Two Resolutions

5:59 PM Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For the coming year, I have two resolutions.

LOSE WEIGHT THROUGH HEALTHIER DIET AND EXERCISE... because it's really unacceptable how I start gasping for breath just going up and down the stairs.

EARN MORE ONLINE... because it's also unacceptable that I won't be able to afford being a SAHM considering all the opportunities out there.

Do you guys have any?

Lord of the Rings

12:47 AM Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I was running errands at CDR-King when I saw LOTR being played. After that, I started bugging the hubby to download the files so I could watch them again. Mind you, I was not really a fan though I loved the movies.

Anyway, I got to watch the extended versions this time. The Two Towers especially had a lot of scenes that were omitted from the theater release. I marvelled again at how I could see Ian McKellen playing Dumbledore, and how they really made Orlando Bloom soft-looking and effeminate. I didn't think Frodo and Sam were bordering on gay anymore, and I was confused why they made Gimli too much of a comic relief. I still loved Eowyn, and loved to see that falling in love scene by Faramir for her. I still quivered for Haldir and Boromir and Faramir, and I still caught my breath in my fave scenes (the call to arms by lighting fires, the 'on the 5th day, look to the east' moment, when Boromir died, whenever Haldir is there, when Eowyn and Merry slew the Ring Wraith, etc.

Anyway, I lost 10 hours at least of sleep and task time to finish all three movies. But it was worth it. Now am on Wiki reading up on the characters!!!

Two Deaf Sadnesses

1:47 AM Monday, December 21, 2009

I am still learning about Deaf culture so I still really have all these preconceived notions and assumptions about them that are being busted.

The first is LITERACY as I know it. We've already been told that the Deaf have problems with written English/text but it's only recently that it has sunk in that they really have a problem reading, or a problem with written text. I assumed before that they can't write English well (thus the constant bad grammar) but can read it with no problems. I was mistaken. I was told that only a few of them like to read because they really get confused. They tend to 'read' per word and not per sentence/context. Even Deaf college students at CSB think 'icing' is something cold. And to think I was thinking of giving out books to them or talking about books!

A part of me can't help but be sad that they can't enjoy the classics, unless it's taught to them in play. A part of me can't help but be sad that they can't read comic books and laugh, or be immersed in a good book for the whole day. Largely because I love to read. And somehow, I thought, if they'd never appreciate music, they'd at least have the wonderful worlds in books to turn to for magic.

For others who can't understand why the Deaf would have a problem reading, I guess I have to explain that this is largely because their style of learning is more physical-visual rather than visual-abstract. This is also why they're very good in the Arts.

The second sadness relating to the Deaf is the fact that in CSB, around 90% of the Deaf students are on scholarships, some of whom were sent to school late because their parents didn't want to invest in them. Plus, most say nobody's going to hire them anyway after graduation.

Now, last Saturday was our Christmas party and one of the FSL students was asking if we'd be contributing for anything else because she doesn't have money anymore. She had to give a Deaf student some money because said student was very hungry but didn't have lunch money.

My classmate and I also gave another student some money because his bag was slashed in the LRT. He lost his wallet and thus had no way of going home to Bulacan, where he lives. I was so sad that thieves preyed on someone with disability, but of course, I doubt they knew or would care. One other sad thing about that is the student lost his Disability ID that gives him certain discounts when he travels and eats.


One thing I could say about the Deaf though is that they are very helpful and are empowered to seek help (at least CSB students are). Partly because they can't really afford to be shy while signing and they do have to be more proactive in order to learn or get anywhere.

I know hubs is sometimes wondering if am about to adopt one of the students soon... hehe. And even I can't explain why this sudden affinity to them and their cause. But I really hope I could benefit them someday, one way or another.

My short-term goal is telling (signing) stories to Deaf kids. Yes, am back to stories... I want my brand of magic to be theirs too.

The Jackson 5 sang that lovely song, and this Christmas, they'd be missing Michael.

I have adjusted a little to not having Mommy around to cook Noche Buena, and I've adjusted to the laughable attempts we've made to cook the same stuff Mom usually cooked for us before. But Christmas really hasn't been the same since I got married... at least, what Christmas has always been to me.

Anyway, my sister is also not here this Christmas. And my Dad might still be in Bicol then. So hubs and I might be spending Noche Buena with his family. I still haven't really told him but that sort of depresses me. I've gotten used to Noche Buena in Lipa... with my nieces and nephews and food my family has cooked. And it's not that hubs' family's cooking isn't good, but it's just that saying goodbye to traditions is always a sad thing.

Which brings me to the challenge that I should take up already: to start our own Christmas traditions... like dishes I only ever cook at Christmas, and our own way of gift-giving, and yeah, maybe opening our doors or hearts to people in need, one way or another.

But there is much that am thankful for. I feel for those who have lost loved ones this year... who will be celebrating their first Christmas without a partner, a parent, a sibling or child. I am mighty grateful that's not the case for me, and so I celebrate all my blessings and pray for those whoase Christmases wouldn't be the same.

How Much of a Snob Are You?

6:11 PM Monday, December 07, 2009

Since I was never pretty nor rich, much of what I could be snobbish about was brains. And for a while, I was one of those who routinely laughed and even sometimes felt that I was a better person because I knew how to speak English fluently. I was/am arrogant in other ways but bad grammar has been one of my bigger pet peeves. I also had very superficial standards for dignity and intelligence.

But fortunately for me, I am growing up. I am knowing better.

It certainly didn't happen overnight.

But then I found THE BERKS. They are blogger friends who are generally older than me, who routinely share their own life experiences with me. Those abroad are always quick to say that even Filipinos are racist and snobbish. They are quick to remind me of the true value of hard work and dignity and what to really be proud of about being Filipino.

And then my parents became caregivers and gardeners. When the petition for them finally came through, my Mom decided to leave her long career in the government (where she was a Personnel Manager already) and my Dad decided to leave his properties here to build a life abroad for my sister, and in time, my brother. My parents have never shunned manual work and were always industrious, but when they started working what I have always thought of silently as 'menial' jobs, it was only then that I realized how stupid I've been, and how noble they truly are. It was a shift in perspective but I now really, really regret having been scared to be mistaken for a domestic helper that one time I went to HongKong (when a man was asking all Pinays who will be DH to fall in a separate line at the migration desk). I was ashamed to be ashamed then, especially since I was not even asked if I was one by anybody, but I am now ashamed for not fully realizing then just how much sacrifice those women are giving to this country.

And then there's my husband. I graduated cum laude while he dropped from college and was still a student when we met. I can out-English him but heaven knows I will never earn as much as he is earning now. Heck, when I quit my job, he was already earning times 2.5 of my salary. He has a more logical, rational mind. And he's simply brilliant with computers. I can't even set up my son's bike, and plugging the right plugs in my PC is as techie as I got. How dare I, then, to think that big words necessarily equate to intelligence?

And well, I am a Mom now. If I didn't appreciate Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles when I was studying Psychology all those years ago, I certainly do now. I didn't have to have a special needs child to appreciate the fact that each child is different and will learn differently. I cannot expect my kids to all grow up brilliant, but I am at pains making sure they'd grow up productive and happy. It's listening to a child's grammatical mistakes that makes me laugh less at an adult's mistakes. Weird, isn't it?

And then there's the Deaf, who will always find it hard to be grammatically fluent. Being welcomed into their world has also made me appreciate more just how we offer different abilities and perspectives to the world, so it really is silly to expect brilliance in just one way.


A childhood friend, who was usually referred to as gay-looking, and who was really so slow at school went caregiving in Canada and found herself an older Canadian man to marry. She's now very happy, living well, with two healthy kids and a husband who peppers her Friendster and Facebook pages with mushy, cheesy whatevers.

So now, when I see 'exotic' looking Pinays with foreigners at the mall... I also don't feel bad for them. If fellow Pinoys find them ugly, then it's certainly great that other guys found them appealing. Plus, these men are helping their families have better lives. Because of these men, more people are able to study. And hopefully, their mixed race kids will grow up enlightened about discrimination and prejudice because they have the best of both worlds.

I just hope they're all treating each other well.


So now, my only pet peeve is really text speak when it comes to grammar. And when I see poorly-constructed sentences, I don't think about that person being dumb.

Koreans, Chinese and Japanese all don't treat good English as a sign of excellence. Usually, they only learn it if it will serve their business well. Even Europeans are very forgiving about English mistakes. So I now really don't see why Filipinos should fuss so much.


2:39 PM Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just for the record, I condemn the Ampatuan / Maguindanao Massacre. It is senseless killing of unimaginable implications. The tragedy is not the massacre per se, but that it happened in our country in this day and age.

It's even more offensive because people died saving lives during Ondoy... but there, in a place the governement doesn't really get to monitor, away from Manila's prying eyes, these atrocities are the norm.

I said somewhere that maybe it's a blessing in disguise that the killers killed so many journalists. Maybe this time, fear for their own lives, offense for their own kind, will drive the press to never let this story get buried.

I also hope that the Muslims will rise together and bring the peace that should be theirs to their land. It's not that am blaming them, but they are equally culpable. Same way that I can't blame Filipinos abroad who are, right now, ashamed of being Filipinos because of this tragedy.

We elected our officers. We allow them to cheat. We have great laws but allow people to give us rice or money so they could abuse or deny these laws. We choose to believe in advertisements and propaganda and promises instead of reacting to what is actually happening. We allow people to steal from us. We steal ourselves.

So one way or the other, we allowed those people to be killed. Shame on us, indeed.

Deaf Festival 2009

12:38 AM Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I knew that CSB had deaf students from my ex-boyfriend, who was once a guidance counselor there. He had to learn a little sign language then. What I didn't know was that CSB was actually holding sign language classes wherein non-CSB students are welcome to learn.

So anyway, it's Deaf Festival there last week, and CSB was celebrating 15 years of its Deaf programme. I was humbled by the cultural show. Imagine deaf people dancing! Plus, it was an altogether new experience watching emcees signing as they introduced numbers, most of the spectators quiet (being deaf themselves), and just marveling at the depth of emotion in the interpretative dances and skits.

gay deaf students dancing to SINGLE LADIES

students dancing to KRAZZY

for me, the star of the show! (he was emcee and in at least
4 dance numbers!)

FSL students and teachers

Mr. Takashi Shozaki is a deaf actor who was absolutely
brilliant! He had everyone laughing, even the hearing.
It was amazing since they were showing a clip of his movie
and then, there he was, on stage!

deaf students flying high

with my FSL classmates and prof

I hear about 90% of the deaf population in CSB are on scholarship and it is a struggle for them after graduation to get hired. I really hope more can be done for the Deaf to be integrated into society and to have equal opportunities as the rest of us. Maybe not the same opportunities but equal nonetheless in terms of pay and value.

And I really am happy am getting to know some deaf people. They have a culture all their own and are less critical and more open than us hearing folks. Plus, I am amazed at the level of enthusiasm and self-expression the deaf students of CSB have. I'm getting redundant here but it's really, really amazing just being welcomed into their world.


Allow me to leave you with a link to quotes from Helen Keller, one who used deafness and blindness to open possibilities for others like her.

The Jinkee-Manny-Krista Drama

9:55 AM Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Everybody has probably seen the footage of Jinkee crying at the Thanksgiving Mass held for Manny's win, where she turned instead to a friend and brushed her husband's hand away.

And then there's Manny's plea for people to mind their own business and concentrate on his win instead of wondering about whether he is having an affair with Krista or not. In a way, it may really feel unfair for him, after having secured such a glorious honor for the country, to be now embroiled in vicious gossip. But what was that quote that goes something like, "No Amount Of Success Can Compensate For Failure in the Home" ... and affair or not, Manny's home has made a lot of sacrifices to support Manny's pursuit of his passion and glory for the country. So it must really be offensive to Jinkee to have the rumored mistress so near at a time when she alone should be the woman with her husband. It's her duty and privilege. And the game is so public. What shame indeed!

And how dare Krista invoke her right to support Manny, a fellow Pinoy and friend, if ever, when Manny's family's honor is at stake. How dare their handlers make light of the situation and not consider how inconsiderate it must be for the legal wife.

There is that slim chance that Manny is really not having an affair with Krista, that this is all some sick propaganda that they do not really 'kill' to boost support for their movie. But that is Manny's sin to his wife... that he defends Krista's honor and his, but not his wife's.

So Jinkee had a right to the tears, regardless of how much, or little, love there is in their marriage. After all, Manny owes her respect above everyone else, including Mommy D.

Haaay, My Dad

2:21 AM Monday, November 16, 2009

I told my father that we went swimming last, last weekend and he replied with something like "Buti pa kayo, pa-swimming swimming na lang samantalang yung iba, na-bagyo... anyway, ingat, love Dad"

And then last Friday, while chatting with my sis, she asked me a curious question, "who planned the swimming party?" So I asked her why she was asking and asked her if Dad made the above comments to her as well. She was surprised I knew. She just said something like, "you know naman our elders" :D

Frankly, I wasn't bothered by it at all. Like what I told my sis, and not because I was defensive, we moved the date of the swimming gig because we didn't want to be disrespectful of typhoon victims, aside from not wanting to do it in the midst of a storm also. Plus, I gave away sooo many clothes, stuff, money and time for the victims. I knew I had done my part and had a right to celebrate my, my son's and my husband's birthdays.

But this is particularly telling of how my Dad is. Family bonding time for him is us going to Lipa to visit him, or us staying home and maybe sitting together in front of the TV, or maybe even forcing small talk during dinner. He's been all over the world but never thought to bring his own family anywhere. We never took trips. So his view of say, who I am, is limited to what he's perceived of me as a daughter... he has much to know about me as a person.

Paranormal Activity

4:28 PM Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It is a movie that's creating buzz abroad right now. I believe it hasn't been shown here yet (which is probably why nobody's talking about it with me on Plurk and FB). Anyway, we watched it at my MIL's living room last Sunday, with all the lights closed.

It's reminiscent of Blair Witch Project without the gagging that will ensue from all the crazy camera movements.

Of course, like with almost all horror-suspense movies, it's a little anticlimactic but I really liked this one. I especially love the staring for hours or rocking for hours and the ending.

Did I give much away? I didn't right? :)

Prayer for a happy death

7:06 PM Saturday, October 31, 2009

By Corazon C. Aquino
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:41:00 07/10/2009

Almighty God, most merciful Father
You alone know the time
You alone know the hour
You alone know the moment
When I shall breathe my last.

So, remind me each day,
most loving Father
To be the best that I can be.
To be humble, to be kind,
To be patient, to be true.
To embrace what is good,
To reject what is evil,
To adore only You.

When the final moment does come
Let not my loved ones grieve for long.
Let them comfort each other
And let them know
how much happiness
They brought into my life.
Let them pray for me,
As I will continue to pray for them,
Hoping that they will always pray
for each other.

Let them know that they made possible
Whatever good I offered to our world.
And let them realize that our separation
Is just for a short while
As we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in heaven,
You alone are my hope.
You alone are my salvation.
Thank you for your unconditional love, Amen.

I am hoping my time is not anytime soon. And I really hope that whenever it comes, people I leave behind will know I loved, and therefore lived.

In the meantime, I am one with the world as we all celebrate the lives of those who have left us behind.

Bad Thoughts

4:25 PM Thursday, October 29, 2009

There was this man, a typical man, one who felt that just because he was earning well, he had a right to infidelity. That he's a jerk is no secret and this post isn't about him.

And there was this woman, married to an OFW who was impotent, and she wanted badly a child of her own, and was very much lonely all alone in the big house that her OFW husband leaves her behind in.

Maybe she fell in with the wrong crowd. Maybe she was really bad inside. Maybe it was quarter-life crisis. I don't know.

But she hooked up with the married man in the beginning of this post. This after knowing that her friend is the guy's mistress already. This despite knowing that the man's wife is bedridden with cancer.

Anyway, the cancer-ridden wife died. And the OFW husband left his stupid wife and found him a good woman to adopt a child with. And soon enough, rich jerk guy and ex-OFW wife lived together. They had a son.

Five years after, I find out that rich jerk guy has left ex-OFW wife and has a two-year old with someone else. And though it's really sad, how many women are ruining their children's lives by allowing themselves to get pregnant by this rich jerk guy, I also can't help but feel that ex-OFW wife deserved what she got. It certainly serves her right for getting it on with a married man.

Meanhwile, I simply cannot wait for what karma has in store for the rich jerk guy. Hopefully, karma will just punish him and spare his progeny.

I Was Thin

7:56 PM Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I made sure to post the picture big enough to highlight just how THIN I WAS. And yes, though the stress is on the word WAS, at least I was thin.

And no, I have no hope of ever being this thin again. And I don't even DREAM of being as thin again. I just don't think it's natural for me anymore... I have made peace with my hips and my bulk. It's actually funny, because I used to rage against the bulk, having been reed thin for the first 23 years of my life. But now, am at home with this body. I have even made peace with the boobs. And the important thing is that I still have a mighty proud bum to give me some sort of shape. Hehe.

I know am overweight. I know I should help myself and love myself enough to lose the excess weight. But still, it feels good to be able to celebrate my body in its different forms and sizes and shapes.

TV Life

5:20 PM Sunday, October 18, 2009

First of all, I still haven't finished Gossip Girl's last season so I haven't started on the current one.

And though am curious about Glee, I really cannot find time for more TV programs in my life.

I am however glad that Heroes has gotten real interesting again. I still love Hiro and Ando to pieces! And am still loving Grey's, even adjusting to George not being there anymore. I believe Burke is going back, which should prove interesting... and my favorite doctor there now is the lesbian pediatrician. Weirdly enough, I don't know her name, hehe.

Ever since hubby got me into NCIS, i've really been a fan. So am glad that it's still as great as ever... and that NCIS Los Angeles' episodes are getting better and better. Can't wait for more info on G. Callen.

And of course, CSI is still wonderful (though Katherine's face seems to be melting). They really did a great job in replacing Grissom's character with Laurence Fishburne. He is just amazing!!!

And it's not that I have a lot of time to watch these shows... I used to have the luxury of just sitting down in front of the tube but son is more demanding now and I really have to attend to him all my waking hours.

Oh and am so glad that The Amazing Race has challenging tasks again... it was getting ho-hum already before. It's just so bad though that Zev lost his passport because I liked him. Now am rooting for the gay brothers and the father and son teams :)

Last Friday, while riding a jeepney from Dapitan, a cop car caught our driver's attention from the side. They signalled for the driver to stop so the driver had no choice but to to stop and come to them. The supposed crime? Letting passengers board in the middle of the road.

The passengers who went on exclaimed that that they did not board the jeep in the middle of the road. Other passengers said the same. Anyway, the cops let go of the driver after getting the P40 he was holding in his hand (because he was in the process of giving change to passengers). I couldn't see the plate number of the cop car but I would have loved to report them. And I didn't get my P10 change anymore.


While at perpetual Help College in Manila, arranging for my sister's records to be sent to her in the U.S., tow things couldn't help but get me nitpicking about grammar again:

1) On an ID strap: It takes A LOT of BRAIN to be a nurse.

2) On glass windows at the Accounting Dept: If you have any COMPLAINS about your account, contact so and so.


I am stress eating over Pepeng. I had two breakfasts at Jollibee yesterday.

Shocked with the Devastation

6:10 AM Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have never underestimated the elements. It's one of the few things I have always respected. And during my short stint as a mountaineer, we were taught to really respect that its a power we may be able to prepare for but never control or conquer.

I have recently been more active in volunteering and helping with Ondoy victims. But I literally go cold all over when I contemplate the plight of the entire North, where waters were as high and landslides have already buried people because of Pepeng. What else can I give? How can I help them? How will help get to them?

Ondoy victims are far luckier than they because since they're from Mega Manila, help from the can afford can reach them more easily (not that it's a competition). But far flung areas like barrio schools which you can only probably reach by helicopter (given the landslides going to Baguio/Benguet) would have to wait for a while longer. And they'd be colder there. Ondoy destroyed more possessions here in Manila but Pepeng killed more up North, and compromised our food supply. The entire country's food supply.

I do not want to lose hope for our country. I want to believe that we will rebuild. Meanwhile, I hope to see the same rabid call for donations and volunteers to help flood victims up North.

And since other countries have been struck as badly, we really cannot depend that much on foreign aid. We have to help ourselves a lot if we're to see our country through this.

Happy for Godson

7:06 AM Thursday, October 08, 2009

I have recently reconnected with a college pal, whose eldest child is my godson. The last time I saw him was at his christening some 3 years ago. He inherited his mother's seizure disorder so I have always worried about him.

Well, now at least I have news. After going through the alphabet of medications he can take, they finally found something he totally reponds to. What's more, he need only take that medicine instead of having to take four others. So now, he's started standing up. Finally, the neurons breaking have stopped and the seizures are few and far between. Finally, he is making headway in his psychomotor development. Maybe his language development will also happen in the next year or two, and it's okay if he's delayed so long as he gets there. His Mom tells me she gets teary just watching her eldest stand up, I couldn't tell her that I teared up as well when she was telling me.

I can't wait to see him again. And at least I know there is hope for him yet.

Hopefully, his condition really brings the compassionate nature of his younger sister out... and that Yasmin helps Kuya Xam every way she can, since she's more advanced developmentally.

Prodigal Blogger Yet Again

6:09 AM Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Well, actually, am not.

It's just updating 4-5 blogs can be a b!tch. Plus, everybody has been preoccupied with Ondoy, its tragedy, the aftermath.

Anyway, I was traumatized by Ondoy. In a way, it's rather embarassing because it's not like we had flash floods here at home, or that we lost stuff to the typhoon. But still, something about living all your life somewhere and then having that house violated (natural disaster or not) that shocks you to the core. Now, every bit of rain makes my heart skip a beat.

My birthday last Saturday was rather uneventful. I was sleeping for most of the day! But the cake in the night proved very rewarding, and our family date the next day made up for the lack of celebration.

I was gifted with running shoes and I have yet to use it. Yikes.

And I may just have tipped beyond 150 lbs. already. Double yikes.

I've even started wearing hubby's clothes. Triple yikes.

But my birthday gifts to myself proved rewarding. I finally went out there and donated and volunteered again. IIt really cannot help but pick you up when you help less fortunate fellows... and I am grateful for the opportunity.

What's more, I have managed to reconnect with college friends. Hopefuly, I meet them and their brood soon.

I feel anchored again to something wonderful and it's great. And I don't mind being 32 already. I'm really very happy with my life and the love in it that I have. So God, I am grateful.

We Did Not Deserve It

5:30 AM Wednesday, September 30, 2009

... but maybe we had it coming?

First of all, there is no real defense against Acts of God. They are just forces greater than we are. They can strike anywhere, at anytime. They do not care if you're brilliant or stupid, famous or not, rich or poor, single or married, old or young. And Death, when it's your time, will not discriminate between a man wearing expensive underwear and a man wearing tattered panties (because panties are cheaper to buy than briefs).

So when Ondoy came, Manila was certainly at its mercy. It cannot simply rain that much without destroying anything. That's a law of nature in itself.

But maybe, we are also not entirely blameless as to the degree of devastation and loss of life.

After all, we marched on the streets to oust a President for gambling but re-elected a President who spends P800 million on foreign trips. And not voting at all does not make us blameless for putting her there.

And we allow her to put her cronies in key positions, all of whom drive us further into debt while enjoying what's left of the government's coffers. Meanwhile, roads are given token patches but are not really improved. Taxes we pay still do not go into health care and education. But are we offended enough by the corruption to remove these 'leaders' from their seats of power?

And do we join environmental groups when they protest the construction of certain buildings and towers? Where are we when trees are being cut down to make way for villages and industrial parks?

Do we recycle and reuse? How often do we bring our own water anywhere? How many bring their own shopping bags for groceries? How many of us dispose of our trash properly?

How many of us smoke?

How many of us save energy?

If we had leaders who were actually concerned about serving the country, then funds would have been better appropriated and there will actually be available resources to be used in such emergencies. Help would have gotten faster to people who needed it.

Plus, industrialization will happen in a more prudent way.

If we, as a people, are disciplined enough to follow our laws, respect our authorities and be concerned about the environment in which we live (and the natural resources that's abundant in the Philippines), there wouldn't be that much garbage and there would be that much more trees.

Then again, because we were so naturally rich, we have taken it for granted that we will always be. Unfortunately for us, we cannot keep what we do not care for. And now, a lot of what we had going for us is lost.

And then there's still that complacency. We know we're being wronged and yet, the most we do about it is complain or Tweet. We expect others to march in the rallies for us, to be the one knocking on doors and swinging the axes.

But wait, we still have People Power. We never lost it, after all. But somehow, after wielding it once or twice before, we always go back to 'sleep' and dream again of a better Philippines without ever waking up to do the work.

Ondoy was... IS a nightmare. I wonder, is it enough to anger us into action and make things better, or will it just make us angry? Will we finally help ourselves or just keep crying for help?

Make no mistake, had we better leaders and more disciplined citizens, Ondoy still would have ruined and killed. But I believe, we'd have saved more lives at least. And the victims would have more hope and drive to rebuild.

We did not deserve what happened to us... but seeing that it already happened, what are we already doing to make sure it doesn't happen again?


Like what I said in Facebook... Even God said we should do our best for Him to do the rest. We cannot just express sadness over the tragedy, we have to rally support for the victims, donate or volunteer. We cannot just complain about the government, we have to change it. We cannot just complain how there's too much sun or rain, we have to plant trees to ensure it wouldn't get that hot and the rains won't flood us so.

And we have got to stop nitpicking on what others did and didn't do and focus our energies on doing something ourselves.


I am equaly guilty of complacency. I have not been giving my best effort in being the change I want to see in the world.


I leave you with Edmund Burke:

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare. " (hello, Presidentibles and your commercials)

"We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation."

If We Were Spared, Let Us Now Help

3:29 PM Monday, September 28, 2009

7-11 stores have been opened as drop off points for donations (people need clothes! and we don't need that many shirts!!!).

Schools and Churches are all accepting donations as well, or need volunteers to help repack the donations.

And everyone can donate money. This is a good resource site on how to donate to the Philippine Red Cross. Even people abroad can donate via Paypal.

Let's give guys. Every little thing counts.

I already did. It's my birthday gift to myself.


Mail & More, FedEx & Air21 outlets r now accepting donations. For locations please call 8794789 or log on to


STARBUCKS NOW ACCEPTS DONATIONS FOR TYPHOON ONDOY! The ff. donations are welcome: blankets, rice, bottled water, instant noodles.


List of other official help sites and lines.

It took me Sunday afternoon before I had load for my SMART number. My SUN phone lost it's signal around 6 PM yesterday and hubby's GLOBE lost its signal around 9 PM last night. So it was only several hours ago that I had means to text friends and ask how they fared in the Ondoy tragedy.

My heart is currently breaking for my former officemate. They lived in Antipolo and their home was one of those that experienced a flash flood (you know, where water just comes from nowhere and before you can even pick up anything or think of what to do, it's already higher than your knee, your waist, or it has engulfed your first floor already).

Unfortunately, her mother must have been so surprised and stressed that she had a heart attack. They couldn't bring her to the hospital because they were stuck home because of the flood. Her mother died that Saturday and it was only 5 PM of Sunday that they managed to get her out of their village.

I cannot imagine how it must have been for them. To have your precious things ruined, to have your beloved home unsafe, to be at the mercy of the elements, and then to hold someone you really love and not be able to help them. I can't imagine how many times their loss was multiplied by not being able to get medical help, by being stuck at home with their dead for hours, unsure when they can even do the decent rituals for someone they love.

I ask for prayers for them. If it's not too much, and if you have a Facebook account, please leave her a kind message here.


Let's also pray for others who have lost family and friends because of Ondoy. Let's also pray extra for those whose loved ones died because they were helping save other lives.

And let's pray that the death toll stops soon... that diseases and hunger would not
take more lives in the aftermath of this really vicious tragedy.


Meanwhile, let's also pray and thank God that we have been spared...

God Wants You To Know...

9:51 AM Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mec got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that to find out who you are becoming find stories that move your heart.

Just like a seed has an image of the tree in it, so does your heart have an image... of who you are becoming. Look for stories in movies and books that resonate in your heart, and you will find glimpses of your possible futures. What is your favorite story?

Lately, am still all about prairie, pioneer and Titanic stories. So I hope that doesn't mean disaster but I think it really means am in a rut, and would welcome great upheavals that are character-building. Opportunities to grow... opportunities to become.

Then again, I really should be more proactive and create those opportunities instead.

Facebook and Friendster Delivers

1:03 AM Monday, September 21, 2009

...old friends, that is.

I'm really happy to hear from college friends again. I'm happy knowing that they're alive still, and that life seemed to have blessed them in the end because they're generally ok. I love knowing that they have more than one kid now, and that they're still with the men that they were with when last we saw each other.

I don't like it so much though when I see them into Farm Town and Farmville and pet Society, hehe. But still, it's like coming home, this kind of happieness. Hopefully, we don't fall out of touch again.

Maybe I should invite them over for my birthday. I can just buy cake anyway (since am strapped for cash) and we can all just gab away.

September's Better

1:57 AM Friday, September 11, 2009

Although a little depressed and hassled by my recent allergic episode that necessitated a trip to the ER and a prescription of soooo many meds, September has been a little better mood-wise for me.

And although i've been hemming and hawing over plans... I think am really going to pursue something that's a little close to heart.

I am meeting with friends on Sept. 27... they are ecstatic over culinary school and party planning business. Their passions. I want to be like them. I just really have to not be scared of wanting to fail or be different.

Facebook also helped.

Mec got a message that on this day, God wants her to know...
... that what you are most afraid of is where your greatest rewards are.

If all you had to do was wish for something and you would have it, life would be pretty boring, wouldn't it? God placed barriers between us and what we want, so we can enjoy interesting and satisfying lives. God hid our biggest rewards behind the highest barriers - our deepest fears. God wants us to face our fears, and hold ground in their presence, and let them go, and that's how we get out biggest rewards. What are you most afraid of? Say it, just start by saying it.

I am scared of not being good enough. Of starting from scratch. Of not knowing. Of failing.

It Sucks to be a Female Patient

4:52 PM Wednesday, September 09, 2009

One with a sex life too!

Well see, my back started being more of a pain than usual yesterday. Bad enough for me to feel numb and weak and dizzy when I carry Yakee. So hubs insisted on me going for a check-up today. I braved rains to do so.

Anyway, the interview with the HMO doctor left much to be desired. She wasn't even interested in my activities that could have led to the back pain (are you engaged in strenuous activities? did you carry anything heavy lately? what's your sleeping position? had too much sex? have you been gaining weight?). She just non-chalantly wrote a prescription for pain reliever and an order for urinalysis and x-ray.

But the thing is, I am a day delayed. I actually don't feel am preggy and i've been irregular every now and then. But they think it's still too early for me to get a pregnancy test and any suspicion that I may be preggy trumps the need for the x-ray.

And no, my darling doctor didn't ask about the possibility of me being preggy. To her, I was just a person, not a female patient, who requires a different approach, maybve even diferent medicines.

Book Love

12:49 AM Sunday, September 06, 2009

My parents say that i've loved to read ever since I didn't even know how just yet.

But it wasn't like my parents also surrounded me with books. We had a lot of reference books (one of my favorite ones was this huge, heavy reference for diseases, the graphic pictures were exciting for me) and I even read the book "Where There is No Doctor".

So when I was in Grade 1 & 2 at Montessori, the library was my second classroom. And I guess since it was Montessori, and I had foreigner classmates, the books must have been mostly in English.

But I really became a bookworm in Grades 3 & 4 at Concordia. They had this really, really, really huge library. They had complete editions of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (which I never touched). Instead, I immersed myself in American textbooks donated to the country by different libraries in the U.S. I even relished the fact that the books were hardbound but in mint condition, that my hands were the first to ever turn their pages, and my name is the first to be stamped in the library cards. For the two years I was there, I was in the top 5 borrowers. And always, i'd gladly finish one textbook through the night so I could borrow another one the next day. I wanted to finish shelves upon shelves of them.

That was how I got to know about Africa, and American pioneers, and American Indians.

And then, I was transferred to PCS by my Mom. They also had two sections of donated books that nobody ever goes to. There, I immersed myself in Greek gods and goddesses and faerie tales and Enid Blyton. And the American textbooks.

So although I never read other typical classics, I still spent a third of my childhood reading, getting lost in stories from a different time and place.

The catch, however, is that I prefer American prose over ours.

Anyway, I bought two such textbooks again today from Booksale. I love them all the more because they come with study guides and suggested activities or points for reflection. I tell myself, these will be handy when I start homeschooling my kid.

And am just waiting for the right date to start charging on our credit card because it's sale at NBS. And am looking forward to the Manila Book Fair. I plan to start shopping for Christmas gifts to nieces and nephews early. I am hoping OMF Lit books will be on sale as I intend to buy a collection of the children's books.

Sigh. Bliss. I spent some 5 hours at Booksale and NBS this afternoon.

Again, bliss.

Kitakits for Kuya Rich

5:46 PM Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I've known the FAD people for over a decade. They're one of my oldest friends and they knew me when I was still an enraged, confused teener. We lost touch over the years as each one pursued careers and family life.

But last Saturday, some of us managed to make time for one of our own. Ya Rich has been battling with a serious kidney disease for over two years now so we met up to cheer him up and let him know we're there for him.

Twas a riot reminiscing about old times, how we still crave for the pancit miki bihon we used to buy before, the old love teams, the old boo-boos, the things we did for the NGO that made us friends. We gossiped and caught up with news and info. I finally confirmed for them that one of us was already gay even back then :D

Anyway, i'll be seeing them again this December... hopefully with more pics and better food :)

Not My Month

2:28 AM Friday, August 28, 2009

I am unhappy.

And struggling with a cranky son.

And poor (post-Boracay and self-imposed poverty).

And I cannot sleep (maybe because am depressed).

And sh!t just hit the fan with my first ever Ebay transaction... the box was delivered sans books! Dang seller, Ebay, USPS and the month of August. I only wish I can get a refund.

And I think I hurt a little cousin's feelings.

Really not my month.

Still Sad

6:37 PM Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I keep trying to look for reasons... where I can direct the blame. This is really the worst kind of sadness, the kind when you don't know for sure what's keeping you down. You're just down.

You're aware of your blessings. You're aware of how far you've come. But still, you're down. You lack purpose. You lack meaning. You're down.

And I hate jumping down people's throats for the littlest of things. I think it's also why my son is antsy these days... he can feel Mommy is terribly unhappy.


3:11 PM Monday, August 24, 2009

Got this text message from this number:

"ito bago ko roaming number, nagpadala ako package jan may kanya na pangalan dun my celfon kau dun, loadan u ako 115 para makatawag ako jan..sige wait ko load ngayon. ingat kayo"

I remember, maybe two months ago... I received a similar text. It just so happened that we were really expecting a package from my parents then and I read the text after waking up so I really thought it was from my Dad. But then I wondered why he didn't endthe message in his usual way so I verified and texted his old number.

Anyway, I wonder just how many are scammed by these people. And I hope they burn in hell. I'd suggest you guys post these in adult message boards and the like so they'd be peppered by texts and calls from perverts, but we know perverts send load and that's the last thing I want to happen.

And I don't know if this is a Globe or Smart number. And even if I can report it, they can easily change sims.

Hopping Mad

11:34 AM Friday, August 21, 2009

I asked my sister to help me look for the Little House books and buy them for me... but I also asked her for her address so I can just buy them myself through Ebay.

I won the Ebay bid right? 17 books.

And I was bidding on Ebay while chatting with my sis. And talking to her. I was telling her about it. And I told her now they don't have to buy the books anymore (because i've bought them already) and that they need to wait for my books and find space for it in the door-to-door boxes they were preparing.

I told her that!

But today I woke up to see a text message from my sister telling me they bought me four Little House books! Grrr.

What a waste of resources. I just hope my sister takes the books they bought back and also get their money back! Grrr.


Am hopping mad because am not having a good week and every little thing sets me off.

No Longer an Ebay Virgin

11:42 PM Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Technically, I have already transacted on Ebay when I bought a used Amelia Bedelia book for P50 a year or so ago. But that was cash on pick up and local.

But this week, I really made a purchase online. I had to make sure that the seller will ship to my sister instead (because two door to door boxes were being prepared for us by our Mom). 17 Little House Books for only $11.80 (including shipping!). I actually have the "By The Shores of Silver Lake" book, bought it for P70 in Booksale. But really, this is a steal! And I don't care about them being previously owned either.

I love stories about pilgrims and covered wagons and log cabins and prairie life. I grew up reading donated textbooks from the States from the libraries of Concordia and PCS and always, I have been mesmerized. I would always imagine time machines that would bring me to that time, and I used to fantasize what goodies I would bring with me (think instant noodles and corned beef). I pondered over how log cabins were built, and how they baked in their ovens, and making my own wax candles (you know, holding a string in your hand and dipping it in and out of hot wax till you get a candle, and then collecting all the wax again for future candles).

I wondered how covered wagons could contain everything a family owned.

I was actually a college grad when I took up the hobby of buying American textbooks from Booksale. It was a delightful surprise, realizing where I got to read all those stories I used to enjoy before. I think I have ten of them at least, some i've already given away to nieces. And it was there that I 'met' Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family.

So I really can't wait to finally read the series from start to finish. It would be a really great birthday gift to myself!

Goldilocks Disappoints

11:00 AM Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I was lucky enough to win one of the consolation prizes at the Nuffnang-Goldilocks "You're the 1" Blog Contest. The awarding happened last August 07 and the prize supposedly is P2,500 worth of Goldilocks gift certificates.

Well, I didn't get the GCs at the event because they either misplaced it at the event, or someone stole it, or they really left it at the office. The Goldilocks people told us they'd just coordinate with Nuffnang so they can send the GCs to us.

One of the Nuffnang folks was kind enough to give away calling cards where we can e-mail our contact details to. Of course, Goldilocks should have already taken our details then and there but since they just finished an event, I was gracious enough to let them breathe and wrap things up.

So I e-mailed my contact details to Nuffnang and told them the closest Goldilocks branches to where I live. August 13, I followed up with Nuffnang, confused why nobody from Goldilocks have contacted me yet. I was told that they have made follow ups already but it's really beyond their control because Goldilocks hasn't replied to them either. They said they will follow up again.

It's now August 18. I have already also e-mailed the Goldilocks' customer care but there's still no reply. I have expressed my disappointment as well at being the one doing the follow up (it's like am begging for my prize, something I fairly won naman).

I'm now torn between doing more follow ups or not. Since they chose my entry as winner for the consolation prize, I therefore feel that I am entitled to the prize. After all, in their eyes as in mine, I wrote a good blog entry. But I really don't like the feeling that am begging for something, even if am technically not. And it's such a hassle wondering who I should appeal to next.

Plus, it's not like I want or need the GCs ASAP (though my birthday is coming up). But a call from Goldilocks explaining the delay would really be appreciated.


edit: they finally called yesterday afternoon with an apology. said i'd get the GCs by Thursday. (aug. 19)

edit: they didn't call at all today (aug. 20) and no word till now (aug. 24)

It's Not Just Birthday Blues

4:34 AM Sunday, August 16, 2009

First of all, my birthday is still around two months away. But I am really sort of depressed, restless, sad and feeling pointless.

And I hate it when some opportunities come knocking because i'm the first to shoot myself down. Some people, when they see an opportunity, go for it, wing it, and learn on the job. Then again, how am I supposed to want to keep something if I don't even know if I want it in the first place?

I keep telling myself, I need a new project in my life. But if you actually consider the facts, a demanding and hyper little boy should be project enough, aside from my involvement in breastfeeding and volunteer counseling again. But still, I am restless and feeling useless and worthless. Still, I am seeking something.

I don't know what it is I want to do to feel that I am contributing to the world. And dang it, I am so scared of trying and failing. I'm stuck. Stuck. And I don't even know why.

Because Everybody Thought It

3:28 PM Thursday, August 06, 2009

This is a major misprint/typo/Freudian slip/death wish made by Manila Bulletin today (they say, check the back page). It's sure going to be a collector's item indeed and am sorta envious that a friend of mine got a copy :D

TV caption naman!

May Your Dreams Be Realized

4:16 PM Wednesday, August 05, 2009

May the Filipinos, as a nation, stop wasting the chance to be better... and may we finally realize the dreams you and your beloved Ninoy dreamt for us. Rest in peace, and indeed, adore you or not, you have fought the good fight.

Image source

I have at least twelve godchildren already, ranging from age 17 to this newborn. Most of them are firstborns as well :) For most of them, I felt privileged for being asked and most of them are kids of people that are still very much in my life.

Hopefully, they all will grow up strong and good.

Because I Was Bored

5:13 AM Monday, August 03, 2009

...I decided to help my friend's client and make guest sheets for a birthday party.

It made me realize yet again how I do everything half-baked. I learned Photoshop and had a great digicam before one of my friends did but she's now earning from her digiscraps and her pictures are really nice. Me, I contented myself with the basics when I could have been better.

But still, I believe I was able to make one mother happy :)

I decided to put some allowance for the binding but am not sure I did it right. Ahehe. And I realized that I love yellow too much :D

photohunt: entertainment

5:03 AM Sunday, August 02, 2009

These are some type of snail or something. Basically, they're organisms that attach themselves to driftwood. Shot these while we were in Boracay about two weeks ago.

How is this entertainment? Well, it is, or rather, they are! For a toddler, that is. I was happy just to document them but my 21-month old loved pulling them off. Yes, cruel really, and I did stop my son everytime I can but there were just so many driftwood with these on the beach... but he is a toddler just discovering his world. Self-serving it may be but I just consoled myself that God must have made these to delight kids as well. One God's creature to another.

Sad About Not Being Sad

12:03 PM Saturday, August 01, 2009

Like what I Plurked, I am sad and bothered that I don't feel sadness or a sense of loss with Cory Aquino's passing. I'm not happy about it, and yes, I did expect it somehow considering her age and how Kris Aquino has been acting (one could see they've been told it's just really a matter of time)... but really, I feel I should have a greater sense of loss. After all, she featured in our history in a big way. She was a rallying point when we were lost.

Maybe it's because i've been generally ambivalent about politics anyway. And admittedly, i've never felt she was my hero, my leader.

Still, my condolences to the Aquinos and Cojuangcos. And to the grieving Filipino people.

If I Still Haven't Rejoiced...

1:07 AM Thursday, July 30, 2009

... and expressed my thanks to God, the friends who prayed, etc., then here it is... I am happy to share that my sister passed the Nursing Board!

Of course, it's kinda useless really in the U.S. because they don't really require that there. But still, it's proof that she has the smarts, not just the heart, to be a nurse.

I can still remember how my heart ached to see her crying for hours when she didn't pass the first time. I knew she was so disappointed with herself and so ashamed. I also remember vividly the fights we had because she was paying more attention to the bloody boyfriend than her review... but at least, common sense prevailed, and hard work too.

It's recession in a bad way in the U.S. My friends tell me even nurses can't get good work... but I have no doubt things will turn around in time, for Americans, for everyone. And now I pray that she will get to establish a good life for herself abroad. Not just because our parents are working hard for it, but also because she will be a mother herself.

And, for what it's worth, if this present boyfriend IS the one she's going to choose to spend her forever with, I really hope and pray he's at least half the man my husband is.


She's currently in Florida, enjoying Disneyland, ahehe.


3:31 AM Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And major sigh again.

So far, this is the most flattering shot i've seen of me in Boracay. I like to think I wasn't really in denial that I wasn't slim anymore, but yikes and double yikes, I am really, really super wide now. However way I pose, I am wide. Whatever I wear, I am wide. And looking at pics of myself in a two-piece makes me laugh because the proof that I had a waist before isn't really very flattering now. Now, it's this weird line on my sides... and yes, most times, I look pregnant.

And it didn't help that twas very rainy in Boracy so all we really did was sleep and eat. I had Starbucks frappes alternated with FIC choco mint ice cream. I had crabs and shrimps almost everyday. Yeah, I was a pig... so I am wide. :D

And heaven bless hubby for saying I looked okay in this outfit when really, I looked like suman and very TH :) I love him!

Happy Birthday, Py

12:55 AM Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You'd have been six years old today. But even so, you've been loved by us for more than six years. I hope you always know it.

Okay, this is me ranting away.

My family was one of the many affected by the runway problem here in Kalibo yesterday. They said the airport was closed at 2 PM. We checked in at the Caticlan airport (SeztAir flight) at 2 but left at past 3 but were not even advised that there's a problem in Kalibo. We got to Kalibo at 5 PM and saw hundreds of stranded passengers who were clueless because no airport representative was making any official announcement. Understandably, foreigners were upset because they were going to miss their flights back home.

They said they were hoping they could fix the problem which was why there wasn't an earlier advisory made. But, since it was a runway problem and security is foremost in airport operations, I should think that they should still have made the advisory and closed the airport to really investigate and fix the problem. Surely, a runway problem that was big enough to cancel flights for will not be resolved in an hour or two. Turned out, there were 16 PAL, Cebu Pacific and ZestAir flights that were cancelled yesterday. So that's between 400-600 passengers easily affected.

And Kalibo being an international airport, one would think that they'd at least have a ready directory of inns, pension houses and hotels in the area that they could hand out to the stranded passengers. And how about footing the bill for meals and accommodations? Or just transport fare at least (tricycles charge between P50-80 just to transport people from the airport to the nearest budget inn)? And really, how about showing your face to the people, after all, you collect terminal fees?

ZestAir personnel got numbers of their passengers (those who were proactive enough to do something) but they also didn't really run down their list to make calls.

But really, tourism has just suffered majorly with the way they've handled this situation. And I really want to harangue someone, anyone, over this!

Boracay Now

7:12 AM Saturday, July 18, 2009

The first time I went to Boracay was 2001, I think. Then I went again in 2003. Back then, the original talipapa where souvenirs were sold was not yet burned down, and it was the same marketplace where you can buy seafood and have local carinderias cook it according to your preference.

Back then, buffets weren't that popular. But yes, eating in restos along or near the beach will cost you. Even then, lobsters were what the locals used to entice foreign travellers. And there was no real road then, just a main street that was usually flooded in some areas and holed in some areas. And the only franchised establishment then was Friday's, located by its lonesome at the end of White Beach.

Now, it's a more commercial place than ever. I actually don't get why they wouldn't allow Jollibee to set up shop there since there's Yellow Cab, Starbucks, Andok's (5 restos!), Mang Inasal, FIC, etc. already competing with the local restaurants. And there is a major road now instead of just a street. And the buildings are many and sometimes immense, with nary a system or tastefulness to the grand design. And the locals are being pushed to smaller and smaller living quarters to make way for family-run room accommodations.

And the flooding is actually bad. Then again, it's been raining for over a week now here. But still, all those buildings being built have resulted in a drainage problem.

There are even two international schools here now, because foreigners have settled here. Some have married locals so it's also not surprising to see foreign-looking kids speaking a mix of Tagalog and Bisaya. And there's a homeschooling org here also. And then there are at least three major shopping areas for souvenirs (the original talipapa, D'Talipapa and D'Mall). And there are so many buffets now to choose from, as well as so many spas and massage places. There are still massage offerings right on the beach but they're not that many anymore as most have moved to buildings.

In a way, I am really more saddened with all this progress. I just think things could have been kept simpler as more people settled here. I was hoping some degree of consideration for what makes Boracay wonderful was made.

But of course, it's still very wonderful here. Eventhough it's raining like hell for days and I was caught in what felt like a storm at sea with a toddler in my arms yesterday. How could Boracay be anything else?

We Had Him by Maya Angelou

9:08 AM Thursday, July 09, 2009

We had him by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing,
now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips
like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace.
Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances
across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing.
No clocks can tell time.
No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember
that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love,
family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style.
We had him whether we know who he was or did not know,
he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing.
He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama,
and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

I have yet to watch the memorial... had hubs download the file (almost 2 gig).

Return to Innocence

10:08 AM Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Well, I highly doubt i'll ever be innocent again. But still, I spent two days (Mon-Tues) attending a seminar on handling CICL cases (Children In Conflict with the Law). I also learned about R.A. 9344 (also known as Pangilinan Law because it was championed by Kiko Pangilinan, our country's response to UNICEF's challenge) and restorative justice which some believe is a better one than the retributory, punitive justice system we have, especially for kids.

It's been 3 years now since this law has been passed and its progress has been very slow. For one thing, it requires a major paradigm shift for all lawmakers and enforcers. It also requires additional budget for more youth homes, social workers, rehab centers, and information drive.

And then there's the fact that gangsters, syndicates, even parents have capitalized on this by getting children to do their dirty work for them as all kids 15 years and below are exempted from criminal liability (but not civil liability and rehab). 12-15 year old kids can brandish guns very well too, so they are being used in the wars being waged in Mindanao.

Going back to the paradigm shift required, this law acknowledges that all kids below 18, regardless of their crime, are also victims of their circumstance. Which is why intervention, diversion, rehab programs for them are important so they can still have a chance to become productive, contributing adults in future. Theoretically, it does seem like a sound argument, after all, kids who are jailed end up just becoming better, hardened criminals from learning from the pros. But practically, it can be a logistic nightmare to implement. After all, the resources required to follow and monitor a child's progress is immense. And he may not always have his parents or the community's support (heck, he may not have parents for that matter).

One thing I realized and have to get used to is that restorative justice doesn't aim to take away more from the victim and his family. It's just that it hopes jail will be a last resort rather than the first option. And offenders will be made to make amends somehow.


Filipinos actually have great laws! I just hope we're good at implementation however.

Bye Little Sis

12:27 PM Sunday, July 05, 2009

Racked with sobs, my sis said a very tearful goodbye to my sleeping son very early this morning. And I spent till 1 AM trying to burn pictures on a DVD for her to take (it didn't occur to me to just save the damned lot in a thumb drive and copy it in her laptop). I was too sleepy and sneezy to cry (plus, it looked like she was crying for hours already).

She told me THANK YOU for everything.

And she even went to our cousin's room to tell her goodbye too, to think that cousin didn't even have the grace to help her pack, join us for dinner last night, and get up to say goodbye to her. (And i'll stop now because this post is not about my menopausal cousin) But then again, my sister has always had the grace to forgive and not dwell on conflicts.

The plan is for her is to stay and work her a$$ off in the US for at least two years before going back to visit the country. A great thing that should help her miss the Philippines less is that her BF is leaving for the Middle East in August. At least she can console herself that both of them will be living in foreign shores. Hopefully, distance won't be a hindrance for their love to continue to grow. And I really hope she will be lucky and persevering enough to build a good life for herself abroad (amidst our crazy relatives).

I will miss her.

But I think this is really the final straw for me to also move on with my present life, along with my family. I've been tiede to this same neighborhood for years, now I can really leave it knowing that nothing else is worth staying here for. No more baby sister to watch over and guide and bond with.

Tonsillectomy, Go or No Go?

1:19 AM Monday, June 29, 2009

I feasted on powdered milk and sugar yet again three nights ago. The following morning, I woke up to sore throat. The sugar must have irritated my tonsils. And unortunately for me, the sprayer of my Ilog Maria throat spray refuses to work.

And then I must have caught some flu bug because my tonsils just throbbed all the more, and I started feeling sick and sore all over. I also had minor cramping in the stomach. Anyway, I went to an ENT for antiiotic prescription because I was really feeling bad already (and twas painful to swallow anything). He commented on the fact that I just had tonsillitis last February and that I should consider a tonsillectomy already if it occurs anytime this year again.

The truth is, all ENTs have suggested the same to me for the past decade or so. It's not that i'd have tonsillitis all the time, but my tonsils ARE huge already (right now, it feels like i'm choking on them). But I am of course hesitant to go through a surgery, however minor, since it IS still surgery. There is no going back from it.

Plus, we've noticed that my Mom's voice changed and she seems to always be running out of saliva when she's talking after she had a tonsillectomy done. So my sister is understandably against it. But of course, am trying to weigh that against having to take antibiotics 1-2 times a year for the rest of my life just because my tonsils reacted to something I ingested (because there was a time that I wouldn't even drink iced tea because my throat gets irritated readily).

Of course, one can always argue that those doctors are also just hoping to make more money from me. And since the procedure is sure to be covered by our health card, they're apt to suggest it more.

Then again, I also wonder if our health card will still cover everything if I ask for a different kind of anesthesia to be used (because i'm scared of general anesthesia and has nothing but wonderful memories of tramadol).

The End of Freaky

1:23 PM Friday, June 26, 2009

And maybe, with the death of Michael Jackson, he will start being inspiring again.

Because he WAS inspiring. Back when MTV was still fairly young, I lived fos his MTVs. My fave of all time is REMEMBER THE TIME and it was only today that I realized that it was Eddie Murphy who played pharaoh there. I thought WILL YOU BE THERE? was such a sad, lonely, desperate song but I responded to its feeling. I even defended and rationalized the white skin before... but then he just started being really freaky and creepy and sad.

Do I believe he really exploited those kids? Yes. But not as badly as what the news said. I mean, it's pretty obvious he's disturbed, and for his problems to take on a sexual manifestation is certainly not suprising. But I also think he's fragile enough not to have been able to handle abusing so many kids at the same time (as what was reported before). But anyway, that's that and now, there is still his musical legacy.

So to honor an artist I admired, I made my son sit through Thriller, Remember the Time, Black or White and Man in The Mirror.

My top MJ songs are Man in the Mirror, Gone Too Soon and One Day In Your Life. My heart also responds to She's Out of My Life and Ben, of course.


Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

So sad that MJ seems to have never gotten the peace he was looking for. But I hope he's had many a happy times.

And the first one I thought of when I heard he died was Elizabeth Taylor... his staunch supporter and great friend.

Facebook Weird Moment

11:02 AM Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Well okay, it's not exactly weird. But since I cannot think of a better term, weird is what am using.

I believe around 19 years ago, when I was in Grade 6, my friends and I caught a batchmate and a girl (from a batch higher) kissing in one of the empty corridors of our building. We did the upstanding (and probably geeky) thing to do, we reported it to a teacher. The next afternoon, the girl, with her gang, ganged up on me to threaten and intimidate me. Of course I was scared they'd like beat me up or something, but I wasn't cowed enough not to answer "Because what you were doing was wrong!" when asked why I reported them to the teacher. I believe comments like how envious I was that nobody's kissing me were thrown at me that time. But they let me get home without a scratch (and I was pretty popular with the teachers then, being President of the Junior Mentors Club) and I did't get flack from them anymore.

Four years after, I became chummy with their lookout... because she became my seatmate. She's also the girl's cousin.

And now, I see a Facebook friendship request from that girl. And it's not like am holding a grudge or anything, but she was one of the bullies of my time. I mean, they gang up on girls who had the same bag as they did (remember when plastic, transparent backpacks were in vogue?) and they also tormented the next girl their ex will hook up with.

It's just so strange to have such ugly memories of someone!

Newport City Blogger Event

4:46 PM Monday, June 22, 2009

For the unaware, Newport City is the one being built by Global Alliance near Fort Bonifacio. It will feature Vegas-type hotels (one of which will be Maxims Hotel), entertainment offerings, other commercial centers and of course, high-end residences.

Anyway, they recently invited bloggers to help spread buzz. They treated us to dinner, gave us an orientation and tour, and also taught us to play casino games (because Casino will feature greatly in their development plans).

Some of the movers and shakers of the professional blogging world were there. Hehe.

Anyway, I'm not really a fan of high-end, exclusive anything that only caters to the rich and famous. But from what I heard, i think they're also planning to have zoos and other stuff that middle income families may be able to afford. Still, they are creating jobs for the Filipinos. And they are using mostly Philippine-made products which means more income opportunties for our countrymen.

And just maybe, in the next five years or so, Star Cruises clients can board here directly instead of going to some other Asian country. It's about time we really put the country in the tourism map, maybe then our government will be forced to really deal with our security issues.

But of course, I hope progress will not mean a bad compromise at our end (like more garbage or prostitution, etc).

Freaks of Nature

9:50 AM Thursday, June 18, 2009

These pictures are taken at the Tagaytay marketplace. And yes, it is pineapple season once again!

The Comfort Wipe

5:00 PM Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I know it's a cultural thing. In the same way that foreigners might be aghast at the idea that we Asians (or us Filipinos becuase I really don't know about other Asians) clean our a-holes and precious parts using our hands and a dipper of water, we Asians are horrified that they don't wash theirs and just use tissue to clean up. Either way, I guess we're still icky. But i'd still prefer to wash with my hands and then just wash my hands after.

Sorry, even if I alone may see it, brown stains on underwear are gross. And it invites bacteria, does it not?

Anyway, so imagine how amused I was to see this ad:

The only time I was really unable to stretch my arm to properly wash was when I was preggy. But how unreachable can an a-hole be? And how many times does one go to warrant starining one's back anyway? I mean, I go to the loo every two hours at least to pee and wash every time, and my back and arms don't have a problem with that!

The easy grip thingies are a better product, but they're only freebies when you get this one.

In one of the conversations I shared with my sisters-in-law, I was amused to realize that at that one and only time we went to a spa together, back when I was actually thin, they noticed my boobs and thought that mine were big.

I was amused because I also noticed their boobs then and I remember thinking that theirs were big (even my younger SIL's, who was thin) which means my future daughters had a fighting chance of not being flat-chested.

Laughable to realize now that we've spent so many times together already, going about sans bras, that none of us really had big boobs. My thin SIL, though not flat chested, actually has less boobs than I did when I was as thin.

So yes, we women notice each other's boob sizes. I don't think our issues are greater than that of men when it comes to size, but yeah, we still check out other women's assets. And we naturally perceive other boobs as bigger when we see them while the womanis bent over, drying her hair or about to put on her undies. Hehe.


Superficially though, I really thank God that gravity notwithstanding, mine are still perky. I mean, I breastfeed, after all.

You’re the 1, Goldilocks!

2:15 PM Thursday, June 11, 2009

When I found out that Goldilocks, in partnership with Nuffnang, is holding a blog contest, I really got all kinds of excited. After all, here is a product I literally grew up with. So I racked my brain on what to write about... Will it be the sago't gulaman that I insisted on having all the time I was pregnant? Or will I write about the mais con yelo that is the perpetual pasalubong my sister and cousin ask for when I make them babysit my son so I can have ME time?

Or would I write about their spaghetti, one I insisted on having every afternoon that year I started working, just because I could finally afford to eat out? I remember having to spend double the transport fare then because i'd get off at their Paco branch, which was halfway to where I lived. I only stopped when they closed down their foodshop.

Oh, there are so many Goldilocks products that I can write about that featured in special moments of my life. But i'd be crazy to write about them when, in my heart of hearts, Goldilocks has always meant one thing for me: cake, specifically, mocha cake. Even my family would sometimes marvel at how I can eat it, day in and day out, for weeks on end. My cravings last for months, you see, so when it's mocha cake that I want, it's really a mocha cake binge. And I don't mean mocha rolls because I preferred the thicker icing on the cake, and I am a slave to sugar flowers.

(proof that I am a slave to sugar flowers?)

There was a time that I shared this obsession of mine with a nephew. He just really loved it too! My then-boyfriend (now-husband) would often chuckle and kiss my forehead everytime I'm eating a slice and my darling nephew would ask specifically for the sugar flowers or the icing... or the last bite. Ouch! But sharing it with him was of course, the more important thing (plus I learned to buy extra sugar flowers, hehe).

I even remember getting excited and creative on what i'd have written on the cake. But even if I, or then-bf, bought the cake for me, we'd still tell my nephew the cake was for him and he should blow out the candle (yes, I insisted on the free candles!) before it melts on the cake. Sometimes, we'd even really sing "Happy Birthday" for him.

Yes, we doted on him very much. How could we not, he was the cutest, most adorable person for us then!

Which is why Goldilocks cakes became all the more special for us... for me. It was not just part of our celebrations (where I make sure to order Triple Delight flavor cake just so I can give my family a break from the mocha), it was something that we used to make my nephew's everyday more special.

So when Pyro was confined in October 2005 for a tumor found in his lung, I brought him a slice of cake (because he was admitted on my birthday) and shared it with him on his hospital bed.

And when he was admitted at PCMC for his first chemotherapy session, we bought him a whole cake, made him blow the candle and ask Papa Jesus to make him better.

And during his fight, one that took over a year, I kept buying him cake. It was one of the things he could still appreciate, one of the things he could still keep down, something he believed that I alone provide.


Now, I still buy the biggest mocha cake I can get for his birthday. We bring it to the cemetery instead, however, to be distributed to the kids living there. It has become one of the rituals that has allowed us to move on, sharing his favorite cake with the less fortunate as a testament to how much loved he was, and how greatly missed.

So if i'd forever be indebted to friends and family (especially the Berks and my husband) for seeing my family through our loss, and if i'd forever be grateful to all those who helped Pyro meet his wrestling idol Batista, and if I can still not see Tweety or Spongebob and not remember Py, how can I not celebrate Goldilocks in the role it played in making my late nephew's short life sweeter?


I won't lie. Indeed, for a time, I couldn't eat mocha cake after my nephew passed away. It felt sacrilegious to enjoy something he used to enjoy so immensely!

But in time, we recovered from our grief. Plus, God blessed me with a new nephew to buy cakes for.

Pyro's brother Ice, 1st birthday


You're the 1 Goldilocks, because you help me in my role of doting, loving, privileged aunt! You're the 1 Goldilocks, because you helped me cheer up a much loved, much missed nephew of mine.

Why I Keep Getting Fatter

12:08 AM Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I don't stop eating. And eating out.

* edited... there shouldn't have been a question mark in the title :D

Fashion Pain

12:22 AM Sunday, June 07, 2009

My sister, after years of saying I had bad taste (read: a little too sexy) in clothes, has recently raided my wardrobe in a major way. It's like, everyday, she's wearing old gimmick outfits I used to wear to entice guys with.

It's really kinda painful to see favorite and seldom-worn tops (because they showed too much boobs) become her everyday wear as she goes to her review classes. The only upside is that she has to wear my clothes with some sort of bandeau because she doesn't have as resplendent a cleavage. But that's the only upside. I also have to swallow the fact that I will never be that size again (because even if I shrink down to 120 lbs, my body has already widened so old clothes don't fall as nicely as they once did).

Shame on me for not having enough vanity, at least, to keep my figure.

Shame on my sister, for eating her words.

Shame on our mother, for not giving me money so I can buy a new wardrobe. Hehe.

Let's Get Inspirational

5:44 AM Friday, June 05, 2009

rain must be making my friends reflective. got these two in my e-mail


A Poem to Ponder

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus , “What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?”
God must've made a mistake.
“And why's everyone so quiet,
So somber? Give me a clue.”
“Hush, child” HE said, “they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.”

Remember....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car …
Every saint has a PAST.... Every sinner has a FUTURE.


Recently I overheard a mother & daughter in their last moments together at the airport They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged & the mother said, 'I love you, & I wish you enough..'

The daughter replied, 'Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.'

They kissed & the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted & needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, 'Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?'

'Yes, I have,' I replied. 'Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?'.

'I am old, & she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead & the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral,' she said.

'When you were saying goodbye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?'

She began to smile. 'That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.' She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, & she smiled even more.. 'When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.' Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive & everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.

She then began to cry & walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

* Only if you wish send this to the people you will never forget. If you don't send it to anyone it may mean that you are in such a hurry that you have forgotten your friends.


To all my friends & loved ones,


Weirdly Enough

2:56 PM Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Have you noticed how many people, left and right, are moaning the fact that the rains haven't stopped for days now? That before the heat wave over a week ago, people were wondering why it was raining already in May and were upset over their vacation plans ruined?

And yet, I can still remember a time when Filipinos were used to a lot of rain. I remember a time when we were used to six months of sunshine and six months of rain. Plus, the Flores de Mayo is basically a veneration of Mother Mary to bless us with rain so that farmers can be ensured a bountiful harvest.

But there came that dry spell. In fact, I think it was only three or four years ago that the dry spell ended. For a decade at least, we'd only have rain with the typhoons. But there wasn't that perpetual downpour. Now, the daily rain is back. And true, it sucks because we now can't dry our clothes. And for sure, it is flooding some areas in the city.

But the flooding isn't the rain's fault exactly, is it? Isn't it ours, by building more and not providing enough exit points for the water to flow out of? And this is not like some harsh storm wrecking crops and what-not. This is just a steady downpour, one that may even have helped clean our air so we were spared from that Swine Flu virus, one that clears up smoke and pollution in the city.

And yet, it now ruins other people's days.

Oh, I will not be a hypocrite. I think it would be grand for it to shine all day and rain all night. But we can't really control such things so am just thankful we're not getting flooded. And we're being ensured electricity because the dams are being filled. And there is hope for rice crops (which incidentally should have come a longer way by now, but I guess the powers that be never thought to protect that which we consider staple in our diet).

I can afford to be gracious and magnanimous, I know. But there isn't a point to not being one, for again, it's not like I can scream STOP to the heavens and get results.

Santacruzan and My Issues

1:09 PM Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First off, Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo are not the same. Santacruzan is all about reliving Queen Helen's hunt for Jesus' crucifix remains. Flores de Mayo is a flower festival for Mother Mary asking for good harvests.

Anyway, the Santacruzan has begun in earnest in our area. My son loves the beat of the drums and xylophones during the parade and I love watching all the gowns. I see that tarpaulins wih the sagala's picture is now the norm, either attached to the decorated arch or the pedicab (which usually carries the kids). I can't help but cringe when I see archs decorated with plastic, thinking of how they'd be environmentally bad.

Anyway, watching those heavily made-up girls parading with their consorts will always be a bittersweet thing for me as I was ugly as a child. And though I never measured my worth through my looks, I am only human. Of course, it would have been nice to be asked to parade. And eventhough I know half of those who were only there because of their conncections and bribes, I really doubt any woman wouldn't like being appreciated for how good she looks. I really doubt any woman wouldn't like being perceived as beautiful.

So I can only imagine how competitive such things can be in small towns.

I only got to parade in a gown once, and that's at the Tapusan of Flores de Mayo in Lipa, where anyone can don a gown and parade. The only one with decorated archs and lamps are the Kapitanas. And even if you don't have a partner, you can join (of course, it'd be kinda embarassing, but it's still not uncommon). And yes, being voluntary, ladies in gowns usually outnumber guys in barongs by 3:1 :)

But all these being said, I am glad to not be particularly marked negatively by the lack of looks. And it's really great there's such a thing as sex appeal and confidence, that I never wanted for admirers naman.

ow, if only I can be the hot momma I want to be. Hehe.

Sponge Crunch Addict

5:03 AM Saturday, May 23, 2009

I am not even going to pretend that this is a healthy snack. But since it only packs 150 mg of sodium (and 185 calories) per serving (the big bag contains four), it is a little better than other chips.

And I just love how it melts in your mouth! Ugh. And it's not as salty as most cheese snacks. I can eat a whole big bag in one sitting (so ouch, that's 600 mg of sodium, yikes).

I also like their Marty's cracklin in salt and vinegar (veggie chicharon). Again, it's good food (vegetable) made bad (fried, salted) but it is a better alternative to usual chips, I guess.

I have not seen any of them. I was (am) curious but I am also ashamed to go downloading a copy since every curious cat like me who end up watching the vids take away more of the victims' dignity.

Can you imagine what those girls feel?

I mean, those who know better will also know that the offense really is having those videos taken without their permission, sharing those videos to others, and letting the videos be distributed. Which is why I really hope nobody buys what Hayden Kho is saying ("no malicious intentions my a$$) and that he be stripped of his license for the simple reason that he compromised others.

Other men (or boys) should be equally punished.

Because the truth of the matter is... nobody really watches these videos for the guys. These videos become consumer goods because the women in the videos sell. And the guys don't really suffer the same stigma as the girls in the videos do. If ever their partners leave them, it would be because they were unfaithful. But the women, they are left, ostracized, judged and marked for life... not for infidelity (if that was the case) but for being sexual beings. They are judged because they got naked in the first place. They are condemned for reaching an orgasm. They are ridiculed for performing things that about 1/3 of the female population between ages 16-45 actually perform themselves (or are made to do).

So really, I am all for laws being passed that would make distribution of sex videos without both (or all) parties concerned a crime. And I am all for heavier sanctions laid for situations where minors are going to be affected. Because this reminds me again of that Mabini scandal of three high school boys gangbanging a girl and exposing her online.

I have a son. I don't want him to grow up thinking that there are women you can use and abuse and that it doesn't take away from his own integrity or from his other relationships.

What a 150-lb Woman Looks Like

10:27 AM Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well, okay, technically, i'm still only 145 lbs. But I am still really very much overweight now. And yes, this is the most flattering picture of me right now because am really all lumps and bumps and bulge and cellulite and stretch marks.

I need to get healthier asap.

Dreams of Living on the Beach

3:46 PM Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maybe it's just my in-laws' resthouse. But then again, i've always loved the beach. And after having come back from Marinduque, I find myself daydreaming a lot about living there on my own, for at least a month.

I'd just sleep at the sala or the hammock, with the ocean breeze and the crashing of the waves for company. I'd eat local food and not watch TV. I'd forego cellphones and internet and read a lot instead. And i'd walk miles and miles and miles of it.

I'm thinking, maybe i'd even camp at the Melchor island of the Tres Reyes chain. Wonder though if high tide would mean i'd have to sleep in the cave...or climb higher on the limestone cliffs.

And what would be a typhoon like from the treehouse? And would the sunsets always be as beautiful?

This is such a romantic daydream, one I doubt i'd ever realize now. After all, I can't exactly live an idyllic life there away from my husband and son.