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My time has been adjusted. We've landed on the NAIA terminal 2. Compared to the YVCA and Incheon Airport, the terminal 2 looks like an old hospital. This is the Philippines, why can't they make the old Terminal look like brand new? It's dilapidated and I barely felt the airconditioner. We've waited another hour for our luggage on the belt. I just wanted to go home at this point. I'm very tired, but I'm happy that I'm back. There was a point that I thought that our luggage might have been delayed, but thank God that we found our stuff one by one. It was slow, but I'm glad that everything is complete.
One tip that I kept from my cousin is that when someone tells me that they would help me push our cart, refuse them and thank them instead. I don't really know the reason, but I think they'll just ask for money afterwards. It was confusing going outside the airport too. It felt like a wet market with the people waving at us and it was dark too. Fortunately again, I saw my tito G approaching us. My sister also drew attention to other people and again just refused the help in pushing our carts.
I'm glad to see my tito G again. Really glad and my grandfather too. They must have been waiting for a long time too. They said that they've been waiting since 10pm. It is now past 12am. And I'm just speechless on the sheer amount of changes that I see. It's really different here. The first thing I see is that the traffic is different. There were four teens crossing the highway with no regard of whatsoever. At this time of the night?! And it's also dark on the road. Where are the streetlights? I got a glimpse of Terminal 3, and I think it's the fairly new terminal. I wish we could use that instead going back to Canada. But I think not.
I also got a glimpse of Resorts World and I think my girlfriend wants to go here next week in lieu to the see off her friend back to the US AND greet her relatives the next day as well. It just felt surreal being inside the vehicle and looking around. Everything feels different. I'm happy that I'm back. It's late and as much as I want to keep my enthusiasm, I can't as I'm drained to the drained-est. I forgot that it's another 53km drive to our old home. I wondered how our old home looks like. But man, NLEX can compete with international standards if I must say. I enjoyed our drive home to be honest. I missed the restaurants on the shoulder of the highway; my dad and I usually stop and eat back when I was in the University of the Philippines. We also passed by the Philippine Arena. But one thing that I noticed again is the lack of street lights on NLEX. Whether streetlights are needed or not, I don't know, but all I'm saying is that the road was dark.
Truly, I miss NLEX. I miss this way of going home. I can't say anything, because I believe it was time to keep quiet and let the sights do the talking. This is what you missed. Indeed.
We finally made it to the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Oh boy, I never recognized the old Olongapo Highway. My old city prospered. I saw different establishments here and there, I never would've thought pop out. I kept turning my head and kept looking around the different shops, the different restaurants and the different retail stores on my left and right. It's awesome. Mind you that it's already 3am, but there was still a considerable number of drivers on the road. Our once quiet and humble city is now a buzzing city. Azure North is also planned to be built here.
I almost cried when we entered the old Mackabackle entrance. This is home. I never thought I'd be here again. I was hoping to see the Faith Street signage, but I heard from my folks that some people stole it. And just a walking distance away from where the old Faith St. signage stood, just a couple of meters away, just a couple of houses away, we're officially home. My old house. Still standing. Still green. Still living. What I expected as well are the roosters crowing and the dogs barking. Where did all these come from? Obviously a lot of things will happen after 8 years.
I am so unfamiliar with my old home when I got off the van. But my heart sank when the reality took place that our house isn't what it used to be. I understand that it has decayed. Still I cherish this place that it's still standing; I've spent more than half my life here and it's where I grew up. As much as I wanted to absorb the nostalgia, I got changed into my pajamas and finally lied flat on my futon. You know what, I woke up at 12pm. It felt like that was it. It seems like I've regained my energy. Or maybe I feel excited to catch up on things already. My brother called me on Facebook to see how I was doing and I said that I was still under jet lag. My friend R also dropped a comment on my Facebook status and said that we should meet at once. I felt embarrassed that I might fall asleep on him and keep him waiting outside, so I said maybe we should meet tomorrow. When he replied that he's just going to come and say hi, I just nodded that it's no problem. I prepared his pasalubong. He showed up even before 5pm, the time he said he leaves his hospital duty. He's almost a doctor, and he'll be taking his board exam on August.
It's good to see him. Nothing's changed much on him and I can still feel the familiarity between us. Mom joined us with the storytelling. I just told my friend that if ever he's looking to start a new life somewhere else, I'd recommend Canada. Man, I can't remember all the stuff we talked about. Just random things here and there mostly in the past and the random things happening on our current life. We took a picture before he left and I said that I'll call him tomorrow. It's going to be a busy vacation it seems. But I like it. By the way, I was able to eat my favourite hotdog, the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdog!
Time jump! It's Tuesday night already! We're almost home!
I didn't reserve myself anymore, and pulled out my mp3 player and my notebook. Even though I couldn't focus straight, I tried to write on my notebook and perhaps squeeze something. At least I know that I wrote that piece of something on the plane. Just knowing that is enough of a memory. This is our 3rd flight, the take off felt like any ordinary thing. We were all quiet this time. My dad was especially tired, since he's always the person in charge of holding the boarding passes and organizing things. My sister was able to sleep again. I just shake my head why I can't. They served dinner again, and I chose the sea food with fried rice. My mom didn't want hers, but she gave her portion to me instead.
1 hour left, the excitement was building inside. I didn't know what to feel. When the plane started to descend to a lower altitude, I woke up, but around the last 30 minutes my heart slowed down a bit. I looked at my mom and dad and they knew that we were almost home. During the last 10 minutes, I saw the city lights of Manila. I also saw this huge billboard from Jollibee. I nodded; we're home.
I was expecting for the folks to clap their hands, but they didn't. I guess that's because most people on board weren't OFWs and were folks like us on vacation.
More importantly, we're finally home.
All of our landings have been unremarkable. But an unremarkable landing is always a remarkable thing.
My dad and I didn't sleep at all. Of course both of us wanted to sleep, but we've got a lot of things in mind this early morning. I'm excited. He's excited. We're all excited. But being excited isn't a reason why I'm not able to sleep. Both my sister and my mom were able to sleep, and I know that they're both excited too. I envy them for being in bed right now. As for the both of us, my dad and I were just minding our business on tying loose ends before we go.
I managed to tie my loose ends and save our mp3, finish our hand carry, and save the open ended literature. This is all due for the dead time on the flight. I'm anticipating at least 24 hours involved in our flight time. And lo and behold, it's already 2am on the clock. My dad wanted to leave at 3am and I was already skeptic that 3am is too early. But I was riding a roller coaster of emotions when I realized the fact that we're leaving home and going 'home'. I can't help but feel sad, grateful and humbled that I've spent my 8 good years in my new home.
I could only keep quiet in the van. We reached the airport and I was surprised to see the amount of people in the queue. It's what my dad is talking about; as long as we've put our luggage in, we're homeward bound. To make it short, there were no problems and checking in was a breeze. We proceeded to get ourselves inspected at the metal detector. My dad glanced behind us and I saw my brother and sister-in-law waving at us. They made it in time while we were lining up to get our hand carry inspected. And they went off to work. At first I got confused when to proceed, but the guard, who I think is also a Filipino, signaled me to proceed.
We looked for a lounge because it's very early and the waiting game begins. Our flight is 6:30am. My sister ordered us Starbucks while we were waiting. At this point, I'm still not sleepy at all. But my mom resigned herself on the lounge. The three of us stayed up, I was reading a book written by Billy Graham. I knew that we'll be doing a lot of waiting. A lot.
The flight to Vancouver was on time. I didn't know what to feel. But I let it out when our plane started to ascend and I saw the lights of Winnipeg getting smaller and smaller on the window. I cried. 8 years. 8 years is a long time. Whatever happens in the Philippines, I will accept. I have not written any itinerary because I want God to write it.
We landed on Vancouver around 7:30am. We had to board gate 47. When we asked where it was, I guess the fatigue finally overcame me and our pace slumped. We didn't know that our gate was on the other side of the airport. Vancouver Int'l Airport is huge. Huge. I asked my dad if he lost weight on our way to the gate. Our flight to Incheon is still at 12:55pm. We have more than 5 hours, but my dad was insistent that we look for the gate already. I guess he just wanted to get settled. Tired and hungry, we pressed on.
There was hardly anyone in the airport terminal. Well, it is still very early. But whatever. There was no one yet at the terminal gate, because my dad wants to confirm if our luggage was already en route to Manila. He confirmed it over the phone instead. We ate breakfast at A&W while my mom had noodles at this Japanese restaurant. I wanted to have a Western breakfast, and a hearty meal too. But I got too full I think. While my sister and my dad took pictures inside the airport, my mom and I stayed put. I am officially super sleep deprived. I just lied my face on the table, but it's only 8am. At least 4 more hours.
I'm not bored. I just really want to sleep right now. I can't explain the feeling. I keep looking for a place to lie flat, but there's none. It's still quiet inside and I tried all sorts of sitting positions to nap. It didn't help. My nap was on and off, but I was still super sleepy. 11pm, I find the terminal filling up and the two men behind me were noisy. I sat up straight and imagined that my eyes were drooping. I put on my tinted lenses and tried to sleep somewhere else. 12:30pm, I woke up and got to the washroom. My heartbeat picked up this time. The first two hours of flight time was already exhausting. Now that we're flying to Incheon, that's 11 hours. There's this little thought in my head that maybe we should just cancel everything. I might not be able to bear it. But no. This is what I've been saving up for, let's do this.
I like Korean Airlines. The flight stewardess always attended to our needs. We were able to watch movies, play games, and listen to music on our seats via the on-board tablet-PC mounted up front. But for 11 hours, as much as I wanted to watch all the movies available on the plane, I can't concentrate. I even stopped watching half-way through the movie, because my mind was wandering somewhere else.
The food was okay. I had bibimbap for lunch and chicken for dinner. My mom kept telling me to open up the window, but it was too bright outside. I don't know why, but it felt hot inside the plane too. I felt a bit uncomfortable. It was hard to sleep. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't get comfortable. And my mom kept asking me how much longer are we flying? At first, she woke up after 3 hours of flight time. Then she groaned. Tell me about it. I was too tired to do anything and I was too tired to fall asleep.
3 hours left, and I felt very restless. But they served their dinner then. I honestly felt like I was at work during those last 3 hours. My veins went back to life when there was two hours left. We were almost at Incheon, but I still can't see anything outside. I told myself that we're almost home. The 11 hours that passed made me exhausted which is ironic, because I didn't do anything. My dad's right that it's hard to fall asleep on the plane.
Incheon. Finally. All I could say is wow. South Korea. This is just the airport and I already love SoKor. The airport looks great and well organized. The Vancouver Int'l Airport too. We had to ride a light railway train to our gate. It felt like Japan for that moment as people rushed in. The car became packed all of a sudden. I almost didn't make it in time, because I was unsure whether to board it or board the next one. But I didn't want to get separated with everyone, now that I don't have a cellphone. It's going to be a big problem to be separated with everyone. Worse, you shouldn't get lost. We only had two hours to wait for the flight to Manila.
The flight to Manila takes 4 hours. All four of us were thirsty. And my dad told my mom to discard the mineral water on our way to get ourselves inspected again on our hand carry. Something simple can be an effort when you're excited to go home. It's just a matter of emptying your pockets, taking off your outerwear and putting your hand carry on the tray to let it pass through the x-ray. But I shook my head why I felt so tired. With our mineral water discarded, I thought that it was a wrong move, because the stands don't accept Canadian dollar. Fortunately, my dad had little US dollar in his bag, just enough to buy four bottled water.
It's so obvious that our flight was bound for Manila. We've finally reunited with a crowd of kababayan waiting at the terminal gate. I went to the washroom one more time to freshen myself. Two hours wasn't much at all, and we boarded the plane around 6:30pm. It's a different flight, but it's the same plane. Now that we're inside another Korean Airline plane, we knew how to work their on-board entertainment. You can almost imagine the sheer anticipation of taking off. But there was air traffic congestion, so we had to delay our flight for approximately 20 minutes. Four hours to go.
Sunday morning. I wouldn't miss today's preaching. I decided to come with my family today, because I wanted Pastor M to pray for us as a family for our safe trip home. Today's preaching was powerful. It's about how we should carefully lay the foundation of the church, and that everything should over the foundation of Jesus Christ. It's pretty simple, but Pastor M was on fire when he was preaching his message. Again, every Christian should improve as a Christian everyday.
I went home at 2pm, because I haven't finished packing my stuff yet. I actually finished around 10pm. And I'm exhausted. I wonder if I'll still be able to sleep tonight. We're supposed to leave at 3am in the morning. 3AM! And the total trip (flight time + wait time) is over 24 hours! Ooooh yea! I wonder if the people who will wait for me in the airport would still recognize me. I'm sure I'll be looking super fresh when I get there.
Today is Saturday. I got a text message from the youth of Winnipeg Christian Family Ministry asking me if I'm going to the youth practice today. I replied that our Praise and Worship practice in the Winnipeg Foursquare Gospel Church starts at 10am-- well it actually started at 11:30am instead since there was a problem with the chords. I also added to them that I still have to pack and buy chocolates for 'pasalubong' or gifts afterwards. Their practice starts at 2pm. I wanted to go. But honestly, I was passing out after the practice. It felt like I was drained. It makes sense since I hardly slept. Two hours? Honestly.
My dad and I went to Wal-Mart after the practice. I was telling him we should eat at a buffet, just the two of us in secret, since we didn't eat breakfast. Both of us overslept. We woke up at 9:45am when the practice starts at 10am-- when it started at 11:30am-- argh. Anyway, we were supposed to pick up my mom's medicine over at Wal-Mart drugstore. As I was grabbing them chocolates, my dad said that they didn't have my mom's medicine and told me to buy over at Superstore instead. The chocolates there might be cheaper.
I took my dad's advise and just returned everything I wanted to buy. We headed to Superstore and he went to the drugstore again to check if they have my mom's medicine. I went ahead and picked up my stuff. It took me about 15 minutes, and a few of the chocolates are actually more expensive, I kind of noticed. Arrrr. After paying for everything and getting a remark from the cashier lady that I'm addicted to chocolates, (since all of my purchase were chocolates), I waited at the front with my bag. I called my dad to ask what's taking him so long. He said that mom's medicine is being prepared and that I have to take a seat; they need 30 minutes to get them ready. I was passing out and I'm standing with this bag in the middle of this traffic of people on a Saturday afternoon. I just wanted to go home and sleep. But I can't.
So I looked for a bench and waited. When was the last time I felt this way? I forget. I was so uncomfortable, but I tried to read the Bible on my cellphone. We finished at 2pm. Dad asked me if he should buy food. I told him I just wanted to go home. So we didn't buy anything. My sister called asking if we ate. I told her no, and that's when we were just 3 blocks from home. Dad said we should've bought food. Well, if he really wanted to buy food, he could've gone ahead. I dunked my face on my bed when I got home. And then I woke up in the evening to resume packing business. Pack this sheet, man.
Day 6. My Last Five.
I was almost teary eyed on my way to work. I reached the office around 4:40pm. I have been searching for answers as to what I shall do after my vacation, but it seemed like a bad idea to figure out things this early. I just don't want uncertainties, but I was being hysterical. The uncertainties is what makes life exciting. The right thing to do is to leave it uncertain for now. Let the ideas flow. Let the thoughts cook. Let the emotions run. I pray that everyday of my 5 week stay be a revelation on things that I have to do afterwards. Let it be a soul searching experience.
Today is my last day and I leave it to God what that means. There isn't any other options for me out there except my current status. I'd have to get my mindset straight should I take the path to the student loan. Speaking of grades, I'm still waiting for my grades until now.
I'm a sentimental kind of guy. It makes me sad when I think that this maybe the last time of stepping out of this place. I will never forget this place. At this point, all options are considered. I know that I'm not happy, but should I just base my judgment with feelings when I'm making a serious decision? I even said to them that there should be no goodbyes. So what is it do I really want to do? Again, I don't know. And that's fine. I can't be organized and systematic all the time. And I acknowledge the fact that I have no backup plans for this matter. The last hour just made me want to cry.
I shook the hand of my supervisor before I left. I bid farewell to my other supervisor. For the mean time, I strapped my backpack with a smile as I left walked out the building on this Friday night. I was quiet, but deep inside, I was just happy that the day was over with no problems at work. I wrapped up properly with my head high as I look towards my trip to my roots for a new chapter to my life.
Day 5. No wonder I got the flu today, people were hacking and coughing in the office. I called in sick. I just couldn't risk going out to work. I'm taking this rest day and look to tomorrow instead.
Day 4. I went to work with a heavy heart and the weather wasn't of help. I still have 3 shifts left but I don't know why today feels very difficult to do. I didn't know that it would be difficult to go to work knowing that you've indicated your last day. It's like I don't have any motivation at all. When I was on my way, I was thinking I'll just go home, but then I got realistic and told myself that today's agenda would be to define that feeling I get and apply it as a reason why I'm leaving. I want to remind myself why I'm leaving in the first place. It's funny, because I'm going to work to absorb the negativity and imprint these so I can appreciate my direction away from work. However, nothing is strictly final yet when I get back to Canada.
When I got to work, two of my supervisors got a hold of the news and they told me that I'm not allowed to leave. They don't want me to leave. They're just trying to tell me that they'll miss me. Well, HR couldn't give me 5 weeks off and what they'll do is re-hire me after I re-apply. How can 2 hours be long? I thought after my first two hours. I'm just impatient. It's unbelievable. I'm supposed to get used to this already. Today shouldn't be any big deal. But how come it doesn't feel like it anymore? I'm supposed to be used to these weekday shifts. But I can't endure it anymore. It feels like I'm in an uncharted territory. Maybe it's due to this stressful project.
At 7pm, I got switched. Good. I need to do something else or do something new. It's a government study too. Sigh. I don't know how I got to this point where it feels hard to go to work. I've lost interest on it and I'm open to suggestions. Maybe I'm just saying it right now, when I just need this 5-week trip to refresh me. If I do get back here, I wonder how long will I endure again? Who knows? Maybe I'll change my opinion after I get home.
Time is passing me by so fast. As usual and not so unusual, I started thinking whether 5 weeks would be short for my vacay time in the Philippines. 5 weeks is pretty long, right? But is it really enough? My mind started wandering again far ahead. I'm already lying on my bed thinking that there's just 6 days left 'til our trip.
My brother and my sister-in-law came over to visit. My brother told me that he wants to borrow my computer while I'm away. Well, the truth is he can, because he just needs to bring the tower to his apartment and he's all good. I wonder what will happen here at home (Canada) while we're away.
I haven't bought the chocolates yet. I'm not sure how much I'll be spending, but I honestly can't see myself spending much anymore. There's no more space too. Our boxes are smaller than I've expected. The worst thing that I don't want to happen is leaving things behind. I'm not ready for the trip yet.
It was a quiet Monday. Today's also my brother's birthday, but he was awfully quiet about it. Not even a buffet treat, come on!
The three body bags that I've been waiting have arrived. I knew that they'd come, but I don't know if I'll still put my hope on that hiking bag. I'm still waiting for it. And I hope it comes so that everything is in order.
I wasn't able to get any chocolate shopping done, because I don't have any more money. And I was lazy to go out. According to the weather network, it should be relatively 'warmer' this week. And I'm looking forward to that.
More importantly, there's just a week left 'til our flight home. What I'm just doing this week is preparing my mindset. It seems silly, but it has 8 years since I've been in the Philippines and I don't know how to feel right now. I should be excited, right? Yes, 7 days and we'll go flying again. I honestly wish I had more money with me though.
Anyway, I have to do more preparations. Mental preparation, emotional preparation, and my things too. No, everything I need is still not yet in order.
Sunday. I couldn't sleep right away and it's funny why I found myself sleeping around 5am instead. So it's no surprise when I woke up at 9:36am. I couldn't hurry on to the shower, because the cold temperature lingered on my skin. My brain needed to thaw to realize that there isn't much time left. I went upstairs and covered myself with a blanket while checking the weather network. My Ate C will pick me up at 10am.
Sunday service was okay, but I thought that the message was a little bit long. Anyway, I also discovered that my Pastor R was involved in an accident. I've seen the wreck on the pics and his airbag deployed too. It was quite a severe wreck too. The front of the van was totaled. I can't see it running anymore, because you can't place both front wheels back anymore. This is why Pastor R was especially thankful to God, because he's able to see the light of the day once more. I am not sure of the whole story, but I'm glad that he's okay.
I got home and my cousin K called me asking what's up? I told him that we can go to his place instead. I think he just needs someone to talk to. I got to his place and I found out that he's experimenting on the MMO game we were planning last summer. He opened his Levi figure from Attack of the Titans, but it was missing 3 sword props. That's not good. I suggested to him to email the seller and perhaps they might be able to help him.
Dinner was fun. I got full thanks to Tita M and Tito B. I got stuffed. Then I played PvZ before going back home so I can start packing my boxes. Oh, the boxes. They're smaller than the par. Anyway, my sister's all packed. I haven't. My mom and dad are having a problem how they'll be packing to the point that they might start leaving things behind. Please, don't look at my boxes. I don't think they should be worried at all.
8 days left.
My Saturday is pretty easy and laidback. Speaking of back, my back hurts. Today was pretty quiet too. I got up at 11am and decided not to eat anything. Feeling the hunger, I decided not to eat anything this Saturday as a form of fasting. I don't know, during that moment, I just thought that I should think of something else other than food. I'll just eat later.
I guess I just spent the day as a day to plan things out and catch up on things I've been missing. There's just 9 more days. The time to go home is fast approaching. I'm real excited, I don't know what to do on this day-off.
Day 3. What an amazing turn of events. I don't even know why I suddenly found myself fighting the tears in the bus. It's something simple that I never knew I'd get a lot from it. Like the usual, I braved the cold so I can get on the bus to work in the afternoon. I got on the bus, put in my bus ticket and chose a window seat near the front. When we arrived at the city hall, I looked to my right, out the window and I saw this woman wearing this huge banner that said Jesus Christ is Lord. Like I mentioned, it was cold outside and the sun's already setting. During that quiet moment in the bus, I nodded and thought, "Indeed. Jesus Christ is Lord." But then she suddenly looked at me and we were eye-to-eye. She wore a winter jacket with her hood on that barely covered her nose and face, but I saw her eyes were firm and solid. I looked back at her and both of us didn't blink. Something hit me in my heart afterwards as the bus drove off.
The people behind me also noticed the woman, and as usual, the pedestrians were just ignoring her while she stood there with her banner. When the bus drove off, I found myself tearing up. I remember her stare at me as she never flinched with the cold and the message she was carrying. I found myself just wiping my eyes. I continuously wiped my eyes and it was hard to hide from everyone aboard that I was on the verge of sobbing. I closed my mouth and just kept wiping my eyes with my glove. After two stops, I had to pull up my handkerchief to make it stop. What's happening? I thought I was losing my mind, because I didn't get any reason why I had to do my best from crying. I finally reached my stop and got off, but I still kept sobbing while I was walking. I was still teary eyes that my tears got frozen because of the cold temperature.
There were five points that I realized while I was waiting for the pedestrian sign allowed me to cross.
1. Jesus Christ is Lord, all sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, the Lord of Hosts, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Since Jesus Christ is Lord, He'll take care of me. It's as simple as that. Time and time again, I keep forgetting. In this winter time, everything else seems cold. And I tend to search for that fire in my heart. I wonder why it's hard to convince myself everytime that everything will be alright. It's as if I don't make Him the Lord that He is. Since He is my Provider, my Healer and my Refuge, I shouldn't be worried or anxious about anything in the present and in the future. He is faithful and He had proven that time and time again. I should slap myself some sense that I should just put my faith in Him as well -- because Jesus Christ is Lord.
2. I'm absolutely glad to know that there are Christians like her here in our city.
Like I mentioned, it's winter time and while it's still awfully cold outside, she didn't mind it and wore her banner in the sub-zeroes. I'm looking for that zeal, and I think it set a blaze in my heart as well. I think 2 Timothy 4:2 fits well in here and it says, "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." It's hard to go to Bible study, go to a praise and worship practice or go to church when it's -30c outside on a Sunday morning when the room is also cold while covered in your warm blanket. It's hard to go to places when there's so much snow outside. It's hard, but not impossible. That is why in the midst of this 'out of season to be in church' time, we have to stay with God and continue to fall in love with Him.
3. I had a spiritual jealousy thinking if I got what it takes to be as bold as her.
I was inside a vehicle, so I wasn't sure if she was also shouting under the cover of her jacket. But would I be able to proclaim at will that Jesus Christ is Lord on a simple day when it's cold outside? I wondered how I could grow more as a Christian to be like her. It made me wonder if I had the heart to be as bold as she was. I still have a lot of things to learn indeed. To be doing that type of thing, she must love Jesus Christ very much. How much more are the missionaries and martyrs that live in places where being a Christian is a crime?
4. I got a glimpse of how she loves the Maker.
I don't know how I became like this. I just thought that she loves Jesus Christ very much and it made my heart tender. I shake my head how something that's unrelated-- something out of place could put me on a position where I was holding back from crying. Here's a woman that's holding a banner, but I just got teary eyed all of a sudden? Is it my youth? Is it part of growing up? Or maybe I can relate well to what she was doing. I am not worthy of His grace because I've failed Him a lot, still He forgives and loves me. I shed tears of joy that late afternoon, because I love my Maker too.
5. My mind was crowded at that time.
During that afternoon, I've had a lot of things going on in my mind. I've already filled up my resignation form, my work is a problem, I'm sick and I can't go home. I'm uneasy thinking of how my trip in the Philippines is going to be when I don't have much money left. I'm also thinking about what will happen to me when I finally meet my girlfriend in person. I'm thinking of whether or not this trip home will be worth it. I get this habit of thinking a lot of things and put myself in a sour mood. It's stupid and it has to stop. Then I get into this random event by looking outside the window and see this woman with her "Jesus Christ is Lord" banner.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. - Matthew 8:24-26
My heart was quiet of all the noise in my head, but when I saw her, during that split second, I got distracted. I got distracted by something random. To be standing outside in the wake of winter? Really? I took her place in face value, that her intention was to spread the gospel. But that's when I realized that this crowd in my head maybe part of His plan. The truth is, when I handed in my resignation form, the HR Supervisor got sad, and she explained to me that even though I'm resigning, they'll re-hire me if I re-apply when I get back to Canada. In other words, I now have a choice whether to stick to my job or find a new one after my time of refreshing. And I like that kind of flexibility. Maybe this is all according to the plan. Whether I like it or not, there will be storms in my life. But I realized not to focus on the storm in my head, but to focus on the Master of the storm, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
I made it back to work at 4:51pm. I wanted to confirm first if I have a shift on Saturday. So after setting down my stuff on my desk, I headed over to HR eager to know. The truth is, I don't want to work on Saturday. Maybe some other day next week, but not Saturday. Anyway, I talked to L and as expected, I won't work on Saturday. It doesn't show up on my REL so it confirmed it. But more importantly, I'm glad I went over to HR, because she didn't seem to take it seriously that my last day is the 16th. They wouldn't give me 5 weeks off, so they wanted me to resign and re-apply when I get back. I don't get it why they want me to do that if they want to hire me again. But they should change their policy about this matter. They should've just given me those 5 weeks; for example, since I've been with them for more than 5 years I have 3 weeks off. If L said that they're only allowed to give each 4 weeks at max, then they could just do that and I don't even care if they don't pay me the 2 weeks off. I don't get it why they want me to re-apply. I feel like there's something else, because I've known my supervisors taking 2 months off and then going back like it's no problem. Anyway, I have no problem at all on this matter. At the most, I'm still getting paid for my 3 weeks off and it gives me two options whether to go back or not.
Tonight was really hard for me. This is day 2 of my last shifts. I don't get why today felt really difficult and the truth is I only worked for about 4 hours today! There's something different with my disposition to my job. It feels like I'm different too on how I approach things. The project I'm working on also changed for the worse. I hate it. This is an obvious sign I should take that I have to try something else in life. I'm not interested anymore. I know that finding another job can be difficult, but I've endured for a long time already. I guess I could say that this field isn't for me? Well, I would find out when I get back from my vacation and see if I can still stomach it. If not, I'll be concentrating on graduating. Oh, how it felt like I've been there for 8 hours. The time was oh so slow. That's why when it was time to go home, I was so glad. I just need to hang on and overcome Friday.
What else is there? Oh yeah, at least I have something else to keep my mind occupied. I'm playing the technical alpha of Heroes of the Storm. Since I get home around 10:30pm, the game has this daily quest that lets you earn bonus gold in-game. I can get a little bit hardcore on the games I grew up on, especially since Blizzard games give me a lot of nostalgia; so I get hardcore on Heroes of the Storm; after making it home, I set down my bag, remove my jacket and coat, and proceed to my computer to finish whatever the daily quest is like a madman. It feels like a chore, but I think it's worth saving gold on this early stage of the game. I'm sure every gold will be worth it later on. Another funny thing would be that my favourite hero is Li Li.
At 2:22pm and I'm already feeling dreadful. I don't know why it's difficult for me to go back to work. I remember from my tito that people feel like this especially when they're away from work at a long time. But for me it feels different, like right now, I know that my last day is January 16, but somehow I'm feeling like I wish I quit already. I don't want to do anything there anymore and I want a change of environment. It's like I've had enough. I can't kid myself anymore. When I think about it, if we had canceled our trip home this month, I don't know how I'd be facing my work life. The truth is I want to study for the two years left in my university. But if I can find a job that's different from this one, if I can overcome myself of actually look for another job, I guess that would be fine too. Looking for another job is tiring too and it's not easy. I'm writing this right now so I can document what I really feel at this moment. I don't want to go back to work and it seems like I don't really care anymore. I just want to continue on with my break, go home, apply for student loan after I go back, or find a new job, and then go on to graduate. But as of now, I'm thankful that I've experienced this job and it was a tough journey, but I've had enough.
This is day 1. These are my last days at work. I arrived at work at 4:40pm. I checked my REL and it said I didn't have the Saturday shift. I'm skeptic about it and I better check it out with HR so that I don't put myself in further trouble. The one thing I hate about today is today isn't supposed to be a long day, but my mind is making it to be one. I should stop thinking about so many things already. I'm working on the GM Infotainment project today. I'm a bit rusty coming back from the holidays.
My last day is supposed to be January 16. I might as well check with HR too to confirm that they know. They should know since they're the ones that suggested the 16th would be my last day. And hypothetically speaking I'll just re-apply when I get back in Canada. I'm still feeling burdened about today. The time felt oh so slow in the office and oh so dreadful. It's dark outside already and just thinking that I'm going home late again makes me tired already. Just thinking I'm going back here tomorrow with a possibility of a more difficult project is something that I'm not looking forward to. But I'm writing this so that I will remember the hardship of today and my journey to success. Ha. That made me laugh. You know what else is funny and true? I think too much and put myself in a bad mood. Ha.
Finally, Hearts of Storm has arrived! I've managed to download the Technical Alpha and I'm off playing at 3pm. It's amazing. I've been waiting for a long time since I signed up for the beta. But I'm able to play it on Technical Alpha, this means that I'm also bug hunting or hunting for errors in layman's term.
I was surprised that the police showed up in our front door in the afternoon. They're looking for a missing girl, and they asked me if I've seen her from the picture. I told them I haven't seen anyone like her and they took my name and phone number. She was missing since yesterday and she's also a high school student just like my sister. God, I got so concerned of how this is happening in our neighbourhood. Our street is very peaceful and I don't know how this is happening. I can't judge the look of the girl, but I'm thinking this might be a case of a runaway girl. I don't know though. If she was abducted then this incident is very alarming.
13 days left, huh? Anyway, I'm back to work tomorrow. I'm praying that everything's good to go. I also received an email from work that this week is still going to be slow. I don't really care either way. My head's almost getting crazy thinking about my trip back home, the Philippines.
There's one hassle today. I went to Sobey's to grab a parcel because I received a notice on our mailbox that they're keeping it there. So we drove in the cold to get there, but when I showed my notice to the lady, she said that I might have received it already. I was laughing in disbelief thinking that it might not be true. But when she said that I did receive it already, the one from December 29, I just smiled and thanked her. I walked away thinking that my trip there was pointless.
Not necessarily pointless, but it was a pleasant surprise to meet bro. E while he was shopping for groceries as well. I asked him how Sunday went while I was at home resting and I found out that my students need more lessons. I bid him farewell after buying myself a box of blueberry muffins and a french bread. I got home and proceeded to do some webdesign. I've created one layout and improved 5 of 9 websites over at Euphoric Field.
Also, I've been invited to join a private discussion about the problems of Mangafox.com. I'm not really sure what I could contribute, but there are problems I wanted to point out, such as the view counter of the threads are not updating. For example, new threads always have 0 views even though people have visited few times. It should not get stuck at 0. This gives people the idea that no one is viewing the threads -- ultimately the forums -- and discourages activity there. So it looks like the Mangafox forum is dying.
My flu is almost gone. Now I have to deal with this neck pain. I almost forgot, 14 days to go!
I just noticed an irony on this blog. Whenever I publish an update, I noticed from my statcounter that I only get 1 visit that day. But when I don't do anything, just like what I've been doing in the last year, I'm getting at least 10 hits a day. Is it a bug?
Anyway, I've started packing my boxes today. These are my boxes for my trip home. Well, everyone had started packing, and I'm thinking that it's still too early, but whatever. I might as well join the company. Besides, there a lot of clutter at home that needs to be put away. The basement looks like an overgrown cabinet right now.
The first Sunday of the year and I missed it by staying home. I was still sick today, but I'm feeling much better tonight. I feel that my rhythm is coming back. I felt like crap earlier. But I can breathe now. And that cold air that I've been complaining yesterday and that irritated my throat is gone now. It's time to work and face the problems waiting for me there.
More importantly... 15 days left.
I don't know whether my body condition has improved or not. But it's obvious that I've been feeling under the weather lately. It felt like it was a really slow Saturday too. I was supposed to go to church this afternoon, WCFM, because I wanted to help and observe the mentors briefing their students. Bro. E sent me a message, but I replied to both bro. E and sis. J that I have the flu. I wanted to sleep some more when I woke up, but it gets me really annoyed to wake up with a sore throat again. It's not supposed to be that cold at home. But it gets real annoying when you feel cold air passing through your nostril and into your throat that makes it painful and irritated. Anyway, dad bought me night time Advil. That should help me sleep tonight.
I've started writing on secret parallel project today.
Friday isn't a good day for me, because I'm getting down with the flu. It all ruined my plan of going to work. I wasn't able to and it sucks. As long as I finish work before the 16th, I'm satisfied. But I can't help it. I didn't know how I got the symptoms. I was fine yesterday too, but it started last night. I'm thinking that I might have gotten my body cold while I was typing. Well, I've been writing stuff for various websites and it was pretty cold in the living room.
It started with a very sore throat in the morning, and then I couldn't go back to sleep from then. What made it more difficult is that my ate C left her daughter here for us to babysit. It was noisy with all the crying and the running; I think she was sick too. As much as I wanted to sleep, I couldn't. But the sore throat was still the main thing that bugged me.
Whenever I get the sore throat, I get the flu. My muscles felt weak too. I really wanted to go to work and I'm missing a lot of shifts. I can't help it. The control is beyond me. And now I'm looking at next Saturday to having a shift. Gah. Saturdays. I'm just glas I don't have to work tomorrow. Even though my first day back at work is bombed, it doesn't mean anything. This year is going to be amazing.
Today serves as the first page of the book of 'twentyfifteen'. I've chosen to write everyday here like how I spent my time on Euphoric Field doing my 365 project. I want to do it again and more. Like I said in my last entry over there, I want to be consistent in writing. I can't really be strict with myself and I lapse when I don't have any reason why I should write; even if my reason is for the sake of this play, I think it's enough for me to go ahead with it.
Like the start of my new year, I welcomed the first dawn, the first day with a solemn prayer. I talked to God about all sorts of things ranging from Spiritual growth to our trip home, from academics to my work, from spiritual blessing to the redecoration the basement; it's all sorts of things. I spent a good hour trying to figure what I should pray for. What I want to improve on in life this year is how to deal with anxiety, worry and depression. Anything much of what I would worry, I prayed to God.
Now that January 1 is coming to an end, it's time to go back to reality. Well, for the mean time -- since we're going home (to the Philippines) approximately two weeks from now. It's going to be awesome. 2015 will be awesome. I can feel it. This is my first page of the year. I started it also by officially publishing five fansites that were left hanging. Despite that they're currently under BETA phase, or the phase for debugging and testing, I want them launched early. I'm also looking for a fresh playground for my fanfiction. I will post the links some other time.