Perks of Having a More Successful Older Sibling

“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” –Margaret Mead 

They say the youngest child is the luckiest child in a family. I am not sure I can say that with the deepest conviction. Maybe it’s because in our family, there’s only my elder sister and me. That makes me the “younger” child and not the “youngest.” That does not make me the middle child either so I do not think I have the right to say I feel the sufferings of a middle child. Let’s just settle on being the last kid.

Growing up, I always felt like I was my sister’s shadow. It was like my whole being was attached to my sister’s. As a kid, I remember Mom buying two sets of the same clothes (some exactly the same or some in the same style but in a different color) for me and my sister to wear. Lots of people thought we were twins with my sister having the advantage of being the taller one. That was when our sizes were not too far apart yet because when my sister eventually grew at a much faster rate, we stopped wearing similar clothing. That is, she got to wear new clothes while I wore her old ones.

Hand-me-downs. When I was younger, I really felt bad about always having to use stuff my sister outgrew or got bored with already. I felt so undeserving of being spent on. It wasn’t until I started working that I truly learned the value of money and learned to see the positive side of hand-me-downs.

I recently went to Hong Kong and my sister wanted to buy a new Fitbit watch. She wanted the one that had a heart rate monitor because her Fitbit Alta did not have that feature. Guess who goes back to Manila with a Fitbit on her wrist? Uh-huh. You guessed it!

I remember all the other stuff that I my sister passed on to me every time she bought a newer version or model for herself. The first was her iPhone 4s, then the iPhone 5c in that bright pink color, then her iPhone 5s. Yeah, my sister is quite the Apple fan. I’m waiting for her to buy herself a new Macbook laptop so I can get my hands on her Macbook Air that she bought several years ago.

Being given hand-me-downs meant not having to buy expensive stuff for myself. Since I was not so particular about always having the latest model of phones, I was contented with her hand-me-downs even if that meant having the phone on life support (frequent plugging to the power bank) a year later. I used to be pissed about using stuff she already used but these days, when she asks me if I would like one of her old stuff because she’s planning on getting herself a new one, I highly encourage her to make the new purchase. I dare not question her choices at all (insert an rotfl emoji here).

Oh how things and priorities change when you reach adulthood…img_9159

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Hong Kong – September 2018 (Part 1)

“I have seen travel plans happen only when they were made overnight.” -Sanhita Baruah

I had to go see my sister. That was all I thought of when I booked my flight to Hong Kong. If I had to break my back and extend hours at work so I would not cause any problems meeting our deadlines, I was determined to do it. I had to see her, so I was going to do whatever I had to.

Fortunately, fate was kind to me and several events took place that made it okay for me to fly to Hong Kong without having to worry about deadlines that much. I will be eternally grateful because I was already missing my sister terribly.

img_8972As much as I wanted to fly via Cathay Pacific (my absolute favorite), I could only afford Cebu Pacific at the time. I figured that I was only going to fly for about two hours anyway and I would rather have more money to spend for shopping than for my flight. So, I booked my tickets online and I even learned how to pay for my tickets via BDO online banking. I made sure to pay for window seats going to Hong Kong and going home.

I booked an afternoon flight because I had to bake cookies for the birthday and baptism party of my boss’ daughter. I was going to fly at 5:40PM and I was so glad that the plane was already ready and waiting when I arrived at the airport at around 3:00PM. I immediately checked and learned that sunset was going to be at 5:51PM so I prayed to be able to get a good glimpse of the sunset up in the sky.

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Unfortunately, it started raining. Despite all efforts to have my camera zoom in on the sunset, it focused on the raindrops of the plane window instead. Even when it has stopped raining and there were no raindrops of the window, it was too cloudy to see the sunset. Oh well, maybe next time then.

My flight was very smooth and I landed around ten minutes earlier than the expected arrival. I do not remember having to ride a shuttle from the plane to the airport during my past trips, but I enjoyed seeing the huge planes from other airlines. Using my auditor’s eyes, I kept on the lookout for any Cathay Pacific plane missing the letter F. I saw none.

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I had no trouble at the immigration counter and the officer who checked my documents was familiar. I think he’s the same officer from when mom and I visited last Christmas. I think he’d be even more handsome if he smiled. But, I guess his job required them to keep a poker face or people will not take them seriously.

My sister was already waiting for me when I got there. She arrived too early, so she was also hungry already when I arrived. To my happiness, there’s a branch of my favorite restaurant at the airport!

We ordered my favorite pork dish and some lemon iced tea. Unfortunately, the tables at the airport branch did not have the adorable drawers filled with utensils like the branch we visited in Mong Kok back in 2016, Still, I enjoyed dinner with my sister.

img_9020We opted to ride the bus on the way home since it was only HKD40. It’s cheaper than taking the train that I think is around HKD100. Also, my sister said that since she took the bus to the airport, her trip going back was only going to be HKD20. Plus, we will not have to transfer to another ride because the bus was going to drop us near her place already. God, I missed the efficient transport system of Hong Kong. To my embarrassment though, I forgot how their tap card system worked and I kept tapping my Octopus card on the wrong place. At least the driver didn’t shout at me, haha.

Too tired for anything else, my sister and I spent the rest of the night watching shows on Netflix. We didn’t have any plans on what to do and where to go. That night, I felt how much it didn’t matter anymore because being with her made me happy already. Then, I realized we had to share her bed and I remembered how much she tosses and turns in her sleep. It was going to be a long night…

Excited for: My Sister’s Visit to the Philippines!

I cannot count the times my sister and I made sacrifices for one another. I guess that’s sisterhood. You give and you take.

My sister has always been my rock. She was the stronger sister, the one I’ve looked up to since I was a kid. And while there were moments I felt like she was the favorite child, I knew that she was only doing the best she could in everything she did. She had the responsibility of setting the best example for me and that was not an easy task as well.

My sister is not the affectionate type. But, from time to time, she will become malambing (affectionate; touchy-feely) and hug me like I was a life-size stuffed toy. But more often than not, she expresses her lambing (affection) in other ways like buying me make-up or treating me to eat out or just getting me lots and lots of stuff. Yeah, she’s the type to shower people she loves with gifts.

She used to help me stand and walk. But a few years back, she had two knee surgeries that had her needing help to get around. The first surgery was worse. She could not walk at all for months. I quit my job and spent five months helping care for her. Suddenly, the roles were switched.

But, all of that paid off and seeing how she’s now based in Hong Kong and is always travelling makes me feel like it was not a sacrifice on my part. It was an investment. And that period showed me how much my sister tried to remain strong for me and mom during our most trying times. It made me understand her so much more.

I can’t wait to see her again!

Parting Time

“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.” -Carol Saline

Going back home in an hour. I’m going to miss my sister again.

I remember the first time I left Hong Kong alone, leaving my sister behind because she was going to be working here already. I told myself I was not going to cry and even put on eye makeup so that I will feel bad about ruining it. A few minutes before we left her hotel, I was crying and refused to go out because I felt so sad. I had gotten used to being with her all the time and could not imagine what the house will be like without laughing, fighting and bickering with her.

More than a year later, I still feel sad every time we have to part. Every time I leave Hong Kong, it feels like I’m leaving a limb behind.

Maybe I’ll get completely used to the distance one day. Maybe I won’t. Maybe we’ll get to live near each other one day, whether it be in or out of the Philippines. Maybe we won’t.

Wherever life may take us, I hope we both will always be happy.