Independence

Episode 70 – Friday, June 10th, 2016 (7101)

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This coming Sunday, June 12, we, the Filipinos, will celebrate our 118th Philippine Independence. But am I free from the distractions in life? Definitely… NOT just for now.

Two weekends ago, as I promised in Episode 65, I decided to not stay at home and to go out anywhere that I could make myself free. You know the reason that I hate to stay at home most weekends because of these distractions at home – having very hot atmosphere inside that makes me so sweated, noisy environment especially when my family watches “non-sense” shows on TV and the never-ending “annoying” of my jobless elder brother making my personal and private life in my bedroom ruined. That’s why I couldn’t make myself to have a nice and peaceful rest day.

Within two days of my “freedom”, I just enjoyed myself to do something that I couldn’t do at home. Last Saturday, I stayed at the office in San Pedro where I watched a NBA game thru live streaming (which was featured between Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors in a best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals where the Cavs won in 6 games). I supposed to stay longer at the office when someone came surprisingly in late afternoon. I just decided to leave from the office after one of my boss’ daughter came to occupy it for her personal occasion (staying overnight, I think, with her former classmates as reunion). On the next following day, I supposed to go back at the office when I realized that she might be still inside with her friends (the Wi-Fi at the office was still on as I knew that they’re still there inside). So, I just decided to stay at a hotel nearby (but I didn’t attend The Feast for one time). For the first time since June 2015, I spend my time to stay in a “cheap” hotel (which was not a five-star or high-class hotel) for three hours short. I just made this to stay there for a while to watch live NBA game (featuring Golden State Warriors against Oklahoma City Thunder in Western Conference Finals) and to make myself cool.

And it’s because within few days from now before celebrating the Philippine Independence on June 12, so that I want to share this episode about independence.

Planning for Independence

My plan to have freedom in life was started as early as 2005 when I was in the United States for the exchange program. During that time when I stayed there, I felt the “freedom” that I could do anything that I couldn’t do at home (learning to socialize, staying in a solo bedroom at the dorm, and home activities that I could do). And also, this led me to stay away from the distractions, not only at home, but also in the community and school.

However, when I came back home in July 2005, the distractions, especially the negativity at home and bullying at school, were returned in my life. And until now, they are still there in my life! I want to get out these most especially at home, but I can’t do this because I still don’t have my own family (having a wife and children). In more than 10 years since I came back from the U.S., I have been still living with my parents and my elder siblings at home. Although I have stable job and enough savings to build for my own, it’s not still enough to prove for my own living.

As we know, it’s because of Filipino culture where a family grows up into bigger families like living with uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. It’s ok to live in a bigger family, but for my opinion, this is not perfect (especially having conflicts in one another). There are some people who live with their live-in-partners (other than girlfriend or boyfriend) and even sometimes, they have children living in one simple home (either rental or living with one of their parents). I have noticed, if I know them, most of my former college classmates and former officemates, who are younger than me, are already having their live-in-partners (and they are not yet married after giving their first child). In my present situation, I have been still single for almost a year. I’m now in almost 30s but no girlfriend! So how can I become “fully independent” from my parents at home if I’m still unmarried? I supposed to have a girlfriend who was my long distance textmate, and we had a long distance relationship (LDR) for three long years. But my dream to have a future family (as well as “freedom”) went to be wasted after we broke up last year. So my plan to be independent was back to “zero” or “Level 1” like in most games when you lost from the higher level.

Sadly, I’m going back to the reality similar to what I had done during my 7-year love drought (2005-2012). But this time, I become older and matured so that I have a hard time to look for a better one. My dream to become independent might be temporarily in-hold or hiatus, but there’s other option.

Option 1: Rental (or Stay at the Office)

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Most of the Filipino workers, who are working in the metro, are from the provinces, and they need to rent apartment nearby to stay during their working days. Well, I supposed to do that, but it didn’t sense to me because of having a mate (roommate or dorm mate). Although I like to have a mate sharing in a room together, I still prefer to be alone in one room rather than having a share. This would be nice for me because I would be able to have my own “freedom” from my family in Laguna. I have never experienced to live in a rental house or room with a mate since the beginning of my career life in 2010.

There were two occasions that I almost accepted to live with a mate in a rental room. The first one was in 2012 when my former officemate named Jonathan wanted me to stay in an apartment near RR Donnelley office in Mandaluyong few months after I started to work there for the second time. However, I decided to commute every day (within five working days and nights) from home in Laguna to Mandaluyong and vice versa despite of hassle, inconvenience, and stress. And the second was in 2014 when my former college classmate convinced me to stay in a rental apartment near Makati area after we began to work for the financial company (our part-time job). But like the previous one, I declined his plan because of having disadvantage regarding to my current job in San Pedro (I know it would be “disastrous” if I join with him staying in a rent room because he’s feeling “bossy”).

In my current job, I have keys to open the office to work during working days (Monday to Friday). But I also open it for my “freedom” during other weekends (but not always). I have written in the past episodes about staying at the office during my rest day because of inconveniences at home (sharing bedrooms with my jobless elder brother who has “bullied” me, very hot atmosphere inside the house and watching non-sense TV shows). My boss and officemate (who “owns” the office) understands my situation where I prefer to stay all-day at the office for my own time rather than at home during weekends. There’s one time that he suggested and offered me to stay at his office overnight during working week. It sounded OK for me to stay at the office for one whole working week for the sake of my freedom from the distractions at home. This will be the best way to set-up my own independence… partially. However, there is a doubt that my mother will not allow me to not stay at home during working week despite of just 7 miles (11.5 km) distance between home and the office (I know she’s already old despite of being hardworking at home).

Staying at the office overnight during working week is not new for me. In fact, I already made this when I was working at a deaf travel agency in Mandaluyong in June 2010 (considering as not my official first job). A deaf entrepreneur who owned the agency suggested me to stay at her office overnight during working week to avoid hassle to commute from home every day. This was the advantage for me to stay there overnight (after office hours) because I could feel the “freedom” that I couldn’t make at home and in the surroundings due of the distractions. My stay at the office was considered for me as my new “exile country” where there were no enemies around. However, working in a deaf travel agency didn’t last. This was because I became ill after doing some tasks that I had never learned from the I.T. course that I applied. (I’ll tell this story in the future episodes)

Option 2: Look for a Girlfriend (and the rest will be history)

Having stayed overnight at the office during working week is just a temporary. My independence might not be fully enough because of limitations. I might go home to stay with my parents and my elder siblings during weekends (if ever) and holidays. The only way to set-up my own independence (in life) is to look for “One True Love”.

I’m still single for almost a year as I stepped down into “Level 1”, time of being a single person looking for a nice girl who will make me love. If anyone (single ladies out there) accepts me to be her boyfriend (hopefully in the future) after a long courtship, I will accelerate into “Level 2” the time where I have a love relationship. And if we’re willing to level up (“Level 3”) our relationship (with the approval of our parents’ permission), marriage and having a child or children are the big factors into responsibility to have a family. Being independent from “original” family (having a new home away from the parents and other siblings) is granted, but the responsibilities of a “new” family will be faced. This will be possibly my future (about 5-10 years from now). I have two of my officemates who have their own families (the one was recently married last year), and they have hard times to take their responsibilities: spending their children’s future like education, their daily basic needs (electricity, water, food, shelter, etc.), and their faith of their spouse (having jealousy must be avoided). It’s acceptable for me to have own family and to take care with them, not just in responsibility parenting, but in good things like guiding to bring them at the church especially at The Feast, changing our lifestyles (travel, eating healthy food, exercises, etc.), bonding and staying together into happiness, and having a positivity in life which all of these are not present in my current situation at home.

Yeah. Building own family is the best solution to have a full independence from the distractions in life. However, as what I’ve said earlier, I’m still in “Level 1”. And yet that’s so sad for me (to be alone and lonely). Because of being “anti-social” (?) and no time to search (I’m not so busy though), I don’t feel to find any single ladies out there either thru personal or online dating (I don’t feel to use thru online dating for searching my future love because of its “business”).

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Being independent is one of my plans to make my life happy and peaceful. Like what our Filipino heroes fought for their freedom from the Spaniards more than 100 years ago, I have still fought for my own freedom against the distractions in my life, not only at home, but in the surroundings. However, there are lots of challenges and trials that I need to encounter before the independence will be granted.

This coming Sunday, the entire nation will celebrate its 118th anniversary of independence, but our beloved Filipinos may not afford to celebrate our independence without getting free from our nation’s problems and trials – corruption, crime, disobedience, poverty, stress from everyday’s traffic, pollution, even TV network wars, and calamities that we have ever experienced for years and many years to come. But we remain optimistic that we’re able to overcome these problems (thru prayers and in God’s faith).

We shall thank our heroes who risked their lives to fight our freedom more than 100 years ago. And for me, I’m still hoping, in the future, that I will achieve my own “independence” from the distractions and problems that I have experienced right now.

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