Friday, October 30, 2015


Parang kailangan nanonood ako ng soap opera habang nagpaplantsa. Di ba ganun sa soap opera? 

Matagal akong di nagplantsa. Taon kaming di nagkita ng plantsang ito. Nung dumating kami sa Canada at ako na ang gumagawa ng lahat ng gawaing bahay, pagpaplantsa ang una kong inalis sa listahan.
Ang nakuha ko namang trabaho noon ay di kailangang bihis na bihis. Basta malinis ang suot. Ang mga bata naman naka t-shirt lang sa eskwela, wala namang uniform. Ang asawa ko naman ay may uniform noon pero kapag inilagay ko sa dryer at inalis kaagad, parang bagong plantsa na rin. Pwede na. 

Back in the Philippines palaging akong siniswerteng merong nagpa plantsa para sa akin. (Ooops, sorry napaingles lang.) Nung nakatira sa amin ang pinsan kong si Nene, sya ang nagpaplantsa. Kapag naman may kasama kami sa bahay yun ang nagpaplantsa. Ang pinaka naaalala ko ay ang kalidad ng plantsa ni Conching, isa sa mga naging kasama namin sa bahay. Ang damit na pinalantsa nya ay nagmumukhang bago. Ang mga guhit hindi doble at talaga namang diretsong diretso. Sayang pinaalis sya ni Mommy. Isang beses kasing nagalit sya, tinaga niya ang isang silya namin sa kusina. 
Kapag wala kaming plantsadora, pagpaplantsa ng uniporme ang pusta sa lahat ng laro namin ng ate ko. Ang matalo sya ang magpaplantsa ng mga uniporme, Nakakatuwa ring alalahanin.

Noong nag asawa na ako si Aling Nely naman at naging si Ate Lani ang nagpaplantsa. Papano nila natatagalan ang pagpaplantsa? Ang init ng singaw at ang init sa Pilipinas. Kung sabagay, nalilibang sila sa pagpanoon ng soap opera. 

Mabalik ako sa kung bakit ako magpaplantsa ngayon. Pareho na kaming mag asawang di nagtatrabaho ng full time. Mas malaki ang sahod pero hindi empleyado. Pwedeng tanggalin kahit anong oras. Kailangan walang makitang dahilan ang mga tao para tapusin ang aming kontrata. Kailangan maayos ang hitsura namin sa lahat ng oras. Kailangang plantsado. 

Pwede namang ipa dry clean. Medyo mahal nga lang. Pwede ring abangan sa dryer at agad ihanger. Pwede ring bumili ng no-iron clothes. 

Magpaplantsa nalang ako. Magandang pagkakataon para tumahimik at mag muni-muni. Magandang paraan para magpakita ng malasakit. Maganda ako pag plantsado. Plantsa brings back good memories of home and childhood. 

How things change. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Italy, Here We Come

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. – Tony Robbins

Travel happens when the pain of staying where you are is greater than the pain of going somewhere new. - Me

I feel real pain now, real physical pain. I did not think this was possible. I feel the pain of not travelling for five months. Yes, only five freaking months. I feel the pain in my gut and in my chest.
I terribly miss the experience of seeing and smelling a place for the first time. I miss the sense of the unknown mixed with the thought of ‘after a few days my heart will know this place’. I miss the first morning when I travel. When I don’t know what breakfast will be but I am sure it will be great. I miss heading out and not knowing where to go. I miss having to choose where and what to eat. I miss walking aimlessly, looking at things I would never look at back home.

We have been in Canada for 11 years. For eight years we stayed here and did not travel internationally. Except for the time we needed to go back home to the Philippines because two of our parents passed away in the same year. In my mind back then, we couldn’t afford to travel. I thought it was impossible for a family of six to travel on the income that we had. My husband and I always wondered how other families of similar income could travel a lot. Of course we just blamed it on having too many kids.

And then something changed. After watching and reading a ton of motivational self-help materials, I changed my mindset to ‘we can have whatever we want in life’. My husband agreed. So we started travelling. We both left our full time jobs and started to work from home. Ooops, not that easy. I made it sound too easy. Let me rephrase that.
We sat down and thought of what we wanted in life. It included working from home instead of full time employment. We made that happen. We planned on travelling. It happened.

In 2013 I left my secure job at a bank. I did not have a replacement job. I only had income options like selling insurance and teaching. It took me about nine months to get back to the income I used to have. Now I am self-employed. In the same year my husband got fired from his job. Yes, fired. He did not go back. He moved to self-employment. Since 2013 we have travelled to three international destinations. We went back home to Philippines, we saw Disneyland for the first time, and we went to Maui, Hawaii. I am amazed at how we were able to afford those travels for a family of six.

Maui was five months ago. Now I feel the pain of not travelling. The minute I get my hands on an extra $10,000, I am booking us a trip to Italy. I am estimating in the next three months. How much extra money do I have right now? Zero. None. But I know I will get the required amount. My whole body feels the need to see Rome, Venice, Florence, and Pisa – Tuscany. Many people, including my friends, think I am crazy. I know I am not. I know we will go and soon.
I am an advocate of the Law of Attraction (LOA). Anything you want, you will attract. Anything your mind keeps on thinking of, you will get. Both good and bad. Anything you really feel in your heart that you desire, will come to you.

This is what happened for all our previous travels. I think of going to a place and then make a vision board for it. I put in my vision board, things that I am emotionally attached to. If you look at my Philippines vision board below, you will see the food I craved, the line up at the airport, my siblings and parents, the beaches we will visit. All of that came true.

I envisioned spending Christmas in Philippines in 2012 but it happened in July of 2013. Not bad.
Here is my travel vision board after Philippines. It said 2014. We went to Disneyland and San Francisco August 2014 and Hawaii in May 2015. Florence at the bottom right is soon and France maybe not in the near future. It doesn’t move my heart at the moment. Italy is what I am aching for.  
I posted this picture on Facebook. It was a brave act. Friends asked what the picture was and I had to explain my secret vision board life. To some of my friends it looked impossible because they knew each trip would cost us a minimum of $8,000. But we did it.
What is the point of this blog post?  I want to show you that nothing is unattainable in your life. You can do and be anything. You can go wherever you want to go. You can buy anything you want. You have that power. If you can visualize it, if you can feel it in your heart, you can have it. It doesn't matter how. You just need to know what you want and the universe will deliver it to you.
If you feel the pain of not having it, you will have it soon. Italy, here we come.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


These past few days were challenging for me. I was expecting to get a grant from the government that will secure me a job for three years. I didn’t get it. I was called in to the doctor because of my bloodwork results. I am too worried that I just want to sleep until the doctor’s appointment.

I submitted a proposal to the government with a couple of colleagues. It was our first proposal and we had to write it in three days. After four months, the government finally issued the result this week. We didn’t get in. I have always been positive in everything I do. So for this one I had high hopes. I already owned it. That made the blow even harder.

What is it with positive thinking? What good does it bring to imagine success and then fail miserably? I didn’t get what I want and it’s absolutely shitty. I need to talk to myself big time.

Why was it not for me? It will not bring you closer to your goals. No, it won’t because I will have to work full time again and will not have time to write. That’s true. But I want the money to travel. You can get the money from teaching part time and writing more. I know. What am I going to do now? You will work on the companies you have helped put up and you will make them successful. That will bring you closer to your goal of being a $uccessful entrepreneur. Yes. That is the best thing to do. You did not lose anything. You did not have this before. You just didn’t get it. Do what makes your heart happy. Write, write, and write some more.

Done talking to myself.

It’s true. There was nothing lost. A couple of my friends lost their loved ones this week, a dear uncle and a baby, third baby lost in 14 months. These are painful losses. A proposal getting rejected is nothing. I need to adjust my perspective.

My doctor wants to see me to discuss the result of my bloodwork. I talked to her secretary Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to come in immediately but the clinic is closed Wednesdays. I took the earliest appointment on Thursday. Since the call I couldn’t concentrate on anything. What if I have a terminal disease? I am dying of worry. I have to remind myself that worrying doesn’t help. I have not lost anything. Worrying is an insult to God. If you can do something about it, why worry? If you cannot do anything about it, why worry? Why worry at all? I know, I know. But, but, but.

So I am writing in this state of mind. I need to be more positive.

I am grateful that Ramil can financially support our family and I can take a break from working. I am grateful that Ramil can get away from the office anytime he chooses. I am grateful for public healthcare. I am grateful for my upcoming holiday with my girlfriends. I am grateful that I can financially help my relatives back home. I am grateful for a healthy family. I am grateful for all the food we bought from the grocery today. I am grateful for being debt free. I am grateful for a big house, a nice car. I am thankful for an uncomplicated family. I am thankful for my marriage. I am thankful and I am at peace. Nothing is lost.
Everything works out in the end. If it is not working out, it is not yet the end. J

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


August 19, 2015

I waited 30 minutes for the bus today. 30 minutes! Imagine what important things I could’ve accomplished in 30 minutes. Instead, I sat at the bus stop swinging my legs, looking at this gorgeous sunny day. Not too hot at 11am.

I discreetly stared at everyone walking past me, making up stories about their lives. I thought of random things like how many notebooks I own and what I will do with the two bags of vegetables I just bought. I thought about the difference between organic and raised without spray. I thought of the complexities of the English language. I thought of nothing particularly important. Then I realized that I am more fortunate than millions of people in the world right now facing challenges in their lives. I am sitting here waiting for the bus without worries, simply looking forward to a perfect day at home with my green juice. I have the freedom of time.

How exactly did my life become this carefree? I used to be anxious all the time. Stressed by lack of money, a job I didn’t like, a crazy long commute, and a hectic daily schedule with our four kids. I also used to feel bloated every day and my headaches were frequent. I had back pain and even without a doctor’s prognosis, I was convinced I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome. That was three years ago.

When I gave up my full-time job, life got better. A lot better. This better. Of course it was not instantaneously better. It took time, strength, and mental willpower to survive and get to this point. But I am happy and I am not going back.  

In 2013 I was working as a Learning Facilitator for the biggest credit union in Canada. I was on my eighth year with them and my fourth position in the company. I kept on moving across departments to keep my sanity. It was a dream company. Great benefits like group RRSP matched up to 5% of salary contribution, 100% extended health, maternity top-up to 100%, four-day 35-hour flexible workweek, 5 weeks paid vacation, room for growth, and autonomy to do my job as I please. Why did I leave? There are days when I ask myself this question. Sometimes there are many consecutive days that I ask myself this question. I always come up with the same answer. Because I felt I had to live my life more fully than that.

I came to work one normal day. Same old same old. 9am, the train was full. As in full where if you were seated, somebody’s bum is two inches from your face kinda full. I was used to it. Been doing it for years. I just looked away, concentrated on that part of the window where the rain hits the glass. A stiff neck is better than smelling a stranger’s bum.

I got to my station, walked two blocks to my building, took the elevator. I got to my floor and the minute I stepped out of the elevator it hit me. It seemed like my whole future passed in front of my eyes in five seconds. I saw my 60 year old self in an office there, talking to an employee about performance. An old version of myself! I somehow knew that while I was talking I was pretending to care. I can’t explain how I could see it and feel it too. I even saw the whole floor teeming with people but they were all chained to their desks. I was hallucinating. I couldn’t bring my feet to walk the 30 steps to my desk. I stopped at the first desk and put down my purse. I raced to my boss’ desk. She was not there. I checked the meeting rooms one by one. I found her and her boss. I popped my head in and told them I was sick and I needed to go home. I ran back to the station. I was laughing and crying in the train, all by myself. I felt so much freedom going back home while everyone was going downtown.

That was the day I decided to leave full time employment.  Of course there were other factors and events that led to the decision but that day made it clear to me. I cannot live in the corporate jungle anymore. Twenty years is enough. I need to create. I need to express. I need to own my time. I need to write. So here I am.

It took a lot of work changing my thoughts before I was able to change my life. In another post I listed down the steps I took to get to where I am right now. I am not a millionaire yet but I am making more money than when I was employed, working from home on my own time. And I am not in a network marketing scheme! I am working real jobs.

Freedom. If you want it, you can definitely have it too. Goodluck.    

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


August 12, 2015

I haven’t worked a paying job in four months. There I got that out. Now on to more important things. Haha.

Yes it bugs me. I have tried to play the housewife part but I can’t. I thought I was a good housewife but this morning while I was slowly waking up, I saw with my right eye (my left eye was still closed) my husband ironing his shirt for work and I heard my kids making breakfast. I realized I am a total fail at this homemaker business. It’s true I can spin the story into ‘I am so successful in running this household that I have trained my family very well on how to take care of themselves’. I can sell that idea. I have worked a corporate job for twenty years. I can turn anything into a more desirable story. But no. I need to accept it. I am not cut out to be a homemaker only. I need to work. I need to make money. I need to feel productively contributing to the world.

So now I am frustrated at not having worked for four months and not having $10,000 to pay for a family vacation in Italy that I am dreaming about. But all is good. Now it is clear to me. I cannot NOT work a paying job.

I am grateful though, to have the opportunity to stop working to focus on determining what to do with my life. Rearranging my days to point to the direction I want to go. I truly appreciate this time. S/O to my husband for making this possible.  

However, (I know you saw that coming) not doing paid work takes getting used to. At the end of each day, I need to convince myself that it was indeed a productive day. That money is not the only possible measure of a day’s productivity. That I can just ‘be’ and my life will still be fruitful. It takes effort convincing myself that it is okay to lie down reading a good book for hours. That walking the beach aimlessly is good. That discussing ideas with friends will end up helping make the world a better place. This life takes getting used to after working for 20 years.

How did I get to this place? That is a separate blog post. Here, let’s talk about what I want to be, where I want to go, and what I am doing to get there. 

I have made the decision that I will be a broadcaster (the next Oprah), a successful entrepreneur (success being defined by millions of dollars and positive contribution to the world), a New York Times bestselling author, a world traveller (with my whole family of 6), and I will teach a little. I know that to many, this list sounds crazy. It sounds like I want to accomplish too much with the little time I have left in this world. I don’t really care what it sounds like to others. I am forty (and I don’t give a s**t) and I can do this.

When these goals (take note goals and not fantasies) became clear to me, I started writing these five things on my planner every single day. It gives me focus. These are the things I want to accomplish. Everything I write on my planner needs to lead to one of these. If the activity does not lead to these, I will not do them unless of course they are fun to do.

Do I have a clear plan on how to achieve all of these goals? Nah. That is a major life lesson I got from the last five years. Just know what you want and the universe will deliver. You just need to make sure you act on opportunities that come around.

Things started happening. I contacted a former student who I remember hosts a radio show. I sat in her radio show. Tomorrow I am attending training sessions that will eventually lead to producing my own show. Yes, it is a community radio station. Yes, there might not be any following but this is free training on the equipment and how to do it. I am so excited.

I registered to a journaling class. A short course on creative writing. It forced me to write and to read my writing to people. Now I have outlined my book and I am adding to it every day.

I started businesses involving teaching painting and making e-learning. I was brave enough to go ahead and try things out. Instead of just sitting down and writing my plans for a business.

I am visualizing a trip to Italy with my family of 6. We went to Disneyland last year and we went to Maui last May. I want to make sure that this year we do another major trip and that will be Italy.

I am amazed at what focus can do. Know what you want, keep it in your mind and heart, and act on the opportunities that will lead to successfully fulfilling your goals.

It seems like the four months of not having a paying job was worth it after all. I have identified my life goals and I have started the ball/s rolling on all of them. I could’ve gone for one year to a remote country to find myself. But no. I stopped working, stayed where I am, thought of what I really want to do and now everything is on its way to me. Not bad for four months. Now I feel better.

Life is good. Now off to watching the Perseid meteor showers with my family. It will not get me closer to my goals but it will be fun so it is an exception. I wrote it in my planner. J

Friday, June 05, 2015

passionate instructor ba kamo?

i always feel grateful these days. dahil yata binitiwan ko na ang pag iisip ng mga bagay bagay sa buhay. lahat ng bagay ay dinelegate ko na...kay ramil. haha. pagtuturo at pag vi-visualize nalang ang natirang responsibilidad ko sa buhay. pagtuturo para may maiuwi naman akong pera, at pag vi-visualize ng buhay namin in the future so we have something to look foward to.

nakasakay ako sa train kanina papunta sa trabaho. biyernes kaya half day lang ang turo ko sa hapon. ang ganda ng panahon, 20 degrees. hindi malamig at di rin naman mainit. iniinom ko ang aking mainit na kape habang nanonood ng magandang tanawin sa labas ng tren. water, mountains, buildings, bridges, people. peaceful.

nagbukas ako ng facebook. nakita ko ang isang fb friend ko na nag post ng reklamo nya sa buhay. wala daw internet sa bahay sa pinas. naalala ko na nabasa ko ilang days ago na meron din syang inire reklamo sa fb. tinignan ko ang home page nya. lahat ng post nya reklamo. hmmm. matagal na yata akong hindi nagre reklamo sa buhay. pinilit kong makaisip ng irereklamo. nagulat akong hindi ako makapag isip ng kahit na isang complaint. talaga nga bang maluwag ang buhay namin ngayon o nagbago lang ako ng perspective and i have practiced appreciation and gratitude well enough kaya wala akong maisip na complaint? so i tried to think of things to be grateful for instead. ang dami kong naisip.

unang una masaya ako sa trabaho ko ngayon. lagpas isang taon na nung iniwan ko ang aking full-time job sa bangko. lagpas isang taon na akong nagtuturo freelance. walang security. kung saan saan, kung ano-anong bagay, sa iba ibang mga oras. nagtuturo ako sa limang companies. iba ibang araw. ang iba araw-araw, ang iba once in a blue moon. tuloy tuloy ang hanap ko ng schools para laging puno ang aking schedule. maraming pilipino dito na nagtatanong sa akin, pano ka nakapasok sa ganyang trabaho? ang galing mo naman! ang laging sagot ko, nag aral ako ng teaching para ako makapagturo. di ba ganun lang naman ang ginagawa? maraming pilipino dito sa canada ang hindi na re-realize ang kanilang full potential dahil na i insecure sila for not being born and raised in canada. ang akin lang e, hindi ako born and raised dito. so what? i will do what i want. samakatuwid, nagtuturo ako sa colleges part-time. nagtuturo ako ng bookkeeping, insurance licensing review, business planning, microsoft office, keyboarding, math, at kung ano ano pa. minsan di ko alam ang tinuturo ko pero okay lang. keri lang. magaling naman akong umarte. bwahaha. 

nagpunta ako sa interview nung isang araw for a full-time teaching job. naisip ko kasi baka pagkatapos ng isang taon e gusto ko naman ng stability sa trabaho. habang ini-interview ako, pinigil kong sabunutan ang nag i interview sa akin. pinigilan ko ang sarili kong baligtarin ang mesa at tumakbo palabas. ang sabi nya kasi kailangang nasa opis ako alas nwebe ng umaga araw-araw at sya ang boss ko. hindi ko na yata kayang bumalik sa full-time daily job na may oras at may boss. di bale ng nakakaloka ang schedule ko. di bale ng na stress ako paminsan minsan magturo ng mga bagay na di ko rin alam. di bale ng isang oras at kalahati ang byahe ko. di bale na lahat. basta i have the freedom to choose what i want to do. i don't answer to anyone except to my students. i can come and go as i please. i love my job.

i get to inspire people everyday. i raise people each day by teaching them something they didn't know before. i challenge the limitations people put on themselves. my everyday question is, why not? i bring comfort to my students when they feel down. i let my students achieve. i show them that they can do things they thought impossible. i influence their minds to become positive thinkers. i encourage my students. i brainwash them to believe that they can be what they want to be, anytime they choose to. i help adults realize themselves.

i guess i am a passionate instructor.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Sampung taon sa Canada

written July 5, 2014

di ako makapaniwala. sampung taon na kami dito sa canada? parang kailan lang. totoo ngang time flies when you're having fun or when you are trying to cope with an overwhelming life that you have created for yourself. oh well. sampung taon na nga.

unang taon ko palang dito sa canada, inambisyon ko ng magsulat ng istorya tungkol sa buhay namin dito. tumaas ang pangarap ko na ang istoryang ito ay maging isang pelikula sa pilipinas. sinulat ko ng paunti unti ang mga bagay bagay. pero syempre naging busy ang buhay. ika nga e kinain ako ng sistema. nagtrabaho, ng nagtrabaho, ng nagtrabaho. nag negosyo, naglaba, nagluto, naglinis, nagpa ikot-ikot ng pag da drive, bawat ikalawang taon naiisip ko ang pangarap kong maikwento ang buhay namin. pero wala rin.

sa wakas nung isang taon ay iniwan ko na ang aking stable, well-paying, full-time job. bakit kamo? aba ewan, minsan nga iniisip ko kung ano bang kagaguhan yung ginawa ko. haha. iniwan ko ang trabaho ko to build the life i want. it's been a year and i am proud to say that i am doing well. i am slowly creating the details of my dreams and intentionally paving the way to achieve my goals. 


exciting ang taon na ito. unang una ay pumapayat na ako sa wakas. mula sa size 10 na damit, size 6 na ako ngayon, maluwag pa. di ko akalaing papayat pa ako ever. i gained and kept ten pounds for each kid i brought into the world. mula sa 120 lbs sa unang anak ko, 160 lbs ako sa ikaapat. lahat na yata ng diet sinubukan ko. mula sa cabbage soup diet na wala kang kakainin kung di cabbage soup, no carb diet, no rice diet, protein only diet, slimming shake diet, after six diet, at kung ano ano pa. hay. nakakaloka isipin. pero ngayon pumayat na ako ng totoo. pati ang mga pata kong legs. dati rati kapag pumapayat ako nananatiling malulusog ang hita ko. ngayon long legged na ako ulit. ika nga ng mga maaarteng canadians, ahh-mazing. ano ang ginawa ko? mamaya mo na malalaman. read on.

itong taon na ito ay ga graduate ng high school si celina, ang panganay naming anak. natutuwa ako at nakarating sya ng 18 years old ng hindi nabubuntis, nag da drugs, nagyoyosi o nag iinom. napakaraming napapariwarang kabataan dito sa canada. at in fairness di rin sya naglayas kahit na laging nasisiraan ng bait ang nanay nya. at on top of all that ay ga graduate syang valedictorian. valedictorian! biruin mo yun? e kahit akong ke galing galing hindi valedictorian nung high school. bwahaha. ika ng ng canadians, awesome.

nagtatrabaho sya ngayon ng part time sa mcdonalds. natanggap na sa university at magsisimula ng kanyang communications and publishing degree sa september. i am tremendously happy for her. her life is beginning in the best way possible.

yun nga lang dahil disi-otso na sya, di ko mapigilang isipin na ang tanda ko na. mag ka kwarenta na kaming mag asawa sa taon na ito. papanong lumipas ang labing walong taon ng ganun kabilis? naaalala ko pang itinatago ko ang pagbubuntis ko kay celina. hay buhay.

pero dahil kwarenta na kami ngayon, itinaga ko sa batong kami ay mag ce celebrate sa hawaii. super exciting! yan ang isa sa mga resolutions ko sa buhay. celebrate more, and more, and more!

ngayon ding taon na ito ga graduate si lara, ang pangatlo naming anak, ng elementary. napakagaling kumanta ng batang ito. artist syang tunay. manang mana sa ama. ako yata ay wala ni isang artistic na buto sa katawan. at amazingly, sya ay valedictorian din. si guila noong gumradweyt ng elementary three years ago ay valedictorian din. tatlong valedictorian na. di ko na mabilang sa daliri ang aming blessings. i am forever grateful.

ngayong taon ding ito magisismula ng kindergarten ang bunso naming si hector. lahat na sila ay mag-aaral, samakatuwid ay matatapos na ang pangangailangan namin ng daycare at babysitting. halleluiah!

mabalik ako kay guila, sya ay mag 15 years old na. nagsisimula na nyang gawin ang mga interes nya sa buhay tulad ng pagluluto. matalinong bata si guila. madalas nga lang ay nakikita ko ang sarili ko sa kanya at natatakot ako. hahaha.

sa canada na talaga kami nakatira. wala ng atrasan ito. we have planted the roots. we still call philippines home but our lives are now in canada. i fully accept it now.

medyo slow yata ako. pagtapos ng sampung taon tsaka ko lang natanggap.