Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Live Life, Take Risks

"Life life."

"Take risks."

Today I bid goodbye to a friend who has been battling cancer in the last seven months. My friends told me, "Be brave" when I told them I was on my way to the wake. I told myself I should not cry (it's very bad for my heart). God sent an angel after I arrived at the wake, he accompanied me to see our friend. I was relieved to see that he was smiling and looked very much like the times we spent chatting during lunch and at airports.

I've had very meaningful conversations with this friend of mine. I miss my Dad a lot and chatting with him about politics made me feel that I was talking to a younger version of my Dad. We'd also talk about family and discussed his dream about building a very nice house for his family. He would excitedly share with me his plans for his dream house and he'd always say that he'd like to show me his house when it is finished.

He taught me how to dream again. And to enjoy living. I shared to him that I've been very prudent about spending, investing and just getting what I wanted because I want to make sure that if ever something happens to me (knock on wood) that my family would be cope and be financially stable. When I told him that he smiled and said, "But you are alive, you should just enjoy what you have now."

I only knew him for a few years and had these meaningful conversations at least once quarter. I'd bump into him randomly in the cafeteria or at airports. Unplanned. Unexpected. I can only hope that I provided some relief to him and for his family when he reached out to me to ask advise about what was going through. He swore me into secrecy and I kept it as he wished. I never knew though what kind of sickness he went through until yesterday. It was exactly the same disease my Dad had suffered through.

They say the people you meet, the people who become your friends come to your life for a reason. Life is so fleeting, but as my friend taught me. Live it. Take risks and enjoy your life and love, love, love.

Thank you Claro (Lalen to many of his local friends) for teaching me to live again.  It was an honor to be your friend. Pa-hug na lang sa Daddy ko ha.

PS Bakit nga ba wala tayong selfie noh?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Araw ng Kalayaan!

Nung nasa kolehiyo pa ako naisip ko na dapat matuto rin ako magsulat sa ating wika. Nagpaturo ako sa isa kong kasamahan sa org at nakapag-lathala naman ako ng ilang kwento. Iba ang kinalabasan ng mga sinulat kong kwento nun, mas mababaw at nakakatawa kaya malaki ang aking respeto sa mga manunulat na magaling magsulat sa ating wika.

Marami akong kaibigan na kahit nasa Pilipinas eh Ingles ang ginagamit sa pagsasalita. Aaminin ko natuto ako mag-Filipino sa school bus dahil sinanay ako ng magulang ko nung ako ay maliit pa. Mula nung ako ay matuto mag-Filipino yun na lagi ko ginagamit. Hindi masyado masaya magulang ko kasi sabi nila eh yun daw ang "language of business" and makakatulong sa akin kapag may trabaho na ako. Eh matigas ulo ko at mas komportable ako magsalita sa ating wika. Hindi naman ito naging hadlang sa pag-usad ng aking karir at ang mga kaibigan at katrabaho ko na Pinoy kinakausap ko pa rin sa ating wika kahit Ingles sila ng Ingles.

Bakit ko ito ginagawa? Sanay naman ako magkwento sa wikang Ingles (kaso sabi nila sa opisina makapal daw ang aking Pinoy accent). Dedma lang kasi sila rin naman ay may accent (at mas mahirap maintindihan yung mga taga-Europa), hehehe. Sa tingin ko malaki ang naging impluwensya sa akin ng kanta ni Florante noong ako'y bata pa --

"Wikang pambansa ang gamit kong salita 
Bayan kong sinilangan 
Hangad kong lagi ang kalayaan. 
Si Gat Jose Rizal nuo'y nagwika 
Siya ay nagpangaral sa ating bansa 
 Ang hindi raw magmahal sa sariling wika 
Ay higit pa ang amoy sa mabahong isda."

Kaya naisip ko na kahit na "English is the language of business" eh ang paggamit ng ating wika sa pang-araw-araw ay importante dahil kahit dito man lang mapakita ko sa iba na ako ay Pilipino at ipinagmamalaki ko ito.

Sa araw na ito, sana bawa't isa sa atin ay maipahayag natin sa kahit ano'ng paraan na ipinagmamalaki natin na tayo ay Pilipino... sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa.

PS Aaminin ko gumamit ako ng Google Translate sa ibang mga salita hehehe (mahirap talaga magsulat sa ating wika!). 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

My First Quilt Project After 20+ Years

When I was a kid I would spend my summers with my Mom teaching me how to make crafts. I went through sewing clothes for my Barbie dolls, making bags using straw rope, making crochet coasters, creating Christmas trees using pistachio nut shells and one summer in high school she taught me how to quilt. My Mom would get retaso from Tita Maming who had a clothing export business and should would cut them into square patterns. My school bag and lunch box in my high school senior year were my hand-made quilt products. I still have them and use them sometimes (yes they're still alive!).

Mom never stopped quilting and eversince she would make blankets for her grandchildren and me. I was looking for a hobby to revive early this summer since I didn't really like creating loombands (I wanted to be offline while crafting and making loombands require you watch online vids). I wanted to go back to reading, but my eyesight has deteriorated (probably coz I use gadgets too much!). One day I realized I wanted to try quilting again, so I found myself in Spotlight buying some fabric and thread.

It was a journey for me to create my first project because I realized that my Mom only taught me how to stitch together square patterns. My quilting lessons didn't include how to put everything together -- the batting, the backing and the piping! My Mom used to finish my projects for me back then. To practice I made a small wallet first (project zero) to figure out how to finish a whole project.

I guess that's how life is as well. Your parents will teach you as much as they could, but you would need to figure out the rest. It took me 2 months and 20,878 kilometers worth of travel (I lugged it around with me) to finally finish this project - a sleeve for my Chromebook - and I must say that it's an achievement for me since I made it on my own. It's not perfect -- all the stitches are uneven, and ugh don't even look at the underside! But I think my Mom would be proud that I finished this without her help.

For my next project I'm going to make a sleeve for my tablet and after that I hope I can have the courage to veer away from solid colors and follow a simple project from a quilting book.