Saturday, September 6

On Achieving Work Targets

I rarely complain when work is the topic because I know I will intentionally lose myself in the argument. I have always taken the guilt for being the youngest in our team that is why much of the bulk of work is on me. I have been feeling a little more than stressed lately and my blood pressure can't seem to go below 140/110 but I am taking things in stride because I have a family too, and I cannot just live for the work placed upon my shoulders.

But I enjoy work, and that is an understatement. Maybe because I have loved the kind of work that was given me and I enjoy the service to others that I always feel like it's a chance to helping out the needy. I take it on me to support the needy especially when they really need a shoulder to help them. I have this passion for making good with my work that at times it leaves nothing for me and the children.   

I get accustomed to going to trips because I have to send myself there in order to conduct orientations, give lectures, meet people. And I enjoy all of them. 

My work continues even as I reach home, and that is no longer healthy as I would understand it to be. I have oftentimes disagreed with my boss for being such a jerk in decision-making. I am a player, and to rest in between for me spells nothing  else for me but FAILURE. And all this I do because I want to be best at what I do. I do not want to be complacent about things and put blame on others just because he or she is not doing her job. However, we do have our individual targets, and to reach it is a group effort and the performance is based on how the group did something to achieve it. Talk about inequality. Haha.

So how do you really take things in the proper perspective when you feel inadequate anymore? You have been working from the tips of your fingers to the tip of your hair but it just doesn't feel complete. 

It hurts me right now to think that I have a very laid back supervisor. And my personality is too strong to take him with ease. It hurts me because he has just reached the Senior citizenship and sometimes my fierce tongue would lash out undesirable words which I feel is proper reasoning. 

So I guess I just have to push myself to what is intended and expected of me. I just hope and pray that when the credits are given, my name is on the top list because I feel I deserve it. I'm applying for a promotion, I have been trying to get this position equal to the fingers of my right hand,  if I get this, then I'd truly believe that there is fairness and equality in the world, and that the appointing officer is true to her word of "fairness" and "transparency".

Allow me this short rant. I just want to let out some steam.

 


Monday, August 18

His Eyes Were Upon Us

Yesterday has been a crazy day, to say that it is full-packed is an understatement. When I arrived at work, I wanted to breathe hard, the type where you don't know when your last breath will be. When I arrived at my desk though, work immediately took its toll, I had to haggle with time which ones I have to facilitate doing first and what gets my attention next. It went on and on until I only had so little time for breaks, the last I checked the time, it was an hour before getting home. Time is so short it doesn't consider giving you any second chances.

This morning though, on my way to work and while riding the multicab, the cab incidentally swerved to the left intersection of a long avenue at the Capitol Grounds in Alabel, almost bumping into trees and shrubs, without the engine stopping. We were shouting that a student passenger is alighting almost near the Alable Science High School, but straight and fast goes the vehicle. A few meters away and the engine stopped, that's when the driver revealed he lost his brakes. We were thankful that it did not happen along the highway or who knows what would've happened to us then. God's protection has enveloped us, and will continue to do so until HE wills. I could never thank HIM enough. Truly, HE doesn't abandon.

Had it been that the cab continue its motion towards buildings or trees, I know not which bone is fractured on me, or which part of my body has got the most bruises. Or if I could still be writing this blog now. 

The scared look on my co-passengers' faces cannot be drawn on paper, with bated breath until the engine stops, it is something I will never draw, the fearful looks of their smiles that turned into anxiousness. Some of them turning a little paler than they already are. 

What could have been an accident did not happen. For whatever reason, GOD has given me a second chance to live my life the way HE wants it to be. 

Now I'm doing it HIS way, not mine. I could never thank HIM enough.

Thursday, July 10

My Two Cents on Brotherhood, Fraternity, Sorority

When I was in college, my parents have reminded me over and over again that getting to clubs that do not put value to your studies first is something that should be avoided. I have kept that in mind. However, I have learned that on her second year, my sister joined a fraternity without my knowledge when I should be keeping an eye on her. So she went home and I was wondering where on earth did she get those bruises and hematoma, no cuts, just violets and green on her legs? And then I knew she had joined a fraternity that initiated her that moment to become a sister to a brotherhood.

I have kept silent about it, because what happened was to her own liking. I may have told it to my parents after the bruises were all gone, but she was already part of the club and she takes great pride in what she has done.

My belief though does not join my sister's. Not until after college, and I was sworn in to be a member of an exclusive law fraternity and sorority. No initiation rites, no pressure on whatsoever, but the only thing that I was tasked to do is to go for my studies, finish law school, excel in exams and recitations. And I failed them still.

The issue about hazing is not new for the Filipinos. We keep on learning about these kinds of abuse from frat men and women. These concerns have started since time immemorial, and I cannot fathom for whatever reason these youngsters would love to be in a group that would beat them before they make him a brother or a sister. Just like how I could not understand my sister from joining a group that beat her legs to bruises.

Fraternity may yield some advantages, I believe in that. But brotherhood cannot be reasoned out by hazing. Can't we be brothers without initiation rites? Or can't we be accepted in a club without having to go through the process of beating someone or putting some pressure on the newbie? The adventure of brotherhood is fun, it spells unity, camaraderie, connections.

Only in law school did I understand the true meaning of fraternity - but not brotherhood. Because even in the group, there is faction, and there are misunderstandings.

I am a member of a fraternity/sorority. But I could only understand the meaning of brotherhood as displayed by my family. Not by any group I may have belonged to. 

Monday, July 7

Join the Sun City Suites Night Run Series 2014

I have oftentimes dragged myself to wake up earlier than the usual to go jogging and walking especially on weekends. I have pushed myself to do something relevant to my health, even before the diagnosis of the heart condition. I drive myself to walk, and do a little exercising or zumba if it can be done. But that's somehow lessened, if not stopped because of the heart. I am afraid that the heart will collapse if I make it weary. I know I am not god to tell the heart when to stop and what to feel, that's why I am being careful. But I was also told that a little walking/jogging won't hurt and short runs can do good to exercise my main pumping muscle. 

So here's a good thing I'm doing again with my friends. The Sun City Suites Night Run Series 2014. It will happen on July 19, 2014. The Run  starts at Veranza Mall and you have a choice of registering for the following: 

I am sure it will spell FUN. Let's just say that Fun runs have always been a hit for my friends and it's something that I have not done yet. This is my first time ever to join a fun run. Consider this - FUN, you are not required to run all the way through the finish line but you can run and walk, and walk or run however it suits you. Sometimes, our idea of fun runs are always races and marathons, but we need to consider that fun runs can be good starters of a healthy lifestyle, and I'm going to start walking this weekend to prepare myself for this event. 

Aaaaannnndddd, they have lots of things to raffle away, 200 limited NBA sports bottles, a plane ticket, ROXY and DC and Quicksilver stuffs, and a lot more! 

And there's a real nice singlet waiting for you when you register, plus drinks coming your way during the event. Registration Outlets: 

                                             SunCity Suites Front Desk
                                             Bench Robinson's Place
                                             3rd Floor KCC Mall (Near Japan Home Shop)
                                             Mitchy's Car Accessories (Magsaysay Ave)

Saturday, July 5

The Event that was The Social Media Day

Many people have managed to learn about technology because of the unending supply of new gadgets that hit the market. From phone devices to laptops and tablets, and there's the smart watch which one can use for notification of having an email or a direct message. There are a number of ways one can directly message someone, or leave a note to friends or even check what's going on in the country and elsewhere. 

 And how can one use these gadgets but not be connected to the net? Of course we have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Plurk, and other Social Media sites and apps that one can use for communications and flaunting purposes. Believe me, these are the things that consume us. 

How many hours do we stay on the net, checking our emails, and stalking our friends over Facebook, checking what food they eat, where they are or whom they are with? You do agree with me also, that these are the things that sometimes, you just can't live without, right?

So we in Gensan also celebrated the Social Media Day. Whilst it may be a tad earlier as we celebrated ours on June 28 when the Social Media Day is supposedly June 30, we had fun time to share with friends a few topics like "Five Tips to Rock Your Social Media Game Plan", benchmarking the success of SarBay Fest which actually reached more than 130,000 likers and people talking about it on the net and even responded to its invitation to be the greatest beach party in Mindanao. Another was "How You Can Profit from Social Media" wherein the speaker taught the attendees ways on how they can use the social media experience and earn from it. 

About 40 attendees joined us, and we continued to advocate that we need to blog or post something responsibly in FB and other social media sites. Content is still king when writing a blog. 

The core group where I belong to has done something really sacrificial to pool this number of attendees and make the event a success. It was a concerted effort of Google Business Group (GBG) - Gensan and the Sox Bloggers. The students who were present did not go home empty as they were able to bring home swags and other freebies aside from the lessons they have learned. 

2014 Social Media Day had the theme "Best of Online Media in the Philippines" using the hashtag #BoomPH. 

Social Media Day is celebrated yearly in partnership with supportive telcos, in our case, it was #SmartLiveMore. 

Saturday, May 24

Discovering Davao's Discovery Science

So we are still in the Philippines and we just took a very short vacation in Davao City because I have promised the kids that I will bring them to Discovery Science at SM Lanang Premier.

What's a short vacation worth but the smile on my kids' faces and the feeling that you have bonded with them even if it is for such a short while.

So we went, and we had to proceed to SM Lanang first thing when we arrived in Davao City after lunch and checking in at a cheap hostel.

I have heard good reviews about the place, and even Davao bloggers recommend to bring the kids here because they will surely love it. And yes, they did not fail me. I went there because I am a Mom who fulfills promises, and also because my kids love adventure, so this trip to the museum and the experiences they will get because of this trip will be stored in their memories.

You will have a guide who will tour you inside the museum  and first thing we did was walk through an Earthquake simulator where we had to experience a Magnitude 1-6 earthquakes. You could feel the house moving and the feeling that you are in an earthquake attack is kinda' scary. The guide though knows how to make us feel relaxed because he was telling us stories and explaining how earthquakes happen. 

Also, we tried their Periodic Table of Elements quiz where the kids and adults alike may familiarize themselves with the elements and their symbols. It was like going back to High school and enjoying the Chemistry subject again. 

Don't tell my Mom I am enjoying this now because back in high school, I hated this subject, as well as Maths and anything with numbers.
There was also the Bio Wall where you can take a look at what  animals help in the food web, do they do, and what are their major roles in the ecosystem. There was a huge ant, earthworms, termites and a bee. The guide will explain to you why they were there, and what their importance is to the ecosystem.

It is creepy that huge ants are displayed but the kids loved them anyway, so, it's alright.

Harness the Earth's Power is a booth where they will tell you what powers/energies the planet has and what can we do to conserve this energies. We have the wind power to light up our homes, we have the solar power as well as geothermal. 

It is because of man's creation and doing that destruction comes and attacks our world causing energy imbalance and nature's wrath which includes tornadoes. Below is a simulator of tornadoes and hurricanes.

Tabebs providing heat energy to a solar powered car.

This simulator shows how a tornado is born. The warm air and the cool wind from above merges and a tornado is produced. We may not have tornadoes here but in some parts of the country, we have smaller versions we call ipu-ipo which is also a natural disaster that can cause a lot of destruction to a number of homes.   

Inside the Discovery Science Museum, you will see a lot of booths that features the heart,the many smells that humans produce, what is the reason you belch or barf, as well as the many systems inside your body.

It was an exciting travel down the Science lane. There was also a Gravitram where you can see balls going up and down levers.

There was an activity area for quizzes on how much you know about Science and Chemistry and Physics. And there was a Reefs in Danger wall where you can see different corals, and the guide will explain to you the names of the fishes inside, and why we should stop people from destroying our reefs.

There were a lot of booths at the Discovery Science, most of them you can enjoy even if you are an adult. Aside from the museum, you may also want to watch a planetarium show which is just amazing. I am so amazed at how the whole place was converted into 3D and the story was as great as the show was. The place is a must-see for your kids so it is highly recommended that you bring your kids there. As for me and my family, we enjoy this kind of trips even if it is such a short bonding time. 

I may be a tad poorer but there is never a price for my kids' happiness.  

Discovery Science is at the 3rd Floor, SM Lanang Premier.




Wednesday, May 7

For the Children in T'boli


When Jonallier called me to invite me for a trek, I was excited at the same time hesitant about going. I was excited because after a long while, somebody has again invited me to be part of a trek to Lake Holon, in T'boli, a place where a lot of travel bloggers have announced to be a place of beauty, peace, and oneness with nature. It was a beauty out there as they constantly say. 

But why apprehensive and hesitant you ask? Because I have never been to a serious trek ever in my life. The first and only short trek was that on our way to Kinilis in Polomolok where you can see the coffee plantation and where the civet poo is being harvested for kafe balos.

Next reason is that the husband is also hesitant because we do not have climbing gears to use, no mountain climber bag, no tent, no whatsoever. We only have a sleeping bag but it will not suffice, I'm sure. So I had to take a raincheck for that because of the reasons I have stated. 

And then I saw a post that makes me really want to go, but deep in my heart I know I can't, so I thought about the toys I have set aside supposedly for the community in Data Anggas. We were not able to go there in Dcember due to some reasons but the toys were already ready. Therefore I am sending these toys for the children in the community of Lake Holon, T'boli. I may not be with the group in person but I will be sending them what I think may bring a smile to the faces of the T'boli children.

As a child, I was not gifted with so much toys. I remember having to eye toys that are really huge because my classmate has one. I used to envy our neighbors for having telephone toys that ring when you place batteries in them. Because I only had little toys when I was a kid, and those are the toys I had to share with my siblings. 

But I did have toys, and so I must pay it forward. These are for the children in Lake Holon, T'boli. These are for them to enjoy and be happy about. I just hope they would learn to share and not be selfish about what they have, because in doing so, many will be happier. 


Sunday, April 13

Updates, fresh updates!

So I still have a blog, haha. I'm sorry that I was not very mindful of a lot of things right now. Intentionally, I had to let go of a lot of baggage so I could concentrate on my research proposal which is supposed to be submitted before May 31, yet, I have not started anything properly. I think it is beyond my means but I have to get it ready lest I find myself getting flunking grades for this semester's subject.

I have been too busy, very busy that I no longer have time to read, no time to bond with kids. In order to make up with the lost time, I have to enroll them and myself in a swimming class so that from 6:30 until 8pm, we can be together as classmates in a swimming session. Darn, that is how busy I am.

Okay, so to update you with what has been eating my time, aside from the daily swimming lessons which I think would be very beneficial to me if I get to learn. Hmmm, crossing fingers now. It's more of a survival skill for me rather than the enjoyment I'd get out of swimming.

1. Research Proposal - As mentioned, we are to make a final research proposal before May 31, to be submitted as a bound material. This is in compliance with a professor who required a final sample to know if we had learned during our entire semester in her course. 

2. Work - Wre-e-ek me! That is how I would define work right now, it is beyond means. Sometimes I would complain that work is no longer fair for me. Why am I doing all the stuffs that need to be done? I am not the only employee in the field office yet I feel so burdened and loaded. Enough said, it is better to just do it than complaining about it. 

3. Household chores - something I no longer have time to but I need to put it here to remind me that I have household chores to address. 

4. Job fairs - I had just finished one with my PESO -Alabel group, now I am getting another one on May 1. Talk about things that would surprise us. This one is work-related but on a heavier level, this is a burden of sorts, but I have to deal with it heartily, and until I can master the ropes of job fairs can I be effective in this.

5. Summer - Look, I had a day of outing! An adventure of sorts, it turned to be really great with family. 

But I sure have to do something about the tummy. Haha, the more I think about losing weight or shedding some fats, the more I get weary, really.

I don't know but I have to make sure that I am fit because I don't really feel so healthy. In fact, I am feeling a little weary most of the time now, maybe because of the daily swimming but well, I have to try. 

I will tell you more about the adventure, maybe tomorrow have I the time to do so. It's been a while that I have posted so I must cover up. 





Sunday, March 9

I Date a Man Other Than My Husband

Simply because I need to, we need to bond a little more because I believe there will come a time that he will no longer join me in my visits to the mall, he will already have friends whom he would go out with, and there will come a time that my hands will no longer be the hands that he will hold.

There are times we go out, especially after office hours, I would call him up and ask him if he has vacant time for me. I am this woman who will ask him if he wants to eat something, if he has something he wants and I will buy it for him. I am his woman. 

I will always ask him if he is okay, and if he has problems, he could tell me. I would always ask him if he has anything he wants to talk about, then my ears are always there for him. I would tell him not to bother thinking about worrisome things because I will try to provide. 

There are times when he no longer has time to join me in my walks, no time to join me in doing the grocery. He would rather have his phone ready, and then remain online, and be with the company of his friends. And I would get jealous. 

I would get jealous but I have no way of telling him that I am. And so during times that he says YES to my invitations, I grab the opportunity to be with him, alone with him, have fun with him over snacks, and he would tell me stories. 

These are just small dates with my man other than my husband. I always see to it that we get to bond because I am only counting the days that he will be calling my name as often as he would. Maybe soon, he will only call me when he needs money, or when he needs my signature, or my affirmation. He will have the mind to decide on his own without consulting me. There will come a time that will no longer have to  ask for my advice anymore. There will come a time that he will have his own trips to the mall, or trips with his friends, and I will be set aside. 

My son is growing up so fast. I can feel the change now. I remember those times when he was little and he would never go elsewhere without having to hold my hands, but now, he evades my arm over his shoulders. He gets to shake off my hand whenever I slip it into his. My son is growing up to be a big man that is why I make most of the time that he still wants me to be there for him. I enjoy our dates after class because that's when I can only be with him, and he can tell me stories about school. 

Time flies so fast that when you are a mother, you easily get jealous of the people surrounding the people you love because you feel ignored. Am I just being too possessive or what, because I surely feel that way sometimes. But yes, I am a MOM that's why I fancy the times that my son and I get to bond with each other, even without his dad. After all, he is the one man I love, next to my husband.

And, he's turning Grade 8 in June... he's slowly becoming the good man that I want him to be. And I am happy that he is. 

Oh Kuya, grow up slowly will yah? In a good way? 

 
 

Sunday, February 23

Bob Ong and My Favorite Book

Forgive me if this blog seemed ignored for like a century already. I have been so busy with so many things work-related plus the major subjects in Graduate school, with requirements to include 1 research paper, 2 other papers and an oncoming midterm exams for next week. But seriously, there are a just a lot of things I am handling now that I cannot seem to prioritize which ones need my attention first or the most.

But I had a chance to bond with my friends after a super duper long hiatus of bonding with family. We agreed that since we all are Bob Ong fanatics, we would watch ABNKKBSNPLAko together with our families. It was laugh trip and a journey to nostalgia. 


And since we all enjoyed the movie, Sir Gilbert was generous to give us a copy of the 12th anniversary book version and the card game to which this post is the reason of. It was belated Valentine's gift and advance Mother's Day gift. That was really sweet of him.

I opened the card game and behold, the question for me says: 

Ano ang paborito mong libro 
at tungkol ito saan?

Master of the Game is a novel by Sidney Sheldon, one of my favorite authors; the story revolves around the six generations of the fictional MacGregor/Blackwell family. Kate Blackwell and her granddaughter, Alexandra and Alexandra's husband Peter and son Robert. 

The story is about revenge, a game wherein most would consider as realistic because it is what actually happens in real life as well. The feud between families because of inheritance, of cheating and of greed. 

Of course I am not going to talk more about this because I want you to read the story. And sharing more about it would be a spoiler for those who would want to read it.




Thursday, January 30

Sharing Builds Children's Character


When I first visited this place and when I saw the situation of the residents especially the children, I have promised myself that I will be back and will give them something to be happy about. It was never in my mind that I will be supported by friends who have the heart to also share what little they have in order to make these kids happy. 


Armed with P3,000.00 in my pocket, I went to the nearest department store and bought some cute and educational toys and school supplies that I think will bring a smile to the kids' faces. Ate Alfie who has a big heart in sharing, added some more toys for the kids. 


And so we went there with a sackful of gifts for forty children, afraid that the gifts might be lacking. And we have limited food as well, we only prepared 40 also, haha. We were unsure of how many kids there were in the community.   

And alas we arrived. From the made-up wobbly and collapsible wooden bridge, we got through to where the kids have gathered, passing through shanties that may look quite like an eyesore to others but nevertheless a shelter for our target beneficiaries. 

Ate Alfie, Bito and Wowa were there even if they went home late because we still had to finish packing the gifts. My whole family was also there to support my outreach activity. It took them enough strength to wake up at 5AM because we had to reach Maasim early. 

Th reason I brought the kids is that for them to realize how fortunate they are with their situation as compared to other children. I hope they understood what I meant when they saw the place.

My former boss, I am glad for Sir Jay's support even for the transportation that he has provided, and also for the coloring books for the kids. 


“You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. 

I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 

~ John Lennon ~


“We cannot live only for ourselves. 
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; 
and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, 
our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”   

~ Herman Melville ~


“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, 
you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. 
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”   
~ Albert Camus ~


“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. 
 We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, 
tired into a single garment of destiny. 
 Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”

 ~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~   



You can learn many things from children. 
How much patience you have, for instance. 

~Franklin P. Jones

No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.
Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/h/happiness_quotes.html#2etqtug1p4zKyrC7.99
No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.
Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/h/happiness_quotes.html#2etqtug1p4zKyrC7.99

 Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. 

 ~William Stafford




While we try to teach our children all about life,

Our children teach us what life is all about.

~Angela Schwindt~



It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. 
 ~Frederick Douglass ~




Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food, and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food, and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun. 

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


This may be a late post, but I am thankful to friends who have supported me in this endeavor. May we all have a more generous heart in the next coming days of our lives, because truly in sharing, there is true happiness.






Sunday, December 29

2014 is Going to be a LOT BETTER!


More veggies, less meaties.
More fruits, less rice.
More water, less caffeine/soda.
More exercise, less laziness.
More rest, less stress.
More studying, less compromising.
More book readings, less social networking.
More writing, less daydreaming.
More family bonding, less unimportant socializing.
More early log-ins, less tardiness.
More cohesive reports, less procrastination.
More early reports, less overtime.
More silence, less useless talks.
More prayer time, less senseless chitchats.
More savings, less expenses.

Reviewing my New Years' resolutions for the past 3 years, and I thought that while some of them may have been followed, more have been compromised because of some circumstances that were yet unknown the moment the resolution was written. 

I wonder how I can accomplish all these new ones, because the other resolutions were kind of specific, but this one's not. But definitely, I will try my best to just follow all these things I've written here. And maybe seek for excellence in everything I do.

A few may be questionable depending on my schedule and priorities but I will try to keep up with this vows, and as a commitment, it would best that I write them down in this blog as I usually do, so I may be able to check and double check again.  

One prayer though, and I hope we claim it NOW...




Tuesday, December 24

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!



Friday, December 20

At Most Two Bottles

On Thursday was the third Christmas party that I have attended, as there were a lot of invitations trying to grab my attention to join them in their parties. However, I am not always at liberty to join these parties. First, I take consideration that during the night, my kids need me and it is only the vacant time I have for them. Second, I do not really enjoy going out without my husband, or going out for a few drinks and getting merry all by myself.  

But there are exceptions, always. And this Christmas is one. 

On November when I was in Cagayan de Oro, I was able to join my long time friends to a one night (barely 4 hours) of KTV party in the long stretch of Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City.Whilst there, these friends enjoined me to a bucket of flavored Tanduay Ice. 

For the information of everybody, the first one I have tried was actually a bottle of Beer na Beer, back in my high school days, and that was only after the graduation in high when I had a try at it, getting home quite tipsy because I could not muster to drink more. 

The first hard drink I ever did taste was a Bouchard drink wherein half of the smaller bottle was consumed by my best friend and me during a pajama picnic at their house. Her brothers and sisters were the drinking kind and I was not, so I was urged to stay because I could not afford to go home  with just 3-5 shots of the liquor.

Lately though, now that I am mature enough to drink and be merry at parties for adults or social drinking, I was trying to measure myself on how far I can go with beer. And I have decided on 2. But wait, no, they are not the hard stuff. 2 Bottles of San Mig Light, (apple flavor please) is all I can muster and my path could still be straight. I had 2 drinks of Tanduay Ice when in Cagayan de Oro, and another two bottles last Wednesday night for another Christmas party I went to.
And my heart was ready to burst because of palpitation. 

And I easily get red, all over. 

So, even though Christmas may be for merry-making, I can actually celebrate Christmas without these drinks. I am trying to limit my intake to only 1 if I could help it. And my head would still be clear. Going two, and I'm afraid my heart's gonna burst. 

Christmas does not mean extravagant food on the table, it does not require too much feast, it does not require too much lights and sounds, and the presence of too many friends. Christmas means having to remember that Christ came and died for saving your soul. 

Well, are you a hard drinker? How many can you consume? Hard liquor or just a few beer bottles?

I hope you have a good one, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15

The Widow and the Matriarch

We are celebrating husband's 37th birthday this December and while prepping up for an advance  celebration, I was in the kitchen with my mother-in-law when she asked how old my husband is as she wanted to validate his age. I answered the number and then she got silent, and said, "So I'm already 30 years a widow". And that kept me silent as well.

As she was talking, I could feel the pain inside her suddenly gruffy voice, she remembered that 30 years ago on the fifth day of a cold December night, her husband succumbed to cardiac arrest. And after that, her whole being was dedicated to working her life off as a solo
parent trying to raise three boys, my husband the youngest of the brood.

The thirty years that came after Tatay's death was kept as memories filled with challenges and grief, but there were also many times they had celebrations of a kind, one that would keep them going and going even if it meant not having a father in the family.

And so she raised the kids alone, hurdling the finances alone, as a teacher.

I remember asking my husband if during his younger days, his parents attended PTA meetings and Christmas parties at school, and he would say he had none of those experiences because his Mom had to be in school, teaching other people's kids in order to bring food to their table. 

His Mom had to teach high school as a Math teacher, hurdling 2 hours of travel time to reach the barrio that she was then teaching, crossing rivers and mountains in order to deliver the services she is giving. And the kids were staying at home with their aunt, who also is a spinster. 

My husband and his youth practically had to be a life without a Mom, because she had to spend her time away from them, busying herself with other people's children, teaching them how to read when the husband and his older siblings had to ease their own way to reading, with the attention and care given by the aunt who was also a busy teacher at an elementary school.

But that is history. What I wanted to share is how difficult their life had been without a Mom. I could feel the pain and the hurt that for 25 years, my husband has never had a Mom at their home attending him and his siblings, attending their celebrated moments. It is only now, almost 10 years that she has retired from public teaching that she went back home, attending not anymore to the sons, but to my kids. 

Even with what happened, she has never failed to inspire my husband and other siblings to pursue their education. Even with the meager allowance because they all had to share what little they could get, my husband turned out to be a computer engineer, three years his senior, the second brother became a civil engineer, while the eldest was a marine engineer who turned out to be a Maths teacher too. And while working her ass off, Nanay also had to take care of her career, that she retired a good principal. The best principal, even, as told by her subordinates during the testimonial given her.

The fact that she had to sacrifice her time for her children to give them a good life is what amazes me. The thirty years of being alone, and trying to make amends to the children for the lost time is but a painful journey towards success. I could never imagine myself without having a husband to be on my side while I'm rearing the kids. God forbid, because I don't think I am that strong to withstand the trials and the storms. 

But GOD always makes things easy, especially when you pray. I now believe that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and sharper. 

My high respects for the Mother-in-Law, who was able to bring her children to the world amidst the sacrifices. I am so glad to have met a woman who has changed the way I believe in life. She has made a wonderful mark in history, etched in my husband and children's hearts. She is a woman of great kindness and love. 

And she is my inspiration.