Few days more and a new year will unfold! Tadaa, welcome 2014!!!! Reading back to my previous posts, I noticed that most of them had always been about how time flies so fast. And yes, until now I’m still surprised how a year passes by so quickly that you cannot even catch up and find time to reflect.
This year has been so good to me. Really good that I’m thinking it’s the best year ever! Hehe
– We were able to go home for a short vacation in March. My boss allowed me to go on a 3-week holiday so we didn’t waste the opportunity and planned a trip to Boracay (pictures here). Our highschool batch also arranged a mini reunion and it was a blast! I don’t remember laughing that hard in a long time. =) Oh, and of course, Baguio, my second home, was also part of our itinerary. But the happiest part of my vacation was at home in Tarlac, spending time with the family. Hay, I have to wait 4 more months before I see them again.
– It was also in March when my sister (che-che) finally received her degree. It was a proud moment for the whole family (specially me). We can now turn our heads up high to all the nega people who kept on predicting we will never graduate. Hehe. I feel lucky because she has matured well and is now acting as the “head” of the family. She takes care of the family and absorbs all the problems. People think she’s lucky because she doesn’t have to work but I know that it’s me who is more fortunate as I don’t have to handle all the responsibilities & issues back home. I feel guilty sometimes as I feel I’m depriving her the chance to grow and find a career (also her youth) but the only thing I can do is keep on thanking her and explain that no one else can/will take care of Nanay, and Tatay apart from us. They raised us since birth, and now it’s high time for us to pay them back. Like me, I am sure she doesn’t mind serving them because we love them very much. My next goal is for Gena to graduate so she can come here ASAP!
– Back in June, Ali and I decided to enroll for driving classes. It was never part of my plan as I knew driving would be difficult (I’m poor at navigation. In fact, pinpointing left & right is a struggle for me). I also remember when last year, I found it ridiculous hearing Ian tell his father that we will buy a car this year. I thought he was just trying to impress him. Ganun ako kasimple (or pessismist). I thought I will never learn to drive and that it was too early for us to be able to afford a car. Pero with luck and prayers, I got my license on 1st September, and by 17th September I was already driving my own car! Until now I am still amazed whenever I see Oonah (our Honda civic’s name). I still can’t believe that after only 3 years here in Dubai, I already achieved something this big. I am just stunned on how the Lord answers all our prayers and gives us so much more.
– In September, I turned a year old in AF. They say that “time flies when you are having fun”. It holds true with my present company. It feels like home whenever I enter the office. I can approach anyone, anytime. We don’t mind the workload as it’s a light & casual working environment. There is no gap between managers & co-workers. It’s because we have a policy here “Leave your ego in the car park”. Hehe. After more than a year with the company, I realized that I made the right choice. It’s not enough that the company provides me with salary way more than most OFWs in Dubai, I’m also blessed with a favorable schedule, amazing colleagues and a remarkable workplace. Who am I to complain?!
– I was surprised when my boss called me to his office few months back and handed me a letter/certificate. He congratulated me “for my exceptional effort” and said I deserve the recognition. I told him knowing he appreciates my job is more than the monetary reward I received. See, the last recognition I got was when I won Mutya. After that, I didn’t excel at anything anymore. I also lost the motivation I had back when I was in school. I was always aiming to be the best at everything I do. Having received the certificate from our HR brought me back to those times when I was standing on stage beaming with pride. The recognition I got was the icing to all the blessings I received in 2013. =)
– Another proud moment for me this year was when my story got selected to be part of “Share your story” campaign of AF. The campaign urges all the employees to share their personal stories about what makes them proud to be part of the company, what makes them feel appreciated, etc. Truth is I didn’t have time to fill-up the survey that time so I only answered the first question. I’m thinking it’s because my answer came from the heart that’s why it was shortlisted. Hehe. Seriously, with the good pay, reasonable working hours, safe environment, and employee benefits, I can say that AF not only values its customers but its employees as well. By the way, my story was used as the company screensaver for the whole month of November. And take note, out of the 23,000 employees in GCC, I was one of the only 12 people chosen. In fact, I was the only one from IKEA. hehe =)
– This year, I also experienced my first ever out of the country business trip =) I was sent to Cairo together with the sales managers for a 3-day meeting in October. Though we were a bit disappointed since there was a curfew (hence we didn’t see the pyramids), it was still a memorable experience nonetheless. Before that, I also spent 2 days in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi for the same meeting. I was supposed to visit our Qatar store as well but my visa application got denied. Toinks! I’m wishing in the next 2-3 years, I’ll be given the opportunity to finally visit IKEA, Sweden (where it all begun. hehe)
– My relationship with papa is also closer than ever. We often talk over the phone and celebrate special occasions together. We also had dinner at RIVA to celebrate my license (Tatay, Papa, and Palos were the happiest when I got my car). However, we still don’t visit/see each other that much as we are both… LAZY. Hehe
– In 2013, we were able to help some cousins and friends reach the “Dubai Dream”. In April we had Jerome & Kikay; Rence, Gino, & PJ in October; & Chay in December. We also “adopted” Warren as he had a problem with his company. It was unfortunate that he had to go home this month but we assured him that whenever he’s ready to come back, we would gladly help him start anew. (I have a few more people lined up next year) I will never get tired of helping others as it’s my way of giving back. I am blessed, therefore I want to be a blessing as well =) I just hope everyone does the same. It’s really better to give than to receive. Trust me! =)
– Since our “Dubai family” is growing, we transferred to a bigger room in November. I am just waiting for everyone to settle down and will start looking for our own flat/villa. That way, we will be able to save some money and won’t annoy other people with our noise. Hehe.
– I can’t tell you how happy I am finally having Chay and Rence here in Dubai. It’s like teenage/Baguio days all over again (minus the love problems of course hehe). And who would’ve thought that after all those years of failed relationships, here we are in Dubai with our partners. Next question is, “who would get married first?” =)
– We bought a house! We bought a house! We bought a house! Thanks to chay for informing me that her cousin is selling their unit. Without thinking twice, I said I will pay for it. The house is not huge but it’s enough to give us security that whatever happens, we have a place to go home to. We agreed that I’ll be paying it in installments but come May, they will move out of the house and I can start furnishing it. So excited! Next step, save for our dream house and start building our own family.
Writing all of the above makes me more grateful for all that’s happened in 2013. My only prayer for the next year is for God to give Nanay & Tatay more years, the whole family to be healthy, my relationships (career, love, family) to last, & my friends to stay. I’m also aiming to help more people this year, and hopefully send some relatives to school.
My life is not perfect but I am now in a place where I couldn’t ask for more. =)
Thank you Lord for an amazing year!