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don't ever give up on your dreams

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(no subject) [Sep. 29th, 2005|08:57 am]
don't ever give up on your dreams
for those of you who have friend only posts/comments - please add twofiftyfiveam so that i can still talk to you! :) that's all.
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(no subject) [Sep. 28th, 2005|12:10 pm]
don't ever give up on your dreams
new journal: www.livejournal.com/users/twofiftyfiveam

i will no longer be posting here!
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(no subject) [Sep. 21st, 2005|11:29 pm]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |crushedcrushed]

Today has been, by far, the most stressful day of the trip. We had to take Grandma in for a follow up appointment with her neurologist. Originally it was just going to be Allyson, my mom, Grandpa and Grandma going but, of course, I made a stink about wanting to go too. I know now that perhaps I was just making a stink because I didn’t want to be left out, but I justify it by saying to myself that I have just as much right to be there to help them all understand because I am the one who has spent the most time with her. BY FAR! They cannot deny that, and if they do well, then it’s them who have the problem with reality.

I’m sure you can sense some anger and resentment in my words and you would be correct in that assumption. I AM angry and I AM frustrated and I feel like I’ve been sort of pushed aside because I’m only the grandchild. Yes it hurts me everday when Allyson sticks her nose in this because even though I know that she is their child, she has had literally a total of 2 months of time spent with them since her stroke. How does that give her the authority to make decisions. She lost that right when she decided to avoid Grandma and her ailements. At least, that’s my feelings on the matter.

Just now, about an hour ago, she and I got into a really HUGE fight – yelling even, where the following was said, "Can't we just tell her that she has to use the other diaper until I am able to send the ones she likes? Because now that you've told her she's running low she will not go in her diaper, she wants to run to the bathroom every half an hour?"

“ Can you make her comprehend that? She had a stroke Alicia. Do you even know what that is?”

“Of course I know. How would you know anything? Have you spent anytime with her for more than two weeks? No. So don’t ask me if I know what a stroke is.”

“Then why are you being stupid.”

“You’re the one that’s being stupid.” Of course I cried and got up from the table. Perhaps it was a bit childish but I’m sorry I have very strong and heated feelings about my Grandparents who I spent 4 years taking care of. I took out 4 years of my life 19-23 (some would say a very influencial part of my life) to care for them. And what has she done? Nothing. What because she’s bought them gifts a few times that makes her more important or more involved than me? So she can look up “stroke” online and research it’s side affects – her knowledge is nothing in the real world. Taking my grandmother to the bathroom, lifting her from her chair because her right side is paralyzed, setting her down on the toilet after taking her pants and diapers off, wiping her vagina after she’s gone to the bathroom, putting her pants back on – ALL WHILE HOLDING HER ENTIRE BODY WEIGHT IN MY RIGHT HAND – that’s what’s important!!!! And if she can’t see that then well, I feel sorry for her!

I just feel so frustrated right now and frustrated isn’t even the word I want. I’m more than frustrated I’m enraged. Every single person that I have met says, “So you’re the special one that she keeps talking about.” And yes, I am her grandchild so that by default makes me ‘the special one’ but it’s also because Grandma knows how much I love her because I’ve taken care of her. I give her her medicine everyday. Even before when she needed shots I gave them to her in her stomach with a needle no less, even when she was scared that it would hurt her. I stayed behind while Mom and Ally went to a tropical island to play in the sun so that I could give her her medication and spend time with her. I take her to the bathroom now, I brush her hair, I hold her hand – why? Because I love her, and she KNOWS that. What can Allyson say to that?

This trip has been a very hard one for me. I know that it has been good to see them and spend time with them, but it makes me so incredibly sad that they live so damn far away and that I cannot help more. I would not give up my life again like I once did (even though Grandpa keeps asking me to stay) but I would be around more to make sure that they are well taken care of. I love them.

I've become a FAP - Filipino American Princess! [Sep. 20th, 2005|04:47 am]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |fullfull]
[music |the hum of the overhead light]

The last two days have been really fun! And I mean really fun.

Yesterday, the beginning of the day, we didn’t really do all that much to be honest, we just sort of sat around watching home movies and talking with Grandma and Grandpa. It was weird for mom because a lot of the video was of her and Dave and then you have me at ten calling Dave, Daddy – it was strange. But let me tell you the really exciting part – we went to a spa!!! We had facials, waxing, spa manicures, and spa pedicures and it was all done across the street at a high end spa called, “Let’s Face It.” Cute right?

Tita Lori and Ate Vinchu picked us up around 3 so that they could take me to the doctor (again not the most interesting part but for reference it turns out I had a stomach infection because of the mango shake I had a Samaral – it was mixed with tap water and I’m not used to their water here which caused an infection) and then after the doctor we went to Let’s Face It.

We all had different treatments done: I had a spa pedicure, spa manicure, and my eyebrows waxed, Mom had a spa manicure & spa pedicure. That’s a lot right? Well for both me and mom the bill was PHP 1040. That equals roughly $25 US. Can you even imagine that??? It’s a girls dream come true. It’s amazing how much you can have done here for such a little amount of money.

Then today we got up around 5:30am and had coffee with Grandma, watched some Filipino news and then got ready to go to the World Trade Center for the AWCP Bizarre – American Woman’s Club Philippines. Inside the Trade Center there were about 100+ booths of things made in the Philippines, and many places around the world, but mostly here. I bought a lot!!! I even ran out of money. Can you imagine? I’m not out of US, but I’m out of PHP.

After the Bizarre – we were there until about 2:00pm – we headed to Shop-Wise (their equivalent of Target) where I bought two Famous Stars and Straps shirts for PHP 355. Um, hello… that’s not even $10. Those were for me, everything else I bought today was for other people. We met up with Gigi at Shop-Wise and then headed over to the mall in Eastwood City to have marienda (mid-afternoon snack) at a little café. We had an assortment of things, and I even had squid. YUM!

We have plenty of things planned for the rest of the week, Friday being the only day that we don’t have plans. I’m starting to get a bit sad that I’ll be leaving for home because I know that I will miss my grandparents again, and I’m not completely sure that I like their situation here. Even though they have two maids and a driver I don’t know if I completely trust these people. In fact, my mom and Ally are out there now discussing his finances and why he keeps handing his ATM card to the maids to buy things for him.

But, I’m also very excited to go home to my baby! I miss her so much. It’s very hard to go to bed without her next to me, snoring. Just Kidding! I love you Mel. And I’ll see you soon.
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time to make a change [Sep. 18th, 2005|11:19 pm]
don't ever give up on your dreams
I've decided when I get back that things have to change for me. I need to start listening to my heart and doing things for myself. I have relied to heavily on Melissa for everything. I rely too much on others.

I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be excited about the creative side of myself and I'm going to do things that make me happy.

The End.
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uh oh, i'm in trouble... [Sep. 18th, 2005|01:32 am]
don't ever give up on your dreams
I've stumbled upon a new obsession, and perhaps a future purchase. Yesterday on our drive to Pagsanjan there were alot of these smaller type motorcycles - remember the guys who were following us trying to get me ride their OTHER motorbikes with a cab attatched? They are actually considered scooters but I want one...

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I've made an inquiry with Honda Philippines as to how much it would cost to ship it back to the states. I have not heard back from them, but I'm hoping it's relatively cheap!

is there serioulsy only one type of dog in this country? [Sep. 17th, 2005|12:48 am]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |tired, no exhausted]
[music |since u been gone - kelly clarkson]

The word that I’m looking for isn’t interesting, maybe it’s more along the lines of… eye opening. Eh, either way I don’t even think any one word really captures today. But I hope not to forget anything about this day.

8:00am – We began our journey early. This was a journey that would turn out to be much longer than I had imagined, and pretty uneventful too. Our objective today was to make it to Pagsanjan. This, I’m told, is the city/province where my grandmother went to high school. She was excited to show me here town, the place where she grew up and eventually left about 4 years after the age that I am now.

We drove nearly 4 hours before reaching Pagsanjan but the drive was beautiful. The countryside here is lush with greenery, palms trees as far as the eye can see, and flowers (orchids mainly) that were so perfect and magical I wish I could have taken some time to photograph them. Alas, we were driving and I dare not ask to stop on the side of the Motorway.

The thing that I most noticed along the side of the road, near abandoned train tracks, and anywhere that there was space, squatters have built their homes and communities. They are predominantly built out of clay, or cement blocks, misshapen wood, and tin siding that is not only used for roofing but also for the walls and siding of the houses. They make small windows out the negative space created by uneven tin siding and use old tires, probably left on the side of the motorway, as the anchors or weights to keep the roofs from blowing away in the wind.

Another thing you’ll see quite often amoungst these squatter communities is their clothing hanging from just about anything that appears to be an appendage. Well, a jetty really. In my head I’m thinking, “Oh they don’t have dryers.” No stupid, they don’t washers or dryers – they wash their clothes over a bucket of cold water with a bar of soap! I saw a lady doing just that. She was sitting on a block of cement, her blue plastic tub overflowing with suds, scrubbing a shirt with both of her hands and then placing it in another bucket to rinse off the soap and then she put it on a hanger and hung it from a piece of wood above her door.

When we reached the first city, Los Banos, we took a short cut as to avoid midday traffic. No such luck; we hit a lot of traffic. Along these city streets (and mind you nobody follows any traffic rules – you just go where you want to go) there is an overwhelming amount of little vendors (if you want to call them that) selling anything from Filipino candies, to fruit and sawa – which is sliced anaconda. Yum huh? People on motorbikes were coming up to the car, following us for miles, trying to get me to ride their, well, in essence it’s a motorcycle with a cab attached to the side. I have already forgotten the name of them. But, Grandpa said when they see a tourist they’ll try anything to get you to ride. And yes, they did try.

12:00 - When we arrived in Pagsanjan there was a very old 1867 gate made of brick welcoming you to the province of Pagsanjan. And immediately after we were through the gate I was able to see my Grandmother’s old high school. It was hard to see because now almost every school is surrounded by gates and high walls with barbwire along the very top. But, when we passed the entrance I was able to see inside. That was very heartwarming for me. To see those girls, and realize that my Grandmother use to be one of them – giggling and carrying on.

We then arrived at the church which, I must be honest; I did not get out of the car. When we arrived we were bombarded by about 10 or so young men all wanting to open my door. I kept it locked and stayed inside. I know, how embarrassing huh? But I just couldn’t get myself to exit the car. It’s very overwhelming to be an American in the Philippines. Many people treat you like you are a celebrity, and then sometimes you are greeted with disgust – that I did receive as well. An older man on the side of the road carrying bananas on his shoulder, he was weathered, obviously from the hard work that he’s had to endure as a squatter, so I can only imagine his distaste of a privileged American in his territory.

After the church we drove through a square that was surrounded by very old buildings, all now uninhabited, except for maybe a few dogs. In the middle of the square was a basketball court. The hoops made of crates and the backboard - square boards bolted to posts cemented into tires. No children were playing, only those motorcycle cab type men laying around waving at me. A church lay on the outside of the square as well, nestled between two beautiful homes, where a wedding was taking place. I don’t think they liked it much having me staring at them during such a blessed event, but I’ve never seen an actual, traditional Filipino wedding. Sue me for wanting to know more about my culture.

Funny thing, I was thinking - out in the countryside – is there only one type of dog? And I’m not even sure what kind it is only that it’s ugly and many of them are so starved for food you can see all of their bones. They kind of look like hyenas. Ech, they were gross and nasty looking. All the animals here you’ll find look starved and malnourished. They have very little fur and their bones protrude from just about every place you can see.

I was not able to take too many pictures as I said before we were in the car, but I did take a couple. On the way home, upon reaching Calambra, Laguna we stopped at a restaurant on the side of the road called Samaral Seafood Restaurant. It was set up like little huts above the water with bridges leading to them. You’d sit around a little table and eat your meal on wood plates with palm tree leaves as the separation between food and plate.

I’m tired now. But, at 7pm Ina will be here to pick me up for the show. Man, if only we were going tomorrow.
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you'd think i was britney spears or something [Sep. 15th, 2005|11:42 pm]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |hothot]
[music |some filippino music]

i finally made it out of the house today. i took a taxi over to the mall with grandpa. i would have walked but i was with him so we couldn't. we went to national book store and i bought a filipino to english dictionary so that i could at least try to communicate with people here. i have a few more days before mom and ally get back from bohol and i don't plan to stay couped up the rest of the time. i also bought, get this, a novel. by joyce carol oates called, "The Falls." who knows, it looks good. it's funny - you can't read any of the books before you buy them because they are wrapped up. i don't know how you could know if you wanted to buy it or not. this one, thankfully had a description on the back.

but you would think i was britney spears the way they stare - OH MY GOD!

it's raining pretty heavily here today and still thundering. it's not nearly as loud as last night, but still. today is the first day that i have been able to leave the windows open in the bedroom. there's even a breeze so it's not so stuffy. my grandpa had a bamboo bed made and that's what i'm sleeping in that. the standard size bed here in very short, so i can touch the bottom with my feet while my head is at the top. i can't imagine how he sleeps there.

grandpa and i had coffee, sat and talked about everything - that was really nice. oh, and we found out today that grandma had ANOTHER stroke, or a lapse so that's why she isn't responsive. poor thing. i wish that she wasn't so "out of it." but, what can i do but just let her know i love her. i kiss her on the forehead every morning and say maganda umaga, which means good morning. i kiss her when she wakes up and say i love you. i have to let her know that i love her. at least that's universal.
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manila time: 6:47pm on thursday the 15th ... [Sep. 15th, 2005|03:38 am]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |tiredtired]

i wish you guys could hear the thunder storm that i am sitting here listening to. it's like nothing i have ever heard before. and my grandpa says that it's only a little right now. it's typhoon season here in the philippines so i was expecting this, but man, it's amazing! it's so loud it actually makes car alarms go off.

it's hot here too. so humid you're sweating more after you take a shower than before. and the smell - i don't know what it is exactly, only that it hasn't changed since the last time i was here 11 years ago.

my grandparents live in a really swanky area called eastwood city. it's a province of manila and is quite "hip" so i've heard. it is really nice. the condo itself is probably 26 stories high. (they are on the 18th floor) there's a theatre, grocery store, mc donald, KENNY ROGERS (can you believe that???) and just about a million more things. but, across the tiny river next to their condo is a community (we're talking hundreds maybe thousands) of squaters. yes, we're talking clay houses and tin roofs. it's weird.

i haven't done much yet because i've been pretty sick. i don't think my body likes the heat change because i've been nauseated the entire time i'm here and have even tossed my cookies a couple times. but, i'm going out saturday night to see FOOTLOOSE at a local theatre with filipino actors. it should be fun. i'm going with ina, jj, carlo, norman and ina's fiance mike. it should be lots of fun.

grandma is not doing well at all. i can't even explain how hard it is for me to see her this way. she's no responsive really, speaks no english, drools, and spend 85% of her day asleep or in her wheelchair. it's very sad. but, she was very excited to have me here. she kept holding my hand and saying, "Okayyy!" *sigh* growing old sux!
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tomorrow i'm off to manila [Sep. 11th, 2005|04:53 pm]
don't ever give up on your dreams
[mood |scaredscared]
[music |seeing eye dog - ani difranco]

i started doing laundry at 10:45 this morning and i'm just now waiting for the final load to finish.
wow, that's a lot of laundry!
i think i have everything i need. at least, i hope i do.
i have all of my stuff together in the middle of the living room -

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all that's left for me to do is put it in my suitcase and be on my way.
right now i'm uploading songs to the ipod shuffle -
damn thing is too small!
i can't figure out what songs to keep and what ones to get rid of.
new favorite musician right now: marc broussard
he can sing, and i love his "southern" style.
good stuff!

well, i won't be online much while i'm in the phillipines but i hope you guys don't miss me too much while i'm on VACATION! wish me luck and pray that i don't get kidnapped!
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