directors made me feel dizzy. I felt like sick in the stomach. I was already past 6 PM when the game ended – so it was dusk outside. I stayed put for 15 minutes before deciding which way to go – by foot. I observed the FX passing by – their signage says Megamall-Pasig but I am not sure if they are going to which location. I recalled this route 6 years ago. I tried to remember – this way goes to and that way goes to – my mind was thinking. I finally decided to where my instinct is telling me to go. And I got it. I got the right route. I was too tired walking. I stopped for a while and waited for a cab.

 

Am I Finally Back?

I was out for days and paused for earning points from here.

I had to go to my aunt’s province. It was not a good reunion to have. It was not a gathering but was a very breaking life event.

My aunt as I mentioned on my post, passed away on March 5, 2016.

I have missed posting here – so I am back. My aunt would be very happy that I am back after the painful days. Burrying her 6 feet below the ground was another pain for me. Knowing that she can’t see the light anymore – and us, it pains me.

I have talked to her as if she is with me. I know it is okay with her to continue with what I am doing. I know that she’s happy that I am earning in my own little way.

I am finally back but I can’t be online like I was before. I need to take good care of myself too. I need to avoid going to bed super late in the evening.

I am finally back but I still don’t have the courage to continue posting. I don’t have topic to share. Though, I have seen different subject during my not-so-long vacation. I was able to post on Wednesday on my Volleyball Never Stops site but that was it.

I have started joining groups and posting few quotes. I have joined the Quotes from the Books. I have shared few of Tuesdays with Morrie’s memorable quotations.

Another reason why I came back too soon, is the goal I am trying to reach. I am trying to make it to the 20k mark and claim the money equivalent to these points.

I am finally back – I think so. I am still teary-eyed while typing this. I get so emotional every time I remember my tita (aunt).

My Ill-Mannered Housemates

I have been in the rental house for three years now. I have meet and seen different types of tenants occupying rooms. I am very fortunate to have understanding housemates 2 years ago. I have met and became friends with most of the tenants here – they are nice. Until last year, the old tenants moved out and the replacements moved in. From the start, I felt different towards the new one. They aren’t responsive. I have an attitude of calling everyone during meal time to join us in eating. The old ones are responsive but these new set of boarders are like people from other planet.

I Don’t Take Chances

I knew it – they are not as good as the others. One time when I was busy doing my online stuff in the living room at 3 AM, yes 3 AM. The old lady I call dara (aunt) was already awake for her daily routine, clean her room – not the entire house. She cleans the entire house before but not these days. One of the tenants – seconds of the siblings here, came out being mean to the old lady. She’s around 25ish and the lady is 60 plus. I knew it; they are the rudest people around here. I asked dara why she’s being treated like that. I looked at the woman from head to foot without saying anything. If looks can kill, she’s already buried 6 feet below the ground.

I just feel that they are mean to their parents. I have never raised my voice to other people. But not to those who are unresponsive and out of this world behavior. I just hated them. I don’t like to be friends with them being mean to older people. I respect my dara, they are not a relative to talk to older people, even they are!