Our first Airbnb experience

We landed at LAX yesterday around 10 am. After checking that it will take Uber 1 hour to get to our Airbnb, we took a taxi and after 30 mins, we were at the “Abbey Apartments building”. We were all tired from the early trip and looked forward to relaxing in our Airbnb home for 3 days.

Myka fell asleep in the taxi. She did so well in her first flight.

We went to the lobby of the building and introduced ourselves to the guard. Bryan, our host, already informed us beforehand that since we’re arriving on a Sunday, he won’t be able to greet us and left the key with the guard. It took a while for the guard to figure out where the unit was – not sure if it’s because he was new or because the unit itself was new.

The guard finally escorted us out of the building and to our unit, which was actually at the side of the building. It had its own entrance, which I thought was cool.

Everything in the unit was new, we were the first guests!

Myka and D liked it too!

What I liked most about it is that it is close to almost every place I wanted to go to – the Philippine consulate of course, and then Hollywood and downtown LA. The host, Bryan, was also very responsive. He forgot to install the shower head before we arrived and when I informed him, minutes later, he was at the unit with the shower head. ๐Ÿ™‚


Myka at 8 months

She has 2 lower and upper teeth now. She can sit up on her own and can stand for a long time with support. However, she refuses to crawl.

She mumbles and seems to respond to conversations.

She loves to pick food with her hands and shove them into her mouth. She can now move her food from one hand to another so she can eat the remaining food that she clasps in her tiny hand.

She has separation anxiety with me whenever I leave or whenever her dad takes her away from me so I could work.

She can’t quite say Daddy or Mommy yet but she mumbles the word dada.

Mama Got Her Tourist Visa!

with mom

Yay! My mom got her tourist visa! She’s set to visit us here next year, January 15, 2017. I’m excited and at the same time worried. It will be her very first time to travel alone. And she’s not very good with texting and updating me whenever she travels. It’s always my sister or father – whoever she’s traveling with who updates me wherever she is. Well, I know everything will be fine. And I really hope she’ll enjoy her time with us here. She truly deserves this vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tourist Visa for Mom

My parents are on their way to Davao right now. Their flight to Manila is at 10:00PM. I’m kinda worried that they might not know their way or they might get lost. It’s their first time to go around Manila on their own. I have booked a hotel for them already, I am just worried that taxi drivers might trick them – and know that they don’t have any idea how to go from one place to another.

My mom will be going to the US Embassy at Manila for her tourist visa interview. I hope she gets it so that she can travel to US next year. I have planned for her to travel on January 15, 2017 so that she can help me look after my baby when I start going back to work. It is also my gift to her for her retirement. She has worked so hard so that we can finish college so I want to reward her for that.

Although I feel bad for my Papa, I just can’t afford to have both of them travel next year. And besides, I’m scared my father won’t be able to endure the 22-hour flight.

I hope and pray that the Consul gives my Mama a tourist visa…

Family Drama

Almost my entire life, I have struggled to give a better life to my family. I have always dreamt for my parents to live in a nice house, be debt-free, and just be comfortable. I also wanted my brothers and sister to finish school, get a job, and be independent. As an eldest child, I have always felt responsible for my family’s welfare.

But no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I support them financially and emotionally, I realized that I don’t really hold their future. I don’t make decisions for them and what they do with their lives is beyond my control. But sad to say, I am still affected by the consequences of their choices and actions.

When I learned that my sister got pregnant again for the 2nd time, not even a year after she gave birth to her eldest, I felt really disappointed and upset. She’s only 17 for crying out loud! I’m really mad and I can’t do anything about it.

Maybe it’s just because I have my period right now, that is why I feel so mad and have a hard time of letting it go. Argh. So disappointing.


Granparents’ Day!

It all seemed so real…

I saw Tatay Primo getting ready to go to church. I even remember myself thinking that I thought he already died and now he looks stronger and in better shape. But I just brushed off the thought and just felt happy to see him happy and alive.

Later, I saw my Nanay Rosing and she hugged me tight. She also looked younger than the last time I saw her. She was smiling and she looked really radiant. I was about to ask her about something and then she slowly faded into thin air…

and then I woke up. That was a beautiful dream. Just in time to celebrate Grandparents’ Day. Tatay Piling and Nanay Rosing are my fraternal grandparents while Tatay Primo and Nanay Inday are my maternal grandparents. They’re all in heaven now and there are times that I terribly miss them. But I am glad that I have with me all the lasting memories with them.

I’m so glad to have seen them again on this very special day, Grandparents‘ Day… even just a dream.

The Green-Eyed Monster

Don’t envy when others receive grace because one day, you will be the one on the receiving end. – Bro. Vic, The Feast Ortigas

It’s the Big Day at The Feast, concluding the 3-part Full Tank series (The Joy of Grace-Filled Relationships). As I was listening to Bro Vic talk about not having greed and envy in our hearts, I remembered an event that happened 12 years ago.

I felt so bad because Mama had taken time and effort to create a collage of my younger sister’s medal and graduation pictures. She was 4 years old, a pre-schooler at a Day Care Center at that time and I was already in 2nd year college, taking up IT. Somehow, a virus took over my mind and heart when I saw my mother putting all her effort on creating the collage. She never did that before.

I couldn’t brush off the voice inside my head that’s saying it’s unfair. That she should have made something like that for me too. Where did all my hard earned medals go? They didn’t even keep it. They’re nowhere to be found. My ego was sorely bruised. I felt so jealous. I couldn’t bear the thought that she loves her more than she loves me. I couldn’t accept that she seems to be so happy that she was able to go up the stage like it was the first time (and my gosh, for a pre-schooler?)! Anger enveloped my heart and that green-eyed monster kept whispering evil things to me. And I listened to all its ugly lies.

Somehow at that time, I had an empty love tank. And the voice inside me was screaming, ‘how about me? Why don’t you love me?!’ Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister a lot. But the selfish 18 year old me felt so much injustice at my mother’s gesture. I wanted to let her know that what she did was wrong. I wanted to hurt her because she has hurt me.

I did the unthinkable. I took the collage from the wall where my mother has hung it and destroyed it. Can you imagine an 18 year old doing such an immature act? All I could think of during that time is that I deserve more than what she’s giving to her. I deserve the attention. I deserve the praise. All I was thinking about is myself. I was totally and ridiculously selfish and grossly immature.

When Mama found out about what I did, she got furious and beat me. It was the worst fight we ever had. I have hurt her so much that it was the first time that I saw her cry. I made my mother cry! She can’t believe that I could do such a terrible and unexpected thing. I felt so guilty and sorry. We didn’t talk to each other for a week until she finally decided to send me to Davao and break the tension between us. I wrote her a letter asking for forgiveness before I left. I was worried that our relationship was already ruined and that there was no hope of restoring it. But of course she is my mother and she forgave me. Everything was back to normal after my 1 week vacation at Davao.

That episode in my life has taught me a lot of lessons about envy. About how it damages relationships. About how useless and awful it is. About how one should be careful not to listen to its lies. If you want toย  have grace-filled relationships, you should not envy. Be genuinely glad when others receive grace because a day will come when you will be the one on the receiving end. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you a full love tank today!

God bless! ๐Ÿ™‚

A blessed union

One of my dreams for this year is to give a grand getaway vacation for my parents on their 30th wedding anniversary. So when there was a sale in Cebu Pacific fares last January, I immediately booked tickets for them. I made so many plans for theirย Pearl anniversary. However due to my busy schedule at work, I forgot to book them at a hotel near my place. And honestly, I actually thought that the hotels won’t be fully booked because it wasn’t peak season. But alas, my poor parents had to stay at our unit’s small living room. Awww… so sorry..

It was the start of my unmaterialized plans… The next day we went to My Health clinic for their laboratory tests and since they took their breakfast and did not fast, they were not able to have the other tests and were asked to go back another day. Sigh. I’d have to change my plans again.

After going shopping in Divisoria, we decided to go to our relatives in Montalban, Rizal and stay there for the weekend. Initially, I planned for the entire family to go to tourist spots to relax and unwind. But it was raining all weekend plus my cousin was due to give birth to her second baby so again, my plans didn’t push through. We just stayed at home and had videoke – which was also fun anyway.

We offered mass for my parents’ anniversary and we thanked God for blessing their union (especially for giving birth to a wonderful daughter like me – haha). We went back to Mandaluyong to have their laboratory tests completed on Monday morning and we were asked to come back again for the results. Since we had to wait for a number of hours, we decided to go back to Divisoria to look for the carburator of Papa’s motorcycle and so that we could get a bigger size for my sister’s slippers.

Unfortunately, we were not able to find the vendor of the slippers and Papa’s carburator was not sold in any of the hardware stores that we went to. We went to Caloocan to look for it and when we already found it, Papa just said it was too expensive. What a long day it was. And when we were set to go back to MyHealth clinic, we couldn’t ride the LRT because we bought a mirror and we couldn’t bring it with us in the LRT. Grr… I wanted to leave the mirror behind but Mama won’t agree. So we had a very loooong ride back to Mandaluyong.

I was totally exhausted and I knew my parents were already very tired too. So I took them to the massage clinic near our place so they could at least relax before their flight the following day. It wasn’t the dream anniversary celebration I had planned for them but I hope they also enjoyed their stay with me. What’s important is that they are still together and healthy. Thank you Lord for blessing their union. ๐Ÿ™‚