Friday, February 29, 2008

Mom Shalene's Predicament

Once over a meal here in La Vista, Mom was getting worried about Dad's condition. It was one of Dad's lazier and weaker moments. Scared he might have problems with his swallowing again which might lead to pneumonia again, she encouraged him to exercise his throat muscle.

One of these exercises is to vocalize, or shout loud enough to feel a pull on your throat. Dad wouldn't do it. Mom turned her attention to Rod, Zhar and me since we were at the dinner table at that time. Nurses Mike and Eldon hovered over Dad and sweet talked him to at least try to vocalize. Finally, Dad gave in and gave out a loud 'Aahhh'.

Mom stopped talking to us and turned to him and said, "Sweetheart! Yan! Sige, one more time." Dad, for his part, turned towards her and immediately creased his brows with an irritated look directed right at her.

It's a great thing that Mom is already an expert at handling Dad and his mood swings. She calmly said to Dad that she won't make him kulit na lang.

Although it was a moment made light by Mom's humor and good nature, it could very well have been a cause for hurt and self pity for Mom. But she's much better than that. I know, though, that it can be very frustrating at times. I know that inside, she may also have her moments of getting hurt. So I salute her for her strength, courage and positive outlook. I also want to console her with this:

When I find Dad by his lonesome (well, with Mike and Eldon), I try to make small talk, just to try to put a smile on his face. Being so lousy at small talk, I really don't know what to talk about. I remember during the times when Dad was a little more agile and alert, we'd talk about family. So usually, now, I talk about the past, his past. And of course, being the romantic that I am, I always go back to Dad and Mom's love story, their early stories with their kids, their wedding. And that would always, always bring a smile to Dad's face. He would also start to talk a little more.

So, Mom, even if Dad creases his eyebrows at you a little more often these days, please know that when you're not looking, you're really the reason for making him smile.

Ang Mamatay Ng Dahil Sa 'Yo

Watched Rielle's play in Assumption (where she was simply GREAT as the Little Prince) this afternoon and as school programs go, the start of the show is always marked by the singing of our national anthem.

Our red-blue and white flag peeked out of the side door and the music of Lupang Hinirang began. As I stood there with my right hand over my heart singing the song, this feeling of sadness swept over me.

I felt sorry for the state our country is in. I feel disgusted at our leaders occupying the highest posts in our land. How can I be proud to sing of our country when we have the likes of GMA, FG, Ben Abalos and Mike Defensor as our so-called caretakers? When the so-called truth is twisted to cover lies and robbery? When the likes of Jun Lozada who show love for his adopted homeland are condemned for exposing corruption? How can I pledge loyalty to a country whose AFP and PNP leaders serve and protect the highest bidder and not the common people and whose loyalty is for sale? How can people who call themselves Filipinos, who proudly call on the name of God and their Catholic faith, lie in front of everyone just to save the skin of the principal that they serve? How many souls will be sold to the devil just to dispute the truth and protect the erring powers that be?

As I was beginning to get teary eyed, I stopped myself. The flag and our song have withstood the tests of time. It stands, not just for the Philippines now or the leaders of today. It stands for our forefathers who fought against colonialism, tyranny, oppression and suppression of our freedom. Our flag and song stands for our country, and its people in general, not just of a chosen few. GMA is but a tiny speck of our country being the current leader. But she isn't the Philippines. She doesn't stand for the flag nor our song.

Gloria and her minions are the dominant ones now but they won't be there forever. Just like our heroes, they will be a thing of the past. But unlike our heroes whose lives will always be an inspiration to the future generations, our leaders of today will be an example of how power corrupts and how power can be abused. That perhaps is how Gloria will want to be remembered.

Our flag will stand and for as long as there is a thing called time, there will always be change and with that comes hope. I know things will only get better IF we just pray. I do not see myself standing in the streets of Makati asking GMA to resign. I will be the silent majority, but my prayers to God to save our country won't be silent. It is because of my love and pride of my Flag, my anthem, my being Filipino that pushes me to pray for our beloved Philippines and hope for better things to come. I will do my own part in making it happen.

I sang the final verses of the song a little more loudly. I sang for our country, its history, the land where I call home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Relieving Trip to the Doctor

Our baby has been sick since Saturday night and just yesterday, his fever went up to 39.1C. Now that got me freaked out. I couldn't think well enough to make our agenda for our meeting with our staff. When I called Mila after a few hours, his fever had subsided but was still higher than normal.

After researching on the internet about dengue symptoms and soliciting comfort from my sisters, Ate Rona and Elizza, I finally decided to focus on getting some work done. I invited Lai to sit in with the Commissions Staff meeting to know and evaluate the workflow. I guess she got kinda bored, I'd see her turning her ballpen around her fingers... and a blank notebook in front of her. Hehehe... Nevertheless, I have to thank her for bearing with me. Hehehe... But I think we accomplished something. :)

When I got home, played with Bric for a while and then he was off to sleep.

The past 2 nights, I'd bring him on our bed in between Boydee and myself while he's fast asleep. Last night, I cradled him in my arms, both of us lying down.

Today was the visit to Tita Doc. Findings after CBC platelet count: it's not dengue (whew!). He's got a lot of phlegm inside that's probably causing the fever. He is now on antibiotics.

Met Ate at the doctor since Rainey had stiff neck. Poor girl! After the doctor, we dropped Bric home and proceeded to buy medicine at Mercury and grocery shopping at Rustan's.

Had a massage by Mang Romy and feeling kinda rejuvenated and sleepy at the same time. So, while waiting for sleep to conquer me, I'm downloading songs of my childhood from limewire and updating (sort of) my blog. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Powerpuff Girls

This day started and semi ended with the Sisterhood doing official work. Yup... you read it. The three of us girls went from the site to the MVC office all in the name of work. Of course, we never miss out on the lunch break which today was CPK, the occasional office of Ate Rona and Lai.

We all woke up at varying times within the hour of 7 to 8am. Then, I picked Ate then Lai then off we went to the Site Office. Meeting, meeting, meeting for Treasury flow. There were times our brains weren't absorbing anything anymore but fortunately, we accomplished what we set out to do. Hopefully we ironed out the kinks especially where the site is concerned.

Then it was time for lunch to recharge our energies and brain cells. We had Waldorf Salad, 5 cheese pizza, Creamy Garlic shrimp spaghetti (this was yummeeee!!!) and Portobello Mushroom Ravioli. I think we overcharged our batteries... we were all kinda sleepy after. Hehehe...

At 2pm, we were in our office. This time around, our queen mother joined us :) Again, meeting, meeting, meeting. Miraculously, we were done by 5:30pm. All of us went home together again with Manuel.

So ends another episode of the Powerpuff girls. Hehehehe... It's three times the fun when we're three-gether. So even if we're doing heavy thinking work, we never fail to insert fun, laughter and ka-kengkoyan. What's more, we still get things done. Right sisterhood?

More episodes to come... perhaps Stella and Zhar would be able to join us! Looking forward to it! :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Shame

Jun Lozada, star witness to the NBN-ZTE deal, has been on TV since he came back from Hong Kong and ever since he decided to tell the truth to the public, he has become an overnight star. He is the modern day David fighting the corrupt, power-hungry, money-driven Goliath that is the Arroyo government.

His credibility is being destroyed by the very people he used to work with and whose reputation he initially tried to protect. What lies they can concoct about him, I believe in his sincerity and the truth that he is saying.

Here is a man plucked out from obscurity but became high profile because he was caught in the crossfire of people who wanted to milk this country dry just to enrich their pockets. When is enough money and power enough? Now, FG, no stranger to controversy, has involved innocent, well meaning, sincere civil servants, country -loving individuals hoping they will be motivated and swayed by the weapons and temptations such as 'greed', 'power', 'influence', 'stature', 'money' and 'fame'. The 'tempted' get tempted and sell their soul; if they say no, their life and their name are destroyed.

When will the seemingly decent people like Ignacio Bunye, Romy Neri stop telling lies to cover up for this government? When will the other people who are supposedly in service start serving the people, the common good instead of serving just the President or the First Gentlemen? When will the wheels of justice turn for those who are in the echelons of selfish power?

For now, I sit and wait til 2010 and pray we will be given a better choice for a leader. I pray that our nation will still have hope through its leaders. I pray the future leaders will be strong enough to stop the bureaucracy and the corruption instead of joining the fray. I pray there will be more Jun Lozadas who will speak up and expose the evils of this government, not for political motives but simply because they want the truth out and want change. And lastly, I pray for Jun Lozada, for his protection and the safety of his family. His act, his sacrifice shouldn't be ridiculed or put under scrutiny. Rather, it should be lauded and hopefully it will inspire. May his tribe increase!

Friday, February 08, 2008

My Lenten Sacrifice

Lent came early this year with Ash Wednesday falling on February 6. Father Benny in his homily said Lent should be a time of prayer, sacrifice and giving.

I've decided to give up pork and beef. In addition to that, I will try to get on the treadmill at least 3 times a week. These 'sacrifices' are kinda selfish in motive because they'll also help me lose weight. But as St. Therese said, any little thing if done with love is already an offering to Jesus.

Temptations may abound but with God as motivation, I'll really really try not to give in.

As for charity, I'm looking for a Mother Teresa center here that helps the less fortunate children. Mother Teresa because it was she who enlightened Boydee when we were undecided on River's fate. Hope someone can give me leads as to where to find that center.

It's 40 more days to go but my sacrifice is nothing compared to what Jesus had to go through. Maybe I'll add more daily offerings as much as I can. All for Jesus. All for the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another Milestone

Our Bric can walk!!! It's been 3 days now since Bric can walk unassisted all around the house. So now that he's discovered the joy of walking, he's like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. His sleeping schedule during the day is disrupted because he just can't get enough of walking. He's so funny.

Starting on the 8th month, Bric has been learning so many new things. He is now like a sponge and he's developing his personality. He's got his Dad's happy disposition. It takes so little to make him smile. He got his Dad's friendliness. He savors and relishes being the center of attention - sometimes even looking for it. He solicits applause, and calls your attention if you're not paying him any. During our flights to Cebu and Manila, he never fails to befriend a stewardess or a fellow passenger (even flirting with them).

It's actually funny how tables have turned. When we'd fly before and we hear a kid screaming or crying, we get irritated. Now, it's our own baby making noises and being restless and though it's embarrassing sometimes, it's also amusing, and most times, we are helpless on shutting Bric up. He's got a mind and will of his own. So, we just beg for our fellow passengers' indulgence and hope we're not disturbing them too much.

Sometimes, when I'm with Bric, I am surprised at how much he already understands. He follows when we ask him to put his socks in his shoes. He says 'nam nam' when it's eating time. He says 'ba ba' (be bye) and waves his hand when he leaves us to go out. He knows how to 'love' by leaning and embracing us. He kisses us, waves at us and even statues or pictures. He jumps about when there's music (that's the way he dances). He claps his hands when he knows he's done something he thinks we expect him to do. He's a bundle of energy and amusement. He brings so much love and joy in our lives!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Before leaving the office last night, I dropped by the desk of one of our staff to follow up on her report. This report has been due since 3 weeks ago. When I finally saw the report, I already saw an error on the first line. I was quite disappointed and frustrated since this was long overdue and I expected it to be accurate since it had taken that long for her to make, the least it could be was correct.

Out of frustration, I couldn't help but unleash my 'temper' 'moderately' towards her. My hubby happened to pass by when he saw my 'controlled outbursts', and he intercepted.

While waiting for the elevator, he told me not to be too hard on that particular person. She might just break down. I kinda felt bad after that, not so much because it felt like he was siding with her but more because of my guilt.

When we got home, I was still getting grumpy and irritable. I was restless. It felt like there was so much negative energy within me that had to find an outlet. Any little thing irked me. So, instead of boxing a wall or banging my head, I channeled all this pent up energy to treadmilling, hoping I'd feel lighter after that. I did but oh so slightly. Then I read Goldie Hawn's autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, which is a feel good book but I didn't totally feel good after.

When none of my escape tactics worked, I decided to go to sleep. Obviously, I couldn't right away, so I prayed. It was only after a quieting down within me that I got the courage to look inside me and really ask what was going wrong that night after that incident.

I blamed everyone and everything else at my irritability. Maybe I was sensitive because I'll be having my period soon; perhaps I was tired from a long day at work. None of those were acceptable enough. The underlying reason for my feeling irritable was my guilt!

I felt bad because I let my frustration get the better of me; I felt bad because I wasn't patient enough; I felt bad because I was perhaps rude to someone who despite her shortcomings still remained 'nice' and ever so patient in handling our outbursts. I had to deal with my own monsters. How have I become so mean and arrogant?

After admitting the real reason for my touchiness, I felt a little better. I told myself tomorrow, I'll treat that particular staff better and with more patience. I resolved to be more humble, stretch my patience and hold my temper in. I will try not to be too sungit.

As we grow older, although I believe we learn more about life, it shouldn't give us reason to be more arrogant and behave like a know-it-all. As we mature, we should instead be more compassionate towards others and be a better person. It isn't our egos that should grow bigger, but our hearts.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Cleaning Day

I just finished taking a shower and dressed myself in shorts and a plain white shirt. Today is cleaning day for me... more like organizing our room day.

It's been 3 years already since I moved in with Boydee in his room. And up to today, my closet space still remains at 2 1/2 closets. The rest of the 3 1/2 and a few more on top are his. 1/2 was Bric's but since Bric has a nursery already, that half reverted back to Boydee. So, thank God I'm not too kikay to have too many clothes.

Aside from closets, our whole room has always been in kind of a mess. Boydee and I aren't the most organized and oc-oc house people. Thank God we only have a room plus one nursery. Imagine if we had a whole house (but then again, there might be more space to store our stuff).

We've already placed boxes and boxes of clothes, collections, etc. in the attic but there's still a lot of things here to sort out. It seems I'm forever 'spring cleaning' but our room still gets messy.

So, the thing to be done is to ORGANIZE. Assign areas, drawers for particular categories. That way, when there's new stuff, we know where to put them instead of just on the massage bed at the foot of our bed, or on the floor where it stays for weeks, months, (gasp) years...

Keeping our room clean should also be a commitment and tidiness a lifestyle.

Hopefully today, I'll be successful in starting to organize. Hopefully starting today, I'll stay committed to keeping our room neat and clean. I know there will be lazy days, so then I'll just have to start again. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Shopping Pressure... errrr.... Pleasure

After 4 days in Macau and 3 in HK, we come back to our beloved country where our son awaits us. Bric greets us at the airport. Our baby is growing up so fast. He's now walking more than 5 steps and he doesn't want to be held. Hehe...

Despite my drowsiness from having to wake up at 7am (having slept at around 1am) to catch our flight, I didn't sleep when we got to the house. I started unpacking and realized we didn't buy too many stuff... which is good because we didn't spend too much money.... but I'm thinking I should have bought another one of those 'pylone' reminder buttons for our bathroom mirror or the pylone passport holder. Too late for regrets since we're not in HK anymore.

I've often been teased as 'kuripot' (thrifty) by my hubby which almost had me convinced. But after giving it serious thought, I've made a conclusion about my spending habits. I'm "practical" more than I am "kuripot"; I decide which things to splurge on and which stuff I can do without. I am a 'moody' shopper; I have to be 'in the mood' to shop and it's not a switch that is 'on' all the time.

I spend on the following:
1. food!!! - This is so self-explanatory... When we travel, I like to try the different restaurants and the cuisine a place has to offer. There are just endless possibilities with food and my palate is just only too willing to explore what the gastronomic world has to offer.
2. Travel - I'd like to believe that traveling is an educational and humbling experience. In travel, we learn about different cultures, see how different we are from one another, on one hand, and so alike on the other. It is also an exercise in humility as we realize just how small we are, how we form part of an even bigger world outside our own familiar corners of our home cities.
3. Loved ones - Gifts, trips, scrapbooks - I don't hesitate giving those to loved ones specially to Boydee, Bric, our 2 Moms, Dad and our brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews. But when it's Christmas, now, that's another story. Hehe...
4. Books!!! - Ate Rona was saying she can spend hours and hours in a bookstore and I couldn't agree with her more. I was telling Boydz that if I had to work in the US, I'd be happy and content working in a bookstore like Borders or Barnes and Noble or Page One in HK. Oh, I'd probably be reprimanded for reading too much and not paying attention to the customers. :)
5. clothes (not really so much) - I do this as a one-time shopping spree or occasional splurges because I don't really go to malls often and most times, I'm too lazy to try something on especially if it's just one piece of clothing. If there's a particular style I like that suits me, I tend to buy all the colors. I guess I'm a lazy shopper when it comes to clothes. Moreso now that I am overweight and still plan on losing at least 20 lbs!!! I don't want to buy too many clothes since I might just successfully lose my unwanted bilbils and oil deposits... (crossing my fingers here)
4. shoes - My Mom used to say to me about buying my shoes: Because your feet are big, it's hard to look for your size so if there's a style you like, buy it. I'm more careful now because sometimes, I buy shoes I hardly get to wear. I used to buy fakes until my friend told me a top-seeded tennis player had her ankles damaged because she wore fake adidas rubber shoes. That scared me so from that time on, when it came to rubber shoes and walking shoes, no more fakes for me. Now that I type this, I'm beginning to doubt the story... I mean, why would an international top-seeded tennis player wear fakes???!!! But my friend's logic stuck. Don't mess with feet!
5. Other needs and some 'wants' - Needs are our family's essentials with some specifics/premium on some items... like soap has to be Dove because Boydee's allergic to some others; toilet paper preferred is the one from Rustan's because it's 3-ply so you actually use less because it's thicker, etc... Other "luxuries" are tech stuff (more Boydee's) and services like massage (this I absolutely LOVE!), hair highlights (once a year or even once every 1 year and a half), formal gowns (only if an occasion calls for it).

Shopping is an art and a skill. To be able to hunt for the lowest price for an item, or to be conscious and updated how much a particular thing costs is not easy and requires time. I humbly admit that this is a skill and talent I don't possess; which is just so fortunate that I don't have too many "needs" or "desires"; no tendency of keeping up with the Joneses. I am a stickler for 'saving for a rainy day.' We still have one son and plan to have 1-2 more so we have a lot to spend for in the future. So, we're saving up but that doesn't mean the quality of our lives is less. As cliche as it may sound, money and material things can't buy you happiness. But then again, having them sure helps. Hehe...