Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Miss...

In this nation where telly (TV) is dominated by footy & cricket shows, 
car and shopping center ads, and my favorite US TV series; 
where TV channels sum up to more than ten but seem to work 
harmoniously with one another -
I MISS Boy Abunda's loud crisp voice saying "susunod" in The Buzz,
I MISS the long shiny glowing hair of famous actresses competing 
to bag the title "Most Beautiful Shampoo Ad",
I MISS, a bit, the local soaps (despite their predictable plots) and remakes 
of movies and foreign shows.
I MISS the squabble of TV networks and their talents, each trying 
to outwit the other.

In this place where various models of cars and beautifully designed 
houses crowd the quiet streets accessorized with pretty flowers -
I MISS the fun in riding the jeepney with its noisy conductor calling out passengers, giving and receiving fares,
I MISS the motorela and piercing sound of motorsikad,
I MISS the simplicity, solitude and comfort of my own house.

In this land where rows of beautifully decorated shops (boutiques) 
are neatly stretched along a very long street; where department stores and grocery shops are on separate buildings -
I MISS Limketkai's Corner Cafe' and all its kakanin and 
all shops within the mall, 
I MISS Ororama's Takuyaki,
I MISS DV Soria's crispy green mangoes and hot peanuts in wood carts,
I MISS Gaisano and SM's Book Sale Shops.

In this country where cheap sumptuous desserts and endless 
supply of fresh fruits and vegetables abound -
I MISS the buko halo of Dear Manok,
I MISS nilung-ag na kamote and saging, suman, and cassava puto
I MISS sweet ripe mangoes, tasty durian, cold buko juice,
I MISS the yell of some boys selling pandesal early in the morning,
I MISS fresh char-grilled fish, kinilaw, native chicken soup
with malungay and ginataang langka!

In this world where unfamiliar faces stare at you wherever you go 
probably because you are a stranger to them; where people are
surprised when you are able to speak English fluently; 
where fellow Filipinos try to make you feel welcome -
I MISS the all too familiar friendly smiles of acquaintances and 
friends you bump into once in a while in the malls,
I MISS the fun, laughter, dine-outs, & window shopping with close friends,
and I TERRIBLY MISS the conversations and warm fellowship with my family.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Lola. Nana. Grandma. Granny. Gramps. Mommy. Mommyla. These are names commonly used to refer to grandmothers. How do you call yours? I call mine NANAY. Everyone in the family calls her Nanay. When we want to tease her, we call her Nanay Sue, short for Susana her real name. When we want to tease her even more, we call her Nanay Susing.

Today is her 91st birthday! Yes! 91st! Amazing isn’t it? And mind you, she is still healthy for her age. She suffers from mild illnesses common to people her age like heavy breathing when she’s over excited or annoyed, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Apart from that, all her systems are working well. Her brain is still super active that she still knows everyone’s birthdays, from her children, grandchildren to her great grandchildren. She still reads and that’s without the aid of eyeglasses. She is updated with current events and watches television soaps that she likes. Her diet? Oh, she’s not the typical granny whose diet is limited. Well, when she was younger she was picky with her food. High-breed chicken was a no-no. Fish was limited to certain kinds. She ate and still eats all kinds of vegetables though. Now, she eats everything because according to her “makaon ka o ‘indi, mamatay ma lang angud” (whether you eat or not, you still die). Yeah, she now eats humba, adobo, lechon, sweets.She chews her food slowly. She's the first to sit on the table and the last to leave.

Grandmothers are usually doting, spoilers, and pampering. Not my Nanay. She is the ultimate disciplinarian of all. Plates had to be spotless after eating. No leftovers. It took several months and various processes before a grain of rice was placed on our plate, she said, so we had to eat without dropping a single grain. Noise wasn’t allowed inside, so we had to run around outside the house. Riding motorela or trisikad to the market was not in her vocabulary. It’s a waste of money to her. We had to walk so we can exercise. When you’re with her in the market, don’t expect to be given lollies or anything you want. “You don’t know what kind of hands made that.”, her reply to our persistent pleas. Afternoon nap was a must but my cousins and I usually escape when she fell asleep. Early morning devotions had to be joined by everyone or you get a long sermon afterwards.

For all these, I am forever grateful to my Nanay. These things helped sculpt me become what I am today. From her, I learned the value of money. I learned the importance of each member of the family. I learned priceless Christian values. I learned how my mom was trained thus cascading her discipline and values to us. The wisdom she shared will be treasured forever..

THANKS NANAY! May you still live to see more great-grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have always loved taking photos. I remember the first camera I had more than a decade ago. Olympus. It was a gift from my father. I would save money just to buy the film and take photos of me and my friends, rush to the printing shop and keep the negatives. In fact, all the negatives are still tightly kept in a chocolate box. :o) I then took pleasure in arranging the pictures in my albums, smiling along the way as I reminisce the events in each photograph.

Then came my Kodak advantix with its key feature - panorama view. Took good stuff with it at Mount Kitanglad and Bohol - all have panoramic views indeed!

Technology evolved so fast. Mobile phones with cameras became very handy. I didn't have to spend much for the printing and there's no need for boxes to store negatives in. 

The era of the digital cameras dawned. Cameras of various brands, features, sizes and prices have stormed the markets. While those who could afford enjoyed their cams, I only kept my desire to have one to myself.

Truly patience delivers sweet fruits. Now that we (my hubby and I) have finally got hold of the cam of our dreams, just imagine the heaps of photos I will be taking. Hence, I am sharing some of the first few shots I have taken. I know I still have a long way to go and much to learn about the cam itself and photography in general but that doesn't bother me. Shots are now unlimited, storage is easy, and scores of elements are waiting to be used and discovered.

Canola Plantation
Umpherston Sinkhole


my hubby at Valley Lake

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Paradigm Shift

“A whole new world...a new fantastic point of view...” are lines that perfectly describe my current status. Career-woman to full time housewife. Outlining lessons to preparing menus. Constant yapping with lots of noisy students to listening to a toddler’s persistent demands and innocent questions. Researching to surfing the net or updating social networks. 360 degrees routine and lifestyle change.

The alarm buzzing at dawn sending me to harried preparations followed by the rush to catch the first trip van has been replaced by still an alarm buzzing but this time at 6 o’clock and a calm getting out of bed and leisurely organizing my husband’s baon for the day. Gone are the days where my tongue gets burned in my haste to drink my coffee or Milo. I now savour and enjoy the sweet aroma of my steaming hot coffee with garlic bread, pancake or scones. I miss pandesal though.

The hustle and bustle of a heavily populated classroom and school is replaced by an environment of deafening silence. Days consumed with checking projects, home reading reports, class discussions, meetings and other activities are over. Now, my days unfold with domestic routines - preparing food for and feeding my toddler, washing dishes, doing the laundry, tidying the room, bathing my son and sending him to his afternoon nap, and preparing dinner. Brief lunch breaks which used to be spent with chitchat or running errands is now used to surf the net, chat with family and friends, upload pictures, write blogs, cross stitch or my favourite of all READ. The few hours in the evening which were divided between attending to my child and my husband, and preparing lessons for the following day are now dedicated to bedtime story reading and conversations with my hubby thereby making me retire to bed earlier than the usual.

Hectic has turned to calm. My frenzied schedule has become stress free! However, I still absolutely greatly miss my busy blossoming career. I miss the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills to students and fellow teachers. I miss the professional exchange of ideas with friends. I miss the chaotic yet fun learning environment of the classroom. I miss putting on my lipstick and wearing high heeled shoes or sandals daily. I miss changing bags that suit the uniform's color. I miss scribbling red inked pen on students' work. I miss all of it but I don’t regret leaving it. I’m not leaving it actually, just putting it on hold for the sake of this newly built little family that I dearly adore. If that career won’t reappear, I will still not regret it because in this newfound vocation I found a different kind of fulfillment. Nothing can compare to the joy of seeing your son's development and growth every minute of the day. Yes, not everyone is given this kind of opportunity. Am I lucky? Certainly not! I am simply BLESSED!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

in awesome wonder

Like my home country, this place is just overflowing with wondrous views that make me realize even more how marvelous our Creator is.