As a new chapter of my life begins, allow me to look back at how we have spent the last four years together.

We used to spend every waking and sleeping hours together, just you and me. But now, there will be less time for you and me to be together because you are growing and things are changing. Soon, you will be four years old, going to school more, and spending time with more and more people outside the family.

Before you came, I was hard at work on my master’s degree and was close to taking up a 5-year doctoral degree at a university abroad. I was also a [highly-paid] Drama teacher at a prestigious all-girls high school. I had more money than I needed. But I was lost.

Only when I had you did I find purpose in life. Indeed, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and without you, I would have been living a successful, and yet, empty life.

Because you and I will be spending significantly less time with each other, I could not help but look back to the time you came into being until now, to this. The time of being primary and sole caregiver, stay-at-home-and-hands-on mom has ended as I now go back to working full time.

But know that I am your mom and I will always be here for you. I love you in ways unimaginable. You have made me a better person altogether. For all that you have done to me, I am grateful.

Our journey has not been easy but it had been very exciting. You are my daughter and my best friend, and I could not ask for more.

I had loved traveling with you.

July 2008 – Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Catanduanes
September 2008 – Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental
November 2008 – Camarines Sur

Angku nuninuninu

At Lake Buhi Resort, Camarines Sur. November 2008. 16 weeks.

January 2009 – Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin

At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.

At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.

At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.

At White Island, Camiguin. Photo by Ver Estotsenberg. January 2009. 28 weeks.

February 2009 – Guimaras and Iloilo
March 2009 – Pangasinan

May 2009 – Camarines Sur

At Surfer’s Paradise, Pasacao, Camarines Sur. May 2009. 1.5 months old.

July 2009 – La Union

La Union July 2009

Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. July 2009. 3 months old.

La Union July 2009

At Surfer’s Inn. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. July 2009. 3 months old.

December 2009 – Bohol

DSC_1537

At Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao Island, Bohol. December 2009. 8 months old.

At Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao Island, Bohol. December 2009. 8 months old.

Camarines Sur – December 2009

Looking at each other, all sparkly

At Basilica Minore, May’s wedding. December 2009. 8 months old.

Photo op with Lia the baby

At Basilica Minore, May’s wedding. December 2009. 8 months old.

Quezon City – December 2009

Mama and Lia

New Year’s Eve with the entire family at the Sibal roofdeck. December 2009. 8 months old.

Camarines Sur – February 2010

Mother and child playing in the sand; Manlawi, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Manlawi sand bar, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. February 2010. 10 months old.

Mother and child in the island; Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Near Gota Beach, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. February 2010. 10 months old.

Sun and smiles at Matukad Island, Caramoan

Matukad Island, Caramoan, Camarines Sur. February 2010. 10 months old.

El Nido, Palawan – April 2010

Lia and her Mama on the beach of Helicopter Island, El Nido, Palawan

At Helicopter Island, El Nido, Palawan. April 2010. 1 year old.

Pretty Lia and her freckled Mama, Helicopter Island, El Nido, Palawan

At Helicopter Island, El Nido, Palawan. April 2010. 1 year old.

Lia and her Mama on the Geographic 2, El Nido, Palawan

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan. April 2010. 1 yr old.

 September 2010 – Bohol

Bohol Beach Club, Panglao Island, Bohol 112

Bohol Beach Club, Panglao Island, Bohol. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months.

Balicasag Island, Bohol

Balicasag Island, Bohol. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months.

Balicasag Island, Bohol

Balicasag Island, Bohol. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months.

DBR Grill, Bolod, Panglao Island, Bohol

DBR Grill, Bolod, Panglao Island, Bohol. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months.

Lia and her Mama at Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months.

September 2010 – Batanes

Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes

Chavayan, Sabtang Island, Batanes. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months old.

Chamantad-Tinyan Sitio Views, Sabtang Island, Batanes

Chamantad-Tinyan Sitio Views, Sabtang Island, Batanes. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months old.

Valugan Boulder Beach, Batan Island, Batanes

Valugan Boulder Beach, Batan Island, Batanes. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months old.

Naidi Hills and Lighthouse, Batan Island, Batanes

Naidi Hills and Lighthouse, Batan Island, Batanes. September 2010. 1 yr and 5 months old.

November 2010 – Hong Kong

Lia and her Mama, Mui Wo, HK 2010

Mui Wo, Lantau Island. Hong Kong. November 2010. 1 yr and 7 months old.

Causeway, Hongkong. November 2010. 1 yr and 7 months old.

April 2011 – Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte

CWC with Family 04.22.11

CamSur Wakeboarding Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur. April 2011. 2 yrs old.

Lia in Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines Norte 04.16.11

Bagasbas Beach, Daet, Camarines Norte. April 2011. 2 yrs old.

June 2011 – Cainta

DSC_0559

Resting. Exhausted from life. Cainta, Rizal. June 2011. 2 yrs and 2 months old.

DSC_0576

Pretending to be asleep. Cainta, Rizal. June 2011. 2 yrs and 2 months old.

August 2011 – Camarines Norte

Lia and her Mama in Bagasbas Blvd

Bagasbas Beach, Camarines Norte. August 2011. 2 yrs and 4 months.

September 2011 – Boracay, Aklan

DSC_0144_Boracay2011

Boracay, September 2011. 2 yrs and 5 months.

 July – September 2012 – Palawan

El Nido, Palawan

Makulay Lodge, El Nido, Palawan. July 2012. 3 yrs and 3 months old.

Mother and Daughter, Simizu Island, El Nido, Palawan

Simizu Island, El Nido, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

Mother and Daughter, Simizu Island, El Nido, Palawan

Simizu Island, El Nido, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

Peace and Love Resort, San Vicente, Palawan

Peace and Love Resort, San Vicente, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

DSC_2472

Capari Resort, San Vicente, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

Long Beach, San Vicente, Palawan

Long Beach, San Vicente, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

Sailing to Pinagbuyutan Island, El Nido, Palawan

Bacuit Bay, El Nido, Palawan. August 2012. 3 yrs and 4 months old.

December 2012 – Camarines Sur

At Stonehouse Gardens Resort

Stonehouse Gardens Resort, Panicuason, Naga City. December 2012. 3 yrs and 8 months.

A friend asked me once, “How do you know when you are ready to have a baby? Or is it that nobody can ever be ready for all the upcoming challenges [of having one]?”

And I said, without a second’s thought, “I wanted a baby and it was enough to put all my other plans on hold, so that meant I was ready enough. But nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful the experience was going to be. I have not regretted it at all. Not even a little. Not even ever.”

Share: