Ilog Maria

11:27 AM Monday, July 31, 2006

Like what I said previously, i'm quite addicted to honey these days. But I like it raw and by itself, unlike my hubby who uses it on toast, pancakes and ice cream. So anyway, finally got JRA to take me and his family to Ilog Maria, a bee/honey farm just past Km. 47 of the Aguinaldo Highway.

Twas one of those times when I actually carried a basket and took my time going through the stuff being sold there. Anyway, their website is exhaustive enough in extolling the virtues of their products so I won't discuss that anymore.

Bought Royal Jelly (to relax) and Bee Pollen (to energize) and both taste like hell. I think one should take some honey after them just to rid yourself of the aftertaste. But their honey is really delicious... my brother-in-law started gulping from the bottle while we travelled home. And they also sell clay made from beeswax, for those with artistic but sensitive-skinned kids.

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The most recent shock of my life... i've actually kept gaining weight and now weigh 140 lbs. Diet and exercise, here I seriously come... because this is just unacceptable anymore!!!

still exhausted...

6:13 PM Friday, July 28, 2006

I think my last care-free day was last Monday, when the typhoon Glenda and SONA had government workers stay at home.

Because I got sick last Tuesday (dang allergies, which isn't really a surprise since the weather has been rendering people sick around me)... so I had to stay home last Wednesday, but also had to gather all my energies and go home to Lipa for my uncle's burial the following day. Good thing it was actually sunny there and the burial yesterday, though hot and humid (not to say emotional), was a breeze.

Us cousins, while waiting for our elders to tell us it's time to bring Tito Jose to the Church for the Mass, decided we want a party for all the birthdays marred by my uncle's death (and we didn't mean that in a bitter kind of way)... so come August 06, we'd be celebrating birthdays (my Mom's, Pyro's, my uncle Romy's, my SIL Angie's, my cousin Adri's and my cousin-in-law Karen's) and despedidas (my uncles and grandma's for their return to the US on the 8th, and for a pair of uncle and aunt, who'd be migrating to the US on the 20th)... I'm in charge of ice cream and cake, as usual. And we're thinking of ordering some 'dirty ice cream' because the kids actually love it when the ice cream is scooped from that metal barrel. Now, which cake to buy... esply as a treat to my uncle who worships them? Hmm...

Sister, after getting dengue, seems to have gotten some gastro problem. We'd know for sure once she's had a stool whatever tomorrow... so yeah, I was absent from work again and feeling sick still. Spent all afternoon crying and sleeping (crying because I was having an emo moment, due to the stress and sickness and exhaustion). So yeah, this is a very uninspired post... but I want to remind myself I lived this week. And I want to know that the past weeks did pass... and that there were fun times along with the bad and sad... like seeing uncles and cousins I haven't seen in years and months.

Anyway, one 'weird' thing that happened this week was my cousin's friend (an adopted family member for years now) bringing with her a Russian guy to my uncle's wake.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Albert looks yummy no? He stands 6'9" and wears size-15 shoes (arrgh, imagine the implications of that!) and he's only 20 years old! Poor him, KC and my uncle refused to leave him alone. KC, who at 6 years old could actually speak perfect English, even tried teaching him stuff (It's door in english, d-o-o-r, in Tagalog it's pinto, what is it in Russian?). His appeal to most of us wasn't the fact that he's Russian or looks great... but his height. So before we all left, members of the family took turns having their pics taken with him. (oh, of course, it was also endearing to me that he doesn't smoke!)

My sis stands at around 5'7".

He slept at our house... and my cousins kept teasing him about how it's customary for foreigners to sleep with the eldest female cousin. Ahehe.

Anyway, my parents... even after my insistence that they've sent enough of them already... sent us OATMEAL packages again via my uncles. I'm going to be kind though and send them Carnation Coco Evap and my Gising-gising Recipe (and all my Mom's weird bilins, like Scoth Brite and rubber bands and eyelash curler).

Well, they also sent honey. I'm obssessed with honey these days... and will buy some more tomorrow if I get to finally go to Ilog Maria.


The Blogberks are talking about sex.

And who knew feet could be so beautiful, artistic and interesting?.

haaay si KC

1:03 PM Monday, July 24, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Because one of my Dad's cousins work in MalacaƱang, flowers and a Mass Card were sent for my uncle in GMA's name.

Anyway, there we were at the porch, cousins hanging out with aunts and nieces and nephews (who I made more hyper through chocolates), the night stormy and really cold last Saturday...

KC was jumping around and making us laugh with his antics. His Mom told us about how, when her own father died, KC asked his lola why people were paying to look at his lolo (referring to how people in the province would give some monetary aid after looking at the dead person).

Then he decided to read the ribbon on this particular flower arrangement.

"Gloria Makapal Arroyo"

We laughed.

He read the next. "Jose Mig-wel Arroyo... ay bakit Arroyo, diba dapat Camitan?"

We were confused.

He then asked us why both names had Arroyo. His lola (my aunt) told him to just ask Gloria.

He replies, "Sabagay, si Gloria na lang ang buhay eh."

Then his dad (my cousin) finally understood... he thought the "Jose Miguel" was our deceased uncle, that's why KC said it should have been Camitan.


Pyro celebrated his 3rd birthday with people who love him so much.


Nacho LIbre starring Jack Black was a pointless film but it was dang entertaining! Had so much fun watching it!

a tale of two Josephs

11:01 AM Friday, July 21, 2006

Tito Jose is my father's brother. They never really knew what went wrong with him, but suffice it to say that my father's family just accepted there's something wrong with him and moved on and lived their lives adjusting to what was wrong with my uncle. Back then, you don't really go seek psychological and medical help if someone's OFF. And my Uncle was OFF... Others would use the term SPECIAL.

Anyway, my Uncle had his idiosyncracies but he's more like an idiot savant that's OFF. I can't really be more eloquent. But he walks and eats on his own, and can converse with you, has a great singing voice even if he doesn't know the lyrics to the song, was very strong, was a big help to the family crops/produce business, was not dangerous at all, was mostly non-temperamental (until he hit his 40s when he became kinda masungit), had a particularly remarkable memory...

But of course, he can't do Math... would wait by the gate when he knows school girls are passing by going to and from school... would oggle girls... he couldn't really make big decisions... I can't really say that he had the mental capacity of a 5-year old because 5-year olds are capable already of lying while my Uncle never lied... never stole anything...

Anyway, he's way over 50 when his kidneys gave out. Bless my father's family, everyone rallied and pitched in. But his kidneys continued to deteriorate. He was up to two dialysis treatments already a week (and given his mental condition, isn't a candidate for organ transplant) and wqas manifesting so many complications already...

And last Wednesday, after being in the ICU for two days, he finally joined his Maker.

And tho tears sting my eyes right now, remembering that time when I was a child and I asked him to scratch my back and kept asking him to scratch harder and harder... and an aunt found us and realized my back was already bleeding (yeah, I wasn't aware that I've been scratched raw)... and my Uncle got in trouble with everyone, and got scolded pretty heavily... and I started crying so hard, more upset really that I got him in trouble... and everyone scolded him all the more as I cried all the more... though my eyes sting with that memory... all I can really feel for my Uncle is relief.

Because he's been really sick for a long time now... and the hundreds of thousands that have been spent over him for so many years can never really buy back his health... and I want his siblings to also be released from the 'burden' of caring for him..

I felt guilty for praying for his death ever since I learned that he was in the ICU for the Nth time. I think i'd always feel guilty.

But I believe everything that could be done for him has been done. And I know that I loved him. And I know that he loved us. It's just, his work here on earth is done.

So, Tito Jose... am really glad that you're already where everyone is equal.

Am just really sad for Lola though... no mother should ever have to bury a child.


JOSEPH PYRO turns 3 years old today. He's been calling us all week, inviting us to come over for his birthday. Too bad Ninang Rez has school.

Anyway, torn between supreme excitement and a quiet sadness, I texted his Mom that i've ordered his SpongeBob cake already... it's two tiers with SpongeBob standing on top. I just know he'd be so delighted with the cake!

Because his treatments require much financially, we'd only be preparing stuff and holding his birthday at my SIL's home. None of the Jollibee stuff he wanted (maybe when he's been declared finally cancer-free, we'd even have a catered something). But his cake is the most expensive yet that i'd ever have to buy for someone... because he still deserves to have a blast!

I intend to get people on videocam to wish him well... and make a CD for him later. Of course, am also the official photographer again.

~ insert deep breath here ~

I have yet to see a sign that Py's purpose in this world is done. And yet, he's also already been through sooo much.

But I really hope his mother wouldn't ever have to bury him. I really wish for his health so he can enjoy his childhood. I want him to have a long, happy life. I want him to grow up, get married and have kids someday.

I want to continue knowing him... and I want my future kids to know him. So God, let that BE, please!

And i'd like to just really thank everyone who have extended our family KINDNESS thorugh all this.

of loss and love

5:53 PM Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sometimes, when gripped by loss, or even just loneliness (or ok, simple stupidity), we tend to compare losses.

Whose loss was greater, the excited Mom who had a miscarriage, the anticipating mother who gave birth to a still born, or the one who lost a 3-year old child? What about the Mother who lost a 17-year old child? And does it matter if she lost her eldest, the first child that defined her and gave her the role of Mom, or her last child?

Whose loss was greater, the child who got orphaned early... or when he's already a teenager?

Whose loss is greater, the bride who loses her groom weeks before their wedding... or months after their wedding?

Which would one prefer, losing a husband before having kids with him, or after?

Does it matter if you lose someone from a lingering illness, from an accident, from sudden death... from a congenital disease?

Does it really matter if you've known him for decades... or just days?

A loss is a loss, ain't it not? A loss is something inevitable, true, and also irreplaceable. Even the dogs you lose cannot be replaced by other dogs. But yes, you CAN and probably WILL love other dogs again.

A loss is a loss and is inevitable. And because of loss, there is grief. And when we lose someone in our life, we grieve.

So, if we sometimes compare the gravity of loss, we cannot help but also pretend to predict the gravity of grief. But is grieving for a child comparable to grieving for a parent?

Because it all boils down to that... due to our individual personalities and preferences and ways of life, due to our varied roles and skills and charms... due to our achievements and the promises conceived in our potentials... none of us is comparable.

So handling grief now boils down to LOVE. Anger and fear is as much a part of grieving, and yet, people tend to pretend it's love for the lost one that's stopping them from enjoying life... from letting go... from moving on.

We... for everyone initially is entitled to irrationality... lash out at ourselves and at the world, angry that God took this person away, or that other people were not careful enough, or that the authorities or the adults didn't respond early enough, or that there were certain things we failed to do.

We ask and ask and get absorbed in the questions as to why dad has to die when we're still young, or why a cousin had to die so young, or what you could have said and done to prevent someone from killing herself. We get lost in self-abuse and regrets... of I-wish-I-did's and didn'ts. We scream at the coffin being lowered six feet into the ground, "Why, why did you leave me?"

But if we truly love those that we lost... the grief gets transformed... in time. The questions, though unanswered, start to bother us less. And we find ourselves laughing about something and momentarily thinking, how a friend or husband or son would have loved this beach, this joke, this conversation, this moment too. A stab of pain, a remembrance, and a sigh follows. And then we smile again and continue.

We eat and breathe and learn again. We take up new hobbies. We welcome new people into our lives. Indeed, we learn to love new dogs. And we learn to continue loving and caring for our kids who are still with us. We fall in love with life again.

And the one we lost to accidents, to disease, to crime... we start loving them without selfishness. There is less of that, "who'd boil water for me in the mornings?" and more of "if you were alive, you'd think this new recipe rocks!"


It's been a sort of terrible week last week for me. Sister got DENGUE. It only manifested itself really (apart from the high and on and off fever) six days from her first feverish incident. She's still confined at MaDocs. Aside from worry over her, I have to admit I was also worried for my parents... breaking the news to them, hearing Mom cry again and again in every phone conversation, feeling for them so far from their BUNSO, scared that I make a WRONG and FATAL decision regarding the care of my sister...

But of course, being Pinoy and having the ability to make fun of even serious and sad stuff... I kept kidding my sis that she's endangering my inheritance since our parents are sure to blame me if she dies. :) She's been a real trooper though... allowing us to force her out of bed to take all those tests before... and listening to me when I make her stop scratching her rashes. She's bent on getting well because I also tell her we're not missing Pyro's birthday party next Saturday.

Was alrady silently enlisting my brother for possible blood donor in case Rez needs one... but my brother ends up getting the flu. Susmio!

I think JRA is only too happy that am not getting sick considering the rainy days we've been experiencing and my usual allergy-ridden constitution... he's been happily buying me all my cravings.


Happy birthday MOM. I love you!


2:10 PM Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Actually, this picture is a lie because I spent most of the company-wide aerobics ekek taking pictures of the others with their sweaty, exhausted faces. Esply those of the bosses, sporting a grimace doing all the jumping and bending and moving about. My colleague just took my cam from me for awhile so she can also take pictures of me.


I really, really need to regularly exercise now, though. Sometimes, when am real bloated and all, am like a centimeter away already from sporting a camel toe wearing the office uniform. And none of my jeans fit anymore... and I made the mistake of buying a new pair when am really bloated, which turned out to be too big and unflattering for me on my regular days.

Shucks, the troubles weight gain is causing moi!

And it's really bad that since I'm not yet actually chubby, bordering on still slim enough and huge... most outfits don't skim me well so shopping has really become a pain!

Tuloy, i've taken to just donning a towel or going stark naked at home... all the time.


on taxes

4:31 AM Saturday, July 08, 2006


when i give up 25% of my total earnings for the year
and not have to pay more taxes when I eat at fastfood places
and restaurants
and also not get taxed anymore
when i deposit my money in a bank
i know i won't complain
bur will gladly give up that quarter
and be happy that it covers other important things
like health services when I need it
and correct, updated medical information
even if for when am just curious


i need worry nevermore
of being accosted by criminals
on the streets
or being abused and exploited
by the police
and can enjoy a good car ride
without the bumpy roads and traffic
and high toll fees and gas expense
then I won't think of the many things
I could have bought instead
(like a Canon 30D or several pre-need plans)

and WHEN

I happen to get some bonus...
and the additional income puts me
in a higher tax bracket
I wouldn't bat an eyelash IF
teachers need no longer push goods
to their students
just to augment their earnings
and the disparity between students
from public and private institutions
is negligible
and the city I love and live in
isn't polluted by people
without homes, without jobs
without education and hope

and WHEN

I do get promoted, and get moved yet again
to a higher tax bracket
i'd gladly give that 35%
for better facilities wherever I go
for better services
in all my transactions
for peace and order and clean surroundings
and confidence in the government
I will not balk at my tax computations
IF I know that everyone else is chipping in
from the streetsweeper to the mall magnate
and everybody is really benefitting

but IF... I hear,
even the most hushed whispers
that certain politicians are getting transported
in gas-guzzling cars
and staying in ludicrously-expensive suites
while 80% of the population
is struggling to make ends meet
then i'd always feel shortchanged
not just used, but also abused
there'd always be anger
a sense of injustice
a silent wish for lightning to strike
certain people and snuff their lives out

and some nights will be spent
just shaking my head
grieving over the money am giving up
and plotting how to doctor my financial statements


5:37 PM Monday, July 03, 2006

* If he decides not to love me,
it is going to be painful for me.
I may have to grieve over something
that could have been beautiful in my life.
But as I let go, I am firm in the belief
that this is going to be his loss and not mine..

There are people who, as an act of self-preservation, will say the words "His/Her loss, not mine." to imply how great a catch they are (they think) and how foolish the person is who is not going to choose to be with them.

Most jerks are like that. Most b!tches are like that. It's arrogance because they are essentially insecure and scared and worried and desperate and lonely.

I have had my share of that arrogance.

But then, i've also had occasions when I really cared for a person and I really wanted to be with him... because I was willing to know him and loved knowing him. And this person did not choose me. Or rather, he seriously took his time before making a choice, while I didn't stay around wasting my time for an answer that might not be in my favor.

But the sadness over the what-ifs... the sense of regret over all your good intentions for someone who didn't feel or want the same... the silent acceptance that people are people who are entitled, not just to whoever they choose to love, but also to make wrong choices in love.

I can think of at least three guys who have made me feel the same general sentiment...

Oh, how i loved them, loved being with them, loved taking care of them, loved knowing the person that they were becoming. I know I truly cared for them... so much that I faced the tears and loss of just letting them be, to make up their minds, to make up their hearts, to realize what and with whom they will be most happy. And I know i'd have made them a good partner. That they'd be happy with me. And I still believe that nobody could have possibly loved them like I did... like I have.

But then again, being happy or having a meaningful life isn't really about being with someone who will love you the most. Nor, I believe, is it about being with one who you love the most.

True happiness in love is living a congruent life. It's either you're ready for the gift of love or not. It's either you're willing to commit and work on a relationship or not. It's either you're willing to risk it all to have everything or gain nothing... or not.

People will insist that a person usually inspires love in us.

Maybe. But if that were true, there should be less (or no) failed marriages and unhappy unions and sad reminiscences of those that got away by those left behind.

* got the lines from someone's siggy