Best Friends Across Borders

Let’s meet our friends across borders and meet-up in-between. Sounds like a random brilliant idea and we have 8 months to prepare.  Looks like we’d have to figure out a financial game plan to make our bank accounts hack it but with persistence, we’ll have our fingers crossed.   We’ve reached this age wherein friendships are meant to be spent elsewhere other than our home country, our comfort zone.

Have you ever had that friend whom you can call as your better-half? I think I’ve had about one in each transitional phase of my life, 4 to be exact. One of them is Tamille Perez, my college best friend who’s now residing in New Zealand.

Tamille and I were each other’s girlfriend, we knew each other too well. It came to a point whenever one of us is missing, our college classmates and professors would know we are each other’s GPS. We were each other’s wingman, Bonnie and Clyde, partners-in-crime from day ’til night.  Tamille has seen me drunk, pass out and witnessed my heart broken to the extremes (and never again!), I’ve seen her rant about the boys she dated, been the third-wheel and excuse when we get home at the crack of dawn. We can cover each other’s bases without a glitch.

We learned how to ride the MRT together, figured out how to get to gig places, rode taxi cabs with full courage and spent most of our college life with passionate musicians and a playground called, The Kitchen.

We were each other’s livejournal, text mates and confidant. We were more than just classmates, travel companion and cheerleader.  Sure, we had disagreements but our differences never hindered us from being each other’s bests. We took French classes together just to learn how to say je ne peux pas parler francais (I can’t speak French). We have spent most of our concert attendance backstage and unlimited guest list passes.

Just like any relationships, we also had those days when it was a whirlwind of agreements and disagreements; maybe we were chasing after the wrong boys, listened to too much Jeff Buckley and but hell, we did endured all the reckless decisions we’ve ever had – including trying to be culinary goddesses who can’t bake a successful lemon square or a piece of bread.

College GirlFriend

College GirlFriend

Throwing up in the bush never seemed to be a problem, and with those four years, we sure did grew up a-lot together. Now, I hope we do get to wing it and get to travel once again in a city we both wanted to go to together, purchase that Calvin & Hobbes special edition book at Barnes & Noble, get lost in picturesque places and get to spend sumptuous meals at a Michelin Star restaurant, just because we’re culinary goddesses who can’t be too poor for great food.

Let’s see if this Burma woman who flew back in Manila and New Zealand can get together somewhere we both don’t know.

Birthday Monsoon

Everything happens for a reason and I really do think that my supposed birthday trip which was postponed was meant for me to realize what is more important – my family.

It was a cold, breezy, rainy day before Aug 7 when I was stranded and left without no choice but to spend the night at my boyfriend’s house until the weather calms down and the rain settles; the road was a parking lot, blocked by cars, flood starting to build and zero visibility.

Come morning after, the rain started to settle. Early crack of dawn, I drove my way home and rested but the day was welcomed with much rain.

The garage was flooded albeit it has already drained and dry; worrying was part of the reflex. Instead of taking a nap, I rose up and decided to head out to Check on my mom and grandma who lives in Cavite.

Thanking the accessibility of technology and the network was still working strongly well; I was told by mom that my grandmother was already lying on her inflatable bed and the flood is almost waist deep.

What can I do? Albeit I was told the roads aren’t passable and my small car won’t make it, as a daughter, I’ve got to do, what a daughter gotta do

Almost left stranded. So near yet so far, I sought for help by asking if there are boats that I can rent nearby or perhaps if there’s any alternative route I can take to get me to my Mom and Grandmother; the pedicab drivers said its impossible as the flood along that area is impassable.

Drove my car to as far as it could and parked it for my safety; I had to stay calm and think of ways to get to them.

I can’t get stranded, something should be done.

I figured, asking wont hurt and seeking for help. The people seemed to be used to managing themselves; one of those men whom I sought for few questions about who their leaders are told me not to expect any attention from the mayor.

The network died out just when I needed it; a nearby parlor gave me access to her Internet.

The road to feeling helpless is unacceptable. I figured, twitter. If there’s a will? There’s a way. Ask.

Adding the hashtag #rescueph, sent in the information and sought for help. Meanwhile as I surveyed around the areA from those men and women I was stranded together with; I was told who the district congresswoman is. Ah, the daughter happened to be a schoolmate back in my alma matter and she’s on twitter!

Grateful that she was online, the immediate response was coursed through and her mother, The congresswoman took action on the rescue without fail.


You may hear the story how twitter saved my loved ones through BBC World News and CBC Radio during The Wednesday Editon, As It Happens with Peter Armstrong.

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Psyche back to School

The brother dear accompanying me to familiarize myself for school

It’s school time again! Either you, as a parent feel excited your kids are about to attend school again, nervous for their first day or a little sad that the summer is over — don’t be too overwhelmed by the upcoming school year every day chaos.

How do busy parents get to discipline their kids for school? It starts from YOU. As early as now, set the mood for your kids to sleep as early as 9pm or 10pm and have breakfast prepared by the time they wake up at 6am. Why? a little dress rehearsal and habit training will help you and your kids adjust ahead without them knowing.

Although it’s not school day yet, let your kids make it a habit to eat breakfast, take a shower and have their things fixed (or it can also be the other way around). Shop for school supplies right after (make sure that you leave on time as if you’re driving them to school) but make sure you’ve sat done with them, explained why these things are important and what they need – this way, you get to practice sitting down with them as if they’re doing their assignments with you. Get home approximately the same time your kids should be home, have them wash up and clean up as you prepare dinner or arrange things that needs to be fixed. Have time to sit down with them to recap what happened during the day and what they thought about the place they went to or the experience, this way you get to introduce them the importance of telling stories and letting you know what happened in school. Pretty smart? of course, You’re a smart parent!

Because you’re a busy bee juggling all the other departments of life and work, you can cheat on time by preparing your kids snacks and lunch the night before and have it refrigerated. Prepare all their uniforms the night before ( better,teach them to prepare their clothes) and create a hamper in the laundry room for uniforms and other everyday clothing just incase you need uniforms laundered every other day.

To do lists are very effective tools. Once your kids see you making a to do list and having it visible for them, they get to copy your ways and do things the way you do it. Accomplishing tasks and marking each item on the to do lists make them feel productive and proud. Go over these lists with them and let them know the meaning of every each task and why it’s important to have them done. This way, you get to psych your kids to write down their notes, enlist their homework and have every each of it done.

Aside from psyching them on the early to sleep, early to rise and responsibilities. Turn that television off and set an example not to have yourself tuned in to the tube especially early in the morning and when its homework time nearing to bed time. Television and games will only distract them. If your kids loves playing the x-box, ipads and gadgets, gradually take these gadgets away from where they can see it or distract them by having them sit beside you or go with you on educational tours such as museums, libraries and even a sneak peak at their school to make them have a good feel of the place. You’ll be surprised they’ll forget about these electronics quite instantly.

Always keep a sense of humor when you’re with your kids. A good way to remind them that school is fun and learning indeed is something to look forward to everyday. Good luck!

Wanted: Mentor

Every day is an adventure waiting to happen, and I expect to be inspired.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and be seen in the limelight explaining the weather forecast, host a television lifestyle show or be a news anchor reading that blue screen flashing in front of me but fear and doubt seemed to block my way and yet I still somehow surprise myself every now and then.

When I was younger, I used to sit beside my Dad who’s fervently writing his thoughts on a typewriter, taking notes on a a4 sized notebook or marking his books with all those colorful highlighters. I’ve been amazed and look up to him, you’d always see me doodling, coloring or copying letters from a book on a sheet of paper; I’d borrow (or steal) his favorite pen and place myself in an orb of imagination personifying my Dad passionately articulate on words and come up with all the wittiest stories.

My attempt on writing started on colorful journals documenting my day, expressing my unversed thoughts, ranting and raving; filling up each page with different smiley icons, stickers and magazine cut-outs. From then on, I schlep my favorite pens, notebook and book everywhere I go.

I’ve been enrolled to creative classes taught by my Dad’s friends, gone to editorial meetings to observe on how they brainstorm and actually amuse myself on the exchange of thread of thoughts they throw. I take pride on knowing Editors from different dailies seen me grow as I’ve seen their hair fade from black to pepper.

School newspapers, magazine features, hosting school concerts and events were the extra-curricular activities I always volunteer myself to be part of. I enjoy team buildings, sharing stories to one another and thoughts exchanged until that bright idea suffice into its real material.

My debut started in Grade-school. The inspiration came in the middle of my mom’s sermon about the clutter I had in my room and the fickle-mindedness on what I want to become. I was a young klutz  who’d get into anything and wanting to be in everything.

An entire page occupied in The Philippines Star and a paycheck that came along with it days after. Who wouldn’t be inspired?

On another daily broadsheet, without any thought on having my own column. I was blessed on a weekly space – Broken Silence (College and University Section of Manila Bulletin). Responses from strangers all over the country were expressed – knowing my articles were appreciated and well felt made me write more not until one day, I reached the writer’s block and was challenged over my grammar and interests. I was seated in-front of my computer and couldn’t type a single sentence to begin my thought on a specific subject.

If only I took it as a challenge to grow, I would’ve not felt defeated.

My Dad being an editor and reporter, I asked for his guidance and yet I thought he was pulling my leg off and crushed my dreams from writing. I ventured on writing my articles without his guidance from then on but it also built the start of my graphophobia (fear in writing) – I never really got the chance to write again and the column just suddenly passed away without prior notice.

Writing became a hard task than joy in my heart: I was defeated by the fear of not knowing if I was good enough, if anyone will like it, if I can finish, if I even can start. I’ve forgotten the reason why I write, the groove, the way I swerve each stroke on my pen,  I lost that orb of imagining I was as articulate as my Dad.

Television came in. What was supposed to be a good way to enter the entertainment business, I opted to finish school and pursue a degree than earning money. That was when I learned what priorities are and that dreams shouldn’t always be an everyday thing hence the word “dream” – a once in a lifetime experience that may occur when destined again.

Other opportunities came in. I’ve went back to theater, enrolled to acting classes taught by the men of the Directors Guild of the Philippines; been a finalist on a reality show and once in a while featured on television segments and radio shows when needed. Although all these experiences were counted on my fingers, I still don’t think the want on being part of the media world ever left.

In multitude attempts on writing again, none of which were finished nor was ever submitted. The motivation were always there, the push and surprises arrive but the drive to continue seemed to be beaten by that enemy called graphophobia. Opportunities were wasted and over the course of time that it has been open, I never seemed to put my head back into writing and have forsaken my urge to read more books, get into learning new things and my relationship being seen on print again.

Years after, I realize I never got to achieve having myself published at least once a year.

In search of that perfect mentor, I accepted a job in a Public Relations / Advertising firm but after a few months left disheartened that maybe that childhood dream of mine will never ever suffice or was never for me.

Now that my entrepreneurship on being a proprietor has been established, it seemed writing and being in touch in the media has magnetized back right where I left off.

Although I’ve got such amazing business partners who also are my friends, I can’t deny that my greatest mentor is my Dad and I still continuously strive to get back onto that orb of imagination until I become my own persona.

I’ve come to realize that all it takes is for me to hop back in there, try and continuously try. I’m blessed knowing God has been over-flowingly directing me to tons of motivation and inspiration to persevere. I’m back writing to the dailies, although I’m a work in progress, I’m damn Proud to be working on my growth with the guidance of the mentor I’ve always had.

My mentor, My Dad.