Reunion with Lola

1:18 PM Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I think I am still blessed to have a grandparent living. And the fact that my paternal grandma could tolerate the heat here without employing the use of an electric fan is just amazing... she was even washing clothes and putting them up to dry last Sunday! And she is at least 85 years old, I think.

Anyway, we decided to hold a despedida for them last Sunday, and simultaneously celebrate the birthdays of our nieces and a nephew.

this was taken when they've just arrived, around a month ago

last weekend, the kids enjoying an inflatable pool




sinangag na baka (only in Batangas)

inihaw na tawilis

yummy mangoes

my son playing in the rain

We used to be the little ones gathered in that porch. Lola's house was built the year my brother was born (1979). Now, we're watching our kids play in the yard instead and are the ones doing the cooking and child minding.

The circle of life continues.

Birthday Wish for My Brother

11:02 AM Friday, June 25, 2010

My brother turns 31 today. He doesn't smoke and doesn't drink that often and even seldom gets sick. So I know he at least is healthy.

Anyway, I wish him peace in his heart and mind. I think he's still a slave to his childhood demons which is impeding his growth as a man. I really hope he'd finally be a responsible son, husband and father. It's about time. And I hope he will finally learn to be thankful for what is freely given him, and not constantly seek things he doesn't have, and maybe not exactly deserve at the moment.

And that he finally start working for things he wants, instead of expecting them to be handed to him on a golden plate. So that he can have self-respect. So that his son can someday look up to him and say, "I want to be like my father."

Owning a home is a about a lot more than just paying a mortgage. It's about becoming a part of the community and making your house an accurate representation of who you are and the best way to do that is make it look good. And that starts with the front lawn. The front lawn is the first thing people see and it is the first thing people are greeted to as they arrive at your place. If the quality of your front lawn matters to you then you might want to consider bermuda grass.

If you don't think you've seen Bermuda before, think again. You see it everywhere. It is a favorite grass of sports fields and golf courses. The reason for this is it is known to withstand heavy traffic and certainly having sports played upon it would make it necessary to have a tough and resistant grass in place.

This makes for a great lawn grass as in a neighborhood filled with kids there is a high risk of your front lawn getting trampled and it is necessary to have a grass to withstand that. Another reason it makes such a good grass for your lawn is because it holds up well even in less than ideal weather conditions. You know that most grasses do well in warm and temperate weather but many don't live in ideal weather.

Not only does Bermuda do well in colder temperatures but it is also draught resistant. This helps two fold. It helps if an area goes a significant amount of time without any rainfall but it also works if you, as a lawn owner simply do not have the time to water your grass as much as you'd like.

There are a lot of lawn choices out there but Bermuda just makes the most sense.

Bad Dream

1:19 PM Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I had a dream that I was dumped naked along Quirino Avenue. For some weird reason, I had an empty shampoo bottle which I was using to cover my privates as tears flowed and I was walking around, in shock.

I was thinking, I was so close to home and yet so far. I didn't know how to go home. But in the dream I somehow rode a jeep and there were nursing students in the jeep with me. One of them somehow had an extra uniform and dressed me up. I was just shocked.

I came to when we got off at my street and I started crying again while thanking her. She even gave me money.

In the dream, I was crying more not because I was seemingly a victim of some crime, but because people were just staring and laughing at me while I was naked in public. Nobody was helping. And it was more traumatic because I realized that had I seen a naked woman in the street, I also would have just stared and not helped. I wouldn't have approached them and asked if they needed anything. I wouldn't have brought them somewhere where they could have gotten help.

FB Doesn't Disappoint

3:22 AM Thursday, June 17, 2010

I just loved finding my old friends from a computer shop I used to go to back in those days when owning your own PC was only for the rich... and gamers had to actually miss school and home and invest all their allowance in computer shops. A couple of them ended up married to each other... one of my closer friends is a single Dad. My closest friend of them all, I still have yet to get acceptance for my friend request.

But I am uber thrilled and beyond happy, really. It's weird to be talking about marriages and kids with someone I only talked about guys (dating) with before. And oh, how I long to see them again.

In a way, they were the first friends I made from the net. And we used to hang out all the time, especially during weekends. I missed them and love them and really hope to see them again soon.

Thank you FB. Really!

UP Does Not Acccept Homeschoolers?

11:38 PM Wednesday, June 16, 2010

For the record, I still haven't started homeschooling my son. I am giving myself extra time to just enjoy him as is, without the structure of a curriculum and the pressure of expectations.

I was bothered though when I found out that UP was not accepting homeschooled kids. I'm still not sure if they're not accepting homeschoolers in all levels or just in college. See, I only wanted to homeschool till grade school, hoping to get my kids enrolled in a Science school for high school. But I was kinda open to maybe homeschooling them longer, if they're really happier that way and I got so great at it that I could manage it. I could just have them to enrol in some online tutorial for Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. Plus, everyone needs all the Algebra 2 help they can get.

Then again, I think a lot really depend on the kind of teachers you have for such subjects. I mean, I generally hate numbers but aced Chemistry and Algebra because I loved the teachers teaching those subjects.

Still, I beg the question... does UP discriminate for all levels? And I am really, really surprised because I thought UP was all for non-formal, non-traditional forms of education, having a thriving Open University to boot.

My Old Smart Phone

1:27 PM Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I bought this Nokia model, or was it gifted to me, in 2005... several months before I got married.

I still have it and the same number. Yes, I have been blessed with not losing it or having it (or my bag) snatched. That is an achievement worthy of its own laurels cosidering how many people usually change phones every two or so years because their phone was lost or stolen.

It seldom has load though. It's a Smart prepaid line and I'd usually load it after every 2 months or so for almost 4 years now. Ever since I got a Sun postpaid line, I used that more to text friends and family. Plus, I have slowly weaned myself away from texting so much. When my hubby is home, I can even go without texting all day.

And yes, despite the postpaid line, I still prefer texting than calling.

Anyway, I have kept my Smart phone more for sentimental reasons. I really should start writing down the messages there that I hold dear, like the ones that cheered me up when Py was sick, all the birthday greetings, all the wedding wishes, even some of the 'fights' I've had with my significant others.

It's really amazing and scary how one small gadget can hold years of memories. Which is why I have always been mindful of my phones. Always, they contain so much more than text messages and pictures.

If you want a swimming pool but you don't want the expense, size, or permanency of an in-ground pool, an above ground pool could be just the thing for your family. For a smaller investment you can get a pool that will last many years, providing hours of fun for family and friends.

Above ground pools are not flimsy little wading pools. They are built of sturdy materials, designed to withstand active children and teens. They can be very simple or very attractive in design. When making your purchase there are several things to consider.

How big a pool do you need? A fairly small round pool may be satisfactory if you have a small family and don't plan to entertain. If you want to have pool parties, plan on a big pool. If you want to swim laps, a long oval pool is a better choice than a round one.

Study and measure the location you intend to put the pool. You don't want to buy a pool that doesn't fit in the spot you planned for it. Are there trees nearby that should be taken out before they grow too big and hang over your pool? To avoid tracking in grass and dirt, plan for extra space for a deck around the pool.

In some areas it is required by law to have a fence around a pool, and it is a good safety measure. You may also want to consider a portable ladder that you can put away to keep small children from climbing over the sides.

Know what comes with your kit. Some are complete; others require accessories or chemicals. Know what you are getting and plan ahead for additional supplies if needed. Make sure you know the length and scope of the warranty. Get the best pool you can afford and look forward to hours of swimming fun!

Growing Up

12:19 AM Sunday, June 13, 2010

My nieces and nephews are... and fast!

Before, I used to really stress over gifts for them. I'd buy them pajama sets and toys and books. Now, they're all at an age where they're not so easy to please anymore and would probably prefer cash from hereon.

I was ever present in their baptisms and birthdays. I'd carry them when am in Lipa and fuss over them. But now, they carry my son instead and play with him and even sort of babysit him for me.

Here, they basically ran my waterproof camera empty of battery as we went for a night swimming at El Madero Farm & Resort last week.

Of course, most of the shots they took I had to delete because they were blurred beyond repair. Plus, they had a field day over one of my nephew's behind, hehe.

My cousin-in-law said that several years from now, these kids will be huddled together talking about crushes instead of favorite TV shows. I said that in several years, they'd be probably conniving with eah other, getting their stories straight, as they lie about their whereabouts.

Time flies so fast. The babies I held in my hands before are now all grown, including my firstborn.

Is It Physiological?

4:56 PM Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I was reading this article about a blonde woman saving girls from a life of prostitution somewhere in Romania. I was aghast at the grim reality of how some girls would be kidnapped and locked up in a room, where they will end up servicing truck drivers.

Then of course it reminded me of the movie Taken (Liam Neeson) which also greatly bothered me. Everywhere, women are being preyed upon in the sex trade business. And everywhere, men are paying top money to get pleasured or to inflict themselves upon drugged girls, virgin girls, actual girls.

Sometimes, I have thought that women who make sex workers of themselves (as high class escorts) are empowered. But then such articles remind me that there is no actual empowerment when others end up enslaved by the same principle. Sure, it's rather nice to have the influential power of a courtesan, but only how many of those who get paid for sex actually enjoy the sexual act? How many are actually enriched by it? And they can't ever say that they're not doing anything wrong if they're hurting relationships and other women, or perpetrating the trade that enslaves so many girls all over the world.

One of the pains I can never imagine really is that of being abused sexually. How much more to have to sleep with strangers who do awful things to you, who smell and talk awful, and not even have anything to show for it after since the pay goes to your handlers.

What's even atrocious is that these men, because they paid for you (and some syndicates don't exactly require high fees), treat you with a sense of entitlement for that hour or two, expecting you to be as dirty as you can be, as low as you can be, as servile as you can be... for them.

I feel like I want to barf just thinking about this. But my mind goes back to my title... my question. Is it physiological... this capacity of men to separate themselves from anything that is with compassion and dignity, and sleep with obviously captive girls? Girls. Girls who are as old as their sister or daughter. Girls. Girls who can just as easily be their sister, their daughter.

You're a truck driver doing long hauls. Maybe you are underpaid. Maybe you are tired. But how can you sleep with a girl who probably has serviced your comrades before you and will service other guys you know after you? How?

How can you pay to have sex with a comatose patient? How can you stomach doing a girl that is on the verge of a drug overdose? How can you stomach doing it with a child?

The sex trade will continue fluorishing because the demand has always been there. White slavery will always be a social ill because men everywhere are able to compartmentalize so well, they fail to see the human being in who they pay for.

And these men... these men are our fathers, brothers, husbands. Well yeah, I don't think my father, brother and husband actually belong to the same breed... but they are somebody's father, brother and husband.



The shameful thing about all this is, I don't think I can ever be the kind of person helping such women. I'd be too devastated and traumatized by their plight, their stories. And that's really, really sad... that not many are brave enough to really rescue these little girls.

The Golden Girls

12:50 AM Friday, June 04, 2010

Who here watched The Golden Girls as a child?

I did. I was a fan of American sitcoms and I actually really found the show funny. Anyway, my fave of them, Rue McClanahan has died. That just leaves Betty White alive of the four who gave me one of my first glimpses of the golden years, and the importance of sisterhood.

Alas... I have a lot of friends I call sisters but I don't have a sisterhood yet. But maybe I need never look far because my sister and sisters-in-law will actually be providing me with the love and friendship I'd need as time starts stealing away everything I hold dear: from youth to health to loved ones.

Loved you Rue. Rest in peace.