A lot of things happened since then. I moved to a new job, new apartment, worried over the Sendong calamity in my hometown, spent Christmas on the streets of CDO with the typhoon victims, celebrated fifth anniversary with the boyfriend, travelled with friends and alone.
This is going to be a looooooong post.
September 2011. By this time, I've been busy with completing my pre-employment requirements and turning over responsibilities. It felt very easy to leave Bayantrade. My friends have left before me and there have been a lot of unsettled issues I couldn't stand any longer. The company has changed radically - from the management, its name to ABM Global Solutions, even company emails, office transferred to Jupiter, Makati, work and relationships.
October 2011. Sir Jojo, my boss, was very happy I was moving. We both deemed it a career move. Something I wouldn't have a chance on in Bayantrade. It was a graceful exit, I must say. I didn't answer anything rash (but actually had to fill out another exit form) to HR. My last week was spent over a whole lot of despedidas. Dinners here and there. What I enjoyed most was the game night the boss organized. He brought his Guitar Hero and another colleague brought Kinect Adventures. Layers of pizza and bilaos of pancit abound. I felt very important and happy to leave.
Eight o'clock in the morning, at the 14th floor lounge, I sat alone in the coffee table enjoying my morning coffee. Despite feeling nervous and sick, I was very excited to start my new job. An hour later, my new boss arrived and welcomed me in. Then two guys went to get coffee and were introduced to me as my new colleagues. (Although right now I'm sure they went there to see and "rate" me.) I received my temporary ID, new set of office supplies, handshakes and warm welcome from everyone in the 17th floor. I had a good feeling I'll stay for long. (Still feel the same way right now too.)
November 2011. My first out-of-the-country trip. Malaysia, truly Asia. When my Malaysian Airlines flight landed, I was so excited to meet Marjanie, my super close friend whom I shared college problems with. He was with his wife, Nimsy, at the waiting area. I hugged the friend I haven't seen for five years. I missed him very badly and I missed the days we'd spent driving around the city, stopping over for milkshake and tempura. By the way, I was sent to Malaysia for a training. Honestly, I didn't get anything but experience. :P
The Petronas seemed like two lovers holding hands
I missed this guy. This was taken at One World Hotel in Selangor.
I wish McDonalds here has McBites. More tasty than nuggets.December 2011. Sendong woke up each Kagay-anon with the sound of rushing water. Father recalled it was dark as electricity had been cut off the night before. Manila's weather was bad, but it was way worse in Cagayan de Oro. Morning came and dead bodies were sprawled on the streets. Houses were filled with mud, murky water and stinking smell. For two days, all I did was stare at my phone waiting for a single text message from my family back home. No electricity, water and telecom.
My flight for my annual leave was on the eve of Christmas. Usually, I would see fireworks and dancing lights from up in the airplane when approaching the City of Golden Friendship. That time, it was very different. Silence blanketed the air. When I arrived, I could see my sister, niece and uncle's faces lit up to see me. Oh yes, I still couldn't forget when they saw me in my new pixie haircut. From the airport, it felt nothing like Christmas. I went with Papa to the Misa de Gallo. Usually, the Cathedral would be filled with church-goers and merry songs of the Child.
We had our usual family get together but we made it simple and offered prayer and candles.
We had the usual feast on the table but left more than half to be brought to the evacuation center nearby. Long-distance relatives, neighbors and friends had nothing but each other's families to celebrate Christmas with.
Christmas morning, my sister and I prepared for the "Christmas on the Streets" organized by a lot of groups from the private sector, barkadas and families who had more to share. I went with my sister's company (of which I used to be connected with as well). Toys, clothes, food and other essentials were wrapped in Christmas wrappers, to be given to those affected. On board an Elf truck, we went to Balulang, Macasandig, Kauswagan and Carmen. It was a tearfully sad scene. Cars, houses and other properties were destroyed. Dreams were shattered.