Monday, December 22, 2008

Tagalized Version

As I was browsing through the site of Sir Gie, my classmate, I stumbled upon, “ako’y nadapa”, sa site ni kwentong Wow, puede din pala at masaya pala ang sumulat ng isang tagalized, taglish version ng blog. Nagpapakahirap ako na mag-ingles para lang makasulat ng isang makatuturang blog, pero convinced ako na paminsan-minsan ay magtagalized version din ako.

Himutok! Mahirap din palang mangapa ng isusulat, tagalized version! Pero di ako mawawalan ng lakas ng loob dahil minsang naikwento ko sa aking mga supling na ako’y nagsusulat na, sila’y namatanda tapos sabay “ha ha ha.” Tawa sila ng tawa. Nawawala na raw ako sa sarili ko. I’m insane na daw. . . Huh! Baka sa kalaunan daw eh magkablog-blog na daw pag-iisip ko. Na ang ibig nilang sabihin siguro ay lahat na lang ng gagawin ko ay panay may blog. Minsan kasi sabi ko, “ mga anak, don’t blog the door please”? What, Mom?!!? I said, “Please close the door gently.” Ayun, nagkatiniginan na lang sila. Sabay bunghalit ng tawa. Pero, at the back of my mind, I was challenged!

Tapos seryoso pang sambit nila, o kaya’y nanunudyo sila ng sinabing “Mom, why don’t you try to write a column in the PDI, like Pat Evangelista, Neil Cruz, Conrado de Quiroz, Manuel L. Quezon III, at iba pa.” “You sure would make a fortune,” they added. Oh no? They’re prodding their Mom to be a controversial columnist? I said, “Of course not!” “Because”, I told them, “your Mom is writing just to kill sleeplessness, just to exterminate boredom, just to heal migraine.” As one writer said and I quote: “I write to escape; to escape poverty”. But for me, “I write to escape; to escape boredom”.

Subali’t napakahaba ng bakasyon. Medyo mamahinga ang aking isip sa pagsusulat. Kasi naman, kailangan ko pang lumabas ng bahay para lang makapagpost ng blog? Eh kung papasok ako sa opisina, I can sneak into the web once in a while just to broadcast my thoughts worldwide.

Ako’y nagmumuni-muni ngayon kung bibili na ako ng SMART Bro o hindi. But if I do, naku, mag-uunahan na naman ang aking mga anak sa paggamit. Siyempre, talo ulit ang ina. Bahala na. Basta, mahal kong tagasubaybay, medyo siguro bitin itong tagalized version ko. Am just taking a noon break, kailangan ko lang gugulin sa makatuturan ang breaktime kong ito. Bukas, Christmas party sa ofis. Di na ko makakasneak sa web. Mery Christmas to all. See you next year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Collateral Damage

(It’s pretty obvious that my blogs now usually start with a briefer, a short intro. It’s becoming my style of writing. Maybe I would give it some serious thoughts of letting it that way, if only to gain the interest of my readers.)

Well, it’s almost twelve midnight and I am now like a bat, turning nights into day. Ha ha ha. Spare me, but I don’t suck blood.

When you’re 40 years old and above, it seems that doctors enjoy imposing as many diet restrictions as they wish to, much to your own disappointments. The do’s and don’ts in eating preferences. The what to, the what maybe and the what not to eat.

Lately, I was forced to visit my doctor though against my will. The culprit? I am suffering from swollen joints on my left hand caused by arthritis. This illness has been with me for three straight weeks now and I am starting to panic so there’s no reason I should not be going to the doctor already. Though I don’t want to spend a dime or two on medicines especially so when I would think of the side effects of taking them like steroids. I learned that steroids would give you a fake weight gained. You looked fat when the truth is, there was too much water retained in your body as caused by steroids intake.

With a firm resolve, after the consultation, I told my doctor with a deceptive smile, if only to consider my request that “Doc, please, no steroids ha!?” “It will be alright, I’ll let you take it for three days only and I assure you that you’ll not gain unnecessary weight”, he assured me. But his assurance didn’t melt my firm resolve. I went home with just the antibiotics he gave me.

After two days, and with a guilt feeling, coupled with embarrassment, I went back to him. With a humble heart, I told him bravely, “Doc, just give me anything, just so my hand will be eased of the swelling and the pain”. He smiled kindly and reassuringly and directed his assistants to get my record and give me the medicines he initially told me to have.

I had been afflicted with this illness for a couple of years now. During its first few attacks, I’d immediately run to the doctor and have injections after injections until it subsides. His first diagnosis though was cellulitis infection. An infection caused by a bacterium that happens to invade my body by entering through a wound. I usually suffer from mouth blisters because it runs in the family according to my late father. That might be the point of entry of said bacterium.

But during its last attack, I observed that it’s in the food that I eat which caused it to swell and be painful. When I eat foods with high uric acid contents such as sardines, “laman-loob” internal organs, sea foods like shrimps, lobsters, crabs, leguminous crops and poultry products, then just a few hours after eating, it will already start to swell and throb painfully.

The doctor now surmised that it’s hand arthritis. He gave me a list of foods which I am allowed to eat and choose from, the list of food I should eat in moderation and the list which I should not eat anymore.

Evaluating the lists, it seems that the delicious and tempting ones are those that would give me great collateral damage. I want to protest, but it would be a vain effort. I must keep in mind that the collateral damage it will give me weighs heavier than any delicious food I can gobble. It’s best to heed to the doctors advice for a longer life.

I still want to have a longer life. I still want to have a fruitful life ahead. I feel that I am just beginning to enjoy my life. Life begins at 40, so they say. That’s true because I am now enjoying great parenting to my three kids, to my two adopted daughters and to my three pretty and precocious little angels that I usually borrow from my neighbors.

I am starting to enjoy my life because I learned to love writing. I never thought I have this gift until somebody cared to recognize it and effortlessly encouraged me to continue perfecting my craft. That gave me an immeasurable adrenalin rush to write. So whatever is my position in writing now, let me tell you I look like a bat suspended in my bed and just enough to reach the keyboard of my laptop. The better and the best blogs are yet to come.

Just Between the Three of Us

(Unholy hour of the night. I am again tapping on the keyboard of my laptop. For whatever reasons that I could hardlyt fathom, I am as wide-eyed as an owl this time. I am afraid I might be developing a different kind of addiction, which is, writing blogs during the night, but can only post it during the day as I don’t have net connection at home. How I wish some kindhearted and thoughtful souls out there would give me this Christmas a SMART Bro so that immediately after I finished writing, I can already publish my blogs, whatever is the time I am through writing. It’s an ambitious desire. Wistful thinking. Not bad being honest that I can’t afford to buy my own.)

I have two officemates whom I have a different kind of feeling for them. Truth is, they’re the closest to me and I adore them, promise! I can share them some of my secrets, shhh. . . even my dark secrets! This afternoon, we have had a nice conversation with each other and seasoned with laughter, just between the three of us.

We recalled how one of the two lady SB members was sharing to us one time about personality quotients. She said there are three. IQ, EQ, TQ. Then out of the blue, we found it exciting to have some fun of playing a christening game. We started assigning each other who’s who.

Considering that Majel has that awesome and unique ability at trouble-shooting simple office equipment trouble such as computer problems, malfunctioned fax machine, error-laden copier, and giving special assistance to our stenographer whenever her encoded data looks like a war zone due to formatting problems, we’d easily solve these problems by addressing it to Majel. Hence we decided she’s the TQ in the office, meaning she was born with a good Technical Quotient.

“And who’s the IQ”? I asked them. They answered in duet that I own that tiara. I felt quite elated. Hmmm, imagine being considered and christened as the Miss IQ? I’d say it’s something great, a privilege, so to speak! Wow. . . the Miss IQ from among the three of us. Do I still need to spell it out what IQ means and why I am Miss IQ? This time, let your IQ works for you.

We then decided that Miriam has the EQ. Emotional Quotient. She owns this crown as she is very capable of admonishing and preaching good deeds, proper behavior and office etiquette to our office janitor. Though at times, she’s more than disappointed of the outcome because her recipient is definitely hard-headed. Thus she must exercise tremendous fortitude, kindness and extreme tolerance. She’s simply blessed with that quotient.

And just between the three of us, we felt it unfair for the other two officemates if we don’t include them in the name-game sacrament. So just between the three of us and we made a pact not to tell the others that we will baptize them also, as if we’re priests. We then dubbed our stenographer as Miss KQ. That’s supposed to be as CK, as C is for cranky. Well, we transformed it that way, because the truth is, she always exhibits that behavior of being a “karangkang”, panic-stricken, most, if not all the time. And because of that display of behavior, we’re being reduced to becoming an inefficient and ineffective in menial, middling and routine tasks in the office. It seemed that we’re already the underdogs, instead of the other way around. But we love her anyway. Maybe we can improve her nametag, like PQ, as in panic-stricken quotient or Kain Q as she loves and has a penchant to eating every now and then. Her stomach is her weakness. She’s the healthiest baby from among us.

Again, and just between the three of us, we christened our janitor as Miss BQ. Buyer Quotient, Barbeque Quotient, Busy Quotient. Anything that starts with a B and which aptly applies to her nature of work.

As psychologists would tell us, don’t take life too seriously. Because when you do, you might end up counting stars at daytime, and being wide-eyed like an owl at night time is no big deal, is it?

Share some good laughter with good people around you, or even the not-so-good. Like us, they also want to be happy, even at their own expense, even just the three of you. We just did this afternoon and I find it interesting to share it with you, at my own expense, just to kill the time of wakefulness.

Followers, this is just between the three of us ha? This should not leak, okay?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"He Completes Me"

( The supposed title of this blog is, of which i have titled it beforehand was: A Quixotic Interlude; however, it may just be alright if the title is "He Completes Me". . . as i have promised in my last blog entry.)
You shared great conversations with me . . . that’s so intellectual of you,
You showed your humorous side with me . . . that’s so witty of you,
You consulted me on certain matters . . . that’s so logical of you,
You offered me a ride home . . . that’s so manly of you,
You assisted me every time I alight from your car . . . that’s so gentleman of you,
You volunteered to carry my things . . . that’s so adoring of you,
You cared for my kids like you do to your own . . . that is so fatherly of you,
You give rewards to the achievements of my kids . . . that’s so loving of you,
You give gifts on occasions . . . that’s so thoughtful of you,
You worry for me when I am sick . . . that’s so caring of you,
You shared with me a slice of cake . . . that’s so sweet of you,
You wolfed down with me gallons of ice cream . . . that’s so velvety and creamy of you,
You held my hands so tight . . . that’s so dreamy and wistful of you,
You almost kissed me (what????). . . that’s so expressive of you,
You…? Who are you to me? Maybe, you’re just a quixotic interlude in my life. But everything happened . . . in my dreams! Again???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vanity Sizing

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest Mom of all?!

Every Mom wishes to be the best to their children. On the other hand, do children also wish to be the best kids to their Moms?

The generation x kids are in various quandary nowadays. There’s what they call “high maintenance kids,” “the entitled kids” and the kids who are victims of “vanity sizing.”

Vanity sizing is defined by one book author as “trying to make everyone work behind the scenes to make us feel good about ourselves.”

Honestly, our kids need great Moms to prevent their children from falling into such impasse.

Based from the book that I read, vanity sizing is exemplified this way: One mother was in hurry shopping for clothes. She has tried several sizes but nothing fits her well. While paying to the cashier, she asked about the odd sizing. The cashier explained, “that’s our ‘vanity sizing.’”

Indeed, vanity sizing has migrated from the dressing room to the classroom to the home. Even my own kids are being “vanity sized”, of which I only realized it when I was through reading said book on parenting. My son Kevin is one typical example. He performs in school a little weaker than his big sister and his kid brother. At home, we simply avoid the truth by trying to give him praises for little achievements which when compared to his siblings, are mediocre ones.

If he excels in competitions which rarely happen, we are all praises to him. As if he is the center of our world at home. We give him rewards; we praise him so much believing that this will develop his elf-esteem. If this how we treat our Kevin, will it result to positive things to him as a person?

To quote Dr. Guthrie in her book, “The Trouble with Perfect”, “Vanity sizing in and of itself is not terrible. It’s a simple ploy, a mild trick to fool people into feeling good.”

“It’s like calibrating the bathroom scale at a bit under zero, or setting our watches a few minutes fast so we’re always “early.” But it’s a good example of the kind of parenting technique that ultimately backfires and encourages attitudes like “entitlement” that render our children high maintenance. These are children who expect the world to come to them; who feel that they deserve the best, who believe that they are “entitled” to the best life has to offer. They often have difficulty making good moral choices and empathizing with others. Vanity sizing doesn’t cause high maintenance; it’s only one factor common to parenting today that encourages this trend. And it seems to encapsulate mistaken notions of what children want and need from their parents.”

Vanity sizing our children is quite unfair to them. Why can’t we praise them for the real thing? Why can’t we recognize them for the real achievement?

This attitude and practice of praising a child not for the real thing is quite dangerous. I have observed one little boy, about the age of three who’s constantly vanity-sized by his parents. The result? We found in the behavior of that little boy as he grows older, the signs that he has an AD/HD problem. When he’s not given constant attention, he shouts and utters bad words to get attention. He cries on end without any valid reason. He keeps on talking about non-sense things. His sight of him becomes irritating to other people because of such display of behavior. At a young age, he knows how to utter threats like “I will kill you”, “I’ll cause a grenade to blast you to pieces”, “I’ll fire my gun in your face”, and other foul words you wouldn’t expect a little boy like him could utter.

Vanity sizing our kids at a young age will not help them grow and mature emotionally the natural way. Instead, they will develop an attitude which craves for unrelenting praises and adulation. We’re not helping them that way. In a capsule, “we’re crowding out the well-rounded development of our children.”

Let us veer away from the trap of vanity sizing. Let us be great Moms to our kids the natural way and we’ll surely produce great kids, too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Somewhere . . .

Somewhere, i left my heart
Somewhere, i want to be in that place again
Somewhere, i wish to see that face again`
Just somewhere where memories keep coming back.

Will there be someday, sometime
To reminisce the good, old days
Will there be a chance
To share the laughters and the tears
Yes, somewhere, someday, sometime, somehow . . .

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Jezza, the Lovely & Jolly Intern

Last September 5, 2008, my mother was operated at CVMC, Tuguegarao City. Dr. Erwin Baguinon, a specialist, was the doctor who took charge of my mother's case. He conducted a Cholecystectomy, a surgical process of removing the gallbladder.

During the period of her confinement, not only doctors, nurses and nursing aides come to her room, even student-nurses who are on their clinical duties are also assigned to monitor her condition.

There is one student-nurse who left memorable moments with my mother and me, too. Her name is Jezza. She's a nursing student at MCNP, Tuguegarao City. Actually, Jezza was not assigned to my mother's room but her other companions were the ones. She just happened to check on her friends and suddenly, she showed compassion on the patient of that room, my mother. Since then and until my mother was discharged from the hospital, she kept coming back.

I find her a very jolly person. Her disposition and outlook in life seemed perfect. She displays a carefree, happy disposition. She never tires of sharing happy moments with patients, like my mother. She's a very affectionate girl. She's well-groomed and her trademark according to her classmates is wearing bright red lipsticks. But she looked quite adorable in her totality.

Every time she visited my mother in her room, the room's ambiance suddenly lit up and my mother would be smiling in her bed. If student-nurses are allowed to kiss or hug patients, she would have done so with my mother.

She got my number, and every now and then, she never forgets to say hi, hello powh? She's so adorable, this girl!

If all medical professionals, doctors, nurses, aides, and others have the same happy disposition like Jezza, being confined in a hospital is never an ordeal. How many Jezzas in the world do we have? How many medical attendants have a happy disposition like Jezza? How I wish I can see more Jezzas in this world. I've proven they can make a difference to a patient in great pain. They can uplift a patient's battered spirits as a result of illness.

To you Jezza, let me say I love you and I admire you! And I honestly do. Keep up that happy disposition in life. Keep touching lives in your own simple ways. It's a gift!

Mornings with Recy

Recy, a friend I adore, a friend I admire! She's a childhood friend of mine. She's been my friend for several decades now.

Mornings with Recy are great mornings. She greets me with the following messages sent through texts. And I want to share them with you:

"Sometimes, life can be much the SAME minute we think we are on the RIGHT path and suddenly the path is filled with OBSTACLES...when we become CONFUSED, remember, we can ask GOD for DIRECTIONS"...

"Live with no excuses and Love with no regrets. When Life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile."

"Because YOU are SPECIAL. . . and wonderful, I pray that you be encircled by GOD's LOVE and care, today and always, God bless!"

"Every time I begin to feel that there isn't enough strength left in me, I end up knowing that there's more in Him. God sustains us."

"Sometimes in life, you really have to decide whether you're half full or half empty. It may appear the same, but it doesn't feel the same."

"God set a place for us in His heart, not in this world. Because the world is temporary. . . but in God's heart, we are special and blessed forever."

"We may regret many things in life, but we'll never regret being too kind or too fair. Care. . . Share. . . Forgive. . . and life will be brighter and happier! Happy Life! Happy Morning!"

"Enjoy life no matter how hard it may seem! When life gives you a thousand reasons to cry . . . show the world that you have a million reasons to SMILE!"
"Good friends care for each other, Close friends understand each other, True friends stay forever. . . beyond words. . . beyond time . . . beyond distance. . ."

"Let the blessings of God flow in your life like springs of living water or rivers that never run dry. God cares for you, today, tomorrow and forever."

"The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently, but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life, knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live."

"When the world pushes you down to your knees. . . then you are in the best position to pray."

"Life forms us. . . . sin deforms us . . . church informs us . . . but only God transforms us! Be safe, allow Him to make a better you!"
"Walls of worry surround us everyday and though we try, we could never run away. But remember that walls only block the sides, never the sky, so look up and leave your worries to God."

"In life, there are lots of negative people watching your next move, desperately waiting for us to fail, and worst even praying for us to give up. Just don't mind them. Let them egg. It just doubles the fun of living and surviving. Let's keep in mind that failures and problems are not something we should be scared of. . . they could even lead to breakthroughs and great discoveries. Keep that head up! Continue doing God's will, because as long as He is with you, it's all that really matters!"

"Remember that you are worth not for who you are, but for what others have become because of you."

"God hears what is not spoken and understands what is not explained . . . for His LOVE doesn't work in the lips nor in the mind. . . but in the heart!"

"The more God gives you, the more responsible He expects you to be!"

To you, my beloved Recy, thank you so much for your morning messages. I love you and because of you, I try to become a better person, too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Best Alarm Clock

C’mon, every one of us needs an alarm clock. It is an indispensable gadget for pupils, students, teachers, working dads and working moms like me.

As a gadget, we have different preferences on what kind of alarm clock we use. Some just use their cell phones for practical reasons, others go to the store to buy the handy, convenient and cheap type of the gadget, and still others buy an alarm clock that matches their personality. They may be hip, classic, imported, fashionable, and trendy, you name it, and they have it.

But for us at home, we have the greatest, the most classic, the most practical, the cheapest, the most unique, the best, yet the most irritating, the most annoying, infuriating, something that gets on your nerves and the earliest to sound a wake-up call even though not set to the time we really want it to be bursting, yet it will just alarm naturally. And we don’t need to spend a dime or two just to have one.

However, if I would be given a choice, I will never ever covet or wish to have such kind and brand of alarm clock. I’d prefer to spend an amount just to have the most realistic alarm clock. I know and am sure that you, too, will never want to have one like ours.

I’ve kept you hanging in the air for so long now. And I guess you’re just as excited to know as I am quite hesitant to reveal to you what kind of alarm clock I am talking about.

Voila! Our alarm clock is nothing else but our NEIGHBORS!

Our neighbors. Yes, our neighbors who start to be as noisy as they can as early as 4 o’clock in the morning. They produce an alarm that’s as irritating and as annoying as anyone can imagine. They are an assortment, like “pinakbet”, like “chopsuey”.

There’s a neighbor who’s shouting at the top of her voice because of trying to discipline a 3 year old son who’s got the worst tantrum that nobody can pacify. (This is a behavior of a child I’m quite exasperated to watch and listen to and will never tolerate). Then there’s this neighbor whose habit is to hurl invectives against his alcoholic husband. (It’s their early morning rituals that have been practiced since the time we moved to reside in this neighborhood). And there’s a neighbor who’s used to giving the first hour Sermon on the Mount to her daughter when there’s no need to do it. And then there are these neighbor’s little kids who start to cry simultaneously with the crowing of the cocks because of lack of attention.

There’s the good side of it, anyway. You don’t need to buy batteries for regular battery change as done in the real gadget. You don’t need to worry that you were not able to set it because whether you like it or not, they will just alarm voluntarily. And you can’t set them off much to your desire to do it for reason that you still don’t want to wake up, because they will continue to sound since there’s no manual on and off features of them. They will just ebb and sound off naturally when everybody’s left for school and work. It’s kind of useless already.

There’s also the aesthetic value of it. When the scenario is interesting, you would be watching a free circus, a free movie where you don’t need to buy tickets anymore. You can have a free entertainment. At times when the sermon goes off-hand you kinda be watching a shooting and in some instances, you may be forced to be an extra. You may opt to act as an in-between to the warring neighbors. But for me, let them! I have nothing to do with these kinds of neighbors. That’s their personal business, let them enjoy. I can survive in peace despite their natural behaviors. It’s just being used to it. It’s like acclimatizing. Survival of the fittest!

But if I will be given another chance, I would like to put up a house in a place where’s there’s peace and quite and open space. A place where my alarm clocks will just be the sound of cocks/chickens crowing, birds chirping, frogs croaking, bees humming, winds blowing softly, cows mooing. A place where there’s tranquility and contentment.

If you can find and be in this place, there would be sheer joy and contentment in life. For I believe that life lived simply is a happy life, sans the need of alarm clocks.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Awards and Recognition

Another handful of awards from dear Sahana of World of Poetry: Thanks so much my dear... :-)))



Awards from Jingle of Jingle Poetry Potluck:

The Elegant Butterfly Award from Jingle... :-)

A cute award from Sahana


A lovely award from Yousei Hime of Shiteki Na Usagi!


A Sunshine Award from Riya....


My Awards for the month of January from Acrostic Only


I challenged Yousei to write an Acrostic and instead he wrote one in my pen name as follows:

                                                Acrostic Queen presents the challenge.
                                      My humble offering, I submit,

                                      In friendship and poetry,

                                      Thankful for


I will keep this as a sign of our good-blogging-friendship!


My awards for the month of December 2009 at Amias' Acrostic Only


Yousei was so  thoughtful he gave me this award last December 4, 2009...Thanks Yousei...:)


My awards for the month of November 2009 from Amias' AO

Poet's Choice Award
My First Award

My 2nd Award


A gift from Yellow Tulip
Thank you so much sweetie!!!


An award from Dev


This is really an awesome gift.
Thanks so much sweet Yellow Tulip!


Vyshu Gave me this award...

She was the first to give me an award...thanks so much dear! But where are you now?
I can't access your blogsite anymore?


My Awards from Pramoda

happy to be part of the community


Thanks Prams for the Award

I love it buddy....

Dollars vs. Homesickness

Christmas is in the air. You hear everyone playing Christmas songs in their homes. I feel very nostalgic every time I hear the lyrics from several popular Christmas songs. Let me quote some: “Christmas won’t be the same without you,” I’ll be home for Christmas,” “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” “I saw mommy kissin’ Santa Claus,” and many more.

But the saddest song of them all is the Tagalog Christmas song popularized by Gary Valenciano, entitled: “Pasko Na Sinta Ko”. For my readers who can’t recall the exact lyrics, let me share it with you.

Pasko Na Sinta Ko

Pasko na sinta ko hanap-hanap kita
Bakit magtatampo iniwan ako

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Pasko, inulila mo

Sayang sinta ang sinumpaan
At pagtitinginang tunay
Nais mo bang kalimutang ganap
Ang ating suyuan at galak

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Paskong alay ko sa’yo

Sayang sinta ang sinumpaan
At pagtitinginang tunay
Nais mo bang kalimutang ganap
Ang ating suyuan at galak

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Paskong alay ko sa’yo

For six straight years now, my hubby is always away from us during Christmas season. His text to me a while ago read this way: “Pasko na naman, nakakaasar! (it’s again Christmas and its so irritating!)” I knew he meant he’s again sad, depressed, gloomy, unhappy, because he can’t be with us again this Christmas. And I texted him back saying, “we all here feel the same way.” As proof, we did not decorate our Christmas tree, we did not hang any lantern or Christmas lights which are all symbol of the yuletide season.

I know I am not alone in this predicament. We are so many. A member or members of many families here in our country leave their loved ones to look for greener pastures to earn dollars for their respective families left behind, so they can provide them with decent living conditions and send their children to decent schools to finish a degree. The sacrifice is great and the consequence is immeasurable. HOMESICKNESS that nothing can compare!

Again, this Christmas, how can Santa be kissing mommy underneath the mistletoe during the nights when he is miles away? Of course, Christmas won’t be the same without Daddy Santa. And my kids will continue to wish a white Christmas just like the ones they used to know, where the tree tops glisten and children listen, to hear the sleigh bells in the snow.

But Daddy Santa promised that two years from now and he will be home for Christmas. That will still be in 2010. Whew. . . it’s too long to wait.


a i helped my two boys prepare their luggage, the older one will go to Baguio City to take the College Entrance Exam at SLU; the younger, he will join the Division Presscon at Ballesteros;

after that, I went to bed immediately after giving their respective allowances;

ai could hardly get to sleep;

aat past 12 midnight i received a text message from my daughter telling me she's sorry bout getting mad at me because i am again dipping my hands into her personal life;

ai could hardly sleep because of her text message;

aat past 2 am, i awoke in cold sweat, chilling, i had a nightmare;

ai was able to sleep at past 4 am but the nightmare continued;

aheard the dogs barking, as if somebody's around the house;

ait was already morning and i felt as if i didn't get a good sleep.

That was how my night went on. Last night. . .

Christmas is in the air. You hear everyone playing Christmas songs in their homes. I feel very nostalgic every time I hear the lyrics from several popular Christmas songs. Let me quote some: “Christmas won’t be the same without you,” I’ll be home for Christmas,” “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” “I saw mommy kissin’ Santa Claus,” and many more.

But the saddest song of them all is the Tagalog Christmas song popularized by artists, entitled: “Pasko Na Sinta Ko”. For my readers who can’t recall the exact lyrics, let me share it with you.

Pasko Na Sinta Ko

Pasko na sinta ko hanap-hanap kita
Bakit magtatampo iniwan ako

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Pasko, inulila mo

Sayang sinta ang sinumpaan
At pagtitinginang tunay
Nais mo bang kalimutang ganap
Ang ating suyuan at galak

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Paskong alay ko sa’yo

Sayang sinta ang sinumpaan
At pagtitinginang tunay
Nais mo bang kalimutang ganap
Ang ating suyuan at galak

Kung mawawala ka sa piling ko sinta
Paano ang Paskong alay ko sa’yo

For six straight years now, my hubby is always away from us during Christmas season. His text to me a while ago read this way: “Pasko na naman, nakakaasar! (it’s again Christmas and its so irritating!)” I knew he meant he’s again sad, depressed, gloomy, unhappy, because he can’t be with us again this Christmas. And I texted him back saying, “we all here feel the same way.” As proof, we did not decorate our Christmas tree, we did not hang any lantern or Christmas lights which are all symbols of the yuletide season.

I know I am not alone in this predicament. We are so many. A member or members of many families here in our country leave their loved ones to look for greener pastures to earn dollars for their respective families left behind, so they can provide them with decent living conditions and send their children to decent schools to finish a degree. The sacrifice is great and the consequence is immeasurable. HOMESICKNESS that nothing can compare!

Again, this Christmas, there's no way Santa can be kissing Mommy underneath the mistle

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

CNN Heroes of the Year: A Recap

Friday evenings give me the luxury of sleeping late in the night. For the following day, a Saturday, is rest day for people like me who works five days a week. I tuned in to CNN, my preferred news channel, last Friday evening and the running program at that time was an awarding ceremony of the Top Ten CNN Heroes of the Year.

All the heroes awarded on stage have their own story to tell; the reason why they were voted heroes; the remarkable cause they promoted, the helpful programs and projects they supported; the kinds of people they have helped; which gave them the chance to be selected and voted as Top Ten CNN Heroes of the Year.

To recap their triumphs and the laudable works and deeds each one of them had accomplished, I want to share with you who touch my inner soul and my whole being. As such, their list of achievements and accomplishments is worth of emulation.

To be accurate with what I am going to share to you, I have taken this short review from the net (CNN Website):

Top Ten Heroes of the Year

Tad Agoglia, Houston, Texas: Agoglia's First Response Team provides immediate help to areas hit by natural disasters. In a little more than a year, he and his crew have helped thousands of victims at more than 15 sites across the United States, free of charge.

We can be like Tad Agoglia. If we have the means, we can help natural disaster victims in our country, the Philippines. Our country is a typhoon and earthquake belt. That’s why we are prone to such natural calamities. And before we knew it, casualties almost number by the hundreds and even thousands. They need our help. Help while we can.

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Moved by the lack of children's books and literacy in his native Ethiopia, Gebregeorgis established Ethiopia Reads, bringing free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of Ethiopian children.
Should anyone from among my friends comes across with this post, I encourage you to help our countrymen especially those who are in the hinterlands get at least a book. Donate a book and find ways how. In this way, they will have a chance to get educated even just by simple means. We also have Ethiopian communities in our country. Like Yohannes, we can help educate those who live in these communities.

Carolyn LeCroy, Norfolk, Virginia: After serving time in prison, LeCroy started the Messages Project to help children stay connected with their incarcerated parents. She and volunteer camera crews have taped roughly 3,000 messages from inmates to their children.

The desperate and ill-health conditions of those behind bars especially in our country is beyond imagination. Much more, they have limited or no communication at all with the families they left behind. If I were given a chance to help, I will set up a project like that of Carolyn LeCroy. It will give those in prison precious communications with their families, vis-à-vis, which will help them cope with the miserable situation they are in.

Anne Mahlum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: On her daily morning jogs, Mahlum used to run past homeless men. Today, she's helping to transform lives by running with them, and others as part of her Back On My Feet program.

Its a very simple achivement, yet it bears significance to others especially the homeless. Why not run for a cause? In Sanchez Mira, there’s the SMIG group (Sanchez Mira Integrated Group) which is very helpful during town activities, though not as similar as running for a cause. I salute the men behind this group. Keep on SMIG!

Liz McCartney, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana: McCartney moved to New Orleans to dedicate herself to helping Hurricane Katrina survivors move back into their homes. Her nonprofit, St. Bernard Project, has rebuilt the homes of more than 120 families for free.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was most devastating. Many Fil-Ams who permanently reside in New Orleans were victims of this unimaginable torture of nature to mankind. The devastation was beyond comprehension. Our love for our fellowmen was tested in this unforgettable event in human existence. Everybody extended help in anyway they can. And Liz McCartney is a living testament to it. May there be more Liz McCartney in our midst.

Phymean Noun, Toronto, Ontario: Growing up in Cambodia, Noun struggled to complete high school. Today, she offers hundreds of Cambodian children who work in Phnom Penh's trash dump a way out through free schooling and job training.

I am a teacher by profession, however I am not practicing my profession. I am underemployed. At times, I wish I could win in a million dollar lottery so that I can put up a school for the less-privileged, less-fortunate children in our community. There are many dole-outs from the government to help OSY’s, but its not enough. Dole-outs are even limited. After teaching them the basics of reading, writing and numbers, there’s no follow-up anymore. We need concrete results. I’ll pray hard that I’ll win in a lottery so that I can put up a concrete school and bring concrete results to our impoverished children.

David Puckett, Savannah, Georgia: Puckett started PIPO Missions to bring ongoing prosthetic and orthotic care to those in need. Since November 2000, he has helped more than 420 people in southeastern Mexico, free of charge.

Bringing a smile to a distorted face is quite a great mission like what David Puckett did to those people he helped in southeastern Mexico. We have a similar cause being done here in Sanchez Mira although a different kind of mission work. And I would like to commend the husband and wife tandem who does the volunteer work in the person of Drs. Melvin and Nancy Manuel. They offer free circumsicion to young children in Sanchez Mira every year during Holy Week. They’ve been doing this laudable mission for several decades now for the benefit of those who can’t afford the services of a paid doctor. I’m proud we have David Pucketts in Sanchez Mira, too.

Maria Ruiz, El Paso, Texas: Several times a week, Ruiz crosses the border into Juarez, Mexico, bringing food, clothing and toys to hundreds of impoverished children and their families.
The DSWD is an agency of the government who takes charge in the giving of dole-outs such as food, clothing and shelter to our less-fortunate countrymen. Maria Ruiz does the same using her personal money. Can we be like Ruiz also? Let us help our government from the burden of providing dole-outs to our poor people? Christmas is at the bend. Let’s make our fellow Filipinos happy even during christmastime only.

Marie Da Silva, Los Angeles, California: Having lost 14 family members to AIDS, the nanny funds a school in her native Malawi, where half a million children have been orphaned by the disease.

Marie Da Silva did not think of the dangers it may bring her by being in contact with children whose parents died of the dreaded disease. She, too has her own story to tell about her nightmares of AIDS that took the lives of 14 members of her family, which prompted her to help those half a million children orphaned to the disease. What she did is one great feat! Let us be like Da Silva.

Viola Vaughn, Kaolack, Senegal: The Detroit, Michigan, native moved to Senegal to retire. Instead, a group of failing schoolchildren asked her to help them pass their classes. Today, her 10,000 Girls program is helping hundreds of girls succeed in school and run their own businesses.

Life after retirement is stereotyped. You must enjoy life by cruising, by going to places around the world, by spending your retirement pay in a beautiful retirement villa, etc. But for Viola Vaughn, it’s a different story. She instead used her sunset years helping young girls succeed in school and have their own livelihood afterwards. What a great way to retire? I challenge the retirees to spend their remaining years in more meaningful, challenging causes because life after all is better and happily lived when spent helping others.

These are the heroes chosen via electronic votes and awarded by CNN. Are you like one of them? You might be one of them. I wish to be one like them, someday. . .

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Goodbye Migraine, Hello Blogging

For several months now, I had been suffering from migraine episodes which could not be treated with any pain reliever. After coming from the office in the afternoon, I’d march directly to my bedroom, hit the bed immediately, believing that lying in bed would heal and ease what am feeling. Even upon waking up in the morning, I’d feel the same pain. This prompted me more often than not to get absent from my work. I was quite worried and almost believed that there’s something wrong with my system. If I could no longer tolerate the pain, I would ask my son to drive me to the doctor for B complex injections and sometimes, have myself administered with an IV fluids laced with vitamins that would improve my condition. Trips to the doctor had been frequent. Sometimes the doctor would kid that I just missed seeing a doctor.

At the back of my mind, I believed that there’s really something wrong with me, health-wise. I related my health problems to my hubby. All he could say was I am just feeling so homesick with him. And I would half-heartedly agree with his words. Moreover, I don’t want him to be deeply bothered about me. I want him to work in peace.

But then, a couple of weeks ago, you might not believe me if I tell you right now that what healed those migraine episodes was a very different medicine. Not any medicine that could be bought from any drugstore, either any IV fluids administration or B complex injections. For several days now, I am observing myself. My health condition turned for the better. I no longer feel terrible headaches. And after assessing some changes in my daily routine, I found out what really gave me an improved health.

Writing. Yes, writing blogs, writing articles for my blogsite. I felt better every time I finished a short or long post for my blogspot. In fact, I feel I am on high when I am writing. Studies show that when we love the things we do, when we are able to express ourselves in ways we really appreciate and enjoy, it’s therapeutic. We may seem so obsessed and tied up with our boring daily routine, but sometimes, we also need to vent out hidden and unexpressed feelings. And writing is one medium to express out whatever feelings and emotions we want to convey, whatever opinions or issues we want to contribute, and whatever achievements and failures we want to share. I am convinced. Thus, I will continue to write. It may just be a run of the mill achievement for a neophyte like me, but I really enjoy it.

If you are bored, write. If you are depressed and confused, why not write! If you are stressed and feeling down, get a paper and pencil or start tapping the keyboard and express what you are feeling. If you are happy, show to the world. If you are lonely, you better share it; it will ease you of your emotional luggage.

Who wants recurring migraines, anyway? If there is a cheap medicine that can be administered or be used to treat it, why not have an overdose of it. It’s free and getting an overdose could only give you a different high. It will give you absolute satisfaction, emotionally and mentally. So write, write and write. It’s free and it will cost you nothing. It will only improve your mental and emotional quotient. Finally, it will make you a better person. You will be protected from early mental retardation; you will be safe from deadly emotional depression.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Love-Hate Relationship With Numbers

Over dinner the other night, I was discussing with my kids how i really hate numbers. I hate math subjects like trigonometry, geometry, physics and any subject that requires computation or problem solving. I would suffer nosebleeds. That's why I am wondering how come i have a child who was a math wizard when he was still in the elementary. Maybe he inherited the genes from his father, and totally not from me.
I shared to them that I read a blog from my classmate titled: For Nation Building. I was about to get nosebleeds again, I told them. Why? I was forcing my brain to compute how much he is earning monthly now based from the given: 3.9% of his grand, and the government is receiving 7.8K as monthly witholding tax from him, for nation building, he emphasized.
Wheww. . .nosebleeds, nosebleeds. I quizzed my housemates, particularly one of my college students who's a BSE student, Math major. She computed, based from the given i gave her. after a while, she was snapping her fingers in awe, she was nodding her head in total disbelief. I asked her why. She told me, "Tita, he's almost earning by the six digits, or he's a six digit earner". "Really?", i answered in silent approbation.
At that moment, I suddenly love math, for the sake of computing how much is the monthly grand of my former classmate. Yes, I love math when i have to compute the monthly salary and overtime pay of my hubby. I love math when I have to compute how much will I deposit in the bank. I love math when we are about to receive our extra bonus every end of the year.
But i hate math when i have to compute how much is our total bills on all our utilities and other expenses monthly. I hate math, really hate it when I realized how much is my monthly salary. Nosebleed is no longer a problem, but disappointments in my career, in my life.
I dreamt of being a better person, a professional who's gainfully employed in a multi-national company. A professional who can easily handle a supervisory or administrative position. But look where I am now? I am in a dead-end position. There's no room for career advancement. Finishing a masteral degree is not a guarantee that I can be in a higher position, say a department head.
Thus, my love for numbers only happen when it gives me positive things. And it's the other way around when i will be spending our hard-earned money. By the way, the government is no longer imposing tax on my monthly salary since the other month. My salary is tax free. And it only means one thing, I do not earn that much.

Private Number Calling. . .

I was already in bed, trying to lull myself to sleep by reading a book when suddenly my phone rang. It registered in the screen as Private Number Calling.I presumed it was my hubby. I said "hello" but the other end's voice was of a woman. She answered and wobbled up these lines with an element of sarcasm, or so i thought: "hello, this is cora avila, paano ko ba sasabihin sa 'yo? Ganito na lang, straight to the point, I am cora avila, I am here in Barcelona, Spain, hindi mo ba ako kilala". I said no and I felt so nervous when she added she's in Barcelona, Spain. I was thinking otherwise. I was thinking she knew my husband who stayed there for five months working in a cruise ship. I was thinking she must be an other woman. Ha ha ha. . .
I was almost at my wit's end when she told me that she's a schoolmate at CSU-SMRVS, a college classmate of Joan Carillo and Imelda Badiang. Then I realized, she's not really a prank caller, or otherwise. Because even without her pictures in her friendster account, I can still vividly remember her, her face and her voice.
We ended up sharing about each other's lives. Until I was able to share her that her former teacher, Ma'am Manuela Guillermo already passed away last November 12. Then she told me that Mr. & Mrs. Guillermo are her ninong & ninang sa kasal. She also related to me that Dante Guillermo is ninong of one of her child.
She also shared how homesick she is, especially now that she's already a widow. She was able to petition her husband Ernesto Paclibon, to join her in Barcelona as immigrant but unfortunately, six days before their flight, her husband was stabbed to death. It was a very painful episode in her life, she said.
"How did you know my number manang," I asked her. "I was browsing through the friendster account of Val Macalma when I saw your name," she said. She got my number in my posted shoutout, she said. She felt nostalgic according to her when she saw that I was making an announcement calling all my batchmates in SMRVS, Class 1984.
I related that phone call to my hubby when he called me later in the evening. He was laughing at me. Well, I told him, I am happy that good old friends do try to keep in touch with me.
Manang Cora plans to come home this January 2009 to commemorate the 2nd year death anniversary of her late husband.
Manang Cora, thanks for your call. See me when you will be home.