Wanna sleep for 1 million years

Im soo tired, very very tired. I just want to sleep but I cant. Got to finish some things, transcribe my intreview, email articles, pack my things, help my son do his homework, atbp... ika nga ni Madam Ethel.


The rain is pounding furiously outside. My immediate thought was: Buti na lang im jobless, I dont have to worry about getting home, getting stuck in traffic, being stranded in the LRT with unfortunate people like me who cant afford to buy a car. (No, not with the ridiculous oil price surge). I dont need to buy an umbrella from the vendors at the Manila City Hall (they should be selling umbrellas like hotcakes now) nor do I need to bring extra clothes just in case I got stranded in the office.
At least there's a good side to being jobless. You get to enjoy rain, hear it, smell it, feel it and own it while it lasts. It's one of those few things that I really love for what it is. It makes me nostalgic. When we were kids (back in Pampanga), we'd always watch the rain by the window. We'd make paper boats and toss it outside then watch it sink.
My brothers would make motorized boats from rubber slippers attached with a "machine" they dislodged from their toy cars.
Rainy days were also a time to gather up in front of the TV while we munched on sugarcane bought from the neighbor. When she was still alive, my mother always bought crickets during rainy days and prepared it adobo style for a hearty lunch. Dinner was composed of live crablets (talangka) blanched in boiling water and eaten with vinegar on the side.
We loved rain as kids because we get to swim at the basement of the house as soon as the water starts seeping in and rise up to our waists. It was always like this during rainy days thus I always made sure that the basement was clean, free of cockroaches and other insects.
Rain also reminds me of Singapore. For some weird reasons, it was always pouring when Im in this city whatever time of year. Many times I was tempted to bathe in the rain but I was too embarassed to do so. Baka bawal? As they say, it's a "fine" city (pun intended).
It has stopped raining outside. And im still jobless.

mood swings

I've been in a nauseating mood swing lately. One day am just contented being a good wife and a mother, the next day I am swallowed by my insecurities that always end up having something to do with being friggin' jobless. This is already wearing and tearing me down. I hate the feeling. I dont want to be depressed anymore or see myself stucked in a muddy rut that I cant get out of.
Sometimes I remind myself why I resigned in the first place: to be with the kids, to be able to cook lunch and dinner, go to the palengke (my favorite place), design accessories, clean our room, watch tv, anything that won't tie me to the office everyday.
It's exhausting doing the same thing for eight years. Parang wala ng bago sa ginagawa mo. That was also another reason why I left my writing job. I felt that everything was already clockwork. The excitement has waned.
Now here I am, pondering about the missed opportunities, the many "what ifs" while I roll the vacuum cable into a neat coil. I miss writing. I miss my friends in that office way before there exists the PRETENDERS. I even miss my former boss' scolding and her shrill voice while she summons the lady guard to carry her things. She was mean, yes, but she had the heart of a mother...always the protective mother to her brood.
I and my colleagues used to joke about her wild temper and how tech-UNsavvy she was. But then the time came when she had to put down the pen. After all, she was not getting any younger although she remained to have the most retentive memory among us. We wept when she left us. I remember I cant even look straight to her eyes because I didnt want her to see my own fear, like a baby taking her first steps.
I heard that they have a new office there now. A stylish one replete with flat screens, two secretaries to answer pesky PRs, and a spanking clean space. Nonetheless, I still prefer our old cubicle, the rickety chairs and computers, the electric fan that wont turn on, the layout board that doubles as our dining table, the dirty floors full of press releases and spilled food. Most of all, I miss the people I worked with back then. At least a few of them who have become my closest friends. They say that you only get to keep five true friends in your lifetime. I guess I found some of them in that office. And if only for that reason, I dont regret working in that office, however despicable the people and environment have become now.

Belated Father's Day

I may not be blessed with a flourishing career but God is fair and wise because he blessed me instead with two healthy boys and a husband who works day and night to give us a comfortable life. I wanted to re-publish an article I wrote last year, sort of a tribute to my husband for our Father's Day special when I still worked for that office.
That article was perhaps the most taxing and challenging writing assignment I had in my entire career. Not that I didn't have anything good to say about Argel. In fact, there were tons I wanted to say to him but every time I attempted to start a sentence, there was always a new idea creeping in from nowhere, things that he did for me in the past that would alter my flow of thought and essentially change the flow of the article.
In short, it took me days to write that story. It was brain-draining to be honest. For the first time, I was lost for words and when the story finally got published, readers from as far as Davao whom I didnt even know emailed me with positive feedback. These were young dads, too, who said that they can relate to my story.
Anyway, I wanted to re-post that article here but decided against it. I will instead share the activities we had to celebrate Father's Day yesterday.
Breakfast consisted of omelet that I made with flat leaf parsley and parmesan, toasts, cheese hotdogs and coffee.
With no concrete plans for the day, we took the kids to the garage at naligo kami lahat dun never mind if the kapitbahay thought it ridiculous.
Lunch was at the QC Park only because I still had GCs (remnants from my previous job) to this Filipino restaurant. Wa;a rin naman kaming pera for a buffet lunch at Spiral.
My eldest, Riv, brought his skateboard kaso umulan kaya di makausap pauwi. Nagtampo. (Kanino sa ulan? Aba di ko kasalan yun ah!)
I was so tired that I went straight to our big bed and switched on to National Geographic. Sarap ng ulan especially when you're cuddled under the cold sheets.
Di ko alam, nag-skateboard pala sa labas ng bahay si Argel and Riv. That's Argel. Kahit pagod he always has time for the kids and of course for me (pero siempre yung sakin pag tulog na mga bata..hehe). He'd rather play with us than go out with friends. Kung may lakad sia, gusto nia parati ako kasama.
God is so good. I am really so blessed to have him, and to have a second shot at love.
Yun lang pow.

It's Friday 13th...so be very afraid!

Friday the 13th pala ngayon...I am supposed to be in Batanes now with my partners in our consultancy firm to do some research and legwork. Fortunately, it was moved to June 21 to 24 (kung hindi kami ma-stranded dun.)
Heard that when going to Batanes, you always have to arm yourself with extra clothes since the weather in this isolated island is very erratic pede ka ma-stranded for days. Hopping from one island to another in Batanes is ONLY accessible by plane since, according to stories, the current is so strong even cargo ships cant pass through.
Thinking about it now, Im just happy to stay home and just do the usual chores. But Im really looking forward to go there. Saw pictures and read stories about Batanes in the past pero siempre iba ang first-hand encounter.

Mood: excited

First day of school..mom is not cool na cool

It's Riv's first day of school today. Woke up at 5:15 am to prepare breakfast, gave him a bath and a quick pep talk on what to expect now that he's attending big school.
I was still kinda feeling sleepy this morning since we conked out quite late last night: my husband was reading this self-help book on business administration while I was doing a marathon of reruns and cooking shows.
Saw my son off at around 6:15 and I was more than happy to crawl back to bed and get a few more hours of zzzz.
Then it hit me. It's Riv's first day in his NEW school. Shet! I left my five-year-old to fend for himself and navigate his way around the campus. What if Mang Andrew just left him at the gate? What if he can't find his classroom? Or didn't know anybody?
I was in total panic! How stupid can I get?!! Good thing isang oras lang ang pasok nia today and by the time I realized what I just did he was already on his way home.
Goodness, I was sooo relieved to see him! Learned that all his classmates had their parents in tow waiting at the school's gate. Naawa ako sa anak ko...Fortunately, my son is an independent kid, a survivor.
When asked how he found his classroom, he said: "Sinundan ko ung mga servicemates ko papasok. Tapos nakita ko daddy ni Lance, sinamahan nia ako sa classroom."
Lance was my son's classmate in kindergarten and is now in the same class as Riv's. To Lance's dad, although I've yet to meet you personally, super thank you. The world is a better place to live in because of people like you.

Paradise Lost...and found

I've been to Sta. Ana, Cagayan, recently to take part in their Viray Festival, an annual cultural celebration that brings to mind how the first settlers of this fishing village from neighboring Ilocos arrived in the early '50s via a boat called "Viray."

I tell you, the sheer beauty and mystical allure of the town is beyond words. I guess this was how the first residents of Sta. Ana also felt when they "discovered" this fishing village and never left -for good.

It was a long journey to Sta. Ana from Manila, around 15 to 16 hours including 6 pitstops. I strongly advise those planning an adventure trip to leave Manila in the evening para hindi kayo masyado ma-bore during the trip.

There are only six resorts in the entire town so it's wise to go there during off-peak season para ma-solo nyo ang Sta. Ana.

You could island-hop from any of the six (or five) islands in Sta. Ana and if you are lucky, you might even encounter dolphins along the way. We saw a few on our way to Palaui Island. There are also tiger sharks and great whites, mind you. The waters surrounding the island is hugged by the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea so sightings of these creatures comes with the territory.

Another must-see destination is the lighthouse used to light galleon trades in Spanish colonial times. The ascent to the lighthouse is quite tiring but if my five-year-old can do it (yes, umakyat si River sa tuktok), then there's no excuse why anybody can't do it.

Just check out the pictures...

Fake imitation?

While I have yet to get over my "school jitters" yesterday, here comes another grammatical blooper which I chanced upon while I was preparing my husband's favorite lychee and almond gulaman. Muntik ko ng sabihing, "Shet what a coaccident."
I found this carton of unflavored jelly mix inside the kitchen cabinet. I don't usually read labels especially if I use the product regularly, but I've never seen or heard of this "gulaman" product before and so my iron chef instinct told me to quickly go through the label which read, among other things, "Manufactured in the Philippines."
Ok it's good enough. I didn't know we had local gulaman packaged in a cute carton. As I was about to open the packet, lo and behold, I saw a disclaimer printed on one corner of the carton -- "Beware of fake imitation."
Juiceko po! There goes my lychee and gulaman dessert.
This could only mean two things: the product was already an imitation of another brand and that they are warning consumers of unscrupulous companies "faking" their already imitation product. Hence beware of fake imitation.
Second, and I am pretty sure about this, is that the manufacturer is no smarter than a fifth grader.

School blues

Im feeling a bit cynic this morning. Woke up early than usual so I and Argel would not miss the Parents Orientation in our son's new school in QC at 8:30 am. If it's worth anything, the orientation started on the dot pero naman, the moment I sat inside the auditorium and listened to my son's would-be teachers, my first impulse was to get a refund.
Natakot ako! Goodness, these teachers who are supposed to guide and mold our kids to be smart citizens should be schooled themselves!
Being the nitpicker that I was, I busied myself halfway through the orientation jotting down grammatical flaws that were so obvious it was almost hilarious!
This particular teacher, who I think was the day's facilitator, kept on addressing us as "payrents." Ha? "Payrents?"
And the litany goes on... endayvor, bayring, ee-ducation, diskrisyun. At one point, the assistant principal for academic affairs expounded on developing the love for reading among children.
She remarks: "...so that the children is easy to read." What the f+@&k!" Seriously, it's beyond comprehension. Paki-translate nga po.
I have nothing against any dialect. In fact, I am proud of people who embrace their native accent. I don't care if you have an American accent and all that crap so long as you can pronounce the words CORRECTLY and can carry a conversation decently.
At my son's age, he's like a sponge who absorbs everything and if he's being fed wrong information mahirap nang ituwid pag tumanda na! Just look at these teachers, at their age they still pronounce parents as "payrents." Maybe that's what their former mentors taught them and now they are passing it on to their students. It's really frustrating sometimes and I am mortified.
Paging DepEd...

Say cheese!

Am back from Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Spent some four days there with my son Riv and a couple of friends from the media. More about it in my next entry.
For now, let me share with you my experience at the Belgian Delicacies Night at the residence of Ambassador Vardakis.
Cheese parties are something new to the palate of food-loving Filipinos so just imagine how giddy I was on my way to Forbes Park armed with a big appetite (unfortunately I forgot to bring my cheese knife and a doggie bag).
While cheese parties are not exactly popular in this country, it’s no trade secret that the smellier a cheese is the better it tastes (just like our own.. ehem.. durian).
It was difficult to keep tabs on all the names of the cheeses (all 25 varieties for everyone's picking!) but there were a few really good ones that could compete to the French cheese.
A hands down favorite was the Crotte de Bomal, a raw goat’s milk cheese sprinkled with salted ashes which is said to enhance the taste and the development of the bacteria similar in blue cheese. Hmm. Interesting.
Guests who were after the most flavor (that includes moi) opted for the Bio Bleu Belge, a farmhouse blue cheese derived from raw cow’s milk washed with whisky.
One thing about Belgian cheese parties is that it does not always have to be paired with wine. They actually prefer beer with their cheese. Can't blame the Belgians, they in fact have the best beers in the world with more than a thousand varieties brewed in monasteries.
Beer-brewing in Belgium traces its origins to the Middle Ages and so far there are about 125 breweries that have sprouted in this tiny kingdom.
Unfortunately for us, Belgian beers and even the cheeses are not yet locally available. Until then, we could only hope for another cheese party perhaps sooner rather than later.