10 December 2010

Pancit Overload

photo courtesy of dbgg1979
Pancit should be named national snack or national celebration food or national something. I mean, we've allowed Manny Pacquiao to be officially tagged as the Pambansang Kamao (National Fist--sounds funny in English really) why not include the ever-present noodle dish in the list of national thingies, right?


It seems to be present in all corners of the archipelago in different noodle varieties, flavors and plating. My Dad comes from a province where they have one called pancit habhab with "habhab" being roughly translated as "wolfing it down"--from a piece of banana leaf no less, after paying the streetfood vendor plying it. That's not all, one can further flavor it with a couple of dashes of local vinegar shaken out from a small bottle nesting on the vendor's cart. Of course, you can get pancit habhab from any of the panciteria (pancit joint/outlet/restaurant) in the area. Yes, they'll serve it to you on a banana leaf as well but don't expect the panciteria staff to include a fork or any flatware in your place setting unless you specifically request it. After all, you're supposed to "habhab" the pancit, right? Right.


But with the pancit being highly popular and common, I definitely have my days when I shudder at the sight of a plate of pancit. Don't get me wrong. I love pancit...ok I simply like pancit especially the bihon guisado type with lots of veggie leaves. I'm also partial to pancit luglug and pancit palabok (I think these two are related or very similar). But there are days when this national noodle dish (there! I've named it myself.) gives me the heebee jeebies. One can only get a plate too many from neighbors and church members on special occasions like birthdays, most especially during town fiestas and of course the holidays...like Christmas! I think it's a close second to the Purefoods Fiesta Ham that's touted to be the "star of the Noche Buena" feast. Then again, maybe not. It's just the safe back-up food plan since it's an all-time favorite.


So what's the point of this pancit ranting? It's this: Please people! Enough already on the pancit overkill! I mean, let's make the dish real special again by not thinking it up and actually serving it every time a baby is christened or your son gets top honors in his class. And how about serving the not so common recipes for it during the holidays, huh? I'm dreading the thought of my neighbors or at least a couple of them might knock on my door and hand a neighborly token of the Yuletide season in the form of a plate of pancit. My kids aren't so hot about it. Oh they'll have a serving or two, especially my daughter. But I end up trying to eat a lot of what's left because I hate food wastage. Pity my ever growing waistline and cellulite-ridden thighs! All those carbs heading to those areas.


On second thought, maybe I don't have a point since I'd probably be shouted down by 90 plus million of my countrymen who adore and savor the ever-present and iconic pancit.

20 November 2010

Will we have to relearn how to write with a pen?

I wonder if by the turn of the century (or probably before that time), we'll all be needing to relearn the fast disappearing ability to write with a pen--on paper (the use of paper is vanishing as well! Most companies try to avoid a paper trail. It's now an email trail or electronic trail). Everything in our homes and schools and offices today are 99% manipulated by a button or a series of buttons or a set of keys on a keyboard or keypad! Yeah, pens and pencils can still be found in offices and schools. But mostly in schools, and in the much much lower grade levels. Even middle school kids now use netbooks, not to mention the new definition for notebook--this one isn't made of paper.


Think about it. Most of us work with computers. If it's not with our job, it's at home or in school or all three. We use our thumbs to punch in messages on our cellphones and we use a stylus to push virtual buttons or keys (again!) on the smooth surface of a smartphone screen or PC tablet. Please be reminded that using a stylus is not equal to writing. 


Of course there will probably be some remnant people who will hold on to their skill in wielding a pen or pencil or crayon or any writing instrument that is gripped to write and not punched. People who love the smell of paper and deem as music the faint sound of a nib brushing against a surface, producing lovely lovely script or hasty scribblings or harsh jottings.


But by that time, I'm guessing this remnant pen writers will be labelled eccentric and there might even be an underground movement. Then again, my imagination just might be running away with me again.


Still, I'm one of those who love the scent of fresh, smooth, blank sheets of a journal. And writing my thoughts on them with a scented pen. I love journaling. I even advocate it. I used to do it A LOT! But honestly, these days, the thought of nailing my fast forward thoughts on paper with a pen just seems slow. I worry that those bright ideas might take flight before I can capture them with pen on paper. So, unabashedly, I turn to my PC keyboard to reel in and preserve those thoughts forever on a virtual space where either everyone or no one can read them.


But upon contemplation, I wouldn't want to lose my ability to write using a ballpoint pen or pencil. So I guess I'll just have to practice it--on my journaling. It will help keep me still and meditative as I pace my thoughts with my hands. And who knows, I might be considered as one of the eccentrics while the rest of the world relearns the art of writing with a pen.

16 November 2010

Why I left the Facebook universe

My real friends wanted to know why? Yes, why was I leaving such a popular, very convenient channel for getting connected with friends? Why?


Wala lang. Truly. Honestly. It was just one of those things I knew I needed to do that probably seems strange to others for lack of a concrete reason. Okay...

  • Maybe I was getting tired of the whole thing. Or maybe bored would be a more appropriate adjective. Except with the handful of people I genuinely interact with.
  • Maybe it's because not all my 140+ FB "friends" were really trying to connect. Like I said above only a handful really interact.
  • Maybe the 140+ so-listed friends overwhelm me. Being an introvert at heart, I can honestly say I am happier with a few authentic friends than with a gazillion superficial ones. No offense meant to those who have reached the 5,000 friend limit allowed by Facebook. It's just that we're all different.
  • Maybe I resent the social network's haphazard use of the term "friend". I mean, other sites are more polite with the use of the term "contact". Then you're given the option to group those contacts accordingly, whether their friends, family, etc etc.
  • Maybe because even if it's supposed to connect people, all Facebook really does is keep an online directory of my acquaintances and so-called friends who don't really bother to connect or interact with me after I've confirmed them as a "friend" (I hate using quotations marks but I feel they're necessary in this case.) or have done my part in trying to connect with them.
  • Maybe it's the realization that checking out my FB feeds was bordering into an addiction-- not really necessary to check but I seem to be checking every chance I've got. Gotta cut clean before it's impossible to get out.

And the maybe list goes on...


One thing is for sure though. I did not delete my Facebook account primarily because of my hubby's thing about Mark Zuckerberg being an atheist and all. Although I am 100% sure my hubby has a point about a creator's or designer's spirit being present and flowing through the thing he has created or designed and it will affect those who interact with what he has created, I have to honestly say it is NOT my reason for deleting my account. 


I'm just a tad bugged though, that my hubby had to rally his cause before I could delete my account.


Hey, I'd really love for the Facebook founder to have a real relationship with my God, Jesus Christ but we all have to make choices. And God doesn't, and never will, force His way into a person's life. He'd rather that we come to Him on our own volition and with all our hearts. If Zuckerberg wants to risk his life without God in spite of his talent and brilliance being exactly a proof of God's--the Designer--existence, it's his choice.


If I had decided to stay on in Facebook, I'd counter the atheistic spirit with more God-inspired posts, you know. My "friends" can choose to think about them or ignore them. Their choice so they live with the consequences.


Ok. I've digressed again big time.


To reiterate, I left Facebook because I just wanted to. There's no English equivalent for the Pilipino idiom "Wala lang." The English counterpart doesn't quite capture the essence. Anyways, who knows, after a few months I might decide to return under a different name and be more honest and straightforward in adding to my friends list. Then again, maybe not.



27 October 2010

Those Eggcellent Eggs

I like eggs. I like them a lot because they're not only nutritious, they're one of the most versatile foods I know. Imagine all that potential in an innocent-looking white oblongish sphere. And they're fast-cooking to boot! Quick lunch to prep for my kids when I'm pressed for time or immersed in online software testing.


As itself, you can just give it the old crack and drop on some oil or butter in the pan and you've got a sunny-side up or twirl it around with a fork, add a dash of salt and you've got simple scrambled egg. Serve it between slices of bread, on or between pancakes. You can have it with java rice or plain steamed rice.


If you want it fancy, all you have to do is whisk it, spread it out in a pan, put some leftover cooked veggies or meat from your last dinner or lunch on one side then fold over the other side and voila! you've got classic omelet. For a fluffier version, first separate the egg yolk from the white. Whisk up the white to a stiff froth, plop the yolk back and fold until well blended. Pour into greased, heated pan, gently put in pre-cooked veggies or leftover dinner, fold over and cooked till golden. This omelet melts in your mouth.


For even fancier stuff, sauté slices of sausage, veggies and herbs. Slowly pour beaten eggs in and around the sauté and slow-fry over low fire until the eggs set. Tadaah! Frittata! 


Eggs are what I call "helping foods". They complement other dishes. I beat a couple of them and add to sautéed pork and snap beans then dash in some soy sauce or seasoning. Or wrap them around roasted or boiled eggplants that have been peeled--what we call Tortang Talong. The best "help" they do is converting that instant ramen into a nutritious instant egg-drop soup. Yup, just cook those noodles according to package instructions and drop in the egg when about done. 


Like I said, the possibilities are endless. Yes sir, eggs are indeed one of God's wonder foods.

25 October 2010

United Nations Program

I went to my son's United Nations program just this last Saturday. I wasn't in the mood but my firstborn had a part in this interpretative handsong to the tune of Bette Midler's "From a Distance" so a necessary attendance on my part was in order.


Spoilers first.
Since the school was about a block from our house, I thought I'd drop off my son, rush back home for a quick shower and change then rush back to the school to witness his performance. Not! We arrived just as the program was about to start. Great! I didn't know when my son's number would be on so I decided to stay looking the way I did with my ultra-mega faded jeans, sports tee with matching home-styled ponytail and old flipflops. I told my husband later that I watched my son's number from the maid/nanny area. Joke! But I did keep to the sidelines. I didn't want to embarrass my son, of course.


A quick sweeping glance of the venue gave me the latest young momma fashion---spaghetti-strapped or tube blouse over short shorts with or without cardigan. Rebonded hair and mani-pedi. Matching digicam in right hand and cellphone in left. Ok. I definitely looked like "Inday" at the time. Bad momma didn't even bring the cam.


Little girl from nursery or kindergarten did a dance number that was supposed to be an Indian dance. Fail! Her music was definitely NOT Indian, not even close. Nor were her dance moves. They were more like Sexbomb/EB Babe dance steps. And though I haven't been to India, am pretty sure that shiny candy pink is not one of the colors in their traditional costume. Come to think of it,  all the female students posed in their costumes as though they were part of some dance group from the noontime shows. Sad that parents allow their kids to watch TV's rubbish. Anyway...on with the spoilers...


The little boys always did the Mr. Pogi pose when doing costume presentation while boys from the upper levels looked from shy to slightly embarrassed or wore the "Can I get out of this outfit now?!" expression. *wince*


Another little girl was in a costume from which country I couldn't recognize but her headpiece was this scary thingy that had footlong string-thin wires sticking out. I thought she's poke the other students beside her when she turned her head. Didn't any of the teachers see this potential hazard?!


The group that did the hula had too much make-up on and wore plastic/silk flowers on their hair, around their neck and hips. The thingies looked like they were plucked from the flower vase of fake flowers in their living room. They didn't wear any real grass skirts and the music used was a disco mix of all the classic Hawaiian dance music (Pearly Shells, Tiny Bubbles, etc.) My hula teachers would have shuddered (or turned in their graves)!


I thought I'd scream if I heard "It's a Small World" one more time. Hey, I like that song but good heavens! They kept playing it every time a class would come up to the stage to present their UN costumes---from kindergarten to 10th grade. Ugh! Good thing I didn't catch LSS (last song syndrome) on that one. *shudder*


The worst part was the so called "inspirational" talk from a barangay chairman candidate! Horrors. The guy bored the parents with why he should be re-elected and made the kindergarten students fidget and fuss. No, the guy couldn't take a hint from the growing din his political speech had created among bored-to-tears students and parents. 


Ok ok. I've repented about saying all those "mean" stuff.


Good Highlights.
The program started on time. 
Teachers looked great in their UN costumes.
My firstborn's From a Distance handsong number was the finale and it was good. Proud he was part of the group that performed.
Caleb still loves me even if I attended his UN program looking like a rag. Proved this by calling out "Mama!" when he saw me standing by the school entrance. Matched it with a big smile and hug.

19 October 2010

Stressed? Brush your teeth

Have been so stressed out these past weeks that I find myself brushing my teeth more often than necessary. It's actually a stress reliever I discovered over 12 years ago courtesy of my then fiancé now hubby. No kidding, it works wonders. I was in a snit at that time and he suggested that I brush my teeth. And I go, "What?!" He assured me it works. I obeyed and came out of the bathroom all smiles. 


I know. Strange how some peppermint-flavored toothpaste and circular strokes in and around your teeth and mouth can do wonders. Well, the toothpaste flavor actually doesn't matter but sure helps if it's your favorite one. It's the clean mouth afterwards that brings the relief. 


I even suggested it to an officemate during my pre-homebased job days. Naturally, she gave me the are-you-pulling-my-leg look. But I suppose she was so stressed she actually tried it. Tadaah! Gave me the all smiles and a "Thanks, Boh."  She was in awe how a little morning ritual done out of schedule can provide stress relief.


Try it. I still haven't figured out why it does but it always works for me.

10 October 2010

Silence...Solitude...Serenity

Have been yearning for them for so long. But more so these past weeks. But everyday, they just seem to be more elusive. It's driving me bonkers!


Sunrise on the boardwalk by arturodonate
The world seems to be so noisy. I only demand a little silence. So I can hear myself think. So I can hear God's still voice. Everyone seems to be in my face (perhaps not meaning to or because they're just used to). I just want to be alone for a while. To have some solitude so I can gather my scattered wits, find misplaced pieces of myself, repair shattered nerves. Serenity is about inner equilibrium but everything seems to be out of balance for me for ages now. I just want to recover some personal space and be at peace with myself again.


So I hold on desperately to HIS word and promise..."BE STILL and KNOW that I AM GOD. 

14 September 2010

Tea Time

Having tea in my hot choco mug...teehee
I love tea. Especially the flavored ones. Sad though that I haven't had much of the brew in ages. I had turned traitor and gulped in more cups--or should I say mugs--of the ever popular coffee. I honestly don't remember how the switch happened. 


All I know is that my husband and I used to swear off coffee. We drank Milo instead or hot cocoa. But people assuming that we were common coffee drinkers kept gifting us with this huge glass jars of coffee. It used to be that our church musicians were the ones who emptied our coffee cannisters. That when we used to live above the worship center. It was a short trek for them from the worship hall to our kitchen to get their caffeine fix.


That's why I gave a squeal of delight when my mother-in-law handed me several tea sachets of the London Fruit & Herb Company. The flavors were delicately named, matching their delicate aroma--Blueberry Bliss, Orange Spicer, Apple & Cinnamon Twist, and Lemon & Lime Zest. 


The Blueberry Bliss was true to its name. Its flavor was so delicate I thought I could dab some on my wrist like perfume. The Orange Spicer was really perky and the Lemon and Lime Zest was a delicate version of the commercial instant iced tea. But my fave was the Apple & Cinammon thingy. It strangely brought back childhood memories and spooning imported oatmeal with somehow the same flavor.


Anyways, sipping those tea was so heavenly. I realized how much I missed tea. I hope my momma-in-law has more of them. Hmmm...maybe I'll ask her when we go visit.


Ok so maybe a strong cup of java gives the kick necessary to start one's day. But I will tell you, a warm cup of tea is a grand way to wind down a really stressful day.


*sigh* And the take away of this tea post is that people should respect tea as much as they respect a good cup o' coffee. Tea has cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, helps lower cholesterol levels, and helps stimulate the immune system. So there! Cheers to tea!


Keep moving forward, guys and gals!

Mom's 70th

Mommy turned 70 last August 31. 


My Mom and her birthday cake =)


70. Imagine that. We haven't been able to visit for a very long time. The last time I remember that she was over at our house was last Christmas when she agreed to look after my kids while my hubby and I jumped on our motorcycle and sped to Baguio for a Christmas roadtrip.


So when my sister texted me to say that she was throwing a party for Mom and that it would be great for us to be there, well, we had to go. My husband agreed that we all should make that long trip up north. Yup, my Mom and I live at opposite ends of the region. Haha!


The trip was kinda weird but fun. Well, for one thing, we really didn't know how to get there exactly. I had to ask my Mom to text directions to us while we were on the road. And we could start the trip only after 9pm that day. Schedules! But the kids were excited. My hubby and I were concerned but were excited too. So off we went.


We realized my Mom lived far far away. Really. We arrived at her house at about midnight. Uh huh. But were welcomed with open arms and smiles. My sister Neal and her hubby Albert stayed up until 3am just to mingle with us and do some catching up. They were already tired from the celebration after the Bible study earlier in the evening and they had to be at work at 8am the following day. I was really touched they put up with our ungodly hour visit. It was really great to see them again and their lovely daughter, Macie. So tall and only 10 years old!


Family Pic--with me and my crazy face
Food was great. The calderetang itik was a winner! Mom's cake was so nice. The family photo ops was noisy and crazy. Ok ok, I was the only one who looked crazy...haha! My kids "partied all night" so to speak, rummaging through their cousins' toys and playing. Playing! From the time they finished their late dinner till about 4am. And I think Ivin, my sister May's son had fun as well. He's an only child and it's the first time he's been around kids close to his age. He probably thought he dreamed up my kids once we left. It was such a short visit.


We finally had to leave at 5am. Everyone at Mom's place needed to sleep. And though I didn't have to travel to work, I still had to get to my PC at home and log in at 8am. I know, I know, a laptop would have solved the "problem."


*sigh* I hope we could visit them more often. Medyo bitin. And I love roadtrips anyway. Neal texted when we got home at around 8:30am. She said something like, "Next time ulit...Christmas." Now that's something to plan for as early as now. =)

20 August 2010

The Sicky Weeks

Totally unbelievable. Well, at least for me. But it really happened. Glad it's almost over.


Two weeks ago, I got a bad case of Return of the Bronchial Asthma. Yep, after almost 5 years of having zero, as in 0, zilch, nada, nothing whatsoever attacks, it came back with a vengeance. I was a teenage asthmatic. The doctors said if a kid got it after the age of 5 or in the teen years, it's likely gonna stay for life. Well, I do believe I got healed from it over five years ago. I asked to be healed and I got healed. But I wasn't a good steward of the good health. No. God didn't take back the healing. He's not like that. I abused my health. Exposed myself to all the conditions that would trigger an attack. Bluntly, I was unknowingly asking for it to come back. But God is good. Am good as new.


But that's not the end of this post. While I was down, my eldest son, Caleb was recovering from his bout with a nasty virus. When we both got well, it was my hubby who went down followed by the rest of my kids--almost simultaneously. It was a horrible viral bug. We literally had a sick household! Our house was a sick house. Even the budget got sick. So did our PC's keyboard. Now that one finally conked out on us after two years of good service. So there we were, everyone and everything sick. Aren't I glad we don't have pets?


And so we're on the road to recovery. Thanks to everyone who prayed for us. We really truly sincerely appreciate it. There were a lot of lessons learned those last two weeks. Everyone of us had at least one lesson learned. I probably learned half a dozen. God doesn't allow this kind of horridness on a whim. He has a purpose and He wants us to learn good lessons that will make us stronger people.


And so the moral of this post is never take your health or healing for granted. Be good stewards. We don't own our life. It is God's. And He's watching how well we take care of what He has loaned us.


Keep moving forward people! =)

26 July 2010

The Wall

At my age, I should have thought this out before giving in to all that teasing to put on a harness. But hey, I always liked adventure and Cheche Lazaro has always been one of the few people who inspire me. So I did this even if I was not really in the mood at that time--emotionally out of sorts then (long story; this is so not the post to discuss it.)
I'm the one in the pink and white shirt. I didn't bring a cam because I had planned to sit and sulk during this activity (one of those "much touted" company "get-togethers"). Not really a great shot if you ask me. I would have faced the cam with a really crazy expression but doing so at that angle was kinda difficult if not a threat to life and limb. I did get to climb a little over 15 feet (see that yellow line above me? I got past that a wee bit). I decided to go down because my climbing partner (slim girl beside me) was about to scream.

I just wished my hubby was there with me. He would have cheered me on to the top. He's done this wall climbing thing before. And he would have encouraged me to climb all three walls. Diff difficulty levels. On the second wall, I just made it halfway. The slight horizontal jut made me dizzy (and then I remembered I hadn't had breakfast or lunch at that time). I took a rain check on the third wall.

Wanted to post more pics but what's the point when they're all back shots, right? Right. I should have risked the crazy shot with my face to the cam. And before I forget my manners, thank you to Ms Lala Ballatan for allowing me to grab her pics of me at the wall.

Oh and if anyone's interested in climbing this monstrosity, it's at Camp Sandugo, Level 5 of Market Market at the Fort Global City.

12 July 2010

Tears of a Woman

I only hate crying because it really leaves my face all blotchy and a mess. And also because on a personal level, a good bawling leaves me with my own version of a hangover headache in the morning. I don't know anyone, anyway, who still looks like a model in a photo shoot after a substantial lacrimal leak.


I also hate crying when people give in to their impression that I am weak because I cried. But no, I do not believe that tears are a sign of weakness. Most people are just so judgmental. Sheesh! Tears/crying = weak/brainless. NOT!


But here's my case: I embrace the times I cry. NO, I definitely do not use tears for manipulation. I so disdain humans, particularly guys who stereotype women's tears into a tool that women use to get their way. While it is true, I must admit, there are members of my species who manipulate with their tears, I do not belong to that class. My tears are too precious to be used to manipulate others.


I believe my tears are a gift from my Creator. They are my expression for pain, physical and otherwise. Crying is my safety valve. I cry when I am frustrated or angry. Although I find it strange that tears rarely roll down my cheeks when watching a sad movie or hearing a sad song or melody. And to think I have a low threshold for tears. I may be just relating a story or explaining something close to my heart and more often than not, my voice breaks up a bit and there'll be a sheen of unshed tears filming over my eyes.


So to all ladies who cry in whatever way or whatever situation (unless it's to manipulate--which is really horrid of you to do so. Bad bad bad!), do not be ashamed of your tears. It is God's gift to you in order to cope with life's challenges, hurts, as well as happiness. Besides, the Good Book says:
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Psalm 56:8 New Living Translation)
Our tears are precious to God. He knows what each single teardrop stands for. And for all those tears that represent sadness or pain, He replaces with joy, healing, and relief.  

30 June 2010

Above the legs doesn't mean your thighs, dummie...

Eons ago when I was still in my junior year in college I innocently asked a classmate, "Do you shave above your legs?"  We were jogging down the steps of our college building to hurry on to our next class. At first she tried to ignore me. I thought she didn't hear so I caught up with her and repeated my question. She kinda had an irritated look on her face and reluctantly whispered "Yeah sometimes." Then she just sped off. I wondered at the time why she seemed pissed.


Well  I got my answer after approximately more than 10 or 12 years. No, I am not exaggerating. I did learn the real meaning of "above your legs" after over a decade. How? I think it was while reading about it in a blog or website or something. But I'm sure I actually read about it "by accident" no less. I was shocked to discover "above the legs" in that context meant the ultimate girly girl part of my anatomy! And I had asked a totally personal question back in college. My classmate (I forgot her name now) probably thought I was some kind of perv. Sheesh! Since learning that, I've been mentally kicking myself. And the memory and my utter dumminess always pops in my mind whenever I'm in the bath and shaving my legs.


Aaargh! How I hate the sheltered life my parents raised me in! It wasn't me being naive or my naivete; it was sheer dumminess! Now I just hope that poor girl's remembrance of me isn't my totally embarrassing question. 

12 June 2010

Sudden Surge

Ok. Ok. So three new blog posts may not exactly qualify as a "surge" but to me they do. I'm such an irregular blogger so this is definitely a surge for me. 


The truth is that the latest posts are "transferees" from my first blog--which I have terribly neglected. Probably  because I couldn't decide what my focus there would be. I was so vague. They were random thoughts. Ok fine. This blog is pretty much random thoughts of a SAHM so what's the big deal. For one thing, I wasn't blogging as a stay-at-home-mom there. Rambling again.... 


To get straight to the point, I transferred some posts from there to here because I finally decided what to do with that first blog, Yes, I am sure about it now. My only hope is that I can sustain it. I believe I can. 


As for this blog, it is what it is at the moment. My random thoughts. =)   

Job Stress

Those first couple of weeks back in  October last year was like hell. 


I was offered a project I thought I could handle until I got all the details and the client made a paradigm shift midway through. Then I figured that this wasn’t for me. I didn’t want it. Not that the project was a bad idea. In fact, it was a very good project. I just doubt the client’s true objectives. 


But of course it is business. So the bottomline really is to rake in earnings. But that’s beside the point where I am concerned. Although I think the project is worthwhile, it just isn’t my personal priority. Sure I love animals. Like I told my soul sister, we had nine dogs at some point in time. But that doesn’t make me an animal protection and habitat conservation activist. 


To cut the story short I had some fall out with the company’s client. The project had left me cold so I really couldn’t care less if I understood the emails I was being sent regarding it. I didn’t do a good job to put it bluntly. And when the client expressed dissatisfaction, I hoped it would turn into an escape route for me out of the project. 


But my boss called me after hours and tried to talk sense into me. Of course I couldn’t tell him straight to his face that I didn’t want the project. Nevermind if it meant a "step up the corporate ladder" or a raise of some sort. I just wasn’t into it anymore. And God knows how I prayed to Him to be let off the hook. 


It got to be so stressful I actually broke down in tears and told my husband, “Ayoko na yung trabaho ko. Di ba pwede tayong suportahan ng Lord ng di na ako nagtratrabaho?” 


My hubby gave me a hug and told me something that sort of brought things into perspective. Although I have to say it did not completely convince me to embrace the project again. I just let it go and took it one thing at a time. 


I ended up apologizing to the client without totally losing my dignity. Apology was accepted and instructions were given again to draft something for marketing. Inwardly I’m groaning. I wish this would not be on me. I wish I were doing something else. 


Lately, I've been receiving emails from the same client regarding the same project. Call me paranoid but the way the emails are worded, I seem to be a moron. I could actually hear the client in my mind, speaking ever so slowly then ending the instructions with "You did understand, right?"

Remembering Daddy

Daddy passed away about four years ago. i don't exactly remember. I was pregnant with my third child (then unborn Dianelle) and my two boys and I were about to go to my parents’ house for a reunion of some sorts.  The reunion never happened. Daddy died a week after we got to their place.


My relationship with Daddy wasn’t that great. It wasn’t that bad either. I just have an overall feeling that he was kinda disappointed with how things turned out with me. I guess I never met his expectations–whatever they were. I really never knew what they were exactly anyway.


But I did have memorable moments with Daddy.


One that will probably be with me for a very long time was when he agreed to shop for a blouse with me. We were already living in Angono at that time. And the most accessible shopping place then was Cubao. It was a commercial complex.


He tirelessly accompanied me from store to store as I checked out rack upon rack of blouses. I needed one for a piano recital. Imagine, me in a piano recital. Funny, after doing the rounds of all the possible shops that sold blouses and girly girl dresses, I ended up buying the first blouse I seemed to like at the first store we had stepped into.


If memory serves me right, I was kinda apologetic towards my dad. But he just smiled at me and said it was okay. He commented that I was like him–quite picky with clothes and unmindful of the effort it takes to look through every store until I finally found what I really wanted. Mildly OC I should say.


I also remember his back rubs. He had good steady warm hands, my dad. I had asthma as a teenager. Whenever I had an asthma attack, I couldn’t sleep. He would rub my back as I drooped over the backrest of a chair. He’d rub in circular motions that freed up the mucous in my lungs. My chest would somehow clear and I would be able to breath and finally get some restful sleep.


There is one painful memory though. And I suppose it has influenced the way I look at myself physically. It was way back in high school, probably my senior year in high school or my freshman year in college.  Whichever, I was standing in front of our bedroom mirror checking out a zit. I wasn’t a zitty teen. I was blessed with fairly clear skin. But that night I noticed a pimple and I sort of lingered on the sight of it on my face.


My Dad chanced upon me as he passed by our room and heard me mumbling something about the lone pimple and my face. To which he responded, “There’s nothing that can be done about your face.”
Honestly, although the statement’s meaning registered vaguely, I felt hurt. I guess, deep inside me, my dad’s statement translated into, “You’ll never be pretty.”


I suppose that has affected the way I respond to my husband whenever he’d comment on how I should comb my hair or wear my make-up or what dress I should wear.  Any statement that even slightly refers to the way I look I deflect with “Pacencya na. Hindi maganda yung asawa mo eh.” (My apologies. Your wife isn’t pretty.)


Do I miss Daddy? I sort of missed him several months after we buried him. Now, I don’t really know. I haven’t deleted his email address from my list of contacts. And I’m pretty sure I have not deleted his cellphone number from my cell’s phonebook either.


I do regret not texting him or calling him. Maybe that would have improved our relationship. Maybe he would have warmed up to me again. We got pretty cold when I got married. Although he was cordial when he and mom visited me, still…


I guess I took him for granted. Or simply thought that I would see him again on their next visit.

used, reused, overused...

I am upset. I am angry. I am sad. I want to cry. 

Am dying to scream my head off and at the same time smash something.

I’m way over burnout. I’m not even smoldering coal. Just cold ashes. 

And still people around me won’t stop using me.

12 May 2010

Oh This Frigging Heat!

What the hell is wrong with our weather?!! It’s so freaking hot! This summer heat is crazy! I used to love summer, the heat included. But, man, this kind of temperature makes me want to do all kinds of crazy stuff like…


…buy a waterproof laptop so I can work under the shower until the heat goes away. Yes, even if it will mean my skin getting all wrinkled like an old sea hag's.


…use my birthday suit 24/7 because it’s still really oven hot inside the house at night even when the temperatures outside have gone cooler. I dare not walk around the house in the buff, though, for fear of traumatizing my kids for life. I mean I have three boys not counting my husband. I don’t want scarring my sons’ view of a woman’s anatomy, yah know. As it is they’ve tolerated me cooking their meals using only my shorts and bra.


To add to the bonkeriness, it really pisses me that I’m easily out of fresh panties because I have to change every time I hit the shower—which is more than a couple of times a day. The oppressive humidity just adds to the stickiness in that delicate part already!


Also, I’m thinking if ice cream, halo-halo and slurpees will qualify for three square meals. It’s so weird that even my 12-month old son’s milk bottles are in the fridge. It used to be that I had to warm the baby’s milk. Nah ah! Not anymore. It's so hot, the water in our drinking water dispenser turns lukewarm—no joke. So my youngest spawn wants his milk in a refreshingly cool temperature before giving it to him.


Obviously the answer would be to get ourselves a couple of air conditioners. The catch is that the only thing crazier than this infernal heat is the friggingly sky-high Meralco rates! Our monthly bill might end up the same as that of the nearest mall. 


But hey, here’s a comforting thought in all this blistering temperature—BE THANKFUL YOU’RE NOT IN HELL.

29 April 2010

Oh Rain! Oh Joy!

After sooooo many infernally hot days and a couple of teasingly brief rainshowers yesterday, my request for a totally refreshing downpour was granted. Oh joy!

Three of my kids rushed out to play in the rain the moment permission was granted (Israel being too small yet to join in the fun)--complete with accompanying whoops and squeals.

My daughter, Dianelle, only lasted a few minutes before running back into our garage, shivering. John draped a towel over her and told her to just get back inside and take a bath--under the shower, which is more manageable..haha!

I'm glad the boys had a really fun time in the rain. I didn't get to do that when I was a kid (which was eons ago). I know I know it's pathetic. Blame it on my overly unreasonable parents at that time. I probably missed a quarter of my life by not doing that...lol!

Yeah, maybe I should do it one of these days when there's a really huge downpour--and dance like there's no one looking. =)

15 March 2010

Snatches of More Serious Thoughts

First quarter of 2010 is moving towards a close. I still seem to be perennially engulfed by things around me--online work, routine household chores, ministry stuff, Facebook, Twitter, people, my kids...I had really really hoped for CHANGE.

I regret not starting my long planned attempt at getting into shape--brisk walking (from our house to the highway; it's really not that far), or sticking to the discipline of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, or blogging on a daily basis even if only to keep my writing chops sharp.

I wonder if I'm truly making an impact with my life or if I'm just bumming my life away with the routines I've gotten myself into.

Then I get to asking myself: What is it that you are most passionate about? Teaching kids.
But then I seemed to have "lost" that passion since last year...since I began feeling fatigued and burned out...and finally admitting these to myself.

But I still want to teach kids. Teach them about God. Teach them about HIS incredible love. Kids are just so open and trusting even when surprisingly, they ask tougher and more sensible questions than most adults. I really feel guilty about putting the Children's ministry on hold--again. I am honestly torn between wanting to teach them and feeling so tired. At the same time so frustrated with budget constraints that seem to prevent us from procuring much needed equipment, furniture, and materials to continue such a precious ministry.

I wonder if I'm still qualified to do my job. My online work. Again, I feel guilty when I groan inwardly about the tasks and the nature of these tasks assigned to us. Lately, I hear myself telling myself: "For goodness sakes I'm a WRITER.  I write. I don't totally comprehend technical stuff. What am I doing here?"  And guilt follows after that because I am only too aware that this online job was literally a God-given gift about three years ago. It's homebased. The company pays for internet connection. I can log in for work while still in my PJs and even when I haven't brushed my teeth yet. So, the nerve of me to complain. I've met people who learn about my job and I see them longing for such a job. So now I hate myself for being a totally ungrateful whiner.

I wonder if I truly love my husband. There are days when I just want to strangle him or kick him hard on the shins for not being more understanding or for being so focused on the ministry that I feel neglected and yet it's crazy that on the same day I have these feelings, I desire him so much...yes I get horny over him. It's maddening! Then I get to the place where I wonder if he was ever in love with me. I know, I sound like a crazy woman.

And then it's ironic for me to have this homebased job so I can be with the kids but I still don't get enough quality time with each of them on an individual basis or even together--doing stuff together. I'm either glued to the computer or to the stove or to the sink or to the washing machine. And then I go back to thinking if I should just quit my job so I can concentrate on the kids.

And now I feel like a basket case.

The weirdest thing of it all is that I know that all these musings, rantings and ravings, vague feelings, and inner unrest boils down to my relationship with Christ. Where am I in this divine relationship? I am not sure really. Some days so in love with HIM. Some days I take HIM for granted. And just now I just so desperately want to reach out and have HIM hold my hand...and feel it FOR REAL--not just in my soul or spirit but feel HIS hand holding my hand. I don't know, I just think that it might finally make things on my patch of planet OK.

God, I really need that real break from everything and everybody so I can just be with me and rethink my life so I don't waste any more of Your precious time.

06 February 2010

Sweet Noah

A couple of days ago in our bedroom...

Noah: Mama, look. Ask me who’s mas maganda. This one or this one…(slightly slamming his little boy hands on the pages of a magazine on my lap. Each page had a photo of two different Hollywood actresses in full glam)
Me: They’re both pretty.
Noah: No, no. Ask me who’s more ganda. This one or this one. (repeating his request and actions)
Me: Okay. Noah, who’s mas maganda? This one or this one? (mimicking his previous actions.)
Noah: This one. (as he looks straight at me and ruffles my hair with his hand while giving me a broad smile)


Me: (Genuinely surprised and flattered!) Haha! Ikaw talaga. That’s so sweet of you. (I ruffle his hair in return)
To myself: Aaawww that’s so sweet. (double take) On second thought, (eyes roll) bata pa bolero na! aamph!

Most Plagiarized Book

The Bible is said to be the world’s bestseller for all time. But has anyone also noticed that it is the most shamelessly pirated and plagiarized book the world over—especially where religion is concerned. 
I mean just look at all those religions claiming stuff like zen (simplicity), minimalism, yin and yang (balance) to name a popular few. Whoever their founders/philosophers/gurus, whatchamacalits were, those people actually took a Bible principle, called it by a different name and passed it on as their truth, their personal revelation. Worse, others have adulterated Bible truths with their perverted concepts of spirituality.


Could Jehovah charge these copycats with religious piracy? Or spiritual plagiarism? If there ever were such concepts. Still, when I think about this, it just amazes me how the Author of the Good Book hasn’t zapped them all into nothingness—which He could simply do with a snap of the all-powerful fingers. He has chosen not to. It’s not His nature to be vindictive. Just goes to show that God Almighty is mercy to the very core of His awesome being. And royally confident that in reality ALL things are HIS.


As for us humans, we are terribly territorial and sadly unforgiving when it comes to things we think we’ve originally created. Even a slight copy-paste of a written work would generate the crisp sound of lawsuit slaps.


The Author of the universe must be laughing Himself in amusement at the audacity of mere mortals who claim HIS precepts as their own religious truth. 

03 February 2010

Extravagant Love

01 February 2010
6:56pm

Extravagant love. Just crossed my mind. Just a few moments ago—after musing on my relationship with my husband, after desiring him all day even if only yesterday I wanted to kick him in the shins because of something he said; after watching a really really nice wedding video; after reading 1 Corinthians 13 again…

Extravagant love—God did it first. No one for all eternity can ever ever trump HIM on what HE has done for the love of mankind.

No I didn’t think about this because it’s the first day of the month of hearts. In fact, I have come to deem the day of hearts as corny and really cheesy. Am sure whoever started the now globally celebrated day had romantic notions at heart. But people tend to abuse even the most pristine of concepts and feelings.

Perhaps God, Who is the very essence of love just wanted me to meditate on it at the closing of this day. Extravagant love. HIS extravagant love. Something I don’t deserve. Yet everyday HE surrounds me with it. I am not sure if I can afford to give it to another human being. Extravagant love--I can only hope to offer it to the ONE who endured the most horrifying experience and went through the most excruciating pain to ensure my soul’s safety for all eternity.

I am not worthy of His extravagant love.

30 January 2010

My Typical Day

10:05 am
I don’t think I’m a “driven” person. I believe I actually have a high threshold for tolerance of the status quo. I don’t make a move until something is really driving me bonkers. And when that happens, I kinda make close to drastic maneuvers.
Anyway, like I said I don’t think I’m driven. Driven people drive other people crazy. That’s why they’re driven. Hahaha…


11:05
Okay okay. So I said I’ve sworn off violent movies. Well…war movies to be really specific. My hubby woke up this morning telling me how he couldn’t forget what Vin Diesel said in his movie Triple X. I figured my husband was able to squeeze in viewing that movie last night after finishing his lesson while I was already in the sack.
Anyways, I figured I’d watch that movie. I kinda like Vin Diesel and Triple X isn’t a war movie…hehehe.


6:07pm
Sometimes, men can be completely insensitive bastards.


7:24
I’m already offline at work but am still stuck doing work because I don’t want to be doing this same task by Monday. I plan to submit it today or by the wee hours of Saturday morning even if it means having to stay up that long.


As it is, the kids are still hyper—noisy and moving about. Battery levels at 10! The house floor is littered with toys, and I’ve just washed my youngest kid’s butt after his poo leaked out of his nappy and messed his crib spread. Eeeww! I figured, I still have 6 or 7 years of having to wash someone else’s butts. (sigh) The only consolation is that it won’t be an adult’s butt. EEEEEWWWW!


And I still have to cook dinner. Husband is out. Speaker at an EGR in Imus. Ok, so it’s not comparing like with like when I think about his job and I think about mine. But when you look closely, I am literally holding two jobs—my online work and housework, not to mention supervising the children. I wish he’d do more housework. 


I’d gladly do it all myself if I had the humanly possible stamina and unlimited resources. But I just don’t have them. There’s only 1 me with only 2 hands and 2 feet and 24 hours in a day. And I cringe at that thought of having more than a pair for each set of limbs regardless if having more will seem to accomplish more. I simply refuse to look like an arachnid or any of those multi-legged creatures. Ugh!


My throat seems sore again. My voice seems hoarse no matter how hard I try to clear my throat. This already happened to me last year. No voice for about two weeks. I didn’t have a cold or cough then. Just lost my voice. It seems to be happening again. A dear friend of mine mentioned last time that a case like this meant fatigue. (sigh). Perhaps I am fatigued…again. I really wonder when or if ever I’m gonna get that kind of vacation I dream about and have blogged about and post stuff about.


7:58
Trying desperately to finish at list three quarters of my task before cooking dinner. I know it’s already late. Dinner should be served by now. But what can I do? Crap! Lately, the kids seem to easily drive me crazy. I wince at each scream and squabble and fit of tantrum. It takes all my self control not to hang the little turnips by their ankles!


9:09 pm
That’s it. Monster Mama has struck again! Sheesh. I hate myself.