Summer Natin ‘To…

Na-sight nyo na ba ang bagong station ID ng ABS-CBN for Summer? Wala lang… Baka spluk nyo na kasi andyan si bradiraka kaya tipis ko. Slightly, yes.. hehehehhe… Pero in fairview, maganda gumawa ng ganitech na mga gimik ang ABS. Remembers nyo yung pamasko nila, davah? Maganda din yun.

Pero napansin namin ni Bossing, wai si Mega at si Willie. Si Willie, keber ko kung wala, si bossing lang ang nakapansin nun. Pero aketch, feel na feel kong wala wala ang presence ng Mega. Why-Liwayway??? Busy sa campaign???? Siguro nga.

Sya, wala lang… feel lang.

Ay… type nyo pa ng pictures, here pa, o.. pictures nila madir at pudra sa:

Annapolis
New York
Washington, DC

O davah, bongga si mudra at pudra sa pag-posing. Miss ko na yan sila ulit :) Eh piano naman, arrive ng Mierkules, go-sago na ng Linggo. Ang taray!! Kakaloka! Kaya naman mega-lagare ang mga sights na papasyalan. Pa-happy birthday daw nila sa akin ang guest appearance nla ditech. Pero type na rin kahit na maigsi lang ang vakey nila kasi miss ko na sila eh. May gibsung pa silang mega-over magandang regalix. Sobrang ganda!

At speaking ulit of bradiraka, salamat po sa lahat ng prenships na nanood ng “Maala-ala Mo Kaya” dun sa “Lapis” episode nila at mga nagtext sa akin. Wala lang… touched lang po ako at na-touched kayo. Pa-aabot ko po ang mga pagbati ninyo sa kanya. Thank you :)

Hayyyyy.. Summer na sa Pinas… Spring na ditech. Ito ang mga araw ko talaga! (hehehe, sobra to the max nang plugging!)

(Nakita 12828 beses ng 2482 bisitors)

Para Kay Bossing

It’s almost a year already since then… Remember that no matter what, no matter how, no matter when, I will always love you… more today than yesterday (but not as much as tomorrow).

This is for you.

Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And some ask themselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved? (Odysseus, from the movie “TROY”, 2004)

Love isn’t when you can’t sleep… it’s when you want to keep your eyes open.

Love isn’t when you keep holding on… it’s when you learn to let go.

Love isn’t when you kill yourself with jealousy… it’s when you understand.

Love isn’t when you fall for someone… it’s when you catch that person when he falls.

Love isn’t when you see him everywhere … it’s when you close your eyes and he is still there.

Love isn’t when you tell him what you feel … it’s when you give everything for his sake.

And Love isn’t when you think you were blind … it’s when you know he was wrong but you didn’t mind!

(- from a received email)

Mahal na mahal kita, mylabs…

(Nakita 9368 beses ng 1956 bisitors)

Paglaki Ko, Gagayahin Kita

Ay, 34,000 years ata akong hindi naka-pagblog! Anubayun… Sumobra ang bisi-bisihan ng lowla nyo at uuwi kasi sa Pinas si Bossing. Nagkakakanda-sakit na ang paa ko sa kaka-lakad sa mga outlet mall para sa mga pasalubong. Kaibigan ko na ang mga tindera ng Old Navy at Aeropostale. Makikipag-gyerahan pa ako sa Circuit City sa Black Friday at magmumuring ng sobra ang Game Boy Advance SP – regalo ko yun kay Popoy at Mokong namin.

Eniweys-hi-weyst, kung naaalala nyo, naikukwento ko na sa inyo si Ringo namin dati, diba? Ang aking huwan-en-onli bradiraka. Ang isa sa hobbies nun eh photography (din). Pero mas may mata sa akin yun kumuha ng pitchur. Lately may mga bago syang litrato ng mga kasama nya sa trabaho. Nung makita ko, nagulat ako at natuwa. Matagal ko na kasing hindi napapansin ang mga litrato nya, pero etong mga huli, naaliw ako. Kayang-kaya na nya talagang kumuha ng mga portrait na talagang may character or parang may istorya ang subject ng litrato. Hehehe.. dati na rin naman syang kumukha ng portraits pero ang laging subject nya eh mga pamangkin namin kaya alam na alam mo na ang mga karakter ng mga bagets.

OO, magaling sya para sa akin kasi siempre dahil syufatid ko sya (labs yur own).. pero show-off ko man siguro sa iba itech, mai-impress din sila, pramis.

Paglaki ko, gagayahin ko sya… Ay, timepers… mas mabuti ata, pag tumama na lang ako sa supistek, ipagagawa ko na sya ng magandang photography studio nya – katabi ng pangarap namin ng mga sisteraka ko na tindahan sa divisoria ng mga kung anik-anik. (At tumataya na ako ngayon sa lotto, ha!)

Sya, kayo na ang humusga, jadj (ala Ronnie Poe). (Yung unang litrato, self-portrait nya yan)



On the other side of the mountain, mistulang lumalabas talaga ang pagiging dakila kong madir ng mga sister kong bading ngayon dahil ang kinalolokohan kong kantahin eh yung kanta ng reyna ng mga baditch na si Babs na “As If We Never Said Goodbye”. Na kinanta naman sa broadway play na “Sunset Boulevard”

… wala lang. Feeling ko lang Diva-esque ako these days. Siguro sa kaka-shopping ko. hehehehe


As if We Never Said Goodbye Lyrics:

I don’t know why I’m frightened
I know my way around here
The cardboard trees, the painted scenes, the sound here.
Yes a world to rediscover,
But I’m not in any hurry
And I need a moment.

The whispered conversations in overcrowded hallways,
The atmosphere as thrilling here as always
Feel the early morning madness
Feel the magic in the making
Why everything’s as if we never said goodbye.

I’ve spent so many mornings
Just trying to resist you
I’m trembling now
You can’t know how I’ve missed you,
Missed the fairy-tail adventures
In this ever-spinning playground
We were young together.

I’m coming out of make-up
The lights already burning,
Not long until the camera’s will start turning
And the early morning madness
And the magic in the making…
Yes, everything is as if we never said goodbye.

I don’t want to be alone that’s all in the past,
This world’s waited long enough,
I’ve come home at last!

And this time will be bigger,
And brighter than we knew it.
So watch me fly, we all know I can do it…
Could I stop my hand from shaking?
Has there ever been a moment with so much to live for?

The whispered conversations in overcrowded hallways,
So much to say not just today but always.
We’ll have early morning madness.
We’ll have magic in the making.
Yes, everything is as if we never said goodbye…
Oh, please don’t ever ever make me say goodbye!!!

(Nakita 15851 beses ng 2946 bisitors)

Ate Moshel’s Visit

Hayyy.. after 48 thousand years, nakapag-update na rin!

Persopol, tenchu beri mats po sa lahat-lahat ng mga nagbigay ng kanilang well wishes, prayers, doneyshens at contribyushens (joks lang.. walang nagpadala ng anda, hehehe) para kay Bossing. Inalis na kahapon ng surgeon nya yung katorse nyang titanium na staples sa tyan pero hindi po naibigay sa akin ni Doc kasi may koleksyon din pala sya. (O, joke pa rin yung kuleksyon. Baka akalain ninyo eh binebenta sa magbabakal yung mga gamit na staples). Nakakapag-drive na rin po si Bossing simula pa nung Byernix. Medyo mahapdi pa rin daw minsan pero palagay ko, ok na sya kasi panay na ang sayaw at kanta eh.

Sekonopol, babatiin ko lang ng Happy Birthday ang aking huwan en onli bradir na si Ringo! Grabe, kapag kino-comfyut ko ang edad nya, hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na masyonda na rin pala sya. At mas lalong hindi ko ma-take na dahil nga mas una akong pinanganak sa kanya, mas sobrang syonda ko pa! (Hoist, alam ko busy ka, pero tatawagan kita this weekend, hokey??? Ilabsyu!)

Sufer-init nitong nakaraang linggo! Umabot na kasi sa amin ang heatwave kaya naman halos matunaw na lahat ng bilbil namin ni Bossing sa sobrang init. Eh mantakin nyo pang injured pa nga sya kaya naman talagang panay ang punta namin sa mall at naka-dalawang panood na kami ng sine para nga hindi pawisan ang hiwa nya. Gaano kainit?? Umaabot ng almost 100F (38C) kaya? Eh humid pa naman ng sobra kaya talagang tumatagaktak lahat ng mantika ko sa katawan – at hindi pa ako gumagalaw nun, ha!

Pero, awa ng Dyos, tapos na raw ang heatwave at mukha ngang nakakaramdam na ang aking epidermis ng hangin galing sa labas. Iniintay ko na lang na umulan ng konti para naman pati mga halaman at mga isda eh sumaya na rin. (Salamat nga pala kay Nanay sa pag-ampon sa amin nung isang gabi. Labyu, Nay! ;)

Sandamakmak na fixtures ulit. Kaaalis lang kasi ng 16-year-old na pamangkin sa pinsan ni Bossing na si “Ate Moshel” pabalik ng Saipan. Akshuli, “Rochelle” ang tutuong pangalan nya, pero kasi si Pearl-kulit, hindi kayang sabihin yun kaya “Moshel” ang nasasabi nya. She was here for a month-long training at Princeton University at sinundo ng kanyang Ninang Judy para makapamasyal naman kasama namin dito sa Balto. O diba, matalino ang pamangkin ni Bossing, training sa Ivy League! Hindi ko sya nakasama nung una syang dumating kasi nga na-jospital si Bossing. Pero nung last week na nya at maigi-igi na si Bossing, dun ko sya naka-jamming ng husto. Sobrang bait na bata, very bright pero she’s very low-key and soft-spoken. Ikanga, low-maintenance na bata kaya masarap syang kasama. So ayun nga, the whole 2 weeks she stayed with Nanay, naipasyal sya ng mga pinsan nya sa kung saan-saan – nadala sa water park, nadala sa The Mall sa DC, nasamahan magpaayos ng buhok at shopping, etc. Kami naman, dinala namin sya nila Ninang, at Jeremiah sa Basilica, Franciscan Monastery, Grotto at Gettysburg. And the day before she left, kasama naman si Ninang, Nanay at Pearl, sa Ellis Island at Liberty naman.

I hope Rochelle comes back soon. Bossing and I, as well as Bossing’s family, are also hoping that she and her sister and brother would be able to come and go to school here sa mainland. That would really be very, very nice :)

Basilica Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, DC

Ang National Shrine ang pinakamalaking Catholic church at pinaka-kilalang Marian Shrine sa US. Ang dami-daming iba’t-ibang replica na imahen ni Mama Mary na galing sa iba’t-ibang bansa ang nandito. Dalawang palapag ang simabahan at nakapalibot sa dalawang level ang mga mas maliliit na mga adoration shrines ni Maria. At ang pinakamaganda pa nito – kasama ang isang replica ng Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buen Viaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage) ng Antipolo.

St. Francis Mount St. Sepulchre
Washington, DC

Ang National Historic Site na Mount St. Sepulchre ay isang Franciscan Monastery and Commissariat of the Holy Land in America. Dito, makikita ninyo ang ginawa nilang replica ng Holy Land at mga catacombs sa ilalim ng churches na pinareho din sa sinasabing pinaglakihan at kinamatayan ni Jesus.

Grotto National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes
Emmitsburg, MD

Ito ang version ng Maryland ng grotto natin sa Novaliches. Nandito ang bawat yugto ng Way of the Cross, ang iba’t-ibang misteryo ng Holy Rosary. May isang pond sa gitna ng grotto kung saan andun ang imahen ni Maria at marami ang kumukuha ng tubig. Sabi nila, milagrosa raw kasi ang tubig.

Gettysburg Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Sa malas, naubusan na ako ng space sa camera ko kaya ito na lang ang nakunan ko sa last leg ng pasyal namin kay Rochelle nung araw na yun sa Gettysburg. Di bale, sa susunod, kapag alam na ni Bossing ang Gettysburg Address ni Abe Lincoln na hindi kasama sa address si Julius Ceasar at Romulus at Remus, babalik kami dito.

Ellis Island Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
New Jersey, New York

At last but not the least, bago umuwi si Ate Moshel, dinala namin sya ni Bossing, Ninang, Nanay at Pearl sa New Jersey. Habang rumarampa sina Ninang at Nanay, kami naman, nagpunta sa Ellis Island Immigration Museum at sa Statue of Liberty. Kinakailangan mong sumakay ng ferry to get to both islands. Nung nasa Ellis Island ako, parang ramdam na ramdam ko ang feeling ng mga taong nag-migrate nung dekada 20. Makikita mo kasi yung mga pictures nila, mababasa mo ang ilang mga journal entries ng mga tao, at pati ang mga gamit na dinala nila papuntang America. Papunta naman ng Statue of Liberty, medyo na-disillusion ako kasi hindi pala sya ganun katangkad. Sabi nga namin ni Bossing, photogenic lang pala si Lady Liberty kasi sa tutuong buhay, medyo maliit sya, medyo mashobis at green na green. Pero despite that, eto talaga ang isa sa mga lugar na kapag nakita mo, masasabi mo sa sarili mo, eto na… eto na ang America.

(Nakita 17010 beses ng 2893 bisitors)

E Para San Ba Sya Talaga? Really Lang!

Umagang-umaga ng Huwebes, nagulat na lang ako at umapir si Bossing sa pinto ng kwarto namin. Eh mga alas sais pa lang kaya nun eh dapat alas nwebe pa ang skeydyul nya ng enter-da-dragon sa balay (panggabing nightshift si Boksing). Pagkakita ko sa kanya, puno ng hinagpis ang mukha at ang sabi, “Mylabs, ang sakiiiiit-sakiiiiit ng tyan kooooooooooohhhhh!!!!”

Ako naman, natarantacious. Pinahiga ko sa kama, tinanggalan ko ng damit para maginhawaan (kung naibang araw, erotika siguro ang labas nun, pero “not right now, darleng”) at kung anik-anik nang chorva ang iniisip kong pwedeng pampakalma ng sakit nya. Isip namin baka naman nasira ang tyan pero nung hapon na at hindi pa rin nawawala ang sakit at hindi naman sya name-may-i-go-out, sabi ko, japan na kami sa jospital at pumasok na sa ER.

Dumating kami sa Emergency Room ng jospital ng mga alas dose ng tanghali. (Mistulang hanapin ko raw si George Clooney o si Noah Wyle. Pero alat…) Sus, 48 days kaya kami sa ER bago kami narecognize na utaw pala kami at may-i-interview na sila kay Boksing. Chenes-chenes, chuva-chuva, like-this-like-that sa question and answer portion tapos maya-maya, mga alas singko ng hapon, pinapasok na kami sa loob ng isang examination room at mega-48 days ulit bago kami natingnan ng doctor. Mukha raw appendicitis pero wala naman daw sya nung ibang symptoms. Mag-test raw si Boksing. (Isip ko, anong gusto nyo, NCEE, Aptitude Test, Long Test, Short Quiz???)

Bin-lood test, CT scan, at kung anik-anik pang chorva tapos ang ending, kelangan daw syang ma-confine nung gabing yun dahil wit pa rin nila suresh kung bakit mega sakit ang jackie chan ni husbander. Wit daw sight sa CAT scan na may fravlem sa afendiks pero ang simtomas andun. So mega-tulog kami sa jospital. (Buti nga’t pinatulog ako dun kahit na bawal kasi sabi nya wit na mega-drive sa lola nyo pauwi. Pramis, ditech kasi wiz pwede ang stay-over sa jospital. Alas otso lang ng gabi, mistulang cinderella, go home na ang drama.)

Nung umaga dumating ang surgeon na pinoy at mega-explain na mukha namang hindi raw appendicitis kundi chu-chu something-something. Pwede na raw kaming mag-packup at go home na raw at may-i-visit na lang sa doctor ulit. Pagkalipas ng isang oras, spluk ng narsisa, wiz daw kami uwi at kakausapin daw kami ulit ng doktor. Spluk ng doctor, appendix nga raw ang fravlem at kelangan nang tanggalin ora mismiz bago sumabog. Naka-tago kasi ang appendix ni boksing kasi inverted (mistulang inverted nipple, baga). Kaya ayun, wala pang isang oras, nilinis na si Boksing at maya-maya may malaking mama nang tumulak ng kama nya papuntang OR.

Isang oras lang ang operasyon. Pagkatapos, tapos na. Nung hapon nasa kwarto na ulit si Boksing, minus the fravlem appendix. Kinabukasan fly na kami pauwi. So bilis, davah? Mistulang para kang nag-pa-anak na the next day, tapos na ang laban.

Kaya etech, nagbabantay ako ngayon ng gumagaling na asawa. Ang bilis ng mga pangyayari, kuya eddie. Kung tipis mong mag-Ate Vi sa drama, mega-dialogue ka nang “Ganyan talaga ang buhay, Criselda, mistulang parang kisap-mata ang mga pangyayari sa buhay.” (With matching tear drops.) Salamat nga pala sa mga narsisa at staff ng St. Jo Medical Center ditech sa Maryland. Super-bait at maasikaso silang lahat. Mistulang kahit si Boksing na narsiso rin eh impress sa kanila kasi talagang halos awardan na silang lahat ng best in friendship.

Pero going back, ma-giraffe ang maoperahan sa tyanix. Say nga ng aking cardiac surgeon nung ako ang naoperahan 48 years ago, mas mabilis daw maghilom ang mga hiwa sa dibdib (hindi yun “Tinik sa Dibdib” ni Ate Guy, hokey?) kesa raw sa hiwa sa tyan dahil raw mas maraming layers ang tyan kesa sa dibdib. Kaya mas masakit raw ang abdominal surgery at matagal ang recovery. Kaya ayun si Boksing, kapag natatawa, napapasinghap sa sakit. Kapag tumatayo at humihiga, namimilipit ang mukha dahil masakit ang tahi.

At correction, wala syang tahi sa tyan pala. Staples meron. At titanium ang mga bala ng staples sa tyan nya. Sabi ko nga, kapag tinanggal sa tyan nya, itatago ko at ipagagawa kong charms ng bracelet. Muntik na akong batukan ni Boksing kasi nagpapatawa na naman daw ako. Eh eto namang asawa ko, magsalita lang ako ng konti, kahit na seryoso ang isip ko at mukha ko, natatawa sa akin. Akala nya ata, pati ang Boyoyong clowns mga kamag-anak ko. Kaloka!

Kasi naman.. yang appendix na yan, wala namang silbi, pero andyan.

Pabigat talaga!

(Nakita 17797 beses ng 4479 bisitors)

One Gave Me Life, One Colored It (A Father’s Day Special, Part II)

I know… it’s been a week since Father’s Day, but I have an excuse – I’m voting for EVERYDAY to be Father’s day. ;) Ok, truth be told, the summer heat caught up with me. Nothing, I mean NOTHING can ever be done with the heat all around you. Can you imagine what the world would be like without airconditioning? But then again, I’m just being a brat… move on na tayo!

Last entry, I’ve (lengthily) told you about my father – my wonderful, lovable, one in a million Itang. This time, I want to introduce you to Bossing – the other important dad of my life and I want to talk about Bossing as a father. I know that I don’t even have a year’s worth of observations and glimpses on his being a dad but what I know is this, he tries to be the best father he knows how. Based on his accounts of his life when we started chatting and talking on the phone last year and on what his sisters’, his mom’s and his daughter’s stories, I had a better idea of how he was before we met.

For starters, when M was younger, he was there and supported her on every school activity, every PTA, every recital, every school show, every audition, EVERYTHING. He taught her her ABCs, her numbers and her nursery rhymes. He read to her over and over and over again. Despite working at nights, he tried to be up as often as he could because his daughter was up during the day.

Now that M is older, Bossing still tries as hard as he can to be there for every show M has in and out of school. He’s very proud of her and the basement is witness to all the posters, pictures and clippings of M’s shows that he has framed. He works hard to give her a good college education. He and Ninang with Nanay would drive her back and forth to Philly and Maryland on rotation when she comes home. He still gives in to her little “paglalambings” whether it be something to buy, something to eat or just plain something.

Bossing has, and would still have, a lot of touching moments with M. They have their talks and they talk about almost anything. He’s understanding, patient and never demanding. He always has a soft spot when it comes to his daughter. There was that time when he drove her to her dorm to Philly and left her there for the first time, he called me up and there was a sadness in his voice. When I asked why, he said that it was because he realized that his daughter is grown up already and he’d miss her being a regular day-to-day sight at home. Or the time when we came back after driving M to her dorm after staying with us for the weekend, and when we were alone that night, I caught him staring at the ceiling and he softly told me he misses her already. Or the time that he saw a bag of her favorite bagels in the fridge that we forgot to take to her and he suddenly felt worried because he thought about how she’s doing for food. Yes, Bossing is a softy when it comes to M. She has his heart wrapped around her finger and honestly, I don’t mind. In fact, I am always proud to say that he loves his daughter that much and tries to be the best father that he knows how.

But, like I said before, no dad-child relationship is perfect. And that goes for Bossing and M also. He also has his faults, he has his shortcomings. She’s got hers. But I cannot say that these downtimes were deliberate. I know they’re very honest mistakes from the both of them. And that no matter how bad a situation might be, they would be there for one another.

I always say that Bossing tries to be the best dad he knows how. You see, Bossing’s dad went to work in Saipan when Bossing was just 3 years old. They were all left to the care of Nanay who tried to be both mother and father in her husband’s absence. According to Bossing, he would often call them up and he would talk to him as often as he called and he would come home once in a while. But he never really got to know how it was to have his dad by his side all the time. And unfortunate as it is, when Bossing was in 4th year HS, his dad sadly passed away in Saipan.

I believe that you do to your kids what you saw and experienced from your parents. It’s either they were a postive model for you and you’d carry it on to your kids or you’d have a negative one and know what to avoid doing. But when you don’t have much of something, how would you always know what to do? Specially in Bossing’s case. He learned how it was to nurture and take care of his family from Nanay, but to be a father, he had to figure that out on his own because there was not a lot to follow from. Not even uncles or elder cousins can ever come close to having your own dad to mold yourself into. And seeiing how he is right now, I would have to say, in all honesty, that he’s not doing that bad. He still has a way to go tho, I think. Each day, each week, each year for him and M would always be a stepping stone to a more solid relationship. But that’s what a family is about – you learn from each one, you inspire, you teach, you give room for misgivings and misunderstandings, for weaknesses and faults and you try to move on because you will always have your loved ones close to your heart no matter what.

Being a father is never an easy job, especially if you plan to take the role seriously. I am fortunate that in my life, I have two dads who show me what’s it like to be a good one. They’re not at all different, they’re not at all opposing. They’re dads who would always try be there for their kids, protect them every way they can, try to be there for them in their own ways. Itang’s way was what I had been so used to and what was to be my model for choosing the partner I would have in life. I wanted one who was reserved, soft-spoken, responsible and will love his kids more than anything else in the world – just like Itang. And that I found in Bossing – he’s not loud, he’s very soft-spoken, very responsible and loves his daughter like no other – sometimes, at instances that only I am witnessed to.

They’re human and they might do things that their children might not be able to understand. They might not always appear to be like Superman or Gandhi to their kids, but despite their actions being questionable, their love for their children cannot be contested. And for that alone, they should earn the respect of everyone around them. For that alone, they should be called “The Bestest Father Ever”.

So my dear visitors, if you still have fathers, and in your hearts you love them, tell them you do. Tell them how important they are to you, thank them for giving you life and coloring it. If your fathers are not around, say a prayer for them that they be safe, or that they be in heaven, whatever the case might be. And even if your ties with them are not that good, still, pray for them, for enlightenment, for courage and kindess of heart. Sometimes, that’s all that they really need.

Let everyday be Father’s Day. Show them you love them everyday… before it’s too late.

(Nakita 8060 beses ng 1800 bisitors)

One Gave Me Life, One Colored It (A Father’s Day Special Part 1)

It’s father’s day this coming Sunday. I’m pretty sure that a lot of personal blogs will be about the fathers in their lives. AND YES, THIS BLOG IS ONE OF THOSE… pero ok lang naman, diba? I REALLY need to talk about these two special fathers in my life. I need them to know how I see them, what they mean to me and why they mean so much.

Op jors, and una sa billing, si Itang ko siempre.

Itang married young – 20, still in college. He was taking up Mechanical Engineering at the Mapua at that time when he took my mother away from my lolo and eloped – 3 times. (The first two, my lolo Pendong always got my Inang back. The third try, they went farther away – Baguio. And my lolo just gave up on a lost cause and allowed them to marry in church :)

Itang never got to finish his studies at MIT. My Inang got preggers with me right away and so he had to quit college and work. He even worked for a second cousin (my Tita Nellie and Tito Gani) as their personal driver for awhile. After a few months, Tito Gani, being an executive at Ayala at that time, decided to bring in my Itang to work at Filipinas Life. (Alam nyo yun… yung may jingle na “Sa Filipinas, Filipinas Life… Filipinas Life Assurance Company”). He was brought in as a District Service Assistant. There he stayed till 1981. It was also thru the company that he was able to finish college. He didn’t take up engineering anymore, instead he graduated with a degree in Business Administration at the De La Salle.

Itang was a quiet man when I was growing up. According to my Lola Idad, Itang was already 5 years old when he decided to talk. And he was talking straight when he opened his mouth.

Because he didn’t speak much, I didn’t have a lot of memories of Itang and me talking when I was younger, not a lot of small talks. Except for the few instances. Like when he told me he wanted me to be the eldest child when the situation calls for it, this when he and Inang had a big argument at one time and I walked out of the house. Or the time after my HS graduation when he wanted me to take up a pre-medicine course because his bestfriend, Uncle Jake, said he’d help me get in at the Ateneo on a scholarship. That fizzled into thin air. We didn’t have the money for me to pursue medicine-proper. Or the day I left for Canada and I had a misunderstanding with Inang and he told me while we were waiting for our connecting flight in Tokyo how much Inang loves me and that I should call her up the minute we got to Calgary (I didn’t have to, Inang called right away).

But even tho we didn’t talk a lot, I remember touching moments with Itang. There was a time in HS that because I didn’t take heed and our dog took a big bite at my cheek and eyelid. I remember the warmth of Itang’s hand while he inspected my face when he came home that night. He and Inang thought I was sleeping, but when they stepped out of the room, tears rolled down my aching cheek because I was so touched with Itang’s loving gesture. I also remember the hugs he gave me during my graduation days, most specially that proud embrace when I graduated from college, the kisses during Christmases and new years, my 18th birthday when he gave me his gift, or the time he was going back home to the Philippines after taking me to Calgary. Clearly, Itang was the proverbial “man of few words”.

But don’t be mislead that ours was a fairytale relationship. There were the times that I also didn’t quite understand the things that he did and somehow, I also resented their consequences. The most major was when he quit his stable job to put up an insurance sales agency at a time when the economy was going bad. I also didn’t like the times when the drinking started to occur more often (which I understood now to be due to his frustrations). I resented the fact that when the funds were already gone when I was in college, I had to scrimp on textbooks and just choose the ones I really, really needed. I had to go and do some tutoring work just so that I had some money for my shoes and whatnots. I didn’t have as much as my other classmates. And Inang had to start working, selling Hongkong goods to people at Broadcast City. Thank God for my brother, during my last two years of college, he paid for my tuitions.

But no matter how bad the situation had been, and how jealous I was becoming of my more well-off classmates, I still couldn’t get very mad at Itang. Yes, I resented the consequences of his decision, but I couldn’t resent him. And I knew even then that he was trying very hard – even buying a Cimarron utility vehicle to take neighborhood kids to St. Paul and Lourdes School and diligently making sure everyday that the old Cima’ would always work for the next day’s run.

With everything, I still had the man in a pedestal. I was still like a little girl waiting for him to look my way or talk to me or smile at me and I basked in every moment he did. I guess I have to thank my Inang for that – she continuously instilled in the minds and hearts of her children the respect for their father. Despite the hardships we were all experiencing, Itang was still the head of the family, and we should give him the due regard. So even tho I had my questions, there was something Inang always told us. That the times might be lean then, but the earlier times should be remembered – Itang never let his family down and he had always worked hard for us. This was just a glitch. It would also end.

And when the Cima finally died on us and we eventually moved to Cubao from Cainta, Itang became my brother’s official bodyguard and companion in his work. This was the time that my brother became the main breadwinner of the family. But despite my brother’s growing fame and popularity, and this I will always be proud of, he never looked down at Itang or treated him any less. He always listened to Itang’s advice with all seriousness, always made sure that the production staff took care of Itang, always asked for his opinion on anything. My brother never forgot who was still the real head of the family.

The day came when I sponsored Itang and Inang to live with me in Canada. I think that was the turning point for Itang. He soon learned that countries like Canada didn’t look at a man’s age to be hired. He tried everything and he never complained. Even when it was carrying sacks of potatoes for NY Fries. It was just because of his family’s prodding and an injured toe that he decided to change jobs. After a while, he worked as a parking attendant and eventually began supervising parking attendants for a big parking lot company in Calgary.

Maybe grandkids do something to a man, and maybe a renewed confidence in himself that he still can take care of his family, Itang began to talk a lot more. Much to Inang’s chagrin sometimes because he really does speak his mind – no holds barred. Me? I actually find it cute :) When he started to open up a little more everyday, that’s when I began to understand and know him more. We’ve talked a lot more – even about the small little things, even about neighborhood gossips. My face lights up whenever he would be on the other end of the phone and he’d ask me “How’s my angel?” (Even tho I know, that’s how he calls all his daughters these days.) My dad soon became more endearing to me because now I’m seeing his soft side – the one he showers his grandchildren with, the one that comes out when he would talk to them and my siblings over the phone or when he sees something he just has to buy for pasalubong for them. More than the hero, more than the icon, I’m now seeing the man. And more so now, my past resentments are one by one being forgotten.

Itang and MeI guess, when you get older, and you look back, you begin to realize that your father is human, too. He can make mistakes, he can also fall. He would have his own needs, he would have his own reasons for doing things – no matter how you disapprove of them. But despite any inequities or any faults or any decisions in life, you begin to realize that, first and foremost, he loves you. Especially if you’ve personally witnessed how much he sacrificed just so that you can get a good education, provided a roof over your head, served sustenance so you won’t have to starve, indulged for even the smallest of what he thought were your reasonable whims, never mind if he has not bought a decent pair of socks or underwear in years. That he was there to encourage you during your school plays and performances, how proud he was when you showed him merit cards of “best in religion”, “2nd honors”, (never mind that you never got the “best in conduct” ones), how he loved your latest blog entry, how he had announced to everyone your recent promotions at work. That giving him your love, respect and acceptance will never really add up to what he’d given you, but he’s happy to receive just that from you. That no matter how many times you fell, he was there for you because you will always be your father’s child – no matter how old you’ve grown or how famous you’ve become.

And my Itang will always be THE ONE who gave me life, who I owe my life to, who I will always offer my life for – despite the inequities… despite the faults of the past. Because he will always be the first man that I ever loved and still is.

(To be continued)

(Nakita 7802 beses ng 1619 bisitors)

“A Flower That Blooms”

“A Flower that blooms in adversity
is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

From the movie, “Mulan”

I have been soooo looking forward to finishing my real estate classes during the last two weeks of May. Sobrang aral, sobrang pressure. (Sa sobrang pressure, ngayon lang ako nakapag-blog ulit!) I had been studying every night and trying to keep in mind everything that was being discussed in class that day. Nakakaloka na isang buong libro with 500 pages and a real estate law book with 200 pages had to be read, retained to memory for only two weeks. Sabagay, pasado naman ako… actually, pasensya na po kayo, magyayabang lang ako ng konti. Konti lang. Naka-81% po ako sa Maryland Law at 94% sa Real Estate Principles final exams. Hehehehe, pasensya na po. I couldn’t help telling you that because, in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to pass the finals sa hirap. I’m really glad that Bossing was very supportive all the way, even cooking and cleaning the dishes because I couldn’t. Bossing’s family and my mom and dad were also behind me the whole time, giving me a lot of encouragement. How can you not love them for that?!?!?

And because that was done, I needed to do something with the left side of my brain before I buckle down to study, this time for the PSI (Real Estate Board) Exam. I had been craving to do some scrapping for so long now that I can not resist the bug anymore. I had to scrap and I knew just what I wanted to scrap about.

The picture above is one of the scrap pages I featured in our Blogkadahan topic. (I am moderating this round which we entitled “Leisure Moments”, the things we do to keep us sane. And I am writing this here because I still have to revamp my Scrapbook Girl website because I can’t use Movable Type anymore, as demanded by my webhost.) I did this while Bossing was at work and I had some quiet time for myself. This page is about his daughter, M.

I guess, the reason why I created this page was because I wanted to show how much Bossing loves his one and only child – more than anyone will ever know. But like so many fathers and daughters, they’ve had their ups and downs. And they’re still trying to weave their way on some things. The both of them went through a lot of trials in life. And the most major of them happened when M was still quite younger than her current 18 years in age. I can still remember what I was like when I was a teenager and I have to admit that trying to fit in and trying to discover what you are and who you should be can already be a challenge as is. Having to face a lot more problems outside of that can already be a lot for someone as young. But M is an intelligent and strong-willed girl. And I pray that sooner or later, these same difficulties will be her tools to make her a more matured and sensitive person as she gets older.

I have to admit that I am still groping my way around her. Like all teenagers, she has her moods and when these happen, I do what I would like to be done to me when I’m in my moods – give her space and just keep quiet. I know that she’s still trying to adjust to the new situation as much as I am also trying to figure out this new life that I have. So I can actually say that, in a way, I understand her. I do appreciate the times when she tells me and her dad things. When she sits with us at the dining table and recounts her experiences in Philadelphia or what she wants in life or the going ons in the plays that she’s been in. I enjoy those and it’s a way for me to let her know that I can be her friend. I also like it when she sings while she plays the piano in the basement. Quietly, I sing along with her (admitting that my voice cannot even be considered karaoke-quality). She’s very talented and I really hope she’d really be what she’s been working so hard to be.

It might still take a while for us to really be comfortable with each other… but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it is wayyy easier to build structures made of stone than to build relationships with people.

Will we end up being friends in the end? I do hope so… I would like so much for that to happen. She can never be my own flesh and blood, but it would be nice to treat her like a daughter, considering also that I will never be able to have children of my own. But for now, I just have to remember what the fox said to the little prince:

“Just that,” said the fox. “to me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world. . .”

I know this will happen. In my heart, I know…

(Nakita 13179 beses ng 2945 bisitors)

Si Pearlyn

(Pictures enlarge when clicked)

I’m pretty sure that I would have visitors for this entry who might not know my “gay speak” lingo. So I’ll be writing this entry in English for them :)

Pearlyn is my husband, Jun’s, niece from his youngest brother, Gary. Right from the start, even without meeting her yet, I am already impressed with this cute little girl.

You see, Gary and his wife, Becky are both deaf, although they were not born so. That’s why Pearl and her baby brother, Gabe both can speak and hear. It’s amazing how a child can understand the difference between both worlds. She knows that when she talks to other people, she can be heard, but when she talks with her mom and dad, she needs to sign. She knows that in order for her to be “heard” by mommy and daddy, she needs to make sure that her mom and dad can see her sign. These she discovered on her own. Which would be different for her brother, Gabe, when he grows up a bit more, because he would have his big sister to teach him about the two worlds.

I find Pearl so awesome because when she started to learn to communicate, she not only had to learn from her relatives how to speak and know the meaning of words, but she also had to know how to sign them. She had to learn from her parents how to communicate with them using ASL (American Sign Language). And for a child who’s only 3 years old going 4, her vocabulary of the spoken and signed language is already astounding! That’s a very bright girl for me.

So after she’s warmed up to me (after about two weekends), she’s already teaching me how to sign. She taught me how to sign names of animals. different colors, “eggs”, “rice”, “flower”, “no”, “yes”, and a little bit more. And I’m really enjoying it because the only sign language I know is the alphabet. And believe me, after awhile, it gets tiring to be spelling out words all the time.

Last weekend, to give her Lola more time to do her gardening, Jun and I took Pearl to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. I’ve been missing my own nephews and niece ever since I got their latest pictures that being with Pearl last Sunday filled the void inside me a little. She touched my heart so much because on the drive going to the zoo, she held my hand and arranged our fingers inbetween each other’s. And that’s how it stayed the rest of the trip. I was holding hands with this pretty, intelligent little girl who’s fast becoming one of my favorite persons in the world. In the zoo, she was looking at all the animals with so much awe in her face. She enjoyed each of the animals – big or smal, calling out all their namesl. And Jun and I were just enjoying being with her.

It was a perfect Sunday for me.

 

 

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