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Never in my life have I dreamed of becoming a housewife, much less to a diplomat. I come from a middle class (No, I am not rich. Why do people always assume this?) family and I’ve always dreamed of becoming that career woman little girls looked up to. I was gonna be that journalist who led a normal life and wrote compelling stories about the Philippines – a country I love despite its imperfections and would always choose to call home. I was happy to stay local with the occasional vacations to see my family in Europe (a continent which I’ve always considered my second home) and to the different countries that I want to see in this lifetime through my hard-earned money. Marriage was not in my mind and kids were considered a hindrance to my career. But all of that changed.
Now, it’s more accurate to say that I’m a journalist by profession who has chosen to make a career out of “wifehood” – if there really is ever such a thing. From press briefings and ambush interviews, I now find myself aiming to be a domestic diva (with a limited budget) while juggling coffee-mornings with other trailing spouses and diplomatic events on the side.
As a TV reporter, I used to cover and do stories on the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, the diplomats in Manila, as well as the electoral sabotage trials of a former president and an accused mass murderer in the Philippines. I also spent a good chunk of my career reporting on the impeachment trial of our country’s then Chief Justice. I’ve shaken the hand of the Queen of Spain and witnessed then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton re-affirm the US’ Mutual Defence Treaty with the Philippines. I have found myself in a demolition site where hell was starting to break loose in a dress and a blazer. I ran through airport security just to get to the Indonesian Foreign Minister (who was just about to leave Philippines after his ‘lightning visit’) before he got on to his plane. All those for the sake of getting the story and letting people know about it. I’ve worked long hours, gave up on a hard-partying kind of social life, and had many sleepless nights for that job.
Then, love happened. My ex-boyfriend-now-husband and I broke a few hearts along the way and got married on 12 October 2013. I decided to transfer to a different company (an up and coming news website in the Philippines) and shift my focus from hard news to Lifestyle. I was doing profiles on people I found interesting (a lot of them are still diplomats), beauty tips, fashion and art stories, food reviews, and travel articles – so that I can stay away from the bureaucracy and not get my husband into trouble because of the stories I come up with. 😉 Actually, I plan to continue those types of articles in this blog as well. Just to keep things diverse. So watch out for beauty reviews!
At events in the Philippines, other journalists and diplomats that I have become acquainted/friends with would often tell me that I’d make the perfect diplomat’s wife. “You’re fun, charming, and you’re a journalist! You’re such a natural at events!” said one Ambassador’s wife to me while having tea at their home during an interview.
To be honest, “undiplomatic” would be a word my closest friends would use to describe me. Tee-hee. I am actually very candid to the point of being quite dangerous so I have to remember when to open my mouth and when to keep it shut when accompanying my husband to his work-related events. But the truth is, (and I’m sure other diplomat’s wives would agree) it’s not just about diplomatic events (which I have been attending since the start of my journalistic career). There’s so much more to it. There are a lot of things along the way that will make you feel fulfilled as a person – like say, being helpful to your countrymen abroad and to your country itself by promoting the Philippines to tourists so that they get to know our people and culture – the list goes on.
From planning or raising a family to being your husband’s personal cheerleader, to battling homesickness, to making new friends and work connections (while keeping the old ones back at home), to adjusting to a new culture and environment down to finding your niche in the crazy, ever changing world of expat living. The perks? I guess it would have to be the excitement of not knowing where you’ll end up in the next couple of years and that your husband’s work is basically a travel opportunity. Your mind and horizons broaden and you understand people from different cultures more. I can go on for days. But then again, we’re just starting out.
Come and join us in this crazy adventure.