Friday, December 21, 2012

Need more time to sink in

I still find it hard to believe that my high school friend Kim passed away. It was all very sudden. Her passing felt unreal. When I heard the news about her being in a coma, my instinct told me that she would survive the ordeal. I believed that she would. But she never did.


I received a notification on my high school's Facebook page asking for prayers. Kim was in a coma Saturday due to ruptured aneurysm and low blood pressure. The hospital she stayed in didn't have the proper equipment for better treatment. She couldn't be delivered to a better hospital because her condition was unstable. Family and friends started posting messages on her Facebook wall, telling her to wake up. All these people were posting messages on her wall post, praying for her, asking for prayers, and telling her to wake up. But she never did.


My friend posted in our high school section's Facebook page that she passed away on Dec. 12, 2012, at 7 a.m. Reading it the first time felt unreal, like it was all a dream. But I knew he would never lie or joke about it. I just couldn't accept the truth. We all couldn't. It was all too soon.


When she was in a coma up until her burial, I checked Facebook everyday to read updates. I relied on photos to see who visited her at her viewing. I look her up on Facebook and read wall posts from her family and friends. Nadine, one of my high school friends, posted this touching poem that was in one of the mass cards. Reading her wall posts and this poem would make anyone cry. 

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call.
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I've found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow:
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full I've savored much,
Good times, good friends, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all to brief,
 Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, he set me free.

author unknown

Monday, December 17, 2012

Who am I?

How do you write a personal brand? This was the assignment in my Advertising class. I found it hard to write because I had to think of the audience first and at the same time be honest about myself. When I wrote my personal brand, I was honest and sincere in answering the questions. 

Everything on this blog is a glimpse of the real me. And because I started this blog in July 2009 and I have 104 posts (this is the 105th post! Yay~!), the personal brand is sort of like a summary of the real me. But this is the longer version because I had to cut some parts in the assignment. Here it is:

What are the things that make you different from others? What could be said about you that cannot be said about someone else? 
I am different because of my life experiences. I lived the first 19 years of my life in the Philippines. This was where I built relationships with my family and friends—people that shaped me to be the person I am today. The things I saw, heard, read, and touched influenced me as a person. 
The values I learned and acquired as a Filipino are stored deeply in me because they keep me grounded. They remind me to be the person I want to be. I also surround myself with people who remind me of my values and beliefs. I would never say this out loud, but my family has always been my biggest strength. I grew up in a conservative and family-oriented household, so just being around them reminds me of my roots, my dreams, and values. 
I may be far from my longtime friends, but they're the people I grew up with, and they're the people who remind me of my younger self. And when they remind me of my younger self and the old days, I think about the dreams of the younger me. Here in Canada, I met new people who helped me be a better person. 
The people I met and the experiences I had makes me different from others because they help me realize my values and dreams. 

What do I stand for? What do I value? 
"Lora Quitane" stands for loyalty, honesty, and hard work. I always believe that hard work pays off. If I don't have the strength to do something, I have faith that I can do it—either with hard work or luck. 

What is your vision? 
I don't aspire to be well known or famous. It doesn't matter to me if people don’t know me when they see me on the streets—I prefer to be anonymous and a stranger. I don’t like being in the limelight. I would rather be on the sidelines and do my job. 
I prefer to put my work on the spotlight than me. If I have a project, I will make that project well known because I believe it’s the project that should be recognized. I would rather the project be more famous than me. 
“Lora Quitane” aspires to be a brand that creates projects that ensue talk and publicity. It is the work that matters—not the brand. 
What is your story? 
I left my home country, the Philippines, after living there for 19 years. The country where I was born, the country where I grew up, and the country that made me the person I am today. 
I left my family, relatives, and friends for a new and better life. These people were a significant part of my life. I had to leave not because it was the only choice—I had to leave because it was the best choice. 
I left the Philippines—the place I knew well—to live in Canada—a place I am not familiar with. I had to learn a new history and culture but at the same time I had to preserve the history and culture as a Filipino. 
My life experiences shaped me to be the person I am today. The significant people in my life keep me grounded. They remind me to be the person I aspire to be. 
“Lora Quitane” would not be “Lora Quitane” if it weren't for the people she met and the experiences she experienced. It was because of her history and the people around her that shaped the story of “Lora Quitane”.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For my high school friend

This blog post is for my high school friend, Kim, who passed away Dec. 12, 2012, Wednesday at 7 a.m. (Philippine time). I posted this so she'll have another identity on the Internet aside from her Facebook account (and whatever other accounts she had). 

I rarely kept in touch with her since I left the Philippines five years ago. Or maybe more. However, she was a good friend back in high school. High school for me was one of the best times of my life. Even though we weren't close, she was still an important person to me.

Rest in peace, Kim. And I'll surely visit you when I visit the Philippines. Thanks for the great memories. 


Prayer - Kapatid

click on video for source

Kapatid was a Filipino rock band whose main vocalist, Karl Roy, passed away March this year. 

Note: "kapatid" literally means "sibling" in English, but it is often used as "brother" and/or "sister".