“How do people make it through life without a sister?”, a question asked by Sara Corpening. Reflecting on this question, I wouldn’t want to imagine my life without a sister. Not anymore. For 7 lonely years of being an only child, having a sister is one of the greatest gifts I received. From the innocent years I didn’t know how a baby is formed in a mother’s womb ’til the day I know how science works, I still believe it is God’s work that miraculously granted me my childhood prayer request.
Each year, we become closer and closer to each other. This 2015 marks the 1st year we travelled together, without our parents. Thus, I’d like to share with you…

 What’s best about travelling with my sister in Hong Kong.

1. Discovering my sister’s cool side.

Reine and I are somehow opposites. Well not somehow, I’d calculate it to 88%. You’ll know why when you get to meet us. Conversations with her about random stuff under the sun opened my eyes to her cool and fun side. You know how teenagers are, they could be quiet at home or maybe secretive, probably lock themselves in their rooms, but pour their hearts out and be talkative with their friends. I’m so blessed my sister Reine trusts me with her stories without being hesitant. And I appreciate her open-mindedness towards life and her positive perspectives. From that trip, I discovered my 16-year old sister is a baby no more. This lady is seriously mature for her age, which I find cool about her.

2. Sharing similar interests.

Reine loves portrait photography as much as I love food photography. As we found our common denominator, that is photography, we get to learn from each other and complement each other. One of the things we enjoyed during our trip was taking photos of each other. We didn’t mind taking more than 15 minutes of capturing the photo we like since it was something we enjoy doing together. Bonding over photography while travelling drew the closeness between us. 

3. Knowing what’s in her mind.

Like friendship, knowing a person is built over time. The time we spent in Hong Kong may be short but enough to dig deeper inside her mind. Finding out what she thinks of certain things made me understand the way she thinks. It’s as simple as talking about what she hates or what she likes. Understanding the way she thinks makes it easier for me to relate with her, given that 7-year age gap. The adjustment is not up to her, it’s up to me being the older one. If you think it’s easy, well re-think again. I’m the “ate,” so if something wrong happens, the blame is on me. There’s what you call responsibility. Haha! It’s my love for her that reigns anyway. And my relationship with God guides me to stick to the plan of loving my sister unconditionally whatever storm comes our way.

4. Building a food-buddy relationship.

You know what’s great with eating together? You get to sit down properly and have time to communicate while being in a happy mood with your food. Plus, we get to create memorable stories with food that only the two of us could understand. It’s the exclusivity of our stories where no one else can enter. The memories of that cheap yet satisfying Hainanese Chicken Rice and Portugese Baked Chicken Rice were symbolic to us. We thought we could finish everything on our table but we ran out of space in our stomachs to fit the meat and rice in. I couldn’t eat anymore that I had to beg Reine to finish the rest for me. We agreed not to waste food by the way. Haha!

5. Learning how to protect her.

I admire my sister for her intelligence, skills, mature mind and most of all her pure heart. During my alone time with her, God revealed to me how pure and genuine my sister’s heart is. Yes, that’s a blessing and actually a revelation on possibilities the world could take advantage of her kind heart. As a protective sister, of course I didn’t want anything or any man to hurt her. If someone else bullies her, all I could think of is an act of revenge towards that bully. Here I am being a control freak again. At that moment, God spoke to me to surrender her to God. I could be the instrument to guide her or watch over her but it is really God who’s in-charge here. Not me nor my parents. Our hands and powers are limited. Our best may not be even enough. In the end, His plans for my sister will prevail.
Last meal in Hong Kong International Airport
Sisters don’t need words.
They have perfected a language
of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks-
expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief.
Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs-
that can undermine any tale you’re telling. -Pam Brown
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