Family Saga: I Don’t Know What To Do With My Niece

I am very disappointed with my niece. I am still in fact fuming mad until now, 6 hours after her very disappointing text. She became a single mom at a very young age. After giving birth last year, I asked her what her plans were. She said she wanted to continue her studies. Suffice to say, her parents cannot support her, especially now that there’s an additional member of their family. I decided to support her so that she can still have the chance to have a better life despite what happened to her. Also, in my mind, she will be going back to the same school, where tuition is cheaper. However, she chose a different school, which is more expensive. How expensive? My anticipated tuition per semester in the state university was what I needed to set aside per MONTH for her new school. But thinking that maybe it was the best option for her, and since I already gave my word and commitment to support her, I gave her the go signal to transfer school. I crunched my numbers, cut down on my expenses, and sacrificed some luxuries and target savings, just so I can accommodate her school expenses. I was even hesitant to jump into a relationship, something that I have prayed for fervently in recent months, just because heck, I don’t have any extra for dates! (While it is nice to have someone to spend for you, I have been independent for the longest time that it makes me uncomfortable when someone spends for me.)

Sometime last week or the other week, her sister, who is now an OFW, told me that this niece sent her a private message in FB asking for financial support. I was surprised but did not give much thought. I just thought maybe she was shy to continue asking for support from me. To intervene, I texted her to ask when her payment is due. I’ve been paying monthly since she started school in June. She said she was not sure. Just to test that we are aligned with what she paid so far, I asked her to confirm if her payment for October is the last for this sem. She did not reply.

She dropped the bomb last night. She texted, asking me to deposit a certain amount in a certain bank and email her the scanned copy of the deposit slip so that she can take her exams later today. And she said she spent the money I sent her from July to September. And that she was sorry. WTF. My blood boiled that instant. I wanted to cry just to let it all out, but I was still in the office, in another site, away from the comfort of my own workstation. I had to struggle to think objectively. I asked her calmly what happened. She said she spent it for projects and food, and the rest she did not know where it went. WTF. I lost my cool and texted my disappointment with her, and more strong words that I know would hurt her. And I don’t care. I don’t deserve this. I am not asking anything from her in return. Our deal was that, I pay for her tuition, her parents should pay for the rest of her expenses. Should she complete her course, all that I paid for her will be her graduation gift. Otherwise, she has to pay whatever amount I shelled out up to the time she quit school.

I still don’t know what to do now. I want to go home so that I can slap her and confront her and her parents. I cannot sleep because I am really hurt. I don’t know whether I’ll still take the risk to help her or not. And I can’t believe she even gave me a tight deadline in paying for her tuition. WTF again. Unfortunately, our province has been hit by Typhoon Lando and I cannot contact my aunt or my brother. Electricity is still not restored in many areas, moreso, in the far flung place where my aunt is. Arrrgggg!

Note: I did not oblige my other niece, who is now an OFW, to help me support her sister because I want her to start early with her savings. Besides, she already has her own family, and I helped her put together her budget before leaving, and encouraged her to focus on her own family and set expectations with her parents that she won’t be giving them monthly support. However, part of her budget is a monthly savings for her parents for major events where she will be forced to shell out money for them.

Commuter’s Chronicles # 1

Happenings/observations/memes while commuting.

10.01.2015

Palabas ako sa Shang exit that connects to the MRT. Revolving door yung exit. Biglang may mamang pumasok using the exit door kasi medyo may pila sa entrance. But that’s an exit door, dude! Gusto ko syang sitahin pero may glass covering him eh. Tinaasan ko na lang ng kilay.

Sa MRT, may arrows indicating where to stay in line for those riding and for those alighting. Dumating ang isang girl, tumayo sa gitna ng arrows. Pinagsabihan ko kahit may kausap sa phone. Sumunod naman. Good girl. Pero next time girl, matutong sumunod sa policies/guidelines kasi. Same eksena sa LRT naman. Napagod na akong manita. Next time na lang.

10.02.2015

May girl na biglang huminto right before stepping on the escalator. Tila may hinihintay na text bago magdecide if akyat or not. Muntik ko na sya mabangga. Girl, next time, tumabi naman muna ng maayos if hindi pa decided kung sasakay or not. Thank you.

10.13.2015

Hindi ako sumasakay sa cars reserved for pregnant women, senior citizens, people with disability and those with young kids both for MRT and LRT. Pero kanina, bilang hinahabol ko yung kararating na LRT (with matching takbo going up the escalator), pumasok ako sa first door thinking na lipat na lang ako sa area designated for the masa. Kaso may harang palang kadena hehe. May isang buntis na ang tagal akong tinitigan. Siguro iniisip if buntis ako. Bilang marami akong extra fats, sana inisip na lang nyang buntis ako hahaha. Ang awkward lang kasi etong si ateng kung makatitig parang mortal sin ang sumakay sa areang para sa kanila. Buti na lang may kasama akong mamang di naman senior at mas lalong di buntis :p. Tiniis ko na lang ang mapanuring titig ni ateng since 2 stations lang naman ako. Pero kalurkey pa rin hahaha!

10.14.2015

Medyo feeling sosyal ako kaya naka-Uber ako ngayon hehe. Joke. Ang totoo, late na kasi ako so kailangan magmadali.

Anyway, sa Greenhills ang daan and medyo traffic. Nung nasa intersection kami ng Ortigas Ave. at Connecticut, may 2 cars na biglang tumawid while naka-green pa yung side namin. Since traffic nga, medyo napahinto kami sa mismong gitna at harang sila. Bigla ba namang bumusina yung isa. Napalingon uli ako sa stop light. Green pa rin naman. Pinandilatan ko sya at kiber na if nakita nya o hindi.

Dear driver, please don’t drive if you don’t know how to read traffic rules or you don’t have plans of following traffic rules. Thank you.

Estimated to be Fully Paid Up By…

paidinfull

*Image from here*

Thirteen years ago, I was convinced by an agent to get an insurance. Back then, all my batch mates were getting one for themselves. Besides, one batch mate was friends with the agent (he was the husband of the batch mate’s officemate). And because everyone was getting, and the agent prepared several proposals for me based on my budget then, plus I already had some hindsight that eventually, I’ll have to support my parents, I also decided to get one. However, I had very limited knowledge on how insurance works and personal finance in general. I know, I know. I should not be getting into something that I don’t fully understand but…I was young and gullible hehehe.

Anyway, with the thick documentation given to me and all that was written in it, what stuck in my mind was the possibility of my policy being fully paid up on the 13th year, given some conditions (like dividends have not been withdrawn). So earlier today, I just took the chance to ask my new agent’s secretary. Guess what? As per the company’s records, my policy is estimated to be fully paid up by January 3, 2016! Yay!!!! Clap clap clap! She emphasized “estimated” and they will check again in December but I’m crossing my fingers that it will still be the case. While the monthly amount I set aside for this policy is not that substantial, it would still be a big help especially now that there is a new item I need to save up for. So, I’m claiming that this policy will be fully paid up by January 3, 2016!  😉

The Labyrinth Walking Meditation Part 2

Part 1

* All information (in italics) is taken from the print out given to me during my retreat at the Cenacle Sisters Retreat House in September 2014. No reference site/s in the print out.*

labyrinth_cenaclesistersph

Labyrinth at Cenacle Sisters Retreat House

Experiencing the Labyrinth

People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you do it. There is no “right” or “wrong” experience. Some people feel a sense of peace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed or, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight, or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. others have very small experiences or none at all. the experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time. whatever you experience, it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.

Suggestions for Walking

  • The labyrinth is a path for prayer and meditation.
  • Collect yourself before you start. Think of different people, events, situations, places or things in your life to develop a specific intention if you wish to use one in your meditation.
  • Get centered.
  • There are two common ways of walking: the way of silence and the way of image.

(1) In choosing the way of silence it might be helpful to focus on your breathing.
(2) The way of image might be done by reciting a prayer or name for God over and over to yourself.

  • Ask yourself: How am I loved? How do I love? In either case or in some other manner best suited to you, be open to your heart and mind. Pay attention to your thoughts as they rise and then let them go.
  • The labyrinth is a place of presence; allow yourself to be present to yourself and to God. 
  • The labyrinth is a teacher; let it teach you through the mysterious power of God.
  • As you walk the path, thoughts and ideas may rise up for you and in you — often in refreshing and startling ways.
  • One way to feel more connected to the experience is to walk barefoot and slowly. There is no need to rush. Some people feel a sense of confusion as they first star, remember there is only one path in and one path out. you will not get lost. For some people running as quickly as possible to the center, resting there, and then running quickly out is a powerful experience. 

OR
(3) Use the basic walking meditation. The whole experience consists of three parts — a letting go, a letting in and a letting out.

  • Prepare yourself for the walk by pausing at the entrance to clear your mind and become aware of your breath. You may offer a prayer/intention for the walk you are about to make.
  • Letting go (surrendering) — The walk around the design to the center is a time to quiet thoughts, worries, lists of tasks to do and a letting go — emptying your mind, being present to your body, and surrendering yourself to God.
  • Letting in (receiving) — As you reach the center, you may find your heart opening. Stay as long as you need. This is a place of meditation, prayer and illumination. Receive what is there for you.
  • Letting out (returning) — When ready, take the walk out — back to your life, now refreshed and empowered by the Spirit to live and renewed faith and hope.

I’ll share my personal experience of the labyrinth in another post.

Dear Mama and Daddy #1

Dear Mama and Daddy,

How are you both? Missing you guys so much but I’m sure you’re having a grand time with the Father up there. Grabe, dati, dear Mama lang. Ngayon dear Mama and Daddy na. Kalurkey kayo. Nag-usap ba kayong magkasunod kayong aalis ng less than 2 years apart? Di man lang nagtagal ang isa sa inyo para makita ang apo sa akin. Nanawa na ba kayo sa kakahintay? Nawalan na ba kayo ng pag-asang magkaka-lovelife ako? Hahaha!

And speaking of lovelife…Mama grabe ka! Hahaha! I learned something recently. Ginawa mo talaga yun?! Kaloka ka hahaha! Masyado na ba talagang bothersome sa yo ang pagiging single ko at kinailangan mong gumawa ng da-moves mo? Kulang na lang idaan mo sa fixed marriage eh. Buti na lang subtle ka lang duma-moves. Hahaha! Pero susko ka inay! 😛  Sabi ni koya, ang pagkakaintindi daw nya nung una, meron daw akong 7 kids hahaha. Sabi ko baka 7 grandkids ang sabi mong meron ka haha. Pero thanks, Ma. By learning about it, mas kampante na ako dahil feeling ko nascreen mo na sya. Kami na po ahihi! Sabi pala nya, sana buhay ka pa. Siguro para may kakampi sya lalo na pag inaaway ko sya hahaha. Pero pakibatukan na lang kami pag umiral ang katigasan ng mga ulo namin hahaha!

O sya. I’ll see you both sa Undas. Ako po ang dadalaw sa inyo. Wag na po ninyo akong dalawin at baka mawala pa kayo hehehehehe. Nga pala, gusto nyo ba talaga ng puting mansion? Or gusto nyo ng other colors next year? Hehe. E kandila, anong kulay gusto nyo? Let me know in my dreams, ok? I love you and I miss you both. Please continue watching over us.

Love,
Mylene

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