The typical being Filipino early Mother’s Day dinner celebration to avoid the crowds on the actual Mother’s Day.
So one of my distant relatives from Canada came to visit us and we were talking a little bit and he asks me if I want this program that can allow you to stream movies for free, no downloading required. I was like “nah it’s okay man, if you look in my room you’ll see that I have a ton of movies” and he says “forget that, with this you’ll never have to buy another movie again!” and I don’t think he understands just how deeply he offended my sensibilities lol. I don’t get all high and mighty off of movie piracy because I’d be a hypocrite if I said I’ve never done it, but collecting movies is like… my thing! If I don’t have this, what do I have? lol
I seriously miss the Philippines, in a way that I couldn’t have predicted before I went on vacation just 4 weeks ago. Usually when I go on vacation I have a great time but I always want to go back home sooner or later and I usually am anticipating going home to America. This time around? I had absolutely no desire to return home whatsoever. Maybe part of it was the fact that I had fucking nursing school and immediate studying/reading to do, but even more so because I knew I was going to miss my family and the culture in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, despite the fact that I was technically an outsider being an American, I always felt at home. In the Philippines I can walk out our door and in ten seconds I’m surrounded by people who have nothing but love for each other, that Filipino hospitality. I can literally walk into my neighbor’s house, sit down, and just start watching TV with them. Everyone is always asking if you’ve already eaten and offering you a plate of food. I miss chilling with my family and just talking about whatever was on the mind at the moment. I miss watching cartoons with my little niece! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show, Spongebob, etc. without thinking of her. I seriously teared up and almost cried in front her a few times on that last day because I was thinking of how much I was going to miss her. I miss seeing all of my family and going out with them to just do whatever. The Philippines was just… amazing and I can’t wait to go back.
Don’t get me wrong, I love America, but the vibe of both countries could not be more different. America is so spread out and I feel like nobody really gives a fuck about anybody else except themselves. Like… I don’t know any of my neighbors at all. Can you imagine what would happen if I just walked into my neighbors house and started watching their TV or eating their food? I’d either get arrested or shot lol. Another thing is that I don’t have much family here in America that are close by. I only have my two first cousins that are like 8 minutes away, but that’s it. I miss having family that are literally 30 seconds away. When we were in the PI I slept in a room with my parents, cousin, and brother in it. My first night back in America I woke up at like 3 AM and I remember just feeling so damn lonely sitting there in my cold, dark room. That pretty much encapsulated how I feel about America as a whole right now in comparison to the Philippines: cold, dark, and separated, I never feel like I’m living in a community.
I think part of my longing for the Philippines just has to do with the fact that I’m a lot older than I was the first couple of times I went there. I went there when I was 4, 9, 13, and 16 (and at 16 I only went back because my grandpa died, so it wasn’t a happy time to say the least). I was pretty young and couldn’t fully appreciate/understand how special it was to go back to the Philippines. Now that I’m older and I feel the weight of just LIFE on my shoulders, I realize how precious it is to spend time with your family and friends because you don’t get to do it as often as you’d like or want to. I hope I get to go back to the Philippines sooner than later. I don’t want to have to wait another 8 years before I get to go back.
As I said before, when I was younger there was always a point during my stay in the Philippines when I always wanted to go back “home” to America, but now? I can’t wait to go back HOME to the Philippines. =’)
This is my super adorable/smart little niece Iyah! I’ve bonded with her a lot during this vacation. She’s only six years old so she wasn’t even born yet the last time I was in the Philippines!
I think the reason I’ve become so attached to her is that I always wanted a little sister to look out for, but - as you may know - I’m the youngest child in my family. She also just really reminds me a lot of my younger self. Extremely shy, but still carefree, innocent, and silly. We watch cartoons together all the time (Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Fairly Oddparents, and Spongebob! Adventure Time is her favorite though) and we’ll just play around and make jokes. She’s started to imitate my sarcasm since she always hears me feign excitement whenever everyone else watches Filipino soap operas (“This is fantasticccccccc” lol). She also really loves school! She was obviously on winter break when I got here but had to go back to school last Monday. I go “kawawa naman, Iyah has school tomorrow” and she says to me “No! I want to go to school!” LOL. So adorable!
When I was eating dinner one night with my mom and Auntie Del I found out that Iyah is kind of an outcast on our block because she goes to a private school and her mom (my Ate Joma) doesn’t really let her out in the neighborhood to play with the other kids (which, again, reminded me of my own upbringing). That made me pretty sad because she’s such a great kid and I hate to think that she’s not getting the full “kid” experience. Also reminds me that there was a friend of Iyah’s I met named Cassandra who is mute. She’s six years old but for some reason she hasn’t developed speaking in any capacity (she understands perfectly fine, but just can’t speak). It just pissed me off to think that she might be ostracized just because she can’t talk because she’s such a sweet little girl. Damn this cruel, cold world of ours. I just wish I could be there to protect them and let them know they shouldn’t let others make them feel bad because they’re already great!
Anyhow, Iyah is such an amazing kid and even though I know she’s young, I know that she’ll grow up to be successful AND a great person at heart. I’m going to miss her dearly when I leave!
We always get to this point in our family vacations: the fight. I almost started laughing out loud in the middle of it but I realized how inappropriate it would be. So basically on every vacation since the beginning of time there comes a point where my parents and my brother get into a big fight and my brother says “Well, next time I’m not gonna go!” And I was THIS close to busting out laughing because inevitably he always goes on vacation with us and I have no fucking clue why since we “irritate” him so much. Hearing him say those words was almost like hearing a comically bad line of cliched dialogue in a movie. Like “Wow, I’ve heard this a hundred times before, can we hear something new?”
I think I’ve written about my relationship with my brother on here before and I don’t really want to get too deep into it again. The way I handled his bullshit over the years was eventually to just avoid him. I can handle him in small doses, but if I’m around him too long then it’s only a matter of time before he pisses me off. So instead of putting myself through unnecessary stress and grief, I just say fuck it and let it be. I used to be an angry person, but over time I learned to just let go of my anger or channel it more efficiently. I thought he was getting better for a while, but my brother is who he is and he will never change. I learned to accept the fact that he’s a lost cause a long time ago. Maybe that sounds fucked up and sad, but it’s the honest truth.
I’m in the Philippines! It’s 11:30 AM on 12/29/12 over here and like 7:30 PM on 12/28/12 back home haha. I’M IN THE FUTURE! I’ve only been here like 6 hours and all we’ve done is catch up with relatives and go to Jollibee haha. Hot and humid as a motherfucker out here lol. I haven’t seen a lot of my cousins and what not yet because they’re all working right now (oh how 8 years can change things). 23 more days to go though! Plenty of time to get around and catch up with everyone. Alden is getting it six ways to Sunday about this girl he was hella friendly with 8 years ago when we were last here lmfao. I need to post some of the shit people have said so far, fucking hilarioussss!
Jet lag is starting to catch up to me right now. I tried to play it smart and sleep for the latter half of the flight since I knew we were arriving at 5:30 AM (we actually arrived an hour late at 6:30 AM). They had movies on the plane and I was psyched to watch some since my brother said they had some recent releases, but I was completely crushed when I learned that all the movies were in the devil approved FULL SCREEN ratio as well as “edited for content.” So I had to settle for watching movies that I was interested in seeing, but not all that worried about not getting the full experience (or movies I might watch again). So I ended up watching The Amazing Spiderman, Expendables 2, Analyze That, and Premium Rush. It was self-fulfilling prophecy with The Amazing Spiderman, I thought it was pretty “meh”. Expendables 2 was pretty fun. Analyze That was better than I thought it’d be since I heard it wasn’t as good as Analyze This. Premium Rush was just okay, definitely better than it had any right to be.
Okay I’m super duper sleepy and it’s ridiculously humid. I’m going to try to take a nap…
Pictures from my Mom’s 53rd birthday dinner!
In response to this post I wrote yesterday, I saw my Ninong JR for the first time in a while and he definitely knows how to comfort someone with an injury. He asked me if I was in any pain and how I was feeling. What really made me feel a lot better is when he said “Don’t worry, you’re young. You’ll heal and you’ll bounce back.” A mere 10 simple words yet they made me feel better about my situation than any jackass who thinks making light of my injury and joking around would help me out.
Tired of this feeling sorry for myself shit. I need to just pick myself up, dust myself off, and focus on me. Can’t be worrying about shit I have no control over. Ready to rededicate myself to life and remind myself of all the good things still in my life.
Are you ready to go?
Alright so my family… I have a mom, dad, brother, and grandma who all live under one roof. I get along great with all of them with the exception of my brother, I think we’re just okay lol. The only real close blood relatives of mine comes from my mom’s side, I’m really close to her brother’s family which includes my two favorite cousins in the wholeeeee world. I basically grew up with them and they’re basically like brothers to me.
As far as extended family, gotta give a shout out to the Quad: Jason, Chris, and Dano. We’ve been friends since high school and we’re still friends now. These guys are like brothers to me and I cherish every single one of ‘em. Love you guys!
Now I gotta mention my extended family at USF for the next 2.5 years and (hopefully) beyond. Erik, Marian, Natalie, Stephanie, Diana, Paige, Cynthia, Leonard (@leonardhuh), and Cristina (@xtinalacson). Shit’s about to get REAL in the next couple of years and I’m glad I have y’all by my side to help me get through it. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through THIS semester without y’all haha, and that’s 100% fact.
So at my dad’s my birthday dinner (February 2nd), my family and my cousin’s family were deciding what to do for our grandma’s birthday which is only two days after my dad’s birthday. Usually we eat a week or two later because we don’t want to eat out twice in three days. They eventually decided that we would eat on Valentine’s Day and this conversation happened between me and Smalls lol.
Me: Wow, they just automatically assume that we’re going to be doing nothing on Valentine’s Day? What if one of us has a hot date?
Alden: I guess their position is that family comes first no matter what.
Me: Well what if I say, “Well, I just proposed to this girl and got her knocked up, so she’s like part of the family now!”
Alden: I don’t think that’s how you want to defend yourself…
I don’t know why my parents give me so much shit sometimes. Like they’ll make a big deal about me staying out late and I’m just over here like well I go to school and do everything you ask of me. What about that other guy living in the house? You know, the one who graduated from his LVN program over a year ago, doesn’t go to school, doesn’t work, doesn’t help around the house, wakes up at 2-3 in the afternoon and goes to sleep around 3-4 AM, and constantly bitches and moans like a whiny little brat about materialistic bullshit, what about that guy? Why don’t you go get in his face for a second? I’m the one who does the laundry, sweeps/vacuums the house, irons your clothes, cleans the bathroom, does the dishes, washes the car(s), and helps out with any miscellaneous deed you need doing. And I never complain or say one word back because *GASP* I actually respect my parents and doing those little things is absolutely nothing compared to everything they’ve given to me. I mean holy crap, actually respecting your parents? What a novel concept/idea! At times I just want to wave a hand in front of their face and say “Hellooooo! I’m Aldrin! Remember? I’m your youngest son, the good one! Stop yelling at me and taking out your frustrations with my brother on me!” *sigh*
Once again my subconscious keeps fucking with my mind…
I had a dream that one of my good friends died and when one of my friends broke the news to me I threw up and was in complete hysterics. And afterwards… I’m not sure what I was doing, but people kept asking me “what are you looking for?” like “why is this such a big deal to you?” When I woke up I was literally shaking and it took me a minute to convince myself that it was all a dream and none of it was real.
I just started thinking to myself how I wasn’t going to let it get to that. I wasn’t going to let my life need a “wake up call” or have something tragic happen for me to really start understanding just how precious life is. Every single second, every blink of an eye, every breath of air, everything single thing I am able to do, I can’t take that for granted. I mean maybe we’ll hit some bumps in the road, maybe we’ll have some real problems, but just the fact that I’m alive is a blessing and something to cherish as a true miracle.
The timing of this dream is quite remarkable as well. I’ve seen several shows and movies that made me ponder the way I view and live life like 50/50 and Angel Beats (now that I think about it in full context of my dream, that last one is quite ironic lol). Maybe I need a reminder like this dream every now and then, but it’s not as if I don’t appreciate the life that I have. I know that I’m very lucky and blessed to have such a supportive family and amazing friends. I go to a great school and the future looks bright. And let’s go down to the basics here, let’s even take it to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head and a plentiful amount of food to eat. How about the fact that I’m even breathing right now, isn’t that alone something to celebrate? To quote Kevin Spacey from American Beauty, “there’s just so much beauty in the world.” I can’t help but think of all the beauty in this world that I don’t see or appreciate when I do happen upon it. Maybe I just need to look at things from a different perspective. It’s easy to say “don’t take things for granted,” but I think that most people still do. I think that if you try your hardest and handle every aspect of your life with love, you won’t regret anything you do.
I posted just this quote up yesterday, but it’s so damn true and relevant right now that I’m going to end this post with it.
“Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.”
Yesterday in church there was a brother and sister sitting next to each other and they couldn’t have been older than 6 or 7. The big brother kept hitting the little sister and my mom just turns me to me and says “what a meanie older brother!” When we got out of church I say to my parents that if I had a little sister I would look out for her and protect her. Then my mom says that she was done with having kids after me because she didn’t want to get pregnant and potentially have three boys haha. So I say “but you could’ve had another little Aldrin running around!” and my mom and dad look at each other and both go “or we could have another little Arlan, oh noooo!” LOL! Because my brother was pretty naughty and hyperactive as a kid. They always say that I was “tahimik” which means quiet and calm.
I always wanted a little brother or sister when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was a lot older, probably late teens, that my dad told me about how my mom miscarried a few times before my brother and I were born. That really broke my heart because I couldn’t help but think of all those times as a kid that I asked my mom if she was going to have another baby and how she must have felt when I asked. I guess I was just young and ignorant at the time, but I really wish I hadn’t asked when I was younger. I’m definitely happy and grateful for the family that I do have right now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.