Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Who should fear whom?

Politicians are at it again. Those vying for a position in the coming election are throwing mud at each other. But it is not their foibles that gets me the goat. Rather it's more of their attitude being in office.

Why do they travel with guards trailing their car and with a siren to boot? They expect traffic to open like the red sea just because Mr. Senator is passing? Why can't they beat the traffic like us common citizen?

One would think that we, the citizens, owed them a debt of gratitude for their wonderful projects, and timely greetings (complete with badly photo-shopped pics). They project themselves as magnanimous benefactors, showering us with job fairs and flu vaccinations and only expecting in return our thanks and praise. Which seems like a fair exchange, until one realizes that they are behaving like a pilot who expects to be given a ticker-tape parade every time he is able to land the plane without anyone dying.

Let me repeat: They work for us! All of them. We are paying for their salary! From the lowest functionary to the President herself, whether we voted for them or not, whether we agree with them or not.

But it has become increasingly difficult to find a government official who does not believe and act like he/she and his entire family are entitled to his current position simply by reason of his identity. If you ever had a run-in with a high level official (or a member of his extended family), chances are the first thing you will hear is: “Don’t you know who I am?”

To which, I suggest, the most appropriate answer would be: I do, but you have obviously forgotten.

If we are to have the government we deserve, this must change.

In other countries, we can already see the writings on the wall. Some years back, a leading United States politician was brought down because he was filmed insulting a man with a racial slur.

In Iran we have seen a muffled populace rise up and break the state-imposed silence with the help of social media and a sympathetic international community.

A major British newspaper now provides an online platform in which British citizens can audit the digital records of allowance claims filed by the members of Parliament.

The Internet also allowed us simple citizens to unleashed our capacity for speech and participation which is previously not available. And with the arrival of camera phones and 24/7 mobile Internet, the time is fast approaching when secret backroom deals will be revealed to the public.

Our political leaders may not fear us now. But soon they will.

I hope.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's 1984 once again.

The Filipino jailbirds spawned a worldwide Internet hit two years ago with their morning exercise routine using synchronized movements based on the groundbreaking 1982 "Thriller" video.
The prisoners' dance found its way onto the popular Internet video-sharing site You Tube, where it developed a huge fan base.
The four-minute video has so far generated more than 27 million hits.

I know I will get a bashing from AA who have had enough of talks about MJ. He said his tv spews out nothing but news and tribute to the guy from morning till evening. I am sure as hell he won't read this post because just the thought about the subject would make him puke!

But I cannot help it. You see Michael Jackson's moonwalk had more than just an entertainment effect on Filipino lives. We live in a third world country, where rich kids could be living nextdoor to kids in shanties. Where the difference on paper between both family and anywhere in the neighborhood is staggering.

But they have one thing in common - Michael Jackson.

When "Thriller" hit it big, there were no more class devide left in the my country. There were no more rich, no more poor. Every teener had a copy of his poster or has a notebook or a bag or a plastic cup with MJ's face plastered on it. And everyone had tried to learn all the moves to "Thriller", or had bought a jacket like the one he wore in "Beat It", or figure out how to moonwalk. Many of the boys and girls tried to sing like Michael Jackson. Every street vendor sold a "minus one" tape of Michael's songs with no vocals so they could perfect their act.

Michael Jackson wasn't just music. When you live in the Philippine, it was a strange mix of being ahead and behind at once. We are close to Japan, so CDs and other neat technology was in our hands before the States. But the States knew what was hot six months before we did. There was no internet or cell phone technology to keep people in the loop. Yet Michael Jackson was hot at every time, all the time. He was our "connect". There wasn't anyone who wasn't a fan. There wasn't a boy who didn't twist an ankle or break his momma's vase practicing the moonwalk.

I am sure you too have probably watched so many MJ's video by now and didn't realize you were tapping your feet. Your legs have moved a few times to "Billy Jean". Ha ha, maybe even high-kicking that left leg, tossing sneakers across the kitchen! We all, once again, have no colors or class.

I believe that we are all quietly mourning in our hearts, maybe not shedding a tear, but on the outside you are paying tribute by singing along and tapping that foot. Whatever you believe about him, whatever you think he did or didn't do, however he died, whatever his issues, remember that as magical as Michael was, he was human just like us.

Yet his gift was to entertain, enlighten, perform, and give like no other(when he did a concert here, he took time to visit a children's hospital and even donated money).

We all know it. That's why we are tapping our foot.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For Kirst, Ray, et al.

Picture this: You’re in a bar, and a guy/girl a few seats over starts flirting. Soon, you’re sharing personal details — the last movie you’ve seen, music you like. Then, if you happen to be in a big city , one of you would inevitably asks what the other does for a living.

Of course, you dreaded that question so much, and that’s when things get uncomfortable, especially when all his/her friends are standing around listening. Firts, because you are not working. And second, because you were diagnosed with a chronic illness, or have undergone a life altering operation.

Since you've been on disability, you had a hard time imagining anyone seeing you as a potential partner. Among other things, maybe because you can't have kids and have a disfigured body due to the operation. So after treatment, when you could go out again, you remember thinking, What the f--- do I say to the “What do you do?” question?!!

You thought well, I can honestly tell that I can’t work! That statistically, I don’t have long to live. That the fact that I’ve survived and lived is a miracle! Boy, am I a catch! And when this guy or gal says, “So, you’re cured, right?” and you’ll say, “No. Iam not cured, my illness is incurable” And they’ll say, “Wow. That’s heavy. Bye.”

Yeah, I know it's difficult getting a date, or having a relationship when one has a chronic illness. Or even a cancer survivor, right Ray? Maybe because not many would sign up to become a co-survivor, and they just dont want to get involved in your battle. But you could not deny the fact that falling in love and being in a relationship is a distraction you need. Loving someone and being loved can be therapeutic and it's a way of healing youself from the pain and insecurities.

It IS possible to find love in spite of chronic illness - and it doesn't have to be the kind of love you settle for. It can be with someone fantastic, understanding, creative, compassionate and more. But you have to be ready to be real with people, and be patient while they learn who you are.

Yes Kirst, there will be people who are scared off. You don't want someone like that anyway, do you? I know you deserve someone strong and secure - someone who loves you for who you are, in spite of your "weaknesses." Any man who can be so accepting of your illness, especially the worst part of it, is definitely a keeper.

So don't be scared to fall in love. And this goes to you too Joey and Rattles, and Sid! Who knows, life is full of surprises and you may still enjoy the love of a man/woman who is incredibly supportive, infinitely patient - and adorably sexy!!

Freedom from fear.

I believe that everyone, young and old alike, experiences anxieties and fears at one time or another. Of course, feeling anxious in a particularly uncomfortable situation never feels very good. Why, I’m well aware that at the back of my mind, thumping quietly like a drumbeat, are the twin horrors of Guilt and Panic.

Guilt Guilt Guilt Guilt.

Panic Panic Panic Panic.

But I don't want them to over come me and take over. So the trick I’ve learned is simply not to listen. My mind is very well trained like that. But then I realize that this is not the best solution.

I don’t mean fears like the fear of height or spiders or public speaking … although we should face these fears too … I’m talking about fears that I know I should face but just push back anyway, not wanting to deal with them.

I’ve had those horrors of guilt and panic at the back of my mind, many times. I’ve done it with bills — I let the bills pile up, trying to ignore them, not wanting to face them.

I’ve done it with my health, knowing I have cholesterol problem yet, not wanting to think about the things I was eating. I’ve done it with projects that I knew I should be working on, but didn’t want to think about them … because I was afraid, for some reason, to face them. I've done it with bad relationship for fear of hurting people I care about... and many more.

My main fear at the moment is losing my father. Life is so rushed these days I find it harder to make the time for family. One of the things I want to get sorted sooner rather than later is my work/life balance. Then I can get to spend more time with family, my father included.

I guess another word for this fear is worry… it’s a hard habit to kick. Fears have power over me not because they’re so horrible — even if some of them might be kinda bad — but because I allow them to hide in the darkness and intimidate me.

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that there is never a reason to worry. If a problem has a solution, we should start working on the solution (no need to worry.) If there is no solution, we should start working on acceptance (worry won’t help at all.)

We all have fears. There is none among us so brave so as to be fear-free. All throughout our lives, we have to conquer all sorts of fear. There is none among us who is fearless. The fact is that we just fear less as we conquer our fears.

How about you? Do you have fears lurking in the deepest, darkest corners of your mind? Fears you don’t want to face and try to push back?

Then shine some light on those fears.

It’s good to learn to recognize these fears, to become aware of them. They really have power over us when we allow them to fester in the dark, when we do our best not to think about them.

And when you’ve done that, you’ll feel light, relieved, happy.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I just read Sid's post about growing old and this made me thoughtful. It's such a touching post that you need to go check it. The same made me take a deeper look into my own aging process.

As I stand in front of the mirror brushing my now shorter hair, I studied the image that is looking back at me. Oh, how I wish I can change something every time I looked into the mirror, although it didn't show me anything I should be upset about, except for some creeping gray hair. Hahaha!

As the brush navigate the now graying strands, I studied my brown skin in the mirror. Was I really too dark? Well, I am not fair skinned, that's for sure. But what was so bad about being dark? It's natural. I am Filipina, dammit!

Being a Saturday, I am in a khaki shorts, a simple tee and flipflop. Yes sometimes there is an advantage to looking different, to being under dressed, to having different faces at your disposal. For one, I can go to so many more places and mix with so many different people than I might otherwise not be able to if I always played it one way. It's nice sometimes not to be noticed or to blend with people that I am more likely to get what I want. I believe one don't always have to "impress" people and put on airs of morality and importance. One can get what she want in hundred of different ways.

There are so many women who liked to play that game of status and money. They wear the latest designer clothes, use skin whiteners, have a face lift, talk about their latest trip to the States and the hot and trendy restaurant in New York they've eaten at. Not so subtly reminding people how important they are because they are rich.

Well that is okay when you need it. Even though I am not anywhere near rich, I knew how to impress people with that angle if I had to. I can put on the right clothes and jewelry, offer up good table conversation, nothing but the most impeccable manners and charm. But in this world, there is so many other directions one could go, so much out there that one could be.

With brush strokes now becoming slower as if caught in a trance, I thought about the struggles I have been through, especially after losing my business. There were times I didn't know how I would be able to feed my kids. I lowered my expectations and learned to live from meal to meal. And we got by. I accepted a job even when the plant is outside the city, doing marketing work on the side, getting what I needed and wanted. This is where I learned the value of being different people, of different modes of dress, of having many faces out of need for survival.

Iam glad I had pulled myself through the worst of my ordeal, and set my kids up in a decent house and educated them. But the battle isn't over yet. I have to continue fighting to learn and continue learning because it is essential for survival. I wasn't born into privilege and I am grateful for those people who had unselfishly helped me get by.

Oh yes, now I know why I like looking in the mirror. Because after all the turmoil, I'm still here - I am still standing in front of the mirror. Still hopeful to see what's going to happen at the end of the rainbow. I'm eager to find out what's there!

I'm fighting it out all the way - old and gray.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You should read this.

This is about a blog I had stumbled into - very cool and pleasant to the eye, and I suggest that everyone in the whole wide world should go over there and read it!!

Leanne, walk me through the small country town of Dorset - showed me flowers and her pet animals, local architectures with their raggle taggle cottage gardens and grand castles. She talks about new addition to her ever growing family when egg hatches and new litters arrived to take their own place in the household. She also takes me to the panic of birthing and the joy of new life.

She even shared poems and lovely quotations, and a lot of musings that are adorably funny but made me thoughtful - and oh so many other things. Reading her description of her world makes me feel like I am right there with her - enjoying the scenery and the animals and the food and the flowers. I know it will excite me to see her blog on my bloglines list of new posts - I can't wait for the next adventure!

So come with me to Somerset Seasons. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfy, because her kettle is always on!!

And say hello to Leanne for me when you are over there!!

Three deaths, a bad week.

Last night as I was watching the news, I learned that Ed McMahon had died, and that Farah Fawcett is hopeful that when she gets better she and Ryan Oneal will finally tie the knots. But as of this morning, news broke out that Farah had died after years of battling cancer.

But another news shocked me - it seems official enough to confirm, Michael Jackson had passed away, at the age of 50. This is very sad. He was a talented man, a legend. My heart feels sad. This is not the time for mean jokes. These people had been part of my growing up years.

Ed Mcmahon, Farah Fawcett, Michael jackson, this isn't a good week. My heart goes out to their families.

Enough said. I want to mourn in peace....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The forgotten life.

What does it say about us when one generation pity's the next?

Oh sure, our children's living standards are higher than ours as their lives are filled with flashy techno-gadgetry. Damn, look at the picture above, even aborigines nowadays have camcorders!!!But I am sure, like me, you also fear that our children's experience with nature is thinner, more constricted, and less fulfilling than our own.

Maybe many of you who had paid a visit to your childhood homes also has a heartbreaking experience, because you found out that your connection to the land around it has been broken. If I am not wrong, malls are filling in the vacant lots and woodlands where you used to play, also rivers and streams are channelized, and barren, and the lake sides, and mountains are spotted with trophy homes and locked gates.

It is sad, because by losing contact with the natural world we are losing something precious. In a way, we are losing part of what it means to be human. I grew up in the province, in the countryside, and I was dependent on nature's rhythm and to other living things. I learned and grew by climbing trees, catching tadpoles, picking flowers, making mud pies, hiding under hedges. Playing outside every evening until called home by parents and falling darkness, I develop a sense of my human community as part of the wider, natural world.

My kids in contrast, grew up in the city and I lament the fact that they seem to have no special connection to the outdoors. And how could they be expected to make one? They never have a chance to find the hole behind the log where they can hide their special stuff, or the damp spot in the meadow where the butterflies swarm in the summer.

With the rapid growth in commercialism, it's rarer and rarer for kids to have access to fields or streams or woodlots or even decent city parks, so instead of joyfully playing about outside they're offered a physically safe world of video games and television. As a result, nature and place are losing out to the virtual world. Who needs mud puddles when your computer can provide you with dozens of imaginary planets full of gory combat with scary monsters?

But computer screens don't teach our kids how to cooperate with their friends to get a boost up to that next tree climb, to hop nimbly from rock to rock, or reveal the mystery of tadpoles turning into frogs. Yes, of course, television still has its nature shows - mostly animals eating each other these days, but its primary lesson is about consumerism.

As a parent we should teach our kids to be more than consumers. If we can get them out in nature, they might find that they love the real world even more than they love electronic games or visits to the mall.

We all owe it to our kids to make it possible for them to experience the same happy connection that we have experienced with the natural world. That doesn't necessarily mean an ambitious backpack through alpine meadows or watching a mighty whale breaching at sea - it can be as simple as observing a garter snake in the grass or the flight of a butterfly.

Nature's still all around us, and who knows? The Earth-defender of tomorrow could be your child.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A market for everything.

If the car boot sales can bring in a variety of items, then be surprise at what you can find in one of our unpredictable mall here. It is called Cartimar and it's a place unto itself. It's a place where you can buy all kinds of things, some imported some local.

But it is mostly famous for its pet shop. However this is unlike any pet shop you may have seen. Dozens upon dozens of little shops stood lined up one after the next, selling every little creature imaginable!

Fish of every make by the thousands swam in small crowded tanks, pure bred dogs including a basset hound, a pure Japanese spitz, a boxer and scores of others sat in small cages with sad eyes for a buyer.

There are also cages packed with hundreds of tiny white mice crawling all over each other, birds of every shape, size and color by the thousands, rabbits, turtles, monkeys, buckets filled with hundred of snakes crawling and writhing all over each other and even long giant green lizards that looked like they came straight out of the dinosaur age.

Seeing them would makes one feel that the forest and ocean had been emptied of nearly all life, all on the name of profit. One sight stopped me in my tracks - an owl for sale. An owl? Owls are not the most plentiful of creatures and one doesn't normally see them in the marketplace!!

Amid the cacophony of barks and chirps I spotted a weird looking monster sized fish in an aquarium. "where's that big fish from?" I asked the store owner. "Argentina", he said. This piqued my interest, not in an investigative way, but more in a wonderment way. You see this kind of marketplace are more wide open than malls, meaning they can sell just about anything. Also one is never quite sure where the goods ended up for sale here.

My country has over 7,000 island, with a coast guard which could never reasonably defend a few of the smaller ones at one time. So Philippines is like a sieve that is impossible to police. Whatever the case, the scene in this market will have you marveling how my country is a place where a heck of a lot of goods pass through.

That's the way it goes here - a market for everything and a surprise around every corner.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Sleep fascinates us all because it may be somewhat reminiscent of death: We lie down, we close our eyes and we are dead to the world. Except for someone I knew from UK who sleeps only 2 hours a day! Yes, Tracey, thats you!!!

But what's more interesting with sleep are our dreams. Whether we'd like to admit it or not, whether we are able to remember them or not, we all dream.

Dreams are so compelling, and they often seem so weird and strange that it is fruitless and confusing to attempt any interpretations of our dreams. We all have dreams filled with an infinite number of people, places, and things — and situations where they all get mixed together.

I just got an email fronm Sid, where he told me about his dream. It's incredibly funny and so out of this world - literally. I find it worth sharing with you and he did tell me I can. However, he made my task a lot easier coz now you can visit his page and read it from there. You can go check his site Useless Information. Here is a backgrounder though - Sid had been sleep deprived for several days because of a nagging pain in his wrist. He cannot sleep coz its the only sensation he can feel each time he closes his eyes. Finally, when he did fall asleep, out of exhaustion, his mind brought him to a place where no man had gone before. Hahahah!

Indeed, there is no science that could explain why our mind come up with such dream sequence. Therefore, it is also but right that we don't dwell on trying to interpret them. Maybe just by continuing to build relationships by sharing our feelings, our fears, our concerns and yes dreams, we will have a security blanket that we need to sleep easier.

Of course, if you enjoy your dreams and they don't bother you, dream away, and have fun!

Do you have any weird dreams to share?

Friday, June 19, 2009

What's wrong with the justice system?

It boggles the mind.

When Ruby Barrameda sought the temporary protection of the court from a husband who physical abuse her, and who also asked the court to grant her custody of her children, whom she had to leave behind because her spouse refused to allow her to take them with her, the judge not only refused the first request, but allowed the husband to keep the children while the custody case was being heard!

What reasoning, I wondered, led that judge – a woman at that, to deny one who had been the victim of domestic violence protection? And worse, why should the judge not grant the mother at least temporary custody of the children - both under 7, one is less than a year old at the time of the request?

Apparently the husband opposed the custody request of his wife on grounds of abandonment – she had left them behind.

Imagine that. Husband beats wife, driving her figuratively out of the house, and then claims that she abandoned her children, so she should not be granted custody. That is akin to children killing their parents, and then asking for the court’s mercy because they are orphans!!!

If she abandoned them, why was she asking for their custody so soon after? But apparently, as mentioned previously, the judge fell for the husband’s line sufficiently to allow him to keep the “abandoned” children for the time being. For her, it must have sounded like a death knell, which as it turns out, it literally was, because her body was found burried in the ocean inside a steel drum full of cement. She was gone missing on the day she went to visit her kids.

This is a very high-profile case here and is being talked about. But there must be many more, not only here but in other country, where people who have run to the courts as their last resort, expecting succor, get slapped down instead.

Are the judges involved incompetent? Or is it a lack of integrity that is involved – another form of “golden rule,” where he who has the gold gets the favorable ruling? And as the media reports make clear, this kind of rot goes all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Pray this won't happen to anyone you know...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Walking in the dark with pain.

Pain is extraordinarily hard to deal with.

I cannot even imagine Amy's pain when her endometriosis starts to act up. Or Kirst's, when the bladder stone which should have been removed long ago had continued to wreck havock in such frail body. Or Joey and Rattle's brittle asthma which makes even the simple act of breathing excruciating at times. And Marion, despite the severe pelvic pain, tries to withdraw the use of the pain numbing morphine for fear that it will do more harm to her in the long run. There's also Sid, who's taking meds for his heart and blood pressure but the side effect of which, is the nagging pain in his wrists that even hitting the key board has become a task too heavy.

They are but few of the people confronted with chronic pain every day, every moment, and who's activity is shaped around constant pain. Oh yes they can whine and complain because it won't dry up my sympathy. However I feel helpless in the face of my inability to do anything about it, upset by it, angered, and a gazillion other complicated feelings.

Pain is something we all go through to a lesser or greater extent. It’s something very difficult to imagine, until you are in it, and can hardly help yourself anymore. It’s something we all know intimately, especially mothers who had gone through childbirth. Damn I even told myself the first time that I won't go through it twice! Yes it’s so hard to describe and write about. It’s hard to push beyond “it hurts” and not wallow in it

But I also understand that with chronic conditions, however, being treated as an invalid just gets annoying. Especially when people give you unsolicited advice - "stop the morphine", "exercise!", "Don't think about it" or other lame ignorant remarks. Those people I have mentioned above don't even look ill as chronic pain is a hidden disability, therefore they are completely overlooked by society and expected to keep up with the flow of the able bodied.

Given all these ways pain can affect a person, it’s no wonder that this can lead to depression. Not only are pain and depression two of the most common problems, - they can occur at the same time!

But most of those afflicted of chronic pain want to just suffer in silence. I guess most of us would sometimes want to suffer in silence ourselves. Sympathy and fuss don’t make it easier to be in chronic pain. A massage, a cup of tea, etc - those things might, though.

Please pray for the sufferers of chronic pain, particularly those who are alone and lonely, and stricken with fears and doubts about how they will survive.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Who says no to Tracey? I, for one, can not and will not, so here goes for a fun little exercise - my tag of the 6 unimportant things that make me happy.

That Tracey, she gave me a rather tall order as I kept thinking of things that ARE important. And these were the rules she told me I had to follow or else ...

a) Mention the person who nominated you. (above)
b) List 6 unimportant things that make you happy.
c) Tag 6 blogs, state the rules, and notify them with a teeny comment on their blog.

Ladies and gentlemen, without much ado, here are the six unimportant – and often ridiculous - things that make me deliriously happy:

1. Short hair - I love wearing my hair short. I’m not sure why – perhaps it’s because I only comb my hair once daily? In any case, short hair makes me happy.

2. Celebrity gossip - This is my absolute vice. I check celebrity gossip foreign and local every day. EVERY DAY. I don’t know why. And don't judge me.

3. Sundays - Waking up in a panic and then realizing it is Sunday and I can go back to sleep. Also because I know I have the time of the day all to myself that I can lay on the couch in front of the T.V. if I wanted to.

4. Tattered underwear - You know, the ones with the broken elastics and frayed edges and holes aplenty. I love wearing them at home. Yes, nothing makes me feel light and buoyant all day more than tattered underwear. Save the sexy ones for sexy clothes and sexy moments. They may be more attractive, but only tattered underwear can set me free!

5. Bargains - I love a good bargain, and live by the motto, "If it's free, it's for me!"

6. A king size bed - This will be an ultimate luxury, but not one I can't live without. For years I have been rolling in a queen, and I wish I can have more space to roll over, hahaha.

Now the hard part is tagging six other people. I wish I can just send this to everyone! But rules are rules so here goes:

Jann, Kirst, Mimi, Rattles, Jenni, Joey

Monday, June 15, 2009

The rich divide.

Election time in my country is closing in. And this early the mass media is full of ads and banners showing this and that canditate telling how they will change the lives of the poor citizens one's they are voted into office.

Oh its the same slogans over again. Nice words from rich people, who own many houses and who mingle among rich people like them. So, how can they possibly understand the life of the poor if they do not live the life of the poor? It is easy to say you listen to the plight of the have-nots but its is hard to actually do it.

The rich do not just have more money than we do, the rich have more eccentricities than we do. Eccentricities born of different sensibilities, different mindsets, different ways of doing things. These are differences that often boggle my minds, as I am use to other ways, other needs, other lives.

It takes imagination to understand the rich.

But I’ve always thought the same thing is true of the poor. The poor are different from you and me. They do not just have less money than we do, they have a sense of lesser possibilities than we do. A sense of lesser possibilities due to different adversities, different deprivations, different levels of powerlessness. These are differences that boggle the mind, particularly when you see 12 people trying to fit into a hovel little bigger than a confessional, when you see a man poison himself, his wife and his six kids to spare them the pangs of hunger.

It takes imagination to understand the poor.

That is to say, it’s not just that people do not listen to the poor because they do not want to, it is also that people do not listen to the poor because they do not know how to. Listening is the hardest art of all to master.

Listening to the poor, even more so.

During campaign periods we do not lack of candidates who sing and dance on the stage because they think that is all the poor know, that is all the poor want. Some candidates would go to some length like eating with their hands in some hovel in the slums, to show they are pro-poor. Yet the same hands will dip into the cookie jar of the national treasury.

All of them talk to the poor. But all of them leave the poor poorer than when they found them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dine in or take out?

If you are a church goer, probably you would noticed how communicants would approach the priest sometimes with an open hand or an open mouth. And you might wonder if instead of saying " body of christ" the priest could very well say " dine in or take out?"

Please I didn't mean to be irreverent with the Eucharist by making a joke. I too solemnly believed in the sanctity of the body and blood of Crist and the holy Eucharist shows how Jesus wanted to be among us.

But in view of the swine flu A(H1N1) virus which is prevalent these days, the church has instructed that during Mass, communion would be received by the hand, and that there will be no holding of hands during the “Our Father.”


But this does not in any way lessen nor remove from us two very important aspects of our Christian life - to receive the Lord with clean hearts and to extend our loving and helping hands to our brothers and sisters wherever we are, in whatever situation we are in.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The grim reality of being old.

I was pretty disturbed by the letter I got from a new blogger friend, Julie. She is looking into losing her job in a weeks' time and she is very heart broken with the prospect of unemployment. She is over 50 years old and she narrated to me how her friend who is 65, was told to pack up and vacate her desk - just like that.

While hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs this year, I would agree that it is the older group that is being hit hardest. As their working lives are cut prematurely short and their ability to pay into pensions becomes impossible, they now fear to face the double whammy of financial hardship and a retirement marred by poverty later.

Of course, there are government legislation being put in place to protect workers 50 and over against age discrimination in the workplace, but in reality, the attitudes of employers and wider society hasn’t kept pace with the law!!!

For Julie who will lost her job, the future looks bleak: because the odds of finding another job are sadly stacked against older people. Besides the skills needed to find a new job in today’s marketplace are very different.

My heart just bleeds though when I know that she won't be getting a social security pension and on top of that she still worries about house mortgage payment. I didn't know getting old in other countries is a lot tougher than I originally perceived it to be. I believe older folks today don't really fear international terrorism. Their fears are more economic in nature. When I look around and I see that so many old persons who have worked their entire life are in such bad condition and they really don’t have enough money to live, I think you get frightened a bit.

Here, our older folks enjoy retirement because it is us, the children, and not the government who makes sure they are taken care of. We lavish them with attention and each child would provide the parents monthly allowances. So yes, it does pay to have many kids, hahaha!

My dad who is now the more senior member of the family after grand mother died, even enjoy allowances from nieces and nephews. My cousins set aside a part of their salary and deposit them (as they are scattered around the globe now) to a single account which another cousin had access to and she in turn, give this to my dad every month. No it isn't an obligation, they do it out of love.

I will turn 47 next month and even when retirement is still far fetched, I would like to think that I don't have anything to fear when I get 60 and over.

Please visit Julie's page and give her moral support. She is a former news writer and she writes very interesting story and funny anecdotes. She may lost her job, but let her gain more friends...

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12 is Independence Day.

Today, we celebrate our 111st Independence Day. It is but worth reminiscing the history that make the Filipino nation the first republic in Asia.

During the Spanish-American War, Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo proclaim the independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule. By mid-August, Filipino rebels and U.S. troops had ousted the Spanish, but Aguinaldo’s hopes for independence were dashed when the United States formally annexed the Philippines as part of its peace treaty with Spain.

In April 1898, the Spanish-American War broke out over Spain’s brutal suppression of a rebellion in Cuba. The first in a series of decisive U.S. victories occurred on May 1, 1898, when the U.S. Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey annihilated the Spanish Pacific fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines. From his exile, Aguinaldo made arrangements with U.S. authorities to return to the Philippines and assist the United States in the war against Spain. He landed on May 19, rallied his revolutionaries, and began liberating towns south of Manila. On June 12, he proclaimed Philippine independence and established a provincial government, of which he subsequently became head.

His rebels, meanwhile, had encircled the Spanish in Manila and, with the support of Dewey’s squadron in Manila Bay, would surely have conquered the Spanish. Dewey, however, was waiting for U.S. ground troops, which began landing in July and took over the Filipino positions surrounding Manila. On August 8, the Spanish commander informed the United States that he would surrender the city under two conditions: The United States was to make the advance into the capital look like a battle, and under no conditions were the Filipino rebels to be allowed into the city. On August 13, the mock Battle of Manila was staged, and the Americans kept their promise to keep the Filipinos out after the city passed into their hands.

While the Americans occupied Manila and planned peace negotiations with Spain, Aguinaldo convened a revolutionary assembly, the Malolos, in September. They drew up a democratic constitution, the first ever in Asia, and a government was formed with Aguinaldo as President in January 1899. On February 4, what became known as the Philippine Insurrection began when Filipino rebels and U.S. troops skirmished inside American lines in Manila. Two days later, the U.S. Senate voted by one vote to ratify the Treaty of Paris with Spain. The Philippines were now a U.S. territory, acquired in exchange for $20 million in compensation to the Spanish.

In response, Aguinaldo formally launched a new revolt–this time against the United States. The rebels, consistently defeated in the open field, turned to guerrilla warfare, and the U.S. Congress authorized the deployment of 60,000 troops to subdue them. By the end of 1899, there were 65,000 U.S. troops in the Philippines, but the war dragged on. Many anti-imperialists in the United States, such as Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, opposed U.S. annexation of the Philippines, but in November 1900 Republican incumbent William McKinley was reelected, and the war continued.

On March 23, 1901, in a daring operation, U.S. General Frederick Funston and a group of officers, pretending to be prisoners, surprised Aguinaldo in his stronghold in the Luzon village of Palanan and captured the rebel leader. Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the United States and called for an end to the rebellion, but many of his followers fought on. During the next year, U.S. forces gradually pacified the Philippines. In an infamous episode, U.S. forces on the island of Samar retaliated against the massacre of a U.S. garrison by killing all men on the island above the age of 10. Many women and young children were also butchered. General Jacob Smith, who directed the atrocities, was court-martialed and forced to retire for turning Samar, in his words, into a “howling wilderness.”

In 1902, an American civil government took over administration of the Philippines, and the three-year Philippine insurrection was declared to be at an end. Scattered resistance, however, persisted for several years.

More than 4,000 Americans perished suppressing the Philippines–more than 10 times the number killed in the Spanish-American War. More than 20,000 Filipino insurgents were killed, and an unknown number of civilians perished.

In 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established with U.S. approval, and Manuel Quezon was elected the country’s first president. On July 4, 1946, full independence was granted to the Republic of the Philippines by the United States

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Filling the gap to survive.

One of the more interesting facets of living in my country where the majority of the people are poor, is finding out just how people manage to survive in a day to day basis. You will be surprise at the amazingly creative things my countrymen do in order to put a little rice and fish in their bellies.

For instance, there is a whole genre of people who have created a work for themselves where technically none exist! We call them gap fillers. Like flowing waters that naturally finds its own way, seeping in wherever there are cracks, they fill gaps that society leaves open and make something out of it for themselves.

In essence many are middlemen or brokers. Sometimes they perform a much needed service like preventing you from having to worry where you are going to park your car. They will carry your bags and save you from ruining your back. They can find things you otherwise may never find.

Of course, since this level of society works without any specific rule book, there’s that chance of getting fleeced. Good or bad though, these people fill a need, or simply make one up. They put themselves into position to get in the middle of some transaction, in hope of lifting cash from whatever deal is about to go down.

A perfect example is the people you meet every time you stop somewhere to park your car. As you drive up looking for a place to park, they always appear out of nowhere and flag you down, waving you into space. The more entrepreneurial of them will open the door for you and ask if you want the car washed. Either way, watching your car is a given.

The weather often creates various gaps which never stay open for long. There are window washers who appear at busy intersections as soon as it starts to rain. Or a plank where pedestrian can cross to avoid their feet getting wet by dropping a coin in an empty tin can readily available. Or an umbrella man ever ready to assist people to get to their rides without being drenched by the rain. There are literally hundreds of other examples of people filling gaps. But why, you may ask. The answer is simple: pure unadulterated survival.

In my country competition for survival is intense. In fact there’s not just competition from other humans, but from everything else including the dogs, cats, rats, ants, and cockroaches. Every hour of everyday, everyone and everything is competing for survival.

There are no welfare handouts in the Philippines. No social safety net. No free meal kitchens. In my country people often have to do some seriously creative things just to get a meal.

See the contrast?

A story.

Let me share with you a touching story... and please read all the way down.

Sharing A meal

The little old couple walked slowly into McDonalds that cold winter evening. They looked out of place amid the young families and young couples eating there that night. Some of the customers looked admiringly at them. You could tell what the admirers were thinking.

"Look, there is a couple who has been through a lot together, probably for 60 years or more!"

The little old man walked right up to the cash register, placed his order with no hesitation and then paid for their meal. The couple took a table near the back wall and started taking food off of the tray.

There was one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink. The little old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. Then he carefully counted out the french fries, divided them in two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.

As the man began to eat his few bites of hamburger the crowd began to get restless. Again you could tell what they were thinking. "That poor old couple. All they can afford is one meal for the two of them."

As the man began to eat his french fries one young man stood and came over to the old couples table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple to eat. The old man replied that they were just fine. They were used to sharing everything.

Then the crowd noticed that the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She just sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink. Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy them something to eat. This time the lady explained that no, they were used to sharing everything together.

As the little old man finished eating and was wiping his face neatly with a napkin the young man could stand it no longer. Again he came over to their table and offered to buy some food. After being politely refused again he finally asked a question of the little old lady.

"Ma'am, why aren't you eating? You said that you share everything. What is it that you are waiting for?"

She answered, "The teeth".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh, how I love my online community.

This post is to welcome Amna into the blogging world, and to tell you dear readers how grateful I am to have started mine.

It wasn't long ago when Boysie had urged me to create a blog. I never thought I’d actually do it with the intention of addressing issues of interest to me. I felt it was more of a personal thought journal. I never had the intention of using it for anything other than personal. It was limited in scope to a few of my good friends and anyone who ended up running into my blog.

Soon, though, it became a vehicle all its own. I was surprise I got readers from all over the world as shown from my counter widget, and more anonymous hits than I thought were possible. I would write about any and everything that came to mind, and people would respond positively.

Tracey stumbled upon my blog and left a comment, so I also checked out her blog and found the recent post surprisingly amazing because of the things she sew during the night that she shared in her post. Over the next few weeks, she left more comments at my blog and I left some at hers. It was so strange to me that 1) someone I'd never met would be interested enough of my rambling to come visit every couple of days and leave a comment, and 2) that I would do the same to someone I'd never met.

But then something weird happened. I now follow lives of people from England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, United States, India, among others. I’m subscribed to other blogs, but this particular group is interconnected. Each of these people read and comment on each others’ blogs. And maybe this relationships might even extend into the physical realm as there were those who wish to send cards or package.

If I was told one year ago that I would actually feel some emotional attachment to complete strangers like this, I certainly wouldn’t have believed it. And what’s even more amazing is that these “virtual” friends really do scratch a social itch. The feeling is very much like that in my real life friendships, it’s just that we don’t meet up on Saturday night for scheduled merrymaking or had a coffee during the afternoons.

The tiny little “community” that has grown up around it is one of the most surprising and gratifying things about the whole blogging endeavor. And yes, I also get annoyed when people talk about online life versus “real” life, as if this is all just a Sims-style game, as if we weren’t really connecting with other people. I consider you all to be real friends. Not online friends or some other ridiculous qualifier, but actual honest-to-god friends.

Blogging has been an informative experience for me, not only in terms of what I write and share with you, but also what you write and share with me.

I never even knew what people meant about writing blogs a years ago. Now, I am an addict, hahaha!

Constantly I find myself writing from either a personal or objective stance. It has become a tool for me to become more self-aware, share experiences, give and seek advice, and to record moments of my life. If it wasn’t for you, I never would have dared to embark on this writing adventure.

So to all of you, and you know who you are, thank you for guiding me to the world of blogging!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Being patient with patients.

Reading Kirst's frustration on mishandled medical records and also Joey's rough time with her doctors, I cannot help but wonder if this has become a general practice.

We know that not all doctor is an a**h**le. Some do try desperately to be kind, sympathetic and extremely patient with their patient despite the many hurdles they encounter every day - the far-from-ideal patient load, the severe lack of supplies, the extreme poverty which comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. But even the most patient doctor has his limits, the breaking point, which when reached, causes them to snap at an uncooperative or agitated patient.

I hope that they are not proud of this. Maybe nobody encourages them to react this way as early in their medical education, they were taught time and time again that they should never become hardened and numb. But despite their many personal promises and resolutions, somehow they always end up doing what they shouldn’t do.

Could it be because of a mother in labor who seems to move too slowly? Or because another mother cries uselessly instead of pushing her baby out? Or because a son in the Emergency Room pesters them to admit his unwell, though relatively stable, mother amid a sea of patients needing urgent attention? Or because a man has allowed his mass to get so huge that you cannot imagine how he could have endured it for five long years? Or because a stubborn patient does not understand the meaning of maintenance medication?

Yes, nurses are prone to irritation too. Whether it is because the supply of alcohol, cotton or linens has run out; or they are forced to push the heavy stretcher beds and oxygen tanks around the hospital as if they were born to do such work; or they have not slept in more than 48 hours; or somebody has made the scary observation that their ankles are swollen from all the running, pushing and crouching—somehow. I guess no matter how hard they try to avoid it, they do reach that point when they become irritable, seemingly less sympathetic and harsh to their patients.

Sure stress and pressure sometimes cause them to snap. But it is during such hellish moments, more than ever, that they should remember that their patients entrust their health, and their lives to them, that they spend the night and days waiting for their turn just to be able to see them in their clinic and when they do, the last thing they want to hear is a surly doctor telling them, “Sorry your pain is just in your head!"

They owe it to their patients to always try—and try even harder—to be more patient, understanding and sympathetic, like every doctor and nurse should be.

I hope Kirst next visit to the hospital will be more pleasant...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back to school frenzy.

It’s funny. Even though it doesn’t seem to really bother me during the year, when school start this month, I find I am so ready to throw structure out the window. I love not planning every meal and only shopping when I need to instead of doing the massive Sunday binge to buy enough to get me through packed lunches and dinners for most of the week.

In the summer I love the freedom to go with the flow, having breakfast when the kids are awake, which is pretty late, and just cooking what's in the fridge. It seems so easy without a steadfast schedule.

But now it’s back to reality. It’s now a lot of go, go, go leaving me little, if any, time to be spontaneous when everyone has someplace to be and needs to be fed. I know in time there will be a comfort to the routine and to being more organized. I think it’s the sadness of saying goodbye to the freedom of coming and going and the reduced stress of not waking up early, school schedules and homework.

Another thing that has to change is my boy's bed time. During the summer they are allowed to stay up as late as they can, sleep all day and it doesn’t bother me.

Now they will have to be in bed by 9:00 pm. I do make a big deal out of it, since Cedric had to wake up by 4 am and on the road by 5 am to be in school before 6:30. His school is pretty far, but it was near when we still live in our old house.

As a parents, you would probably agree that it is the most challenging time for our cash flow too. In fact, back-to-school spending ranks quite high, right next to spending for holidays and festive seasons, and can be quite an expensive annual tradition for larger families. Cedric and I just came from the mall today to purchase their school supplies. And as usual.everything is priced higher than it was the previous year.

Another expense is a hand phones which is now becoming a necessity communication tool and no longer a luxury item, especially for my children whom I need to know where they are at any given time. But they uses prepaid lines so I always remind them of the budget and make them stick to it.

What about you? Are you ready for back to school? Does the structure help you plan and get meals on the table easier or do you miss the carefree ways of summer?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Honest Scrap Award.

I am touched and honored that Mar G. and Tracey and Fi had given me this award - fellow bloggers all that I actually look up to and admire for their writings. As usual, such award came with a rule.

Here are the rules:
When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to said person so everyone knows he or she or they are real.

Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have 7 friends. Show the 7 random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Scrap Award.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on! ( Of course, I am just scooping for some laughter here!!!)

Alright. Ten things? Hmm....fingers drumming my desk. Ten things? Oh, I know where to start:

1. I can pick up things with my toes.

2. I grew up without a mother as my mom left us when I was barely a toddler.

3. I don't like the concept of time. Why is it that I can walk forward and backwards in space, but we can't go forward & backwards in time? Does that bother anyone else?

4. I enjoy the company of gay people because they talk loud and they laugh so much.

5. I would never dare walk on burning hot coals, bungee jump or sky dive - heights scared me and so is the burning sensation on my skin!

6. I speak three languages, English, Filipino, and Ilongo. Despite my Spanish lesson in college I have never learned to speak it.

7. I don’t have any particular preference with music but I do love music. Leave me with a good book to read and a blaring stereo and the outside world disappears.

8. I’m trying to grow my hair long just because I have been sporting a short hair since college. It's kinda frustrating because now that it's longer I don't know what to do with it, so I thought of getting a haircut again.

9. Even though I’ve hit some bumps along this road called life, and don’t particularly like some of the things I’ve done, I would not change any of them.

10. Lastly, the most honest thing I can tell you is to look around at the blog, I believe I left it all out on the field here for you to read! If you’re ever curious, just ask!

Seriously, this award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who ofentimes put their heart on display. So now on to the 7 people I want to send them to:
1. Neo Conduit - Kirst blog is one of the most honest blogs I’ve read. When I thought of who I wanted to tag, her blog was one of the first to come to mind.

2. Kingdom of Estarra - Speaking of honesty, you can’t really tell it like it is until you’ve read KOE blog. She writes from the heart and is very funny too.

3. Angry American - I haven’t seen anything new on this blog in a little over a month but I really enjoyed the real posts Ray wrote. Hope to see him come back soon!

4. The Ins and out of being a real MTV - This is Marie's blog, seething with honesty and she’s as real about her life as anyone out there. Thanks for sharing your stories Marie.

5. Brittle Asthma Life and Drama - Rattles is another blogger who put her heart on display as she write from the depths of her soul and you just got to see her new blog make-over!

6. Amna - She haven't posted anything in her page yet, although I hope in due time she will, but her comments on my blog and those of others had been very honest and sincere. She clearly showed where her heart is.

I know that's not 7 but those I want to give this to, had been given already and also because I had just given out an award to 6 bloggers so now I ran out of recepients, hahaha!

Well there you have it. Please check out these other sites and enjoy, have an awesome day and we’ll chat later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

News getting weirder by the day.

OK, I am just going to say it - the Air France story is getting weird. Yesterday's news says that Brazil has apparently backed away from their claim of having found the debris of Flight 447, and now says the wooden pallet that had represented a shaky closure has today been revealed to be unrelated garbage.

But it was only yesterday when Nelson Jobim, the Brazilian defense minister, said that “without a doubt the debris was from the Air France plane". Military planes located the wreckage Tuesday in a three-mile strip in the ocean, as hope of finding survivors all but vanished. The debris included an orange life vest, an aircraft seat, a drum, kerosene and oil. So what gives???

With this development, people just can't avoid speculating about a conspiracy theory especially since we were given conflicting, vague and partial information - it is the nature of the human mind to attempt to find a gap-filling explanation. And each one can come up with his own version of the story, hahaha!

Only adding to the weirdness is the story that had another pilot reporting a flash of white light at the same time the Air France flight disappeared. Could Flight 447 have been bombed? There is nowhere near enough information to say yes -- but it is strange how urgently we are being pressured to give a firm no. We don't know what happened to Air France's Airbus and we may never -- but to speculate about terrorism is not unwarranted, crazy, extreme, pathetic, vacuous or self-evidently laughable. It's not like it never happens.

My theory is that the plane was the victim of a massive release of electromagnetic energy that forced Flight 447 to crash on a mysterious island replete with healing properties, ancient structures, and the remnants of strange scientific experiments. Also, since there was a flash of light before its disappearance, my guess is that they're somewhere in 1974.

What's your theory?

What do you mean by winning?

Have you been following the NBA finals? Did you know that Orlando Magic beats Cleveland Cavaliers to move into the finals against LA Lakers?

My second son goes gaga over the defeat as he love Lebron James a lot. But it's ok, he now root for the Lakers. I am no fan of Lebron though after I have read what he had told a reporter during the interview on why he disappeared after the game. “It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”

Say it again??!! Clearly, Lebron still needs to learn a thing or two about being a winner. Everything in his statement above is wrong, or smacks of bad values. Of course, it’s hard for anyone to congratulate someone who has just beaten him, but that is precisely what winners are made of. Being a winner is knowing how to accept defeat.

Of course, what Lebron did was poor sportsmanship. It does make sense to congratulate the person who just beat you up in a game—above all for real competitors. It does make sense to go over and shake somebody’s hand after he lent you a crushing defeat—above all for real winners. In fact, poor sportsmanship is the least of what’s wrong with what Lebron did.

Athletes are suppose to honor their opponent, because they make him better. And also because they challenges him to rise to greater heights. He should drive home the point that the competition is not an enemy, but rather an ally despite the ferocity of his opposition, despite the obstacle he puts in his path. Sports competition extends the point that in the end, an athlete is not really competing against other people, but is competing against himself. That’s where the real gold is.

Maybe he should watch more Star Trek so he too will know that the final frontier isn’t outer space, it is inner space.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love goes around in blogland.

Thanks Joey for the award coz first this mean that someone had noticed I was even in blogland; and second, absolute joy that someone had chosen me for recognition. This is validation, not only that I existed, but that someone found my posts worthwhile enough to spend their precious time and energy reading them.

I’m very proud of each and every award I had received, and truly honored to have received them from fellow bloggers whom I admire.

So without further ado, I present my list of outstanding bloggers below, some of whom I‘ve only recently discovered. I hope you visit their sites and enjoy them as much as I do.

Living with Brittle Asthma

Palm Trees and Blue Skies

The Pure Gardener Inc.

Mar G's Blog

Simple Indulgences

Baby Say's "Baff"

Sea Cottage

Useless Information

Raindrops keep falling on my mind...

I have never been one to complain about the rainy days here and there. Actually, I rather enjoy them! When you are on occasional express of a constant sun, then the rain offers a relaxing change of mood.

BUT, it's been raining now for days! Sure a day of rain is always kind of nice. However the rain here does not just simply fall. Its a constant driving rain, everyday, all day and with no end in sight. It pours down in sheets, fast and heavy. It's intensity is equaled in strength only by its duration, which when combined makes for an awesome indescribable force of nature.

I understand now why they call this weather system tropical depression - they can easily make you depressed! This would make sense because after all we are living beings and when the atmospheric pressure were low, we would also feel low.

It's kind of weird, but the endless rain makes familiar people and places looked different and I feel closed in. I started to feel the way a bear must be feeling with winter fast approaching and all he can think of is hibernating for a few months until it all passes. Wow, maybe this is what you guys go through too during winter, huh?

And with the constant rain came the ants and cockroaches! I'm not sure if this is because all their usual haunts had been flooded out, or because all their regular food source had been washed away. Either way, I bet they quickly figured out where not to take refuge the next time the rains leave their lair flooded, hahaha!

Oh let me tell you though that we Filipinos never make a big deal about having to share our home with bugs and mice and rats. I too believe they have a right to exist - I know you're howling there Kirst! But with the rain falling endlessly, leaving not only my body but mind trapped, I obviously is being driven by the edge and began a frenzy of mass murder. I just suddenly had a real reason to vent my angst!!!

Poor bugs....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My dilemma.

Am I to take whatever comes my way, because I said "I do"?

My two boys talked to me the other night asking me to forgive their father and to rebuild this family once more. I know that children tends to idolize their parents. To them their parents are super beings. But now that they are grown ups and had started to observe things, they also start to figure out that their parents don't know everything. Nor they can fix all problems, and yes, they also make mistakes!

I just wished that I didn't dash my boys dream that would cause them to move me from the pedestal to the underworld of monster. But this is reality, this is how they learn. They ought to know that they are responsible for their lives and that the world don't revolve around mom and dad.

I love my sons more than anything, but I don't think I could make that kind of sacrifice for even them, because I don't think it would really benefit them. I would hope they would come to understand that I would be much happier and therefore a better mom to them if I am happy - even if it meant being separated.

This is very hard for me, as the one thing that keep me trapped in a loveless marriage is my concern for the well-being of my boys. Because children are involved, separation becomes a lot more complicated.

As a mother, all I want is for my sons to have a place they can retreat to at the end of the day. A place that is safe, unconditionally loving, filled with laughter and characterized by integrity and truth. That one place they can come to for love and acceptance is a home, but that won't be possible in a household where their mom and dad is disrespectful of each other.

I would have much rather give them two parents that were happy separately then two parents unhappy together. I feel like I will be wasting part of my life staying married when it wasn't necessary and I know I can't get them back anymore.

I know that they may not get it now but, one day, when the light bulb comes on and the compassion kicks in I hope they would realize that I did the best I could with what I had. Staying unhappily married because society put a stigma to it is not the way to go.

I love my kids but I know that no matter what I choose to do, the choice is not going to make or break the future of my children. What will decide their fate is the extent to which me and their dad maintain a close, loving, supportive relationship with them. It's one thing to separate from my husband. It's another to separate from the kids.

I fervently hope that separation will not be an end of their innocence especially for kids who lived with feuding, unhappy parents - it's the beginning of their peace.

Or am I wrong?


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