I’ve been away from you for far too long…
I have been so busy the past 10 days that I’ve hardly had time to blog! I gave my all, ignored my eyebags, endured sore muscles, and worked so hard, but my efforts never seemed to be enough. I realized that I accepted more work than a 24-7 schedule could accommodate. I was the main source of my own stress.
Still it was an interesting week. I had the chance to be with my favorite teenagers, the youth of Banal na Puso chapel, when I served as Tagalog interpreter for Bro. Daniel’s sharing about his World Youth Day and pilgrimage experience. We simulated WYD for the kids who lived around the Batasan area. At night we trooped to SM Fairview. They are an amazing lot! They refused to order at Wendy’s because it looked expensive, even if they had sponsors for that dinner. Then we rode the roller coaster at Storyland Adventure. It was a delightful way to spend the day.
A bonus was Café Loyola, which I caught on its second night. The Loyola House of Studies over at Ateneo Campus celebrated its 40th year and some Lingkod brothers and sisters attended it. We spent P40 consumable – drinks, peanuts, chicken lollipops, OR siomai, and were treated to serenades from some of the country’s best musicians – the Jesuits!!! They sang Broadway hits so professionally. I was in awe at their gift of music. The priests took turns in the piano and on the microphone. They had soloists, duets, quartets and a chorale (Himig Heswita). The priests mingled with the crowd. Seated at our table was Fr. Eric who then stood up to belt out two Frank Sinatra hits. I couldn’t believe where my P40 took me. Hmm come to think of it, somebody else paid for my ticket! I had drinks and music absolutely for free.
Sunday was even better. My parents and I, all excited for our upcoming US trip, decided to drive to SM Fairview after mass. We dug up jackets, jeans, and other things - on sale or at surplus prices and got home happily tired. Then my kuya’s family came over and my nephews took over my day. Mikolet and Peeya accompanied me on my errands. I was content to spend family day like that.
Monday was one for the books. My friend since grade four, Arvin, who works for L’Oreal, enlisted me for hair coloring. For the price of peanuts I was able to get my hair colored by a stylist from Emphasis Salon. I heard it’s a posh salon in Makati and its rates are way beyond my budget. My two stylists are interesting characters – one is a guy who works at a salon, but is happy to work there instead of at his past job as a crane operator. Yup he’s a seaman who now styles hair. His classmate/assistant is a businesswoman/mother who plans to open her own salon. They are two people whom I would never have thought would be my stylists.
So there I was lined up to be rinsed, shampooed and conditioned, when I heard their teacher (for I was with L’Oreal students) tell them that they ran out of conditioner. I wondered what the consequence would be. She told her students to “just use hair spa.”
For the price of peanuts, yours truly got a free hair spa! The stylist – did I mention that he’s from Emphasis – also gave me a free massage while we were waiting for our turn at the sink. Now that’s what they call missionary’s blessing.
The interesting weekend allowed me to survive the grueling week at work that followed. I slept 3-4 hours a day but the work just kept piling up. I was happy at what I was doing so I didn’t mind so much. I lengthened my prayer time and cut down on non-essential activities. I sought advice of godly friends and tried to do better. I let go of the things I could not accomplish and accepted my limitations.
Still last Friday I panicked because I only accomplished 10% of all my deliverables. It was a very unsettling, stressful situation for me. Good thing we had scheduled a staff Retreat, Rest and Recreation weekend at Tagaytay. We all needed that. Somehow, singing Air Supply songs didn’t work their magic to relieve us of stress anymore. God knew that and he prepared the way for us. We had a beautiful Saturday – Breakfast at Totale in Alabang; Lunch at Leslie’s; Coffee at Sanctuario (ambience galore!) and Lord’s Day at Oasis of Prayer.
We are still in awe at the beauty and serenity of Oasis of Prayer, located at Aguinaldo Highway right beside the Rogationist College. They have cottages instead of dormitories! Huts instead of halls. The chapel is breath-taking. We were able to recharge and to pray. I thank God, my mother, my music teacher Mrs. Magtibay, and her brother Fr. Mike De Silva for leading us into that beautiful place. The food was excellent. For the price of a retreat house, we enjoyed the treatment of vacationists in a resort.
Do I work for a generous God or what?!
I have three more days here in QC then off to Laguna for 11 days. I’ll try to blog again but if time doesn’t permit it, please read my previous posts na lang.