I May Go Home

Okay, allow me to breathe and write my heart out.

Am now in the middle of uncertainties: uncertain if I will be able to continue working here or be sent home. Both possibilities are bittersweet.

I have a Labor Ban. It means I have to exit the country and cannot work here for at least one year. A Residence Visa under a new employer would not be possible.

There is a work around though. But getting a work permit is also unlikely. The new employer is checking other options. Until then, things are still uncertain.

The bottom line is: I may go back to my home country. It isn’t a bad thing, is it? I am actually day dreaming of being back home. But the thought of overlapping financial commitment makes me cringe. Ahh, this too shall pass.

I felt betrayed at first. I don’t deserve this, I thought. But what do I deserve? Ha!

Being in this situation makes me realize how gracious the Lord really is. It has been a year since the Ban has been imposed but I am still here, alive and kicking. If I haven’t accepted an offer to another company, I wouldn’t be able to know that the ban hasn’t been lifted yet. And with that, I am thankful it turned this way.

Without the grace of God, I wouldn’t survive a year full of drama and homesickness. I eat five times a day (oops!); enjoyed so many places; gained new friends (and they’re all awesome!); and recommitted my life to Christ. It just proves that He hold all things together and no matter how shattered my situation might seem now, He got me. And that’s all that matters.


Conflict And Steak

There will be conflict.
There will be chaos.
But there will be grace.
And the choice to stick together
through shortcomings and steak.

Last Friday, our team had our first ever conflict. Turned out that some of us (or just me?) are not fully into the game and laxing a bit (or more). Pat needed our help and we weren’t there. Glad that he had patience to handle the situation by himself. Β 

And then when we had our event (bowling) after the service where we thought we planned so well but still turned out to be chaotic. We have problems with team arrangement and the team member’s name got mixed up. It was so stressful but we have to top it off so we can think of ways to handle the situation. Some of the leaders stepped up and helped sort the situation with us. Thank God everyone enjoyed the day despite all the hurdle.Β 

Wag Assuming. Nakamamatay.

Siya: Ji, may gagawin ka ba sa Wednesday?

Ako: Wala pa namang sched. Bakit?

Siya: May meeting daw.

Ako: Ah. Ok!

Puso: Akala ko yayayain mo ko kumain.

Utak: Wag assuming. Nakamamatay.

Ako: Shut up, both of you!

Leaders And Intimidation

In the volunteer’s lounge where we eat some bread and drink some coffee, we get to be acquainted by one of our leaders who is quite intimidating, atleast from our perspective.

He joined our group and started a conversation.

PR: Hello.
Ji: Hello po.
PR: Kamusta? Hindi kita nakikita a. Nagbakasyon ka ba or something?
Ji: (Nervous. Trying to play cool and crack a joke.) Hindi po. Hindi niyo lang ako nakikita. Nagtatago po kasi ko senyo.
PR: Ah. Well, you’re not alone.
Group: Hahahaha Hahaha
Ji: Wants to die.

Uhm, I think the joke didn’t end well.

But it struck something in me.

I remember another leader who taught us to be mindful of our leaders. Pray for them and reach out to them also. Ask them how are they doing. Smile and give word of encouragement. He said that it is easy for us to go out and have fellowship together but have we ever thought of inviting our leader in those intimate get together? Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they don’t have time. But still: it’s the thought that counts, right?Β 

Why am I intimidated by him? Why are we all afraid to start a conversation with him? He is still human, ain’t he? I realized that my reaction, though in a form of a joke, is half meant. And his response, although he is smiling, also rings truth in it.

Facebook Account Access Denied

Update: In fairness, I get a quick reponse from FB. They responded within 24 hours but since I was busy, I only read their message after another day. They give me back my access provided that I will use my Full Name. I obliged instead of losing all the data I have in that account.

I was asked to review the name I use in Facebook because it might not be following the Community Standards. Seryoso?

I am not using my Full Name since 2012 for privacy purposes. I don’t think my name was offensive in any way. But then, someone reported my profile to Facebook.

Review Your Name

I am chatting with a friend one moment and after a while, I was logged out from my account.

I couldn’t access my account until I responded to their message. I want to retain the name I use in Facebook.

Support Inbox 1

So, we are to use the name we go by in everyday life. Do you know that? Or do you follow their Standard in using Names? But what if your real name is Maria but your friends call you Petra? How can you prove that you are widely known as Petra if all your valid ID shows that your name is Maria?

Confirm your name 1

In my case, I shortened my full name and use it as my name in Facebook. I was then asked to provide proof that the name I use is valid. I attached a government ID showing my name and birth date. Unfortunately, the name in my ID doesn’t match my username. I showed in the picture how I got the name I use in Facebook. It can easily be seen and understood. I would be released from this hassle in no time.

Confirm your name 2

Or so I thought. Just this evening, I was logged out from my account again with this message:

Support Inbox 2

This time, I am starting to be pissed off. I sent the same ID and tried to explain how I come up to that name.

Support Inbox 3

I don’t proofread my messages, okay? I just write from an annoyed heart. I thought after sending the valid IDs, I can log into my account again. But, no.

Support Inbox 4

So, no Facebook for now until who-knows-when?

Isn’t it funny? I don’t really post anything on my account but yet I get annoyed that I was denied an access to it. Nine years of online activity; lots of photos and memories and most of the church related activities are tied to this account. Honestly, I don’t want to create another one. If this account can’t be recovered, I am considering to ditch this social media for life. (As if Facebook would crash if I do so. Haha!)

However, the thought of a “fresh start” sounds appealing.

To whoever reported my account,

If you have a problem with me, let’s talk about it. Why do you have to put me into this non-sense hassle? Lakas kasi makapeymus, Bes, eh.

Do you have the same experience? Have you ever been denied in accessing your Social Media Account? 

Calls And Packed Lunch

Every morning while walking towards the bus station to wait for the shuttle service going to office, I call my parents to start my day.

Our conversation are usually filledΒ with take care’s and i love you’s; humorous role playing and day dreaming like we are not 9-hours flight apart.

The call today filled my heart with laughter and tears.

Ji: Bebekoh! Pasok na ko.
Ma: Malayo ba yung sakayan sa bahay niyo?
Ji: Medyo po. Parang mula bahay hanggang lagpas ng paradahan ng tricycle. Mga 15 min. walk.
Ma: Ahh..
Ji: Na nakatakong.
Ma: Nyek. Magrubber shoes ka nalang. Para parang jogging na rin.
Ji: Ayoko. magdadala pako ng sapatos. Bulky sa bag.
Ma: Edi iwan mo sa office.
Ji: Ayaw ko po.
Ma: …
Ji: Saan kayo?
Ma: Andito pa sa bahay. Nagluluto pa si Papa. Kain muna kami bago umalis para tipid.
Ji: Ano po?
Ma: Chicken Longganisa at Swoatanghon.
Ji: Wow, sarap!
Ma: Magbaon ka. Antayin mo na. Mabilis lang ‘to.
Ji: Sige po.

*Mama sends a photo.

Ji: Ayos. Sarap neto.
Ma: Amoy amuyin mo nalang. Masarap yan! Share mo sa mga kasama mo sa office.
Ji: Hahaha! *Cries inside*

I just miss her.
I miss Papa.
I miss home.

Tralala Bus Station. Foggy and chillin’ cold during winter. Perfect setting for Zombie Apocalypse.

Shame Of My Youth

That thing in Facebook that reminds you of what happened or what you posted five or seven years ago. Sometimes it will show you a picture of a person that you don’t wish to see anymore. Most of the time it will remind you of happy memories and triggers a feeling of wanting to see those people in an instant.

A lot have been posted on this day but this poem stands out:

Sa tuwing pagsikat ng araw at paglubog nito,
Sa tuwing pagbuhos ng ulan at pagihip ng hangin,
Sa tuwing papagaspas ang dahon ng puno,
Sa tuwing makakarinig ng huni ng ibon…

Aking naalala ang mapait na kahapon,
Di na sana nais pang magpatuloy hanggang sa ngayon.
Ngunit bakit sa bawat hakbang, bawat galaw,
Tila umuulit ang masalimuot na kahapong tanglaw.

I realized that I’ve been lingering in hatred and shame for the longest time. Imagine, this was year 2010! Ha!

But because of God’s grace and overflowing love, the shame of my youth doesn’t drag me now like it used to. I learned to cast it off to the one who loves me most.

This is what I declare when the bitterness of the past is popping up in my mind:

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”
Isaiah 54:4

If He, the God of heaven and earth, will forget the shame of my youth, how dare am I to keep remembering them with disgrace?

Do you despise what you did during your youth? If so, how are you dealing it?

PS: Not my wrist.

“It is finished.”