Erase the I don't know HOW mentality


I had my second child in 2006. Dennis, my husband, worked as a seaman that time. Of course, I wanted a complete family. I did not like the idea that my two kids will grow up and not know their father as they should be (because he comes and goes), and I didn’t want that.

I think I was logical too. I knew it will be hard for Dennis to find a job in the Philippines that will pay the same as what he makes. I knew I couldn't ask him to resign because with a teacher's salary, I wouldn't be able to make ends meet at all. So, I thought, maybe, migration was the key.

If we migrate, then we could start anew and we could be together forever living a simple yet abundant life. It matched with my life’s vision, or at least the being together part.

The next question was how will it be possible at all?! I taught computers in college for three years, I taught English for a year and back to computer teaching for another year. I only have that number of years in teaching. Plus, I did not have masters. I did have all the units in place, but I didn't have a degree! I knew computer teaching was not even a demand in the US, Singapore or anywhere else!

So how? How will I ever make my dream come true? How will it happen, what will I do???

At the back of my mind, it was impossible, but at the same mind, I knew I could always take a different route and that was what I did. 

I did not mind the how.

I continued looking at Facebook photos of friends in the foreign countries, and imagined I was in the pictures. I owned my dreamed! When my asked where I was going (even if it was just in a market), you’d hear me say, ‘to America, join me?’ I’d even post photos of dollars in our bedroom walls and manifest through the words on the walls.

I didn’t allow not 'knowing the how' to stop me from envisioning a complete family like the way I wanted.

By God's grace and mercy, viola! opportunities came and I just did what I had to do.   

First, a teacher friend asked me to check on a website, and asked me to apply for the sake of applying, regardless of the outcome. She said, 'just try, nothing to lose'. I did. 

That rolled the ball. 

Next thing I knew I received a text message about an interview- went to the interview in the middle of the night and passed it. I was asked to pay – and I paid the fees. In two months after the text message, I was on the plane to the US of A.

I love reliving these moments!

You may have a dream that up to now is still a dream. Maybe, taking the other route - the route of dreaming, believing and envisioning will make it happen for your too!

Let us not allow stress of not knowing the how hinder us from achieving our fondest dream.

It happened to me before, I know, in my heart it will happen again, and again, and again.

And so it is.


Mother's Day in 2008

Remember my story about my very first mother's day here in the USA last May of 2008?

See original post here

I suddenly have an urge to reblog it here, so I will.


Dressed in white polo, black pants and black shoes we hurried towards the private-members-only-club site .. It was my first time to be there!.. nope we didn’t use the front entrance nor the elevator.. we went directly to the back door.. down to the kitchen up to the reception hall.. we put on the black blazer with matching black ribbon around the neck.

I had fun! The guests were mostly Caucasians, probably the rich and famous of Louisiana, they were dressed elegantly! I enjoyed watching how they stepped out of their expensive cars! (seemed expensive by the look of it!, though I am not really into car brands and models.. hehe, should I be car-conscious already??? … hehe) 

I enjoyed giving mothers and grandmothers long-stemmed rose wrapped in rose-petals-drawn-paper as they entered the hall.. I couldn’t help but remember the movie “My Best friend’s Wedding”, not about the storyline, but how the characters  were all so well dressed in that movie! I was amused by the grandfathers, fathers, daughters, sons and grandchildren who were with them, as they carried gifts in paper bags. 

Felt like I was part of the “lifestyles of the rich and famous” as they were pictured in the magazines! 

I almost forgot why I was there! Would have wanted to be wearing my sunday’s best too, be with my family and celebrate in a place just like that! hehe wish wish! 

In reality I was there to make someone else’s Mother’s day celebration delightful and happy… yep! so, seeing the waitresses ran around, I guessed I needed to move on and help them already!.. So, I briskly walked to my room, only to be stopped by one of the servers in the buffet menu, he smiled at me and said “You look beautiful”.. hahahahahahaha, Oh, I didn’t laugh! I smiled and politely said “Thank you!”.. That made my day! hahahahahahaha 

Actually, not that! but the $$$.$$ check I received after enjoying getting all the plates, spoons, forks and glasses, carrying the whole tray, throwing the leftovers in the garbage bin and stashing all the others in the counter. 

It had been 5 hours of work and it was worth that! Back in the Philippines it would take me 15 days to be able to get a check of that amount! Unfair?? hehe 

At 6pm, after sleeping for one hour and a half – tired! yes!, I hurriedly dressed again in blue pants, blue tshirt and blue rubber shoes and briskly walked to church. Before the mass ended, the priest blessed all the moms and we were given carnation flowers to bring home. Nice. 

Now how do I end this? 

Dressed in blue jogging pants, gray tshirt and bare feet, I am now ready to go to sleep. Thankful for today. Mother’s day. Thankful for my mother for loving me unconditionally. For her care and guidance. For her unending support and prayers, and especially for allowing me to create my own life story, where all things are possible, where all my dreams can come true… by just going within. I am grateful :) 

P.S. The “You are beautiful…” doesn’t hurt either hahahahhahaha. 


My Heart's Desires I See

It has been 8 years since we landed here in the US to work for the schools. For those who know me personally or follow this blog, you know I've moved and stepped up on my career ladder.

The view from up top is different.

If before my only concern was the list of students on my caseload, my regular education teachers, writing of IEPs and the district's program for it, conducting IEP meetings and other concerns to checking of IEP compliances and working with the schools in my district, now, it is totally different! I love it!

Along the way, i.e, from too many restructuring in the schools and districts I've worked with, and the numerous interviews and application processes that I've been through, plus the experience of working with different colleagues every time, I believe I had, serendipitously, created a capacity for me to eventually achieve all my heart's desires.

Now that is a very good question... what is really my heart's desires?

I know how impulsive I can really get. When I want something, the universe seems to zoom in and make it happen! It is simply amazing!

Sometimes, I wonder if I have no participation in the changes, but, who am I kidding? 

I am the forerunner of my life! The leader of my thoughts and actions! 

I have always been someone who would rather be the cause of reactions than be on the reacting side. I love to start the action and be responsible for it. I love responsibility and accountability. I love leading, especially leading my own thoughts, and sailing my own ship to where I want to go.

My journey here in the US simply bloated that power. The power to lead. To lead the person who we have the most control of, ourselves. Myself.

What's my point? Well, the stage lights are on me again, and I'm about to make some shifts again for the nth time on following my heart's desires. 

In my heart, I know the bottom line. I believe it St. Augustine who once said, my heart won't rest until it rest in God. I know it is God creating the uneasiness in me, and I'd always respond by doing this. Writing.

Maybe, God has some message, I still don't get. Mmmmmm.


Loving New Work!

I am at awe at the circle of life and how my experiences of eight years here in the USA seems to connect and synchronize.

I started as a Special Education Teacher here in 2007. It was in 2011, when I had a shift and worked as an IEP Facilitator in the special education office and was given an opportunity to be of service to a total of eight schools in the district (HS, mid schools and elementary schools). 

My crazy year happened in 2014. January of that year, I decided to resign and work in an elementary school in one of the reservation areas. After four months, I decided I wasn't the right fit for the job, despite trying my 100%!

So I resigned, secured by the offer to work back as an IEP Facilitator. 

It was timely since my parents were able to visit us here and we got to enjoy summer time with them! It has lessened most of my homesickness! 

For some reason, life took me to another direction and did not allow me to go back to my old job as IEP Facilitator, so I worked as Special Education Teacher  in a middle school in another city. After a month on the job, in my heart, I knew it was my time-out stage, that I was meant to do greater things!

Right so, by Thanksgiving of the same year, I was hired to work with the state's Public Education Department and resigned from the middle school after four months!

I honestly had no idea what path I was about to thread on, I just knew it will be an adventure and indeed it is!

Everyday I am learning something new. Everyday is different and exciting at the same time - because there are various work to be done.

One day, I could be writing a report for Washington, DC or creating new forms for implementation. Another day could be working on an agenda for leadership, advisory, planning or PLC team meetings, and facilitating via conference call or live meetings. Some days I could be calling on superintendents and principals and traveling to meet them. At another day, I could be working on an intergovernmental agreement, or budget and reimbursements.  Still another day is spent researching, reading books and studying programs or approving or disapproving grant applications. At some days still, I am attending professional development and trainings and a lot more activities along the way.

From working with 24 schools since I started three months ago, by April I will be coordinating 64 schools from all over the state!!! 

Where I am now is a privilege, and I thank God for the new experiences, adventures and learning opportunity. I would not have experienced all of these, had it not been for His purpose and will. 

It still amazes me how I can be at the same meeting with the superintendents and executive directors and discussing about the state's education system or programs for implementation, when two months ago, I was just sitting in my shared classroom, telling myself, this is a time-out, and not where I should be.

From my stand point, I know there is a lot more to be, to do and to have. Who knows, this could be another one of God's processes to lead me to my real heart's desires someday.

Now, I tell you... that's more exciting!!! but for now, I love my new work!!!

Because You Said So...

I asked my boss if he will be doing the conference call every month, and he told me, "No, you will do it!" 

I was like, "Noooo! I do not know the verbiage... yet!" 

Some Things Never Change

I remember when I was a little kid. I was invited to play with my friends who have American friends who visited their home. I was overjoyed afterwards. I told my parents it was the best day of my life because I got to speak in English! They asked me what I said, I told them, "Well, I was able to answer their questions with 'Yes' and 'No' and 'Thank you!" I couldn't contain my gladness! Lol.

5 Little Things About Santa Fe and Work

1. Slow Time
As I am sitting here at my desk while everyone's sleeping, I feel blessed to be a newbie at work. You see, I was supposed to travel to two of the districts we are working with down South of New Mexico, but with the paper processes to get your travel approved, it didn't push through.  

Don't you love slow time at work? It feels like a time-out, when you can recollect yourself, gather your thoughts and just eat your candy hehe... while learning the system!

A Boss Like Him!

He told me he's an atheist. He said "Maria, there is no God. Just like, there is no Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy!" Since, he's my boss, I just have to respect his beliefs, even if I don't agree!

Nonetheless, that did not change my admiration of his leadership skills.