Buh-bye February, You Were Great!

Whew, whatta week!

Let’s back track a bit to the weekend. my office barkada and I went back to Sitio Sampaloc, Zambales for some much-needed break and jump start the summer. What was planned as a big-group annual lakad dwindled to just seven of us plus a couple of new pals – Riz, her friends, me, Aclo, Honey, Leni, Boop and Cy, the last three being first-timers to the pristine, private island and the unspoiled fresh-water falls we visited last year.We had a lot of fun hanging out at the beach, eating fresh sea food, frolicking in the natural pool and stone slides and the hotdog-and-marshmallow fest around the camp fire. The only twist to the otherwise serene vacay was the trip back. 

The sun was super bright but the wind was strong, so our plan to leave the island at 10 AM was shelved. Eventually, the bangkero decided to split our group into two and our group left first at 3 PM. Call me OA but it was my first time to travel on an itty-bitty boat while huge waves rocked and drenched us. Thank the Lord we survived it (as well as the second group who sailed at night!) and we vowed never to travel on that tiny excuse of a boat without life vests. Wooh. Looking back, it was a careless thing to do, especially for a mother like me. Another blessing was when we got back in Olongapo, my sister Joy and her family were spending the night in Subic so they adopted little sunburned, starving me and fed me. It was such a luxury sleeping that night on a soft, hotel bed after a night camping on a sarong spread on the shore. I was on leave the next day so I traveled for most of the day, then watched Once Upon A Time Season 2 and rested for the rest of the day.

The next day, February 26, was a very special day for me, although I didn’t really plan anything grand, since I was still bushed from the weekend’s events. I was on half-day leave, though. Praised and thanked the Lord for finding and saving me a year ago. Has it been a year already? Just spent some quiet time with the only man in my life now (Hi, Jesus!), and treated myself to some cappuccino, blueberry cheesecake and a new book about a forty-something writer’s personal chronicles about men and their psyche. My plan for a little city sojourn for some authentic Chinese food and buy the Bible I was looking for a while now would have to be resked muna. 

Another half-day for me the next day, since we have the management strategy planning at Parque Espana. It was a great day of realizations, looking back at the year of planning (2012) and looking forward to the year of execution (2013), games, food trip, cheese talks (watched “Who Took My Cheese?”) and learned a lot from our guest speaker, Alvin from our business partner. My favorite nugget from his talk goes something like, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side; you just have to water your own greens on your side. Spent the night at the posh hotel suite with Jown, Dman and Myk and had a great – if bitin and abbreviated – talk due to sleepiness and tiredness. Next time we will go swimming and try the jacuzzi, please?

I also got to spend a little time sitting beside an old friend the next day at work. Haven’t really talked nor interacted with him for a quite a while. It was kinda like a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. We still found the same things funny and by mid-day had lapsed into the same hiritans we used to do before things got, well, tricky (I was gonna say complicated but that term has gotten a bad rep when Facebook started using it as a relationship status label). In hindsight – and this I honestly say without any tinge of regret or bitterness – it occurred to me just how much pain, time and effort I could have saved myself if I had just taken his friendship at face value right from the start. Things would’ve been simpler if after that fateful Sunday exactly a year and two days ago, we had gone back to our own lives, each one entirely separate and different from each other and just stayed friends, in the truest sense of the word. 

Later that day was our town hall, and then I helped film my old team, Team Dorobo, do a crazy Harlem Shake dance at the office parking lot.  Watching them, I got a pang I sometimes feel when watching Ging do her own stuff now, and think back to when she was younger and can’t do anything for herself and would need Mommy’s help on everything. 

Capped this week with a team dinner at Bon Chon. Here’s to hoping the good vibes will be a great start for the month of March. Time to put all those find-my-cheese lessons to action, eh?

Kinda Like a Double-edged Sword

We all have at least one quality that is both our strength and weakness. The very same thing that sets us apart and above others can very well be the same that can hold us back or bring us down. I guess it just depends on how we use it.

Take me, for instance. On one hand, I’m called a “people person.,” able to get along and empathize with almost any kind of people. Hindi ako choosy sa kaibigan. I may not be the type to suffer polite, small talk, but that’s because I like to dive right into a juicy, get-to-know-you kind of chikahan. Call it FC (“feeling close”), but hey, it works for me. On the other hand, I’m also inclined to become fiercely attached, often wearing my heart on my sleeve. I love a good laugh about things I’m passionate about, and a good cry over people I value.

Someone recently told me, “Masyado ka nang nagiging emotionally dependent.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it as a compliment, because the way he said it made me feel like I had to apologize. How do you say sorry for feeling?

Strength. Weakness. Again, it depends on how I use it. Or how others use it against me. My mentor once imparted to me, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” And as if to prove his point, he went right ahead and traipsed off outside our comfortable seven-year bubble and into the busy jungle of Makati.

Our comfort zones can be an actual place we can’t leave, a situation we’re getting stagnant at, a routine we’re so used to we can’t let it go, or the very people who have surrounded us for so long we have taken them for granted. Oftentimes, comfort and familiarity can breed laziness, and change may just be what can zap us back into action.

I just have to always keep in mind to trust in the Lord Jesus; He who is far greater, perfect, faithful and glorious than all my emotions and plans, capabilities and struggles put together.

P.S. I was about to post this when all my anaks‘ text messages came in, one sweet, encouraging text after another. I love you all back. 🙂

P.P.S. We’ll resume our regular programming by next week. In the meantime….. vacation-mode munaaaaaaa! 🙂