My Niece’s Wedding

Surely, this is the mark of a true old maid: when you attend your niece’s wedding as a bridesmaid. And yes, I know, the fact of the matter is, we’re an unconventional aunt&niece pair as she is only five years younger than I, but still, she is my cousin’s daughter, and she does call me “Tita.” And though I expected it, I still found it kind of funny that all my aunts asked me, “Ikaw? Kelan ka?” One aunt even said, after she found out what my job is, “‘Wag ka nang mag-homebased na trabaho! Paano ka makakahanap [ng asawa] niyan kung nakatago ka lang sa bahay?” to which, by the way, my own mother replied, “‘Eh ‘di online!”

Since I know better than to take those things seriously and didn’t feel like going into the intricacies of my long-distance relationship with R, I just faked a laugh and continued eating my chocolate-covered marshmallow from the dessert bar.

Sincerely, I am very happy for my niece and her husband and am quite flattered she still asked me to be her bridesmaid even though we’re not as close as we used to be. Perhaps she enjoyed that time when she was 7 and my sister and I brought her to SM Storyland and did all the rides with her and bought her some stationery from the bookstore afterwards more than I thought. Or maybe I’m the one who enjoyed it more as that is still my most distinct memory of her, even though that was literally 20 years ago, SM Storyland doesn’t even exist anymore and if it did, we wouldn’t be allowed on the rides anymore we’ve grown too big.

Anyway, one more story about the wedding:

I was seated next to another one of the bridesmaids and she asked me: Cousin mo si Pau?
I answered: Pamangkin ko siya.
She said: Ah… Talaga po?

And then she and the rest of the bridesmaids proceeded to call me “Ate” for the rest of the night. I guess, that’s a little better than “Tita” from people whom I know are only five years younger than me. And at least nobody actually called me an old maid. At least not to my face. Except my brother. But he’s a jerk so it doesn’t count. Right?

20170323_172253

Best wishes to my beautiful, beautiful niece! #IkzAndPau4Ever!!!

Video Call City

So for the past 6 months, I’ve been living in New Zealand with my sister and her family, and though it’s been great, there are days when I miss my friends a lot. Enter technology! I have/have had, basically all the messaging apps known to man (LOL) and because most of them have the video call function and my sister’s place has WiFi, it’s really not that difficult to see my friends. Of course, I still have to schedule the call with them, we are in different timezones, after all. But it’s a small price to pay for the ability to see and talk to them relatively often.

photogrid_1483042124147

Clockwise:

K and M at Magnum Opus – K went home to the Philippines from Singapore (where he works) last November and so he and M met up at one our favorite coffee shops. I got so jealous of their specialty coffees, but then remembered that I was in Wellington, the coffee capital of New Zealand! I fixed myself a cup right after the call. 🙂 Oh, and! Cameo appearance by one of my nephews as they happened to call me while I was still babysitting.

Virtual Noche Buena with M – Noche Buena isn’t really a tradition here in NZ and M back in the Philippines didn’t have anyone to spend it with as other members of her family were busy with work and stuff so she called me on Messenger at dinner time on the 24th and we ate our meal at the same time. 😛 Our video chat lasted ’til after midnight so when I realized it was December 25 already, we decided to take a screenshot of our video call while I was standing by the Christmas tree in my sister’s house.

Sunday with R – I am glad that R makes time for me every other Sunday (more or less) because most of the time, he only has one day off per week and he’s kind of a workaholic. And though our video call sessions are usually spent with me babbling about irrelevant things and him occupied with something else on his laptop (read: Morning Musume news), I’d like to believe that this is still quality time spent together as a couple. ❤

Christmas Dinner + ATC Lakwatsa with my Pre-school Friends – Obviously, I couldn’t go to the annual Christmas get-together that my pre-school friends (We’ve been friends since before 1st grade!) and I have, but this is the age of 4G and Z has unlimited data, so! They called me when they had dinner at Sushi Ninja in Westgate, and also while they had their takeaway desserts at the open area of ATC, which as you can see (kind of), is currently beautifully decorated with twinkly Christmas lights. 🙂 It was super fun as they told me how their holidays were so far and showed me the food they ate as well as the gifts they got. It really felt like I was there with them. 😀

Not in picture – All the Skype sessions my sister (and her twins) and I had with our parents (and other family members, e.g. our aunts and brother and dogs). Since we usually talk to them while we’re taking care of the twins, it can get difficult to find a place to put the laptop (where the twins can’t get to it) let alone take a presentable screenshot of the conversation. So, this mention will have to do.

I really am so grateful to technology for making this possible, and of course to my family and friends for taking the time to make the almost 10,000 km distance between us feel significantly shorter. 🙂

feeling loved <3

I didn’t have an elaborate celebration for my birthday this year like I did in previous years, but because of my sister, other members of my family and my friends, I feel that my birthday this year was just as fun. 🙂

img-20160917-wa0007

My sister treated me to lunch at a restaurant and then baked my favorite cake–sour cream chocolate chip. And then we sang Happy Birthday together, I made a wish, blew out the candles and then I Skype-d with my parents and then my boyfriend at the end of the day.

And also, this happened:

screenshot_2016-09-18-17-20-44My friend M asked most everyone in my life to make fan signs for me, and they did!

It was so much fun going through the series of pictures as each showed my friends’ creativity and individuality, and I really felt so loved they all took the time to make the signs.

I couldn’t have asked for a better gift from my friends, this was definitely the perfect thing they could do for me while I’m not in Manila.

Anyway, I usually have get-togethers with my friends during my birthday and because that was impossible this year, I thought my 2016 birthday would be very low-key. But my sister and M made sure that it was still one to remember, and I’m really grateful they’re people I have in my life. 🙂

I don’t know what’s going to happen on my birthday next year, but now that I know that distance isn’t a hindrance to enjoying myself, I can’t wait.

#Kidding because of course I can wait and besides, it’s only September now. There’s still other birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s to look forward to. 😉

Lolo

My lolo died today.

He was my favorite lolo, as he was the only one I have ever known. (My dad’s dad died before I was born.) He was also the person who taught me how to play the piano.

The ability to play the piano didn’t stick, unfortunately. But I would say I learned a lot from him about teaching. He was always calm and encouraging even when I didn’t do what he asked. And he found many different ways to keep our lessons interesting, adding an upbeat part to a piece that he noticed made me sleepy, or telling me funny stories in between scales exercises.

I knew there were times that he was disappointed in me because I didn’t practice as often as he told me to, but he never got angry and just kept on telling me to practice, practice, practice.

I’m sorry, Lolo. I didn’t turn out to be the amazing piano player you were training me to be. But I think I got all my patience as a teacher from you. I’m going to miss you so much.