on recharge

The sisters always wondered why I bother coming back to the hometown when I spend most of the day – most of my stay – sleeping.

I’ve tried explaining that there’s a different kind of sleep I get in this place. It has nothing to do with the mattress or the pillows. It’s just the place. It’s the same reason I can never get that restful sleep in a hotel room no matter how good the mattress or how comfortably cold the room may be. I manage to get enough good sleep in the apartment but that’s incomparable with the restful sleep I get here.

Perhaps, it’s the overall state of mind. In my hometown, I’m physically away from work. Technically, I bring the work with me but being outside the workplace for a few days brings me greater peace during the evenings in my sleep.

I take these leave from work during the summer, Christmas, and semestral breaks as a chance to recharge. This year, I found that missing one of these breaks would be stressful for me. That’s why I make sure to secure tickets to these breaks even a year in advance.


the remaining three-quarters

One email disrupted the peace in the happiness bubble I’ve been enjoying. A possibility of a stipend. I’ll take it. It will not be enough to cover even half the transport expenses but it will help.

This November’s conference  a big expense and a great risk BUT it is definitely worth pursuing. A trip to another continent that I’d be paying for in the next two years to present a research I personally funded in a conference that I’d also be personally paying for (errr… most of it. Well, all of it at first and then a very small possibility of some reimbursements) but will be reflected in the university records.

See, getting the research paper accepted (inclusive of the actual conduct of the data gathering to completion of research manuscript) is only a quarter of the battle. The remaining three-quarters is for generating funds to get one to the conference venue and dealing with travel grant requirements – which would be on a reimbursement basis.

Basically, you spend your own money first and wait a lifetime until the reimbursement gets processed. Hopefully, you get your reimbursement before you retire. In the meantime, go crazy on filing for loans from your social insurance contributions and secure personal loans from relatives.

Here’s to enjoying two years of loans – plus interest.


Finally. A seat sale that I can afford for a Batanes trip. For P1,900, the PAL Express was some serious treat.

I’ve been waiting for a Batanes sale since last year. Been checking their site regularly hoping, always hoping. I am this happy that nothing could dampen my mood for the day. Not late student submissions or impolite students or their lack of common sense. Not even being below maintaining balance could cast gloom to this day. I could not help grinning – to the irritation of the student volunteers staying in the office enduring their hell week.

Even gathered the nerve to initiate contact and keep a mediated conversation 😀

Today, I can say I’m happy.


It’s the father’s  birthday. (I figured the mother wasn’t lying when she said she’s 57 years old. It’s consistent with the 11-year difference between the parents’ ages noted in my birth certificate.) Four children and four grandchildren. That’s not to bad for a 68-year-old.

I figured it is a happy birthday this year. The father sounded great on the phone. He sounded happy. And he actually had a chat with me. This morning’s phone is probably the longest phone call I’ve had with the father. The call ran for five minutes with the father offering information even bothering to explain how characters in his updates are related with one another. That’s quite a lot of effort  for the father who usually skimps on words.

He shared that he already had a cake as early as yesterday, that the third sister has cooked pasta for breakfast, and that he’ll be sharing a fine bottle of alcohol with friends this evening. There I was thinking he really had to reach 68 to be more chatty? Then again, that’s progress.

I’m really looking forward to having a longer chat with the father when I go home during the semestral break. I suddenly feel homesick 😐