Friday, October 27, 2006

Letting Go

Personal log - 18th of October, 2006.

Tonight is my last night in the Philippines. I am in Manila now and I am with my Mom as we await my flight for the Netherlands tomorrow. We have spent the entire day together, and my thoughts also linger back to the rest of my family back in Cebu. My brother, TJ, has already sent his well wishes for my trip tomorrow. And the sad thing is, I haven't said goodbye to my other brother, John.

I left Cebu on the mid-morning of Tuesday. As much as I wanted to, I wasn't able to wake up early to say goodbye to my brothers and my sister. I had gone to bed at around 4.30 or 5 a.m. after some last minute packing. They had left for school around seven while I was asleep. But I am still thankful because Iwas able to spend my last few days with them. I was also able to spend my last few days with some of my friends and relatives. I will see them again in a year.
A year of new things for me: experiences, and learnings.

As I hung out with my Mom today, I realized that she still has this lingering feeling that I am still the little girl that she had twenty-four years ago. The baby she bore into this world. The baby she had raised, and protected from all the harm in the world she couldthink of. Yet, tomorrow, she will have to let me go. Her baby is now all grown up. She is starting to learn to stand on her own two feet. She is starting to learn "how to walk" on her own. I know she feels
a little bit apprehensive with me leaving. But she is letting me go. A good friend of hers once asked her, "when are you ever going to let your daughter go? She's all grown up?" She only said, "I'm letting her go when she gets on that plane to the Netherlands."

All my life I had always grown up sheltered. In everything I did, I always had my parents behind me, most especially my Mom. She has always been "that voice" in my head. She had always been there to guide me in everything I did. Maybe that's what made me kinda weak - easily homesick - because I knew I had her there beside me all the time. But I can't bring her to the Netherlands. The time has come for me to become independent. Yes, as early as now, it hurts I must tell you that. But that's life. I knew that eventually this time will come. A time when I would have to make my own decisions basing on my own facts and opinions. It will not easy, but this trip will be my learning curve. In this trip, I will truly come out of my cocoon and go into the world.

I don't know how everything will happen and go after today. I do know something. I'm going to grow. I'm going to grow for the better. I have so many questions running in my head. So many of my own apprehensions. But the time has come forme to learn more about life. To learn about the world. I will prove to everyone, to my Mom, that "her baby" is now indeed a big girl.

End log.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Manila, Embassy Interviews, and the countdown begins...

Personal log - dawn - 5th of October, 2006.

The day before yesterday, I have returned from a very fruitful trip to Manila. Earlier today, I had my interview at the Dutch Embassy in Makati City, and I have been told to get my visa in two weeks time. I was only the a bit scared prior to the interview since the woman who was interviewed before me was asked so many questions and all my fears of my first interview (US Embassy back then) came back. That woman was really having a hard time and I knew that she and I were applying for the same kind of visa, so... It was one heck of an experience, especially since it was a bit embarrassing on my part... Nonetheless, I've never been any happier, but also a bit sad because the countdown truly begins... Now it's t - 14...

Also, I noticed since I arrived yesterday was that Manila is a huge mess! Typhoon Milenyo really really left its mark during its coming last weekend. I've never seen so much uprooted and fallen trees everywhere. Fallen billboards. Some of them toppling over buildings or houses. Creepy and scary. It reminds you that no matter how modern, how progressive a city is, a calamity as strong as Milenyo can really humble it and its inhabitants... When I got to Manila on Monday, it was the first time I saw Manila in a huge mess as it was...

We ended up staying at this small yet cozy pensionne house (St. Illian's Inn) near the Dutch Embassy in Chino Roces Ave. (Makati City). It was a nice place. The only problem was, the entire hotel was still running on generators upto Monday so we were stuck with an electric fan in our room. Not that I would complain. I was even very much happy because I'm not very much fond of airconditioning units. And to make things even better, it rained in the evening so it made the sleep even more comfortable and cool, and made the walk down to the Embassy even less hot.

It was the trip back to Cebu that was interesting. When we got to NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), we were 3 hours before our flight. It was good. We got to see people board their planes and see that there were many many foreigners in Manila at that time. I saw mostly Asians. I even saw guys who looked as though they were out from a Chinese Shaolin movie with the clothes and the hair and all... They were stopped at the first x-ray checkpoint because they were carrying bottles of ice tea. Then when it was me and my Mom's turn to be checked, we had to remove our shoes and belt buckles. I'm so used to airports now, however, I can't seem to get used to the idea of being body frisked. It freaks me out. I told my Mom jokingly that the next time we were going through this airport checks and body frisking things, we might be naked... :P

Then as we were about to fly, the Captain told us that we were going to be a few minutes delayed because we were number four in the queue of planes ready to take off. It was cool to see planes of all sorts of sizes preparing for take off... It reminded me of my brother, Richard.

I must admit I don't easily get airsick. But the plane trip back to Cebu was just bumpy. There was enough airpockets to make me feel like my insides was in a rumble. I hope that my flight to NL won't like that. I don't think I'll be able to recover as quickly as now, I'm still nursing a terrible upset stomach and a headache every now and then...

More to come in the next couple of days and the next couple of weeks...

End log.