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Remembering a bit of – Amazing India

“Diana, I am inviting you to my wedding” Anish exclaimed!

Anish – a good friend of mine since 2015, he is one of our company Auditor, hearing this good news from him made me excited. I replied “Wow! You’ve finally decided to settle drown, errrr down I mean, welcome to the crazy world!” I was laughing. Getting an invitation like this makes me proud, he even offered me a place to stay in India. As much as I wanna be there on his special day, it’s not the good time for me to travel this month, first of all, I just came from my vacation in the Philippines, and I need to sort some expenses and bills here. So, financial wise, it is not possible. Glad that he understood why I can’t. But Anyways, Congratulations bro and sis. (picture below)

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This is not my first time to get an invitation and the venue will be in – KERALA, INDIA, the first one was from my colleague Jijin last 2014 which I attended, expenses were arranged by him and our company, all of us are present, I just need to worry about my pocket-money, which I didn’t spent much because I stayed with my Boss’ house with his family and parents. I was treated very well, I felt special. And talking about a traditional wedding, and staying with a conservative family, I need to set aside my pants and tights, and wear a churidar, I choose this because I can’t wear sari, and can’t afford it either, he he he their visitors also are overwhelming, it’s like you need to invite the whole town, just look at the photos below, they were actually relatives of both sides, and this photo wearing white dress uhmmm, is me, with one of the sweet little lady who never wanted to leave my side from day one she saw me. 🙂

Visiting this place made me feel I was like in my home country, the Philippines. The weather, the trees, mountains and landscapes are similar, with a little difference on how they built their houses and I praise them for still wearing their traditional/national dress until this day. I just hate one thing in that place, the way they drive at night with the high beam on — all the time, scares the hell outta me and praying that I will be able to get back home safe. All in all, how the people welcomed and treated me, their food preparation, the temples I visited are all thumbs up. And the most exciting one is their famous — House Boat/Kettuvallam, either you choose to rent it over night or just to take the tour for hours, rooms are available, you can do fishing and cooking inside while watching the scenery of the place.

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My stories are not enough how to describe in general this amazing place, because where I stayed and  what I saw were just a small, small, small part of their culture, tourism and land. There are a lot more to see, and I am hoping that one day I can return again to visit more places or another state.

last photo is from Wikipedia 
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Posted in BLOG

Who I am & Why I am Here?

Who I am? Let us start with the basic, I am a 30-plus-year-old woman, a mother of three kids, Filipino, eldest amongst my seven siblings, became instant parents when my mom and dad decided to part ways, started a family life at a very young age, separated and now struggling to survive and working overseas. A woman with so many worries and depressions, so many mistakes from the past that are still hunting me until today. So many regrets and miseries, but also a woman with so many dreams, trying to compensate in this world, trying to be strong and strive hard to make things better, not just for me but for my three offspring I left back home. I am in between of being a kind person nor a bitch, an angel and a demon who collides within me. Above all of these, just a simple woman who wanted to have peace, harmony and happiness, no matter how hard it is to have.

Why I am here? I kinda asked that myself before, for someone like me who’s very sensitive, having insecurities, doesn’t trust myself enough. Afraid of criticism and rejection. But it comes to a point in my life that I just said “fuck off!”, I will do whatever my heart is whispering to my inner soul, we have one life to live, and I found myself relieved, and feels fulfillment whenever I write something, and when some people will tell me, “I was touched by it, I can relate”, that for me, is simply an overwhelming achievement, for someone like me who ain’t professional on this and needs to check how many damn times if my grammar and all are correct.

In addition to this, I just want to express my feeling in terms of blogging, not just being an expatriate here in the Middle East but about life in general and everything that comes in between. I also wanna know and write stories of other people abroad, to inspire, learn, and give lessons to some.

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Proofreading

English is not my native language, and I have this hate relationship with — PROOFREADING… Funny but Yes! It is a huge challenge on my part, just because I decided to write on a language so more people can reach and understands it. But honestly, no matter how many times I check it and made revisions, I will still find some mistakes at the end. There are some basic grammar rules you need to follow that we often missed. The subject, predicate, clauses, nouns, pronouns, and don’t forget even the punctuation can give different meaning wherever you will place it. I admit that there are times I wanna give up writing blogs because of this butt-aching grammar mistakes that I often commits. However, the love and passion on what I am doing keeps me going.

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An OFW Mom


“OFW – Overseas Filipino Worker”
Overseas Filipino- (FilipinoPilipino sa Ibayong-dagat) is a person of Filipino origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies to Filipinos who are abroad indefinitely as citizens or as permanent residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad for a limited, definite period, such as on a work contract or as students. – Source – Wikipedia

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Hello there, Let me tell you a short story of my boring crazy life, both being an OFW and being a mother. I’m 36 years old, mother of 3 kiddos, my eldest son just turned 16, my two girls are 13 and 9.

At a very young age, I’ve been through a lot, and I mean — A LOT… Being in a broken family, became an instant parent to my siblings, misguided, rebellious, undergraduate, got pregnant, trusted easily, taken advantage by people, started a family life at a very young age, got hurt, failed relationships, need to work hard to support myself and my family, indebtedness, manipulated and so on… I am not saying that I am like an angel who had these sufferings (you don’t need to feel pity on me), some of it are because of me, I am human and I am bad on making decisions.  Although I’m tough as you think and enduring all of it, a part of me will whisper, “I am tired”,  I screwed my life early. But hey, that’s just a bit part of my insane journey.

To make the story short, I found myself one day leaving my kids on October 2012, dreaming of having a good job wherever I am destined to go, bringing hopes and wishes with me to be able to provide a better life for them, escaping something that I cannot take anymore, and their ages during my departure are 11, 8, and 4. But getting the things that you want is a predicament, do not think that fulfilling it all are as easy as you think. One wrong decision, you’re fucked and need to deal with it no matter how you wanted to escape.

Balancing your life being a mother and at the same time a worker in a strange land ain’t bed of roses. Homesickness attacks me any time of the day / night, wherever place I am. Many times that I shed tears during my sleepless nights, silently weeping, imagining my children’s warm breath and bodies besides me, their hugs and kisses. But I am here already, I need to be tough, I need to be numb. Outside, I looked like a damn bitch, well, strong and a happy person. People that I encounter used to tell me even with first meeting that, I am easy and light to be with, funny as hell and a kind lady, of course. Yeah right, they don’t know I’m bleeding inside. I even get myself into deep problems here and it’s only me who to blame due to me, myself and I, being an idiot to take decisions without thinking and trusting too much, but whenever it’s time to speak with my kids via SKYPE, all should be fine with a smile on my face.

Every time I will call them they will ask me when I will be coming back home, but the most consistent of ’em all and never fails, my youngest, sweet daughter, she will always asks me (whether  in the beginning, middle or last-minute conversation), with a sad emotion and voice.

 “Mommy, kelan ka ba uuwi ha?” (When you coming back home?) 

How many times I will wish she won’t remember asking me questions like that. It is like a knife stabbing on my chest – continuously. We have different reasons why we can’t be with our family no matter how much we wanted to, & how many times I felt that I am a worthless mother, especially if I skip calling them whenever I am having difficulties here, it adds more miseries in me, people might say “pera lang yan, hindi importante yan” (that’s just money, it is not important).. If this is your reasoning, then ask yourself again, because in reality, it is a necessity to give your family something that you cannot provide much if you are not earning. Again, I will say, we have our own reasons why we come up to a decision even if it is going to break your own heart and your children’s.

Being away from them, is difficult for a mother like me who happens to be with them all the time, bringing them wherever I am, sleeping besides them every night, it is a huge adjustment for me and especially for them. Incidents can happen that you can’t be there to defend your children if they are being bullied from school, or to discipline/scold them if they’ve done mistakes, you are just a phone call away and let your relatives do the works. Helping them with their complicated assignments via video calls is also a challenge you need to face, and what about the projects? The sibling fights, you will not be there as their referee, or to chase them with your stick if you need to.


The most heartbreaking things are, they are growing up without you, although you try to communicate regularly, the kids you left behind will be different. As they are on their adolescence period, all things changes, the things they want, the type of TV series or movies they watch, the food, their friends, their behaviors,  their clothing styles, courting and being courted, all of this stuffs, you will miss this stage of their lives, and we can never turn back time to experience that once again. Above all, all I wish and pray that will never change, is their love and respect for me, as their mother who loves them unconditionally. 


For all the parents who are working away from their home and kids, still, one of the best thing is – communication, never let them feel that you ain’t there both physically and emotionally. We, as adults still commit mistakes or decisions that the one being affected are our kids, we are still human and aren’t perfect at all, I am NOT, I’m far from being one. But let our love for our kids be perfect and pure.

And for all the kids who were left behind, all we just wanted? The love and respect, a little understanding from your side, and to at least see you guys are doing good at school and life, — we as your parents do not want you to experience what we’ve been through, or if it can’t be avoided, at least be as tough as we were —  it will be a great achievement for us, no matter how painful and hard, no matter what problem we are into, those little things are our happiness. So in time when all are in its rightful place, we will able to come back home and stay, we maybe, AN OFW MOM NO MORE. 

Posted in BLOG

Living in Dubai – The “Surots” (Bed Bugs)

“EEEEEWWWW!!!” This will be your hair-raising scream once you see these pests!

BED BUGS will be one of the most hate thing here in U.A.E. In my 30+ years of existence here on earth, never have I ever seen a bed bug, at least not in my home country, maybe we have there but not same like this. When I arrived here and stayed with my friend looking for a job, we stayed in a 3 bedroom flat somewhere in Bur Dubai with Filipino men and women, at night I will be awaken with something that’s crawling on my neck, my arms or my legs, at first I taught it was just a normal cockroach or I am just dreaming, and I usually ignores it. Or I am also too much occupied thinking that time what will be my life here in Dubai or because I am too tired for the all-day-searching-job and walking.

Until one day, my friend asked me “have you seen any bedbugs yet?” and then he explained to me this and that and so on. He even showed me one, and killed it by pinching it with a tissue, hearing a “TIK” sound and there’s the blood spat. YUCK!
After a month, me and my friend shift to another flat, and there I saw the worst. Too much of them! Under the mattress, walls, even roof, (Just please help me re-imagine that scene) So, these are the ones bugging me at night. Again after a month I was luckily hired but the company is located a bit far from where I am staying at, so I need to change flat again and leave Bur Dubai after 2 months of being there. In here, only 4 ladies in 1 studio flat. Still, I am / we are encountering bed bugs sometimes, even though we clean our stuffs and flat always, still they visit us, LOL!!! Regular insect sprays will not eliminate them totally. But at least its better here than before and I’ve learned how to deal with them, almost.
You will know yourself if these creatures are invading your place when you feel itchy, will have tiny bite marks, or will never have a good damn sleep.! There will also some signs like some black spots on your mattress, side of your bed or cabinets.

 

So, how can you get rid of this? For me the best solution is to call a PEST CONTROL and let them do the thing. But we can not always do this right??? And it will cost us how much in Dirhams?
Other solution is to keep your house clean, AS IN CLEAN! No Excuses if you want to get rid of this. Checking the mattress, pillows, beds, clothes and so on. Check thoroughly if you decided to buy second-hand furniture. Sometimes even we know to ourselves that we are clean, and we are cleaning regularly, still we are not safe, because this pests can be brought to your home by your friends from their home, or your flat-mates from wherever they went day by day. Just maintain a regular cleaning and checking because it can multiply very fast and bed bugs are a very good survivor.

Guys, are they welcome in your place? For me, it’s a BIG NO! NO! as they will give you nightmares, stress, itching and scratches, and the worst, when you have visitors and notice that you have “pets” lurking in your flat how are you able to explain them? It’s a shame. Here are some tips from wikiHow on how to get rid of them. Have a safe and free bed bug life. ♥♥♥
pictures from google images
Posted in BLOG

Where Art Thou My Faith Has Gone?

“In every area of my life, let Your Lordship rule, In every corner of my soul, Let Your Spirit take control.”

My parents aren’t that religious, although they believe in God. i didn’t grew up reciting prayers before meals or whatsoever. But I remember my parents ďo the “PABASA” thing in our house every Holy Week (PABASA – Catholic devotion in the Philippines during Holy Week, involves uninterrupted chanting of the life, passion and death of Jesus Christ) and then one old lady who used to borrow me from my mother when I was in grade-school and we go house-to-house doing the Black Rosary (as far as I can remember, every year for a month we do this). When I turned to High School, I joined every extra curricular activities from school that I can get myself into, because I like it, and because all my friends are there – normal teenager crap. Band Member, Scout, Basketball Player, Class President, School Officer, I even tried to be in a Dance group, unfortunately I am not graceful 😅😅😅 and because I am in a Catholic School, I also joined School’s Choir group, Theater group, Catechist (teaching grade schools once a week). Been active with all of these and almost all my 4-year life I am like a church kiddo.

During college, although I am still in a Catholic school, it has lessen, but I still attend mass once in a while. Then I got married and had kids. Again that once-in-a-month thing became once-in-a-year, I don’t know but I already lost interest or maybe I’m just that lazy ass. It is not because I don’t have faith, but maybe I don’t wanna see some hypocrite people who use to go to mass every Sunday just to check who is who and later talk shit about someone else’s life.

Then I went abroad to work, I go once in a while to church to attend mass or consecration alone or mostly with my friends. I even attended Bible studies here, I told myself, this is a good thing, it’s like I’m restoring my faith.

Last year, I was invited to attend a Christian Church and when they offered me to be part of the music team, I never hesitated, I told myself “This is my call”. It was every Friday (and the only rest day for me) but surprisingly, I was waking up earlier than if I have work, 6 in the morning I need to prepare they will pick me by 7 and practice time is 8, we will start the service by 11 and it will finish by 2 in the afternoon. I will reach my home by 4, 5, or 6 if we decided to eat outside after the service. This is my routine, and I never complained. The Pastor is gifted, he has the gift of tongue and knowledge. I was so overwhelmed and will even cry during the praise and worship part. I was so onto it. I / We trusted him as a father.

Until one news broke my heart, he was caught cheating, with someone who also have her family back home, and the people who catches him? The elder members of the church, red-handed. He manipulated the people, he was good at it, we even feel pity that he is alone and doesn’t have time for himself, so other members are even offering him to wash his clothes, clean his room and other things. People are giving tithes from their heart, even they don’t have much. That caught-in-the-act incident made a scandal to the church, and the members need to take some actions, I stayed for a week or two, then I quit. I felt anger, devastation. How many times they encouraged me to attend once again with a different Pastor but I refused, I maybe like this, once I am dedicated to something, I give my all heart, but once I quit, I quit.

I’m guilty, I shouldn’t depend my faith to the person who utter the words of the Lord, rather my love and belief for the Lord. But accept it or not, it will give us deep impact if the “Anointed One” that we taught is a “False” one. He is just but a human who can commit mistake. I don’t judge him, I can’t. I am disappointed to myself for letting him give a big impact to my faith.

I am regaining my belief on my own, not depending it to anyone but to Him directly, the Lord will judge you not on the amount of tithes you gave, not for the hours you spent inside a church, but He will judge you by your heart and your deeds. So many questions, doubts and confussions, I am still lost.

I am not trying to be a smart ass, I am not perfect, I am a sinner myself, just wondering where my faith has gone, it’s just my point of view and experience.