Changes, Chances and Choices : My Life So Far.

SaigonDeManilaStarred Page By SaigonDeManila, 11th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

A personal story of how my life journey had came to be where it is now.


"When you are 20, 40 looks really old. When I was nearing 30, that seemed like a major milestone."
-Catherine Zeta-Jones

"So many first ...and some made to last

My humble beginning back in my hometown from a struggling family raise by my maternal matriarch taught me to be at best in whatever endeavor I’m into. This was evident during my elementary up to my eventual relocation almost 600miles to my hometown to make a name in my university years. The professional reward was an eventual stint to a couple of multinational and local company. Leadership had become a necessity than expectation. The sense of team player, negotiating skills and ability to hire, train, supervise, evaluate and discipline staff became a skill trade and passport to cosmopolitan living in another country. You thought it was this easy? Let me share you the details of my life story. The many changes, missed chances and choices I made in my life journey so far.

I have my imperfections and chink to my armour. For one, my dysfunctional family by growing up without father image had it pitfalls - to be a bullying target among the neighboring thugs. It's good thing though I make up my obvious family weakness to academic prowess. Then I realized even if I landed on the best educational institution from scholastic merit, it's another world to survive because the restless teen years can put me off balance. Decorated with athletic (soccer) varsity slot, and junior military officership I still got an (dis)honorable Kalabasa (pumpkin) award runner up in my tardiness at the end of Senior High school. It a parody of an award given to those who excel in infamy. Most late, absences, report to Prefect, etc. It was one of those juvenile highlights you could be marked as unlikely to succeed.

The economic upheaval in the early 80s bend the family knees to sell our ancestral house and moved (escaped) for good. It was hard for the old folks to uproot themselves in a place our clan stayed for at least 6 generations. I learned how our neighbors wept in their windows unlitted room on early dawn watching our clandestine relocation. The transition was over 1400 kms distance from my hometown to a new home was unexpected on my interesting teen age years. I was supported by a brother who drop out in colege to start a career in selling. I myself landed in odd jobs in between semester to ease the sacrifice of my brother. After several degree program shifts, my Mom settled for my bachelors degree in Liberal Arts thinking it would help me to pursue a dream of being legal eagle someday. College hoopla was a great adventure, I made some major things for a fulfilling student life. Girls, a post in school paper, drinks, student activism and library hours almost on that order. I graduated with some distinctions, inter-college quiz bowl champion, presidential award on community service and was elected to several org top post before being voted eventually as the President of the whole university's student body.

The real world is a dog eat world however. I abandoned law school dream and went to earn a living.In my roller coaster ride to entry level jobs and crawl to top executive position. I collected 10 jobs adopted 4 regions, 5 cities and two failed relationship.It was a 14 years stretch of good breaks and bad choices with an expected footnote of locust eaten years. The 15 minutes fame however was hard to resist and made my curriculum vitae (CV) interesting topic for every HRD.

"The strongest link"

A national TV quiz show:(me as the contestant known as kabayan)

Life was never been so unfair as per grand design. Entering my early 30s I found my self as a single parent to my 7 yrs old son then.The worst year was yet to come and tested my mantle. 3 blows that ordinary mortal can lost their will, happened to me in a single year. I lost my most treasured job, a woman of good repute dump me on my darkest days, my mother subdued by illness join her creator. It was Annus horribilis a horrible year! With my other 2 sibling brothers having their own cross are far away, across the sea or in the other end of the country. The road was on its roughest to move ahead in desolation. The best terrain was to fry my guts and waning confidence in the urban jungle. Still I was able to land a scholarship grant for Master's degree, a high caliber bullet for my mission to rebuild myself with my son as inspiration. Will Smith movie "Pursuit to Happyness" was a reality happened to me in many ways. I encountered many hardship, rejections and debacles. From friends, relatives, and colleagues. Shelter was a constant problem. At times I lost the decent time searching and knocking to somebody's house only to find my way to sleep in the cold pavement of a bus terminal or an airport lobby (with luggage in toe) A funeral wake was a constant source of meals to meet both ends of sanity and hunger. I have to put my son in a dorm near school to save him from harsh condition of findindg a meal in recycled styro I hurdled each day. Am sure he remembers we had 15 temporary homes in as many years he can recall. How a backyard tree with its fruit be the best meal of the day. It was tough, and tough times have its reward and or a new door to another quagmire is but a choice and chances if you know how to dance with changes. On my son graduation week am on my way to handle country operation in the middle east. A happily ever after ending?, Not so fast my life was not from Hollywood, corporate politics derailed my deserved glamorous executive job.

"The Circle of Life..."

A light in the tunnel appeared from an accidental internet chat. A sister of my online friend (back when i as still in power) touched my core that historical day in November by burning the virtual setting to bridge the distance between us. It was life changing.In 2012 I face my God's ambassador and swore to the law of men. I will love this woman for the rest of my days. Though my first book was published that same year my top executive position came to a whirlwind end on the same year i got married on the 12th days of the 12 month. My legal room mate was residing abroad and I have to follow to start a new family. My son was already entering college. I have to move to new territory, and seek a new chapter am weaving upto this day as a new father and a middle aged wiser man ready to walk all over again in the circle of life.

Leaving and Resettling

My reason to trysts my search of fullness
To chose and dwell under conspiring sun
Copulating with her dream and life's ruggedness
For fruit and vines the honeymoon undone;
To seek with luck on new found birding nest
Fill the rooms with love to all its corner
To smell the floor, and scented wake-up bells
Ending image of thy sinful paramour
from overseas we land, and left all hells,
as we hope that will ends on this shore
to cease the darkness of vicious cartel,
poverty we never learn to adore.

We apologize as it is before
to our dear family,brethren and friends
not really sorry ,to what is at store
but cutting the ties for a while and bends
we deem it will be short time to ignore
Until our birthright will again contends
the familiar air that we're accounted for
where we have been we will surely make sense
as youth sits calmly behind the old door
we stay as the best of friends without ends
until fate befriend our chances no more
remembering all as billows commends.

For the songs of May, oh now I can repay?
Thinking not of flowers, rosary too,-
barred clouds of my flight of all gray sky day,
cuddling a bundle murmuring a coo
crossing the whistling maidens so they say
where gnats will never fly nor fell through
Among lights saying hello along the bay
beneath the twilight to labor anew
to this country and a new home to stay
working, dreaming, hoping and much ado
gathering thirsty minds and children's play
embracing the grassland with new found clue.

-©Original Poem by Saigon De Manila

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Image & Video Credit; Original files and from Saigon De Manila collection titled " Amato Piede"


Experience, Life, Life And Things To Do, Life Changing, Life Experience, Life Journey, Life Lessons, Life Span, Lifetimes, Moving

Meet the author

author avatar SaigonDeManila
Dear friends and foes: I am a teacher, a poet, an artist, self-published author on art & poetry, CSN Life Skill coach and an international marketer.

See my archives @

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Feb 2015 (#)

Life toughens some while young and so in a way it is better to know the ropes for the rest of our time here. Our justice system make many walk away scot-free from their crimes - hope there will be retribution from a higher source to make our lives worth the while - siva

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Very true.. siva..thank you for dropping by and giving me a piece of wisdom.

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author avatar Shamarie
11th Feb 2015 (#)

You are a survivor, Saigon, and thanks for sharing an inspirational post! God bless!!!

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
12th Feb 2015 (#)

I guess I am. Thank you for the kidnd words Sharmaine.

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author avatar Retired
12th Feb 2015 (#)

I agree with Shamarie, you're a survivor! Excellent article!

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Like wise am thankful for your comment Carmen.

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author avatar Retired
12th Feb 2015 (#)

I loved this article! It was very inspirational. Life can get rough at times. We need to be able to persevere through the bad until things get better, which they do eventually.

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
12th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you for the wonderful comment Carol Ford!

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author avatar Kingwell
15th Feb 2015 (#)

Hardships are sometimes necessary in life but only the strong survive. Blessings.

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
16th Feb 2015 (#)

You said it right kingwell!

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Great post that made compelling reading

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
3rd Jul 2015 (#)

Thanks for keeping the interest on my articles...Dhan'yavāda!

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