Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

CAN ANYTHING GET WORSE?

It’s been a while since I posted something on this blog.  Last week has been a roller coaster ride.  The week before, I have heard from a friend that his father died.  He (my friend) is in Dubai and won’t be able to come home for his father’s burial.  It has been a while since I have seen him.  If I am not mistaken, we have seen each other before I went to Singapore in 2009 and that’s it.  I came home in 2011 and he came home from Hong Kong but we failed to meet up.  Then I just heard from a common friend that he’s already working in Dubai.

A few days after that, it was my birthday!  Well, I am glad that I get to spend my birthday this year with my whole family.  Last year, I spent my birthday alone.  At least this time I have them.  It was not the perfect birthday I have in mind, but it was still a happy one.  I am thankful for all the blessings I have received for the past year and looking forward what is in store for me this year that I have come a year older.

The day after is Mother’s Day.  Just like every year, we don’t get to plan and surprise my mom on this day.  But we do appreciate all her sacrifices.  My mom, my sister and I went to attend Mass early in the morning.  Then cooked something for her before dinner.  However, something came up and my sister was having pain on her tummy.  It must have been her gastritis which she was suffering from for a long time now.  We had to bring her to the hospital since she can’t take the pain anymore.  Thank God after a few hours, she was feeling okay already so we get to bring her home.

Monday was election day.  But since none of us were able to register to vote except my Mom, it was just her who was able to vote.  I feel bad about not being able to vote.  It is a responsibility and I feel like an irresponsible citizen of the country.  The last election, I was not able to vote as well since I left the country to work abroad.  Anyway, I would surely register early for the next election.

I thought that was the worst thing that could happen this week but I was wrong.  We heard the news about a friend of ours who was robbed the night before.  It’s a usual thing nowadays since just a few months back, it was my brother who was robbed.  And a few months before that too is my sister being robbed.  But I am thankful, so thankful that both my brother and sister are okay after the robbery.  However, it was unfortunate for our friend since his life was taken away.

Last weekend, we attended the funeral.  I don’t know how to explain how I feel watching a young man being sent to his grave.  He had a lot of dreams but he will never get the chance to make them come true anymore.  It was all because he was a victim of a crime in the society.  And the worst part is, we are surely going to miss our friend.  I don’t know how my sister is taking all this since she is so close to him.  I hope she gets to be stronger and we can all move on.

And for the nth time, I let someone break my heart again.  I thought he was the one but I guess, for the nth time again, I was wrong.  I am still trying to figure out what to do.  Maybe I should give up on guys already.  Maybe I should just focus on other things.  Maybe my other friend is right.  That I am better off without a boyfriend.  At least, no one will disappoint and let me down.  There are a lot things worse than having your heart broken.  So maybe, I should be thankful this is not the worst.

Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen

When you are young, all you do is dream.  Dream.  Play.  Enjoy.  And when you become an adult, you are expected to be successful.  How do you measure success anyway?  For most, they can say you are successful when you already have your own house and car.  When you already have a high position in a company or a stable job earning more than the basic wage.  When you become popular because of your achievements.  When you are able to travel the world or travel overseas.

When I was sweet sixteen, I dreamt that in 10 years time I would have my own family with kids.  I was thinking by that time I would already be working in a hospital as a nurse or a doctor.  I didn’t know yet what course I would take then but it should definitely be on the medical field.  I would excel in my line of profession because I know I am smart and I am a hard worker.

However, things didn’t turn out to be as planned, as usual.  I asked God for apples and He sent lemons so I had to make some lemonade instead of apple pie.  It may not have satisfied my hunger but it has quenched my thirst.  I mean that’s just the way it is right?  Just go with life’s flow.  I have to adapt to what is going on right in front of me.  I cannot change things for my benefit.  I need to accept that things aren’t just the way they should.  I wanted to take up Accountancy or Hotel and Restaurant Management because I think I would have a good opportunity with jobs after I graduate.  I was just being practical then.  But my Dad asked me to take up Physical Therapy.   He said it will be easier for me to work abroad if I took medical course.  After I graduated, I wanted to pursue Medicine or to apply work in the US.  But I needed to help my parents with finances so I ended up working in a call center for 4 years.

After 2 years, I was able to work abroad inclined to my profession.  And I liked it there.  I have come to love my job and the place.  But things didn’t work out again as I was hoping.  I had to go home because the employer did not renew the contract.

Well, I still don’t have  a family.  I am still not ready for it.  There are still a lot of things that I want to do before I settle down.  Another thing is that, I haven’t me the one whom I can’t live without.  He’s just out there I bet taking his time strolling to find me.

I am happy with what I am and what I have today.  I am far more blessed compared to a lot of people so I am not complaining.  But it does not end here.  I am not satisfied with it.  I want more than this.  I deserve more than this.  I will not stop until I get what I am worthy of.  I am smart.  It’s just that opportunities haven’t come my way yet.  It’s not the end of the world and I am still young.  I just need to start over.  I hope in a few years, I would get back to this post and continue the story from here…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

THE BEAUTY BEYOND

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There is beauty in everyone. You will discover that if only one looks beyond what is seen by the keen eye. Use the other senses. Learn how to listen. Be sensitive to what you feel. You will realize that there are far more important things than beauty that fades away.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

LIQUOR GLASS

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I saw this glass on the table and I asked my Dad how it works. He said, when you put liquor in the glass, it lights up like that. So I was thinking, maybe that is why some people drink liquor. It lights up their lives.

Me and my ridiculous thinking. :)

My TOP 10 MOMENTS of 2012

Well, I did this one last year where I marked my top 10 moments of 2011.  This year, I wasn’t able to send this entry for Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures but it’s okay.  I’m posting it anyway. :)

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This is one of my favorite pictures of me with my siblings. This was taken on New Year’s Eve last year while we were playing jokes on all the liquors we can see in the cupboard.

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This was taken during my niece’s christening and second birthday. I was one of the godmothers.

428595_2919211107615_1836741730_nMy grandmother usually celebrates her birthday in the US. And we were blessed to be spending her birthday with us. There’s a story behind this and I want to share it with you. We were supposed to have a swimming party. But since we were coming to Pangasinan from Manila, we reached the resort in the afternoon. Earlier during the journey, my dad was driving with the speed of 100 and I was telling him to slow down because the whole family was on board. When we reached the resort, my grandmother was so mad that we were scared she’d have a heart attack. She’s hypertensive by the way. She was hitting my dad with a abanico fan I think. We were even hesitant to approach her and greet her. Anyway, to make the story short, we explained why we were late and eventually my grandmother calmed down. The misunderstanding was resolved before we went home.

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One of my close friends in Singapore came home for a few days of vacation. I went to see her and here we were. We spend the time doing the one thing we both love most, to sing.

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Of course, I don’t want to leave out the part where I turned 32.

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This is one of the few times we have family outings so I treasure this much. Another thing is, it was my niece’s first time to swim.

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It was my bestfriend’s wedding. I blogged this last year entitled “I got the Bouquet!” Oh yes! I did! Haha

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A friend in college residing in Canada came home for a vacation. We had a mini reunion at my godchild’s christening and first birthday!

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I attended the Misa de Gallo and completed those nine dawn masses! I hope my prayers will be answered. :)

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And last but not the least, my bestie came home and we had dinner. We had a lot of catching up since we last saw each other in March 2011 in Singapore.

In general, those were my favorite moments of last year.  For this year, I hope to have more travels and adventures as I did in 2011.  I would like to get my driving license, learn a new language, and yeah, gain weight.  Haha.  I would like to learn more about photography and to finally join a choir group.  I miss singing and performing.  Joining a church choir I think would be sufficient for now.   And of course, I would like to cook more new recipes, sing more new songs, take more pictures, blog more experiences and read more books.  2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge, here I come! :)

Giant Lantern

The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul) is an annual festival held in December (Saturday before Christmas Eve) in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga in the Philippines. For this year, it was held in Robinsons Starmills Pampanga.  The festival was composed of 11 participants from 11 barangays which features a competition of giant lanterns. The lanterns were 15 meters tall which used 16, 000 or more bulbs.  The lanterns’ dancing lights are synchronized with Christmas songs.  Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been nicknamed the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.

I wasn’t able to actually attend the festival this year but I was able to for the past years.  Though the venue was just 5 mins away from our home, I wasn’t able to attend because we have house guests at home.  Another thing, I won’t enjoy watching it with crowded people.  We watched it on TV at home instead.  I just can’t help laughing because a lot of stubborn people are walking here and there without knowing that they were blocking the camera covering on National TV.  And when the grand winner was announced and ended the festival with fireworks, we ran to our backyard because we could watch the fireworks from there.  That’s how close we were at the said mall.

We were able to enjoy watching the lanterns on the first day of 2013.  Since there were only four left from the 11 participants, I was only able to take a few pictures.  The grand winner wasn’t even there but we still enjoyed it just the same.

If you want to watch a video of each entry, you can watch it here.

Here are a few of my shots with 1 sec intervals.

DOLORES Entry

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SAN PEDRO Entry

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STO. NINO Entry

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The word parol was derived from the Spanish farol which means lantern or light.  These lanterns bring light and hope in commemorating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We shouldn’t forget the real meaning of these colorful lanterns not only during the Christmas season but in our everyday life.

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