Monday Morning in Manila

I thought the sun wasn’t going to come out.  The sunrise was pretty muggy today but it looks like we’re going to have some sun today after all.

Day 6 in Manila.  I have so far accomplished at least one (or two, depending on how you count it) of my goals, which was to surprise Mom, and then surprise her afterwards with the party we threw her last Saturday.  It was a great way to celebrate her 72nd birthday.  Sometimes we still get taken aback when we realize she’s now 72 years old.  I guess to us, she’ll be forever around although we know she won’t be.  Her physique is already changing dramatically.  Fe says she seems to be shrinking… old age. =)

I was hoping to go on my promised trek to Manaoag midnight Saturday so I could catch the first mass at 5am, but I was too tired and no one could accompany me on the midnight journey by bus, so I opted to stay at home instead.  Awake by 5am, I instead opted to head to Baclaran and hear mass at the Redemptorist Church of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.  I went by myself, hailing a cab and tried to chase the sunrise.  I was there in 20 minutes.

I stood there.  I lit my candles.  I prayed.  I know He heard.

I treated myself to a merienda-size asado siopao and some sesame balls for breakfast (which, at 2 tiny smaller-than-golf-ball size buchi balls for P29 was highway robbery!).. grabbed some suman by the gate and then I hailed a cab back home.  I was home and changed by the time my siblings got up.

I let jetlag catch up with me until Ofie woke me up early evening.  Their turn to go to mass.  She just wanted to have me go out and stretch — so I acceded.  We headed to Eastwood where I checked out the stores in the mall while they went to mass.  Dinner at Rufo’s then home again.

I walked into FULLY BOOKED and browsed some of their goods, and came upon an anthology of quotes from Paolo Coelho’s works.  One quote in particular struck me and I copied it onto my blackberry:

“Anyone who loves must know how to lose themselves and find themselves again.” –

Paolo Coelho, from “By the River Peidra I Sat Down and Wept”

I’ve read Coelho, but not this particular book.  Might be my next Coelho read.

I was up and about until 1am.  I tried to blog but that has not been as easy the past couple of days — maybe it’s the jetlag or the stress and pressure of the things I hope to accomplish while here in Manila. =)  Might be because I’m not feeling too well…

I wrote longhand entries instead in the notebooks I have been lugging around for some friends I’m leaving them with before I go.

I packed a few things I need to drop off today — and I’m trying to arrange my schedule for the week.  Before I know it, I’ll be heading home.  Angelo was asking what happens if I need to stay longer — I told him I can’t.  My boy misses me…but not as much as I miss him. =)  Makes me want to jump on an earlier flight home which I might just do if it’s available and manageable given the meetings that need to happen sooner than soon.


I start my mornings earlier now and often end up at the bus stop really, really early that I catch the sun rising slowly as it opens another day.  I was grateful to see the blue skies above and not the glum grey we had with the rain.

I am so looking forward to next week when Angelo and I start a journey a week ahead of Alan and my mother-in-law.  I am in the midst of packing and ticking off a mental checklist of things I want to do.  Mostly, I just want to spend time with my family.

I want to eat “taho” in the morning, walk the familiar sidewalks of Greenhills.  Smell the polluted air of EDSA.  Walk the dirty streets of Divisoria and Quiapo.

My camera which is all banged up is probably making one of its last trips.  I was seriously considering getting a new one — it’s  battery case cover keeps popping open, and the cover for the camera card slot has split into two.  (I did manage to repair it with some superglue.)  This camera has been with me to Paris, Belgium and Manila several times.  For as long as it works, I think I’m going to keep it.

Up at the crack of dawn

I watched the sky outside my window turn from a dark to a now glowing light blue as the sun is slowly made its way up. I woke up at just before 5am this morning which isn’t really all that bad, considering I was asleep a few minutes after 10pm. As I was used to sleeping after midnight or later, I guess it was just my body clock “adjusting” — hence the early wake up call.

So I sat here in the living room catching up on news back home — (via Philstar and Inquirer).  I deleted e-mails from the blackberry.  And here I am finally writing a post.

I feel much better.  I think the jetlag is practically gone, but the after effects of the staggered and irregular sleep patterns has started to catch up with me.  Last night, I whipped up dinner and took care of the boy and lay next to him.  Father and son were still in a playful mood but I just needed sleep.  I drifted off to lala land and woke up feeling refreshed.

The sun is finally out.  I am hoping the rain doesn’t make a reappearance anytime soon.  There is something relaxing about falling rain, true.  But there is also an element of sadness to it.

Late evenings and early mornings are the best times for me.  It’s quietest and calmest then.  The silence and tranquility somehow helps me to recalibrate myself and just end or start the day in a more positive vein.  I’ve always been a night owl.  I have found that the best time for me is when the sun is not up.  While I am fully functional during the day, my most productive time is when the skies are dark.

It’s been almost a month now since Dad passed.  I am trying to get on with life and will now try to attend to the many messages of condolences I have yet  to acknowledge.  Even doing that has been difficult.  In fact there are still times when people ask me about my “vacation” and I simply say “It went fine..,” only because explaining I had gone home because Dad passed gets a tad bit too emotional for me. 

I thought I’d be scared to see him or feel him but I can walk into the darkness without fear at any time of the day.  He is here that he isn’t here.