A House Story

July 29th, 2009


Recently, home design ideas were bursting inside our heads like those yummy, cheezy-flavored popcorns you see on the sidewalks.  Excitement sparks every time we switch the channel to Lifestyle network or flip the enticing pages of Metro Home magazines. Enlightenment may be too tame a word here. How about “eurekish”? (lol. from Archimedes’ Eureka) Truth be told, my family has been staying in this house for three years now but hubby and I had been too preoccupied with a lot of  things that prevented us from tinkering with the designs. Prior to living here, we had been to four different apartments and countless yayas. Thankfully — the houses we stayed before didn’t have horror tales to scare us!

elmo-2000The very first house we rented was in Sta. Romana ( right after I gave birth to my eldest child). It was a small, neat, green apartment adjacent to the owners’ and another family’s. Staying there proved to be convenient for us and had conjured happy memories (except the part when all our clothes that were hung outside were stolen!). The house reminds me so much of the times I used to pinch little ELmo on the cheeks or bite him playfully and wait for him to wail like a mad infant. Hehe. Such a bad mom.  He was flabby, and soft, and huggable. I didnt have to worry when no one in my nephews and nieces were around because the neighbors would gladly volunteer to take care of then little Elmo. Only during weekends do we get to bond as a family since Jun was working in Manila.

The second one was in Magsaysay Sur. Like apartment number one, I also had fond memories of it because that’s where I gave birth to my youngest. It was a mutual decision to live in Cabanatuan due to its proximity, only few meter’s away from hubby’s office. Establishments like malls, clinics, hospitals are just a trike away. I just don’t like summertime there because of the oven-hot feel it gives to my skin.

Fast forward to 2004, we moved to Bukangliwayway in Munoz. At that time, I was already back to teaching and had to be early for school.  Elmo and Faithfaith2004-011 spent their toddler years there — had fun mingling with the PRRM employees (since the place is located inside the PRRM compound), experienced falling from a bench, hit by a baseball bat, attend nursery school at 3, burn skin and have head lice due to a yaya who do not know what she’s supposed to do, and so on and so forth. Oh but make no mistake about it, the place was really a nice one. I especially liked the mango tree in front of the PRRM office. Nenok mode sometimes hehehe.

The last one was inside the CLSU family dorm where the neighborhood consists of  international graduate students and their respective families. I was pursuing my masters then. The best thing? Both my kids learned fluent English as they constantly interacted with the Nigerian kids. How I wish we still have Chisom and Lala around (my kids’ playmates). The worst part? Some kids were so mean to take advantage of other children’s kindness and level-headedness. 🙁

Then one day, we thought of building our own house so we no longer have to think about the rent or many other unnecessary costs. 😀 And that’s exactly the one we’re staying right now.

Anyways, decorating a house seems challenging for someone like me because my background in it is very limited. If I were the tentative one, husband is more edgy/daring and prefers experimenting on his non-conformist side. He used to tell me about the lovely houses he visited in the Latin America. Nicaragua, he pointed out, has a certain predilection for unique colors. They seem to be fuss-free when it comes to colors and designs while it is with being ‘safe’ that we Pinoys are so good at.  In other words, they are more carefree while here, everything has to match. Or has to be planned carefully. Jun and I decided to play some outrageous wonders into our house by putting those ideas at work. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun by posting the pictures at this stage because we’re not done yet (okay…aside from the stern warning I got from him). But maybe it wont hurt to elaborate a little more on this.

We opted for earth colors. Raw sienna, tile red, and white. At first, we thought it was too risky. These aren’t normally what you see among many typical Filipino households. Even my father in law was in awe, somewhat surprised to see a red wall,  one fine morning. I actually requested hubby to put on colors that would  summon joy and glee when you look at the walls. True enough, I feel positive energy within me surge just by staring at them.

Minding aesthetic matters can also be therapeutic. So what if we soil our hands with paint colors, or scrape the floor for leftover glaze putty? In the process, I believe we cleanse ourselves of negative aura. I, for one, have been wondering why my unstable self reared its ugly head once again. Why has my anger escalated lately? My resentment reached a smoldering level. My anguish won’t fizzle. It seems as if my sanity is hanging by a thread. Hell, the neighborhood probably wondered why shrieking has become my favorite hobby these past few days. But when I  saw the changes in our home, I felt great! 😀

(Its already 3:35 am by the time I finished scribbling, i better go to sleep now! Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…ngorkssssshhh…)

Ribbon Para Kay Pechay

July 18th, 2009

Last Thursday, my daughter Faith showed us a note from her teacher. It says she needs to be in school early to receive  her award in a drawing contest. Her school had its feast day, that’s why. Anyway, because I’m a member of the Assosaciones de las Escenarios Madres (isteyj muders), I volunteered to take her to MCMC but in reality — only wanted to take pictures of her.

Syempre, nakakaproud naman sa isang nanay yun, divets? Nakakataba ng puso pag nalaman mo na kahit papano nagsisikap ang bagets at napapansin naman ang kanyang mga efforts. Pero ang Pechay, pa-humble effect pa. Kesyo dapat daw di sya nanalo kasi di naman nya ginalingan, na pangit ang gawa nya. Ako naman super convince na “anak, magtiwala ka sa sarili mo! Nasa genes yan, magaling ang tatay at nanay mo!”. Mga ganung tipo ng litanya ba. Naloka ang bata. Kala siguro nya, siya lang ang may mga killer lines.

Nang tatanggapin na nya ang ribbon (na super sa pagkatingkad na red), ano ka, sigawan ang mga klasmeyt ng kuya nya. May fans pala ang bruha. Hehe. (Speaking of the bruhilda, ayan nagrereklamo na naman. Bilhan daw sya ng Pao liniment. Masakit ang tuhod. Ngeks. Isa sa mga routines nya bago kami matulog ay mag-ayos ng kama. Tigilan ko na daw kasi ang kauutos sa kanya na mag-ayos ng kama. Hitad!).

Hindi naman ako halatang stage mom kasi nakapost din ngayon sa FB ko ang mga pictures nya. At bago magtampo ang panganay ko, sunod na blog entry ay para naman sa kanya.

Congrats uli, bebegel. Wavyu anak.

I’m wishing naman for this. 😀


Reading Maya

May 9th, 2009

(Maya Angelou, 1981)

Lying, thinking
last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not a stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run around like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No nobody
Can make it out here alone.

The Perturbing Genius of Bertolucci and My Own Journey to Filmdom

April 6th, 2009

Never have I been so preoccupied about films but lately, Jun and I had been spending time doing movie marathons. Our current faves include the Bertolucci obras (aside of course from the current Oscar nominees — The Reader, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the Slumdog Millionaire). What’s so exciting about his films, I guess, are their unique qualities. It sort of, leaves a different kind of aftersensation…the same thing you experience after eating something you have not tasted in your whole life!

Ang Jologs na Batang Moviegoer, Bow!

I remember the first time I ever went inside a movie house, that was in grade school. I think I was six or seven at that time. My cousins, who were teenagers and in their early twenty’s loved hanging out and  would tag me along. Quite bizarre though, I cant seem to recall all the details…told you, I have selective amnesia. But that’s another story. My cousins loved Sharon Cuneta flicks, so I actually feasted on “Bituing Walang Ningning”, “Bukas Luluhod ang Mga Tala”, “Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin”, etc.

The moviehouse was also accesible as it is only a few steps away from my cousins’ place. Every now and then, we would sneak inside and had time crying and laughing with Sharon (cry when she’s api-apihan and rejoice after she wins over the evil characters!). Now the memories are pouring in.

In fourth grade, a Cherrie Gil scene ensued between two classmates supposedly arguing on who spreads ugly rumors about the other. One fine day, Miss ten-year old snooty went straight to the sari-sari store where the girl classmate is and flung a seemingly heavyweight-boxer’s palm on the latter’s face. Ouch! The next day, both of their parents were asked to report to the principal’s office. I was that arrogant little girl. lol. Laki ng impluwensiya.

Well, that’s my first taste of movies. Up to now, I didn’t know how they managed to get me inside when staff of the moviehouse are supposed to be strict on letting children in.

Siguro close sila. Whatever.

Memorable Movies

notting_hillAnd then there were movies that stayed fresh all these years, simply because they remind me of good times with friends and people close to my heart. After my adventure as a kid, my visit to the cinema became inexistent. I guess it’s pretty normal since parents tend to be overprotective and don’t want their children to be ‘exposed’ to a different world, if you know what I mean. In our family — even watching TV has its own censorship board. We had to cover our eyes whenever there are kissing scenes, or had to leave when the artists’ portrayal of their roles reach the intimate level, meaning, they were doing something you are not supposed to see.

But in college, I had the ‘luxury’ to watch movies again. I was a working student during the time, so I had extra income from my stint at a local foodhouse. How can I forget Julia Roberts in ‘Notting Hill’? It was the first time I bought movie ticket from my own pocket for my sister Grace. Then there was Diabolique (I love Sharon Stone’s intense character) — I guess I was with the girls (my friends in College).

As you can see, I have very limited knowledge on this for two main reasons: financial (I’m not like most teenagers who were born to more affluent families, sorry) and time. I was just too focused on other things that this area comes last in my list of priorities. Only now that I’m getting older (and wiser, I hope) that I have decided to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. Hey, we only live once.

My Sudden Encounter With Bertolucci

I credit hubby’s love for the arts, theater, music, and lit for this whole new experience. His interests somehow allowed me to tread into new waters. In this case, being more aware of other films (not just commercial ones, but those with deeper meanings, those that delve into social consciousness and the likes). Along with Bertolucci’s, we watched other films like Diarios de Motocicleta, Machuca, to name a few.

Who is Bernardo Bertolucci, by the way?

Bernardo Bertolucci is an award-winning Italian film director and screenwriter. (I am basing this from Wikipedia). He was the elder son of a poet, a reputed art historian, an anthologist and a film critic named Atillio. No wonder, his background became a moving factor in his growing up years. If I grew up to be in this kind of environment, who knows, lol… Indeed, he was very young when he showed his writing prowess to the hilt. The events that ensued were history.

Warning:  some of the reactions below are purely ‘personal’ opinion and are thus, biased. They are not reviews or something.


English translation: Last Tango in Paris. This movie casted Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider as its lead characters and this was apparently inspired by Bertolucci’s idea and sexual fantasies of seeing a beautiful nameless woman on the street and having intercourse with her without ever knowing who she was. Reminds me of Erica Jong’s “zipless f–k” in her novel Fear of Flying.

Anyway, this film (like many other Bertolucci movies) will surely discomfort the otherwise conservative MTCRB in our beloved Phillippines. There were scenes I particularly found disgusting, but real. In other words, parang hinahalukay ang sikmura mo.

And unfortunately for Schneider — the setting was 70s and the era definitely views this film as pornographic. Period.

End result? Schneider began and ended her career in a snap!

One more thing, you won’t mistake Bertolucci’s creations with anybody else. His scenes shouts of eccentricity, erotism, and excellent use of visuals. Like when Paul (Marlon Brando) and Jeane (Maria Schneider) first met. Like the scene depicting blood all over the bathroom, splashes on the curtains, on the walls, on the bathtub.

Jun and I agreed that perhaps it was his age and experience (or the lack of it? remember, this is his first) that’s a big factor in his depiction of the film. But generally, Ultimo A Parigi is still something.


English translation: The Dreamers. Bertolucci did not fail to impress his brand of eccentricity in this masterpiece. Beautifully created.

(To be continued and to be edited. Will somebody please be kind enough to finish this for me? Hehehe)


September 20th, 2008

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