Bakit Ba…

… feel ko na namang magpalit ng template ng blog ko????? Pero hindi pa pwede kasi may mga nakabinbin pa akong gagawing templates.

… minalas itong laughtaff na bigay ni itang dahil may matindi syang factory-depek???? Talagang sobrang gusto ko nang sumigaw ng Darna at mag-majik nito! (Hindi lang kasi kaya ng powers ko ngayon.) hayyyyyyyyyyyy.. kaka-lukring!

… nandito pa akong nakaharap sa comfyuter eh may gagawin nga pala ako???

hehehehe… alis na ako!

(Nakita 10267 beses ng 2107 bisitors)

Lights Dancing in the Rain

Monday ng dyumaga dis week, nag-real estate exam ako. Sa bertud ni Batman, pumasa sa isa (national), pero bumagsak ng isa (state). Oist, wag kang magtawa dyan, Lilet! Winner na ang lola nyo nun, ha! Luz Valdez ako the whole time nagrereview akesh. Sobrang krung-krung ako kung anitch ang neyshenal na law at kung anitch naman ang steyt na law sa pagha-housing project. Entonces, nababaliktad ko ang state law minsan. Pero, day, froudalou pa rin ako! Majirap ang test, ha!

Pagkatapos nun, sinundo ako ni Bossing at japan na kami to Washington, DC. Kasi nga ang prenship ng lola nyong si Belen na galing ng Sacramento eh may training-churva sa Covention Center. Supposed-to-be nga, givenchy ko sa kanya ang mga wedding invitations nya na gawa ko. Pero since nag-jeksam nga akesh at wit na akong time, gibsung ko na lang sa kanya un in two weeks time. So go kami, sinundo sa Convention Center ang lolang belen, chika-chika, lafang-lafang sa japok na restaurant tapos fly kami at kumain ng dessert sa isa pang lugar. Eh super-duper Julanis Morissette kaya sa Washington, DC, ever! As in akala mo, may delubyo sa lakas ng ulan. Pero bilib kami ni bossing sa mga sarili namin, mega-reyna elena na nga, hataw pa rin kami sa rampa!

Carry ko ang camera ko that night kasi say ni bossing baka raw may makunan akong magandang tanawin ulit. Hayyy so thoughtful talaga dis dyowa op mine kasi sya pa naka-alala na magdala ng ka-mera ko. Sight nyo na lang ang mga fixtures at pinag-tripan ko lang ang mga traffic lights sa DC at sa Bowie, MD.

(Nakita 8174 beses ng 1694 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 8056 beses ng 1797 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 7798 beses ng 1616 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 13173 beses ng 2942 bisitors)

The (New York) Morning Report

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Noo Yok, Noo Yok!

Nung May 6 go kami sa “City That Never Sleeps” say nga ni Ol’ Blue Eyes. (Pero diba dapat Vegas ang lugar na di uso ang tulog? Anyways…) Overnight lang. Type lang naming mamasyal ng konti, mag-flea market. Hindi rin naman kasi sya kalayuan. Mga tatlong oras lang na byahe magmula sa amin. May kasama pang side-trip yun papuntang Philly dahil sinundo namin si M, dyunakis ni Bossing, na dun nag-aaral.

Wala masyadong pictures akong nakunan. Kakaloka kasi ang Vig Afol (“Big Apple”) – walang maparadahan! As in, singkwenta porsyenteyj ata ng oras namin nauwi sa paghanap ng farking. At luluha ka ng dugo kapag nakakita ka ng farking speys kasi mahal ang per kinse minutos nya! Pero dahil kasama namin ang sumisikat na rin sa pansitan (na tulad ng mga pamangkin ko) na si Pearlyn, kailangan dala namin ang sasakyan kasi maawa ka naman sa bagets kung palalakarin mo ng ala-Boston Marathon yun all over. Eh madami din kami – si Ninang Judes, si M, si nanay, si Pearl nga, ako at si Bossing.

Pero eniweys-my-way, hafi ako, ha! Nakita ko ang famous new year’s eve venue na Times Square, ang Broadway, pati mga kung anik-anik na mga marquees ng mga theatre performances sa NY. Ganun pala yun. Akala ko kasi dati tabi-tabi yung mga pinaglalabasan ng mga plays na yun kaya hop along ka na lang from one to the other. Hindi pala.. kahit na magkakalapit pa rin sila, relatively, iba’t-ibang kalye pala sila minsan. At ang pinakamasarap sa lahat, ang highlight ng Sabardey ko ay ang pagnood namin ng Lion King! Nakakaloka! Ang galing ng costumes, ang galing ng sets, ng mga props. Talagang minsan iisipin mo yung mga puppets ang nagsasalita at hindi yung mga may taong may hawak o may suot sa kanila. Ang ganda-gandang sobra!

Isa sa pinakapaborito kong Disney movie ang Lion King. All-time favorite namin yan na magkakapatid. Nung uso pa ang laser disc player, isa ito sa pinaka-unang LD na binili ng kapatid ko. At hulaan nyo kung ilang ulit naming pinanood ito? Ako na lang, mga dalawampung beses ko na ata itong napanood, mas matindi pa si Ringo sa dami. Kaya sa kaka-paulit-ulit, mistulang naka-dikit na ng epoxy sa utak ko ang dialogues nito ever! At yun pa ang nakakatuwa sa play, halos 90% of the dialogues came from the movie.

Pero, meyn, payo lang.. kung aabutin ng higit sa tatlong oras ang panonoorin nyong broadway play, wag kayong mag-e-SRO (standing). Mistulang dumami ata ang varyus (varicose) veins ko pagkatapos. Pero no complaints, ha, kasi sulit ang play. Pero eto, nagbibilang na nga ako ng varyus veins sa legs ko. hehehehe

Pagkatapos naming manood ng matinee, maya-maya nag-ikot-ikot pa kami ulit (para nga sa farking, ageyn) at ang next stop, St. Patrick’s Cathedral para makapagsimba na. Ang laki ng St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Ito nga kasi ang largest catholic cathedral sa Jameyrika. Mukhang mga dalawang libo siguro ang maiuupo dito. Nagkataon pa nga, nung nagsimba kami, Filipino pa ang paring nagmisa. Bongga! Nung una may-i-surprise ako kasi naka-cordon ang paligid ng seating area ng simbahan. Tinatanong pa ng mga ushers kung magsisimba ba kami. Nung tapos na ang misa at tinanong ko ito kay Bossing, sabi nya, kasi nga, magmula ng 9-11 talagang naghigpit na pati ang security ng simbahan. Sabagay, kung ito nga naman ang pinakamalaking catholic church pwede ngang maging target din ito ng terorismo.

Dun kumuha ako ng maraming pictures. I’m beginning to love taking pictures of churches. Mas lalo na yung mga gothic na tulad ng SPC. Hmmmm.. alam nyo, gagawin ko nga yan. Magkukukuha ako ng pictures ng mga simbahan. Mas lalo dito sa MD, ang daming iba’t-ibang klaseng simbahan. Magawang “Church Project” (hmp.. para namang ang dami ko raw projects na hindi pa tapos kaya???)

Kinalingguhan, go naman kami sa flea market. Di ko na maalala kung saang flea market ito pero malaki sya. hehehe.. sa maliit na halaga, marami kang mapapamili. Kaya ako, next to Divisoria, flea markets sa Jameyrika ang gustong-gusto kong puntahan.

Babalik kaming dalawa ni Bossing sa NY. Kasi marami pang lugar dun ang hindi ko pa napuntahan at gusto akong ipasyal ni Bossing. Aba, sa malayo ko lang nakita si Li-ber-te. At ang isla ni Coney, di ko pa rin sight. Alam na alam ni Bossing ang NY, dito kasi sya unang napadpad nung dumating sya sa Jameyrika. This time, leisure walking na kaming dalawa – mag-su-subway na kami papuntang NYC :)

At bago ako magbabush for this morning, papa-happy birthday kiss lang ako sa dalawa kong pamangkin na magkasunod ng birthday twing May. Happy Birthday Pancho and Sef… I love you so much and I miss you!!! At Belated HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY sa aking huwan en onli Inang… mahal na mahal kita. (At sa inang din ni Bossing at kay Patring at Greta at Lola Idad ko. At sa lahat ng mudras sa buong mundo!)

Pancho and Sef (sitting) with their brother, Maki

(Nakita 16541 beses ng 3156 bisitors)

“Did You Or Did You Not Order the Code Red?!?!”

(Pictures enlarge when clicked)

One week nang bakasyon si Bossing itong nakaraang isang linggo at tuloy-tuloy yun hanggang sa a-dose. Pinlano nya talagang magbakasyon kasi ilang linggo na rin naman na lagi syang apat hanggang limang araw na pumapasok eh 12-hour shifts kaya sya? Kakaloka yun, diba? Kaya naman, ehyun, nag-ayos ng schedule at mag-o-off daw sya ng isang linggo. Siempre, ok sa akin yun kasi sa true lang, na-e-engri ako minsan kapag dumidiretso sya ng tatlo araw na trabaho tapos minsan liliban lang ng isang araw para magpahinga tapos trabaho na naman ng isa/dalawang araw. To top it all, ang yema sa loob ng sansrival pa nun, pang-gabi pa sya! Sabi ko nga sa kanya, mashonda na sya, noh! Hindi na sya katulad nung bagets pa sya na pwede syang magpuyat ng magpuyat. Sisingilin na sya nun. Kaya usapan namin talaga pag working girl na ako ulit, magpapang-umaga na sya. Iba pa rin kasi ang tuloy-tuloy na tulog sa gabi. Believes you me, ina magenta ako ng 8 hours of sleep for beauty rest. Altho naiintindihan ko naman na dala ng pangangailangan ang kanyang pagtrabaho – ang pangangailangan na mabuhay at bumuhay. Kaya naman, talagang pray na lang akong maging ligtas sya kapag nagmamaneho at nasa trabaho.

So anyways-high-waist, naisip ni Bossing na i-lamyerda ako sa Annapolis dito sa MD nung pangalawang araw ng bakasyon nya. Mga forty-five minutes na drive ata yun galing sa amin dito sa Baltimore. Ang pinuntahan namin mismo ay yung United States Naval Academy. Dun gumradweyt si former US Preysident Jimmy Carter at Ross Perot at marami pang iba. Ang ganda-ganda ng naval academy. Ang ganda ng tanawin at kaga-gwapo ng mga student cadets. Sabi nga ni Bossing dito nga raw nag-shooting ng “You Kent Handel Da Trut!”

Pinuntahan namin yung magandang chapel sa loob ng naval academy, yung ilang dorms nila, yung isang hall nila. Hindi pa nga namin napuntahan yung grounds mismo kasi nga matatapos na yung parking time namin. Pero feeling ko, kapag nakabili na ako ng digital SLR ko, magrerequest ako kay Bossing na ibalik nya ako dun para makunan ng pictures ang mga cadete… este, ang lugar pala! (hehehehe)

Pagkatapos nun, nagpunta kami sa City Dock to look at the pier atsaka yung mga nakadaong na mga yachts. May regatta ata that weekend kasi maraming nakapark na mga sailboats na pang-karera. Dun na kami kumain sa malapit sa dock. Ang sarap… pisda at shrimpon.

Inikot din ako ni Bossing sa circumferential road ng city. Ang gaganda ng mga brick houses, ang mga lumang 17th/18th century buildings. Habang nagdadrive kami paikot, nakakakita pa nga kami ng mga guided tours ng mga bata at ang nagfafacilitate ng tour akala mo si Benjamin Franklin ang itsura. Nasabi ko na ba sa inyo? I love the east coast!

Iba rin ang beauty ng Annapolis. Alam ko, pang-turista yung mga pinuntahan ko, pero yung mga sights already tell you a story of how the old American people probably lived during those centuries. It has a special character of its own. Feeling mo talaga baka maya-maya eh makasalubong mo si pareng George Washington or yung tropa ng mga pumirma ng Declaration of Independence. So kaka, diba?

O sya… Tigilan na muna ang wentong turista. Mega-linis kami ni Bossing bukas at in need of a cleaning na ang house is a home namin. May matching planting bahay-kubo style pa siya din bukas at harinawang tapos na nga ang pollen season at nang hindi sya humahatsing ng matindi twing pumapasok sya ng balay. True lang, nakakaloka kapag nahatsing yang si Bossing. Mistulang may scat na ala-Al Jarreau na kasama. Eh ok sana kung paminsan-minsan lang. Pero kapag dire-diretso na akala mo long-playing na plaka, parang ikaw na ang mapapagod at talaga namang parang gusto mong mag-vaccuum sa garden nang ma-vaccuum na lahat ng pollen sa mundo!

Nektaym naman ulit. Da kontinuwing istory ng bakasyon ni Bossing. Destination: Noo Yok!

(Nakita 15314 beses ng 2908 bisitors)

Good Night, Ninang Baby…

If you remember, I asked for prayers for my godmother, Celia “Baby” Coronado, when she was suffering from lung cancer last Nov. 2004. And I had received so many comments signifying their intentions of prayers for her. For all of you who commented and for those who didn’t leave a note but prayed for her just the same, thank you very much. On October 2005, a dinner was even held on her honor at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish in Virgina before she left for Manila. The news said that she has won the battle over cancer and she just wanted to go home to be with family again.

Now, I had just received news from my Inang that my Ninang Baby has left us. But I’m confused as to why noone had told us. Which was quite odd. My Tita Nene or any of Inang’s siblings, would’ve told someone to contact my sister, Gretch, immediately. (Ninang Baby, my Inang and Tita Nene are all first cousins.) Not unless they didn’t tell Tita Nene either because she also has heart problems and her mom, my Nanay Coriting is really very old already. Not unless they couldn’t get a hold of anyone at our house in Quezon City.

But just the same, I searched St. Charles Borromeo’s website archives to see if they’ve mentioned anything about my ninang’s death and to confirm if the news is true. And there it was… they have been offering masses for her soul for the whole month of April. (Inang, tutuo ngang iniwan na tayo ni Ninang.)

I am shaken for I love her. She was my favorite Ninang. I can still picture her with her hair in a tight bun – so young, so beautiful and so funny. She had this beautiful smile and her eyes always aglow. I loved seeing her laugh and exchanging banters with her sister, my titas and Inang. I’m just thankful that I was still able to talk to her and tell her I love her before she died.

I’m not very good at handling death. Specially those of people who mean so much to me. I can never be prepared to lose anyone. (Please, Lord, not just yet. I haven’t even recovered completely from the deaths of my two lolos and a lola – and it’s been years since they’d died.) My ninang’s is really affecting me. And it scares me. Matanda na ako. This is about the time that I will be experiencing more of people close to me dying. Hindi pa ako talaga ready, Lord.

The only thing that appeases me is that, now, she’s in a better place and she is finally reunited with God. But she will surely be missed…

Goodnight, Ninang… rest well.

(Nakita 9834 beses ng 2414 bisitors)

Tiptoe Through The Tulips

“April is made of such wonderful things

Sunbeams and tulips and butterfly wings”

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The other weekend, nagpunta kami nila Bossing sa Sherwood Gardens. It’s a quiet, well-known secret garden sa Baltimore where every year they showcase about 8,000 tulips of different varieties. So bago kami magpunta kina Kuya Jerry for lunch, dinala ako, si Nanay, si Lulu at si Pearl ni Bossing sa garden na ito para, wala lang, matuwa sa naggagandahang mga tulips.

Dumaan na kami ni Bossing dito nung early spring. Wala pa ngang mga halaman nun, pero tuwang-tuwa na rin ako habang umiikot kami kasi nga ang gaganda ng mga bahay sa paligid nung park. Malalaki at talagang old style rich-a-lulu ang mga nakatira. Dun nga ako unang napamangha sa mga brick houses sa Maryland. At tutuong brick houses kasi palibot ng buong bahay ang mga bricks – red, black, cream, batik-batik. Yung mga ginagawang development ngayon kasi, harapan na lang ang ganun, facade na lang. (Oh, ha… so french – “fa-sad”) Pangako nga nya, pagdating ng spring, pupunta kami ulit dun.

I didn’t expect the garden to be that beautiful. Pramis! Kung tulips afficionado ka, ma-excite ka sa naggagandahang mga tanim nila. Hindi ako expert kasi sa tulips pero with what I saw, winner na yung lugar na yun para sa akin! Siempre, picture-taking kami dahil nga carry ko ang camera ko. Walang humpay akong kuha ng kuha ng pictures ng mga tulips kaya siempre, share ko sa inyo ang mga shots ko.

Habang nasa garden kami at nag-i-i-ikot, naisip ko si Inang. Tiyak, kung nakita ni Inang itong garden na ito, baka lalong maluha yun sa kinasapitan ng kanyang maliit na tulip garden na sinalanta ng mababait na mga rabbits. Hindi man lang ata nakakita ng umaga yung mga tulips na yun sa garden nya. Eh kahit na raw ano ang gawin nya eh tuloy pa rin ng kain ang mga rabbits. Eh isip ko, paano naman “they keep on going… and going… ang going…” hehehehe

Tulips are one of my favorites. They’re one of the very first blooms in spring pagkatapos ng cherry blossoms at daffodils. Daffodils ata ang pinakauna sa lahat. Kaya nga sa cancer society, ito ang symbolic flower nila. (Teka, magdi-digress muna ako…) Kasi nga since they’re one of the first flowers to come out after the winter, pinaparallel nila ito sa feeling na even when stricken with harsh cancer and it’s treatment, there will still be hope. Parang the daffodils will still bloom even after a very cold and harsh winter.

So much for that digression, mabalik tayo sa tulips. Ang nakakalungkot lang sa tulips, kapag tumubo na sya at natapos na ang bulaklak nya, yun na! That’s it! That’s all, folks! Hindi na sya mamumulaklak ulit. Mistulang parang ordinaryong halaman na lang ang tubo nya na puro na lang dahon na mahaba. Maghintay ka na lang next year. At kung pangalawang taon na ng tulips mo ito, tapos na rin sya. Sa fall, magtanim ka na ng panibagong mga bulbs. Pero for all its worth, magaganda ang mga tulips while they last. It’s my “spring is here” indicator mas lalo na nung andun ako sa Calgary and it will be again ngayon na nandito na ako sa Maryland.

I love spring talaga! Kasi tapos na ang winter, tapos na ang lamig. Umuusbong na ulit ang mga bulaklak.. a promise of new life again for the next few months, a promise of new beginnings… a renewed promise of hope. Until autumn comes along again… But before that happens, I love spring!!!

(Nakita 26902 beses ng 6015 bisitors)

Si Pearlyn

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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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