Monday, December 31, 2007

A Mom's Yearender Letter

Dear Baby Gaby,

As the year 2007 is about to end, my thoughts and feelings about our difficult yet amazing experience together filled my days. Although you’re in my arms now, I still couldn’t believe that God gave you to me. Having you has been one of the most difficult yet the most gratifying and joyous experiences that I had. There are so many trials that I have been through just to bring you into this world, but they are nothing compared to the joy that I felt when I heard your first cry and felt you in my arms. I know time flies so fast, and before I even notice, you are already a grown up and will start asking me questions.

As I look at you now, I feel this overwhelming urge to write down my feelings and there is no better place to publish it than here in this place I call my own. If in the future you have an opportunity to read my posts here, I think that would be wonderful. Through this, you’ll be able to understand how my journey with you has started, how it made a big difference in my life, and how it taught me very important lessons. So, take your time, and hopefully as you read further, you will understand more why is it just you and me now.

It has been a year ago since I met this guy who is a big part of you. We started as friends online, and we did spend a lot of time chatting about anything under the sun. He immediately caught my interest because he was such a nice guy, humorous, and sweet. The chatting went on for months, and eventually I found myself clinging on to his presence, until I finally fell in love. We started a relationship online; something that I knew would not last since we haven’t even met in person. And indeed my instinct was right, because later on I found out that he loves another girl. It hurt me a lot, but what can I do but to give way and move on with my life without him. But as nice as I am, I accepted his apology when he said sorry, and considered him as one of my good friends instead.

My friendship with him was incomparable. I found not just a friend but also a brother in him. He became my confidant, my crying shoulder, my clown, and my best buddy who was always there ready to listen to my whining and give me good advice if I seem lost for solutions to my problems. I was a friend and a sister to him in the same way, always there to support him and help him in any way possible just to ease out his burdens especially when it concerns his family. That friendship was really amazing, Gab. And I thought that friendship was enough to become a strong foundation for a lasting relationship. So, when he said that he is coming home and he has plans to meet me, I prayed really hard, asking God for signs if it would be right for me to meet him and accept him back to start a more serious relationship.

Feb 5th 2007 – the date of his arrival. I was too anxious to meet him. I waited for his call. There was nothing. I felt frustrated; maybe he was not interested to meet me after all. I spent the night crying myself to sleep. When morning came, and still there was no call, I already lost hope that he would still show up. Then noon came, my phone rung, and when I answered, I hardly recognized his voice – yes it was him, Gaby..that same familiar voice that I talk to in voice chat for the past months. He said that he was arriving that day, and asked if I would want to meet him at the airport. I didn’t have the courage to go there so I just told him to drop by at the office instead. At around 4pm, there he was, right in front of me. I felt mixed emotions, excited and nervous at the same time, especially when he gave me the chocolates and flower. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, too overwhelmed about the feeling of finally meeting the guy that I have long prayed for. That day was just the start of it all.

Feb 9th 2007 – the day when he finally said that he loves me. I was so happy of course, so I replied, “I love you too Nhoy! Our commitment and promise to love each other even if we are miles apart started this day. So, he brought me to his place to meet his family. I had a great time there, Anak, though the trip to his place was a little tiring. And when he introduced me to his mother, I was too nervous because she might not like me. Good thing, she was very nice to me and treated me well. You know Gab, when we were there at his place, we had a great time together. I even took a video when we were walking on that “forest”; we were just laughing all the time. When you’re big enough, I will show you the video.

(we had so much fun during Bunuan)

Feb 14th 2007 – but just like in any arrival, the day has come for him to leave. Yes, he has to leave! If other lovers were happy to celebrate the Valentines Day, for us it was a parting day. All he left me were memories, happy memories of the times we spent together. We had a promise that even if we are miles apart, we will always be there for each other and that we will prove to everyone that our relationship was strong. He left me with so much hope that indeed our relationship will last.

(on the way to NAIA..with fake smiles on our face)

Feb 26th 2007 – this is a very significant day that concerns you, Gab. Why? Because this was the day when I found out that you were inside me. I had the test, and the result showed that indeed I was pregnant. I felt mixed emotions: excited, nervous, scared, happy, and confused. I asked myself, where do I start? How will I tell everyone about you? But before I took my second step, of course I informed him about you. He was excited and happy, and from that day on, he showed how caring he was

Mar 5th 2007 – my birthday! He surprised me with a gift, 3 red roses. I felt happy and appreciated his effort because even if he was miles away, he never let me feel that I was alone during my birthday. My happiness grew even more when I took another pregnancy test to make sure that you are indeed inside. And again, it showed positive result. We were both very happy to know you were really here. But we knew for sure that it will be the start of more difficult trials for both of us.

Mar 9th 2007 – our first monthsary! We just spent the day chatting and talking on voice chat. Of course, every once in a while, he asks about your condition. Although I was beginning to be very emotional since I was on my first trimester, he was very patient with me and tried so hard to understand the pregnancy that I was going through.

April 29th 2007 – his birthday! We sent him a birthday card (that’s all we can give since he was far. But we promised him a gift (the PS3 that he longs for) once he is already with us.

May 1st 2007 – I spent half of the day with your Ninang Divine, looking for a place to rent so you and I can start a new life together.

May 5th 2007 – the last online conversation that he and I had. After that, he said his laptop was busted that is why from that day on, he failed to call me and ask about how we were doing.

May 13th 2007 – Mother’s Day! I felt frustrated that he never called to greet me, just to show his appreciation of having you inside me. Instead of a celebration, that day became the start of never-ending arguments from him and me, plus it was the day when I had an argument with his cousin-in-law, which led me to send that text message that ruined the nice relationship that we had. And that was the day when he started making me feel so alone and putting me into very difficult tests just to see if I’ll gonna make it through without him.

May 18th 2007 – I left a letter at home to finally inform Papa, your Lolo, about you. I was too scared. I traveled that day to Daet and stayed at your Ninang Jo’s place for a couple of days.

May 21st 2007 – I went back home from Daet and I was told that your Lolo was so angry after reading my letter about you. So, I made a decision to finally move out and find our own place which we can call our home. You know, I tried to call him to patch things up because that was the time when I needed him the most. But he declined my calls and never replied on yahoo messenger. I felt so alone Gab..So alone.

May 31st 2007 – you and I moved in to our new house Gaby. You were only 3 months back then. I had a hard time leaving my room, the place which had been a witness of my ups and downs since I was 10yrs old. But it was my choice, so even if I was alone, I stick with my decision.

June 15th 2007 – I got sick. I thought it was measles. Good thing, it was not. You know, when I tried to talk to him, he ignored me. His cousin-in-law just relayed a message that before he loved me, until it became pity, then the love totally faded – meaning he no longer loves me. I felt so hurt, and all the more that he made me feel that I was alone..All alone in facing my problems, my pains, my hardships.

July 1st 2007 – I told myself that I have to move on without him. I tried to be strong, in spite the feeling of being so emotional due to my pregnancy. I kept myself busy with work, going home late so I will be too tired to even think about him and self-pity because he left me during the most difficult time of my life.

July 15th 2007 – he suddenly sent me a message, only to confront me about a message that I sent to a girl whom he said was a friend. It was a very traumatic day; he said so many hurting words which until now I couldn’t forget.

August 6th 2007 – I had my ultrasound only to get disappointed with the result because your gender was not seen.

September 22nd 2007 – I experienced premature labor. I was so scared because you were only 32 weeks then. So, I took a leave in the office and had a one-week bed rest. You were a very obedient baby, you held on tighter to Mommy so you’ll reach at least 36 weeks.

October 19th 2007 – the date when I sent the supposedly last email for him because I was too angry when he failed to keep his promise of sending you support. I never knew the reason why he failed to do so, but I tried to understand him.

November 4th 2007 – finally IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! You are such an adorable child Gaby. And I thanked God that you were given to me. You’re a blessing, an angel in disguise.

November 8th 2007 – he finally admitted that he has someone new. It was too painful, not because I was jealous but because I felt sad for you that you will really grow up in a broken family. There's a closure now. Before, I was still hoping that when he came home, we can talk and we can patch things to give you a complete family. But after that revelation, I lost every hope that you will have a complete family Gab.

November 22nd 2007 – he asked if we can be friends for your sake. I said yes even if I’m still full of anger inside me. I didn’t want to deprive you of a fatherly love Gaby, so even if I wasn’t ready to communicate with him yet, I just set aside my own feelings. So from here you will see that I never distanced you from him. I was still concern about you, and I knew it was your right to know your father.

December 24th 2007 – I appreciated the time he spent with us during the entire Christmas eve. When we were chatting, it felt as if he was his old self – the man I met in person last February. But on the second thought, he was still in Korea, and I believed that as long as he is there, he will never be the nice guy that I met and loved and the once excited father who had lots of dreams for you.

The year 2007 was indeed a struggle for me, and I want to apologize to you baby because you suffered with me. But in spite of these all, I am still thankful that I went through a very difficult time with you because I learned so many lessons. And you know that man I met in February, he is your father. When you’re big enough to understand things, you will see this photo of your father – the once happy couple who made it possible for you to see the beauty of this world and experience life. I know in time you and him will meet, and when that time comes you can ask him of his side of the story.

As the year 2007 ends, let’s leave all the hurts behind but treasure all the important lessons learned. Even if it's just the two of us here celebrating the new year, we will welcome 2008 with so much hope that this year will be better for us and that more blessings to come our way. I promise you Gab that it won't be like this in 2008. I will do everything so you won't feel that something is missing in your life as we celebrate Christmas and New Year.

As for your father, we will just wish him the best and hope that the year 2008 will be a blessed year for him as well. We may not communicate with him for a year but that doesn’t mean that we left him. We are always around, even if he had pushed us away not just once, twice, but a couple of times. Now, time to finally move on and leave the problems of 2007 behind. 2008 is a year to look forward to – a fresh start, a new beginning!

I love you,


Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Mind Is Drifting in Italy

I had a good time last night with my bestfriends Krisma and Ate Rhey. We spent our time gossiping and laughing the night out over beer and cigar (Esse courtesy of Krisma from South Korea). We went home at around 3am, so now I have a hangover, on which I looked as if my energy was totally zapped out. My body is here inside the office, but my mind seems to be somewhere else - in a place where I could totally relax and have fun like Italy.

Venice, Naples, and Florence are just some of the great cities that I want to visit in Italy, that is if I already have the fund to do so. The said cities are popular travel destinations and each has something to offer to both locals and tourists like me.

Venice, for one, is a favorite destination for lovers who are looking for a romantic getaway. Naples, on the other hand, is a home to many historical places and is considered the major cultural center in Italy. Visiting this place will sure be a very educational experience. And if you want to see more of Italy, Florence is another place to be. This boasts a lot of tourist attractions including well-known museums.

But whether it is Venice, Naples, and Florence that I will be given a chance to visit, I should see to it that everything will be planned accordingly in order to make the experience truly memorable. And one important thing that I should carefully consider is the hotel reservation.

Good thing, the Internet has now provided a simpler and easier way to check on hotel reservations in Italy. By simply going online, I can already find helpful information on Hotel Naples, Hotel Venice, and Hotel Florence. This online service will sure help tourists like me to book reservations easier and faster.

So, there's nothing for me to worry when the time comes that I would be able to make that real trip to Italy. But for now, I'd just let my mind drift to this exciting place.

A Dream Travel to France

My pregnancy has been a long and tiring journey. A few moms may not agree with me, especially those who were supported by their partners and families all throughout, but for me, it was. The whole nine months of carrying my Baby Gaby, with me alone on my place, was indeed a struggle. So before my due date, I already set plans of taking a nice break after I gave birth - and there is no better way to do it than to travel.

But where? I have no specific place in mind until I saw this documentary featured in one of the local TV networks. It highlighted the beauty of France, especially Paris.

France is well known for its cuisine, wine, language, and of course its culture. It offers a lot of exciting destinations, whether you want to experience the metropolitan way of life or be closer with nature at the countryside. It is also a nice place to study because it is a home to more than 250 universities, including specialized schools and American universities.

But the reasons why one should travel to France do not end there. There are still a lot more. So, to convince myself further, I searched for more information about France. And voila, I found this site that could give me the information that I need! From destinations and cuisines to current events and language, this site is of big help for would-be travelers like me.

France is indeed a nice place to travel and to explore. I just hope my dream travel to France could become a reality one day. But for now, I'd settle on learning more about this place to unravel more of France secrets.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Single Mom: Now Blogging for a Living

Yes, I'm finally back on blogging!

I have lots of things to write about because it's been a while since I last made a post here. But before I update you about the recent happenings in my life, especially about my Baby Gaby, let me first share to you one good news that I received this morning when I opened my email.

Smorty, an online service that connects advertisers with bloggers, just approved my blog! That is right! My blog, the place which I call my own, is finally on its way to help me achieve a more rewarding purpose - to get paid for blogging. By simply writing my opinion about products, services, and various websites on my blog, I can already earn something out of this passion. This is definitely a good news, don't you agree? With a 1-month old baby with me now, my expenses will soar in the coming days, so this will sure be of big help.

How did I learn about this? My colleauges Nays, Precy, and Mina had mentioned to me that they were earning through blog advertising. Actually, this was not new to me because if I remember it right, last July I was also considering signing up for sites which allow bloggers to get paid for blogging. But being busy as I was, not to mention that I was pregnant during that month, I set aside the thought and settled for blogging just for the sake of releasing emotional stress and sharing to others about my pregnancy.

Now that I have already given birth and recovered, I'm finally back! But this time I'm back for more, and that is to get paid to blog.

Who says I could not release my stress and earn at the same time through my blogs? At least now, I'm in for something which I can really look forward to - blog for money.

So, if you also have that passion for writing and want to earn, advertise on blogs now!

Blog Advertising - Get Paid to Blog

Monday, December 03, 2007

Back to Basics: Babysitting 101

After giving birth to Baby Gaby, I thought things would be a little easier for me. But I was wrong, I never expected it to be this hard, especially when Gaby's babysitter left last Friday without any advance notice. I immediately looked for replacement. and got one whom I expected to arrive today. But i got disappointed when I was told that her husband did not allow her to work for me. I just said, "what the h*ck?" So, this means that I'm doomed, and definitely this leaves me no choice but to take full responsibility of babysitting little Gaby.

Ever since Gaby arrived a month ago, I never had 8 hours or even 6 hours straight of sleep. So, now that I'm all alone in taking care of her, I won't expect to get even 4 hours straight of sleep in the coming days. I AM BACK TO BASICS!!!

Being a mother is not at all easy considering the babysitting task that one has to do in order to care for her baby. So, as a new mom to my cute girl named Gaby, I'll have to deal with this task in the coming days. Hmmm...actually, this is not new to me. But since I was more focused in working as a writer and a supervisor in the past years, I guess doing this will be a little hard since I'm all alone in my place, without a husband, a mom, a sister, a brother, a cousin, or an aunt to assist me with this day-to-day task.

I already started babysitting alone since Saturday. And to tell you what, it was really difficult. From preparing her milk, bathing her, and putting her to sleep up to washing her cloth diapers and ironing them after they dried, I had to manage my time well in order to do everything that has to be done. But the more difficult part of this is that, since I'm alone, I had to make the most out of the time when Gaby is sleeping to do some things for myself. I should take advantage of this time doing other things like preparing my food, washing the dishes, taking a bath, washing my clothes, cleaning the house, taking a nap, and of course, taking a break by going online to check my emails and chat with some friends for a couple of minutes.

My day starts and ends doing those things I mentioned above. Sometimes I hardly notice the time, which is really good so there won't be any time for me to entertain depressing thoughts. Gaby really brought major changes in my life this year. Sometimes I would ask myself, "Are you beginning to regret the consequences of your actions now, Phoebe?" Of course, my answer is no. Just look at how pretty my baby is and even you can tell that all these sacrifices are worth it. And besides, I don't think I will be babysitting forever. This will just be for now, so I need to have patience..patience..and more patience.