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My First Blog supposedly…originally dated 1/07/2007

I used to be an 8-5 public relations officer cum research project coordinator in a government agency when I decided to take a much needed break from the hassles of it all.. Now, I am trying my hand in business, albeit being a novice in the field of internet cafe business, I am willing to trade my very secure government post to this new passion of mine..biznez.  I intend to retire early….and go full time, God help me!
 
I acquired on installment an existing internet shop near a State U campus with 10 PC workstation plus 1 server.   I had the place repainted to take on a different ambience. By the way, my 2 daughters chipped in with their hard earned, rainy day kitty to pay off the downpayment. I used my meager savings to cover the 2 months rent deposit and the refurbishing of the place.
 
We opened 2nd day of January and I almost gave up right then and there, when some of the PCs I acquired, misbehaved! Good thing, my youngest daughter’s bf knows how to tinker with the hardware! PC misbehaviour were my daily treats in the course of operation.  So, I decided to learn about hardwares and softwares, fast!! How I wish I could tear apart a PC pronto! and study what’s in it and at the same time learn to put it back together, but at this point that is just whishful thinking, I haven’t had the guts yet to do just that… Until then, I devour every new learning i come across through forums and how tos in the www. Wish me luck, I intend to blog about my ups and downs in my new found passion from now on.

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Of Engagements & Daughters

It was one lazy Saturday… my daughter & her bf decided to go
to the beach by themselves (read- without my grandson & myself tagging
along
..)

 

Grandson & I just bummed and chilled in the confines of
our home without the two lovebirds chirping about.  He played with his games, alternating the PSP,
PS2 and the laptop form morn to night, while I tinkered briefly in the garden
trimming the overgrown plants, sweeping the fallen leaves in the yard then
watched TV till my eyes grew tired and of course Facebooked a lot! Before I
knew it, it’s Sunday afternoon so I napped. …

 

A lingering hand on the soles of my feet awakened me from my
comatose-like nap and it was my daughter who just got back from their beach
outing.  She jumped on my bed and hugged
me to raise me from my slumber, when I reluctantly opened my still sleepy eyes, I could
barely focus on the thing she held very close to my face….then the image of the
back of her hand slowly came into focus… something sparkling was on her ring
finger… at that very instant it didn’t dawn on me what it actually was and all
I could mutter was “where….did….you…get…that?” her giggles and teary eyes jolted
me from my stupor… “Oh my God!” I squeled, “are you..” and before I could say
the word “engaged?”, she nodded and hugged me real tight and cried.  I held my baby and we sobbed uncontrollably together,
then I asked her if it made her happy and she replied by nodding while smiling
as tears keep falling down her cheeks…

 

When I got back to my senses, I got out of bed to confront
her bf with, “are you sure of what you just did?”…I forgot how he responded
then as I seemed like a walking zombie lost in limbo that time, I also failed to
congratulate them that very moment. My baby is getting married…. am I thrilled?
YES!

Am I sad? Yes..  Mixed emotions are alien to me before this…

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Who deserves a US non-immigrant visa?

I didn’t know how it felt to be denied a US visa until it happened to me. 

 

Disgust and disappointment reeked in every fiber of my being, self pity loomed and for the first time in my life I felt so rejected and dejected.  All I wanted was just a US non-immigrant visa for myself and my grandson, so I could proudly witness and bask in the honor of seeing one’s daughter march in full regalia during her graduation at the University of Arizona where she took up her Masters degree in Agricultural Economics as a Fulbright Scholar.  

 

Upon my query, I was told by the consul that she is not fully convinced of my reason or purpose of going to the US of A.  What can I do? I have read that one should not argue with the consul, as they are highly trained for their job, so I nicely thanked her just the same, (so Filipino of me!) despite the turmoil I felt inside of me that time. Oh, how I wanted to challenge her to let me wear a tracking device, just to prove my sincerity.  But pride and gnawing pain took the better of me, I meekly rested my case..

 

No matter how much I try I just can’t fathom and understand why wanting to attend one’s child graduation is not compelling enough to deserve a US visa. Why??? When Americans can go anywhere they wanted without the need for neither an entry visa nor a relevant, sincere purpose!  Is this some kind of a unanimous discrimination?   

 

In April of 2006, I was issued a visitors visa by Japan when all I wanted was, to visit my eldest daughter, who was then an exchange research scholar for only a year.  I don’t see why the US could not grant the same privilege to a mother like me who has all the right to attend a very important milestone in a child’s and a parent’s life.

 

Having been widowed early in life, I am proud to say that I alone raised and sent all my three astute daughters thru college.  They are all professionals now in their own right, two of them are about to graduate with their Masters degree, (UofA and UP Los Baños) both on full scholarships to boot, while my eldest who has also  earned some masters units is now working in Japan as an English teacher.

 

The consul misjudged my intention, despite stating that I am now early retired from government service and started a small business out of my gratuity pay. I think, she surmised I will illegally stay having no stable source of income yet. 

 

But for heaven’s sake!! I opted to retire early, because I no longer see the need of working my bones off after sending all my children thru school plus the fact that I have to raise and take care of my 7 y/o grandson by my eldest daughter who happens to be a single mom, too.  I am tired of commuting everyday to Quezon City which is a distant 70 kms. away from my home in Laguna.  I have been commuting for about 23 years before I retired. Every working day I leave my home in the wee hours of the morning while my children are still asleep and arrive back when they are about to go to bed at night.

 

I owe it to myself to break from my stressful commute and work, as I felt that I don’t deserve that kind of life anymore.  Why would I risk a simple yet comfortable, retired life here in my country for an unknown job, if any, nor future in the US?  Besides, why would I take along my young grandson if I planned to illegally stay? That would be very impractical and dumb of me!

 

Had illegally migrating to work in the US been my lifelong agenda, I could have applied for a visa while I was still in the government service, while I had a very stable job, handling a management position, while I was still working hard to send my three daughters to school, but I didn’t, simply because, I refused to take such risk and give up whatever I have here in my country.

 

It appears to me now that getting a US visa does not need any sincere legal intention at all.  It all depends on the consul interviewer. How she puts to work her so called, highly trained instincts in analyzing probabilities minus improbabilities. What hurts most was, I was denied outright without being given the chance to present any proof of my ties in my homeland, without being able to present my daughter’s letter proudly informing me that she’s dedicating to me her forthcoming graduation and begging us to come, plus the fact that she wanted to set an example to her nephew so he would value the need of a good education. It was one painful, defenseless defeat, I tell you!

 

Even when my late parents planned to migrate and has in fact migrated to the US thru my eldest brother’s petition, I did not prod them to petition me too, I opted to get married and have a family of my own, thinking, I need not go to the US to enslave myself to work and earn money in a foreign land, I was contented then of what little I have here.

 

I am no hypocrite- Yes, I too dreamed of someday seeing and experiencing the so called, land of milk and honey, but in my own sweet time, only when I will have a sincere, relevant and proud purpose ….not to work, not to illegally stay, and now that the time has come… I was denied a V I S A!!  It is most UNFAIR!! A law-abiding mother should never, ever be deprived, oh no, not at all, of the privilege of seeing one’s child graduate from school, wherever in this world that happens to be.

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