Archive for the ‘Living in America’ Category

Andrew Matthew’s FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Loving people means giving them the freedom to be who they choose to be and where they choose to be.

Love is allowing people to be in your life out of choice. Again, we’re talking detachment.

To HAVE something or someone, you LET GO.

Andrew Matthew’s FOLLOW YOUR HEART
blog site.
Thanks for reading! ūüôā

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I have unintentionally stopped writing for 4 months! Missed it! And yet, I just can’t seem to write! Guess, I have always been like that.. will wait for things to settle down before attempting to find myself again through writing – my outlet, my passion!

I have moved on. My acclamation of having a 3 -year syndrome in my blog written January, 2010 CONFESSION, has been proven true, again! There’s truth in the warning, be careful what you wish for, it might come true!, or whatever your mind can conceive, it will achieve! – because it will, and it does!:))

After 3 years in RSD, New Orleans, from Livingston HS to Booker T. Washington transition school to Carver HS… I have moved on. It wasn’t that smooth a ride at first, especially when I have not made up my heart’s desire yet. But it was an easy glide, as if the stars have aligned the people, places and events to make it happen for me. Seem miraculous, it happened, and fast!

I am now living in a small community of American Indians in Gallup, New Mexico. Way different from where I lived the past 3 years! Everyday, while driving to work, I’d see mountains.. all over! Just mountains, now covered in snow!, and my heart would just gleam and thank God for it everyday! Guess, I have found my home, like a baby nestled in the warmth of the mountainous embrace hahaha. See related blog written October, 2006, MOUNTAINS.

My school, I love too! Here, I can hear my heartbeat, hahaha, yes, the students are quiet, they are very similar to Filipino students, they fear and respect their teachers.. for 2 months now, I haven’t heard or seen fighting, shouting, or behavior problems AT ALL! To the point that, to date, I want to become a regular Math teacher! or maybe have at least one Resource Math, instead of all Inclusion Math!

We have our own SPED secretary scheduling all IEP meetings, contacting parents and agencies involved. Our meetings are full-packed! All important persons in the IEP team are in full support of the student. There is a projector, so an IEP is edited the same time the meeting is held. The meeting will end with the parent being handed out the new IEP.

Dry air and SNOW!!! “Were you ready for snow?”, my Principal asked me then, “NO!” haha.. it was fun the first time! loved picture taking! i¬†love the white patches everywhere! BUT, not the fear of skidding and mud! hahaha, good news is the state would make sure classes are delayed or cancelled because of it, and would clean the roads, so, we stay warm at home, fb surf and drink hot cocoa!

I love where I am now, it’s a brave act, I know. A very risky move, but in my heart I know this is for me. I thank God for delays, cancellations and dis approvals, because now I realize, even if all we see is negativity in it, in reality, is a good purpose behind it.

I left my NOLA¬†home for 3 years – 20 hour drive New Orleans… I am deeply grateful for they have welcomed us with open arms and bid us well when we left,¬† my NOLA family will always be in my heart forever! I miss the laughter and fun, the gatherings, the community, the love, care and togetherness. But, I just have to do it, I just have to seek my calling and serve God’s purpose in my life this time.

No coincidences, all for a purpose. And if living in the mountains will void my 3-year syndrome, then let it be, because here I had found my home away from home!

Thanks GOD!


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Road Trips

Wow… been a long long¬†time since I last poured my heart out! hehe

Well.. I think I had just been busy.. busy with family, school work (the never-ending¬†preparation for observations, pre-LEAP, IEP’s and LEAP testing) and the¬†exams (Praxis, Praxis, Praxis and one more Praxis!) whew!

SO, the spring break is so much awaited! Either I travel alone by plane, and do my solo thing again (like spring break last year in Los Angeles, CA) this time the need to go to Chicago, Illinois to renew my passport OR road trip with my family… and so we decided to do the road trip!

We left Sat (April 11) at 2am,¬†at around 2:30 we were in front of the hotel I booked online in¬†Forrest Knoll, Missouri 22 minutes away¬†from St. Louis, Missouri where we will spend our Easter time. The kids were becoming used to long driving Mimoi didn’t puke anymore unlike the first and second time we had road trip, first to Destin, Florida and then to San Antonio, Texas..

We enjoyed Missouri!

At around lunchtime the next day (April 12) we were driving again to Chicago. Based on our Garmin GPS it is a 5 hour drive from where we were coming from.

From Missouri to Chicago, Interstate 55.. cars were really over speeding! even if the limit is 55 or 70, there were all doing 80 to  90 mph!! Thus, my getting used to driving fast too!! reasons.. hehe

Then came the highways in Chicago.. wow.. traffic! talk about being scared in coming from the far left lane in a 5 lane road and the need to go to the right end lane to exit! and the potholes, expensive parking, expensive gas prices hehe CHICAGO that is.. but I do love the weather.. different coolness- really cold! hehe and windy too! Yup, the windy city! makes your cheeks go red! nice huh? Being there for a while makes me feel I am back in Makati, and some parts of Manila less pollution.

The frustrating part was the following day when I am all set with my planned schedule to do sightseeing after renewing my passport.. was the weather.. it was RAINING.. well, showers.. non stop!!!!

And so after hearing the tralalalalaalala from my husband about my wanting to do a lot of picture taking versus the kids health etc etc.. we left at around 2pm and just did the roaming of the city in the car. So, I missed seeing Oprah in person hehehe, and picture taking in the Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier and the simple picture taking around Millenium Park and Grant Park.

And so the resolution.. by 2012,¬†we will all go back anyway to renew their passport! hehehehe¬†and we will make sure we are there¬†SUMMER time! And so I have to wait.. maybe by then we will get to be Oprah’s audience hehehe.

The next day at around 6am April 14 we were off driving again to target destination: BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA.. estimated time 10 hour.

Dennis got colds hehe (maybe because he did a lot of sermons about the weather in Chicago and my picture taking! hehehehe) and so he gets to drive for only one hour! and I get to drive the WHOLE 10 hour trip to ALABAMA!!!

Thanks to Mirasol¬†and family for their generosity! Mirasol’s¬†my HS classmate in SHC, she’s just become a US citizen and is really doing very well just after 5 years of being here! She’s produced beautiful kids.. hospitable and smart! And Homewood, Alabama is a really nice place.. reminding me of Baguio.. houses in the mountains.. full of trees.. nice, really nice!

After relaxing for 2 nights.. we are off home April 16.. drive drive drive.. nice sights, nice view… and the nice POLICEMAN hiding in the trees!!!!!

SHOOT!!! 82mph overspeeding in a 70mph limit road!

I will need to pay $178.50 to the state of Mississippi because of that!!! talk about lessons!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! that’s about 8500 in Philippine Pesos!!! I could even spend it in all luxury here already! Maybe in a¬†three star hotel for a night?.. new wardrobe maybe?.. groceries.. but NO! I will have to give it away because I did not obey the law. as simple as that. PERIOD.


So the bottomline of this blog is to OBEY. HAVE FUN but OBEY the LAW.

PERIOD. hehehehe

All the time, there is this teeny weeny¬†voice in my head to slow down, but I didn’t.. just as always this teeny weeny¬†voice will tell me what is the right and best thing to do.. sometimes I follow, sometimes I do my way and neglect this teeny weeny voice in my head.

With the never ending¬†goals in my mind now, I know it is time for me to stop, reflect, and gather myself together again and remind myself what’s really important.. what’s the best thing to do.. and follow HIS lead once more.. I miss Lingkod¬†in Lucena, I miss my real friends in Lucena, I miss my family..

But looking at my kids and my husband who are now all sleeping.. makes me real grateful for God has always made and is always making a¬†way for me to learn my lessons.. be it through the eyes of the POLICEMAN hiding in the trees in the state of MISSISSIPPI,¬†up to the weather in CHICAGO, down to the hand of GOD helping out in the interstate of MISSOURI¬†and the kind and happy faces of Mirasol’s¬†family in ALABAMA.

A lot more road trips will follow suit for sure.. Road trips that keeps our family together binding us as one.. the sole reason of my stay here in the US.

What matters most. What is worth it all. MY FAMILY.

And so it is. ūüôā

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the unloading


Looking back, when I see friends who live in another country and visit the Philippines every now and then, I kind of think what life they have.. what is out there?

It has been 8 months since I left my family, my work, my life in the Philippines and what have I gained? what have I learned? what were the lessons?


         I remember how excited I was coming here! Everything was new in my sight, in my hearing, in my taste, in my feeling.

         What is in here? interesting culture. opportunities. language?

¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†What else is here.. Walmart? Strangers. Strangers. Strangers. Cars and houses in isolated streets? …Dollars.


¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†Adopting the culture of the workplace. Catching the bus. Understanding slang. Overcoming home-sickness. Paying tons of obligations…!


        Is coming here worth it? It has been 8 months and looking at the pictures of my kids, hearing my parents voice, missing my husband.. and looking at isolated streets here, strangers everywhere. Is it really worth it?


¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†Thanks to the power of the internet. My companion. My friend. ūüôā

         Thanks to Wella, my room-mate. For making a difference.

         Thanks to Walmart, Sears, Ross.. for keeping me socially active hahaha.

         Thanks to Bayou St. John and nature trips they keep me rejuvenated.

¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†Thanks to “walkathon” Filipino friends for keeping me fit.

¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†Thanks to Len, my learning partner.. ūüôā

 Thanks to the changes in season Рfrom fall to winter to spring to summer, I look forward to walking up in the morning and knowing people I love in the Philippines have just ended their day and ready to sleep.

         Time for new goals. Time to discipline self. Time to see things in a new perspective.

         There are reasons and purpose for everything. Time and season to make things happen.


         It is not what I am looking at but what I want to see.

         I can always start anew.

 Make new goals. Achieve more. Reach out!

¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†And yes.. There’s still no place like home.. where my heart is for always.


** It’s never where I have been, what I have, what I have done, what I have seen, what I have heard, what I have felt .. but more of.. what I have become.

And what have I become? ..

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Dressed in white polo, black pants and black shoes we hurried towards the private-members-only-club site .. It was my first time to be there!.. nope we didn’t use the front entrance nor the elevator.. we went directly to the back door.. down to the kitchen up to the reception hall.. we put on the black blazer with matching black ribbon around the neck.

I had fun! The guests were mostly Caucasians, probably the rich and famous of Louisiana, they were dressed elegantly! I enjoyed watching how they stepped out of their expensive cars! (seem expensive by the look of it!, though I am not really into car brands and models.. hehe, should I be car-conscious already??? … hehe)

I enjoyed giving mothers and grandmothers long-stemmed¬†rose wrapped in rose-petals-drawn-paper as they entered the hall.. I couldn’t help but remember the movie “My Bestfriend’s Wedding”, not about the storyline, but how the characters¬† were all so well dressed in that movie! I was amused by the grandfathers, fathers, daughters, sons and grandchildren who were with them, as they carried gifts in paper bags.

Felt like I was part of the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” as they were pictured in the magazines!

I almost forgot why I was there! Would have wanted to be wearing my sunday’s best too, be with my family and celebrate in a place just like that! hehe¬†wish wish!

In reality I was there to make someone else’s Mother’s day celebration delightful and happy… yep! so, seeing the waitresses ran around, I guessed I needed to move on and help them already!.. So, I briskly walked to my room, only to be stopped by one of the servers in the buffet menu, he smiled at me and said “You look beautiful”.. hahahahahahaha, Oh, I didn’t laugh! I smiled and politely said “Thank you!”.. That made my day! hahahahahahaha

Actually, not that! but the $$$.$$ check I received after enjoying getting all the plates, spoons, forks and glasses, carrying the whole tray, throwing the leftovers in the garbage bin and stashing all the others in the counter.

It had been 5 hours of work and it was worth that! Back in the Philippines it would take me 15 days to be able to get a check of that amount! Unfair?? hehe

At 6pm, after sleeping for one hour and a half – tired! yes!, I hurriedly dressed again in blue pants, blue tshirt and blue rubber shoes and briskly walked to church. Before the mass ended, the priest blessed all the moms and we were given carnation flowers to bring home. Nice.

Now how do I end this?

Dressed in blue jogging pants, gray tshirt and bare feet, I am now ready to go to sleep. Thankful for today. Mother’s day. Thankful for my mother for loving me unconditionally. For her care and guidance. For her unending support and prayers, and especially for allowing me to create my own lifestory, where all things are possible, where all my dreams can come true… by just going within. I am grateful ūüôā

P.S. The “You are beautiful…” doesn’t hurt either hahahahhahaha.


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Drive -ing blues..

Prior to the opportunity of being interviewed by an employer here in the US… I have been dreaming often of me driving.. and the fear that it makes me feel as I learn it.

I have never driven anything in my life, except bicycles and bump cars when I was young.. My father would often tell me he’ll teach me how to drive once I get to have my car already.. well, given that.. I knew it means not in the near future hehe..

BUT since we were told that we will be needing an international license here, he taught me how to drive(manual)! and the first time.. yes, you guessed it right! – I broke his car! in just 15 minutes of being in his car it broke! hehe

Thanks to the patience of my brother Dondon¬†he was the one who continued teaching me so after like 6 hours all in all for like 5 days I get to run the car around the subdivision on my own the last 30 minutes hehe.. ūüôā

With that gained confidence, I persisted my father to allow me to drive in the highway but he wouldn’t as we have schedule to leave the country soon and so it is..

Now.. Unlike in the Philippines when we can simply “pay” and viola! -driver’s¬†license! here, NO NO¬†NO.. Louisiana law requires us to pass an eye test, written exam and road test..

Thanks this time to the Filipino Community of New Orleans: Art, Tita Lina, Tina, Father Roel, Father Nilo and Father Kiko for generously teaching and allowing us to use their automatic cars for us to learn how to drive, park and back up! (Now, I have forgotten how to drive manually! hehe)


I get to pass my written exam…

The roadtest.. what you think? hehe

The DMV official tested me in the highway where I need to signal every now and then because I need to change lanes!(but of course right? hehe) The story behind is: It is my First time ever do that!! hehehe

(guess our tutors are afraid as well – so we remain in residential areas! more so because we have not gotten our student permit! ūüôā

I was sweating hehe¬†but after a while got the hang of it.. as if I know what I am doing hehehe… at 40mph¬†I’d let go of the gas so it would move down to 30mph¬†to 25 mph! and I am in the highway!! hehehe.. I am using the center lane when I was asked to turn left – dangerous move! but i¬†did park, back up and stop when I am supposed too well hehehehe.. Good practice eh? hehehehe

I still feel fulfilled after that.. because I was able to do what I did safely hehehe.. They gave me a driver’s license with restriction that I can only drive with a licensed driver with me.. hehe

Practice makes perfect, builds confidence too right?.. So, in due time, I am sure I’ll have my license soon..

Ride with me? hehehehe

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Part of the Plan

I live one day at a time.

I live by God’s graces, blessings and surprises each day..

I cry hearing God’s words in Mass… secretly

I cry singing God’s songs in Mass.. secretly

I do not have my own concrete plan.. it is all God

I can only do so much…

But God would always hear my voice, our voices

my laughter, our laughter as I, as we hide the pain inside being away from our families

and yet.. seeing the beauty of it all…

begging to make haste the time..

yearning for the places to merge, hug people we love..

And yet.. in my heart it is all part of the plan.

A vision untouched waiting to be realized.

I live one day at a time…

For that is the only thing I can do

And what seem impossible becomes possible.. for I’ve seen real angels being sent every time, each time, always.

A part of the plan.

Part of the Big Plan.

In the meantime.. I laugh and smile and cry inside without even knowing why.. simply no reasons. Just gratefulness!

And so it is.

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