I know I have some explaining to do for my absence for more than a week, and it is this:
FINAL EXAMS. o________o
Surprisingly, the ill-treated “hellweek” did not seem like hellweek at all (at least to me) because I went out almost everyday with family and our balikbayan relatives from Australia. (For foreign readers, a balikbayan is a true-blooded Filipino who currently resides in a foreign country but goes home every once in a while–usually every few years–to spend vacation) The arrival of our relatives, the Dela Peñas, is the surprise news my Mom told me about 2 weeks and I shared with you guys in this post. Their vacation and my finals week falling on the same week is no coincidence and would teach me how to balance my time well.
Saturday, October 8,2011
Our relatives, the Dela Peña family, arrived from Sydney! The parents of both families are making the most out of the Dela Peña’s 2-week vacation and our (that’s me and my bros) 2-week sembreak so I’m stoked! Since our balikbayans arrived at night, we all reserved our extra energies for the next day.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Apparently the Filipinos abroad are more eager to watch noontime shows than most Filipinos living in their native land. Or maybe that’s just our family. Actually we do watch noontime shows (in fact our day won’t be complete without laughing to the antics of the famous triumvirate Tito, Vic, and Joey and an emerging trio Jose, Wally, and Paolo) so obviously I’m talking about the show of the opposite network. 😀 For the sake of our balikbayans who are avid TFC fans, we went to the studio of ASAP Rocks for a live show.
Although the show wasn’t finished yet, we left at exactly 3 PM, prompted by our growling stomachs. 🙂 Dad (who took all these beautiful photos–thanks Dad!) drove us to Rockwell. A balikbayan escapade would not be complete without savoring scrumptious Filipino meals, so we opted to eat at Cafe Via Mare (which did not disappoint). The food was truly worth the wait.
Later that evening, we brought the Dela Peñas to Greenbelt while our fam headed to CCF to attend the evening service. 🙂
Monday, 10 October 2011
The following morning, I attended my last lecture in Finance class. By the way, last Tuesday (October 4) we went to the Money Museum at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) which was fun. The trip inside the museum was not the funnest part; rather, the 10-minute walk from Harrison Plaza to BSP Gate 6 under the scorching 1-PM heat with my classmates. Thankfully I brought my Dad’s old iPhone with me that day to document our adventure. Again, thanks to my ever doting Daddy for bringing me, Chynna, Ate Jen, and Shai to BSP! I love you Dad!
(last 2 photos c/o my professor, Ron Reyes)
After the tour, I walked to Dad’s office located across CCP. Good thing I remembered the way there from the route of the Manila Bay Clean-up Run (only that time I wore rubber shoes. Heels aren’t so comfy to walk around with especially in Roxas Boulevard asphalt). Since I hadn’t taken my lunch yet, Dad treated me to Pancake House in Harbor View! Yay! I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo of my bacon and asparagus pasta, but I did take a photo of the yogurt with sliced walnuts. 🙂
Dad was such a gentleman that day (well, he always is). After treating me to lunch, we walked back to his office where he parked his car then he brought me to school since I still had one class in the afternoon. After my class, he called me and told me he’ll pick me up so we can go home together. 😉 Thanks, Dad!
Going back to Monday, I received the 1st awesome news of the week. After accounting class, my professor called out a few names, one of which is mine, and ordered those people to remain. As the uncalled people left, I noticed that the remaining classmates of mine were the smart ones in accounting. I can’t believe I’m actually part of this group! When the last uncalled guy classmate left the room and closed the door, we remained silent and waited for our professor to speak. He broke the silence with these 6 sweet as honey from the comb words:
“You are exempted from the finals.”
I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EARS. Accounting–of all subjects! 🙂 Although I did not get a flat 1 (but not lower than 1.5), I was overjoyed. I won’t get to take the final exam and still pass the course with a high grade! It was the break I prayed for. With the activities that surrounded me upon the arrival of our balikbayans, I did not know how to fit Finance + Accounting + Programming + Psychology + Statistics into my schedule in less than 7 days! But thank God He removed one subject of my list, and that was good enough for me. 🙂
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Allergic rhinitis attack! From my experience, only a 1-hour sleep either in the morning, afternoon, or both cured my incessant sneezes. Last Tuesday, however, my remedy did not seem to work. So from the moment I woke up until we and our relatives went to Star City that evening, I sneezed, wiped and pressed my nose, and sneezed again from time to time. 😐 Nevertheless, I enjoyed riding the roller coasters with Jaemie, but I wished the rides were as extreme as the rides in Six Flags in the US.
After doing some shopping, screaming and laughing through 2 horror houses, laughing some more in the various rides, and posing for hundreds of photos again shot by my Daddy, we hungered for FOOD. 😀 KFC it was!
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
I missed Psychology class because we relaxed ourselves in the newly opened ACE Water Spa in Kapitolyo Pasig. I enjoyed every minute of our relaxation! The facilities were clean and pleasing to the eyes. I especially loved the rainfall acupuncture. It did not hurt at all! What you do is you lie face down on the “bed,” placing your neck on a wooden pillow. (The facilities, by the way, are pools so we wore tight bathing suits) After pressing the button, torrential waters pour on your back and hind legs for 2 minutes. Jaemie and I also spent some time in the heated pools and the sauna after which we splashed our bodies with ice cold water. Unfortunately we were not permitted to bring cameras inside the spa so weren’t able to take photos. I do recommend ACE Water Spa for those of you who are looking for fun ways to relax! (There’s also one in Quezon City)
Later that evening, I hosted a talent show in my high school with my cousin, Miko. The talent show was inspired by Pilipinas Got Talent so my cousin and I were tasked to host ala Luis Manzano and Billy Crawford style. Since we hosted inside a church–Baptist to be exact–I don’t think we could not completely do justice to the superb hosting of the male celebrities. Nevertheless, we did well. Praise God! 🙂
Yesterday I took a break from the events and focused more on reviewing for pending final exams (I still have one exam this Saturday). Next week, sembreak officially begins! I cannot believe my parents would let me go to Boracay with them and my retreat in one week. Since the supposed vacation to the Visayan island fell on the same dates as my retreat, they let me choose: Bora or retreat? That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I knew I had to put God first so I the retreat. This week, however, my parents rescheduled the Bora trip so that I can go to both trips! Woohoo! 🙂
While I spent some time alone in ACE Water Spa, I thought about everything I have been receiving this past week. “Lord, You are so good to me. I don’t deserve any of this.” Truth be told, there were days when I set aside my quiet time with God, thinking He’ll understand. Yet here He is, blessing me in ways I don’t expect. Why?
Because of Who God is. He is gracious. Also, He fulfills His promises to my parents when He said that He’ll bless them when they walk according to His ways, a command my parents are faithfully keeping. God is a lavish Rewarder. When the parents are rewarded, expect the children to receive some of the blessings as well.
I knew I had to change my response. Earlier this morning, I recommitted my heart to Jesus, letting Him take all of me. Peace and joy instantly filled my heart.
I look forward to the coming days not just because I’ll be having fun and spending time with family and friends, but because I’ll get to see God work marvelously even in the simple things. I’m always on the watch for His awesomeness. 🙂