So after being told that I have to still work on my last day at Boracay, I was already feeling kind of pissed off to a large degree at the fact that my life seems to know revolve around work 99% of the time at any point in time when members of my family are involved. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. My parents are fantastic, kind, and supportive parents. My brother and sister get along with me quite easily, and the three of us know we can rely on each other when push comes to shove. But being part of the family business, I have started to notice how I barely receive calls from family now just to ask how I am. Nor have any family events or outings been purely family events. Work meetings, discussions on clients, problems with the performances of certain individuals in manpower and the like keep creeping in. So with the dismal way my first actual vacation in years of working for the family business ended, I was feeling pretty shafted in regards to the idea of trusting any vacations to come from that day on.
My dad ended that day's text conversation with a: "Don't worry. Soon, you will have lots of vacations."
In some ways I took that message wrongly. It felt more like a veiled threat. Or a warning. It was a digital horse on my bed-shaped inbox, so to speak.
Then came word a few days later of a grand plan they had: A trip to Singapore.
My parents you see used to live in Singapore for a period of time. I don't quite remember the specifics, but it is suffice to say, when we kids came into the picture, they decided to come back to Manila and raise us here. But they do have fond memories of the place and when the idea of flying to Singapore came to their heads, they easily found a way to even add more meaning to it. My sister just celebrated her birthday last December 1. At the time of the discussions on having the trip, it was intended to also celebrate her birthday together as a family.
"But what about work?" I protested, already not too keen of the idea of flying out of the country only to still do work - the kind of work they feel I should go in to Paranaque thrice a week to accomplish even if I can dutifully handle it in Cubao.
"We can ask your Kuya and Ate to handle it," my Dad mused.
I was skeptical. I asked that of them for my supposed four day Boracay trip. I was barely gone for more than one working day when my dad texted me I "was expected to work" that Tueday. Making it more frustrating was that the days the picked for the trip included the day of the Pride March, an event Rocky and I have been planning to attend since last year's march. Having just come out to my parents last April, I was really looking forward to being part of the march as an out gay man.
But fine, it was a family vacation where I didn't have to worry over work.
Or at least that's what I thought.
Now it is 2:30a.m., and our flight to Singapore is at 6a.m. I just finished loading my clothes to the suitcase my dad wants to bring and I thankfully am calmer now. I was furious earlier though. Why so angry so early in the morning? Because when I arrived, my dad quickly asked, "So how are they going to do work assignments today?" A question which basically declared, "Since you are working, how will they coordinate with you?"
I stared back, anger growing, but trying to stay calm. I ask, "I thought Kuya and Ate Ives will-"
"Did you talk to them about it already?" came the reply and at that point I broke off eye-contact. I was furious. They didn't tell my brother and sister-in-law that they had to cover for me. They expected me to tell them. And mind you, it is not a if they haven't spoken with the two recently. My sister-in-law knew of the trip. I chatted with her one time and she persuaded me to join the trip. Said it was something about our parents trying to reach out to us. So I thought they were all planning this out. Parents telling the two to hold the fort while me and my sister join them on a getaway to Singapore.
I guess that wasn't the plan after all.
So now, I'm leaving all these notes for the transcribers on how to assign work. And I suspect later, once we arrive at the hotel, I will do what I can to connect online and check how work is going. I know my brother and sister-in-law will be willing to lend a hand. That's pretty much certain. But I hate how my parents expected me to "tell them" rather than them informing the two of their plans. I didn't want this trip after all. I'm only going because I want to be there as a son.
But looks like I'm going to be there as both a son and a member of the transcription company.
So much for a vacation, eh?
Na Tim Yap ako.
But yeah, I'll do my best to enjoy the trip. I'll even take pictures.
I just wish, sometimes, that they would just be more upfront about things with me.
And some day, allow me a REAL 100% vacation.
Or else, I might just one day give myself one without asking.