I am glad I brought some old pictures with me when I moved here in America so I can compare how I looked then and now. First photo below was a studio shot of me in the Philippines when I was only 17 years old, weighing just 86 pounds. The main purpose of this photo was to send out to different pen pal agencies along with my biography in the hopes of finding friends and possibly a husband to correspond with overseas.
Fast forward 16 years later, 2016. I am now 33. Living in America, have my own family, happier and has fewer worries in life. I gained 13 pounds since then, after having two kids and being married for almost 12 years! I can say, I am much wiser now, very different and have learned a lot about life.
If I compare myself then and now, I have changed tremendously by the way I view life, friendship, family and politics-wise. Yet, I am still the same person since I was born, conservative!
When there is an occasion, we try to celebrate it simply and exclusively for our family. On Mother’s Day, as a tradition in our household, my husband took us out to a 45-minute drive away from home for dinner and for the children to enjoy bungee jump at the mall.
Rain Forest Cafe in Grapevine Mills Mall was the destination where I had my seafood combo, salmon and rice for the husband and chicken/shrimp nuggets for the girls. We do not require grand celebration in our household as long as the husband remembers me on days that pertain to appreciating the hard work I do for our family, that’s what matters to me. And I am happy with it.
What’s important is, we got to go out, everybody had fun and we bonded together as a whole family.
Over ten years of our marriage, my husband still gives me flowers occasionally which I appreciate so much. It’s nice to know that he hasn’t forgotten me despite of his busy schedules at work combined with chores around the house every weekend. Our marriage is not perfect, there were times when I tend to feel that I am of no value to him but most number my days being married to him are being happy, content, fulfilled and loved.
He knows I love flowers, I have two big flower beds in our front yard yet he bought me assorted flowers last Friday as an advanced present for last Sunday’s occasion. Not only I received flowers from my husband, my firstborn also made me a big Mother’s Day card in school and a few handmade ones she made at home expressing her love for mommy and that she is appreciative of the things I do for her and her sister.
Ah truly I feel blessed because of the only treasure I have in this world, my family!
I chose to stay at my parents’ house than in a hotel for my main purpose of visiting the Philippines is to spend ample time with my family. They are the first reason why I always go back and travel to my own native land. I love how they grow to be respectful of me and appreciates my presence around the house.
It is always nice to come home to a family although admittedly they are annoying sometimes. My bad! But anyway, I only got five days left as of writing this entry to stay in the Philippines and for that I would love to minimize going out of the house as much as possible and just spend my remaining days with them. It is just so unfortunate to know that we may not be able to go to the beach together but I can assure them that next time I will surely bring them to the beach.
Photo below is of me and my little brother and sister. You can see we got dirt marks on our faces because we just finished playing card games when Jadyn took this photo of us. The one who got the most marks on his/her face lost a number of times in the game. Soooooooooooo much fun to play with them and will always treasure the memories we make during this vacation of mine.
I grew up to be poor but I had a rich childhood memory which was spent mostly playing and having a good time with other kids in our neighborhood. As I went into my adolescent stage, I met a couple of girls in our area that had the same goal as me, finding an American man to marry. Two of these girls are 4 years younger than me. That is us pictured above, on the left is my cousin and the middle is Gene. These girls have found their luck, they got married and in the US now.
Looking at this picture makes me reminisce of those good old times we have had together especially with my cousin. We used to be so closed and had a sister-like relationship when that unthinkable fight over something happened 3 years ago that ultimately separated our closeness. Well, life is like that. Things we are not in favor of happen and all we can do is cherish those good memories and move on.
There was this boy I met 12 years ago that I can never forget. He was our neighbor’s nephew born in New Zealand. He and his mom had a vacation in the Philippines at that time. I was 17 years old then and in my senior year in highschool when I knew him. Every noon time after my class I hurried home because Darren was waiting on me to come home so that we could play. During weekends he would spend his entire day at our house which I was so happy about because I could get to see his ever cute and smiling face calling me Auntie. He was just so cute, so adorable and such a good boy with his pinkish cheeks. I was just so fascinated with him. For me he was the perfect breed of a Filipina and white man.
After their vacation was over, they went back to New Zealand and soon after they left, I haven’t heard anything from them since then. That was the first and last time I saw him. A few times I asked his Auntie Olive when is Darren gonna come back, she had no answer. The fun part was that, I was able to cut some of his hair and kept it for remembrance. I just loved its color, brown! That poor boy went back to where he lived not knowing he had some bald spot at the back of his head, lol.
After all these years I have been thinking about the boy. I have wondered how he looked, how he’s doing, if he still remember me, is he married or something? For that boy that was so hard to get out of mind inspired me to search for a white guy to marry and have beautiful kids just like him. I always thought half breed babies were the best, good-looking and just perfect! I have had hardships along the way of my search but I would just think of that little boy I knew made me pursue and go on with my search until I succeeded.
Who would have thought that after those 12 long years I could see this boy again? This time on the internet through Facebook. I was like WOW!!!! Is it a miracle or what? Thanks to this powerful tool called “social networking” for it bridges people all over the world, reconnects old folks, lovers and special people we met decades ago. I was ecstatic to learn that Darren is now 17 years old, very tall and have grown into a young handsome man. He still got that smile he used to wear whenever he’d come play with me.
I am not sure if he still knows or remembers me but I am so happy I have found his mother on Facebook. Through her, I can take a peek of her son’s photos and in fact, I stole three of them, lol!
- Darren and his mom
- very tall
It’s the 14h day we hit triple digit temperature. It’s seriously hot here, I tell you. In order to beat the summer heat, as we water our yard, I let my child go out there and enjoy the fun that water comes out from our manual sprinkler. I let her experience how it is playing with water while she is still a child. Someday she’ll remember doing it as part of her happy memory in her childhood just like I do, though my experience was way too different than hers.
When it rains, we managed to go out with all the neighbors’ kids my age to play in the rain no matter how cold we were we didn’t mind it as long as we enjoyed the water. That was part of my childhood I can never forget and honestly, I missed playing under the rain.
People come and go in our lives. They are part of what we are now. Without them, life would be so lonely. “No man is an island
” as what the saying goes and I can’t imagine life without good friends that help create such wonderful memories that is worth keeping. I so missed my old kaberks back during my UCTC days.
Yes, I do have my new set of friends now but I still long to be with my old friends. I treasure every friend I have and for that I am grateful they came along and made me happy! If only I can turn back the hands of time, I would rather be with real simple friends where genuine laughters and drama are being felt. No, I don’t regret of where I am now and who I am with, only I get lonely sometimes and wished I was in the Philippines where family and friends were around.
Attached photos are shots of us last 2005 with my classmates in UCTC Caregiving School.
…. first photo was taken during our OJT at the hotel but before we start our job, we had to take a picture for remembrance…
…. second photo is of the same group as above sa may pilapil about to go “panginhas” in Lawis, Lapu-lapu City. It is an interesting picture of all shots we had because this was the last time I spent with them and 11 days after that, I flew to America for the first time leaving all my friends and family behind…
… this is again with my UCTC group in Lapu-lapu City plaza.. ah nothing is sweeter than remembering those good old times I had with my friends… ang bonding, ang mga kabuang etc…