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I Am Not Lucky

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“You’re lucky…”

I know I’m not the only person who’ve heard these two words from other people.

While grateful for every good thing I have right now, I still can’t wrap my head around the concept of “luck” and asked myself, did I just get lucky?

I ask because, I hear this over and over again from different people.

In some ways, at times I believed at some luck, accepted charms to boost luck but now that I have became more mature and gained better understanding in life, I don’t believe that where I am right now is driven by luck.

I have worked hard to get where I am today.

Growing up, my parents trained us to do house chores and be resilient since we are not well off. I remember going to school on a slipper or a . To make it comfortable to walk, I insert a cardboard cut out of my foot in it.

We lived in a nipa hut house and while it’s fresh and comfortable, it’s terrible on rainy season where the rain goes through the roof. We also helped our mother when she did the laundry for his brother, or sold banana cue or barbecue in front of our house after a disappointing attempt to work abroad as a domestic helper.

In high school, I learned to be resourceful in completing projects. I learned to catch a fish from a nearby fish pond for an aquarium project instead of buying a pet fish from the pet store. What do you know, my immunity to germs have gone high because of that.

In college, I was a working student. Working as an assistant in the Dean’s office taught me to be skilled in dealing with different people. I worked 6 hours a day from 6am till noon and spent the other half of the day attending lectures and studying.

When I had my daughter at 19, I spent my allowances for her milk because I can’t feed her while I was at school. I also skipped meals to save up for projects or live off the generosity of friends.

When her father, my husband, passed, I realized right then and there at how difficult it is to survive. I mean, I was a newly graduate, living with my parents, unemployed and already have a mouth to feed. I had no choice but to leave my daughter with my parents and worked at a nearby city.

All of these experiences gave me the strength of character, humility, tolerance, hard work and most importantly, it taught me the value of things.

7 years after my last corporate job, I am now working with a very good company located in Australia. I work from home with total flexibility of my time. I was chosen among 104 applicants with very good backgrounds. Some graduated from top universities of bigger cities.

4 years from that last interview, I am now the head of the Customer Happiness Department and handles a team of two amazing super moms. Our company have grown from just one (yes, I am the first hire), to 7 team members.

And before you’ll say I was lucky to land this job, I want to let you know that I have worked my way right here. I have studied, trained, took the initiative of providing solutions to problems to be here.

Before this job, I dealt with many employers who never paid me for my service. It took me hundreds and hundreds of application letter, revisions of my resume and a lot of youtube training videos to learn the skills to be worthy of my job.

Will you still say I am just lucky?

For all of the years since my husband’s passing, I have supported my daughter financially all by myself. Saying that gives me pride, I won’t deny that.

For 8 years, I have lived my life solo. Unexpectedly, I met a great man who I took risk to share my life with my daughter. He is amazing. We are living a simple, great and happy life today.

Now people come commenting on our relationship and tell us how lucky I am to have him. And while I would agree at some degree that my man is awesome and he loves us so much, I would say it’s far from luck.

And before I met him, I took risks to meet men. Different kinds of them, was with one who broke my heart and made me feel insecure for being a mom in the dating scene.

While you would say I am lucky to have my man in my life, I would say it’s never luck that brought us together. We, as individuals in our lives before we met, have to go through a lot of pain and learning individual lessons in love and life with a partner from our past. We went through pain.

Our relationship didn’t just happen to be amazing. We had lots of fights, disagreements and arguments in our relationship. But we worked hard, we worked together to always resolve whatever issue there is. This is the result of our willingness to take risks, to go through the pain of letting go of some people in our lives and the boldness to just try again.

Is that just luck?

When they say, “You’re lucky…”, it kinds of play down the value of hard work you put in to get where you are at. It seems to denote that you got things so easily without sweat.

Where I am right now, I believe is an accumulation of all the work I did from the ground up.

My relationship is a result of all the pain I have to put up with, to fight for this relationship and to continually work on myself love.

My career is a result of every labor, training and skills I got from experiences and all the late nights I have to pull up to get the job done.

My good life didn’t just happen because of luck. It happened because I was bold to take risks, try and do things over and over again with the strength of character built up from my difficult experiences.

Don’t tell me I am lucky. I am a hardworking, risk-taker, and a doer individual.

I am far from just lucky.

 

Manners First

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I hope that mainstream schools will include manners, character building and life skills as part of training of schools.

Before they learn to read, write and do maths, which the society deem to be more important, I hope we take a closer look at how good manners, strong character and life skills can bring our children more fulfillment in life and achieve the “success” we all want them to have.

For those who can’t afford these others, including us, we only have ourselves to rely on. Let us be their examples.

 

Love,

Jenny

I Want You to be Aware…

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Until I had a child with Cerebral Palsy (CP), I didn’t know what exactly it was and that there were several types.

Some can walk independently, or with aid, and some move around with a wheelchair. Some have spasticity in their upper and or lower limbs, too. Some have intellectual challenges and some became doctors, lawyers and even beauty queens.

Nine and a half years after my daughter’s diagnosis, I am now more aware and have better way of handling pity stares and comments from strangers we meet.

I never highlighted my daughter’s condition when I introduce her to people. I talk about what she can do and her daily life at home.

She is funny even at an early age. She gives smart one-liner rebuttals. Especially at her age now, she can make you laugh so hard you’ll hurt your tummy. Her positive spirit will uplift yours. She’ll be the first one to ask “are you ok?“. She’ll even ask you if you have money for food and offer what she have.

At home, she likes to do a lot of things. She collects stickers and likes to be read books. She is a pro at technology (iPad). She discovers features in messaging apps and filters her selfies nicely. As a matter of fact, in Facebook Messenger App, there were times we had to go to her room to figure out how she added stickers on photos.

She is an artist.

She likes to bike every afternoon, rain or shine around our village. Our neighbors, I know even if they don’t say, admires her grit.

She does yoga with me and reminds us to work or go to the gym, more often than we like.

At school, she was voted as the “happiest kid” in her class. She has many friends, from classmates to Manong Security Guard. The tricycle drivers outside the PT place we used to go to also remembers her, she tagged them by numbers – Manong #1, Manong #2, which they find adorable. She is also very helpful and generous to her friends.

These qualities of her are unknown at first impression. So when new people meet her, they will be confused, sympathetic in a wrong way (although I know it’s from ignorance), or express their pity.

It reached to a point when my daughter would complain that she can’t walk. Because that’s what she heard from other people. Self-pity is never tolerated. So at some point, I had to talk to family, relatives, friends on how they should talk to my daughter. Of course I stumbled with close-minded people and I was ok with that. I don’t mind being hated, or dubbed as whatever they dub me of.

Since March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month, I want you to be aware.

I want you to be aware that people with CP have the same drives as every person have .

They like to make friends.

To enjoy time with the people they love.

To do something they love.

To learn and explore new things.

And to just live their lives.

Where we live, and even the entire country, has very low awareness that a disability is just a part of one person and not a definition of who they are.

They are pitied and looked down upon as if they have contagious diseases.

They are excluded in many institutions.

They don’t get a fair chance to compete for employment or education (of course there are very few institutions that do otherwise).

It is my dream to spread this awareness, not only for people with CP but to all who have other conditions, so the society can see their potential and empower them. Because like everyone else, they too deserve to live a full life.

If there are things I am eager to be a result of this post, these are:

  1. that you change how you once viewed and perceived disability (not only CP);
  2. that you treat my daughter like how you would treat any other children;
  3. and that you spread the awareness even more people,

If you do, others will follow. And what you and I have done is to spread true awareness.

 

Your’s truly,

Jenny

Don’t Go Obsolete

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Everything is changing all the time.

How quickly you adapt to change is a strong factor in determining success (however you want to define it).

How do you make yourself adaptable to change then?

Know your market.

Determine what your market holds for the future. Know what the market demands for and it’s future needs.

Develop skills.

Develop several skills that won’t go obsolete in the future, those that not even computers can replace.

Be open.

Don’t resist. When you resist change (good change, non harming), you limit growth.

Aim for growth not profit.

Limiting your service and product only for profit is limiting your growth. The real KPI is how much growth you have now compared to the past.

Keep a record of the past.

Learning your lessons from the decisions you’ve made in the past, is a good way to make sure that you’re making the best decisions that is being demanded.

To thrive in the ever demanding world economy, don’t go obsolete.

 

jenny

 

Just do it

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Starting a routine is easy. Keeping the routine going is not.

How do you keep motivated and focused to do what’s good for you?

I haven’t got a clue.

For now, what I know is to actually  just do it. Just like the famous sports apparel brand said, “just do it“.

Just do it without question… just do it without thinking… without judgement.

On the other side of the coin, I also question everything.

So how do I weigh?

I listen.

In my practice of yoga, I have encountered many poses that are so bizarre that I don’t know if there is actually a benefit in doing it (other than it looks good in photos). But through time and many encounters with different practitioners, I have learned to not question the asana.

When it is right for my body type, my body will come to the asana. Without me thinking about it, without my logical judgement… with my body just doing it.

Sometimes, maybe it’s best to just do it.

 

Keep moving.

jenny

What Technology Can’t Do

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It had been a long drive from the airport to our home, literally and figuratively.

Yesterday, our vacation days went to an end.

We are all sad to have to come to that day… and too lazy to go back to work.

My man have been telling me how he will be alone at our place in Manila and I’ve been telling him I will miss our morning routine so much.

But I guess none of us took the hard blow of this than Ms A. She had been very vocal how she doesn’t want him to go.

Ms A and her dad are really close. They love each other so dearly, enjoys their play time and bedtime shenanigans. Ms A has a way of warming up our hearts when she sleeps with us. She’ll pull you close, draw her face next to yours and will just tell you “I love you, Papa” or “I love you, Mama.”. Really sweet.

On our way back, after dropping him at the airport, she told me “I am sad.” and cried so bad that it made me tear up too.

She again repeated saying that but that afternoon, to Siri. I left her at the dining table where she had food and her tablet. She was also tinkering her box of loom bands. I was just listening to her from our bedroom, when she said “Siri, I am sad.”

Maybe it’s how she said her words and her accent or how Siri’s algorithm is, Siri didn’t get it. Ms A tried several times and Siri tried as hard. Until Siri surrendered and just said, “This maybe beyond my abilities right now.”

You know what, Siri is right. Even with the advancement of the age of technology right now, there is one thing that it can not ever replace – the presence of our loved ones.

Nothing is as priceless as the time we share with our loved ones.

I hope this reminds you to cherish all the moments you have with your loved ones.

 

Love always,

Momma Teng

P.S

Ms A is coping really well. Went to school without a fuss.

How to Get PWD ID

3 Steps to Get a PWD ID

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If you don’t know yet, kids with special needs are entitled to up to 20% discount on commodity, medicines and even hospital services.

I first came to know about PWD ID when Aianah attended SPED. They would facilitate the application of this for every student who is enrolled in the SPED program.

That is very helpful, especially to those parents who doesn’t know about yet. Having SPED file for this is also helpful because you get to save time going to the CSWDO’s office yourself.

How to Get PWD ID

Anyway, let me get to the point straight and here’s how you can file for a PWD ID:

Step 1: Secure a copy of your child’s medical certificate

When I applied, I was asked to submit a medial abstract duly signed by a licensed private or public hospital based physician. We got our medical abstract from her Developmental Pediatrician in Davao. But I think, if your pedia can give you a medical abstract stating your child’s condition could also be good.

What I know is that the condition has to be permanent. Like Autism, Down Syndrom and Cerebral Palsy to be entitled for a PWD ID.

Step 2: Go to CSWDO and fill up the form they provide you for application

In General Santos City, the CSWDO office is in front of the Oval Plaza. You can go to the receptionist and ask for direction. The office you have to go is the old office, which is at the back of the pink building. When you get there, tell the lady in-charge that you need the form for PWD ID application.

Don’t worry about queues, there are not that many people in line for this (at least not when I went there which is at 11am).

Step 3: When done filling up, attach 1 copy of ID picture of your child

Yes, you would need 2 ID pictures to complete your application. One will be attached in the form and the other one will be used for the booklet.

Now, the booklet is what you need to list down all the purchases you will make in the grocery or the pharmacy.

Congratulations! You’ve completed your application and you will get the ID in a month or two.

That’s too long, I think.

Let me assume that you are attending PTs and OTs in a hospital and it would be nice to get this ID as soon as possible to save up. There’s actually a way to rush this up.

When I first applied for this, I filed it myself because I needed it ASAP. We have to go to Davao for Aianah’s MRI and a 20% discount would actually be really helpful. The MRI costs Php 20,000 and I just can’t afford that.

Luckily, the CSWDO is very considerate to rush the release of the ID for special cases. It only took the ID to be released 2 weeks instead of normal 1 month.

For even clearer instructions about the application for PWD ID, visit the National Commission on Disability Affairs.

In other cities there might be a different procedure, so please let me know how it differs in your city in the comment section below.

 

Love,

Momma Teng

What is Cerebral Palsy

What is Cerebral Palsy?

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I’ve been asked so many times what it is about and I find it so hard to make them understand… but I found these helpful videos about this and I know that whoever may read this will understand what it is all about. Furthermore, they will understand my daughter’s situation.

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