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Change the Way You See Love

Change the Way You See Love

With my work station facing the west, only the glass wall separated me from the sunset. I was seated at a perfect vantage point. At first, the sunburst drapes from the stratocumulus openings. It gave an alternating shade of light and dusk to the mountain ridges that bedeck the foreground. Then, as the sun disappears from the horizon, vivid hue of red and orange painted the welkin. A stunning contrast that was.

Isn't it ironic? No matter how hard life is, there is always a beautiful sunset at the end of the day.

Isn’t it ironic? No matter how hard life is, there is always a beautiful sunset waiting at the end of the day.

The clinks of the keyboard keys dominated the room. But, sometimes, mouse clicks competed in a rather incompatible rhythm.

Since it was a Friday, my office mates left early; returning to their hometowns and getting reunited with their families. I was left alone at work.

The sunrise is always stunning at the peak of Mount Kiltepan in Sagada

The sunrise is always stunning at the peak of Mount Kiltepan in Sagada

The Sad Reality

While shuttling between my desktop and report printouts, I noticed my phone flickered from my peripheral sight. My mom texted that my sister gave birth to a baby girl.

I did not consider it a good news—not a bad news either. I was confused. I was depressed. I was a bit upset.

I was aware that my sister stopped from schooling when she learned she was pregnant. However, my being was still very resistant on accepting that fact.

Memories rushed back. A marquee of childhood photographs and vintage animations rolled like phantasms. I remembered how the innocent and seemingly timid young girl transformed into a fine and intelligent lass.

I am a sunset chaser and this is one of those beautiful ones caught with my lens in Siargao Island

I am a sunset chaser and this is one of those beautiful ones caught with my lens in Siargao Island

The family had high hopes on her. I also recalled her implicit promise to get a degree and help me out from my bondage. Yes, being the eldest, I was tied with the responsibilities I inherited from my parents.

I helped sending two of my sisters to college and I made a lot of sacrifices by doing so. I did not go on a date. I minimized my travels. I couldn’t even allocate a small amount for savings. So, when one of them conceived, I was totally hurt and disappointed.

I didn’t confront her. She didn’t talk to me as well. But despite the disappointment, I totally understood. I was completely aware that she was still young, and she might be equally perplexed and sad. She needed support more than anyone else in the family.

Another awesome sunset. A view from the viewdeck of Petronas Twin Towers.

Another awesome sunset. A view from the viewdeck of Petronas Twin Towers.

The Moment of Revolt

But still, I reduced my remittance for few months. I thought of it as punishment. I also didn’t bother to go home.

Spending a quality, personal time at Thommanon Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Spending a quality, personal time at Thommanon Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

I spent holidays and weekends on travels, connecting with friends, and crossing out items on my bucket list. I went on a splurge discovering beaches, waterfalls, foodie spots, urban jungles, cultural sites, and historical monuments. I’d been to backpacking trips overseas without even informing my parents. That was an era of my revolt.

There was a long period of disconnection. Until one time, I suddenly missed everyone at home.

The Teary Acceptance

After more than a year, I visited my hometown.

The place where I realized, a major turning point in Batad Rice Terraces

The place where I realized, a major turning point in Batad Rice Terraces

I immediately noticed this young child practicing her first walk. She plodded towards me and gave a tight yet gentle grip on my jeans. She looked at me curiously and tried to recognize me.

I met my niece for the first time. Her eyes were beautiful and her smiles were genuine, contagious as they seemed.

Our angel with her Mama (center), Lola (left), and Tita Mae Ann (right)

Our Angel with her Mama (center), Lola (left), and Tita Mae Ann (right)

I did not notice that I shed tears until I saw droplets on her cute cheeks. My reluctance was overpowered. I reached her side with both hands, lifted her up, and carried her snuggly with my arms.

I believe that is what love is all about—acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. Family always weigh better than individual happiness and sacrifices.

We have a new angel in the family. And yes, my sister named her Angelica.

Her giggles positively affect everyone. She’s the entertainer during family gatherings and the spreader of good vibes.

I fully forgave my sister and fervently accepted our young angel. I believe that is what love is all about—acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, and understanding. Family always weigh better than individual happiness and sacrifices.

We want to show the world that the child who was unwanted at first brings back the warmth and compassion in the family.

I know I will stay long as breadwinner and running away is not an option.

Angel is now 3 years old, but she remained our baby. We will continue to protect and guide her. We want to show the world that the child who was unwanted at first brings back the warmth and compassion in the family.

A quality time with niece.

A quality time with niece.


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