To My Future Kids

My niece from a cousin gave birth to my fourth grandson yesterday. She’s 20. I’m 26. And I’m shit scared. It is starting to dawn on me that I might be running out of time building my own family while I am here stuck trying to figure out how to be the person God wants me to be. I cry a little every time I see videos of babies in social media, being very cute, cuddly and smart. I cringe at the idea of bringing a person to this world but my heart melts wondering how amazing that person could be.

And so for my first born and to all my kids, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I and your dad are still work in progress. Being in our mid 20s we are still in this crazy journey of finding and molding ourselves to be of service to the Lord and to the world, trying to keep optimism that we bring a change to humanity.
I’m sorry you wouldn’t come into these days that my whole family still lives under one roof and having catching ups over dinners are easy. I’m sorry you’ll miss the chance growing up with Clark and Chloe and have that love-hate relationship cousins develop every play time. I’m sorry that on your first years in school Lolo and Grandma will be a bit older and may not be the ones to give you a bath everyday.

I cannot promise that at the time you are with me, I will be in my best self. But it would be the version of me who would wholeheartedly devote her life as your mother, who would, at all cost, love you dearly.

Please know that when I hold you for the first time in the delivery room, it’s a promise of a lifetime love and protection.

That when you go home crying because you hurt your toes I’ll be ready with a band aid, or a gauze, and a candy because I know we both think it’s the best remedy to wounded toe.

That I’ll have circles around my eyes every time you get afraid of the monsters under your bed.

That I’ll be the most active stage mom making you costumes, helping you practice and cheering you on from your first performance at school til the last one my breathe would permit me to witness.

That though with tears in my eyes, I’ll be there in your first heartache. When you feel lost, defeated and wounded, I’ll be the first person to remind you of your worth.

That when you finish school, we’ll celebrate your dreams.

That when you walk down the aisle, I promise to work hard to be there. That I’ll take care of myself to be there.

We’ll have dinners every night, play time after your home works, fighting once in a while, gift giving every milestones, swimming every month, badminton every weekend and mass every Sunday. We’ll know God together and we’ll live your life by His words.

But for now, like what He tells me everyday, be patient. I’m excited to know you.

We’ll meet you in God’s perfect time. ūüôā

Wandering Dreams

What do I do when I¬†find my¬†dreams realize in someone else’s life who doesn’t even dreamed for that dream?

This year has been one hell of a ride. At the beginning, God finally unfolded my purpose in life. I haven’t stopped looking forward to fulfilling it ever since. But now nine months have passed, and still I feel like I haven’t done anything. Everyday¬†is a constant validation of my willingness and effort to put myself one step closer to achieving it.

I don’t want to be impatient about it. Since I waited four years to acquire answers from my questions. Sometimes I just can’t understand how and why opportunities unfold infront of someone else. Why do those wander off?

#Rest

Nine days ago I came back to my home country after a 14 day emotional roller coaster trip to California. And now I am in my hotel room in a far flung province for a 10 day site profiling trip.

But right at this very moment, I want to stay in my room, do my nails, organize my clothes and do piles of them, some of which I will donate to whoever needs them.

It’s hard to find myself these days. I can’t wait to just be me. Not the responsible engineer me.

24 hours Before Leaving for California

And it became a reality! Im going to Cali! 24 hours before my flight and instead of creating my presentation in Berkeley or packing my things, Im here writing my panic post. This is really happening- Im going to Cali and this wont be a tour. It’s gonna be work and it’s not gonna be easy. Please pray for me!

“Trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.”

What It Really Means to Work as a Field and Research Engineer under the Government

I am nothing else but living outside my comfort zone since I started working as a field and research engineer three years ago. I am living a life very far from what I imagined to live. I always saw myself on high heels and power dressing, attending meetings with big people on elegant conference rooms, presenting reports on my work’s progress, speaking in English. But also, I always saw myself touching lives and changing the world.

In my job I wear trekking sandals or all terrain shoes, rash guard or sleeves you usually see tricycle drivers have on their arms to keep their skin from burning, leggings and cap. I’ve never been into an elegant conference room but I’ve been to beaches no tourists have ever set foot on, to islands and mountains that give us the most breathtaking views we never knew existed, to rivers with possibly the clearest and cleanest water. I do get to present reports, and sometimes hold seminars, but it is under a Mango tree where my audience are locals who are learning a new technology. And certainly it isn’t done in English.

i always say that my job is the best an engineer could get. I still attest to that. You do your designs and simulations, you coordinate with manufacturers, you characterize your prototypes’ parameters and you install them yourself on the field. The moment I mounted my antenna on a 16 meter high pole was for me like giving birth, or sending out my first born to preschool. It was a milestone a mother lives for, an achievement I’m sure most engineers crave for.

When you are in the field you get to live the life our countrymen live. You sleep where they sleep. You eat what they eat. You breath the salty air they breath. You take baths on wells they take theirs. You open yourself to experiences far from yours and you get amazed how diverse our cultures are even if we are just one race.

One lesson our friend from the island taught us is that in this kind of community you get what you give. You will be treated how you treat others. And it isn’t like in the city where we have the impression that no one can be trusted. It is true. Everyone smiles back, everyone offers a helping hand. They sure know how to treat people well.

When we do field works, time isn’t an issue. Eating isn’t an issue. Rain isn’t an issue. We start when the sun has just shown itself and ends when the moon and flashlights are our light. We eat only after the testing may that be having lunch at 4 in the afternoon. And the rain? Our caps do the work. We get things done. Well. That’s number one in the priority list. Even if it means only 6 people do the work meant for 30 men.

Others’ first impression is that it is okay for us to actually work our asses off because we get paid well. But the fact is that we know no bonuses, double pays, 13th month pays, no any form of benefits, no health cards, no over time pays even if you have your four year old hand-me-down laptop (from a previous government project staff) anywhere you go for 24/7. You even have to file, and sometimes pay, your own taxes. There are two good things about this though. One, you learn to save up by your own because nothing is expected to cover your shopping in Christmas season. :)) Two, you see for yourself what happens in government offices, how twisted some procedures are, how some efforts are actually being effective, and how much more there is to be improved. See being in a third world country, everything still has to be improved and it would dawn on you that you have to do something.

Being sent for overseas training, you do not only embody a company’s name, but your country’s. And you have all the pressure on your shoulder to prove to the world that your race is a race of intelligence, exceptional capabilities and competence. You impress the world not for yourself but for your countrymen who would soon enjoy the opportunities you should open for them.

We don’t work in an office. We work at a “home”. What we sometimes call our office in reality is a 5 x 5 m air-conditioned white room filled with lots of equipment, and people we consider as brothers and sisters. You work with people you share the same passion with and, in one way or another, treats you as family.

And oh, at first, we didn’t have insurance even if we need to cross the Pacific Ocean using a 15 seater boat, travel for 16 long hours through land, do mountain climb for 5 hours, mingle with sometimes we believe are “rebels”. My sister once told me she could never see my salary being big. And she asked me, “Is it worth it?”

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Oh yes it is. When you speak with our countrymen and they express how technology can introduce change in their lives by helping them contact rescuers from mainland after disasters to decrease harmful after effects, or giving them the chance to once in a while speak with their children who study in town, or by enabling students learn how to use computers and surf the internet, you’ll know it certainly is.

I do not entirely believe that technology is the answer for our country to fully stand on her feet, I believe harmony is. When every Filipino start prioritizing harmony over everything else we’ll all begin to live in a better land. But technology will take big part in spreading communication that promotes harmony.

What I learned most after fully accepting that I wont do any power dressing in my work ( :P) is that we, my team, were not placed in this job for no reason. We weren’t chosen randomly nor chosen blindly. We are nourished to become somebody.

I sure saw myself changing the world, I need not become a nun or a business tycoon nor a politician to do that. I just  need to start with myself and where I am right now. Being a research and field engineer means you let go of your personal comforts and go out there to cater for the needs of your countrymen.

Dear Future Fiance

I never planned my wedding yet. Or I tried to never plan. Except for the little detail that my entourage would wear silky gowns of violet to silver hue. And that I would have the most amazing, emotional, touching pre-nup and same day edit videos. Because for sure when I do, it is you who I imagine as the groom. And I would never want to plan something you and God hasn’t told me about yet.

When we watched Friend’s episode about Monica saying that as a child she used to place a white blanket atop her head and pretended it was her veil, I couldn’t relate. I don’t think I tried that, and if ever I did, I believe it was me pretending I had longer beautiful hair perhaps because I had just seen a shampoo commercial. See even as a little girl I tried not to plan my wedding.

When for the first time I experienced to walk down the isle as a junior bride’s maid in my cousin’s wedding, all I think about was how not to ruin my perfectly ironed hair. It was my first time to have it ironed and I believed I looked pretty. For the next hour of my life while my teary eyed cousin was exchanging vows with the man she promised to love forever, my concern was my long black straight hair. See as a teen I tried not to plan my wedding.

When my brother got engaged a few years back and my parents requested to have the wedding of all their children on the 21st of December, the same as theirs, I thought oh at least I would not need to decide when my wedding will be. See as a young adult I try not to plan my wedding.

When my girl friends started to go gaga on proposal videos in social media, I try not to get attached. And not to think on how I will get engaged. I limit myself to just pure appreciation and admiration of the acts of love these men show their ladies. When my mind begin to dream I’ll open my eyes and remind myself I’ll have that one unique moment of my life at the right time. Then I’ll go back to whatever I was doing before I wander off- may it that be my simulations, my itinerary for my next trip, my spoken word piece. See at 26 I try not to plan my wedding.

Sometimes I would wish that this cross your mind even just for a few seconds. But then I would just be thankful that we both are not in a hurry.

I am thankful, that just like me, you think of your family first and make sure their needs are covered every minute of the day. I am thankful, that just like me, you think of figuring out how God wants us to live our lives and fulfill His missions for us. I am thankful, that just like me, you think of establishing businesses that is meant not just for living or earning but also for loving.

You know the handful of dreams I got that I work on- dreams that I do for myself, for others and for our country. And I am grateful you let me reach them even if it’s taking me a little long. And I know you have your fair share. You don’t have to worry. I can’t let humanity not experience the actualization of your ideas, of you greatness and of your amazing heart. That is why I support you. Wholeheartedly. I can’t wait to see success unfold in front of you.

And I can’t wait to see what we can do together. We are working hard to be the greatest individuals we can be for I know that it takes two whole souls to create one great partnership. You know I live my life believing everything happens for a reason and I am but excited to discover all God’s for bringing us together twelve years ago.

When the right time comes, when we finally realize that the dreams left to be fulfilled are the dreams we are to fulfill together, we’ll know.

Little by little, we’ll know.

When¬†just like my every mornings last week I suddenly felt incomplete when I didn’t see your face as I opened my eyes. And just like after 7 days of tiring field work I chose to stay with you and watch Modern Family as we lazily leaned on my softest pillow than finally see and embrace my parents who for 26 years of my life were the definition of home.

Little by little, we’ll know.

.

I’m Going to Cali!

Months ago, I was offered an opportunity to work under a joint research project of California and my country. One major part of it is a training abroad just for a short period of time. Of course, I was hell excited.  Traveling for free? For my country? And just short time? Best opportunity ever!

The whole team was excited. We started including Katy Perry’s California Girls and Rihanna’s California King Bed in our office and¬†field music playlists. We searched the states near the university and planned which ones to visit per weekend. I even looked for fashion styles for the season we will be visiting. Hihi!

We sure are thrilled. But I gotta say when the technical tasks to be accomplished were assigned, there, one bubble at a time, popping. I am not one of the smartest kids in town. I can say I am smart, but I know for a fact I’m no cream of the crop. A¬†couple of times I reflected onto why I am in this job when only those who are real geniuses belong here.

And so I am digging why. Perhaps this trip would give me a cultural awareness, more people skills, confidence perhaps? Things that can me of use for my real purpose.

Earlier today I already received the invitation letter from one of the most prestigious universities in the US, well it’s safe to say, in the world. I will be under the mentorship of someone high profile in my field.

I am afraid, for real. But “my faith is on solid rock, I’m counting on God.” I’ll understand His plans in a few weeks. Be patient. I just have to be patient.