Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Take One: Airport Scene

I could barely see the clock on my work desk. My vision was blurry but tried hard to make out what time it was. It was 5:30 AM. There was already clamor in the kitchen, something I wasn't used to. I've been on my own for quite a long time. I kept telling myself it's too early to be getting up, but I have to. Dad's flight is at 9:15 AM, and we have to be at the airport at least two hours early. En route to the bathroom I glanced at Mom and Dad having a cup of coffee and enjoying the orange scones I brought home yesterday; they were keeping their conversation low as they didn't want to wake me up.

Dad arrived about three weeks ago, and I was so happy that he's finally taking the time off. Since we moved to the US, Dad's been working six days a week. He's a stubborn man. I kept telling him to cut down his hours, so that he can at least take two days off, but he insists it's for the family. Stubborn indeed for his love for us.

Looking back, I couldn't help but think of all the family problems we've faced. If my Mom is emotional and has hysterical tendencies, Dad would be calm and composed at all times. If I had a problem, even to the point of sobbing my heart out on the phone, Dad would have the right words to calm me down. He is the source of my comfort and guidance.

The morning air felt nippy. I thought it was unusually cold for late August. Summer won't end in another three weeks. I decided to drive the car to the Metro, as it would be inconvenient to walk the whole 20 minutes carrying bulky bags. The Metro station looked lonely and deserted at this early in the morning. As the red train bound to Glenmont approached, there were so many empty seats. It was nice. We could seat wherever we wanted. We sat, talked and planned about the coming winter holidays. The train ride felt like a blur. The next time we knew, we were already at the airport. My chest felt heavy, and I suddenly felt the pangs of sadness. I didn't want my Dad to leave. Through the years, this is exactly how I felt whenever I drop my parents at the airport. I helped my Dad get his boarding pass and get him ready for his flight. In my heart, I wish he could just stay here - with me.

At about 7:45 AM, we hugged, as he proceeded to his departure gate. My eyes started filling up with tears but managed not to let them fall. I saw him go through airport security fine and gave him a big smile and a wave. How time really flies. It felt like I was just in the airport picking him up yesterday. From the airport, I went straight to work. It was 8:30 AM when I turned on my computer in the office. It was too early, and it was too quiet. I miss my Dad already.

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is my entry to this week's PhotoSharks' challenge.
Theme: Freeze
This photo was taken on February 2007 (Maryland, USA).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

In Case (and I Thought) You Want To Know

I was tagged by witsandnuts.

I am: in a state of restlessness - so many things going on at work
I think: that I'll soon understand why certain things are happening in my life
I know: that we can always begin where we are
I have: a dog named Basset and I love him to bits
I wish: I was on vacation
I hate: the smell of cigarette smoke mixed with humid weather...yak
I miss: my older sister and brother
I fear: losing my parents; they're now in there 60s
I hear: my colleague's typing
I smell: no scent except for the cool air (AC) going through my nostrils
I crave: for pastillas de leche, suman, lechon rice, and bibingka made in the Philippines
I search: for Filipino movies and TV shows online =)
I wonder: if there's life after death
I regret: not giving my best in college
I love: chocolates, stationeries, and teddy bears
I ache: whenever I leave our family home
I am not: fat, I am just healthy
I believe: that every thing happens for a reason
I dance: when it rains and when I like the music
I sing: when I'm in the shower or alone in my car
I cry: when I'm hurt or when anyone close to me is hurt
I fight: for my rights and the rights of those who can't speak up
I win: every time I feel good about myself
I lose: my patience easily
I never: leave the house without my phone
I always: try to look at the brighter side of things
I confuse: "there" and "their" sometimes
I listen: to what my heart and mind whenever I need to make a decision
I am scared: of not accomplishing my goals
I need: a pay increase
I am happy about: my family and current life
I imagine: a world of peace and harmony

I’m tagging Angeli, Artemis, and Ganda.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bucket List

I was tagged by Miss Firefly.

**List 8 things you would like to do or accomplish before you die.
  1. travel around the world, eat all sorts of ethnic/traditional food, meet people, and experience different cultures
  2. write my grandfather's World War II experiences as a guerilla fighter, and I also want to write a children's story
  3. finish graduate school
  4. own a house in Hawaii and Maryland
  5. make my parents happy, and I'd like to take them to a European trip
  6. build a bed and breakfast in Sagada
  7. see my two older siblings settle in a comfortable life
  8. live my life to the fullest - be it with someone or not
I am tagging anyone who wants to do this meme.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Journey to the Sweetest Place on Earth

I took Monday off, as I wanted to rest and also needed to take my car for a wash and oil change. I thought that after our weekend trips, my car needed some care and attention as well. We arrived from Hershey, Pennsylvania yesterday, and until now, we couldn't help talking how scenic and beautiful Pennsylvania's Dutch Country is. Going there, we took the scenic route, and drove through quiet-looking farms, lustrous corn and wheat plantations, refreshing rolling hills, and grazing cows and horses. I was mesmerized and soon forgot about how busy life can be in DC. This was my third trip to Hershey.

We visited Hershey Gardens, a 23 acres display of spectacular theme gardens and an outdoor Butterfly House. The garden was funded and inspired by Mr. Milton S. Hershey, who in my readings and studies was a brilliant and great person, not because he invented Hershey chocolate, but because of his charity work and good deeds. As we stepped through the gardens, we were surrounded by all kinds of roses in full bloom and the air was filled with floral fragrance. Mom was excited and delighted at the site of all the roses. Aside from the roses, there were other flowers in full bloom such as black-eyed Susan, boltonia, hibiscus, butterfly bushes etc. I honestly couldn't name them all and there were other names I have never even heard of before. The photos below just shows a minute sample of roses and the really cute Kisses Fountain.

After the gardens, we drove around the town of Hershey and found the town charming. In town, you could read "Hershey" everywhere, and as you can see, even the street lights look like Kisses (photo below). We then decided to visit Chocolate World. I think that a visit to Hershey is not complete until you visit the Chocolate World. There you'd be welcomed by the sweet smell of chocolate. We decided to hop on the Chocolate Great American Tour where they showed us how a chocolate is processed from the cocoa tree to a finished product. It was a delight to see the mixing and swirling of sweet, brown milk chocolate. Then, you get to see them shaped and wrapped into Kisses, Reeses, Kit Kat, and more. While we were there, Hershey was introducing their new Hershey Bliss. It's actually really good.

At the chocolate outlet, Mom and I went a bit overboard and bought about five bags of Kisses and Hugs. I also bought two additional tin cans filled with Kisses, and Dad bought a giant milk chocolate bar. So there we were, our bags filled with sweets and happy like kids.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Spiders really scare me. I would be terrified if they're as big as this "Maman" sculpture by Louise Bourgeois. It is now at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). What about you? What scares you the most? Ghosts? Insects? Darkness? Do tell.

Taken on January 2006, Ottawa, Canada.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Would Make an "Okay" 1930's Wife

  • You have some of the attributes of an ideal 1930's wife but you probably didn't intend it to be that way.
  • You don't buy into retro gender roles, though you do embrace your femininity at times.
  • A 1930's man may find you passable, but you probably wouldn't want anything to do with him.
I am tagging: Kero, Caryn, iMom, Witsandnuts, and Daphne

For the questions, please go to:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jamestown Trip

Our trip to Jamestown was so much fun and relaxing at the same time. The GPS really made driving a lot easier, and I wasn't as stressed as I used to reading from printed directions. The TomTom GPS was so precise that even if I had intentionally taken a wrong turn, it recalculates itself in a matter of seconds and takes me right away to the right road or direction. I'd give this GPS two thumbs up.

Our first stop was Historical Jamestown, where we explored the original Jamestown settlement. We gazed at James River and imaged how the first English settlers arrived to an unknown and untamed wilderness. What were they feeling? What were they expecting?

We were met by the resident archaeologist, and he patiently took us around the settlement and lectured about what they've found and what they've discovered. One of the most interesting find was a bag of 350 year old seeds from one of the digs. They planted the seeds, and amazingly it grew. According to him, this was a perfect opportunity to learn about the first settlers' diet.

After the tour around the archaeological dig site, we visited the archaearium. The archaearium is a building built over an ongoing archaeological dig and certain parts of the floor are made of glass; therefore, allowing visitors to see what archaeological activities are going on underneath. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed. They've found human remains, and one of them still have a lead bullet or shot stuck to one of its skeletal legs. By some meticulous science, they were able to trace and identify how one human remain died, how he lived, what composes his diet and so forth. We were totally amazed. We spent a whole day exploring Jamestown as there was so much to see and read, so we decided to visit Yorktown some other day.

For the night, we stayed at the Governor's Inn. I slept like a log. I was either too tired or too relaxed. What I love about this hotel is their Continental Breakfast. I have never seen so much food, and the waitresses kept bringing in more food. My favorite were those small Orange muffins. They were really delicious. I think I ate about five of them. Remember, they were small.

Since our hotel was just two blocks from Downtown Williamsburg, we decided to go for a walk, and our day turned into a shopping event. I have to say that Downtown Williamsburg has the nicest shops I've ever seen - Christmas Shop, The Peanut Shop, The Cheese Shop, and my favorite would be Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop. I bought a couple of things, and yes, those candied Apples were among them.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Acquisition

Lately, my attention has been on my new acquisition - a TomTom 3rd Edition GPS. It's supposed to be the "most" user friendly GPS around, or so I'm told. I've done a lot of research before finally making the decision on this purchase. I'll be testing it's capabilities this weekend, as my parents and I are going on a road trip to Jamestown and Yorktown, Virginia. Of course, I'm the sole chauffeur again, but this time, it will be a lot easier with the GPS' guidance. In the past, especially on my first solo trip from New Jersey to DC, I depended solely on maps and MapQuest. It was so stressful driving on the freeway while looking at the map at the same time. I do hope that the GPS is a good investment, since before this year ends, I really want to do more weekend road trips.

We will be staying there for a night, so it will be a nice weekend to relax and explore both Jamestown and Yorktown. For the past few days, I've had this yearning to get away from my usual routine, and I found out that a simple getaway such as this really makes the difference. Maybe my work is starting to get to me, maybe getting away even for a day or two is helping me get over the wounds of a seven month old break-up, maybe and just maybe, I just want to be away - just to be away, if you get my drift.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Book Tag

I got tagged by Kero.

The Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag as many people you want.

Book: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

Meggie soon gave up counting the doors they passed before Basta finally stopped outside one. But she did count the black clad men. Four of them were standing on the corridors, looking bored.

* I am tagging: little miss firely, wits and nuts, and Toni.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Not My Friday Either

On Friday, I finished my department's report at 3 PM, so my day should have been done, right? Wrong. (Every week, I compile reports from every department.) I was in the office until 6:50 PM waiting for department L's report. L department has this idea that they should be waited upon every single freakin' week. I was furious and complained to my director that this is getting worse. One time I waited until 6 PM, but apparently, they went home without even bothering to send me their report. Imagine how angry I was. Well, my director went over and talked to them, so we'll see next month if there'll be some changes. The report went out at 7 PM.

At 8 PM, Mom and I were already at the airport to pick up my Dad. Dad's flight from Hawaii was on time, and we were happy to see him. He looked tired, but cheery as ever. We boarded the Yellow line, and we were to stop at Gallery Place to transfer to the Red line en route to my apartment. Unfortunately, the National's (DC's baseball team) game just concluded and people were packing the station like sardines. It was hot and I smelled liquor everywhere. Three trains passed, but we were unable to get in. There was a lot of pushing and shoving. On the fourth train, we finally fought our way in. It should have been smooth sailing from there on, but again, I was wrong. A train in front of us broke. Metro DC made an announcement that the train we were on will track back to an earlier station and a bus from there will take us to where we're supposed to go. We followed directions, so when we finally got out of the train, we were surprised that there were no buses waiting at all. A Metro representative said we were supposed to have gotten out from the other Metro station. Hell, my blood was starting to boil. One of the passengers was already fuming, so the Metro rep said he'll ask for buses to come pick us up where we were.

I looked at my watch, it was already 11 PM. This is becoming a three hour ordeal. We waited and waited some more, the bus was taking longer than expected. I looked at my parents, and they looked tired. I felt so guilty for taking them through this trip. I went to the Metro rep and asked what's going, and he said that the bus should be here any minute. We waited again. After 3o minutes, I decided to hail a cab and abandon all hopes that Metro DC will ever do it right for us that night. The cab ride went well and I spent the whole trip complaining to our cab driver, who was ever sympathetic to what happened. By the time we reached my apartment, it was 1:00 AM.

I was angry, but too tired and exhausted to complain. I plopped myself to bed, and I was just thankful we were safely home.