Weeks and days before Christmas 2011, several Filipino friends, upon finding out that I wasn't planning to go home for Christmas, told me, "You're going to be lonely here. Christmas and New Year are not really that big of a deal here."
I wasn't worried. I've always taken a "Life is what you make of it" attitude most of the time, and I was determined to make my first Christmas and New Year away from home memorable.
Both holidays turned out to be very memorable. Thanks to friends, thanks to Pg Boy, I was just really happy all throughout December and the first few weeks of January.
I can't say the same for the Lunar New Year long weekend that is about to end.
Uhm, I'm finding it difficult to write this because I think it's a sign of weakness, but I actually felt lonely during the days of the long weekend because of the Lunar New Year celebration.
Most of my usual buddies were away on a holiday. Pg Boy went back home to celebrate with his family.
Technically, I wasn't really alone. Richie was here. Ian was here. The Tampines East gang was here. But for some reason, I still felt lonely, especially today.
My mistake was that I didn't plan enough activities to keep me occupied during this day when the entire island shuts down. So, I ran out of ideas and even if I wanted to do some things, loneliness already took over.
Good thing there's WhatsApp and Skype, I got to talk to Pg Boy and tell him how I was feeling.
I was telling myself, "I wonder how those in countries much more far away from the Philippines are handling situations like this. They're the tough ones."
When I was still in Manila, I've heard many times how life as an overseas worker is difficult and challenging. One is away from home, from family, from friends, from a familiar environment.
Since I arrived here almost 10 months ago, it is only today that I've felt a loneliness of this kind.
The good thing is I know that this is just for today, and that tomorrow I will feel better.
There is nothing wrong I guess with feeling down every now and then. It's a reminder that one is still human and has emotions. What would probably be worrying is if one were, as Pg Boy puts it, "Santa happy" all the time. Hehe!