As most of you know, I came home from a recent trip to Norway with a fractured right ankle. When the incident happened, I was at a loss as to how to manage getting around despite the ankle cast and a pair of crutches. Fortunately, […]
March 2003: Hours before my departure for the Philippines and in the midst of last-minute packing, I called my mother to verify my arrival in Manila. Despite the bad phone connection, I sensed that something wasn’t right. She sounded frazzled. She haltingly informed me then […]
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know.” — Lemony Snicket
More than a month ago, we celebrated the memory of our dear departed. For Filipinos, we do this by visiting their graves, lighting candles and offering prayers, flowers and food. Yeah, the last one might be odd but that was something I distinctly remember when I was young and whenever I accompanied my grandmother to the cemetery during All Souls’ Day. I don’t mean to sound morbid but lately, I’ve been reading on my Facebook newsfeed about people’s loss of a parent or beloved family member and my heart goes out to them. Anyone who have lost someone important know very well that when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.
I have written before about my experience when I lost my father very suddenly. He’s been gone for over 14 years now but the memory of that time still haunts me. If I may, I would like to share that blog post (edited) for those who have never read it. This could be a bit long so I beg for your patience.
FLASHBACK: When I first I got engaged (update: now divorced) and decided to have the wedding in the States, I immediately worked on obtaining visitor’s visas for my parents and sisters so they can be there for the occasion. I knew it was a long shot but I was optimistic that they will be approved. Unfortunately, their first application was denied. Feeling despondent, I considered the possibility that none of my family will be present on such an important event in my life. My father almost declined to file again, worried about the financial costs it entailed. My mother persuaded him to try again after I told her that I would have to make that trip to the altar by myself as I didn’t feel it would be right for somebody else, other than my father, to give me away. I guess they just couldn’t bear the thought of their daughter looking like a forlorn bride on her wedding day so they hastily reapplied.
Fortunately, the second time was a charm. I was so glad to pick them up at the airport two weeks before the wedding. That was their first time to be out of the country. I showed them around Chicago and watched their faces lit up with amazement from every little thing that they found interesting and different. Finally, the big day arrived. Although we were both nervous, the moment felt perfect when my father and I sauntered to the altar. I couldn’t ask for anything more at that moment.
Weeks later, I was at the airport again, bidding goodbye to my parents. Although I was sad to see them depart, I knew they had a great time during their oh-so-short of a vacation. Little did I know that the time we spent together was one I will forever treasure as it will never be replicated. Almost six months later, I felt homesick and impulsively decided to visit my family. My sisters were pretty bummed out that they didn’t get to be there for my wedding so they looked forward to my coming. In retrospect, it’s as if the trip was designed by some cosmic powers-that-be. Whether you believe in it or not, what followed was just pure kismet and tragic.
To be continued …
“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” – Anais Nin
The television gets so much bad rap and yet it continues to grab people’s attention. It’s the menace that everyone loves to hate but can’t seem to live without. It is a burgeoning industry and the technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure so it will not likely go away for a long, long time. As for me, I have to cut back on my TV watching but there are still shows that I follow and find entertaining. The common thread for these shows is that they are mostly science fiction. One such show is Doctor Who.
Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television program produced by the BBC from 1963 to the present day. It depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey—a space and time- traveling humanoid alien. He travels in his spaceship called the TARDIS (stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space). It allows him to go anywhere in time and space. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box but is bigger on the inside. Accompanied by “companions” or “assistants”, the Doctor combats a variety of foes, while working to save civilizations and help people in need. As a Time Lord, the Doctor has the ability to regenerate when his body is mortally damaged, taking on a new appearance and personality. For the unfamiliar or non-fan, check out this video.
So why am I geeking out and writing about some TV show? Well, the first time I came upon an episode from the season of the Ninth Doctor, I was immediately drawn. As a sci-fi fan, the idea of time travel in a space ship fascinates me. I was even more captivated since the Doctor’s companion’s name was Rose (Tyler). The nerd in me likes to pretend it was I who’s roaming alternate universes, fighting off evil aliens and saving the world. It’s the ultimate adventure and hands down, the coolest way to travel. I’d like to believe that one day, this will no longer be fictional. It might be many, many light years away before this becomes a reality. I wish I can stick around for that but for now, I will appease myself by visiting distant lands on earth at the present time. This planet is vast and amazing enough that it will take me a whole lifetime to explore anyway.
Have you ever fantasized traveling to distant planets and galaxies? Or does the idea of space and time travel intimidates you? Please share your thoughts on this blog post in the comment section. I’d be interested to read about it.
“My spirit gets nourished in faraway places. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a biological need, perhaps a biological flaw, that compels me to seek the excitement and challenge that comes of being in a place where nobody knows me. Other times I think that my compulsion to settle into communities that are different from the ones I know is related to my passion for experiential learning. I learn best and most happily by doing, touching, sharing, tasting. When I’m somewhere I’ve never been before, learning goes on all day, every day.” ― Rita Golden Gelman, Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World
As I prepared for my fourth solo trip to Greece and Turkey a year ago, I was filled with some trepidation due to the fact that the said destinations might not be the best choices for a solo female traveler like me. These are countries that had been or are presently plagued with political and financial strife. It would be so easy if I was traveling with somebody or with a group. There is safety in numbers as they say. I was legitimately concerned about my security but a part of me, albeit naively, wanted to believe that nothing malevolent could possibly happen. There’s always a certain degree of anxiety before I embarked on my previous trips but everything almost always turned out okay and even when they didn’t, the memories and experiences are worth the aggravation and inconvenience. After all, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
As a young girl, traveling around the world was what I always wanted to do when I grow up. It may have taken me awhile to get started but as soon as I booked that flight to Italy two years ago, I’ve been on a roll since. It’s truly been a dream coming true. Amidst the chaos of planning and packing, I thrive on the anticipation of visiting the places I’ve only seen in pictures and movies. I can’t wait to soak up all the sights, sounds and smells of every place and to get to know the people and the culture around me. I’m ready to go and take on the world, one destination at a time.
There’s no doubt in my mind that travel is my passion. Have you found yours? Please share your thoughts about this post in the comment section. I would love to hear about it.