Category: Work

How am I?

I am often asked this question now because of the recent big leap that I and my family took. I usually answer with a simple “we’re okay” template because that’s how we really are now. Okay.

Not doing extravagantly good yet. But not also dying with famish or almost crawling on the ground. We are simply okay, I shall say.

So, how am I really? Personally, that is.

I can say that everything is considerably fine in my new life. You see, I recently found a new work in an economically successful country and I was able to bring my family along. For that alone, I have been immensely thankful. That single fact makes me feel good and blessed and I could not further complain when I see moms here who work with their children left in the Philippines and they can only Skype or YM during weekends or so.

Even if I am having personal crisis with the thoughts of working far from home and leaving my entire support system all of a sudden, I could not complain. I am incredibly blessed.

I die everyday with the thought of leaving Ira at home just to work. I pity my hubby everyday because he has to attend to the needs of Ira everyday for more than 9 hours when Ira is at the age of being difficult and unreasonable at times. My hands are all toiled with grease for cooking every night after going home from work, cleaning up the kitchen and whatever else my hands could reach.

I have lived with a helper for as long as I cannot remember. As soon as I moved out from my parents, I have lived independently but have always had a helper along. It was a luxury I chose to live with, albeit the fact that I have no problems doing chores at home. I always felt that for working everyday, I deserved the luxury of laying around whenever I chose to and go to places during weekends, instead of doing laundry and cleaning up the house.

So right now, the biggest part of the equation that makes it difficult for me now is I live everyday without a helper at home. It is not unusual here to have a helper at home but since we just moved here, we are still taking time processing things, papers and all that.

I cannot now simply dismiss Ira to her Ate whenever I am tired. I have to wash our clothes regularly and cannot simply choose to wear a shirt for two hours and then change again after I feel sweaty. I no longer can SMS the instructions on what to prepare for dinner just so I can directly cook upon going home. I now have to take the pains of slicing every bit of ingredient I need, except when dear hubby can do so without Ira whining around.

We have to buy everything we need because we have no helper to do the buying for us whenever we forgot something from the market.

It is just the three of us now.

For the first time in almost two years, it is just us. It absolutely thrills me…but at the same time it scares the hell out of me.

Even as I try to think that we have gone this far, that we have made it here, there are times that I get scared that we are thousands of miles away from home. Although Ira has been doing great with her medications, there are fears in me that only moms can understand. Seeing my daughter have seizures twice in a day left in me a big hole filled with fear. And I do not wish for anything to happen to her in this new place when we have not even warmed up yet.

So far, my work has proven to be fine. I have not been stressed for the last two weeks (just yet) and people have been nice to me. They may not be as warm as my previous co-workers, but they are nice to me. That is enough, for now. After all, I am a newbie with a different language and nationality. The company is good to its employees and to me, that is important. They were generous enough to sponsor the visa processing of hubby and Ira, so I think I can love them forever. 🙂

So…how am I?

Frantic, I guess. Of the things that are yet to happen and the things we are yet to see.

But absolutely happy and grateful, for the enormous blessings from God and for His trust that we can handle this new life. 🙂

A3 Scanner

I photocopy and scan a lot of documents. It comes with the job.

But since I am hardly adept with gadgets and other computer accessories, I usually ask my hubby to do it for me. He has scanned copies of all our identification cards, even our passports.

I first asked him to do it when I needed to authenticate the documents of my SIL Ate Debbie when she was processing her papers for her work in Australia. I was on maternity leave then.

Hubby didn’t know that the sizing of the documents mattered a lot. He scanned all documents using the regular scanner and resized the documents. When my SIL submitted them to the agency via email, she was asked to rescan her scholastic transcript of records to their regular A3 size. Hubby had to look around the office for a scanner that has a scanning solution for the exact size of the documents. Luckily, he found one and was informed that in the whole office, it was the only A3 scanner that we have available.

When he told me about his dilemma (which took days, by the way!), I quizzically asked, shouldn’t each department have its own  a3 scanner? It would be more convenient for everyone because then we can easily scan all types and sizes of different documents. Our office secretary shared the same sentiments, saying that our scanners are quite outdated already.

And since I work and notarize documents at home, I think I also have to get my own scanner. Maybe its good to start looking for one that can accommodate all my scanning needs. 🙂

Why the name? Well, she was initially lent to us by my ever so kind maternal Uncle (now Uncle-Ninong after my wedding) before hubby and I got married. We were waiting for the time to return it, when I figured I’d call her Zsa-Zsa, because of the song Hiram. (I know, I know, its corny! :P)

Talks between my Tatay and Uncle Medel were on-going if he was going to sell it na lang since it was really up for sale anyway. (Note: Uncle and Tatay are both in the U.S…the reason why van was up for sale) After several weeks, (or was it months?!?) it was decided Zsa-Zsa will be ours. The factors considered were the overhauling we had on Zsa-Zsa and the seemingly unending stress brought about by the succeeding repairs.

In reality, she has been with us for more than a year now. We used her when we moved from Manila to Mandaluyong (yes, by heavens’ frugal name, we did not hire a truck!). Hubby and Kuya Jme insisted that the van can take all our things, one stuff at a time. After getting tired with driving, hubby realized hiring a truck would have been a better option. (oh men, really!) She has been to Lubao, Pampanga (Ima’s hometown) several times already and she can readily take the whole family in, my brothers and their families included! She has been the companion of the family for the business venture. Hubby and I use her to get to and from work everyday. We use her during Sundays when we go to the church and mall. She has been very reliable when I was hospitalized and when I was to give birth to Ira.

there's zsa-zsa parked outside the villa we stayed in at fontana. she was too big for the car port so we asked her to stay outside. plus, she was the one often used to go to and from the pool and the basketball court.

Really, she has become part of the family. Of course we dream of getting a shiny new car soon, but I never once thought of abandoning her. But of course, like any aging vehicle, I would have to accept one day that she cannot stay with us forever.

Recently, we had to change the aircon compressor, and whadya guess? The price of the compressor was skyrocketing! But we had to do it lest Ira sweat herself crazily each time she rides Zsa Zsa.

Around September of 2009, as hubby and I were on our way to work (coz we work for the same company, yey! Read: More Time Together), we were hit by a JMK bus, the one plowing the Baclaran-Ayala route. After a quick demand letter from moi, the bus operator cooperated with the fixing of Zsa-Zsa. Until now though, we haven’t got the cheque yet.

After coping up with the monetary effects of changing the compressor, we had to change brake pads and the rotary. We noticed that the strange sound was gone and she was up and running again like nothing happened to her. We used her for our trips to Pampanga for the recent Christmas and New Year and there seemed to be no problem.

Our Ninang Baby and family are visiting from the U.S. and they have needed several times the services of our good ole’ Zsa-Zsa. She has been very considerate with them until she broke down last night. Story in my next post. I am still stunned as to what to do next with her.

I love Zsa-Zsa to pieces although I may have said bad things to her in the past when I felt she was makulit with the aircon. As a mom, I feel like she is my daughter. And as she is badly sick right now, I am praying that she gets well soon. I can do  away with the commute for the meantime as we live nearby, for as long as Zsa-Zsa gets better.

Now my problem is just the money to use for the fixing. No overhauling needed, please! *fingers crossed.


plane rides

I have always been afraid of riding planes, but always wanted to try it. I remember the first real story that vividly described how it feels to ride a plane came from my older brother, Kuya Jme. He and my other Kuya went to Hongkong for a trip when I was still in Law School. He so clearly described to me the experience of riding a plane. His descriptions made me both scared and excited at the same time.

So when I started to work for Grepa (that’s how we call our company), I was told there will be lots of travelling, plane rides included. I was sooooo excited back then coz I was looking for new experiences that will sort of revive my mundane life.

I had my first travel for work barely a week after I was hired. It was a hearing in General Santos City. I decided not to sleep there and take a return flight on the same day. It was my first time to ride a plane, so with the checking in and going through all the security checks, I was thrilled! As I was going through the motions of riding the plane, I realized it is not so bad after all. My boss advised me to take a window seat in order to fully experience the ride since it was my first time.

Then came the take-off. Boy was I ecstatic! I said a prayer as the plane was rallying. I held my breath the entire time the plane was taking off while my eyes were shut. Then I realized it actually felt good and not even scary! It even helped that I was seated right next to another lawyer who had a hearing in Gen San too. He told me stories the entire time about  the Labor Arbiter who will preside over my case and I was somehow entertained. Nevertheless, I kept glancing at the monitor at how fast we were moving, with the altitude we were at and all that other airplane stuff.

Then my seatmate said something that made my breath stop. He said there was something wrong. He said we have been turning round and round when we were supposed to land already. I breathed heavily. Thoughts came running through my mind. Like, whaaaat? Something’s wrong? On my first plane ride? Is this what the song Ironic of Alanis Morisette means? I thought, this can’t be! I just rejuvenated my life and I just started my new job. I can’t die on this plane!

It came to my mind then that there were two typhoons on that day. It was my Mom’s birthday too, November 27, 2007. So I said to God, oh no, I can’t die on my Mom’s birthday! It will crush her to pieces. I prayed and prayed. And the pilot spoke. He said the clouds were hazy and that he couldn’t land the plane as the runway cannot be seen.

Apparently, we were losing fuel so we had to emergency land at the Mactan Cebu Airport. My seatmate said, there goes your hearing. I missed my first hearing for the company. But I was more concerned with a lot of things beside that. I texted my boss and he was scared. He was concerned that I will have trauma after that incident. But at the back of my mind, I was excited to see Cebu, even just the airport. After refueling, we went back to Gen San. As expected, I missed my hearing but they knew already as my office called them up.

I found out then that taxi fares there are fixed since they barely have customers. I had to pay Php500 for going around Gen San. The driver (named Popo) showed me around, like where the grocery of Manny Pacquiao is and other stuffs. He helped me find the store where the cheapest Tuna is sold. I bought kilos of tuna and Suha. After we ate, I happily went back to the airport (though still scared).

On the way back, I forgot to ask for a window seat when I checked in. My seatmate now is a young girl, about 17-18 yrs old. She said it was her first time to ride a plane and she was holding a White Flower (the liniment?) next to her nose the whole time. She was crying. I suddenly felt like a pro and I appeased her.

I have experienced hundreds of plane rides after that. Its better when you’re not travelling alone but otherwise, its okay. I have gotten used to it. Even when I was already pregnant, I traveled via plane a lot. But I preferred to stop after 5 months because there were too many forms to fill up and I needed clearance from my OB.

Yesterday was my first plane ride after a long time (after giving birth and all). It still felt the same. I usually just doze off even before take off. I loved that there was no air turbulence yesterday and the ride was smooth.

I am looking forward to more plane rides, safe ones at that. But I hope to have more with Ryan and Ira. I hope she doesnt get sick on the plane or cry like other babies do. I want her to experience it early and get rid of the fear early, unlike her mom.

I like it up there, no pollution, no dust. I like the feeling of watching over the clouds and seeing how beautiful the world really is. It is quiet up there and the feeling that you will be seeing another place is revitalizing. I want Ira to see and realize all these for herself. Hopefully this coming summer, we will be able to do that with her.