Family and Parenting

Witchy Cola Na Akekels Ma Coda

October 16th, 2009

superstock_1538r-120213My blog still contains drafts I never bothered posting, like this one I wrote few months ago.

I was forced to leave the province last week for a special project I have to do in the next 3 months. No, I did not say goodbye to SJ for good. It was mainly to follow some protocol, just to sign some docs in Manila. Two days is all it takes in fact.

However, every time I travel, the ‘retard’ in me resurrects!

I dont know.

If there’s one aspect in my life that’s hundred percent immature, underdeveloped, and abnormal — I think its my sense of direction. I must have spin around too much in my mother’s womb that it affected my faculty in that ONE but critical area of my being.

There was one time I came from Mindanao for a visit to our scholars (the company’s, not mine) and had to hail a cab back to Pasig where I worked then. I was grossly embarrassed after timidly asking Manong Driver, who the hell is Ped Xing. I was wondering if he was a Chinese who helped defend Filipinos against tyranny or something, and the driver laughed and told me: “it meant ‘pedestrian crossing'”. Korek kakak plangekngak nguk plaka ni Nora Aunor! So ewww. Imbyerna gyud dong to the highest leveling. Kaloka uy.

Anyways, so I was back to Manila the other week and had grand plans of visiting the latest addition to my nephews and nieces. My sister gave birth last month and I promised to drop by Sampaloc where she lives before I proceed to Ortigas. Okey naman sana. If only, I’m not this shungaers. How many times have I lost my direction on the way to their house. Nakows. This time I made sure that I simply wont.

I requested Manong Florida Bus driver to stop at Maceda. We reached Espana at around 11:oo  in the evening. But the driver (and stupid me) didnt notice we already passed by the area. Wahhh. There was no tricycle in that spot and this time, I’m learning to value money…I wont dare hail a taxi anymore. Despite my feelings of nervousness and utter discombobulation, I walked back and prayed to all the santos and santas I know. I asked God to protect me because there were people around that area (mostly males and drunk!). Awa ng Diyos, nakarating din ako ng buo at maayos. Kalurkey talaga.

Some tips on how NOT to get lost

I found some useful techniques posted at Outdoorsite Library. These may be helpful ideas in case you experience similar thing.

Despite our best intentions, we may still find ourselves disoriented. Daniel Boone said he had never been lost, but he did admit to being “mighty disoriented for several days in a row.” If you think you’re lost, don’t panic. Usually, if you sit and calmly reflect for a few minutes, mentally retracing your steps, the solution to the situation becomes clear.

Take out your map and compass and try to determine where you are if you haven’t been following along as you go. If you can’t determine your position, see if there are obvious landmarks you can try to reach. If you start feeling panicky, stop, calm down and collect your thoughts. Trying to find your way out under the stress of frustration and/or fear invites disaster.

Assess the situation. How long have you been lost? Mentally trace your thoughts back to the last point where you knew your location. How long ago was that? In what general direction have you been traveling since then?

A well stocked survival kit can make the difference when you’re lost. If you have a compass, use it now to get your bearings. “I came from thataway, and that’s northwest, but I started walking south, so the trail must have slowly looped.” and so forth. Even if you don’t have a compass, try to approximate this kind of location-sense while your memories are fresh.

If you haven’t been lost long and are in safe terrain, you may try retracing your steps. Hike in the direction from which you came, keeping careful track not only of orientation, but of time as well. If you’ve been lost for 10 minutes but a 10-minute walk doesn’t return you to your trail, you’re just getting more lost. In such a case, pause and return to your original location, then try again.

Try tracking yourself. You weren’t on a trail, so you probably left tracks or other sign you can follow in reverse. If circumstances suggest further wandering may be hazardous (night is falling, cliffs abound), then you may want to stay put and wait for rescue.

Remember, if you’re properly prepared; if you told a family member or close friend where you were going, when you were leaving and when you planned to return; if you carry a survival kit that can get you through the night or a few days alone; if you’re mentally up to unexpected challenges; then getting lost should be nothing more than an inconvenience. If you’re really prepared, though, you’ll never get lost in the first place. (source:


August 3rd, 2009

Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin’s Child Potential: Fulfilling Your Child’s Intellectual, Emotional, and Creative Promise attempts to unlock wisdom to parents particularly on how to raise a full and good life for their children. This book has been with us long before Elmo’s birth, but for some reason, I only have this time to scan its pages. No wonder, the hubby and I seem to differ in our manner of dealing with the kids.

I am somewhat triggered/intrigued by people who grow up to be achievement – addicts believing it is the only way to survive. Sadly, more often than not, most of them self-destruct along the way. (to be continued)


Little Kikay

June 30th, 2009

One good way to bond as mother and daughter is going to the salon and having both your kikay instincts go full gear! Pampering yourself and relaxing create wonders as both of you get to enjoy, unwind, de-stress, and re-vitalize all at the same time.

While writing this, I seem to hear Jun’s voice shouting “cliche”. Oh well. 😉

Let me tell you a few things about my youngest daughter. I have always perceived of her as the inquisitive type, always the one to ask the weirdest of questions. I wonder if she wants to pursue a career in hosting talk shows or writing for showbusiness. Lucrative career path ey.  But being the scatterbrained mother that I am, its always a great challenge answering her queries. Most of the time, I end up telling her to approach her Tatay.

Yet, we have very similar traits.

We both love music. Faith is so persistent on this one that I have to guide her how to properly sing the lines. Among my daughter’s favorites are Barbie Songs (“Connected”, “Believe” from the “Barbie and the Diamond Castles”), Annie’s “Tomorrow”, “Rainbow Connection”, and last week — she was bugging me to download and teach her the lyrics of an OPM called “How Did You Know”.

Faith and I both love visual arts. At seven, she’s very vocal about being an artist in the future. Or I dont know, maybe it runs in the blood. Elmo also does well in drawing and sketching (usually anime characters). Faith on the other hand, volunteers to design a card everytime there is an occassion like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas.

These are her own compositions:


Below is the birthday card she made for me 🙂


Finally, we both love to eat!

This is for you  little one:

My Daughter

You’ll never really know, my dear,
Just how much you mean to me,
A mother’s love, buried so deep,
That only my heart can see.

When I sit and really stare at you,
All I can do is grin,
Somewhere down deep inside,
I see myself within.

I’d never change a thing in you,
I thank God that your so fine,
Even when your at your worst,
I’m so proud that you are mine.

The roads we have traveled,
were not always that good,
I would take back all the pain you’ve felt,
Only if I could.

I know that I’m not perfect,
It’s the best that I can do,
But everyday, I thank the lord,
For a daughter as special as you.


Forty Days to Go!

November 12th, 2008

The prelude to a thrilling and exciting Christmas break is the actual emptying of your pocket. Agree or disagree? After all, before you can “enjoy” the holiday season – you need a considerable amount of cold cash in your hands. However much you say that it’s the thought that matters, hay naku, can you monetize your thoughtfulness for a bus fare? Round trip? Can you just ignore your hordes of godchildren and relatives when they come knocking at your doorsteps? On one thought, this fact cease to sound squeamish when we think that hey, it’s the season of love and giving! For God’s sake, stop whining. 🙂

These past few weeks, we have been contemplating on spending our much-awaited Christmas in Pili. In fact, Faith and Elmo agreed to give up their scheduled Manila Ocean Park field trip on December 5. They have been waiting for this trip for so long. You wonder why? Well, I guess every child looks at it as their dream destination these days. Ocean Park is quite popular with the kids you know. But since they missed their Lolo Kiks, Lola Bing, and their uncles and aunts in the province, they consented to save the budget instead…much to my delight.

After several years, this is the only time I can again feel the distinct Bicol breeze that I don’t know, I only seem to appreciate in my own hometown. We’re all excited!

My parents have their own brand of surprises…so, even though our family’s not well-to-do, the season is always something we really look forward to. Anyway, let me share some of the traditional activities we normally busy ourselves with during this time of the year:

1. Christmas Tree-making. I and my siblings would usually design our own Christmas tree made from either coconut palm (we remove the pinnate leaves) or any indigenous shrub (sorry, I forgot the local name) and put cotton all over the branches to make it look like a real snow-covered tree. Armed with our knives and bolo, we would scour the nearest farm for our tree. Once ready, Nanay would go to the banwaan (central market or town) to purchase a vast selection of accessories and ornaments, garlands, tree toppers of good quality but of a relatively affordable price. The finished product not only awe us but it also makes relatives marvel at our creativity. Then we would place it inside an empty milk can that we fill with stones so that it would carry the tree’s weight. Plus we also cover the can so it wouldn’t look rusty and all. Just like that and presto, we have a decent looking Christmas tree!

2. Lantern – Making. Thankfully, I have a father who’s a jack-of-all-trades. He can do everything from farming to electronics, etc. Oh by the way, he’s a frustrated engineer who ended up taking an assortment of basic courses. Our lantern project (parol) look way nicer than the others because he would put inside lighting effects. For the raw materials, we would usually use bamboo, Japanese paper, sometimes we paste rice grains on the exterior depending on our mood (hehe. mood-dependent decors?).

3. Preparing our “handa” for the Noche Buena. Nanay would prepare her sweetest ubeng halaya, her unforgettable pork barbecue, the ubiquitous spaghetti, her signature suman, the saucy pork (gosh, pardon for i dont know the name — I only remember its super delicious taste!), pancit, and many more. Friends, inaanaks, and relatives would troop to our home to enjoy these delectable meals my mother expertly whips in her kitchen. They may not equal the recipes you see on television commercials, those mouth-watering pictures spread throughout the pages of Good Housekeeping, or those you have tasted on the tables of the more affluent households, but for me, they are the best because they gave color and meaning to my childhood days. If it werent, I wouldnt even be writing about it.

4. Waiting for the elusive Santa Claus. For some reasons, my 3 sisters and 2 brothers did have a hard time catching up with Santa. Textbooks or any other source for that matter did not explicitly reveal the ways to grab hold of the white-fat-man-in-red-suit while in action.  Well, Nanay and Tatay warned us that if we dont sleep early, Santa would not bring his presents and our socks will remain empty the next day. It had always been like that up until I reached third grade where I discovered their secret. Hehe. But the joys of seeing our socks brim with sweets, chocolates, candies (that we dont get to have all year round) is beyond compare. That said, I did not dare squeal to the younger ones.

5. Christmas Caroling. In the Binanuaanan tradition, barangay officials (sometimes the SK) would send in letters detailing the caroling event. Whats good about this is that even the OSYs would participate, in fact, everyone. By everyone I mean teenagers (tagging behind the object of their affection), the unsuspecting parents (?!), the Tanods (haha carolers need ‘protection’ from the bad elements), the SB and SK officials and their respective members. Its a living tradition within the context of Binanuaanan itself. Every year, people look forward to being entertained as well as being reminded of Jesus Christ’s birth through songs. During my SK and theater days I’d gladly organize similar activities. And from what I can remember — carolers use drums made of gasoline containers, cymbals borrowed from the primary school’s DLC, guitars, but maybe this time around things have changed. We’ll find out.

Sometimes, even the simplest of things can be intoxicating to the heart! Forty days from now, we will be reliving the most blissful moments of our lives…this time with my own kids. What’s a few bucks to expend anyway if it brings you a world of happiness???

Advance Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

A Mother’s Celebration of Love

September 20th, 2008

Motherhood, I have always thought, is sine qua non to nirvana. When I gave birth to Elmo and Faith, I felt an exaltation of some form. Its almost surreal seeing a child breathe and cry his lungs out for the first time, coming out of your womb. Certainly, nothing could equal such joy. Could there be anything nobler than becoming God’s instrument to procreation? The moment I conceived and bore them, God made me experience what its like to build, to nourish, to nurture, to savour, to enjoy LIFE.

My kids are my daily dose of Centrum. Remember Angel Locsin’s famous line in that commercial? “I want to be complete”. Well, my children does. Trite and over the top? I know that motherhood is not for everyone, so bear with me.  Which also reminds me of Sushmita Sen, the beauty queen from India. She was perfectly right when she waxed hauntingly that motherhood is the essence of being a woman.

I was only 22 when I faced my first moment of truth. Much too young I guess because whenever I see 22-year-olds today, I am almost always surprised. Am I that naive when I gave marriage life a shot? Looking back, it was never that easy. You see marriage is not that simple. The difficulties I encountered in school would pale in comparison to the countless boohboohs of a married woman, not to forget a “young, inexperienced, housewife” at that. Although I used to romanticize that fact. I used to imagine myself wearing a loose duster, with my bulging tummy, and I was this meek-and-obsequious house wife. Boy, was I wrong. Life made a 360 degrees turnabout. I felt I was caught unprepared for the tasks ahead. Nobody ever told me that labor pains are beyond description. With Elmo, I had the whole day devoted solely for labor (and holy shit, how I hated Jun for taking photographs of me while I was so outrageously ugly in that situation). Its the same thing with Faith. Unlike other pregnant women, I didn’t have a panubigan (waterbag) that’s why birthing for me is somewhat traumatic.

The good thing is that it transformed me into a more mature person. I realized my limitations and made peace with them. As a wife and mother, I am far from being perfect. But I am finding ways to let my kids see their importance in this world. That as human beings, they have their rights to protect. That as stewards of the earth, they have an obligation to secure our environment. That as children of God, they have to keep holy His name and respect other beings.

Having kids like Elmo and Faith makes me marvel at God’s love for mankind. I am quite sure I committed so many mistakes in the past. Even today. But it is enough to feel blessed just by looking at them. Healthy, intelligent, beautiful.

Yesterday, Jun and I were very pleased after seeing their academic performance in school. I guess we really have the right, perfect genes. Lol. Elmo got a 96 (as an average) and Faith 94. Whoa, my husband and I were joking — we didn’t have the same grades in our primary school years!

In essence, I say that any form of “giving” (positively) magnifies one’s role in this milieu called society. Experts give birth to fresh ideas that eventually  translates to human benefits in terms of technology, medical breakthroughs, etc…Policy makers give birth to ideas that eventually translates into good governance. Economists give out ideas that translates to sound fiscal policies. But us women?  We give life. We give birth to generations after generations of men and women who eventually becomes the next experts, policy makers, economists, and the likes. That I believe is a manifestation of love in all its purest form!

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