2013 is one unforgettable year for me. It made me experience a lot of things and I’ve discovered a lot about life. Here are some of the unforgettable things that happened last year.
Change is the only permanent thing.
After 31 years of living on a house with a wooden floor, we had our house renovated/reconstructed. Maximizing our space. We now have 3 units being rented out commercially. Supposedly 2 residential units for rent as well. But our contractor were kind enough (Sarcasm alert!) to not finish their job so we are currently living in those 2 units while we get things done here properly.
95% of our neighbors moved out of the compound since the owners of the lot sold the land already. It’s been extra quiet since then. I miss my neighbors. Especially the old ones. Thank God for social networking, I still am in touch with most of them.
My younger brother, Anthony, left the Philippines a few days before Christmas to work. We miss him terribly. =/
CAKES = BLESSINGS
Even after realizing the potential of my cake making, I still get overwhelmed. I still slap myself silly whenever I thing of each and every cake I’ve made.
I had deals in Groupon Philippines! You guys have helped me a lot with my growth in cake making.
My cupcakes were used for an event of the cable channel/company handling the airing of Cupcake Wars in the Philippines.
I was also commissioned by Jack Daniels Philippines to make JD infused cupcakes which is now one of my signature cupcakes.
I cannot say that the three moments are my only favorites. Each and every cakes/cupcakes I’ve made are special to me.
Life changing moments as the year comes to an end.
It was just a cloudy day in Manila. Who would’ve thought that as we were all doing our daily routines, we have fellow Filipinos from the south who were holding onto whatever they can grab just to survive the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan. I only realized how big the typhoon was after I saw the news. And I cried…a lot. I knew right there and then, I have to help out.
A week after the typhoon, I learned about Oplan Hatid though my friend, Jofre Nachor. On their next trip to the airbase, I joined him his wife, Vel, and our friend, Gerald. I don’t drive. I don’t even have a car. But my first volunteer work for the Yolanda relief happening in Villamor Airbase was to bring a family of 9 (with 2 senior citizens) to my hometown in San Miguel, Bulacan. I was the navigator. It was Sunday night and since it was a school day the next day, Jofre cannot commit to taking the family to Bulacan. Instead, I rode in a car of a stranger while we were being followed in a convoy of two volunteers who we also just met that night.
Jofre, Vel, Gerald and I went back to Villamor Airbase a few times to do volunteer work. While Jofre and Gerald bring families to their destinations, Vel and I fed the families in the grandstand, sorted clothes and gave out goods. We pretty much made ourselves useful.
It’s amazing to see the families from affected areas picking up their lives and moving forward. You can tell they are saddened and they have fears but their hope is a lot bigger than their sadness and fears. I kept wondering will I be brave enough to face an experience similar to theirs.
I wondered too soon.
I have a high tolerance for pain. Super high that I didn’t consider my light-headedness as anything serious. I was frosting a cake on November 30 when I noticed that my right arm wasn’t doing it’s job right. I cried out of frustration saying, “Ang simple lang ng ginagawa ko pero bakit ang hirap?”
The next day, I was rushed to the hospital. My blood pressure was 180/140. “Nakakalakad ka pa?” the nurse asked. I jokingly answered, “Dati nakakalipad ako.” Then, I thought to myself, “Was I having a stroke? But I am too young to have stroke.” I started crying again. Apologizing to Mama. She hushed me and told me not to worry. That everything will be okay — our moms are the coolest, all-natural tranquilizers, right? Then the ER doctor attending to us said I need to undergo CT Scan, just to check if I have any blood clots.
Consider this as a wake up call, Tonet.
Turns out, my suspicions were mildy correct. I had a mild stroke at 32 years old. A combination of working too hard with almost no sleep. Plus having parents with hypertensions, but I am not going to lie, I am not a very physically fit person. It was my left brain that was affected. Luckily, I was not paralyzed, but my right arm and leg were weakened. I am currently doing therapy at home.
When I was in the hospital, I remembered the families who experienced the wrath of typhoon Haiyan. Just like the survivors of Haiyan, I’ve never faced anything as scary as this. I seriously thought I was going to die, especially everytime my right side gets weaker. I had to shake that thought off and I realized that just like them, I am going through something that is life altering — I need to be brave to be able to get up and move forward.
It’s been a month since the attack. My blood pressure has been stable most of the time. Slowly, I am now regaining the strength of my weak arm and leg. And now, it is important that I am relearning how to do simple tasks with my affected side I since I am right-handed. It’s not easy but I must.
Blessed till the year end.
Was I broken-hearted with what had happened to me? The only time I felt bad for myself was when I was so frustrated while frosting the cake on November 30. I can honestly say that I’ve never been so positive in my life. I am lucky enough to have an awesome support group — my family and friends.
Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
As much as I enjoy the downtime, there are some stuff I miss doing before the stroke happened. I was kind of living a fast-paced life. I miss being able do things on my own. I miss hanging out with people I adore. I miss (believe or not) doing chores. I miss watching gigs. I kinda miss drinking Red Horse beer with a straw. I miss dancing, just being plain silly. But most of all, I miss being creative with baking. I was so driven to do a lot of wonderful things then BAM! Just like I had to slow down and reformat my life.
When I was starting this entry, “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette started playing and I realized how apt the song was for me.
“Well, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face”
Slowly but surely, I am getting my strength back. And soon, I will be doing most of the things I miss.
And to end this entry, I am once again quoting Miss Morissette’s song, “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you. Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out. Helping you out.”
Weird as it may sound, but I am glad for all the things that happened to me on 2013. My outlook in life have changed. Priorities have reshuffled a bit.
Anyway, stay safe everyone. Slow down, do not overwork yourselves. SLEEP! And enjoy life! Happy new year!