August came rolling in, and I have to admit I was excited to meet up with my family who I haven’t seen for a while. Since coming home from staying in New York for more than a year, the weekend will be the first time I get to see my parents. My big brother and his family are also visiting from New York. The last time I saw them was almost 15 years ago. Yes, it’s been a while.

It is also a weekend spent with my daughters Jamie, Annie and Kat. Admittedly, the last few times I visited were mostly because of my eldest daughter Stef’s affairs.

The weekend was a time of discovery, bonding, fun and love.

Tagaytay, Cavite

Because Annie has classes and Kat was arriving later that day — my girls decided to stay home while I went with the others to Tagaytay. It was my first time to visit the place and I must say, the view was spectacular!

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Scenic view from the Palace in the Sky 

Palace in the Sky was originally intended to be the guest house of former President Ferdinand Marcos, but the construction was cut short when he was toppled down by the first People Power revolution. It sits on the highest peak of the mountain with a majestic view of the Taal Volcano.

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Looking over the Taal Volcano from the top

A rare moment, my brother and I spent several minutes catching up. He asked about my work and Josh. Being the eldest, he reminded me to start saving for Josh’s college. I would love to do this once I find work. I tried not to think about the fact that after this week, there won’t be any money coming in since I have been out of work for two weeks now and it scares me a lot. Despite being away for the weekend, I have been checking the work place for job openings and sending out job applications — but still nothing.

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My dad and I

I love my family. This weekend has made me realized this. Admittedly, I struggled so much especially these recent years (sometimes I still do); yet, we don’t choose our family. We are placed by the Lord in a family where we fit, where we learn and grow, and a family that brings out the best in us. I believe, how we achieve this really depends on us. When I was growing up, I shared a special bond with my dad since my mom would spend most of her time with my brothers and sisters who lived in NY. However, I have also caused so much pain to the man who has been my hero since I was a little girl, and it took so much on his part to forgive me.

I am blessed to spend the weekend with my parents. They are not getting younger — this fact was most obvious with the way my sister and I had to assist our dad while walking with his cane and my mom who has more lines on her face.

Viking’s, MOA

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My sister’s birthday celebration

It was also my sister Myra’s advance birthday celebration. We had a buffet and the food was amazing! I love spending time with my sister who is funny in her own way. We were able to outwit our daughters in a game; little did they know that my sister and I connived so they end up losing a bet 🙂 It also made me realized I missed my other sister. I haven’t seen her for the past 15 years or so. Although we keep in touch, it is still different being together. Your sisters are your best friends — they are always there through thick and thin.

Subic, Zambales 

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With my daughters Jamie, Katrina and Annie — and a real, live tiger

The last time I visited Subic was back in the year 2002, and so much has changed! The trip itself was made shorter (from 4 hours to 2) due to the newly constructed highway. Although the toll was very expensive — it was worth it. Because we went to bed late (with my daughter Jamie and me talking and sharing so much), the four of us were drifting in and out of sleep oblivious to the others’ talk and laughter. When we finally arrived, the first place we went to was the Zoobic Safari Adventure Park– which is the only tiger safari here in the Philippines.

The tigers were magnificent-looking! My favorite was the white tiger — he was HUGE! There were also other exotic, wild and never-seen before animals which we really enjoyed. How I wish (for the nth time Josh and Roy were with me — it would have been more fun!) You can check out the other Zoobic Safari attraction here. After several hours at the park, we went to the city and ordered pizza and chicken. We brought it to a yacht waiting for us at the harbor. The short boat ride took us to a nice beach where almost everyone had a nice leisurely swim. The girls and I, together with my nephews played cards. Eventually all the cousins joined and my brother, sister and I — together with my parents were watching them amusingly.

It was a special bonding time for the cousins who don’t get together much.

Then it was time to go home.

The weekend was over. I loved my time with my daughters especially the time they individually spent time with me. Kat and I did our much-needed talk. Jamie and I shared tears and assurance that we will always have each other. Annie and I spent a lot of time laughing and having fun. They know that with their Mom, they can be themselves.

Although I feel I am floating nowhere with my current situation at work — the weekend spent with my family was a wonderful time of bonding. I realized that I am truly blessed.

Here’s an encouragement quote for you and me:

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 I say, “Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who wait and hope patiently in the Lord.”

Have a great one, everyone!

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