Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank You, 2008, I'm Glad You're Over So We Can Take On 2009

The biggies that happened to us this past year:

1. I got a job! I took a chance and returned to a hotel where I applied at last year and gave it a second shot. I was in the right place at the right time this time around and found myself employed on January 30th as a Club Concierge after waiting for close to five months.

2. Kyera got a job! We went to get her eyes checked for glasses and the doctor was impressed by her English. (People assume Filipinos can't speak English...) She offered her a part-time job on the spot and a month later, Kyera was wearing scrubs.

3. We moved into our own place! We had been living at my aunt's house until she re-married and moved out of state. Good thing our application at a low-cost housing complex was accepted!

4. I got my own website! My dear, dear friend, Roxy Francisco Kurze aka Shockboogieninja and I reconnected after a good six years and she offered to make me one. We found each other where else but online. She is a very talented, and very gorgeous, designer/audio engineer. She and hubby Jeff are a most adorable couple. She's in Michigan and we hope to see each other one of these days in Chicago.

5. Rocco came into our life! My supervisor called me one Sunday and asked if I still wanted a dog. I said yes. He then explained that his Yorkie had a littermate who was on his way to his new home when the owner changed her mind. The breeder couldn't keep him so they needed someone to take him in so technically, we rescued our little boy.

6. Trisha came to Orlando! Kyera's buddy from our church in the Philippines was in town vacationing at Disney so she invited K to join her. It was a much needed visit for my very lonely daughter.

7. The Turners came to Orlando! This family is our family because we are theirs. Kyera and I have been so privileged to be "adopted" into dear friends' families that we genuinely feel a part. We miss the Titulars, the Santos-Calayans, and the Mayugas in the Philippines but are so grateful for our family here, the Turners. When I first landed back in the US last year, they took me in and took care of me and made sure I got everything I needed to get Kyera here. They may be in Tallahassee, but they are forever our "Mom", "Dad", and boys.

8. My other best friend and her son came to visit! Len and Miguel are another family that are family. They made a side trip to Orlando on their way to San Francisco just to see us after being apart for eleven months. When I left Manila, Kyera was Len's adopted daughter.

9. Miguel came back to Orlando! To make Kyera's 19th birthday special, Miguel is spending/spent a week of his month-long Christmas break with us. He's been such a refreshing presence for us. I love him dearly like my own. We hope to visit him next year in San Francisco.

10. I got promoted to supervisor! After my sixth month at our hotel, I put in an application for a transfer and promotion. I waited for six long weeks for the phone call that would sound like this, "I'm calling to make the official job offer...." Yay!!!!

There's more to say and more to thank but I'll leave it at: Thank you, God, for being faithful to us even when we are faithless.

We are excited about the cool things we expect to happen in 2009!!

Nothing is impossible.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Breaks My Heart

I'm a big cry baby. Anyone who knows me in Real Life can attest to this fact. It doesn't take much to draw tears out of me. The waterworks flow from everything from TV commercials, poens, books, movies, choreography, photos, newspaper articles, and blogs. Stories that are happy, sad, profound, and outrageous.

Like this one about my beloved Philippines.

One of many throughout its history.

There has to be an end to stories like these. Where the bad guys get what they deserve and tears have no place.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Want My Own Park Bench Someday

Isn't this wonderful?

We found it one Sunday afternoon on a bench outside the Orlando Historic Center.

Le sigh.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

I know, I know. I keep threatening to blog but these days my bark has been worse than my bite. They're still stewing around in my thought stream so as soon as I make time for cyberspace beyond checking my account balance, I will spew as many as I can in one go.

I often wonder though about our little clustr map on the right. Are people stopping by to read or to borrow K's ballet photo? Either way, my hope is that the little red dots mean that this blog is helping or inspiring in little ways.

And on that note, we wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

Here's our token Christmas photo for this year, featuring the newest member of our little family, Rocco the chocolate Yorkshire Terrier that was given to us by my former boss.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Ex-Morning Show Partner the Billboard God

Zach and I had some of the best times of our lives on radio. I've blogged about some of them here on my I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-this-blog blog and shared some of our airchecks here. I think our success was based on the fact that we were not only self-deprecating but that we could throw each other down and roast each other every morning.

We created a Verbal Reality (That's radio-speak for taking what an announcer says as true.) that had people in stitches every morning. For instance, I was gone for a week to get liposuction but the press release he created about me was that I went on a tour of India to visit various ashrams. In a week! And got married to a man named Oscar Bandot. In a week! And had three sons. In a week! I came back a week later, shocked to find some listeners actually believe the tales he wove.

(He got his payback of course when he disappeared and I announced he was getting certain parts of his... anatomy... altered. And on another day, that he was shooting a film in Hollywood. You get the picture.)

We created a playground right alongside tackling relevant issues of the day. As producer, my daily goals: inform, educate, entertain the listener, could only be realized with him holding his own against me bringing mine to the table. We would have been helpless though without our faithful assistant Glenn Sibal (more on him in another blog).

One of the jokes we used to throw out on occasion was that either of us had a billboard on EDSA - the major highway that connects the north and the south of Metro Manila - endorsing whatever product we currently favored. That has actually happened for one of us. The billboard part that is.

As for the briefs, Zach favored the aged kind with bacony garters. (We auctioned off our underwear one time... don't ask why. The winner actually came to claim their prize.)

You've come a long way, my friend. I terribly miss the fun we had. You were the best morning show partner any domineering, female co-host could ever ask for and I love you for it.

(P.S. Zach is the drummer of popular Philippine rock band Imago. He got his body from capoeira and working out like a former morning show host who probably now uses his mornings to get to the gym.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Modest Needs

I got a most compelling e-mail from a complete stranger. It wasn't spam, nor bacn. It came from a man who was instrumental in helping me and Kyera get out of a temporary financial set back last June.

To make a long story short, money I was expecting to cover the deposit on our apartment didn't come and I had absolutely no one to turn to for help. (It's been one of my toughest realities since resuming my life back here in the US; tougher still because whereas before I was an only child being raised by a widow, now I am here, single parent, raising an only child.)

I heard about Modest Needs at work, crossed my fingers, and visited their website - Their mission in a nutshell: to help normally self-sufficient individuals get back on their feet.

I applied for a grant and hoped for the best. Each day as I logged in to see if our request had been funded, I prayed, sometimes fearful, sometimes hopeful, waiting for the small change from around the world to come in. Thirty days later, I got e-mail with this in the subject line: Help is on the way. I posted my thank you on the site and a few days later, a check came in the mail made out to our apartment complex.

In these tough economic times, Modest Needs has a total of 447 individuals on their site waiting for a grant. The e-mail I got was a simple request to help spread the word for these people. Having once been in their shoes, how can I deny them the help I myself once received?

Small change may not seem like much but it has the power to make a big difference in someone's life. Hopefully, this blog and the others I keep will help do the same.