See you again soon, Dada


Elle, sitting on my lap with her head out the window, called out as Jan walked away from the car.

He didn’t turn around.

Just a week before, he did the same—walking straight out of our sight without turning back after we made our goodbyes.

I really couldn’t blame him.

You can just imagine how hard it is to say goodbye again to your little girl, who is growing up to be so many things (showstopper of a brat included), not knowing with certainty when you’re coming home. We still don’t know when Jan’s training is going to end, and if worse comes to worse, we won’t be seeing him for the next four months. That’s another four months of no phone calls, no Sunday dates with Elle and missed milestones. (I’m dying.)

It was hard to squeeze all the missed time in the five hours that we were given on Dec. 24, but we had to make most of what we had. I was afraid that Elle won’t recognize his dad, but quickly vanished as she let her Dad carry her right away when they first met on Christmas eve. Elle did need a bit warming up, but before we know it, she was kissing and playing with her Dada’s face.


First meeting in 2 months. ❤

Jan also finally got to see how big Elle has grown. The last time they saw each other, Elle couldn’t even walk on her own yet and now, Jan needed to chase her around the picnic area and stop her from eating pebbles and grasses from the ground. Haha! He saw too how stubborn Elle has become. (Stubborn doesn’t even begin to explain, really.) Those things, for me, were the best part. Most of my days with Elle are either spent chasing her around and or trying to calm her down before she goes into a full tantrum fit  and it’s nice to know that when I talk to Jan  about our day, he would now totally get me.

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Walking around.

On New Year’s Day, we got to see Jan again. It was a bit a last minute (and I had work that night), but we managed. The trip was more relaxed than the first–the weather was downcast which made for a better picnic, there were less people compared to the Christmas visit, and we got to see them do their formations and their dance presentation. Haha! Elle was also in a much better mood. She spent most of the day in her Dad’s arms as they watched chickens and other wildlife. (Elle loves animals! She ended up mimicking the chicken’s coo for the rest of the day.)


Candid. ❤

We are grateful  that we got to spend time with Jan for the Christmas and the New Year celebration. These trips also helped in reminding Elle how his Dad looked like. Since after the trip, every time she sees Jan’s pictures, she would yell out “Dada, dada” non-stop.

It was so hard to leave. I wish Jan had just hopped in the car and rode back home with us. I know the last two months actually went by quick, but it was anything but easy, and I still don’t expect it to be easy. Elle is learning something new every day; she’s becoming sweeter, more talkative and even more adorable than she is and all I could think about is how Jan is missing one of the best times about having a baby. I need constant reminding that Jan is doing this for Elle, and it will all make sense later on.

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While there were so many  other things worth remembering about those 2 days that we visited Jan at Camp O’ Donnell–the first time Elle saw Jan, that time when Elle gave her Dad a spontaneous kiss and all when Elle leaned on her Dad’s shoulders while trying to fight back sleep–it was the departure that stuck with me.

And you really couldn’t blame me.

(Jan texted me later that day that he had to go straight to the men’s comfort room because he couldn’t fight back the tears. Meanwhile, I had to wait till I got home before I let the waterworks flow. Didn’t think Jan would ever be such a crier! Haha 😀 )


Army wife 

First, let me give you the backstory: Jan enlisted in the Army to play basketball. It was ideal not to mention an honor to be working for the Army, and I naturally had no complaints. But then came October 30 when they were told they were getting shipped to Basic Military Training, which would last at least three months, and they had to leave the same night. Three months (and now it could actually be six freakin months) is a long time to spend away from your one-year-old daughter, and it all happened so sudden! You can just imagine what a mess I was that night, and I honestly haven’t been able to adjust to everything even up to now.

So I saw my husband for the first time today in two weeks since the Army trainees were in Manila for the week-long APEC festivities.

Spending the last two weeks in Basic Military Camp, I really didn’t know what to expect. For sure, he would lose weight and get a little darker, but probably not anything drastic. But when I saw him, I actually almost didn’t recognize him. He is three shades darker and about two sizes smaller; it was like he got sick. He had lost six kilos in the first week alone. His naturally high hairline can be seen in its full glory since he has gone bald.

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Daddy’s Girl

My love Celestine,

I know you haven’t noticed Daddy hasn’t been home for four days. He hasn’t called too. Maybe it’s a good thing that you don’t know, so you won’t have to feel sad like mommy. Here’s the thing, that’s going to last for a while. I’m sorry but we won’t have daddy for 14 Sundays. He won’t be there on your first birthday, maybe even on Christmas or New Year too. We don’t know if he can call to greet you or if he can go out so he can spend the holidays with us. Actually babe, I don’t know a lot of things about this trip, but I know for sure he’s doing this for you.

Remember what I told you yesterday, while we were watching TV and I was stroking your hair while you were lying down on my chest? I really miss dada, babe. I don’t know how to survive the next three months without him. I know I’m going get help from Lola. I know I can provide you your needs. I promise you won’t lack the love and attention while he’s away. But I don’t know how to enjoy our Sundays without him. I have never been away from your daddy for more than a week, and I never imagined he’d ever be far away from you for three months. How do we walk around the mall without him carrying you? Only dada is strong enough to do that. Who’s going to change your nappies at 5am when mommy is still too sleepy to do so? You’re going to finally stop being afraid of walking on your own soon, and by the time he gets back, you won’t need to hold his hands anymore when we go on our strolls.

Daddy and Elle.

Daddy and Elle.

Do you think is mommy overreacting, babe? Is three months not a long time? But you’re growing up way too fast and everyday you show us something new. All I can think about is you won’t recognize Jan when he gets back, that you won’t call him “dada” anymore when you see him.

I’m writing you this so when you see photos of your birthday or your second Christmas and you wonder where daddy is, you will know that daddy is out on a great adventure just  for you. He shaved his head bald (Daddy does not look good bald), he endured not seeing you for a long time so he can provide for you. I don’t think he ever saw himself being in the middle of a gruelling military training in his lifetime, but he was willing to do it for you in a heartbeat.

Please stay a Daddy’s girl, baby. Mommy and Daddy love you so much.




This morning, I showed Elle a photo of Jan on my phone. She grabbed my phone and started kissing the screen. I think she misses her dada too.