I Am Now 35

1:11 AM Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I am now 35
and what have I
to show for it?
clothes that no longer fit
high-heeled shoes  gathering
and still only one
stamp on my

I am now 35
and what have I learned
from getting past
my quarter-life?
that bad habits in childhood
will take its toll
on bodies
and gravity will pull
my breasts
and hips
no matter how perky
they were
and that I will still
grow up and be
a lot like my
(oh, the shame!)

I am now 35
and my allergies are worse
my PMS is worse
my acne is worse
and my social life has been
limited to
conversations with children
and this rectangle
of a laptop

Who knew, that despite all these
I'd consider myself
and generally happy?

Because... despite all that's
and lumpy
and the limited means
(for I am also unemployed)
I have two precious sons
to call my own
who I have raised
with only a little help
and whose memories
are MY stories
and whose everydays
are MY days

and my marriage
remains strong and true
and empowering
and liberating

and my parents
heaven bless them
are still alive
and generally still alright
and I am closer to them now
than I was ever before
what's more
they enjoy the
grandchildren I gave them

and I have developed other
mostly emanating from

but at 35
I feel alive
and free
and just where
I am meant to be

That may not be enough for some
But that's good enough for me
My life is grand enough for me

Meeting Kuya Bodjie

1:48 AM Sunday, September 30, 2012

Warning... major gushing ahead! Haha.

I attended a storytelling seminar held at Museo Pambata last Friday . I have already attended one by Adarna House about two years ago, and actually prefer Waldorf storytelling now... but since it was Kuya Bodjie who will be teaching at Museo, I can't not go.

And I just really love my husband all the more for being soooo supportive of this.

Truth be told though, I loved Batibot and have this vague memory of Kuya Bodjie telling stories there back then... but my favorite segments were the ones showing how taho was made, how to fish in a river, how to paint and dye batik fabrics. But again, I can't not go... not when I can reconnect with a great time from my childhood.

So, I went. And just like I posted on my FB wall... the problem with learning to tell stories from the Master is that, you might die laughing. And I have already told hubby that he's going next year, if only to laugh all day and feel freer :)

I really had a blast (and I loved my classmates... such a talented mix and all of them doing good in this world for little children), I really learned much... and can I just say, I started and ended our day dancing/acting with Kuya Bodjie? Haha... talk about tickled pink! And who cares if I looked all kinds of awkward and silly?

What's more... he commented on my FB post! Hahaha.

Again, talk about tickled pink!

How was Kuya Bodjie? Well, he's still Kuya Bodjie, only older. There were a few times he'd had to gasp for breath from all that he was doing.

You know how you get starstruck when you finally meet an idol? And they appear larger than life while you're with them? Kuya Bodjie isn't like that... the experience of meeting him was more like a validation of the Kuya Bodjie you knew as a child. It was more than a feeling of privilege, it felt like coming home (well, since Batibot was a constant in my life, I guess it would really feel like reconnecting with an old friend).

And again... he made us laugh so hard all day.

What's more, when this brilliant teacher showed great storytelling potential (she drove me to tears everytime she'd act/live out the story), Kuya gave her the stage and instructed and prompted her so well (that she was able to get me teary-eyed) and would even be open-mouthed himself for her.

And he never missed a beat.

And sorry, but I really can't help but grin everytime  I think of the workshop.

And heaven help me that I don't get envious when it's hubby's time to go, haha.

12 Things That Make Me Happy

12:46 AM Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A friend was inspired to come up with a list of things that make her happy and asked us to do the same... so here goes all the things that tickle me pink.

1) Crafts Materials
Specifically, yarn. I have been crocheting every day for the past week and addicted to yarn, to my hooks. I bought new knitting needles. I have yards and yards of fabric for doll-making. I didn't even think i'd hoard these stuff.

2) Paper
 I have packs upon packs of specialty paper, some dating from when I was still in college. I was able to tame my desire to have more when I stopped really writing letters... but started buying them again (origami paper, craft board, watercolor paper) when I got into crafts again. Plus, they're nifty with hybrid digiscrapping projects.

3) Free Digiscrapping Kits and Photoshop
I would go for days just downloading and reorganizing freebie kits which take up about half of my laptop's memory... even if I don't use most of them. And of course, even if I am not a master of it, I love Photoshop because it helps me bring out MORE from a photograph or sentiment.

4) Childhood Games
Like sungka. Or jackstones. Or pick-up sticks.

5) My Recorder
I don't play it as often now nor have I actually mastered it. But it's the first instrument that I felt I was able to make music out of (hubby won't agree)... and the first instrument that actually got me reading notes. I can only play two tunes in it still... but I love it.

6) Books
My most precious ones being the Harry Potter series and the Little House series. But I also consider my sons' books as mine because I enjoy them too... and I love the parenting books I am recently reading.

7) Cameras
Unfortunately my DSLR is actually broken and won't take proper pictures. But good cameras and pictures make me happy.

8) Laptop and Internet
I love blogging, surfing the net for yarn/wooden toys/convertible wear and Facebooking (coz this is where all my friends are).

9) Multiwear Outfits
I dare not even compute how much I have spent on multiwear for the past two years... haha... but I still love them and wish I can wear them everyday and buy some more!

10) Chatting
Be it with friends or hubby, I love adult conversations (even if we're talking about raising children) and would really love to have more LIVE ones.

11) Chocolates
Namely... Maltesers, Ritter Sport (White chocolate and macadamia), Whittaker White, Cadbury White, and White Toblerone. I also love choco chip cookies and chocolate muffins... and Selecta Ice Cream's Hershey's Reese's.

12) Peanut Butter
Specifically, Lady's Choice Super Chunky... because I don't like any other peanut butter. Only that. But I now spend P1000 a month for spread and bread because I can eat a peanut butter sandwich all day! It's very weird actually that I am addicted to it now... hehe.

Sad Flores de Mayo

12:21 AM Monday, May 21, 2012

My SIL spent the weekend in Lipa and told me that only a handful of people, mostly the elderly, are attending the Flores de Mayo novena there.

With the advent of technology (internet and texting, even cable TV) and the arrival of malls, the youngsters from my father's hometown have more options during summer. Back then, people really looked forward to the pomp and grandeur of the Flores de Mayo (aside from summer league games) because it was an acceptable reason to be out and socialize. Especially for those looking for romance, it also served as the only way for young men and women to gather...

Now... those with crushes on my nieces and nephews can just text them, or post on their FB walls. Now, youngsters can hang out at the mall... or the growing number of resorts in the area... to be entertained. No more long hours of waiting till novena time, when you can fix yourself up to catch a glimpse of a crush as you sing novena songs... or as you wait to bring her home (even if you have to hold her grandmother's umbrella the whole time).

I find it sad, that kind of dance is now lost. And going back to religion, there is also no more of that belief and celebration of the divine... and how it's connected to your harvest.

Because I'm Feeling Crappy...

2:22 PM Monday, May 07, 2012

... I, all too well, feel the excess weight on my body.

I could blame the muffin phase and late-night shows (I am only on Season 3 of Criminal Minds) and the resistance to exercise. I haven't even been practicing the Hallelujah eurythmic movements that I vowed to do everyday nor have I been faithful about teaching my son basic exercises. I have been a sloth and a pig so I am not at all surprised to be reading up on Zumba classes, pondering Pilates, mourning over breastfeeding benefits I have taken for granted and even looking up  arizona weight loss programs and metabolis boosting foods.

And by the way, the Transform You program is using HCG diet (yes, the pregnancy hormone!) which supposedly helps one lose unhealthy fat -- not just weight -- and recover one's old shape. I'd still combine that with exercise though, just so all systems (like breathing and digesting) are in good condition. Plus, exercise makes the skin glow.

My toes look like small sausages now. And my PMS symptoms are getting worse too. And I don't look good in my wonderful clothes anymore. So, yeah, yeah... it's time to really lose the excess weight. I know I won't feel worse with less meat on my bones :)

The Ruin of the Help

12:27 AM Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We got a new helper because my cousin was going abroad already and I needed someone to help me with the chores. We got her last Wednesday and she dutifully let my cousin teach her how things are done in our home. Friday, she even endeared herself to me a little bit by having initiative to really look after my firstborn in the playground... enough for my son to adore her for it.

Then, weirdly enough, as I was trying to put my youngest back to sleep last Saturday morning, she thought of taking two old cellphones I left lying downstairs... and left the house. She ran into my husband at the gate and pretended that she was going to buy some cellphone load. Hubby let 15 minutes or so pass before starting to look for her. In the end, she didn't return anymore... but all her things were still with us.

From what happened, we surmised that she may just have thought of borrowing my phones to meet someone, but meeting my husband at the gate prompted her to fear coming back. You know how one stupid decision sometimes has this domino effect of everything collapsing around you? I think that's what happened to her.

She gave the agency we got her from some lame excuse that she left because she felt embarassed that I was expecting her to cook... but that she also wants to come back. I just said, we'd return her things if she'd return my phones but we're never going to accept her back. How could we, with two little ones she might just leave behind on a whim.

Hubby finds her things lying around distateful so he started packing them in one big bag to throw away.  As hubs rummaged through her bags (in case there's something there of ours that we didn't know about),  I can tell that the things she left behind are all she has in the world... and then hubby found strips of newsprint. They were ads of men looking for girls with their numbers. One was even particular about being interested in promiscuous girls.

Hubs told me, such is the ruin of her promising life (because we already agreed that if she turned out smart and hardworking, we'd send her to the public college). I did notice she was texting a lot that Friday... I didn't think though that she was already planning dates and what-nots.

Texting... how easily it ruins lives sometimes. And to think I had warned her already that there are a lot of men who will take advantage of her. But well, she did also take advantage of us.

A part of me is wondering whether I should show her mercy and not press charges anymore... but what if she does it again? And the cellphones she took, though old, had great sentimental value to me. My old SUN phone contains 1000+ messages I couldn't delete... and now, I also cannot archive them anymore.

So, I'm sorry, but I will make sure you're never NBI cleared again.

Fearless No More

3:04 AM Thursday, March 22, 2012

I believe I've said many times that there is a thrill-seeker in me, in the sense that I wanted to bungee jump, parasail and hang glide before I get married. Didn't get to do those things before getting hitched but I still want to.

However, it is really a lot different when you've found the great love of your life, and have children with him. I didn't want to climb up a mountain because it rained and I didn't trust my husband's balance will keep him safe. I didn't want to go on a sightseeing tour on board a tricycle over a great distance because my kids will be with us. I could stand on top of a worn lighthouse without fretting, only because I know my son is safe in the ground.

It's so hard to be a daredevil and just enjoy even some of the not-so dangerous things (like riding a boat) when your heart is outside you.


7:32 AM Saturday, January 14, 2012

Seriously, when I look back to my college years... I can very well see how insufferable I was. I was arrogant, tactless, annoying, loud, and maybe a lot of times unkind. But the weirdest thing was, I had friends.

Last Christmas, we met up because Bhing was vacationing in London. That must be the first time we 5 were complete for 15 years! Yes, we lost touch. I fell in with another peer group from our class and saw them more often in the past decade and a half than my own peer group.

But now, I guess we're a little more back in each other's lives (especially since my son fell in love with my friend's daughter and vice versa, and Facebook keeps us connected). And again, sorry for the lack of eloquence, but it was so weird how my college friends would tell hubs how very particular I was, how very hard to please. Nothing like old friends to show you how much, or little, you've grown and changed over the years. Hehe.

This time, though, I hope we all really stay in touch.

Employed Sister

7:50 AM Saturday, January 07, 2012

I am super happy to share the news that my sister is now professionally employed in Detroit. I try not to imagine my baby sister (who cares if she's 25 years old already) driving in the snow though because I would worry all the time. Still, it's such a blessing to have her professional life start, finally.

And yes, now I need not worry about who's going to help my Mom pay bills.

She's a nurse and hopefully, more promising jobs await her.

A friend who has migrated to the US is a doctor, on the other hand, and I know she's pursuing a medical teaching course with a company that's teaching doctors various skills. They have the option to study consultant interview course, medical management course, and teach the teacher course). Well, maybe my sister can be trained in similar ways so she can someday teach new nurses the basics of newborn care, palliative care, etc.

I'd love for my sister to work in a hospital like my friend Jet, and work with NICU babies. I just know she'd be the same as Jet, holding those babies with more care and love that, even if the babies were born to druggie moms, they'd still get some love from the nurse that first took care of them. But all in good time. My sister is right where she should be to learn best... I'm sure she can move on to greater things when she's ready.

How Was Your 2011?

6:02 AM Tuesday, January 03, 2012

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
Do the school run :)

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I did not come up with any last year, won't be making any for the new one either.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We were close once, so yes.

5. What countries did you visit?
Only HK/China.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Materially, our own home.
Personally, more dates and loving-loving with hubs.
Maternally, more patience and zeal to homeschool my boys.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
October 21 - I lost my engagement and wedding ring.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Embracing more Waldorf ideas :)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Mismanaging my time and energies, which affected my parenting a lot.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Illness, yes... allergies and a lump scare.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Yakee... for being so well-liked in school.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mine... I had a harder time adjusting to the increased demands on ME and I wasn't gentle a lot of times.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Our HK trip with my in laws.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner (kasi this time last year, I just gave birth)
iii. richer or poorer? poorer (materially)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
More writing, digiscrapping and just being still with my boys. Also, more travel?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Staying up late and eating sweets (but oh well)

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Nothing special planned... we're just going to in laws.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Yes... with Yakee, as I watched him unfold into an older brother... with Yamee, for developing into an entire individual... with hubs, for working harder to provide for us and bond with the boys... with St. Michael Playhouse/Waldorf... and our allergologist :D

22. Who got together and who broke up?
Old HS friends got together and broke up.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's is a killer this season but I also fell in love with Modern Family, Game of Thrones and all the baking-related shows (Top Chef Just Desserts, Cake Boss, Fabulous Cakes)

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I can't think of anyone.

25. What was the best book you read this 2011?
Have a Little Faith by MItch Albom... I guess you could say, it pushed me to have more faith than I ever did.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Can't think of anything.

27. What did you want and got?
Healthy boys :)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
An old one... 3 idiots. Next is HP:DH II of course!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 34 and I did nothing special :)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Our own house... or my sister coming home for Christmas.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Haha.. I discovered convertible, multiway wear and bent on overhauling my wardrobe to have more of those, and just accessorize! Is that a concept?

32. What kept you sane?
Hubs... for being constant, gentle, unconditionally loving.
My internet friends... they're the only adult conversations I get.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Who played Khal Drogo? Haha.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Sadly, I am ambivalent and indifferent to most.

35. Who did you miss?
My sister. Pyro.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm...maybe Sigrid Perez, for having 8 kids and still managing to further her advocacies.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
I've always known it but it's been super reinforced this year: my marriage is the most important relationship in the family.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"and as the years go by
our friendship will never die
you see it's our destiny
for you've got a friend in me"