Freedom, Teflon, etc..

Allow me some shamelessl plugging. Here’s the 2nd installment of the video that my daughter Ala made on us entitled P.O.F.W. Catch it
Been driving around, and yes, quite well and relaxed if I may say so myself. Friends have been so kind in giving me driving lessons. It helps to be present in the moment and to forget my ultra-defensive driving instincts honed over the years in Manila. No doubt, this skill which makes me keep an eye for tricycles that can come from behind or the side at any given notice is a useful one in the Philippines but not here. All one has to do is to follow the rules and use a little commonsense and one will get by. Been taking the test over the internet too and have been passing consistently. I will still go through a real instructor though before I take the test.

Two nights ago, we wanted some ice cream after dinner and I caught myself initially resisting going out. I knew that I was being dragged down by the inertia of just staying safely and comfortably at home and not driving. I was experiencing a low-level inytensity kind of fear because

a) it was night,
b) I don’t know the roads so well,
c) and all other reasons hiding behind the general fearful unknown.

But I forced my way out of the feeling. It was a declaration of independence of sorts and tiny as it was, it was still exhilarating!

I boldly reminded myself that we are far from being prisoners of the lonely and sprawling suburbs. WE HAVE A CAR. WE CAN DRIVE! Now all we had to do was look at the map. My wife promptly wrote the directions on a napkin and Mio became my navigator while Ala sat at the back and cheered on. We were laughing all the way to Hungry Jacks as we relished this spontaneous act of freedom. Ah, little joys and little victories. If we were babies, it seems our baby steps are getting bolder and we are even walking faster!

To speed up our knowledge of the geography, I got us a GPS car navigator yesterday and it’s wonderful. I have not used it for a really long drive yet but it seems to work pretty well. Lydia, who is very adept with maps still looks at the device with suspicion. I, on the other hand who is a complete klutz with anything in diagram form feel so secure using it.

Friends who recommended it say that it is a good investment in preserving relationships. Heh heh!

Close to ‘the Boss’

Love this music!

It seems most of the Filipinos I meet here are quite religious. I am not really surprised as I have seen this in many other countries where our kababayans are. I guess the fear factor of staking one’s claim in a new country makes one closer to one’s God. Doing something monumental such as moving to a new country and life must do that. One wants to be closer to The One Who Calls The Shots for assurance.

Been going to mass the past three Sundays. The church is nice and cozy but the music is too ‘English’ if you know what I mean. The songs sound so stale compared to the ‘Lauds’ music repertoire that is sung at the Gesu church at the Ateneo and in more and more churches back home.

This whole moving has made us extremely close as a family. People tend to naturally depend on each other in times of need. But even without this situation, we are already close to start with. I find it wonderful that we are all even more attentive and supportive of each other’s plans and needs now. It’s true what they say about how great family life here in OZ can be.

Quality Time

We have a small TV–one lent to us which we hardly turn on. Once in awhile, Ananda watches cartoons. In a few days though, we will shop for a bigger one since the kids like to watch DVDs. One of the things we will not be in a hurry to do is to subscribe to TFC. While I miss my friends, I do not miss being reminded of the overheated political situation back home and the entertainment scene. Not yet! I am enjoying the quiet and peace in the house. The absence of media paves the way for conversations and that makes everyone living under our roof more intimate with each other. In place of the drone of TV, we have quality time. For entertainment, we are quite happy with an i-pod and my little i-fusion speakers which I play we do chores.

They’re Here!

This should have been the first thing I should have written about: our furniture finally arrived last Wednesday! For the past two days, we have been moving things about, cleaning and re-storing many of the stuff we brought but now realize we do not need. Blame it on all that sentimentality about migrating! But it is so good to see parts of our former lives following us here–our dining table, our big kareton sofa, etc., to make our abode more homey. If the furniture could talk, I’m sure they would have thanked us for such a warm and appreciative welcome. Our accommodations here are much smaller than what we had in Manila but considering that we are the ones keeping it clean here, it is I guess, just right!

‘the new US’

We are expecting a lot of visitors this coming May. For one, Lydia’s brother Marty and his family are coming over for 6 days and staying with us! Then a sister of mine will be arriving. Also, relatives from Davao (numbering 20) will be coming by May 8. No, they are not staying with us!! It would be nice since we really enjoy their company but it would be disastrous!

A niece of mine here informed me that as of last count, there are 38 of our relatives settled here already. And I did not even know I had any when I moved! It seems like OZ is the new US as far as our family is concerned. Many of my siblings and cousins started to settle in the US as early the 60s. It seems that the new migration destination of choice is here down under!

Now I know the excitement my sisters and brother in the US feel when any family members visit.


I will be with Danny and Boboy by June. Yehey! We have 4 concerts scheduled in Guam, Saipan and two in OZ. More details later.

I’ve also been booked for my first photo assignment here! I am REALLY looking forward to that! Hopefully, I will be able to set up my small home photo studio soon and continue to do one of the things I loved doing back home.

Teflon Spirituality

I have on occasion received comments from people that have rubbed me the wrong way. Sometimes, I even answer back with hostility. At the moment when I am writing the response, I may seem angry, and sometimes I really am. If you have somehow been on the receiving end of my sarcasm or other people’s comments because of what you’ve written, I hope you don’t make too big a deal about it. It’s nothing. I just want you to know that I am not one to carry a grudge. I try to immediately drop it right after. Like teflon, I make it a point not to make anything stick. If we happen to find ourselves in the same room, don’t ever hold back talking to me.

So little time on earth, and I do not wish to spend needless energy protecting an ego because of what anyone has written. At least this is what I try to remind myself of, and I am getting better at it. This is another one of my crazy spiritual practices.

So peace, love and all that!

Lastly, if you want to visit a cool site, go to You’ll meet a lot of people with even crazier spiritual practices.