Three things to cross off the Bucket List

Participate in a cause. 

On September 27, 2013 I participated in YMCA’s stairclimb. I climbed 75 stories in 22 minutes . Proceeds from the Stair Climb for Los Angeles benefit Y programs that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility

My stairclimb buddy

i trained for one month. It was a great work out. My calves definitely developed some major muscle to the point that my skinny jeans wouldn’t fit…in the calves, lol. Chocolate milk became my best friend. Brunch on Saturday mornings motivated me to get up and train.

Help A Missionary For a Month

In March 2013, I left Manila and flew to Davao City. I stayed with a missionary and his family for one month. I taught English and piano. I attended their police devotions on Thursday. I played the piano for Wednesday services and Sunday services.

Teaching an English class

It was a humbling experience to live as they did. One girl I met she would eat lunch and dinner at the church after services. I noticed she only ate meat…I asked her about it. She shared with me that at her house they only ate rice and vegetables. Whenever she gets a chance to eat anything other than that she indulges. I really enjoyed buying them snacks and candies. There were always so shocked and grateful.

Sing A Solo

While I was in the Philippines I also attended a police academy’s Bible study every Thursday night. My first night there I was asked to sing a solo. The first time I ever sing a solo and it happened to be in front of hundreds of men and women. I also was given a chance to sing a solo on a radio station. Most incredible experience I will ever remember.

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She comes rolling around again…

For starters, my eczema came back with a vengeance in September 2013. I stopped living life. My life consisted of work and home. Then to my relief, I was laid off in November 2013. I went on my family trip to Israel, Greece, and Rome. For you IG people mine is mct7988 the # for the trip was  #RIGtrip2013

Rome was everything I dreamed it would be and more. My sister and her boyfriend kindergarten sweethearts finally got engaged at Trevi Fountain nonetheless. My parents renewed their vows in Israel for their 25th anniversary. I found the love of my life while touring Rome…just kidding. I’m still single.

I came back from the RIGtrip and came into contact with someone from the Phils who had been trying to recruit me to teach English at their school. Long story short I bought a ticket to the Philippines.

I went to the Philippines in Feb and detoured a week in Guam. I taught English for a month and then vacationed with family. I also underwent eczema detox  IGers my # for this trip is #sea2014mct I also stopped over in Hawaii for two weeks for my cousin’s college graduation and visit my college friend.

Arriving back in the mainland…my grandpa was sick so for two months I was back and forth between home and my grandparents–helping out where I could. My eczema came back but not as severe as it had been. I did find something to help though and it’s slowly healing. Then it was crunch time for my sister’s wedding. The # for that is #DATlove92014

Now the nitty gritty stuff you’ll habe to wait for…I’m leaving again

Five Minute Friday: EMPTY

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.

We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Won’t you join us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

Empty

She wakes up in the middle of the night, remembering he’s gone, the side of the bed he used to occupy is empty and he’s gone forever, ’til she’ll see him in Heaven

– – –

He’s holding her hand, waiting and praying, he hasn’t left her side since she fell into coma, two weeks ago. The accident: he was driving; she was laughing; they were talking about marriage. Now, he’s praying for her life.

– – –

A painful sorrow, she doesn’t know how to help her daughter, he’s gone: husband, father, soldier, protector, provider.

– – –

He’s kneeling-pleading to God for help; they’ve been fighting cancer for two years now…she’s gone. With three kids to look after, all of them need her; he needs her

Five Minute Friday: ACHE

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result.

Got five minutes? Come and write with us, we promise to tell you we loved it! (<—Tweet this!)

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

ACHE

The different levels and layers are numerous. The overall feeling is the same. The deep pit in our heart. The strain in our emotions. The tiredness of our bodies.

What human hasn’t experienced those feelings?

What brings it about?

A range of circumstances, actions, and words. Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, sometimes another’s ignorance or willful actions. Sometimes, it’s brought on through the current events we hear about: the school shooting, the negligent parents, statistics of teen pregnancies, the absence of parents.

It brings about this deep pit of sadness, hurt, and pain that sears within our soul and pierces our mind and body.

What to do about it?

Me? I realize: I’m not without hope.

One day, my heart will no longer ache. My ears will no longer hear distressing and painful news. My mind will not have to try and comprehend the selfish and hurtful acts of others. No tears will need to be shed for the pain I have endured and the ache I have suffered. Because He [Jesus] will be my physical comfort and he will wipe away all my tears. He will take away the pain and sorrow I endured.

Five minute Friday: GRIT

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.

We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Won’t you join us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: GRIT

Everyone has a little bit of it in them, grit, a resolve to do, to live, to become. No matter how small or great; it is within us. It’s called out of us in different situations.

Those pre-mature babies, fighting for their lives in ICU. Who is fighting? They are! No matter how old or how young they are.

The family who’s struggling with the bills and trying to make ends meet, week after week. Better yet, the parents who week after week sacrifice their time and sleep to try everything in their power to not let their kids know of their struggle.

The young adult who pays his own way through college and grad school no matter what the statistics say about him; he is determined.

What calls it out in you?

Five Minute Fridays: DELIGHT

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.

We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Won’t you join us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: DELIGHT

The feeling of delight can easily surprise me, after a gloomy and rainy day, the sun decides to let the world see a beautiful sunset before good night. Oh the colors that light up the dimming sky and takes in the clouds as props.

Or delight in a fresh ripe sweet juicy orange. The citrusy smell of the peel. The juice escaping into my mouth and spilling over my taste buds.

What about the delightful surprise of receiving a text from my boyfriend, “come outside” and to find a hot chai tea latte bought, just for you.

Delight it’s part of every day but will you notice it with me? Holding your child’s hand? An unexpected email from that old college friend. No line at the drive-thru. Someone let’s you squeeze in their lane at the last second. Just beating the yellow light!

No matter how little the event: bask in it, be thankful for it, and delight because of it!

Five minute Friday: REAL

Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we want to, not because we have to. We write for fun, for joy, for discovery.

We just write without worrying if it’s just write or not.

Won’t you join us?

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

::
REAL

Go

Real, ‘is that real?’ We ask about certain brands, certain pictures, different props, but most certainly we ask ourselves, “is that person real?” can I trust her or him?

I find myself dealing that way with a certain co-worker. Every action, every word is scrutinized-is she real?

Let’s take it to a personal level… Are my actions perceived as real? Are my words perceived as real? Am I, Melanie, perceived as real?

Interviews: My Life Story

I don’t know how many interviews I’ve been to the past few months. I probably have at least 2 every month since I’ve been back on the job market.

 

I had told my friend I have another interview this Wednesday… she said, “Another one? How many has that been now?!”

 

To be quite honest, I haven’t kept track. I probably should though.

 

I would like to think I’ve gotten quite used to the interview process. Basic questions pertinent to the job, how have you handled certain situations, how would you handle certain situations. They’re looking for key words: “I don’t take it personally, I do my best, I remain calm and polite,” etc.

 

There are also phrases interviewers say to you… “Please feel free to call me regarding any questions or concerns you may have.” “You’ll be hearing from us within a week via email or phone.” “HR will contact you with the next step” Dreaded words right? Oh, it’s also a good sign when they walk you to your exit, elevator, stairs, etc.

 

This past week I don’t exactly know how to read how the interview process went.

 

#1. They found out I’m still employed… “How many days/weeks notice must you give your employer?” Interviewer did lay out that she may be “jumping the gun,” to use her phrase of words.

 

#2. “What are your hobbies?” Answer: Blah, blah, etc. My family is musically talented and we are occasionally asked to provide special music. This past Sunday my sister sang for a wedding and I played the piano for her…etc. Their comment: “Wow! We may ask your family to perform at our events.”

 

#3. If you have any questions please feel free to contact HR. [Ugh, HR the dreaded letters] they will direct your question to one of us and we will get back to you.

 

#4. I like to gauge the probabilities of a second interview, job offer, etc. I ask how many people they are planning to interview or have applied, etc. “How many people are you planning to interview?” The demeanor of the interviewer became slightly rude as if I overstepped boundaries… “Four.”

 

 

 

The next step—a second interview with the Finance team consisting of eight members. The most I’ve had is 3. Apparently, this is going to be gauge how well I fit in the team.

 

Wednesday I have an interview with a school district. Friday I have an interview with a Hotel in Anaheim.

And so the cycle starts…again.

Travel Jealousy, Friendliness, Flirting, and Mothers… Part 2

So to continue from yesterday’s post… Read here if you missed it

We continued talking and I was feeling really awkward because I didn’t know what else to talk about. I saw my friend across the aisle and was going to ask her a really quick question. It didn’t turn out to be really quick maybe it wasn’t quick enough for him… he meandered back to his Aunt.

I kept talking to my friend. Yes, I felt bad but he walked away meaning he too was looking for a way to end our awkward conversation. My friend and I made our way outside…passed right by my Tita and him without giving him a second glance… I could totally feel eyes on me. (hey buddy you walked away!)

So, I would meet my friend and our mutual friend’s house in 5-10 minutes. “I’d head over there as soon as I say bye to my Tita… ”

I walked up to my Tita …I overheard something about dinner. So of course me being Filipino I asked “Dinner?! WHERE?!”

Tita: Carl’s JR

Me: WHAT?! Carl’s JR!!!

Tita: You want to come?

Me: Oh no I’m going to J & M’s

Tita: Oh what are you going to do there?

Me: Dinner and games…

Tita: Oh who? College and career age?

Me: Yeah..

Tita:  (Nods her head towards her nephew) Can he go with you?

I KNEW IT! UGH!

Me: Yeah.. he can come.. does he want to?

Tita: He’s not college age but he’s career age like you.. yeah take him.

Me: Uhm, ok…

We’re there without incident.. I suppose without incident. Coincidentally, the couch were the only seats open. So, Me, girl, him, and other boy squeeze on the couch. Ok it was him, me girl, then other boy. Quite a tight squeeze. Girl was trying to get me to scoot over and she very well knew that I would most definitely not!

So I took him back to Tita’s house around 830ish.

Just my luck.. they weren’t home yet from Carl’s JR. They were 5 minutes away.

So, we’re waiting outside of my car for them.

Him: How many boyfriends have you had…?……. 20?

(ME: UGH!!! REALLY?!)

Me: Oh no…I had one. …. we were together for 2 years.

Him: Oh what happened?

Me: Oh I don’t know…life?

Him: Was he Filipino?

(ME: AHAHAHAHAA YES! SCORE!!!)

Me: No… he was black…

I totally wanted to look at his expression but I was a good girl and refrained because I probably would’ve reveled in my joy in throwing him off ..

SAVED BY THE CAR LIGHTS! They were here.

Him: Thank you for the ride.

:: Extends hand for handshake ::

I accept his handshake.. oh darn what is this kid doing?

He leans in and does a one-arm hug with a cheek to cheek kiss.

::Oh you are so dead. I am so glad Tita didn’t see that. I wouldn’t be able to live this down!!!! ::

Tita: Mel.. are you going to come inside or are you leaving now?

::Hesitation…::

Tita: Come inside!

:: Darn it Mel! Where’s your quick wit?!

So, I come inside luckily I no longer have to entertain him so I stay at their house for about 30-45minutes chilling with the kids and playing the piano.

Coincidentally they have to take him to another house that night instead of tomorrow morning. I’m in the living room sitting on the couch with girl kid. He peeks his head in and says “Bye…” I look up…”Oh bye! Nice meeting you!”

Tita comes in right after him… did you all say bye and give him a hug?!

:: Not looking at Tita…letting kids answer… OH OH NO I’m not falling for that one! ::

I get home later that night my sister tells me when she got home my mom asked where I was…

Sister: Oh she’s dropping off Tita’s nephew…

Mom: Oh does mel like him?!

Sister: MOM! No, can she not be friendly to him?! He doesn’t know anyone!

Dad in Tagalog: That’s why they get frustrated with you because you say things like that…

 

Can I just say I LOVE MY DAD apparently HE’S the only one thinking straight in this situation. What am I?! THIRTY YEARS OLD THAT YOU NEED TO MARRY ME OFF ALREADY?!


Travel jealousy, Friendliness, Flirting, and mothers… Part 1

Yes all in one night. It’s insane!

So my Tita (she’s basically my second mother; HER mom babysat me when I was just a baby-oh the stories she can tell) her nephew from the Philippines was at church on Sunday.

Mind you, we were invited to their house on Wednesday for dinner-her nephew coming to visit was brought up ever so slightly..now I wonder if that was on purpose.

I digress as always.

Sunday after church she grabs my hand and pulls me toward her…I want you to meet my nephew… “Oh sure!” (You know how I am Ms. Personality when need be, UGH) Chit-chat my Tita’s sister was there and I haven’t seen her in several months so I was able to focus my chit-chat on her! Evil I know but hey! I do what I have to do.

So, we talk for a little bit it’s more of I’m talking to my Tita in front of him to talk to him… if that makes sense. Anyway, nothing out of the ordinary about that conversation. My mom is ready to leave and good thing because I am HUNGRY! I quickly say goodbye and give my Titas a hug and a kiss and tell the nephew “Nice to meet you!” while running away to the car.

Later that night after evening service. The nephew meets my dad (they happen to be sitting behind us at church) and of course I’m just chilling with everyone. My dad, my tito, my tita, their daughter Dessa. So I include them in conversation asking where he went to visit in California and asking if they took him here or there…etc… All of a sudden I realize it’s just me and him talking with everyone else gone. What happened the RAPTURE?!

“Hm… What is this about?!”

So obviously single adults talk about their lives which happens to be work since we’re single and don’t have a family…

Me: So Tita said your company sent you to all these places for training…

Him: Yeah Costa Rica for four months, Boston for 2 weeks and California for a week.

Me: Must be nice. I’m totally jealous. I LOVE BOSTON.  What’s the training for?

Him: Processes, software, etc.

Me: Oh so you’re like a computer engineer?

Him: Yeah.

Me: I’m jealous that your job sends you everywhere for training. Must be nice. (Getting the jealous vibe?)

Him: Yeah so what do you do…?

Me: I work in the accounting department. (I don’t give my title because people automatically think BANK. WRONG! I’m a fresh graduate with no experience let alone with my CPA exam passed either!)

Him: You must be rich…

Me: Oh no no no… you’re the rich one. Your company pays for your traveling expenses–meals, accommodations, etc. If you add up those expenses they pay for with your salary you make WAY more money than me.

Around this time my mother is passing by…she looks at me with a HUGE smile… and then glances at him and looks back at me still smiling… Me: “Eh hi mama” While wondering how absurd my mother is acting…

As soon as she passes by my Tita catches my eye… same dorky smile my mother gave me … (my tita is 6 rows behind us talking with her friends…without a care in this world that her nephew has been talking to this stranger for the past n  minutes)

My thoughts: OH GREAT! They’re up to their matchmaking again!

Him: So have you been to the Philippines?

My thoughts: he just asked me a question… must answer and clear facial expression to not reflect my amusement or frustration at my tita and mom’s antics OR assumptions!

Me: Yeah.. 10 years ago…

Him: Hm…nice. What part?

Me: Illigan City.

Him: Oh ok that’s where my Alma Mater is…

He then proceeds to tell me the name of the school IIT or something like that.

Me: Oh ok.. don’t know about that.

Him: You should visit…

Me: I’m planning on it.

Him: Yeah.. maybe my company will send me for training again to California. In 10 years…

Me:…I think you’re making fun of me…

Him: Oh no… laugh laugh laugh.. yeah you should visit I can take you around Cebu City…

BEFORE you make fun of me for even inkling at the thought of saying Yes I will visit… but not really answering if I would visit him and allow him to take me around the Philippines… take a look at Cebu City…

 

Cebu Capitol Building

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel

The Terraces at Ayala Center Cebu

Cebu City

 

Now tell me who would say “No… I don’t think I’ll be visiting..”

 

to be continued tomorrow… 🙂