Happy place

The other weekend, my unico was fortunate enough to have been  invited to another College Weekend experience. Whereas last time he went to a University in Abu Dhabi, this time, he flew to Singapore.

It was an activity-filled weekend for him in another country. By himself, without nagging parents. What an adventure.

Unlike the first College Weekend that he had a month ago, this time I was not as anxious seeing him off. Perhaps it’s because Singapore is just four hours away, and he’ll be gone for just three days, anyway.

We dropped him off at the airport early Friday morning…

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Saying goodbye…

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Needless to say, I am already preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the time  when my son will leave for college for good.

It is inevitable. We have known this will happen… that he will study in another country. This has always been our plan for him, and his dream for himself. And given the opportunities that he has been blessed with, we know that this is also God’s great plan, as well.

But I guess no matter how much you prepare yourself, there will always be a feeling of loneliness that looms over, knowing that your child will be far away from you. As excited as I am with what the future holds for him, I still cannot help but be anxious, as well. Classic case of sepanx (separation anxiety).

The house was awfully quiet that weekend that he was away. Worse, I barely heard from him the whole time he was in Singapore!

At first I thought that maybe something was wrong with my phone’s signal, or with our internet connection at home. Eventually I realized — and got to accept– that he was busy. It was an eventful weekend… And he was having fun.

I also realized that it would have been more difficult for me if he kept texting and telling me that he was homesick, or that he was unhappy. I would rather that he was busy and enjoying… Even without us.

Letting go is not as hard when you know your child is excited, not unhappy, and is unafraid.

***

Alas, Sunday evening came.  We were back at the airport, this time to pick him up.

It was a rainy late Sunday evening, but the airport was still buzzing with activity. A lot of families were picking up their loved ones.

As our car was lined up in traffic along the Arrival area driveway, a thought came to me…

To people or families with loved ones abroad, THIS IS the happiest place on earth.

Because truly, nothing beats the joy and happiness one feels when you see your loved one coming out of that Arrival area.

Being reunited with someone you love = priceless. ❤️

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Okay, so he probably doesn’t look so happy… Let’s blame the hour and a half flight delay. It’s one thirty in the morning, so I’m cutting him some slack. 😉

❤️❤️❤️

Photos are all mine 😊

Macau memories and selfies Part 1

Macau

Off to Macau…

“Vacation, all I ever wanted… vacation, had to get away…”

That ’80s song from The Go-go’s just keeps playing in my head as I type this blog. Don’t we all crave for that vacation… Two or three days of being away from home, traveling to a different place, seeing new things, meeting new people, eating different food… leaving behind the daily routine. Such bliss!

I was blessed enough to spend four days in Macau with the family last week.  It was really a spur of the moment thing — Thank you, mother dear for being generous and for making the trip possible. ❤

It was a tiring trip, really. There were mishaps along the way. But in the end, the memories we made and we brought home with us were worth every aching muscle. 

I will let the pictures tell the story… (I added some notes, too. I’m a writer, of course I have to have notes…) 😉

***

Macau Moments, Day 1

We left on a Friday. The flight was supposed to be at 1:20pm… Lo and behold, we boarded the plane, well, around 1:20pm. It was okay, though. There were six of us in the group (Dad, mom, brother, my hubby, son and yours truly), so we pretty much just entertained ourselves during the wait — meaning we got something to eat while waiting.

We finally boarded… then we were off!

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my hand must have moved

Of course I had to take selfies while on the plane! I just loved the lighting. That photo is filter-free!! Happy to look relaxed 30,000 feet above the ground! 🙂

2

selfie-shmelfie

Did I say I loved the natural light??

***

So we got to Hotel Sofitel around 6:00pm, checked in, went to the rooms, fixed our things, settled down a bit, then decided to start exploring downtown Macau by 7:30pm.

The universe had a different plan, though. It rained. Welcome showers and breeze. We couldn’t go out just yet. So we just decided to have dinner first at the hotel.

3

First dinner in Macau

Our first dinner was a feast! Though on a perennial diet like me, my mom is not one who scrimps when it comes to food, so with her consent, we ordered away. Our first dinner pretty much felt like, well, the last supper. Like I said, it felt like a feast. Everything was delicious, too.

What made our meal more enjoyable was the fact that our servers were fellow Filipinos. They were truly so welcoming and courteous.  They made sure that we were well taken care of (we even got dessert and fruit platter on the house).  How blessed are we?! 

After that sumptuous dinner, we knew we had to walk the calories off. The rain had stopped, the air was cool. Perfect time for walking.

First stop: Largo do Senado (Senado Square). Approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel.

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where’s papa??

5

too lazy to line up

The street behind us is a popular pictorial spot, reminiscent of the crooked, winding road in San Francisco, though much shorter. It was really pretty to look at, especially at night with all the lights on. But there was a line so we couldn’t take a photo on the actual street… so this was the best that I could do. (My mom’s so pretty, huh?! Thanks mom for the genes…❤ )

Second stop: Ruins of St. Paul. Approximately 5 mins. from where we were. 10 mins if you walk leisurely. 15-20 mins. if you stop by the shops that were around (Bossini, Giordano, Baleno, Sasa, etc. etc.)

And so we walked, enjoyed the cobblestones and the old structures. We walked until we reached two diverging alleys. Do we turn left or right? Surely the Ruins is not that far now.

We chose to turn right. Walked some more. Still no road leading to our destination. We checked our GPS (courtesy of the hotel phone that we were allowed to bring around). Hmm. GPS showed a route — 15 more minutes. What?! Thought the place was so near?

We trusted GPS… and ended up walking farther than where we were supposed to go.  15 mins later, we were still walking, huffing and puffing. Okay, so we were lost. We were walking towards the main road and not towards the Ruins. Thank you GPS for recalibrating.

And then just as we were about to cross an alley, we came across an angel! Another Filipino who lived there, and who was out for a jog. He must have sensed that we were lost… asked where we were headed, and very nicely offered to bring us to our destination. Bless your soul, mister!! 

After about an eternity of walking  — yep, it pretty much felt like an eternity — and climbing a gazillion steps… We finally, FINALLY reached the top. 

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Made it! Yey!

Behind me is what they call the Ruins of St.Paul’s, former site of Church of St. Paul. 

I stood in front of the large (and I mean large) spotlights lighting up the facade of the church… Perfect spot for a selfie, with disheveled hair and all. My face has never been fairer. Too bad I only took like one-fourth of the structure. Oh well. 

The group rested for about half an hour. Tried to get our bearings before heading back to the hotel. Eventually we found out that we were, indeed, 5mins away from Largo de Senado. Sigh. 

Was back at the hotel by 11:00pm. End of Day 1.

***

Let me stop here first. I still get exhausted just remembering that long walk to forever, I mean, to the Ruins.  

Watch out for Days 2, 3 and 4. Maybe next time I will just let the pictures do the storytelling… 😉

— B   ❤

*****

credits: photos used were mostly mine ❤

#travels #adventure #familytime #Macau

 

#Thankful

rainbow

Life is beautiful

Truly there are so many things to be grateful for.  Sometimes, though, certain situations wear us down.

I have those moments, too.  Moments when life’s uncertainties just sow fear in me, enough to make me feel sick with worry. Sometimes I end up feeling sorry for myself.

When I go through challenges, no matter how trivial they may be, sometimes I find myself asking, “Why this? Why me? ”

But then, when I stop focusing on myself and my woes… When I stop and look around me, these are what I see–

  • I see people carrying their own share of burdens.  Sometimes lighter, oftentimes heavier than mine.
  • I see people who may have less in life yet who also have bigger smiles. 
  • I may see people who are proud, yet I also see selfless and loving ones. 
  • I see the opportunities that have been laid down in front of me.  Opportunity to help a brother in need… opportunity to showcase talent… opportunity to be the best Me that I can be.
  • I see all those times I surpassed a challenge — and came out stronger, better, wiser. 
  • I see all the answered prayers.
  • I also see the innumerable blessings that I have been showered with all these years.
  • I see all those times that my God pulled through for me.

And I go back to being thankful.

***

Be still and know that I am God. – Ps. 46:10

*****

photo via google image

#lifegoals

life goals

You gotta have them!!

If money is not an issue, and you have the time to spare, what is it that you have long wanted to do but you keep putting off?

My best friend and I were mulling over that subject the last time we talked. For several minutes, we were both deep in thought…

When I was very young, I used to make a list of the things that I wanted to accomplish… My Girly Goals, as I called them  (I think I have already mentioned that before in one of my blogs).  Somehow when you are young, you can write and write and write about the things you want to do — and you feel that you have all the time in the world to do them.  The world is your oyster, so to speak.

But as one gets older, well, responsibilities pile up… priorities change… time does not stop but instead breezes by… resources are not always abundant… and you forget about those girly goals — or you set them aside, to be revisited if and when life permits.

My best friend said she will travel more. Given the chance — time and money not being an issue — she will explore the world.  She said she will bring her kids (all three of them) to places they have never been to. They will create more happy memories while traveling.

That was a nice thought.

road less traveled

she will follow that road…

When it was my turn to answer, I had to think long and hard before I could give my reply.  All of a sudden, I saw the 12 year old me writing “Girly Goals” on my diary.

I tried to recall the things that I listed there — remembering the things that I have actually accomplished, as well as the things that I have left hanging, dreams that I have set aside.

These are some of the things I remembered wanting to do/buy/have:

  • Own a horse. It was supposed to be brown and I would have called it Chessie. Funny, I still remember the name.
  • Ride a hot air balloon
  • Dye my hair brown (done!)
  • Put up an orphanage, take care of little kids
  • Write a book, a love story for young adults.
  • Write for magazines, get published (done on several accounts!)
  • Come out on print ads (haha on this, but yes, done!)

I know there were more, but somehow these ones stood out.  These were the ones I easily remembered. Maybe because these were the ones that I really, really wanted to do/accomplish…

I have long given up on the first item — owning a horse.  Certain life experiences in the past somehow ruined that dream for me.  Too many painful memories attached to owning a horse made me scratch that one off my list.  I don’t need to be reminded of past hurts. Sorry, Chessie.

Riding a hot air balloon doesn’t seem as exciting now as when I was 12. I think getting older makes one less brave.

That leaves me with the orphanage and the book.  Both lofty dreams.  One to help others, the other one more for myself.

If I have the money (lots of it), I will put up an orphanage and I will house as many abandoned little kids as I can.  If I have the time– and the courage, well, I will publish that book.

But for now, looking at my list above, I believe accomplishing 3 out of 7 isn’t bad… especially after scratching out 2. Not bad at all.

And well, the world, I believe, is still my oyster. 🙂

 

ps… What about you? What is your girly goal? Do share! – B

***

photos via google images

 

#followyourroad

Something light and easy on a Thursday morning…

Have you wondered where your road will lead you?
Maybe to a bright day of sunshine or a starry night in heaven
Or it might be you’re afraid to go afraid to go,
But you’ve got to follow your road or you’ll never know, never know…

***

Credits: Follow Your Road by Pauline Wilson, video via Youtube; lyrics via lyricsbox.com