The Worst Thing on Being an OFW

10 mga puna

I used to think that spending Christmases or birthdays away from my loved ones in the Philippines is sad. I just realized that being hospitalized is way worse, especially for an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) like me.

The feeling of boredom, loneliness and uncertainty bitch-slapped my face when I woke up in the middle of the night and found out that I am indeed alone.

I could still remember the last time I was hospitalized in the Philippines. I was still in elementary when I got admitted in Polymedic Hospital (currently known as Victor Potenciano Medical Center) due to H-Fever (currently known as Dengue Fever). Well,using the phrase “currently known as” is a proof that I really am getting old and these events happened ages ago, back when Family Computer and Atari were the “must-haves.”

I am not a person who easily gets sick. If there’s one thing that I could really be proud of, it’s the fact that I did not have sick leave in 2012. Yes, that’s perfect attendance last year. But for 2013, I could not say the same. Well, even superheroes get sick and I am not bulletproof after all.


thank you Sir Jay for capturing the moment!

This unfortunate thing happened on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. I was already a little under the weather when I woke up at 5:15am but I did not mind it, thinking that I will never get sick anymore. I had lunch and felt weird later in the afternoon when I got back to work. I had an uncomfortable feeling at the lower part of my back. I would not describe it as ‘shooting’ or ‘terrible’ pain, but it felt really tired, which urged me to go the the pantry and lie down.



Thank you to my colleague Maria Ria, who, after she saw me lying down at the pantry sofa, a chain of events followed. Thank you to our doctors: Jey,Justine and Steve, who took time to look at my condition and advised me to go to Gleneagles Hospital, since it’s the nearest panel from our office. Thank you to our Head of Operations, Chris Helms, who made me realize that going to the hospital and taking the day off from work will not make me look like a bad employee. Though I never wanted to leave work and wished I could finish my shift, my condition showed otherwise. Thank you to Sir Beda, Sir Jay and Kuya Irving for bringing me to the hospital in a jiffy. When we reached Gleneagles and had my temperature checked, it was only then I found out that I was already running a 38.6 fever. Thank you to the ever-reliable Sharits, who drove all the way from Bukit Jalil to bring clothes for me. Thank you for always being available when I requested to bring my tab and book since boredom was killing me. Thank you to my good friend Fritzie who took time to visit me. Fritzie is an OFW working as a teacher in Myanmar. Our original plan was for her to stay at my place while she is exploring KL but it did not materialize due to this unfortunate incident. Having a familiar face in my hospital room helped a lot – Jezu Timbale Shin! Thank you to Edson, who consistently showed me what, who and how a true friend is. Texting and asking my condition maybe enough but a big thank you for taking the extra mile to visit me on my last day at the hospital. Though we never usually hang out after office hours, thank you for being there when I needed a friend. A huge difference it is being just a colleague and a friend for keeps.Thank you to those who prayed, who cared and didn’t care at all.


1st Night at Gleneagles Hospital



Fritzie from Myanmar… Jezu Timbale Shin!


Edson aka Daddy E, the Father of All Nations


Informing my family about my current condition in the hospital was the last thing on my mind because I did not want them to worry. My plan was to tell them I was hospitalized on the day of my discharge. But in the three days that I was admitted in Gleneagles Hospital, there was not a single day when I wished that my family was beside me. The silence in the hospital scared me because it screamed the truth that I was alone, and I had no choice but to get over it.


cold food on a cold night


have you ever heard somebody describing the food as “malamig pa sa ilong ng pusa?” (colder than the nose of a cat) ..well, the hospital foods were colder than the noses of 10 stray cats combined!


so-called pancake


what’s the use of having a menu when all the foods tasted the same?


this is the type of give-away that I never wished to have…

Everytime the nurse woke me up to check my blood and temperature, everytime the hospital attendant informed me that she had to change the bedsheet and pillow case, everytime the staff brought my cold hospital food, I wished I was never in that situation. I may have thought a couple of times what did I do to deserve being hospitalized? But then I got ashamed of myself asking that question. God always has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom but we simply have to trust His will. 

It was Friday, April 19, 2013, when my treating doctor told me that the result of the X-ray was negative and it looked like it was a case of muscle cramps, fatigue and fever. He still requested me to visit his clinic though for a follow-up treatment next week in order to get the result of the blood test.

Being an OFW is not all glitz and glamor. After almost five years of working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it’s inevitable that I still feel sad and alone sometimes especially during unfortunate incidents like this. But I am a fighter as I have always been. I am still thankful that I am here, back in my room, writing a new blog post, I survived,  alive and kicking, ready to face a new day.

God bless us all!


camwhoring makes me feel better





On Memory Lane – ‘Malaysia-Singapore Trip 2008’

14 mga puna

Lemme say that this trip served as an eye-opener for me. One of my bestest-best friends Scottie and I became so much closer because of this. I dreamt big. Thanks to my ever-good friend Pads. I knew I would want to work in Malaysia the moment I saw the place, experienced the way of living and smelled the mouth-watering foods. Three months later,I was hired by a local company in Kuala Lumpur. Now I’m living my dream and having the best times of my life.

Some say American Dream is the ultimate dream. Some say Malaysian dream is at par with it. Well, I say ‘Dream big, keep your feet on the ground and always pray because faith moves mountains. If I can, I will because I’m definitely good at it!’ 🙂

Lessons from Farmville

206 mga puna

Farmville fever is still on. At least for me. At least for my baby brother Owa. He even gave me his email address and password so that I could tend his farm. I’m flattered.

So what have I learned from the tedious task of taking care of my farm?

1. You could not please everybody. Your farm may look perfect to you but to others, it may still look like crap. Maybe they’re envious of my farm. haha. It’s just good that I don’t have ‘Barn Buddy’ because for sure, these green-eyed monsters would put pests to pester me. (Is this figure of speech called alliteration, anyone?) Well, maybe we should bear in mind that as long as something makes us happy,it
is definitely right. Nobody could tell us that we did a good job but ourselves.

2. Friends are important. They give us free gifts in Farmville. I had 29 unused gifts last week because I could not put them anywhere yet. But now that my farm is big enough, I will surely reap the benefits. Friends support you in every possible way that they can. It’s the quality of your friends that counts, not the quantity.

3. Pay it forward. As cliche as it may sound, it is still better to give than to receive (Merry Christmas!). Give free gifts to your friends once in a while. Some of them even have special requests. Be it animals or a white fence like Tsi, just give in to them, especially when they start showing you those puss-in-boots-pleading-eyes.

4. The value of work. You have to work hard and save your coins or money to buy the things you would like to have in your farm. Currently, I’m saving for ‘greenhouse.’ It costs 100,000 coins and I have to wait until I reach Level 30. Patience is indeed a virtue. And Farmville has been testing my patience time and again.

5. Motivation. So what motivates you to increase your level in Farmville? Is it the bragging rights that you are the top farmer amongst your friends? Is it your collection of trees and/or animals? Is it your desire to help your neighbors? Is it the most expensive building you could possibly get? Whatever it is, if you have motivation to do something, then nothing is impossible.

6. Brag all you want. You could be the wealthiest farmer but at the end of the day, you’re still ALONE in your farm. You may have your neighbors but NOBODY’s living with you in your farm. Why didn’t Farmville include ‘people’ for you to spend your coins with? Maybe it teaches us another important thing, money could not buy us companionship.

(There’s gotta be more to life than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me…)

So what did Farmville teach you?


Thank you to my blogger friends who gave me these wonderful shirts during the GEB last 04-Sep-09. Thank you to our sponsor, Kuya Bernard and Tivoli Garden Residences. And most especially, thank you to all the bloggers I met. The event was a blast.


LLM Shirt from OtepBoracay Shirt from Livingstain

Personalized Shirt from Lei (Front)Personalized Shirt from Lei (Back)

No Apologies

129 mga puna

I have not updated my blog for the longest time and I won’t apologize for that (grins). So what have I been doing for the past few days?

Sleep. Glorious sleep. Even superheroes need rest. I’ve taken advantage of my rest days to recharge before I continue my never-ending quest to conquer the world.sleep

Facebook. Yeah, I’m guilty prioritizing my farm in Farmville and taking care of my pet ‘Lingling’ in Pet Society. I’ve already reached Level 21 and there’s no stopping me. There are times when the first thing I think of when I wake up in the middle of the night is to harvest my crops. It’s making me crazy. And of course, I also keep myself busy by answering some quizzes and buying some friends to be my slave in Friends for Sale.

Gym. In a span of one month, I lost 12 lbs. Applause. Besides going to the gym, I also see to it that I don’t eat anything after 6pm as much as I can. But don’t expect me to have a Survivor-worthy body. I just wanted to lose some excess weight to prepare myself for the Mossimo Bikini Summit. hahaha

SP2Tagalog Shows. Boys Over Flowers has just ended last week. At first I thought the list of the shows that I usually watch will shorten but boy, I was wrong! The ever-beautiful, lovely, sexy, perfect Marian Rivera’s ‘Darna’ already started. ‘Survivor Philippines 2-Palau’ has also started to grace the boob tube (in my case, the
Filipino streaming sites) with a bang. The newest edition of ‘Starstruck’ will
be shown on Monday, and the list goes on.

haunting-in-connecticutMovies and TV Shows. I never fail to download the weekly episodes of Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. These two almost have the same format. Almost. Except the latter is more devious because of Chef Gordon Ramsay. Horror-Suspense Films also kept me glued to my laptop. Some films which are worth-mentioning are ‘The Haunting in Connecticut,’ ‘Orphan,’ ‘The Last House on the Left’ and ‘Friday the 13th.’

Jobstreet. I can’t help it. I’m doing the inevitable. During my spare time, I see to it that I submit my CV and try my luck. There’s no harm in trying anyway. Luckily, our ever-friendly IT’s have not blocked Jobstreet, yet. Yeah, I’ve considered applying in some companies in Manila. If the price is right, then why not?

keychainPasalubong. I’m doing some last-minute pasalubong for my family and friends. I’m going home next week for a long vacation. Seven days. And yup, I have yet to buy some keychains and chocolates which I promised to give to some people on September 4.


Off-Topic: I received an sms from one of my dearest blogger-friends, RevSiopao and I quote ‘Pls save the dates:Dec 7-Priestly Ordination, 9am, St.Joseph Cathedral Balanga, Bataan/ Dec8-First Mass, 7pm, St.John the Baptist Parish, Pinaglabanan,
San Juan, MM.’

To RevSiopao, I’m really happy with the good news. Everybody in the blogosphere
misses you. Keep rocking on and continue inspiring us. God bless you.

I would also like to thank another blogosphere friend, Pareng Otep, for the picture
below that he did for me. Don’t forget to bring my shirt on September 4 because I
would not be wearing one. rye 8x8

Getting Used to Goodbyes

63 mga puna

There. My nine-day vacation has finally ended. I enjoyed my short trip back to the AH1N1 infected Philippines. Haha. There’s really no place like home.

Nine days passed by in a jiffy. Before I knew it, I’m already on my way back to Kuala Lumpur.

It was not enough to squeeze in all the activities that I planned. Luckily, I was able to do most of them. I spent most of my time with my family. We dined out, watched movie, strolled in the mall and hang out. I met some really good friends, laughed like I never did for ten months, saw familiar faces, heard familiar voices, cracked old jokes and experienced tested bond.

I ate and pigged out on all the Pinoy foods I missed. Jollibee, puto, kutsinta, sisig, gulaman, zagu, longganisa, embutido, tortillos, choco mucho, clover bits, ding dong and the list goes on.

At the end of the day, I realized that I missed the foods but not more than I missed the company of people who genuinely care for me and who I really respect and adore in return. I also found time to visit two of my angels who are now in heaven, St. Jude in Mendiola and my late Lola. I owe them a lot. Their magic and guidance keep me going, and going, and going.

I was actually surprised when I did not feel sad on the day of my trip back to my second home in KL. I was even excited because I miss the serenity and the new found comfort that my room gives me.

I wondered why I felt that way. Maybe because I’ve already accepted the fact that nothing really lasts forever. Maybe because I realized that  the choice that I made to work abroad made me more mature and bolder in making decisions. Maybe because I am enjoying my independence and freedom. Or maybe because I’m just getting used to goodbyes?

mom dad rye

optimus prime

pau and owa

figaro in shang

samboy and ryelei and rye

Eloi, Roa and Scottst. jude

breakfasttop grill in jupiter st

it always ends with me

of course, it always ends with me

In A Week’s Time

67 mga puna

Last Sunday I attended mass in Masjid Jamek…Next week I’ll visit St.Jude in Mendiola.

The other day I saw my friends’ photos in Friendster…Next week I’ll upload my newly-taken photos with them.

The other day I ate in McDonald’s…Next week I’ll eat in Jollibee.

The other day I drank Teh Tarik Ice…Next week I’ll drink Gulaman at Sago, Emperador and San Mig Light.

Yesterday I saw Midvalley Megamall…Next week I’ll see SM Megamall.

Yesterday I rode the bus…Next week I’ll ride the jeepney.

Yesterday I watched shows on the internet…Next week I’ll hear about the Network Wars again.

Yesterday I talked to my parents over the phone…Next week I’ll talk to them personally.

Last night I prayed to Lola for her guidance…Next week I’ll visit her tomb and offer flowers for her.

Last night I prepared Mi Goreng…Next week I’ll have Sopas and Lugaw at Tokwa for my merienda.

Last night I slept in my room…Next week I’ll sleep in my room, in Pasig.

This morning I woke up in our apartment…Next week I’ll wake up in our home.

This morning I cooked my food…Next week mom will cook for me.

This morning I passed by Persiaran Komanwel…Next week I’ll pass by EDSA.

This morning I sang to myself while taking a bath…Next week I’ll use the videoke.

Today I saw Bukit Jalil Stadium…Next week I’ll see Araneta Coliseum.

Today I ate Nasi Lemak…Next week I’ll eat Embutido and Caldereta.

Today I saw my colleagues…Next week I’ll hang out with my closest friends and relatives.

Today I’ll hug my pillows while sleeping…Next Week I’ll hug my baby brothers.

Today I’m in Kuala Lumpur…Next week I’ll be in Manila!

And because Rye is in a very good mood today, I would like to share two of the reasons why I smiled this morning:



Feeling Real and Surreal At The Same Time

60 mga puna

In a month’s time, I’ll be home again.

It’s really weird how time flies in an instant. Before I know it, I’ll
be seeing my family again. I’ll be hanging out with my friends again. I’ll be sleeping in my room again. I’ll be eating Pinoy Foods again. Dang. Last night I dreamt I was eating Tortillos and Embutido. Top that.

It seems like yesterday when I had doubts about my plans to work abroad. This was my boldest decision yet. I took a risk and so far it is paying off. It is inevitable to feel alone sometimes but happiness is just a state of mind. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I think of leaving Manila and be an Overseas Filipino Worker. Luckily, it was never difficult for me to find a job in the Philippines. I have been a call center hopper turned Banker turned Call Center Trainor turned Korean English Teacher turned Accounts Specialist in my five working years. If there’s one thing I learned, it is the value of work. There’s really no perfect job. You’ll always find something wrong or something good about what you’re doing depending on how you look at it.

Work could really be tiring sometimes. Most often than not, I am dead tired after my thirteen hour shift. The only thing I could think of is sleeping upon reaching our apartment. One thing that keeps me going is the thought that I could send money to my family to help with the expenses.

Thank God I am not a breadwinner and I never was. Mom and dad have been working non-stop to provide for us. Sending money to them is a choice, not an obligation. I grew up in a close-knit family and it is an achievement for me everytime my parents and brothers thank me for everything that I am doing for them. The feeling is priceless. Who would not gloat when you hear that your family is really proud of you?

I have been a sucker for happy endings. As I mature, I found out that if you are shopping for a happy ending and you could not find one, buy a new beginning instead and bloom where you are planted.

AIG Travel Assist Wave 2

AIG Travel Assist Wave 2

serious workers

serious workers

Training days are over

Training days are over

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