Her Hands

We held hands since the the moment I was born, sometime with anger, others with frustration, but always with love. Her hands were the ones that taught me how to play, eat, cook, explore, and fight back. It was her hands I always sought whenever I woke up from all the reconstructive surgeries I underwent in my life. They were always there to comfort me, reassure my soul that all would be well. I miss those hands in mine, telling me some outrageous story or what program she fell asleep on, or even just holding on to me while walking….

Crossroads and Rebirth

Eight months ago my daughter moved in with me, taking a semester off to recover from depression, anxiety and a host of other problems. She was in a deep, dark place, her soul broken, disappointed with herself, and disillusioned with the world. We set out to heal and find a new source of motivation that would build up her self-esteem and confidence. The artist and musician were shattered, and my daughter needed her mother and a friend. Our journey over the last months has been shared on this blog several times over, since it was not just her journey but…

The Travelling Pearls

There is an unwritten golden rule that no self-respecting Filipina should ever be without pearls. My mother never observed this rule for herself, but was very adamant that I do, and have worn pearls ever since my Middle School days, almost without fail. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I obtained my first strand, and I wore them with great pride. After I got married and left the Philippines, I made sure that pearls were part of my signature look that marked me as a proud Filipina, hailing from the Pearl of the Orient. Over the years, with all the…

The Heatwave Returns

I am not one to go into a dissertation on climate change and environmental lobbying, but the recent drastic weather changes here in Europe are cause for concern. One moment we have scorching dry heat sweeping over the continent skyrocketing into the 40s (centigrade), the next moment we have a cold wave that drags the temperatures down 20c overnight and we are back in sweaters. The past week was a comfortable ride in the high 20s and low 30s, but yesterday wiped the slate clean and it’s nothing but mid-30s for the rest of the week. This is when I…

Banana Homesickness

There are things in Asia that one simply cannot find here in Germany, and one of them is decent bananas. Before you go into a tirade about European banana pride, let me remind everyone that bananas are not native to Europe, are all imported from Asia, Latin America or Africa, and the imported bananas must comply with the EU standards and guidelines. Ironically, many of the banana exporting countries are also referred to as banana republics, a derogatory term to describe a developing country with continuous political instability and limited resources to export. This has nothing, absolutely nothing to do…

Hard Lessons of Frugality

Aside from building a brand new life alone after the divorce, one of the most difficult lessons (rather, on-going challenges) is frugality. This is such an alien concept to me because I grew up as a privileged expat child who never had to worry about the cost of things. I learned to indulge in the finer things in life from an early age, as most expat children do, because Daddy could always afford it or the company paid for it. Saving up for something was never in my cards, because if my parents wouldn’t get it for me, grandmother would,…

For All The Sacrifices

MothersĀ“s Day is one of the most unnecessary holidays that the modern world has conjured up, and this is why: a mother, and all the mothers before us, should be honoured every day and thanked for every breath we take. Nobody, absolutely nobody enters this world without a mother, so you owe her your entire existence, no matter how tough, harsh, or confusing she may have been. This is the same woman who taught you about life, generosity, kindness, and above all, the sacrifices that need to be made in order to survive. I come from a long line of…