3 months, 12 days

Has it really been that long? It seems like it was just yesterday when I left Southern California, northbound and hopeful, ready to face whatever surprises that will come my way.

And San Francisco is indeed a beautiful surprise. I knew that I fell in love with this city on those few visits that I came here but it was more of the gushy oh-its-so-pretty-here kind. Now that I actually live here, its a different kind of feeling. Something inexplicable, like a sudden affinity, a recognition of being "home".

I've always believed that there are places in this world that one can really call "home". It doesn't matter if its an impoverished village or a posh neighboorhood, what matters is how you feel, or rather, how the place makes you feel. San Francisco is one of those places for me. I don't know, there's something about this city that touches my soul, inspires me to create, and compels me to look at things more closely. I've filled pages and pages of journals and taken hundreds of pictures since I got here and I'm slowly beginning to realize that this is what I've always wanted to do all along.

When, in my vaguest dreams, I pictured myself and who I'll become, I think that this is what I dreamed about - me exploring a city, sitting at corner cafes, taking random pictures, browsing little shops and bookstores, watching independent films, listening to literary readings, writing outdoors, walking around with no plan whatsoever, and a world of endless possibilities stretched out before me. For the first time in a long time, I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

It wasn't a smooth transition, nor is it easy living here. In fact, there were times when I felt like pulling my hair out and crying in frustration, times when I even wondered why I moved to this city in the first place. I was completely broke on my first month here, my car was towed away because of a parking violation, the apartment's bathroom floor was flooded due to leaky pipes, my computer crashed and I lost a lot of precious data, I didn't know anyone to ask for help - to name just a few. There's also the weather, which at its best can be described as moody and at its worse, 'schizophrenic' (as one writer puts it). You can wake up to a warm and sunny morning and you drive across the city to say, the Richmond District, and you'll be absolutely freezing. I am such a weather wuss and I get cold very easily so it took me a while to adjust to the unpredictable weather here. And let's not forget the challenge of finding street parking, or the fact that half of my paycheck probably goes to the ridiculous amount that I pay for a parking space and those (in)famous parking tickets - I already had three since I got here!

But even the most difficult times is still a blessing, for I always end up learning a little more about myself - the stronger, more independent side of me. Six months ago, who would've thought that I'll be driving all the way to Sonoma County by myself? I've also learned to accept help from new acquaintances and to let go of whatever preconceptions that I had of people or groups of people. Most of all, I've learned to trust in God more, because I believe that He brought me here and that if everything else fails, I know that He will never let go of me. For all this, I am thankful.

more thanks

In the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, I just want to say that I wouldn't have survived my first months here without these people: Kuya Bill, my bestest best friend and cousin in one ~ thank you for everything. Moira, Gracia, Neeha, Mayee, Ate Faye, Tia, Dae, Lori, Jane, Grace, Vanessa, Irish, Farrah, Bobby, Carl ~ many thanks for tolerating my endless chatter and neurotic episodes (haha). Jethro, Marjo, Poipoi, Ate Jude, Ate Tina, Lola Tasing, Tiya Mameng, Tiya Masing, Jean, Jewel ~ thanks for your undying love and support. Leah, Iray, Machai, Bachang, Christela, Rachanz, Samia, Monica, Chanda, Leanne, Ruby, Audrey, Melissa, Elaine, Carrie, Jayna, Rennie, Janice, Frank and Ele ~ thank you for keeping in touch. Ma and Pa ~ much love.

And to all that I forgot to call, e-mail, text, etc. - thanks for understanding.


  1. hello day...kumusta?
    thank you for including my name..hehehe we're always
    here praying for you....u deserve all what u have
    right now coz u have a good heart...:)

    day lingaaaaaaw kaayo mi ni william kay super duper
    buotan gyud siya...he went to sibulan with me and
    Marjo...we stayed there to 2 nights...just went back
    today ...ganahan pud c jane niya day kay buotan gyud
    siya....amazing gyud iya kabuotan day.

    chika unya ta ugma puhun....ayu2X day take care n God
    Bless.....keep n touch always ok....we miss you...be
    happy always...SMIle

  2. Odjie,
    I am so happy to hear from you and that you are doing well.I am here in South Carolina with Vangie she will be going to Morocco soon for her Global MBA for 6 months, she wants me to go after she gets settled. I don't know how long I will stay there, I enjoyed reading your journal and stay in touch. Take care and God bless.
    Tiya Masing

  3. te jude!
    nag-storya na mi ni kuya bill last night. he really loves it there. he said that you remind him of me 'coz we're both crazy. LOL. i'm so excited for you. we'll definitely visit you in bahamas.

  4. I'm not much of a blogger, but I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy reading about your week-to-week adventures. From the pictures of the fiesta you stumbled upon, to the crazy Castro Halloween, to the beautiful glimpses of San Francisco...Odessa, I must say that you have found your calling. I absolutely love the twilight picture and the little stories of the kiddos you see at the schools. I'm glad that you've found what you've been looking for in this chapter of your life.

    Reading your blogs just reminds me of some of the blessings in my life...the little smiles and accomplishments I see in my kiddos that make our job as OTs worthwhile, and the realization that I need to pause, take a step back, and see the beauty in the little things that we experience in the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives. =)

    I can't wait for the next episode of this ongoing saga!

    Take care and God Bless,

  5. Hi Odang! Merry Christmas diha nimo oi! :)

  6. Vanessa, thanks for dropping by and for your wonderful comment. You are very much a part of this saga from day 1. Remember that mobile home on our way to SF? And how about my very interesting neighbors? :P

    Hi Christy! Maayong pasko pud. Musta man ang imong exam? Ingon si Bang2 exam man kuno nimo last month.