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!