12. December 2004

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My first month's paycheck allowed me to purchase this laptop from Dell. It was important to me that I have access to information on the internet so I could communicate with friends and family. I needed to make sure my emotional and mental health was in top shape - especially because I am by myself and I needed to be strong for me. I had to wait until my next pay check to have access to internet though. I just couldn't afford a connection right away.
It was my first white Christmas. Really lonely feeling. It was depressing sometimes.





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After Christmas, on December 28, 2004, I took my first bus trip to Calgary by myself because mama and auntie Angie flew in from California to visit me. I was so excited because I have not seen my mom since she left the Philippines to live in the US in January of 2001. That's 3 years and 11 months that I have not been with ma!







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Have finally arrived in Calgary! If only I knew then what I know now that it would be the very last time I would ever be with mama, I would have hugged her and kissed her even more and let her know how much more I love her. We could have done so much more together with those two days. December 28 and 29. Mama and Auntie Angie and I had so much fun. We spent most of our time just laughing and giggling It was such a sweet reunion.






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December 29, 2004
The next day, Mama, auntie Angie and myself went exploring Calgary on foot. It was so much fun. Lots of laughter as we tried looking for places to go to. Ma liked me to take a picture of her in front of this Christmas decoration in one of those buildings we went in to so we could get warm from the cold wind outside.






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December 29, 2004
Mama and Me. Auntie Angie took this photo of us as we headed to Calgary's China town. It was a cold morning.. Brrrr!






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December 29, 2004
Mama and auntie Angie on our way to Calgary's China town.








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December 29, 2004
We went all around the heart of Calgary (mostly on foot) today. I took this picture while we were waiting for the C-train to take us back to the Hotel . After having dinner at the Sandman Hotel, I kept them up till 3AM with all sorts of stories, jokes and updates - just catching up with all those years. Now that I look back at it, I am so glad that I had so much energy making mama laugh that night.







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December 30, 2004 4:30AM
Here we were waiting for the airporter shuttle service to come and pick up mama and auntie Angie for their 6AM flight back to California. This was taken at the lobby of the Calgary Sandman Hotel. I was sad that they had to go back so soon. Mama said she had to get ready to be back for work.







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December 30, 2004 , 4:35 AM
I remember us hugging each other tight saying I love yous before they got in that shuttle service. As soon as they got their bags in, the shuttle service left.







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December 30, 2004 , 4:40 AM
The van where Mama and auntie Angie just went out of sight. I stood there alone still looking out towards their direction as if they will come back. I was sad. so deeply sad. I wish we could have had more time together.







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December 30, 2004 9:30AM
The quiet hotel room in December is filled with emptiness as I stare at the sadness of winter. Outside the window shows reality. Mama is once again gone from me Physically. When will I see her again? Will she be OK? It feels just like that day nearly 4 years ago when I hugged her and waved bye to her at the NAIA International Airport in the Philippines. The same kind of sadness. But all these are for a reason and only good ones I try to believe.







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December 30, 2004. 10:30AM
As the sadness was slowly creeping back into my heart my cellphone rings. It was Mama calling me saying they have arrived in California. I was so glad that she was OK. Her voice is filled with life. What an incredible woman she was. My mother - my strength. She must have known that I needed to hear her voice. I love my mom.
Little did I know that day was the last day I was ever going to be with her again. My mother passed away on September 18, 2006. A year and 9 months from that day. I miss her so much.

11. November 2004

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November 14, 2004

I took this picture on my 29th birthday . It was truly a very different year. I have only been in Canada 16 days. I came to Canada with nearly nothing. I can't even afford to call friends and family. No partying or beer today! I did get text messages from back home wishing me a happy birthday. It was a bitter sweet day. Happy to be alive another year. Sad to be without my friends and family around. Happy that I have my health, sad that I don't have anybody to celebrate with. I try to smile..and thank God for all my blessings.

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The Kimberley Business District
I had to get used to the fact that now I will be living in the really small community. At first I wasn't sure whether to call this a city, but it is called Kimberley City. It certainly wasn't as big a city as I thought It would be.

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I spent hours walking today in the cold of November. Made me think about buying a car and getting my drivers license soon. I can't keep walking all the time. It would be good to drive my own car someday.


10. October 2004

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October 28, 2004
Today I left my friends and family and my old job in the Philippines to go to Canada to work as a live-in caregiver.





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October 28, 2004
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

My employer and client Robert J. Farrell picked me up from the airport. I was freezing! Mr. Farrell has Parkinson's disease which basically robs him of his ability to take care of himself at any particular time of the day when the symptoms of the disease strike. This is where i come in.







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October 29, 2004
Heading to Kimberley where I will be working.

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This is where I am now. To the south of the border are the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana.
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October 2004
I was being given an orientation by Charlie (another care aid) on the care of my client when I took this picture. He was demonstrating some mobility exercises that needed to be done. My client being a former physio therapist also helps.






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October 2004
Here is my room for the next 2 years. I will be living in the basement where I have my own privacy. I am required to pay for my board and room of $300.00 per month. Wow. My life is changing. I am starting from Scratch. I came to Canada with only 250 dollars and a few pieces of clothing after I gave all my stuff away because I didn't want to take too much stuff with me. I lie down in bed staring at the ceiling. Let the adventure begin I say. Exhausted, I drift off to sleep.

2004 - Life in the Philippines

January 2004
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an unexpected e-mail - A job offer to work in Canada (Live-in caregiver for man with Parkinson's)
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Job Location, Kimberley, BC, Canada
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Thinking : Should I stay or should I go?
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February 2004
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Panagbenga Festivities in Baguio

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Hanging out with Roberto & his friends at the beach

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March 2004
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SM Mall, Baguio City, Philippines

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My uncle passed away this month

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My nieces in their Dance recital

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poverty - the slums of Manila - photo taken when I was inside a bus
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Happy children - Mountain Province

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April 2004

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Sunset in Pacdal
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Silhouettes
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May 2004
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Doyet and Jones' church wedding reception, Pangasinan

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Jun 2004
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some training I was attending at that time
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The newest & Biggest Mall in Baguio City
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Hanging out with friends in Quezon Hill, Baguio City
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August 2004
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The Beach allows me to think quietly about things
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Orientation on Canadian Immigration, Manila
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September 2004
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Sold my motorcycle - I was raising money to buy my plane ticket
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Qryz & Antot - hanging out more often because they know I will be leaving for Canada soon
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October 2004
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The last photo my camera took in the Philippines on October 27, 2004. My friends and family dropped by at home, gave me a party and bid me farewell. I can't find more pictures from this farewell party. I had to psyche myself and just FOCUS on what I needed to do. FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS from now on.