It was already 12 midnight and I was still wide awake. Funny how I planned on sleeping at 10pm at first and now, 2 hours later, I still can’t seem to fall asleep. I was sweating and my body was so sticky, that was probably why I couldn’t sleep. Still I refuse to get up and take a shower because I knew I’ll sweat all over again. The weather was just extremely hot for my body to handle. Only around 2am I was able to get some sleep, however, I knew part of me was still awake. 5.45am I woke up with the sound of my roommate waking up. It was 15 minutes before my alarm was suppose to ring. Great. I got ready, ate breakfast and headed out to my first day at the GMC (this is apparently what they called the place, I have always they called it the CFC office). It appears that every morning they actually have a morning praise and worship. I was lucky enough to reach the GMC on time to attend it. Suddenly I felt right at home, just like any other CPA, with the same songs but just different surroundings. Once again, the person who was suppose to deal on my matter wasn’t around because he is supposedly a really busy man. Thankfully, although it was in a such short notice, the PROD department decided they can “babysit” me in the meantime. So basically, what I’ve gathered today was PROD is the Production department of CFC. It consist of a creative team of 9. Each of them had their own role. I met a few of them just now and I can’t stop myself from being so inspired. Especially by the younger ones. Char, a 22 year old sis who just started working in PROD last November. She has a few roles here and there but her main role was for Pluma. Pluma is a documentary TV Series that tell stories about CFC members and their life/experience before they found CFC and when their already in the community. Although Pluma is under CFC, they still had to find a third party to film their documentaries. Basically, Char’s job was to handle this. Apart from this, she’s also involves in helping out to organise most of the events that CFC are having. Next it’s Maan, a 23 year old sis as well that started working with PROD last August. She is apparently the radio announcer for the CFC “Pamilya mo, Pamilya ko” show on a Catholic radio station in the Philippines called Veritas. Same goes to Maan, she also helps in organising CFC events. Just last week, I was mostly surrounded with young adults at their late 20s and adults that could be twice my age. So obviously I was rather not keen on this whole idea of me being there but after meeting those two youths, it really inspired and motivated me in a way. There was also a SFC bro I met who was also under the PROD. Apparently he is the team leader of the Multimedia section of the PROD department and, get this, took filming too! He was very enthusiastic, telling me about the PROD and what they do exactly. He asked me what I’m taking in university and when I told him filming and that I’m focusing more on editing, he got all excited and told me I would have tons of fun there. This actually made me happy and reassured that it was the right decision to choose this. Plus, I’m really eager to learn how they organise all the big events. Tomorrow, however, I was given the chance to go to the radio station with Maan and the day after that, a chance to follow Char to one of the Pluma shootings. I’m getting excited by just writing them down 😄
Since it is Labor Day, it’s a holiday! I woke up pretty late today, nearly noon to be exact. Today’s activity wasn’t really as what many might call it “happening”. However, I did meet more of my housemate. They were really friendly and I enjoyed listening to them converse in Tagalog. However, I’m still not keen in learning it yet. Anyway, they kept trying to feed me with food, I tried declining a few times because I was seriously so full already. Plus, I didn’t want to add anymore extra kilos. However, they weren’t convinced, so the duel continued on. Out of courtesy, I soon agree to join them. Still, all of that aside, I really appreciate their friendliness and I guess it’s better than having housemates that ignores you all day and minding their own business (even though I actually kind of prefer this in a way). Maybe this was what I should learn, putting myself out there more and not becoming a self absorb person. Speaking of learning, I have learned a lot of things today while talking to the housemates. They told me about the Philippines hierarchy, the islands and basically everything I got to know about their country. Also, I actually had a great conversation with one of my roommates. She was also in training and she shared to me her experiences and how she got involved with the community. What interest me a lot was her thesis, she was doing about “Single Blessedness”, who knew there were such term right? Apparently Single Blessedness meant living an unmarried life, however not in the religious life (priest, nun etc) yet at the same time living a holy life and they have to make a vow about it. I’m not really sure, but I’ll further research on it.
Woke up 5 in the morning today, to bid mum farewell. Mum was going back to Malaysia, leaving me here all alone. After saying our goodbyes, I went back to sleep as I was honestly really tired from pretty much all the walking we did.
I woke up back again at 8 and started packing and getting ready for my journey back to Cubao. I decided to walk to the Taft Avenue station as I felt it was much safer than using a tricycle (which mum and I had planned earlier). At the Taft Avenue, I had my Chow King lunch and went straight to the MRT. I had to pass 8 stops until I’ll reach my stop which was Aranata Cubao. There I bought a Tuna sandwich just in case I’ll get hungry afterwards. I took a grab to the hostel and thank God I reached there safely and unharmed. Met a few of the housemates and started unpacking. Now this is the beginning of my journey. Alone. Alone but never lonely 🙏🏻 I have always been alone actually. Going to high school I was alone. I didn’t know anyone in my class since I was enrolled to a school far from my town. It was the same in uni, I had to go to another state even, and I definitely felt out of place. However, although I was alone in the beginning, I knew life will always take its toll and soon I’ll be less alone as before. Still, I miss my mum, my dad, my sis, my bro, my home, my cat, my bed, the food, friends, CFC family and pretty much everything that makes me feel comfortable and at home. But you know what they say “Get out of your comfort zone”.
I can’t believe it has already been a week. Since the hotel didn’t provide complementary breakfast like Fersal Hotel did, we had to find food somewhere. We decided to go to Baclaran Church first to ask about the anticipated mass today. Apparently only Malaysia calls it Sunset mass. As we weren’t sure how far it would be, we decided to get a tricycle. The boy who rode us to the church had actually cheated us. Before we climb into the tricycle, he said it was 40peso. When we reached the place, he said it was 40peso per head! Yes, that’s actually counted as expensive for a very short ride. My mum was furious but well, what can we do right? Before going into the church, something caught my eyes and it was the “Inasal” signage! Yay food! The place was packed and service was slow, yet, we finally got to eat our Sisig Bangus and Halo-Halo, so whose the real winner here, aye? Anyway, after brunch we went to church and prayed a bit. Upholding the family and my journey here. After that, mum wanted me to experience other kinds of transportation (LRT/MRT) in the Philippines. So, we walked towards the Baclaran LRT station and decided to go EDSA and from EDSA walk towards Taft avenue MRT station and from there to Ayala Centre. Wow, it looked like I know what I’m talking about right? In fact, I didn’t at first and we actually got lost!! Mum wanted to go to Landmark. She was so sure Taft Avenue was a stone throw away from Landmark. Because she actually went there early January this year. But she was mistaken Taft Avenue with Ayala Centre. Not blaming mum though, it was quite confusing too. When we finally reached Ayala Centre, we did some window shopping and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I found a shop that sold some sort of fandom merchandise. They had Harry Potter Houses Quidditch Jerseys, Harry Potter Wands, Harry Potter Key chains and many more. I was really excited about it since I became a Harry Potter fan after recently watching Harry Potter (I’ll get into that later on). Anyways, what excite me more was they had RIVERDALE T-shirt as well as Archie’s jersey (what even, I know!!!). Unfortunately, I bought nothing there as I have already finish my cash on the sport shoe I mention yesterday 😭😭 we made our way to Landmark after that and went straight to the food court. It was marvellous, they had so many yummy looking food. Since we have just ate, we decided just to try some Filipino delicacies. Whilst paying for our food at the counter, God must have heard our prayers because just then we saw a signage that told us that there was a Chapel at the 5th floor. They had anticipated masses too. Praise the Lord! We didn’t need to rush back to Baclaran to attend mass, it was just right above us 🙏🏻 About 45 minutes before mass, we headed to the Chapel. It was beautiful and air-conditioned. Plus the mass was in English so that was great. After mass, we had our dinner and and went straight back to Ayala to run some errands as it was nearly 8pm and we didn’t want to reach back late. We first had to change our SIM, mum’s back to her Malaysian number, and mine to Philippine number. Then we headed to the supermarket to buy canned fish so I’ll not starve this month. Few minutes later and it’s nearly 9pm. The MRT closes at 10pm so we had to rush rush rush. However, us being us, decided to buy ourselves desserts on our way back. Sadly, we were stopped by the security because we weren’t allowed to bring drinks (or dessert for this matter) in a paper cup inside the MRT. We had to consume the dessert quickly and that made me quite unsatisfied. Despite all this, we were able to reach the hotel safely by 10pm.
After checking out from Fersal Hotel, we made our way to Pinoy Pamilya Hotel which was located in Pasay. Mum wanted to stay here as it was nearer to the airport (she’s going back this Sunday). We went straight to SM Mall of Asia after checking in as it was already after lunch. We used a jeepney which only costed us 8peso! What a save! After circling around and getting lost a bit, we found “House of Lasagna”. We contemplated a bit whether or not we should eat there as it was quite pricey, but decided lastly we should give it a go. The interior was really pretty and the food presentation was also pleasing. Although the food was delicious, it was just way to pricey. After lunch, we did window shopping and a little haul at the SM department store. I got myself a sport shoe, and I’m kind of slowly regretting (hehe, I’m kidding). Hours later, after we have done shopping, we decided to have dinner before going back to the hotel. Mum wanted something different (not the choices I gave), she wanted a place that sold pinoy cooking and fish. So we decide on “Inasal”, as it has Sisig Bangus as well as Halo-Halo. Unfortunately, they were so many people at the restaurant. To the point where there was even a queue. A long queue I might add. We decided we weren’t going to wait so we search for another restaurant that had delicious pinoy food. Finally we had dinner at “Congo Grille”. We ordered a bowl of sour soup with fish and a plate of grilled fish (tbh, I’m not really sure what’s it called even, but I know it was two different kind of fish and it was delicious).
Thursday, the last day in Cubao and the last day we (my mum) could go to CFC Centre to collect the RFIDs because apparently due to the ASEAN Summit organised in the Philippines, they have declared Friday a holiday. Saturday and Sunday was closing day and Monday was Labor’s day. After having breakfast, we decided to send our clothes to the laundry, which was just a few steps away from the hotel. As we were walking towards the Laundry, we found a saloon. And just like that, I decided to get a haircut. I told the hairstylist that I wanted a trim only, but I guess he didn’t really understand what I said because as for now, I have really unflattering short hair. Once again mum and I headed to Ali mall and then to SM to get the pillow and bed set we wanted. Remember what I said in Day 4? Declaring no more Ube for me? Well that can be flush to the drain because we found Ube doughnuts and how can we say no, right? Got ourselves two Ube doughnuts, and let’s just say it was delicious but not as tasty as it looked. After finally purchasing the bed set and pillow, we decided to head back to the hotel. But right before that, we had Sbarro Pizzas and can I just say it was also not as tasty as it seemed? Hmm, well, don’t judge a book by its cover. Reached the hotel, cleaned up a bit and headed straight to CFC Centre. After getting the RFIDs, we spent quite some time going through their merchandise in the Ablaze Store. There were so many pretty T-shirts. We bought a bunch of stuff and .., you know what, let’s just skip to dinner where we had an amazing Pasta meal. Delicious! I came to the realisation that my appetite has increased to the max when I’m here, I can’t stop eating. I’m currently eating right now too while typing this down.