05 January 2012

Our Little Commander's Area Visit

     For exactly eight days, my son Echo stayed in a naval camp (where I am assigned now). He was able to make friends with baby "Jay-Jay", the son of our command nurse who happens to be my barracks mate and mommy friend Pretzel Serran. Of course, his tatay (father) got jealous so we opted to bring Echo to my husband's camp as well. Last December 17, 2011, the whole family (Echo, Echo's wowa (my mother) and I) traveled to Ilocos Norte. My husband arrived the night before. For about four hours, we were on the road. At about 3 p.m., we arrived in my husband's little kingdom as he called. True enough, we were welcomed by his snappy men. They helped us unload everything we brought (mostly are Echo's things i.e.,steam sterilizer,distilled water, milk in can, wardrobes etc).

Playtime at Tatay's bunks.
     I was a bit anxious since I was really wondering if Echo will be able to adopt with his father's area. In my own barracks, almost everything is provided; an air-conditioned room, nice wash room and definitely, we are just few minutes away from the city proper while in my husband's place, its about 45 minutes or an hour away from the nearest progressive town and no air-conditioned room. On the other hand, as I have evaluated,  my husband's place is  more solemn and is closer to nature and tourist spots as well (Malacanang of the North, beach resorts, heritage village of Vigan, etc.). So far, my mother and Echo's first day in an army camp went well.

CO's welcome remarks.
     December 18, 2011: the second day was a little bit more exciting. It was the company's Christmas Party (the main reason why we came). Wow! Contributions of lechon, hot darns, roasted chicken and other foodies overflowed! At about 3 p.m., the party officially started with an opening prayer, which was seconded by the singing of the National Anthem. My husband (as the Commanding Officer), gave his welcome remarks. What gave me the "kilig" factor is that prior giving his welcoming remarks, he uttered this phrase: "bago ko po ako dumako sa aking pagwewelcome sa inyong lahat, nais ko po munang ipakilala sa inyong lahat ang mahal ko at dakilang maybahay," then glanced in my direction. I literally felt that my cheeks turned hot! I really did not expect him to introduce me to everyone (about more or less 150-200 people attending the party). After that, he then proceeded with his welcome remarks. It was then followed by the conduct of some games, wherein the highlight was the "Miss Gay 2011." It was really a blast. The audience and guests (mostly residents of the barangay where the company of my husband is situated) were cheering and yelling with excitement. The company's objective of making the audience enjoy the party was attained. After such, dinner was served. 
(From left: 2 candidates, my husband, myself, my mistah (classmate) and
another candidate.)
     I may say that my husband's company was blessed with supportive people around. It was so heartwarming receiving remarks from the residents and local officials how my husband performed in his work and how he did build rapport with the people. Meanwhile, during the dinner, my husband also introduced Echo and I to his Batallion Commander.I just noticed how Echo loves being surrounded with people. He loves being noticed. But since the party started late in the afternoon (Echo's time to hibernate), I opted to leave everything to my husband for a while and just put my dear son to sleep. 

     After that, I came back and mingled with the soldier's respective wives. In an instant I learned that as a soldier's wife and as the better-half of the Commanding Officer, I also have a duty of my own. I was able to discuss with the other wives what are the things that we may initiate to help our husbands. Most of the wives I met were SAHMs (Stay-At-Home-Moms) as well. I encouraged them to know their passion and from there, they may start having business ideas. It was nice meeting them all. The whole party went well.

     On the third day December 19, 2011, everyone was tired and had a hang-over. I asked if someone may accompany us while hanging-out at the beach. It just happened that some wives are still there. For the whole afternoon, we stayed in the beach and had a relaxation time. That night, I discussed with my husband if I could initiate a post-Christmas Party at the beach the next day (a private one) together with the soldiers who have their families with them and other interested soldiers who wants to come with us. Definitely, he then said yes. 

They both love the sunset.
The little commander having a baby talk with his "men".
Echo: "Let's swim tatay!"
     Fourth and last day, December 20, 2011, my husband and I went to the market and bought some fish to be grilled. At about 4 p.m., we proceeded at Victoria Beach Resort. Surprisingly, the beach had a white sand, which I thought I could only see in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Looking at my little commander's eyes, I could see the happiness while he was being cuddled by his tatay. I could also see how my husband missed our son (they weren't able to see each other for about 3 months). I also saw how Echo loved the beach. Definitely, I will include this in my favorite events in my life. I am thankful that even for a short time, we were able to make Echo feel that his nanay and tatay are here for him and that though we are away from him, he will always be in our hearts. Over-all, it was a blast and lots of fun!

03 January 2012

OPAPP Peace Advocacy

   2011 was the year of learning for me as a person. It was the year when I became a mother, a blogger and a certified peace and human rights advocate. Just last December 3 to December 4, 2011, I attended an event. which highlighted the need for peace and a leadership anchored with human rights (Youth Jam on Human Rights 2011). 
   I am exactly aware of my rights as a person but when I became a mom last July 8, 2011, my emphasis as my baby grows up is for him to live in a world where he is safe and that his rights are protected. That is why for this year, as a Filipino citizen and an advocate of peace and human rights, I am pledging that I will continue what I have started last year. I will be more active in the different programs initiated by the government and other non-government organizations and particularly help in the peace advocacy of OPAPP by being a good exemplar to my men (since I am a soldier mom). Leadership by example is important. Every person can share in a small way. Just by maintaining peace within our homes, we are already contributing to the world.

My 2011 in Review

---first wedding anniversary
---about 13 weeks pregnant

--about 17 weeks pregnant
--got back to work after a long vacation

--about 21 weeks pregnant
--getting ready for reassignment

--on my 25th week
--just got acclimatized with my new office, boss and colleagues
--feeling the summer heat

--on my 29th week
--got that bikini for women with a bump (ready for the summer)
--this tiny yet beautiful creature kept on kicking (oh, yeah.it's a boy.)
--started shopping for the arrival of my little commander

--preparing for my maternity leave
--proceeded to AFPMC early for acclimatization

--best month of 2011
--arrival of my commander
--start of 2-month mommy break

--enjoying every minute with my little commander
--preparing to go back to work 

--loads and loads of work pending
--2nd month birthday of my little commander

--mommy-baby month

--arrival of Barwel twins (echo's cousins)

--first garden wedding anniversary
--a lot of firsts...

Thank You God for a wonderful year...