Sunday, September 10, 2006

at long last...

it's more than a month now since i set foot here in virginia beach city (one time i was with my roommate, i blurted out something like ang daming onaks ano? and she gave me this strange look...hey, got any sense of humor???). due to some financial constraints, i got a late booking and had to pass through san francisco. i took that as an opportunity to be with my relatives, and as the song goes, i left part of my heart there :)

as always, the weather was fine though cloudy; nippy but i really enjoyed it. could have been better if i was with someone dear to me (like my daughter Jacinth) to hold hands with and hug while enjoying the maginificent view. on the other side of the bridge is romantic sausalito...exotic view, great food, beautiful flora. spent 3 days in california, but i really wish i could spend christmas and winter break there.

after hayward, i headed for springfield missouri where our agent is located. Ate Becs, as we fondly call her, made us stay in their staff house (a large house with plenty of rooms) and there in Brad Pitts' birthplace i learned how to differentiate a penny from a nickel, a dime and a quarter by doing self check out at the local Wal-Mart. it was a neat experience and believe me, it is only just recently that i feel quite comfortable using these loose change as i can now remember their face value. my new found friends and i also visited a Hooters branch there in springfield. well, contrary to the common belief of those who are in RP, Hoooters is a place where they serve tasty chicken breasts and wings =) so what were you thinking?

after 1 week of getting acclimated (actually, the weather in springfield was extremely warm i had cold sore on my lips), the 5 teachers, one husband and the Ate Becs-Kuya Rolly-tandem decided to drive up to Virginia beach. On the average, they said, that it should not take us more than 17 hours to drive. however, due to congestion towards the tunnel, it took us about 20 hours to get to the Mantes' place. Ang sakit sa katawan! but i say i may have to do that again sooner or later, i mean drive up to another state. it actually is pretty convenient with the nice, paved roads and clean rest areas. sabi nga ni Kuya Rolly, it's part of the average american's life to travel, cross country. not that i have become like them, but if one has a good vehicle and the roads are fine, travelling is actually fun with the right company and a good set of maps (thanks to mapquest hehehe).

i now am sharing a room with another Filipino teacher at the Reuyans' and Ate Pearly's house. here is a picture of the house where I live. it's just so nice waking up to the view of tall, coniferous trees. the sight gives a calming effect especially after a day of dealing with very difficult kids in school. and speaking of school, i somehow have adjusted to the system here, finding each day passing quite so fast, that before you know it, the week's over, TGIF, at sweldo na naman! without having to sound materialistic, i'd say pay day comes pretty fast perhaps because of the very quick pace and busy lifestyle we have here. and contrary to what friends back home think of the kind of work we do here, we are as busy, and work seems as endless as before. the only difference is that one gets to enjoy his/her earnings more than when one is in the Philippines. for me, enjoying my earnings means being able to share it with my folks and my daughter. i am also more capable of buying the things i like, things that we may consider extras, capricho, and yet still able to save some for the rainy days. the pay for teachers is not that high, but it's enough to pay the bills, to feed and clothe oneself, share some to relatives back home...

virginia beach is a very nice place, it somehow reminds me of Ayala Alabang in the midst of Baguio City, only it's a lot larger than the posh subdivision. conducive for raising a family, it's pretty laid back, conservative and if one is tired of the hustle and bustle of new york, virginia beach is a place for respite and recluse. the place where i stay is like 15 miles away from the oceanfront. good place to jog, or simply stroll with a loved one =) it's a haven for those who want to bask under the sun while still expecting some snow in winter, crimson and golden foliage in the fall that turns green in spring, and some intermittent rain after summer. if i'd be given a chance, i would love to stay here.

two weeks ago, i went to new york to visit my friend abbey who's lucky to have found a place to stay with former co-teachers and friends leovie, husband froi, jun & jing rupanyana. more than enjoying the subway ride, the stroll down times square, i was very happy reconnecting with friends whom i last saw 2 years ago! i just love the company of these people, genuine and very kind individuals, friends one will truly miss. here are a few of the pictures we took while i was there. i know zobel peeps would appreciate these :)

the motley crew

toys r us

leovie's and froi's love nest (the baby is theirs)

subway gang

ang gaganda!

so far, i'm coping well. if an erring student won't abide, there's always the telephone to call security =)