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Age 58: House Renovation 101

“If the plan doesn’t work , change the plan but never change the goal”

Yay! October is our lucky month.

Happy birthday to us, my sons and our house 🙂

Yep! Thirty years of working as OFW (overseas Filipino worker), the first thing that comes to mind is to buy a house, and we did! But plan change, the two years contract was extended to thirty years! And the house was rented. Some of the previous tenants were caring, unfortunately, the last one was a tyrant! OMG! , I can’t imagine how they live. We always do repair before a new tenant comes in and we are sure that the last tenant receive the house in good condition. Shocks! The house was not livable when I received it, everything was upside down 😦

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2009 when I became a single parent, a sole provider… it was not planned but reality at times will shocked our nerves and when it hit me, I did not back off, instead I stand firmly , prayed and hope I can passed the difficulties. So many things happened in between, I can tell you it was not easy for all of us but we surpassed the expectation!

I was brave to spent my savings and earning to send my sons to college and they were able to graduate with honors. I was crazy to think I am done after graduation 🙂 Sometimes I would say to myself, It’s ok to be selfish at times, think about when you grow old when you cannot work anymore, no steady income, no pension but I also think what will happen when I go back to Philippines ? No house and no pension, that’s more  scary! Time is ticking …it’s a disguise of invisibility..waiting to expire, but no! I won’t be fool by my advancing age, I like to think what I have been through, are my armor to whatever mishap I may have in the near future.

The tuition fees I paid for my two sons to study abroad, I could have bought a big mansion and a nice car but What shall I do with it? Education came as priority. Travel was second, why? Well, I don’t want to wait till I am old and can’t enjoy the scenery because I don’t remember where I was hehehe… talking about being forgetful 🙂 And renovating the house became the last in the list.

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Once again, My inner me,.. says renovate the house, but I have no savings left, only my service award for five years.Besides , it’s a conjugal property. I like to file for annulment, actually saving for it. You see the irony in Philippines, We are the only country in the world that doesn’t support divorce and we also don’t have any program for single parent. I can’t file for housing loan, I am two years away of my retirement. The government should look into the predicament of single parent, this is not only to free from their spouse but to get support for education and shelter. There are a lot of separated/divorced couple that supports each other. Why can’t we be broad-minded on this subject for the sake of harmony and stability? Instead of paying a big amount of money to lawyers, spend it to other more important things like sharing for the education of children. However, out of no where, I received a quit claim and  the whisper is becoming louder and louder…renovate the house…renovate the house…

Drum roll… here are some photos of before and after renovation!

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the only post in the middle was turned into decorative cabinet

Renovation 101 🙂

I calculated my service award and I said to myself, just do what is necessary and you will be fine financially.I went home, got my architect/contractor – Arch. Rosario Valeza and discussed what I want for my house.The budget of 1.8 increased to 2.5 M, oh la la la.

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Shall I go for it? The inner me… Go!

Alright brave lady, Let’s do it! I talked to my boss to lend me an advanced money but with the economy going down, he cannot promise anything. Luckily, my contractor agreed that I can pay on installment basis. Wow! I am so lucky 🙂 Indeed! She also did a lot of extra work for me without even asking for extra money. Like I sent her to get me the appliances I need from Elba . I am too far away to come every time so she was so kind to extend her helping hand.Hmmm do I really think there’s no extra? Well, of course there will be but she is just so kind to ask and I am taking advantage of it :-)… joke!

Did it went well?

Well, I would say the finished renovation was beautiful compared to the old one but honestly , being far away from home while the house is being renovated is a big stress! Especially when the communication is kind of strange, timing is important, at times, she is free and at times I am not. Having internet is a plus but it is still different when you are there, in the actual site. I’m lucky also that I have my brother Eng. Kelly, who helped me visualized the outcome. Although at times, there was some disagreement between the Engineer and the architect but at the end professionalism works.

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Sketch done by my bro Engr Kelly Mariano to help me visualize how it will look

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the actual renovated view done by Architect Rosario Valeza

Some TIPS on renovating house when your far away from home and with a stretched budget on hand:-)

1. hired a trusted architect/contractor – this will lessen your stress but of course, it should be mutual. She/He should trust you too (financial wise) double wink ** I had some problem in sending remittances, two of the big remittance center in Jeddah was suspended and there’s also limit how much money I can send which shouldn’t exceed my monthly salary. I really appreciate the patience of my contractor.

2. have a concrete plan of what you want to change from the beginning. Think what is your priority. A bigger bathroom?  A bigger living room? Pushed everyone to be a part of the plan, even when they say, “Whatever you like mom” still insist on getting what’s in their mind. Don’t start until you get the plan, finalize and start.

3. Get a support from trusted Engineer, friends and family who has experience in building a house. You can get some tips but stick to your liking ,listen and make your own decision.

4. Think what appliances / gadget in the kitchen. This is very important so the cabinets can be adjusted accordingly. I ask a lot of questions from my chef’s son of course 🙂 I rather have a small but equipped kitchen than a big one with too many appliances in disarray.

5. Have an ample allowance to estimate the finishing date, so you don’t end up having double expenses of renting a temporary condo. Plus your excitement will not be overshadowed by frustration because of extra expenses. Remember you still have to furnish the house 🙂

5. Save money from the start even though you’re not thinking of renovating because it comes handy later on. I think it is better to just demolished the old house and start from the scratch.I didn’t dream of a big house, I always like a single detached bungalow.

Cute ..Simple.. and cozy.

6. Have faith, no one can defined one’s vulnerability and difficulties. I believed my courage comes in faith. I am always thankful of any blessings no matter how small it is.

Ladies, I am so proud to say at age 58, I feel fulfilled ,having done my obligation with so much love and passion…oh don’t give me that look!…yeah don’t say I failed in one aspect “marriage” (Please bring down your eyebrow) well, I survived 25 years isn’t it? Besides, It’s a mutual decision, sometimes you just have to let go in order to process the pain and be healed in time.

” Sometimes, falling is not hard if you know how to get up with grace..What is important..stand firmed and hit your goal”

Drum roll again! Life is beautiful 🙂

Oh, I forgot to mention ,say hello to our new fam member “Arya” the puppy 🙂

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Cheers,

jamilamimi @beautybeyondfity

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Uber versus Careem: a review

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photo grabs at careem website

It’s been quiet long time I wanted to write a review but I was caught up with a busy schedule  (rolling my eyes…anything new? )

If you missed my blog about uber and easy taxi please click Uber or Easy taxi in Jeddah, my choice?

Did you hear about the fiasco in Philippines about Uber and taxi?  in which Uber was suspended for a month for a violation done while there was investigation going on. What? What about those taxis who over charged, drivers who are rude, was there any suspension done immediately? NONE!

We all knew how Uber made our life easy especially here in Jeddah. I hesitated for a while to use careem for a reason that I got used using Uber. But one day, there was a problem with my credit card and I can not book a Uber to work. Careem has choices of payment… either you pay cash, card or top your bank card any amount to save it in your wallet or you can even use qitaf points (from stc) to pay your ride.

And my first ride was awesome! Lexus.. yes! that was the model of the car 🙂 and I was smiling from the inside because my ride was only 7SR (seven saudi riyals). If it was an ordinary taxi, I would still bargain to pay 10 riyals plus a filthy taxi and a smelly driver, though not in general, you can also find a clean taxi with a clean driver 🙂

And so my ride with careem is super! I was able to experienced different car models and drivers who are not only polite but speaks english too. I feel rich having a chauffeur with Lexus, BMW, Saab etc. I was tempted to ask why they do careem when they have this big luxury cars but you know, this is Jeddah, ladies are not supposed to be friendly with strangers 🙂

Today, I was lucky to ride with Mr Abduelah whose car is Hyundai Santa Fe, I forgot my eyeglass in his car and I contacted careem and it was an immediate communication to the Captain and wallah! my eyeglass was returned promptly! If this was an ordinary taxi, how could I ever retrieved my eyeglass?

So, I hope the Philippines gov’t should think about the system of Uber compared to the ordinary taxi. Taxi owners should compete fairly with the Uber, as what careem did to Uber. I think taxi in Philippines should have an improved and reliable system so the passengers are safe and not abused by an ordinary taxis.

Ladies, let me know your experience with Careem!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi (beautybeyondfifty)

 

 

Age 57: Mom shaming

Have you read recently the blog of Maggie Wilson about”mom shaming?” She is on point! Who are you to judge a mom according to what she wears? Can you tell a good mom from just looking at her? SHAME ON YOU!

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From jumper to skirt : If I wear the skirt with my abs showing, will I be less as a mom? If I wear it as a jumper, will I be like trying hard?

 

I know there are appropriate dresses or attire in a particular occasions. Are there appropriate dresses on a particular age group? Like when you are already a “mom” you can’t wear shorts short? When you are in your fifties or beyond you can’t wear this and that? Who said what, who and why?

Are you dressing to please other people? Or are you dressing to please yourself?

Everyone has different style, different reasons ,different moods and its personal choice not yours to decide!

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If you wear jeans like teens, does it makes me a bad or good mom? Does everyone knew what I have been through? Does everyone knew that I have raised two young professionals son who are well-respected in their own chosen field?

Do you know what mom went through in order to raised her children? Is she going to be judge by one occasion? by one dress?

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If I post my daily beauty routines, will I be judge like I don’t take care of my children?

What is mom shaming? to my knowledge, mom shaming is like a disease that is contagious and communicable at the same time! a mom having negative feedback to another mom who doesn’t have the same belief as hers.

Seriously, are you perfect?

I believe mom who hurt other mom has some issues to herself. She throws her negative thoughts to other mom because she is envious of what other mom has accomplished. She is envious because she can’t do what other mom can do. Or simply, She loves to gossip because she has all the time, she is free for dilly dallying and bashed other moms.

Ladies, why don’t we just support each other. Let us inspires each other, as what Maggie put it, I hope this post lights a spark.

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Cheers,

Jamilamimi

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Age 57: DIY – Eyebrow tinting

Warning: This is an experiment…If you are not adventurous please don’t make this at home!                                                                           

If you are fifty and beyond continue reading 🙂

Is your eyebrow getting thinner? graying? If the answer is yes? then this is the sign of aging! ouch! If your answer is no? hmm probably you are in denial? or you are one of those women who can afford doing tattooing or microblading,do u know how much microblading? According to my research it will cost Php 35K down to Php 18K omg! or maybe you are just lucky to have those thick eyebrows when you were younger that when you hit fifty, all you have to do is add a bit of eyebrow powder and a little help of eyebrow pencil will do the trick! Remember, a fuller brow is always youthful! It accentuate your beautiful eyes!

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Well, I am one of those that embraces aging eyebrow and found an alternative solution that I saw on Facebook. Alright don’t give me that look! I know I shouldn’t believe everything posted hahaha. Anyway, I know I have no allergy and I know this is not for eyebrow tinting , will I die? nope! will I get burn? maybe! if I am not careful, will I get blind, yes! Precautions is the Key aside from being stupid 🙂

Oh well, let’s get started. READ and proceed with caution

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This is for hair dye and not to be used for eyebrow. It will be too harsh on your skin around the eye. It only took me few seconds to leave the tint in my eyebrow. I was afraid it might burn my skin.

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The powder is mix with water, I made the consistency thicker than usual so it won’t flow to my eyes and the surrounding skin of my eyes. You can also put vaseline around the eye for better protection.

 Brush and apply according to the shape of your eyebrow.

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Wait for few seconds and wash off with a wet cotton. careful not to drop any dye around.

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After effect. how long will it last? not sure but eyebrow hair has a very short life cycle so maybe within a month? I’m guessing 🙂 I will let you know later.

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Excuse my make up free photos 🙂 It’s good to be scared at times hahaha

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This photo was taken after two days, I think the tint will not stay for too long 🙂

Ladies, no accidents happen or anything that I didn’t like, It’s all up to you if you want to try. Would I try it one more time? hmmm, may be no!

I’ll stick to eyebrow tint or eyebrow pencil.

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I tried this and works very well, It’s available in Alhamra pharmacy but a bit expensive though. Your choice!

“If the eyes are the window to the soul, then eyebrow must be the curtain that frame this window”

Cheers,

jamilamimi

Serenata – simplicity at its best!

” nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed to be simple is to be great”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Indeed! The Serenata annual benefit concert last Saturday ,March 18,2017 was so simple in terms of the costumes and frills but the performance was superb and its charitable cause made the concert great! This was their 12th season and for the record I only missed two of their concert 🙂  addicted!

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The Serenata Children’s Choir

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The concert was under the musical direction of ever so beautiful Ms. Sylvia Delos Santos. Directed by Mr. Jerry Lagrimas and the ever energetic host of the night Mr.Ahjid Sayas. The ever supported husband of Ms. delos Santos – Mr. Teddy Delos Santos spotted playing Cello as assistant principal.

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The introduction of all male Chamber Chorale was impressive noting that it was only formed five months ago and to gather each one for practice was challenging to everyone involve.

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All male chamber chorale

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The string orchestra was as usual in their best performance !

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The Serenata String Orchestra

I enjoyed the participation of Knight Movers with their Aladdin dance intermission

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The Knight Movers

 

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The finale

Here’s some of the clips of the performance taken by iPhone 🙂 I could upload more but my storage plan is not enough..and so .. let me advise you to come and see them in action next season.

Congratulations to all!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

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The Amazing Flower Festival 2017-Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

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Yanbu flower and garden festival started March 14 and will ends on April 7, 2017. We visited year 2015 and we had a chance to visit again last Friday, March 17,2017. There were a lot of visitors and I think it would be better to come as early as 4 pm to appreciate the flowers.

Timing: Sat-Thurs 8:30 – 5pm Friday 4 pm -11pm

 

Admission : Free .. but there’s a minimal fee to get up to the Flat form and see the areal view of the garden. Another fee to Yanbu Butterfly garden. Beware, it was a long queue. Sorry, I was not able to ask how much the entrance fees.

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So, whats new?

The addition of the fountains, made the place more refreshing and you can have your ice cream yoghurt too 🙂 The weather was cool so we just passed it!

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One new thing that I like the most is the addition of recycling items.

Do you know how long a plastic bottle decompose? 450 years! Omg!

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See the white and blue? It is made of 41000 bottle caps which represent sea waves.

How about a rubber tires? It will take 50-80 years!

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made from old tires

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flowers are made from plastic bottles

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made from papers

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It’s amazing to see the flowers bloom in Yanbu, remember this is Saudi Arabia 🙂

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If you got tired of walking, you can also catch the cho – cho train 🙂 hahaha and you will reach your destination in 2 hours, just kidding.

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or maybe just sit down a bit 🙂

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or when you got bored, you can always call FB 🙂 or play games?

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or maybe after seeing all those flowers, you will feel the sweetness of your heart 🙂

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If you are from Philippines, this is “Enrique” and you will know who he is 🙂

and of course our “Liza”

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Ladies, relationship goal? the “lizqen” of jeddah 🙂

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How sweeeeeet…. so what are you waiting for? smell the flowers, feels the breeze and fall in love..wow!

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Cheers,

Jamilamimi

if you would like to see flower festival 2015 pls click The Amazing Flower Festival 2015 in Yanbu Saudi Arabia

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Age 57 and counting…bucket list?

new-doc-34_1At age 57 and beyond… Do I still have a bucket list?   You bet!

I have plenty of it! A bucket of fats… extra kilo 🙂  a bucket of wrinkles and bulge…kidding aside:-) yeah of course, I still have things I haven’t done and would love to try to… things that I have done and would like to do it all over again.

I guess all I have done since I got married, have children and got separated …is a bucket list of how to survive for all of them,support them in any way I can, caring and loving them more than myself.

Well, I guess it’s about time to remember my bucket list for myself before I even forgot I have a list too!

Love  Oh yeah! that’s the top on my list. I have given so much that I forgot how it is being in love. Sure, my sons will always be there but I know sooner or later they will also have their own family, their own love .I would like to find someone who would inspire me to get out of the bed with a smile on my lips, start the day right and energized.I would like to have someone who can make me laugh and not cry.I like to find someone who appreciates my value in his life, who would take an extra minute to listen to my boring stories and to take me to a movie (no matter how boring it is) to a dance (even though he doesn’t know how) in short, I would like to find someone who love the way I do.Call me crazy ! (with my eyes rolling up high) And one day ,I would also  like to hold his hand, look into his eyes and take our vow, no promises of extravagance just a simple life of togetherness and love, in sickness or in health, Alzheimer or  not, till the sun rises and set…wow! I am really into this 🙂

mi2016alright let’s move on…

Travel If I have a chance I would like to see “The great pyramid of Giza” the only one surviving from the seven wonder of the Ancient world. Next is to visit the new seven wonders of the modern world.I had the chance to visit Petra in Jordan, so I have five left. The great wall of china, the colosseum of Rome ,Chitchen Itza of Mexico,Macchu Picchu of Peru,Taj Mahal of India and the Christ Redeemer of Brazil. And I also would like to go back to Paris and more 🙂 you know if you’re putting something on the bucket list, make it grand! at least there are choices and it doesn’t hurt if u can travel to one or two. It’s a blessing!

Learn an instrument I enjoyed listening to music, watch live orchestra or musical concert and it is my dream to learn how to play piano or violin. I know someday I gonna do it.

Self publish a book I would like to publish my own memo, though I am sharing my experiences on my blog, there are a lot more to explore like how and why I am still here in Saudi Arabia? or then and now of living in Saudi Arabia or who knows? my own love story (the rise and fall) really? let’s see 🙂

Learn how to swim Yeah! I only knew how to float but not to really swim. I love to go to the beach , who doesn’t? but can’t really explore because I am scared to drown. I also want to learn how to snorkel and even scuba diving. wow! I see your eyebrow is up!

Learn how to drive everyone knew, women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, so there’s always from the back of my mind, I wish I can drive so I can go to places without being at the mercy of unruly drivers.

There are more things I would love to explore but I’ll reserve it when I am sixty 🙂

Ladies, I think if you feel like doing something different or learn new things, this is NOW, children are already grown up, chasing their own dream…don’t just sit there because you feel old, be a part of the now generation, be young in mind and spirit.Continue to be an inspiration,be active and you will find a new breath of life.

So, what am I doing on my birthday? snooze! Z Z Z Z Z Z  two thumbs up!

next blog pls! the bday dinner 🙂

 

Cheers,

jamilamimi

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The Amazing Binurong point – Baras, Catanduanes

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When my nephew told me, we will be going early morning (4 am) to Binurong point, I said..”yes” happily not knowing, were going to ride a motorcycle and trek a mountain. Wow! exciting! at age 56 here I am 🙂 riding a motorbike and trekking. binuronpoint-1-2

It was a cool morning and suddenly the rain poured, instead of protecting myself, I wrapped my jacket around my camera 🙂 there was no shelter to stop so we just went on. It’s about an hour of joy riding with a group of health workers. Yep! It was like a medical mission, our group consist of a surgeon, anesthesiologist, doctors and nurses 🙂

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Binurong point is located in Brgy. Guinsaanan, Baras Catanduanes, Philippines

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It’s an amazing sight of beautiful cliff and hill, so clean and green.

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flowers, the green grass, the trees…

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Beware of bushes and low trees, I bumped my head not once but twice 🙂

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and of course, my signature jump and pose!

at the end of the trip, it was refreshing to find out a make shift store selling cold drinks and chips and a hammock to just sit for awhile before heading back to Virac town proper.

and what more can you ask, after having “nilagang baboy” (pork stew) as lunch 🙂 Yummy!

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it was a wonderful day!

Thank YOU!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

Serenata – Beyond the Horizon

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Once again, I have the best moment to witness the 11th season of Serenata, courtesy of Mr. Gerard Cua. This is also the first time in 29 years, my big boss and I took time out from work to watch a concert. See ? This is really the best moment 🙂  We always took turn to attend to personal matter so as not to close the clinic but tonight was different, we went together to enjoy the concert and we did!

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never mind his expression in this photo 🙂 he was amazed by the performance and even took out time to take photos and records some songs

One thing though, my camera didn’t work well so I ended up taking photos by iPhone.Good thing, our seat is in the 3rd row and because I wasn’t into taking pictures, I enjoyed the show better than as a guest rather than as a photographer 🙂

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“into the woods”

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“Spiderman”

opps..I missed the action!

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“Chua Ay”

This a cappella rendition of “Chua Ay” is spectacular, though I didn’t understand the meaning, it was so amazing to watch. I guess this is an Igorot song (a northern tribe in the Philippines).As much as I enjoyed another folk song “Paruparung Bukid”,the performance of the Knight Movers was also breathtaking!

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“Singkil” performed by The Knight Movers

The second part : Serenata String Orchestra

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under the musical direction of Ms. Sylvia Delos Santos

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“La Cathedral” a solo guitar performance by Ms. Nadine Cua

Here’s a sample video of her performance 🙂

 

 

The finale

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“Somewhere” a joint performance of Choir & String Orchestra with Ms. Precy Ann Cua (Soloist)

 

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A plaque of appreciation to the sponsors

Thank you All!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

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29 years after, she looked back

“There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realise nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this and after this.” – Unknown

Oh how time flies! A young mom with 1 ½ year old boy wondering what future will bring. A people’s power brought sad and good news but ours was unfortunate, young dad lost his job. A young family caught up with uprising, unstable employment and unable to sustained for house rent… she left overseas.

She said…

Two years contract to have a small house and open up a clinic of her own

She work hard to pay for placement fees and bought a land to build a house.

Homesickness sets in… dad came and followed by their son.

The two years became four years…

Dad didn’t finish his job contract and went back home.

He said..

No future in this company, will look for a better one.

Mom and son stayed.

She said…

Working overseas will help finish building the house and the clinic.

Dad came back

Four years… six years

Dad found another job and went back home again.

He said…

Better salary…better opportunity

Six years became ten years

Another son bring joy and happiness

Mom has better position, better salary, house done, children in good school

Dad left again for a better job, better salary and better opportunity

Twelve years….fifteen years…

Twenty years …

Mom did post graduate…career bloomed ..children happy…better education

Dad not happy…company closing down

He said…

A business of my own is better

And the day came, he left again…

Mom said…

Sons follow your dream… so she work harder…and… harder

a single parent… a single provider… a career woman

Dad got his own dream… a business of his own

While mom’s dream clinic is on hold

Twenty five years…

Trust gone…respect gone…marriage collapsed…

She said…

Letting go is a gift you owed to yourself

Twenty nine years later…

Children finished their studies…gone to pursue their dreams

Mom is alone again…

Twenty-nine years of a beautiful struggle.

to be continued…

” Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep the FAITH. It will all be worth in the end.”

Cheers,

Jamilammimi

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