Monday, November 30, 2009


Do you like to scan through a women’s magazine like Vogue, Elle and the likes? Or watch a Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Lifestyle channel? I do!

Not that I desire to buy one of those snazzy clothings/undergarments whose wash tag is larger than the garment itself, but I just love seeing women with legs without a dreaded cellulite, breasts that are large and perky and a stomach that looks like a freakin’ washboard. I also like to see smoldering eyes and pouting lips staring back at me from these magazine pages.

I know I shouldn’t have, because looking at those beauty goddesses only point out what's lacking in me. In fact, I haven't looked over my shoulder in years because I already know what's back there (ignorance can be bliss). Many times I lift my arms to see where my breast were ten years ago. I also know which stretch mark belong to each of my three kids.

Sometimes when I open a fashion magazine, and see that glossy cover with some blonde babe in her oh so chic pose on it, it sparks on sadness stirred up with a feeling of a pipe dream. I know I am never going to look that good. But I don’t wish for a miracle bra, and that high-cut thong looks uncomfortable. What a nightmare to wear those!

But I still love looking at new fashion trends, even when I know I won’t be buying any of them. Besides the pretty models are a feast for the eyes. However, I believe that no matter how much money a woman invests in herself to look 'beautiful' if she doesn't feel good about herself nothing will change.

Well it is a shame that how smart a person is and what her mind is able to do, does not have a picture to justify its beauty.

Or am I just sour-graping?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heartless beast.

Fifty seven people dead. Not three or five...and the election have not even started yet.

This shocked everyone, including the international media because of the unbelievable scale of atrocity. This is so far the worst outbreak of electoral violence, the worst loss of life in journalism history.

I shiver with horror watching the news last night when I saw vehicles clustered together in a partly grassy area, as though someone had decided it was the perfect place to park for a picnic. But the doors are ajar, and on the ground, just outside the vans and the SUVs, in the clear sunlight, lie the bloodied bodies of several victims. They look like they never stood a chance. Of course, they never did!

Unarmed women was sent by a candidate who desire to contest the governorship of Maguindanao in next year's election. He opted not to file it himself to avoid stirring trouble or adding to the political tension, thinking that only a maddened beast or an untouchable could have killed unarmed women, lawyers and journalists in broad daylight. But he was wrong.

The picture shocked many into realization - that the men who did the killing, and the men who ordered it, could only have been either beasts or gods.

The sheer brutality of the mass murder, the gross shamelessness of it, only show the sign of an unreasoning animal or a conscienceless warlord who can break human laws because he is a law unto himself. Shame, shame, shame!

The picture beg for description...I am at loss for word.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is he?

So, People's magazine had chosen the sexiest man for this year, and it's none other than - Johnny Depp.

I always wonder how they come up with an ultimate winner. It would seem that most of the past winners have been actors/celebrities. I would still argue though that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (a saying, that has been toss around for decade and holds true). Also I believe that there are many who deserve a fair shot at the title.

Since I will never likely meet all the men in the planet to assess their sexiness, and also because sexiness is very subjective, let me just write then what makes a man sexy in my book.

- A man who is sure of himself without the arrogance is sexy.
- A loving person who doesn't have qualms expressing his feelings and know how to love a woman including her faults, fears and failures.
- A good look that exudes from the inside out.
- A man who knows that he is not perfect and has faults and owns it.
- Someone who is devoted and loyal.

Short lists, but that's all I want from my man. Now if you disagree with me , I have three words for you - Captain Jack Sparrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A shocker.

Every mother and father of a teenager, is terrified of the word, "pregnant". I am no exception. It is amazing how one little word, can change my life in such a big way! It doesn't matter that my teenage child is a boy, it has the same reaction for me.

Even though I know and trust my son completely, that word, that one little word....changes everything for a lifetime, his life specifically. Oh darn, how one brief moment of pleasure, can make or break his future!

No matter how many times we discussed sex with our kids; no matter how often teenage pregnancy was talked about; no matter how much dialogue we had about contraceptives, we would never expect to hear, the word pregnant to come from their mouth. Or at least I hope and pray that I won't hear it.

All of these runs through my mind, in a matter of seconds; long, agonizing seconds.

All my son did was open his mouth and those words came out.

"Mom, I need to talk to you. I want to tell you that Jess is pregnant."

I couldn't breathe, the world stopped. I was dizzy and nauseated.

Yes Tracey, I am officially a grandmother now. My son's girlfriend gave birth to a bouncing baby girl whom they called Akeisha.

I have to let this sink in first....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanks, Tarsem...

My good friend Tarsem, sent me this today. This made me so happy that I just want to talk about him in this post.

He is an Indian journalist in the city of Ludhiana near Delhi, and he had received awards and recognition for his write-ups against corruption in government. Of course, I am aware of the risk involve in his job as I have seen movies and videos of journalist being shot dead, or being threatened to be killed. But like most other journalist, he continue to write in his paper because he enjoys the work.

I have high regards for journalist, because when I watch the news I sometime wonder if a reporter was going too far in his effort to find the truth, like those journalist covering the war in Iraq. My god, they may get shot at in a crossfire! These people have to travel into the war zones to report a unique story and maybe in the process change their professional life. This is a reason why many of them choose the battlefield to get an exciting story.

Tarsem's job may not be as risky, but just the same he faces risk everyday from society. As a journalist, he sometimes have to give his own opinion about things. And since we live in a dishonest world, telling the truth can be a very dangerous thing. He knew that people in his city may not agree with what he have to say and that might pose a threat to his life.

Also, this guy has become too busy in his career that he sometime has no time for his family and friends. Damn, sometimes, he even has to skip a meal just to cover an event! But as he always tells me, it is the duty of the journalist to give us news, information, opinions and events. Without the wonderful but dangerous work that journalist does, life would be poorer for most of us.

That is him above in a news article, doing some undercover work. Oh, he also has a blog and you can check from my blog list its Live Punjab.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Making history.

Yesterday, every Filipino, me included, were glued on the television set to watch our Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao cement his place in boxing history.

Early in the year, he make Oscar De La Hoya surrender during the match, by giving him such a beating that he retired. He followed that by knocking Ricky Hatton stiff in the second round with a left hand that left the Englishman thinking about his mortality. And then yesterday, he put on six more pounds to fight the supposedly bigger and harder punching Cotto.

No fighter had ever won titles in seven different weight classes, and no fighter in recent times has had the kind of year he has. He wrapped it up not only by stopping a game but outclassed his opponent Miguel Cotto 55 seconds into the 12th round of their welterweight title fight.

“Just look out for his left hand,” Cotto’s trainer, told his fighter. “It’s all he’s got.”

Bad advice. Less than a minute into the third round, it was a right hand from our boxer that put Cotto down for the first time. He was up quickly but then late into the fourth round Pacman threw a huge left hand as Cotto was moving forward and dropped him for the second time. He was never the same after that as Pacquiao relentlessly throw punches that sent blood flowing down Cotto’s face, staining his white trunks pink. In fact his wife and young son got up from their ringside seats on the 9th round and left the arena, unable to watch any further.

He is fighting deity...and no one would argue on that. Mabuhay and Pilipino!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not so real reality.

I know AA will bash me for writing about this. But I had watched the Amazing Race the other night, and the show still interest me. Yes, I am aware that reality shows took off like wildfire with the introduction of Survivor. Soon after every television station has its own reality show of sorts! But we all know that the reality of it is, it is not that real.

Even Survivor is a semi–scripted show with a lot of guidelines and boundaries. So those of you with vicious carnal desire to see people being eaten up by tigers or lions and piranhas will just have to wait until someone add some “reality” to “reality tv”.

Our prime time tv is flooded with what they call "reality show". There is Parental Control where parents choose a guy or a girl for their sons and daughters to date because they don’t like her present boyfriend or girlfriend. There is Date your Mom, where the guy date the mothers and in turn she kinda pimp her daughter to win the guy over. There is also a show about an average guy who wants to date a super model. Or women competing to marry a guy whom they thought is rich, but is actually just a construction worker. And many more where I think writers took every variation in the theme of banality. And they are still coming up with asinine show idea – The Beauty and the Geek, The Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, Big Brother, to name a few.

American Idol on the other hand focuses strictly on singing. It calls upon the mass turn out of every shower diva in the country. In one sense, it brings out America's best, but on the other hand, it brings out America's worst. The show emphasizes the fact that, not only are they looking for a good, strong singer and performer, but they are also looking at style and appearance. And with the candidness that defines the show, the bad singers and people who don't fit the image are booted. This actually may be the closest thing to reality that reality TV gets.

But I also noticed that people have had enough of reality show because now there seems to be a continuous stream of game shows. Between Deal or No Deal, 1 vs. 100, and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, prime time game shows are making a comeback!

Are public viewer already tired of the reality show genre? Maybe they have gotten used to reality TV and now the hype is gone, but the writers are still writing as if we still need more. It's like eating our grandmother's special recipe. The first helping was good, but the 10th makes you sick. The ideas are becoming exhausted and frankly are reaching the bottom of the barrel.

But wait...when will the new AI start? Can’t wait to see Ellen D among the judges and hear her funny remarks. I am pretty sure I will watch the next episode of AR on Monday to see who get eliminated.

AA, I am sorry but I'm taking the best seat to watch it. You can go pull your thinning hair, hahaha!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going ga ga over Xmas gifts..

Time flies real fast, no? Only a few days away and its Christmas and that mean another problem for me. Should I put everybody I know in my Christmas shopping list? Even those I just kinda forget about? I mean I don’t really ignore them, but not putting them in my list just make me a bit negligent right? And how about the people I don’t generally talk to outside of the months that end in -ber? I mean, not minding them during Xmas as I do the rest of the year. See where I am going?

I can not sew beautiful crafts or create special items that I can give for Xmas like Tracey, but fortunately there are hundreds of billions of mall and bazaar stalls in Metro Manila and hundreds of billions of stalls mean a gazillion billion items, many of which prominently display what has come to be known as the “humbug gift”.

The top two items that come to mind are:

Bookmarks with Zodiac signs. Ok, help me on this one. If I get two of each signs, then I got 24 people down. I should be safe with that right? Unless the people I have been avoiding are all Taurus in which case there is clearly some karmic force at work in my life and Christmas shopping is probably the least of my worries.

Mugs! I just love this as everbody’s gotta drink, right? If I can get a good discount for bulk purchases, you think I should go for it? Yeah, so what if they have names like Johnny or Mario? I am sure I am bound to know somebody named Johnny or Mario who drinks coffee – if I don’t yet, then I will. I still have 44 days to go to find one.

Of course there are some people who despite the relative anonymity in my life still deserve a personal touch. Cases like this I think requires a teddy bear. With those deep little soulful eyes, I think a teddy bear will always make somebody go “awww” even if they already have loads of teddy bears that made them go “awww”. Whad ‘ya think?

And thank goodness for bars of soap and candles – and the fact that they populate almost every single commercial enterprise in all mankind. Small, simple and when it comes right down to it, practical. Hey, everybody needs soap. Yes, even if the bar of soap got snack food like oatmeal and granola in it. It is still soap and is good for cleaning things!

The candles though I’m not so sure. I try to think what their purpose could be outside of the odd blackout, or romantic evening now and then, but I do still think they make nice gifts. Despite the fact that they’re next to useless, they are very pretty.

Hmmm... that should be enough to cover most anybody. But there is still a single safest Xmas gift that I can think of, whether I am in speaking term with the person or not – “Our Daily Bread”. This little booklet contains “food for thought” something many people suddenly start hankering for around this time of the year. And even if they’re not, I am sure nobody will ever bash me for sharing biblical wisdom on Christmas…even agnostics and atheist won’t take it too badly. Only a devout non-Christians are going to think me a tad insensitive.

Now, aren't you glad you are not in my Xmas shopping list?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let us rally behind her.

A comment on my previous post about gang rape had touch a very sensitive chord. First, because I realized that such a crime can happen to anyone, even to well behaved girls. And second, because she is a friend.

From her narration, I could surmised that rape is a crime that often victimize its survivors twice: first in the perpetration of the crime, and second in the resulting investigation.

We all know that when a person is mugged or robbed, he or she usually doesn't think twice about going to the police to report the crime and try to exact justice upon the perpetrator. However, victims of rape are often hesitant to report the crime, because of the very personal nature of it, and because of the unfortunate societal trend of blaming the victim, hence rape victims feel as if reporting the crime will bring more torment than closure.

Why is it that if a man is drunk at a party and, as a result of his inebriation, his wallet was stolen or is taken advantage in another way, his drunk state in no way excuses the perpetrator's behavior? However, a woman's inebriation in a rape case (even when her drink was laced, as my commenter had stated) is often brought in as evidence to make the rapist's behavior seem less atrocious. Just imagine having to go through the experience of being raped and then go through a trial where she is assigned responsibility for the crime is an unfortunate truth for survivors of rape. No wonder women have their reluctance to report the crime.

But as my friend had related in her comment, she had transformed from a fairly pitiful victim to a woman who took control of her destiny and life. Of course, the initial transformation took years and was and is at times a very painful journey. But she is sharing her story with other victims by giving them counseling and support and thereby she is getting stronger. She had put all her strength and hope into returning to the person she had worked so hard to become.

The charity org. that she works for though is in need of new funding. the name of the organization is SRASACS which stands for Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counseling Service. She will be very happy to give you more information about this if you are interested.

In parting this is what she said:

"So I guess what im trying to say is that the charity works on empowering women who have been badly let down by everyone. Society failed them in order for the attack to happen then judicial systems failed them by not gaining custodial sentences for the perpetrators and then again for not having adequate support facilities available as our charity is only a small one."

"Also if you do write about it try to spread the word about it being a rape survivor and not a rape victim as these girls are strong girls they have fought back against flashbacks and anger and shame and come through it, whereas a victim would sit and not deal with it in some respects. The girls who generally go through the process are empowered and really feel like they are survivors if you know what I mean. Maybe not all the time and you do occasionally have the odd rocky moment but they and I survived it!"

Darn ...if we could only give her a group hug, no?

Proximity award.

Joey and Rattles bestowed a Proximity Award upon me. I love things like this, not for any attention they might bring but because someone out there took the time to think of me. It uplifts the soul. Thank you both, J and K.

This award creators say:
Blogs who receive this award are 'exceedingly charming'. This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

“Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award. According to the rules, you must mention eight more bloggers with whom you wish to share this.

The blogging community is a close-knit one. Even if at times some of us are too busy with other things or have our moments of laziness to write a [post, there is a quiet sense of family within. And when we do catch up with each other it is as if hardly any time has passed at all.

I want to pass the award to:

Sid - for all sorts of things. But more importantly for being “batman” to me and my family. He is our real life hero and I will stay indebted to him for the rest of my life. He also writes from the heart and his blog can be very funny and sentimental. Sid does a fabulous job of responding and interacting with her commenters too. Good stuff.

Tracey - she was the first to recognize my blog and follow it and I found so many of you through her. I have loved her postings about her home, family and craft. And I had shared with her things I have not shared even with my real life buddies.

Fiona – for her incredibly daily post about animals making us aware of how much parallel our life is with these creatures. And her site has no shortage of thought provoking posts.

Kirst - I consider this mom one of my cyber BFF. Her site is hugely informative, and I think what she's doing is immeasurably helpful for those seeking information about urostomy and ileal infections. Her blog is more personal, rather than editorial and thats what makes her endearing because she fights a good fight for all the good causes.

Mimi – another smart earthy American mom who offers wonderful examples of natural living and natural parenting practice. She’s such a remarkable woman and she draws you into her world.

Ray - my God, where would I be without her insanely funny comments? Visit his blog and check out what he is passionate about. I say no more.

Joey and Rattle - they have the first nod even when both already got this award. Both young and in their prime but brittle asthma and chronic pain had made living a struggle for them. Yet that doesn’t stop them from sharing their thoughts, their families, their hopes and their dreams. And in a way, they inspire me more than they ever know.

There's my eight, I wish I can add more as everyone whom I followed and who come to read my post deserve this award. We all defy distance and our friendship thrive in near proximity.

It’s a pleasure meeting you guys and you are all dear friends!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teen values gone awry.

I have been without net connection for the past days, and yeah, it sucks big time! So I have to hurry writing this because it seems I get the connection only an hour a day...darn!

I was dismayed to hear another teen brutality from the American evening news the other night. This time it’s a teenage girl that was gang raped inside the school campus. But what was even more appalling is the fact that there might be many who may have witnessed the said crime, but instead of calling the police, they took a video of it! For the nth time I had raised the question - What’s happening to our youth?!

This is very disturbing because to bring life to a world that seems to have taken a path of total self destruction doesn’t seem to appeal anymore. With the behavior of our youths today, there seems no hope for future youth in this day and age. I am honestly curious as to why any sane adult would consciously decide to bring an innocent life into this mess of a world!

My telescopic view of the world today consisted of estranged teenagers whose own parents are battling drug or alcohol abuse, physical abuse, divorce, and who has little or no coping skills to manage their own life. I see a vicious cycle spiraling out of control contributing to gang violence, increased sexually active teens, drug abuse and erosion of moral.

The truth is we live in a world that thrives on power and money. Time equals money, money equals time. No wonder our society is pressured to live life in the fast lane whereby priorities that used to be relational (family, friends, and church) have been traded in to meet materialistic needs instead. And with the increased value on time and money, we see a decrease in family commitment and family values. The very reason why we see our youth of today show more defiance to authority and assert self independence at earlier ages.

But I don’t lose hope, as I have seen how Amy and Steven are bringing up their kids. Kudos for Tracey for having brought up responsible children. So are Jen, Mimi, Jenni, Jann, Joey and Darla, and even Kirst! And I am sure there are a lot more good parents out there. Although it is impossible to control what the rest of society is doing, as parents they have taken initiative to take responsibility of teaching values that prioritize family and community. But more importantly they teach it by modeling what these values look like.

Yes, if we want our children to value caring for others, for standing up for oneself in the midst of peer pressure or to value him or herself, as parents we need to have the same priorities. In other words we have to practice being helpful to others by giving up that party to help a neighbor move in, or trade in the season football tickets to watch our children school play. We need to show that our children are our priority, not just by paying them off, but by being there for them.

Although as parents we can not control outside influences, we can at least control our availability. And although we can not control the values our society may portray, we can control how we portray our own value. Not only are we securing our children we are also illustrating a value that they will hopefully incorporate in their own lives.

Yes, there is hope...if only parents will take action.


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