Vacation Photos (Again) From Way Back (2014)

European Vacation 2014. Okay okay, so I was a few pounds heavier then, aside from being two years younger. Please take note: No photoshop at all this time. My sister just sent me these pics which she had kept away from me for almost three long years. Grrr…

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inside a museum in Greenwich London
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I just had to have a pic of me with the prettiest stewardess I’ve laid eyes on
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the most heavenly handsome man I’ve  come face to face with — the guy on the left
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with a sweet tourmate in Brugges Belgium
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having breakfast in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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for afternoon tea with sis

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somewhere in the undergrounds of UK

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inside the Louvre
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very charming house in the suburb of Greenwich London
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in a small park in a London mall

 

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pretty Mercure Hotel in Greenwich

I’d done my very best for the kid

Still estranged from my child. He had texted the usual precise “Hi, hope you are doin fine” twice in a year — obviously for the mere heck of it. Other than that, nothing. No visit, no show of concern, no birthday nor sincere holiday greeting.

Ah yes, he sent a brief letter via text msg enumerating his misdeeds and trespasses from way way back to unload from his conscience. No apology though. And I wondered what his purpose truly was for sending such a missive.

Nobody reads my blog anymore. I, however, still see Philippines on my stats and I suspect it’s him because he has always known this blog was set up for the two of us.

Once again I can say with confidence I have done my very best for my child. That’s the reason my conscience is clear. That’s the reason I didn’t shed too much tears over losing him. Because my son actually owes me an apology.

When his father left us, I took all the responsibility of raising him, with nary any help from anyone, literally. I had no maid to help me take care of him. I worked my ass off for the money that would financially sustain the expenses of raising a child. I practically did it all.

No, I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes. I confess I had laid a hand on him — which was wrong: my only real transgression as a mother. I had thought it was okay because my parents especially my own mother, who was bipolar and mentally unstable, had done the same to me. I did feel guilty every time. And I begged for my child’s forgiveness throughout the years.

On the whole, I know I’ve been a good mother. People around us believe so. I showered him with love and might have spoiled him enough he turned into a brat. I also have to take into account the blood of my ex-husband that runs strong in my son’s veins. How else could I have been so clueless I was raising a monster.

He was sore I spent money for myself when I traveled to Europe. My own money. Money he thinks shouldn’t have been spent and should have been simply kept in the bank… until when? Until the day I die? I begged for him to come with me which I’d be willing to pay for, because I wanted him to be with me in the fulfillment of a long-time dream.  He refused.

In the almost three years he stayed away from me, I repeatedly got in touch with him, even went to his office four or five times, trying to make peace with him, offering my help if ever he needed it. He ignored me, dismissed me, and showed disrespect a number of times. Not different from the very midnight he left home, packing hurriedly and slamming the door so hard it woke me and several of our neighbors. No explanation, no goodbye.

I wrote him a letter late last year before I went to Norway. I handed it to him and told him if something happens to me, whatever is left will be his. I told him I love him and have done my very best for him. But he was rude and so full of himself as usual which made me cry.

Anyway, he and I know everything in that letter I wrote was true.

And still I ruminate as well on what an asshole and a monster he really is deep inside.

 

A Year In Review

Gave up my teaching job last January. The downside of not being busy and earning much less and feeling like I’m not being productive hit me a few months after. I must admit, however, getting enough sleep now probably beats all the drawbacks.

Used my FB account to get entertained through postings of male American pro-Trumpers. Whether they’re my friends or not, I go into their sites and read and click Like on their intelligent rants and funny memes.

I lost weight mainly because my stomach acidity had forbidden me to consume my favorite drinks – milk tea, Coke, and juice. My sleeping patterns have become ungodly too – going to bed at dawn and waking up at noon. I also started to eat more healthily. They all contributed to reaching my ideal size which makes me feel awesome.

Oddly, I came to like a guy who had shown me kindness during my Norway trip even though his physical attributes are way way off my standards. We became FB pals and kept liking each other’s posts. That’s all. Because in spite of his looks – being plump and short – he’s very popular with ladies and he even has had quite good-looking girlfriends. In my mind I was like “You gotta be kidding me…” 🙂 .

The highlight of my year was my Norway adventure. I had a magnificent time I didn’t even want to go home. What a wonderful experience I hope to be able to travel to Europe again soon.

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Happy Birthday Dearest One

 

I used to think I was a much better parent to my child than you were to me. But I’m beginning to discern it may not be so.

Remember the time you told me how things would be better if I’d soon settle down again with someone – just anyone, you said – with whom I could spend the rest of my life with? Amusingly appalling, I thought, because we’d always been confident about our kind; at the same time I could sense you were plain worried of me ending up completely alone when you aren’t around anymore. You even made my son promise to you never to leave me ever. And we both believed him — yet he left a few years after. It became one more testament as to the only person who truly cared for me after all.

I also remember the moment shortly after you were gone, when this other daughter of yours had tried to talk me into shifting my devotion – and I turned speechless; it was not because I didn’t know what to think: She simply stood no chance of convincing me; how it was such an impossibility. Others would differ in their opinion as to my decision, but they didn’t know our history. They’d never come to know of or comprehend my feelings.

Secretly, I still carry the pain of your absence. The pain I’ve learned to conceal behind my every smile; ensconced with the same grief which I make sure descends beyond the perception of my external world. I’ve gotten used to doing just fine dealing with my reality – with the notion nobody understands and will ever understand. Silence has been more comforting anyway.

There are times I realize the tears aren’t solely caused by the sadness of missing you. I’m being sustained for the love I keep — sinking deeper with the time, with my memories of you — the kind I’ve kept neither those light nor dark hours could reach.

Now more than ever, it’s become all so clear – how it has finally dawned that your final resting place is inside my heart.

Happy Birthday, my dearest one.

***

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among the happiest days of my life – vacation in Norway (1)

In the most beautiful place I’ve been to so far. Home to the best-looking people my eyes have ever laid on. Can’t describe in words so I’ll simply post a series of photos here and in the coming days. All images from my own simple camera.

I’ve a tiny problem uploading today. Photos, er, I mean, selfies are available on my instagram .

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waiting to board the Flam Train

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inside a McDonald’s in Bergen

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fog in the bridge — I adore fogs

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The Woman My Father Loved

Her name was Lucrecia. Both her looks and her intelligence were nothing to write home about. Unsophisticated, uneducated – unmistakably a native from some faraway province.

But it was her character or perhaps her bearings that won my secret admiration. Resourceful, strong, diligent, alert.

I remained civil in my dealings with her, though, and kept my distance – for fear I’d earn the combined wrath of my mother and my sister.

This impression I’ve held since way back I can’t help not include in this memoir of mine. Because deep inside, I had more appreciation for the woman whom my father claimed he had mentored than I’ve had for my mother. A year apart in age, if my mother would be found watching TV all day and with nary a care for a worthwhile hobby to cultivate, Lucrecia would be found hanging her finished cross-stitched pieces on the wall and would think of the projects she’d pursue next.

Knowing my father, I wasn’t surprised she turned out to be the kind of lady he was proud of. They were together for the longest years. Their partnership started when she became his all-around assistant at the nightclub he used to own.

But it was a love put to an end by the complexity of our family situation.

My father entrusted his life savings to my sister. – his favorite child. The one who, he admitted, gave him pride for being the most successful in her career and the one who was able to marry into a rich family.

Somehow my mother was able to convince my sister Lucrecia’s daily visits and presence in the house to look after my father were ruining her image to the neighbors. Inevitably, the issue of money got in the way as well. My sister had all the authority so I had no say as to such family matters and simply received second-hand news as to the dispute between the two sides that just got uglier and uglier.

My sister and mother made a sudden resolution to ban Lucrecia from the house. The latter had to give in but not without a fight (taking her case to the municipal hall). The ending: she was given an amount of cash as a settlement. She had no choice but to completely stay away from the man she loved and took care of for maybe four decades or more.

My father, who became bedridden had no inkling as to the events that were taking place. I was told to be tight-lipped about the reason for Lucrecia’s unexpected disappearance. My sister persuaded me Lucrecia’s permanent absence would be best for our father and the rest of us. Since my voice had been deemed weightless for as long as I could remember, it’d be futile to go against their decisions. Besides, I had my own drama to deal with as a single parent caring for a sickly child and all. I was fed up with my own circumstances and tried to find solace at whatever temporary pleasures that would come my way. I also wanted to be happy, not be miserable due to constant flesh and blood theatricals; I myself couldn’t understand what I’d been feeling and going through. Yes, excuses that I have come to regret and currently pay for.

I never saw Lucrecia again.

I knew it broke my father’s heart so much. He no doubt thought she simply got tired and abandoned him. There was no way I could tell him. His knowing the truth would be pointless. It’d devastate him, not to mention the family feud would certainly escalate and things could only have gotten worse. His downward spiral, however, began as he turned his attention toward alcohol consumption; which my sister, my brother, and my mother tolerated – he was in his late 80’s anyway, they rationalized. I bid him to stop drinking – but he expressed his wish to end his life. He was clearly committing suicide.

*

Except on Father’s Day, nobody else really comes to visit my father’s grave. I have no idea what has happened to Lucrecia. She would visit from time to time if she had known. She must not know for sure where the love of her life now rests in peace.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (2)

As far as I can recall, there’s only one thing my brother has unremittingly been passionate about: women. He’s had five children – from four different mothers; not to mention the string of ladies he’d had relationships with. I was an unfortunate witness to the several occasions he discarded the pitiful women as soon as he got tired of them and somebody new came along. Not classically handsome — his smooth-talking style hardly ever missed. I believe my mother spoiled her son to a point, I can no longer count the number of times I had to shake my head at the unwise decisions he had made in his life.

He’s still in his forties. – a couple of years younger than me. A good person, on the whole (though massively flawed in certain ways). Talkative, outgoing, forever bursting with humor; one of the very rare people who could make me laugh and giggle for two hours straight. More than half of the conversational fun I’ve had in my entire existence I owe to him.

There was this problem: He’s been a heavy smoker since he was in his teens. No intervention could halt his cigarette habit; a dependency he kept on denying throughout the years.

At present, it’s our mother who is in denial. Even though my brother has lost more than 30 pounds in a matter of six months; even though he’s lost his appetite for food and feels nauseous every time he attempts to ingest substantial solids in his stomach. It’s as if she’s thinking, “No, it’s not happening to my favorite child.” Nothing, however, has been definite as his medical lab tests still have to reveal what’s really causing his health troubles.

He’s raising a daughter who’s barely two years old right now – from his current partner. A woman who’s twenty four years his junior. I remember expressing my disapproval upon learning he was trying to have a baby with her (his new lover at the time) scarcely three years ago. I knew a possibility like this wasn’t remote. In addition to his addiction to nicotine, my brother wasn’t the type who’d be into wholesome eating and sensible exercise.

I feel somber these days whenever he enters my mind.

In spite of the conflict we’ve had and his ongoing resentment toward me due to my lack of devotion to our mother, I’m worried about him. He’s my brother after all. I really don’t want to think about what might happen. I wouldn’t want to lose him.

Yet I’m beginning to get scared.