Category Archives: Life

My Father, My Hero

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He will turn 66 on September 12, 2010. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he replied “I just want to eat, enjoy and spend the day with you guys.” I was struck by his answer. I could not fathom how a simple answer could have such a profound effect on me.  And why not. Being the eldest child of four siblings, I knew what responsibility meant at an early age.

My mother went into long labor before I was born. So he went home for a while to take a bath. When he returned, the nurse congratulated him and said, “It’s a girl!”. And he said, “Oh, okay.” I know he wanted a boy he could name after him. But that did not deter him from bringing me up like a boy. No, I did not end up a tomboy. Instead, he shared to me his passion and zest for life. At a young age, I learned to love music. I remember playing the turntable to the tune of the bullfight of Spain while I cleaned our house during Saturday mornings. At the end of the day, we would listen to Chuck Mangione play his trumpet while we put up our feet and sink deep into the couch.

Every summer, my siblings would excitedly wait for him to take out the huge Betamax box full of Marvel and other English comic books. We would join the adventures of Superman, Batman and Spider-man while go to far away places immersed in the stories of famous authors. As I grew up, I shifted my attention to the Reader’s Digest and National Geographic magazines he has collected through the years. Yes, my father is an avid collector of a lot of things. Comic books, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic Magazines, ukay-ukay (surplus) clothes and shoes and digital music. He has a knack (or maybe he is just lucky!) for finding branded clothing and shoes. But, I think it is his perseverance that led to the discovery of those treasures. As far as I can remember, it has been twenty years since he started his love for surplus apparel (Ukay-ukayan at the Sta. Cruz market!). I distinctly remember him giving me three Lacoste polo shirts in red, maroon and white colors. When I was in college back in 1991 in Manila, my Manileña classmate said to me in her kolehiyala twang, ” Is that Lacoste polo shirt real?” I said, “Of, course” while I was giggling inside of me. I was wearing the white Lacoste shirt wherein the words Lacoste were stitched all over it. Anong tingin niya sa akin, can’t afford. Hahaha…When I went to the mall that weekend, I looked for the shirt to see how much it cost. My eyes rolled. No wonder she can’t believe it. One shirt cost P2,000 at that time, while I was wearing a P35 original shirt. Boy, was I laughing out loud.

My father is always hungry to learn new things. He learned how to use the computer at the age of 60, when most senior citizens his age or younger would dare not touch a computer. Translating his love of music to the digital world, he became internet-savvy and explored the wonderful world of the web to download his favorite music. Now, his digital music collections are in the thousands and counting. He is the Flying Dutchman (Davy Jones) of the Music World (a.k.a. pirata ba!hahah!). He has a Facebook account to keep in touch with family and friends. He is comfortable using Google and Yahoo in searching for any subjects under the sun. He is also an amateur photographer. He has tons of pictures in boxes waiting to be indexed and placed in albums.

My father may be simple, but he has great character. I look up to my father because I want to be like him, to live life to the fullest with the talents that the Almighty has given us. I have not achieved even half of what my father is, but I strive to be what he has become. He believes that I can always do better than the mediocre work I have shown him. He believes in me and the great things that I can achieve. And for that I am humbled and inspired.

This is a simple gift I can give to my father. Pa, in everything that I do, I always remember that I can do more and give my best because you believe in me. No words can express the impact you made in my life. I love you, Pa. Happy Birthday.

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Change Is Inevitable

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This is the third time that I changed this blog’s name. I can’t even remember its first name. I remembered an episode from Spongebob Squarepant’s cartoon wherein the main character, Spongebob, lost his name tag and he couldn’t remember his name. What he did was repeat the events of the days, from the time he woke up to the time he lost his name tag so he could remember where he lost it. I wouldn’t do that. No way.

Finally, after careful thought, i chose this name. Hopefully it reflects who I really am. May it also encourage me to write more often and share my thoughts. As of today, the blogs I created is more numerous than my ten fingers. I have to sort all of them and maybe retire some and just concentrate on the important ones. As a dear friend said to me long ago, I don’t need to spread myself to thin. It wouldn’t do me any good. I just have to give my time to what and who matters most.

To this journal, may thoughts flow like a gentle creek…to a place peaceful and happy.

Health is WEALTH

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healthy-body-jog3 There is truth to the adage that ‘Health is WEALTH!”

My husband and I are both working. It is important that we are always in shape because our chief capital for our  work is our health. I have sort of promised to myself this year that I will monitor my food intake and do some exercise so I can manage my weight. I hope to shed a few pounds and hopefully a few kilos by the end of 2009.  It’s already March and I still have to convince myself that I need to have some sort of concrete plan to make this a reality. I come from a family with a health history of heart disease and diabetes. My mom keeps on reminding me that I need to curb my appetite in order to manage my weight and not to gain more weight. But, my love affair with food says so otherwise. I need to really get my weight down. May you witness my journey to good health. So help me God.

Sweet Reunions

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Christmas is that time of the year when you just have to set aside a day for reunions.Last Christmas, I did not expect to have booked not only one day, but lots of days for sweet reunions.

Here is a picture of me with my cousins. At last, they invited me to join them on their night out…Actually, I invited myself…hehehe. It was a Saturday night. I attended our high school alumni homecoming when I saw my brother at the school. He told me that after the homecoming he will join my cousins for some cocktails at Catribo. Since I don’t have a ride home, I joined them. Wow…I did not regret my decision. Being the eldest among all cousins present, I relegated myself to being an observer and let them run the show…With our generation gap, I find it strange that they enjoy this kind of entertainment. My brother warned me beforehand, no comment please. I would have nejoyed a more relaxed and quieter ambience. Oh oh..I am getting older…hahaha.

How about this picture, minus me, of my high school classmates during our alumni homecoming. I was the one taking the picture. I like it that way…just a wallflower, a casual observer, taking it all in in my little corner of the world…I can’t express the happiness I felt when I spent some time with my high school pals. We will host our alumni homecoming six years from now. We have lots of plans and hopefully we can make it happen when our time comes. Hello to Maxxy who came all the way from Kuwait just to be with us and her family this Christmas season. Thanks for sharing your time with us Mems.

Here’s another picture of my high school pals this time at 3rd Cup with Jerico Marcos, who have resided in Davao. He was in town to attend his brother’s wedding and we could not pass the chance to meet him. It has been six years since we had been together. Four hours lounging in a relaxing atmosphere is not enough when conversations are full. We can;t seem to run out of topics to talk about. He’s planning to migrate abroad with his family. It seems to be the trend these days. Much as we like to do the same, we just don’t have the financial edge to go for it.

Well, this is a sum of my reunions with my family and friends. No matter how short the time that we spent together, it’s much better than not having spent time at all. To my family and friends, thanks for making this Christmas season one of the most memorable time in my life.

Working Mom #2 : Mental Block

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so many things to do…but so little time…

my things to do list is getting longer and longer as the days go by…it’s crunch time…we have to finish our interim report by September 30…the documents we’ve requested are slowly coming in…working papers remain half-finished, if at all…and my mind goes blank as i stare at the wall to decide on my next move…if there is a next move…hahaha

so, i laugh it off…bwahahaha…after this i am going on a loooooong deserved vacation…and take advantage of my five day force leave and force myself to forget about work and recharge my mind…i can do tons of things…but let me think about that later…now, time is precious…every second counts…tick tock tick tock…oh no, i can hear the clock ticking…in my head…oh great!!!

focus your eyes on something green…to refresh your eyes and your mind…are you kidding??? the curtains in our office is green but i don’t even notice it…hahaha…

so i hope against hope with my fingers crossed that i can come up with something concrete (like an AOM…hehehe) to present before our conference on Sept. 17-18…so back to the drawing board…be critical…be analytical…consider all red flags…and DELIVER!!! (pizza???)

sorry if i sound greek to you…but to my fellow cluster four teammates…these are meaningful, powerful words…see you at the conference guys…and may HIS WILL BE DONE!!!

take care and Godbless…

 

blur…

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happy 35th birthday…this was what’s left of my birthday cake from red ribbons, a gift from my mom. next to the cake is a number five candle which i saved from my son’s 5th birthday last april 20. it took me this long to write about what happened during my birthday. it was a birthday celebrated with mixed feelings. i celebrated my birthday with my extended family the day before my actual birthday, which was a holiday since the independence day was moved to this day, because of the holiday economics proclaimed by the president. my brother was leaving for Pagadian City the next day, that’s why we decided to celebrate it a day before. For my actual birthday, I filed a privilege leave from work and spent the day with my husband and children.

the two days seem like a blur, just like the photo of my birthday cake. the day before my birthday, i had a vertigo attack. i had these attacks before but this one was worse. i felt my head spinning and losing my balance. i went to store to buy my son a bag for school. the good thing was my father was in the same store. he took me to my cousin, who is a doctor. after a thorough check up, she concluded that i had benign positional vertigo and i had to see an EENT doctor for further test. in the afternoon, my husband was free, so we went to a specialist. after the check up, he gave the same conclusion and prescribed SERC for two weeks. since we didn’t have time to cook, we just ordered take out for the party.

it was a simple party. we had beef with broccoli, seafood roll, buttered chicken, pansit canton, fruit salad and the birthday cake from my mom. my mom was not able to attend because she was not feeling well. my father, sister, brother and cousin were there. we took pictures from my father’s digicam and ate the simple feast. i forgot to take a picture of the food. all i had was the picture of the cake.

it seems that the cake symbolized what i felt that day. i can’t believe that i’ve reach 35 years. i thank God that I’m given another year to celebrate life, to share my blessings and love to my family and friends.

on the day of my actual birthday, i wen to to mass at the Cathedral and spent some time at the Blessed Sacrament. in the evening, my family had a simple dinner. i started writing in my journal, but up to now i only have two entries since that day. it seems i just can’t make myself to write in my journal often because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life…

i just hope that everything will be clear in God’s time…and with God’s grace, the truth shall set me free…

xxxoooxxooxoxo

the big _5th

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another birthday post…

i finally reached my 35th birthday…i hope i can make it until my 100th…

it was the most unforgettable birthday of my whole life. i don’t want to elaborate. i usually cook for a special occasion at home but this time i was not able to. i celebrated my birthday a day before. the same day i went to see two doctors, my cousin and an ENT doctor, due to vertigo. my cousin JOAN (bless her jolliness…) said it was benign positional vertigo. the ENT doctor concluded the same, and said it was due to a virus…hello…i have to look this up in the internet…anyway, the world was spinning around me and i could not walk straight (kiss my modelling dreams goodbye…).

and so we just ordered take out at our favorite chinese restaurant. these are what we ordered:
seafood roll, beef with brocolli, buttered chicken, pancit canton, and seafood in cream sauce. we bought grilled fish in our neighborhood flea market, by mom gave me a chocolate cake, and i made fruit salad…that’s it.

But, I can never thank the following people enough: God, who gave me another chance, and never gave up on me; my parents & siblings, who are always there for me no matter what, my husband and two kids, who are my life now and forever, my relatives and friends who have made my life an adventurous one…

sa inyong lahat, maraming salamat po…

until the next birthday….chow…

Ash Wednesday

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“You are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return.” (Genesis 3:19)

According to churchyear.net, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting before Easter. On this day, ashes are blessed, mixed with either holy oil or water, and imposed on the head with the sign of the cross, or sprinkled on the forehead. The ashes are made from burning palm branches blessed the previous year on Palm Sunday.

When the priest imposes the ashes he says either “remember man you are dust, and to dust you will return” (see Genesis 3:19), or “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

The ashes serve a dual purpose. First, as the above words imply, we are reminded of our mortality and humanity as we begin the Lenten Fast. Second, the ashes are a Biblical symbol of repentance, sorrow, and humility.

Today, February 25, 2009, not only marks the beginning of Lent but also the 23rd year of the First EDSA Revolution in the Philippines. I attended Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church (now MCC) at 12:15 noon. The church was packed to the rafters. A lot of people were standing at the back. Some were seated outside. The ceremony already began when I arrived. I quickly made my way at the back. During the sermon, the Bishop apologized for starting the Mass earlier than the usual time, due to the length of the ceremony.

He explained that Lent starts today and ends in the morning of Holy Thursday. Easter starts in the afternoon of that same day. He emphasized that this time is an opportunity for us to reflect and repent on the wrongdoings that we have done and cleanse ourselves from sin by fasting and penance. He also exhorted us to be humble and obedient to God’s will.

The imposition of the ashes was done before the offertory. People lined up in all sides of the pews and took their turn as the lay ministers say upon imposition of the ashes, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” I made my way outside the church as I saw some vacant mono-bloc chairs. I was observing the parishioners as they lined up to have the ashes placed on their forehead. People from all walks of life came. Since it was during lunch beak , most people were from the office and stores around the area. Some were couples and families. Students also attended the Mass. I saw some familiar faces and waved at them. Since it was nearly 1pm, some people did not wait for the Mass to continue but left in order not to be late for work. Some stayed until the communion. While most stayed behind until the end of the Mass.

A thought came into my head. Is having the ashes placed on our forehead enough so as not to stay until the Mass has ended? I grew up in a catholic school and I believe it is but proper to stay until the end of the Mass. But, be that as it may, sometimes I am guilty of leaving just right after communion, and not waiting for the priest to say, “Go in Peace to Love and Serve the Lord.” Which is more important, Faith or Work? I guess it works both ways. “Faith without work is dead.” All work and no Faith makes Jane a dull girl…or something like that. We got to have both in order for it to be more effective.

Just as what happened 23 years ago in EDSA, it was the people faith in God and their will to stand up against dictatorship that made EDSA a success, more of a MIRACLE, because it was a bloodless revolution. So, it works both ways. FAITH and WORK should go hand in hand…

Have a holy and peaceful LENTEN SEASON to all…God Bless…

Reminiscing #1

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Sunday is considered a rest day…for even God rested on that day.

For me, Sunday is my workday at home. You see, I’m a working mom with two energetic boys, aged 4 years and 1 year 7 months. I have a yaya for my youngest son. She’s a stay-out yaya. She works from Monday to Saturday. When we arrive from work, that’s the time she goes home. When she does go home, my dear son cries. How come he’s having separation anxiety for her and not for me? It’s because I’m on my way to work when he wakes up in the morning. Sigh…

What is my typical Sunday like? I wake up early, around 7 am, even though I still want to sleep late. I clean the sala, sweep the floors, wash the dishes, cook breakfast, prepare the kids’ clothes and vitamins, eat breakfast, feed them breakfast when they wake up, bathe them, then I take a bath. Then I prepare them to attend the 10:30 am mass. I’m only half concentrating during the Mass because the kids run around the church. It’s my yaya’s day off, so it’s my turn. In the afternoon, I put my youngest son to sleep on the ‘duyan’. When he’s asleep, then I can dose off, too. But not to deep, because he might fall from his hammock.

Where’s my husband when all these are happening? My husband helps me do the chores at home. But, during Sunday he wakes up late since it’s the only day he can do so. He goes to work from Monday to Saturday, and has to wake up early. I don’t want to bother him for I know it’s the only day he can sleep longer. The other things is, he’s having contact dermatitis lately. So there are chores which he cannot do, like washing the dishes, pealing the condiments, bathe the kids. So the bulk of the work rest on me.

I’m not complaining, I’m just ventilating…Hahaha, is there a difference? There may be other working mothers out there who are experiencing the same. I hope you can share your experiences with me. Somehow, it would make the load lighter.

I thank God because He has given me a day to spend with my family, serving them, laughing with them, playing with them, or just spending some quiet time. One whole day…just the four of us. Others may not be as fortunate. So, I’m not complaining. I’m very thankful for life’s endless extra challenges…

Food for School Program of the DepEd

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I will feature a very laudable program of the Department of Education named Food for School Program. It started last 2006. The program aims to mitigate hunger of poor families and improve school retention. In the first phase of the program, only grade one students from selected elementary schools in areas declared as vulnerable provinces were given one (1) kilo of Iron Fortified Rice every school day for SY 2006-2007 and Summer of SY 2006-2007. Per our interview of the teachers from selected elementary schools in Zamboanga del Norte, the program was a big help to the families of pupils because it improved the attendance of their children in school and gave them rice everyday.

In one elementary school in Zamboanga del Norte, the teachers served the same rice to us for lunch, paired with sardines for ulam. We not only inspected the rice but ate it as well. For others, they are bothered by the yellow specks in the rice, but it is these yellow specks which gives iron in the rice. It is an eye opening experience talking to the teachers and recipient families about the program.

For SY 2007-2008, the recipients were expanded to grade two to six students. But it is still limited to one family per kilo of rice. Meaning, even if you have two kids, one in grade 2 and the other in grade 5, only a kilo of rice will be given, usually to the older child.

I hope that such program will continue and it will not be open to abuse and corruption by the people in government.