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Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Travel - A Wonderful One-day Trip (Sky Ranch)

Before the school opens, my two married children decided to make a trip to Tagaytay.  They asked me to join them together with their children.  It was an exciting trip for the children to take rides in this place called SKY RANCH.  It is located in Tagaytay where the beautiful (still the volcano is silent) Taal Lake can be viewed as shown below:     

Taal Lake
 Though it took us more than two hours before reaching this place due to traffic, the sight of seeing this view of Taal Lake was really wonderful and worth the time and effort to visit. It was getting late in the afternoon and there were already many people around when we arrived.  My son-in-law had a hard time looking for a space to park his vehicle.  After paying our entrance fees, we excitedly looked around the place.  The weather was perfect, very windy and cool. We went to the hilltop and view the whole place as shown below:

The Sky Ranch
 It was an exciting one-day trip for me also because it was not only my first time to visit the place, but most important was, the fun time I had to spend with my grandkids again.  Fun, fun, fun…  Remember my Happy Happy Me Part 6?  Last time, we went to a shopping mall where we played games, watched movie,  dined out together, etc… This time, it was different.  I was surprised and at the same time, had fear when my eldest grandson who is 14 years old, took the courage to ride this adventurous aerial runway.

The Zip Line Rider
This smart kid who stands 5’6 ft dared to do it with confidence and courage.  At first, he was hesitant to do it because he said he was afraid, too, like me.  Having fear of something is just normal.  But if avoidance of object, activity, or situation that triggers your fear interferes with your normal functioning or keeps you from doing things that you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help.  If your fear is so severe that it triggers panic attack or uncontrollable anxiety, you many want to get additional support. Facing fear is the way to overcome it, otherwise, it will haunt you for life.  Self help is always worth a try.  Support doesn’t have to come in the guise of a professional therapist.  Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be  extraordinarily helpful.  

The Zip Line Ride

As his mother shouted in glee, “Hep, hep hooray! You can do it, son. You can do it,” his father was grinning cheerfully, too.  We were all excited and happy to see him after his ride. My two grandchildren were not qualified to take this ride.


The Caterpillar Ride
We took several rides and one ride we had that my eldest daughter took video of was the Caterpillar Ride as shown above.  “Yippee….”  I was with my youngest grandson, only granddaughter, and son-in-law.  Afterwards, we had our dinner in a nearby restaurant.

There were many people taking pictures in this area when we arrived.  We decided not to mingle with the crowd at that time. When closing time was nearing,  we waited for some people to be less in number.  Then when it was our time, we made these wacky poses as shown below:

Wacky Pose (1)

Wacky Pose (2)

Wacky Pose (3)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My heart says .... Do you have a Father?

This simple question hurts me for I really don’t have a father anymore.  He died before I was born.  My mother was four months pregnant with me when somebody killed him.  Imagine how much her grief was that made me felt all her whole being like a time bomb about to explode on “the little me”  while still in her womb. Because of my grandmother’s pleading, she decided not to let that “time bomb” explode on me. She was a cry-cry mother that made me also a cry-cry baby (emotional) until now. My mother became a widow at a young age of 27 and he was just 32 years old.  I just saw his looks in an old picture frame and another small picture my mother gave me.  The memory of him as narrated by my mother describes him as a very responsible, loving husband and a father to my three oldest siblings.   

I didn’t question God why He allowed him to be killed at a young age.  But I began to question Him when my eldest brother died who stood as the head of our family then. It was a terrible day for every family members especially, me, to know about his car accident. The first and last time we saw each other after five years of absence in my country was in 2010 and then he died the following year. Oh my! How time flies so fast.  Yes, four years has passed and the memory still lingers on. That day was the lowest moment of my life because I wasn’t able to control my emotions to question Him already. He died before  reaching his last birthday of the same year.  He was a very responsible and loving husband and father to his five children also. 

Because of my personal experiences, I wonder how many more husbands have died in an accident and left their families behind helpless and have nothing? How many more widows have suffered in order to cope with their financial and emotional traumas? How many more children have felt abandoned, neglected, and confused and fall prey to exploitation and abuses after being orphaned by their parents? …..

But I still feel lucky because my mother passed all the trials and difficulties of bringing up her four children, especially me. My dear mother, who assumed the dual role as a mother and father, showed courage during her weakest moments of her life and tried to be strong because of us.  Memories of her sacrifices, hard work, and perseverance made  us realize that we need to be as strong as my mother and to work hard for the improvement of our life and future.

To move the chapter of my life fast forward, my elder daughter called me to inform me that  my mother needs me very badly, so I need to come home. Something pierced my heart that I felt guilty that I should not have left her when she was bedridden initially last January.  She had another fall and was hospitalized. I made a firm decision, in spite of all odds.  I quit my job and packed up  all my things just to be with her and decided to take care of her in her old age. I don’t want to lose another loved one without even seeing her for the last time.  
While at home already, she has been having a hard time retaining much of her short-term memory, but her long-term memory is still vivid.  One time, while by her bedside, she mentioned about me not being able to see my own father.  She felt terribly sad about it and so with me.  But what makes me sadder is when she can’t recognize me anymore most of the time.  Understanding that I will also grow old someday, I asked my eldest daughter one time, if she will take care of me, too,  and she replied immediately with a big “Yes.”  This made me happy,  at least.

I wrote this article to inspire other children who don’t have a father anymore or lost their father due to illness or accident, like myself.  It’s not yet the end of the world for us.  It’s  the beginning of what it takes to be a good son or daughter that can make your own lost father be proud of you someday. Keep their memories in your heart.  For those who still have their father living with them, I would like to encourage them to show their love and respect not only during this celebration, but always and everyday.  If my own father and brother are only still alive today, I would have made a handmade gift in honor of them. Instead, I  would like to invite you to read the poem I dedicated to my father entitled, “Where were You?”

“Happy Father’s Day”
 To all fathers of this beautiful world!!!