Random thoughts... Happy Thoughts... Sad thoughts... Anything goes!!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You die when it is time to die

The founder of our company died yesterday, he was 80 years old. He was in coma for 6 years before finally giving in to death. Some of the people in the office who heard the news said that “at least nakapagpahinga na rin siya” (at least, he is finally able to rest) some also commented that “pera lang naman ang nagpapahaba ng buhay niya” (it is only money that’s prolonging his life). In a way they are right, sometimes I would also think the same but you can’t really say for certain when a person will die. There are also a lot of rich people that cannot extend their lives no matter how much they are willing to spend! And there are those whose family decided to pull the plug yet recovers or sometimes they don’t really recover but they don’t die either. They continue breathing and as long as you nourish them they breathe… they remain in deep sleep… Their bodies may experience different complications and recovery from these complications yet oftentimes they remain in coma.

When a loved one goes into coma, many family members also go into crisis deciding whether to let go or not. Sometimes you want to let go, your resources are depleted yet something in you prevents you from doing so. Or something else or somebody else intervenes. And when you pray and you don’t really know what to pray for. That God finally take your loved one so that he could be free from his suffering (you somehow feel guilty praying for someone to die even if your intention is good)? Or that he recovers and spend more time with the family (even somehow you know that it would be impossible for him to be active if he does live)? Yet you hope for a miracle!!! Sometimes I don’t know what to pray for so I lift up the person to God and ask Him to do what’s best for everybody.

I used to visit old nuns in a convent before and one of the nuns I visit was comatose. When I am in her room, I read the bible to her, pray with her, talk to her, even sing to her. When I look at her, I am moved with pity since no matter how well she is taken care of, she has become deformed, her eyes blank and her saliva dripping from her lips. The sisters pity her condition too but one of them told me one time that maybe she is doing her purgatory on earth. Yes, maybe she was and I certainly prayed that she immediately experience the joy of heaven when she died because she has already experienced enough suffering here.

Sometimes, when I look at a deformed body of a person in coma, I wonder if he is really in agony. Does he feel the pain? Is it because he’s tired and in pain that his body becomes deformed? Or is it possible that even if he doesn’t look good physically, his mind and spirit are active, that he is aware of things but just could not physically express what’s going on. That he is continuing to live his life in that condition because it is not yet time to die? I wonder who is more in pain, the one in coma or his family that lives with his condition?

Papa went into coma before he died. During those times, I would whisper prayer in his ears and talk with him. Somehow, I believe that even if he does not respond that he could hear me. He recovered for a while and we got to spend some time together before he finally left us. My Lola Bebe was also in a sort of semi-coma state for 2 years. Her eyes were closed most of the time, she doesn't talk, she doesn't move but she can eat. During those times I would constantly talk to her and whisper prayer in her ears especially at night hoping that somehow even if she does not respond that she feels the love of her family. There were moments that I thought she was going to die but she did not... and when I thought that she was going to pull through, that's the time she left us. I think she left because it was finally time to die...

The same goes to our founder, his time has finally come and I hope that he gets to rest in peace!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Toilet humor and some

I went to use a public toilet today. It was not in a place where many people are so that I was alone when I went in. There were two cubicles and I chose the one at the end. I was only half-way through when I heard voices of two women talking as they got in. One of them exclaimed “Ay may lalaki!” (Oh, there’s a man!).

There’s a man in the ladies room??? I stiffened a bit and hurried up. When I got out, I saw the two women outside the door. I looked around to see if there was a man and there was none. The two women were waiting for the person in the cubicle to get out and that was me!!! They got in only after seeing me. They thought I was a man earlier because of my rubber shoes which they saw from the opening below the cubicle. They were deceived by my feet since they are not the normal size for Filipina women plus my rubber shoes are not really feminine rubber shoes (but hey! Those are unisex shoes). I no longer said anything since I was in a hurry then to get my ride but when I was already comfortably seated in the bus, I thought about the incident and other similar incidents.

There are actually a lot of times when women would be surprised to see me come out from one of the cubicles in bathrooms then say “Ay, babae!" (Oh, a girl!) or oftentimes just smile to imply it after really seeing me. This is especially true for cubicles that are just a little above 5 feet in height. There would usually be some reaction (sometimes a gasp) after my head and some part of my body starts to emerge from the cubicle… they would only smile and relax when they see me. I also remembered going inside one of the public toilets in Baguio market a long time ago. I could no longer hold my pee so I decided to get in even if the cubicle height was only up to my chest. My upper body was shown even if I was seated (well almost seated, couldn’t really bear sitting in a wet bowl). Suddenly the cleaning woman started shouting at me in her Ilocano dialect. I didn’t get it much but she was scolding me for squatting! I wasn’t squatting but again, I hurried up. When I got out she laughed and apologized after seeing my height! She thought I was squatting on the bowl since she saw a big portion of myself exposed while in the cubicle earlier.

Well I wasn’t but had I got hold of a material I read a few months back on how to use the bathroom, I would have told her that she shouldn’t stop people from squatting since it could be good for their health. Well informing her would just be for “talks” and probably impart some knowledge for I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable stepping on an elevated toilet bowl and squatting even if it is in my home.

Actually I hate it when I see messy toilet bowls. I don’t really know what goes on in the mind those people that steps on the bowl with their dirty slippers or shoes on. Maybe they read the article? Hehehe… if they did, They probably did not read it completely for there’s actually a way to imitate a squat without really stepping on the bowl. I think that would be a good compromise. As for me, I’m at an advantage! Most of the bowls here are low and I’ve got long legs, so I could easily simulate a squat! Of course, I would still prefer to do my squat exercise as part of my morning exercise!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Early Christmas deal

This afternoon, I noted that most of the girls in my department were not in their table. I asked Marilou who was left where they are and she said they were in the conference room. I realized that they were among the girls chosen as part of the K-26 in our special game comes December. Yup, this early they are already planning for our Head Office Christmas party. It is not going to be held in our office but in one of the venue places in Quezon City and it is not just a simple Christmas party but almost a one-whole day affair since we won’t be reporting anymore to Head Office but directly to where the venue will be!

The game will no longer be a surprise but they have already informed us that it is going to be similar to the Deal or No deal game hosted by Kris Aquino on TV except that the maximum amount will not be Two million Pesos (roughly $40,000) but only One thousand Pesos ($20.00) and there will only be one contestant.

Gosh you’ll say what cheap amount! But there is actually a catch. Whatever the amount the contestant wins, she gets double while the rest of the employees present gets the amount. So, if she wins the jackpot of P1,000.00, she gets P2,000.00 while the rest of us (around 200 employees) gets P1,000.00 each. Pretty good deal I should say and if she does not get the jackpot and wins a much lesser amount the rest of the budget (which is approx. P200,000.00 less the prize given) gets raffled off. Still okay, except winning the jackpot makes everybody happy (except the bosses maybe??? Hehehe.. kidding!)

Actually in the past, it has been the tradition of the company to give money to the staff during Christmas party except that they don’t hand it directly but the budget is changed to crisp new loose bills (P50.00, P20.00, and P10.00 when there was still such bill and not yet a coin) and does a “Pasabog ng pera!” The bills are crumpled and divided into 2 bags held by 2 officers, then they stay in an elevated place while the rest of the personnel position themselves on the floor. Those weak of heart stay on the sides while the rest await the start when these 2 officers starts throwing the money and everybody tries to catch… grab… step…snatch them. Some prefers to stand while others prefer to just bend, even crawl on the floor. It is riot!!!

I stand.. I crawl.. I do whatever it takes to get a share of the money. In the end, everybody runs out of their breath... some with big smiles on their faces (hmmm.. after getting a lot?)… some pouting a bit (maybe they got stepped on…ouch!!!) and everybody tries to make their crumbled bill crisp again while counting them. I think, the thrill of how you got the money is a more fun though than the amount taken. I remember, one time getting really a lot. The officer thought there was no more money in the bag and just threw the bag… I got it and there were still a lot! We were in a hotel then so I decided to give the waiters TIPS!

Anyway, we won’t be having the Pasabog this year. That means no grabbing, stepping, getting on the floor but this time more on cheering and guessing where the jackpot is. I think it is going to be fun too! Plus the K-26 girls who will be holding the attaché cases (yes, they said they were going to provide them) are mostly lean and would sure have a nice outfit except they still haven’t decided on what to wear since they have different preferences but for sure there will be cheering from the boys!

Incidentally, Marilou shared something when the girls came back. She said Ronald, one of our messengers asked why she is not in the conference room. She answered that only the lean ones were taken as k-26 models. And he insisted that she should be there with them! Then impishly added that Carmi (our assigned emcee-Kris Aquino for the game) will be saying “Meal or no Meal!!!”

Okay, that didn’t come from me but from Marilou herself!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ra! Ra! Ra! Rest!!!

Hurray! Tomorrow is end of Ramadan!
I’m no Muslim but the government has declared no work for everybody!
That includes me!!! So NO work tomorrow! Some time to rest! Finally!!!
Been sleeping really late the past few days working on a project (nope not with the company but on my spiritual community). Even if the excitement on working on a project you like is there, somehow your body reacts too! It gets tired! It clamors for sleep…sleep!

Hmmm… the price of getting old??? Actually I sleep easy… even when I was lots younger! Even when working on deadlines in the office, I’d stop when I’m tired since my eyes would surely close eventually… Deadlines can't compete with closing eyes! The past days (rather nights) I've wanted to really just rest and let the project continue the next days but I don't really have the leisure of much next days since I was busy with other things in the office too, so I stayed on... and it somehow felt nice that the completed project was appreciated... But now, I really have to give in and give the eyes more rest!!! I would have done it earlier, except our telephone line has been busted for a few days and it is only now that I get to blog again... hehehe...

Anyway. I'm off of sleep.... zzz ZZZ ZZZ ZZZ

Monday, October 23, 2006


On my way home tonight, I was seated across a young couple. We were seated at the back seat of an FX were seats are facing each other. Anyway, the young couple have gone beyond the sweetness that you expect from teenagers since they were kissing on occasion and hugging and touching lots. Of course I try to look somewhere else but from to time I get to see them. I was thinking at least they have not gone beyond the other couple I’ve seen before that had no qualms on Publicly Displaying their Affection. I smiled at one point while thinking of my earlier ride. It was an afternoon ride and I was seated likewise at the back of the FX. The couple were college students and the girl was even in uniform. Anyway at the start they were just sort of whispering and smelling and being close to each other but I guess their nearness was getting to them. Somewhere near the elliptical road in Quezon City, I guess they could not longer control their emotion that they sort of dived and kissed passionately. I was shocked that I laughed out loud and the woman beside me also did the same! It might have brought them back to their senses that they fixed themselves and eventually decided to go down on the next stop. When they got down, the woman started talking on the morals of young kids and I would just agree with her and during that talk we would still laugh at the couple…

You don’t really know how to react when you come across people that are too showy and Publicly Display their Affection, but I guess it is lots better to see that than to someone Publicly Displaying his Anger.

I also saw a couple quarreling on the street before I got my FX ride. The woman was walking fast crying and when the man caught up with her, he was stopping her from walking, holding her tight and talking to her. He was not shouting but you could sense he was very angry. Of course, I continued my walk and did not stop to see what happened. Only wished they had patched their differences and don’t have to fight on the street longer. Such incident also made me remember another fight I saw on the street. Actually it started on the bus. The middle-aged couple were seated in front of me and they were already discussing when I sat. The discussion started to heat up and it became louder, the woman started to cry and the man was telling her stop and she started to hit him and he got mad and started to hit her hard. Boy was I shocked and don’t know what to do. The woman, I think stopped the bus and she went down. The bus was still in the middle of the road when she got down (it was near Guadalupe) and she went in front of the bus (don’t know if she wanted the bus to hit her!) and the man followed and he did not stop on hitting her. Most of the passengers stood up to see what was going on and nobody really did anything to stop them. I don’t know how long we stayed there watching but the bus finally moved. The incident actually drained me! I know there are lots of people that fight, lots of abusive people but the abuse are mostly confined in the home. Seeing them made me wonder why people get together only to hurt each other.

They were definitely both really hurt from all those fightings but physical pain eventually go away but the pain of the hurtful words and the thought of the public scandal and the lost of respect… those are hard to let go. And I wonder how their life came through after that fight.


We have been telling one of our officemate to have her hair dyed since she already had a lot of white hair showing. Actually she had her hair dyed before but since it has been a while, the white hair have started to return and they’re just on the top layer of her hair while the rest were still dark with streaks of white and gold. However, last Friday when she came by our department she was copper-blonde on the top and still dark with streaks on the lower portion…so that we exclaimed, “Whoa!!! What happened???” The dye had a different effect on the white hair and rest of her hair and she started to feel bad…

This morning when I saw her in the wash room, she looked better. She said she just had her hair trimmed and no additional fixing was done. But by the looks of it she definitely had her dye fixed! She’s now a partial blonde with streaks. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter whether it was just a trim or a re-dye. Important thing is that she now looks better and she’s happy!

I’ve never had my hair colored or dyed but I have natural reddish-brown streaks on my dark brown hair. Hairdressers would usually wonder and ask me if I had my hair dyed or highlighted. I’d comment that the streaks are courtesy of the SUN! The streaks though never change place, they are always on the same location no matter how many times I have my hair trimmed. So it probably is not just the SUN but also the genes??? Maybe one of my ancestors had red hair and nature just decided to give me a streak?

Some have asked me to dye but I don’t want to. One even offered to give me gold-streaks for free but I just smiled and said No thanks! They say that your hair turns white faster once you started dyeing. I’m too lazy too to do frequent dyeing and I’m too scared of coming out NOT with streaks but freaked!!! Guess I am on the conservative side plus I don’t really want to turn blondie!!! Goodness, I could never picture myself as a blonde… hmmm… actually I don’t want to picture myself as a blonde!!!

Well don’t want to be blondie but I know that eventually I’m going to be a whitie!!! It is not that soon yet since the whites are still hiding underneath but you see them when you look closer the inner stands. And what’s my alternative now that I’m starting to have white hair? Definitely not a dye! But I’ve got to learn how to encourage my young nieces and nephews to master the art of pulling gently those white hairs! And while they still have not mastered the art, then I have to sweet-talk the other girls at home to do it. Hmmm… actually asked them to do it before and it feels quite restful you wish they have more time to do it so I could doze off and rest longer… I sure need it!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Finding my solemate!

Weng has offered me to get an HSBC red mastercard so she and I could avail of their member-get-member promo of waiver of annual membership plus P1,600.00 (approx, $32.00) worth of gift voucher from Janilyn shoes. I don’t need more credit card but Weng could be persistent! “Nothing to lose, you might like it or you only use it a few times and you don’t have to renew it next year,” she says. So I finally conceded and submitted the form plus a billing statement of another card. The red card has arrived and my purchase of more than P500.00 already allows me to use my voucher. Now, big question is “will I be able to find my perfect solemate in their store?”

It is funny, I work in a footwear company but I can’t find suitable ladies’ shoes from our store. My feet, pretty as they are (hehehe, what can I say, I’m biased!!!) goes beyond the size we have in our store. Even in other shoe stores, I am left with few options and oftentimes have to pay a little more (hmmm sometimes even a “bigger” more) than the regular sizes. Good thing I am quite comfortable using my rubber shoes and old “comfy” flat shoes in the office since it takes time for me to be able to find shoes I like! That’s the downside of not having the same size as regular girls.

Sometimes though, things perceived as a disadvantage can come handy. It certainly became a Plus point in obtaining a visa. Nope not another visa credit card but a tourist visa to the US.

I applied for a US visa a month after 9/11 and got a schedule for an interview 2 months after, that was December, 2001. I have never applied for a US visa before and was a bit scared of being denied. Anyway on the day of the interview, I came early and there were lots of people in the embassy. It was a series of lines (long lines I might say) and lots of waiting. First, outside the embassy then you go together with other applicants in one covered section inside the compound and submit your form (you are always called by batch). Then they tell you to go in another gate and you submit the other requirements in another window before giving some back to you and finally you go to the interview room and wait for your name to be called.

It was a long wait and you get to see the other applicants being called, many leaving the window with tears or angry. Of course, I was looking at the different consuls, trying to figure out who are NICE and who are TERROR. Some asks for a lot of documents. The end lane seems to process fast but I heard those were for seamen. I was hoping to be called by a NICE consul.

Finally my name was called together with others and we were to form a line to the consul’s window. Uh oh, she was not in the list of my nice consuls. I was the last in our batch and the 2 or 3 ladies ahead of me left teary eyed. I did not want to come to the window immediately since I could feel my heart beating fast so I waited for her to call me! She was a big woman! She asked what my business was in going to the US, I told her I was going to visit my aunt and we were going on a tour (that’s what I wrote in my form) then I added I’m also going to buy shoes! She looked at me and smiled and said she also find it hard to buy shoes!!! She asked how I was going to pay for my trip and I said in dollars and she asked for my bank account. I pushed my passbook in the window but she did not even look at it, she just said, enjoy your trip! And that’s it, I got approved!

I visited the US around this time 4 years ago. But even there, I found it hard to find shoes I really really liked! Oh I was able to buy shoes alright but still not a nice ladies’ shoes that fits me perfectly!

Maybe when I use my gift voucher, I get a right fit? Well certainly hope so and crossing my fingers! My toe fingers as well if that would make it more effective! ;-)

Eyes See!

My eyes have been bothering me so finally had them checked. The eye doctor actually scolded me for not wearing my glasses. I am myopic (near sighted) and don’t need glasses for reading nor working since most of the stuff I need for work are within my range. I get bothered putting my glasses to see things from afar then removing them once I have to resume working since my eyes have to adjust before I could see near objects clearly again plus things (and people too) seems smaller when I wear my glasses… now I don’t like it since it makes me feel MORE taller J! So I would only wear my glasses when I know that I HAVE to see things clearly from a distance for a long time! Actually I wasn’t really looking for a new prescription glasses, I just wanted to know if there was something else that’s wrong with my eyes since I had a bad fall early this year and the right side of my face (forehead and eye) was hit hard and it is my right eye that’s bothering me. And even if I got scolded, I felt better since there’s nothing else that’s wrong except I’m getting older and near objects are not as clear as before plus my eyes’ grades are uneven so my working eye (that’s the right eye which is the better eye) gets burdened for working double time!

Vision is one sense that is important for me. I easily get bothered when something obstructs my view and I don’t get to see things. Even if I don’t see things clearly from afar, I like looking at things and I don’t know how I would survive without vision! Of course even with blindness, one would always survive even excel if one wants to just like Helen Keller and our own Roselle Ambubuyog. Still I wouldn’t want to be blind!

I remember Kenneth, from a Fall Foliage trip I joined when I was in the US. He was BLIND yet he joined the tour. Isn’t it curious for a blind man to be joining a tour? Actually he wasn’t blind all his life and have already seen the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee before. The tour was his gift to his wife for their wedding anniversary since he wanted her to see the beautiful sights he has seen before!

They were in another bus but our tour guide would frequently talk about them. I finally was able to talk with them on our stop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee which was a colorful and picturesque village. I asked how they found the trip so far and Kenneth mentioned that they were really enjoying it. He also commented that Gatlinburg has not changed much but that there were more people and more activities going on now. I smiled as I realized how he was seeing things from his wife’s eyes! She was most likely describing the place with love in her heart and that made the view even better! I got a chance to see them again in another stop where we had our lunch. Forgot the name of place already but after lunch, he and his wife Mary (though she told me her second name was also Beth like myself) entertained us with a song. Mary played the piano while Kenneth sang. He had a good voice and he sang his own composition which was about his life being blind. What struck me was the part that says that when he finally sees again the first face he’ll see will be that of Jesus. I cried listening to his song.

I'm lucky I have my eyes to see things around me. Geez... I would never want to be physically blind but more so I would never want the eyes of my heart to be blind and NOT see the work of God in everything!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Life's deal

Yesterday there was a commotion in the office since one of the girls mentioned that a former officemate’s ex-husband was a contestant in a game show on TV. There were mixed reactions but most asked about how he looks and she said Pangit (ugly)! Hehehe.. of course she was biased since we liked our officemate and felt bad on what happened to her. Her husband left them just a few months after she gave birth and she had a difficult pregnancy and even took an early leave from the office. Then after a couple more months, he filed for an annulment!

Nope, it was not infidelity on her part, she was crazy about him and her world revolved around him but it was more his issues. A new girl??? Well I could not tell what really went on his mind since I haven’t talked with him but I saw what happened to my officemate during those times and she was in so much pain! She also watched the game show by the way and I am sure she still felt hurt seeing the new wife on TV.

We never really expected the annulment since she was really in love with him. Gosh, he was a smart dresser but not really goodlooking while she was one beautiful woman… reserved and simple Filipina but beautiful and she was so proud of him and really crazy for him. She would laugh at his jokes even if sometimes they are not that funny! All the things that would come from her lips are praises of her husband. She thought of him to be the best and said that she would not know what to do without him. He was like a god—all knowing while she was a simple soul with not much talent and resources of her own (well, that’s the way she saw things).

They had a long and nasty and costly annulment! Early on I asked her why she would fight the annulment. I asked her if she think her husband would come back if he doesn’t get annulled. She wanted to fight because she believed in the “till death to us part” of marriage. Even after getting the annulment notice she was giving in to his demands hoping for a possible reconciliation. Yet he pushed on! She said she cannot accept that he would put her at fault in paper when he admitted to her he was at fault! She was thinking of what her children would say if she did not fight! So she fought, she had little resources so she asked help from her aunt and they spent a lot. I told her it was futile to fight and should concentrate instead on the effects on the children. It is never good for children to feel bitterness. But I guess when you are hurt, you do the things that would ease the hurt and that was how she thought it should be. But as I said the proceedings were nasty. His words were hurtful and they did not just inflict pain but bitterness. She was devastated and her performance at work was greatly affected. We told her to accept a different position in our branch. We had to convince the Sales people to get her! It would be a big challenge and it would make her physically and mentally tired leaving very little room for her sorrow. At first she would not accept the offer thinking she could not handle it but in the end she did!

Her new task was really a challenge and it was mentally and physically tiring. She would sometimes call me and talk about it and I would always tell her that she could do it and that it was better being physically tired than emotionally tired! The challenge made her saw her potential and capacity. She realized she was good! She did not have to rely on a husband for support, she could do it!

Her life is different now. She has become her own self, not just a shadow of her husband. She has traveled to some parts of the world and interacted with different people. Is she happy? I hope she is. Though sometimes we would go out and you could still see her hurt. I don’t think she has forgiven him. Hard to forgive when someone has not really sought your forgiveness. But sometimes, that’s the only option you have to be able to let go of the hurt and really move on! Sometimes life’s offer is far from your expectation and you have to make a choice whether to accept life’s deal or not. Whatever you choose will always lead you to something new, it could be better or not but things are just temporary, even winning or losing the game could be temporary because you are always left with more choices after it.

Life is a never ending choices afterall (big choices, small choices… both are choices) and it only stops when you’re dead! And that only goes as far yourself because somehow your choices have an effect on other people too and you hope that the choices you made has made a good difference on other people's lives!

Well, my friend will be making a lot of choices still… it is a long way to go but I hope the choices she has made draws out the best on the people around her (particularly her kids) and that they continue to cheer for her all the way!!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mid-autumn Mooncake Festival

Philippines has only two seasons – the dry and the rainy season but with the weather we have been having lately you can no longer distinguish the season. Rain seems to come when it wants to. Yesterday it poured out just when I got down from my ride and since there is some distance to my home, I really got WET! Soaking wet! But good thing it did not rain tonight since I brought home a lot of goodies! Goodies I won from our Mid-autumn festival mooncake game in the office.

Even if there’s no autumn in the Philippines, our company celebrates the Mid-autumn festival each year. The Chinese Lunar calendar is followed so that the date changes. Last year we had the Mooncake game in September and it is something that we look forward to even if we are not Chinese. Well I’m not Chinese but lots of the big bosses in my office are Fil-Chinese so on mid-autumn, when the moon is on its brightest, our company plays the mooncake game.

It is a dice game and the company gives each department mooncake sets (with inclusive dice and the rule of the game). We also solicit money from our officers and get from our department fund so we have other prizes for the game. Other departments have really big prizes – appliances like DVD players, microwaves, electric fans, ovens and even cellphones and lots of goodies too. Our department on the other hand always prefers grocery items so there’s going to be plenty and everybody would be happy! Well I’m certainly happy and so is my mom and the kids since when I got home it seemed like I went to the grocery store and I didn’t even have to pay for it!!!

Actually it is not just bringing home a lot of winnings but the actual game itself that is fun since we place all prizes in the table (so we could feast on them and eye the prizes we like) and we have this ceramic bowl with the 6 dice that is passed around to each player and there would be cheering and teasing each time a player toss the dice.

One of the girls has a sari-sari (variety) store and they would tease that she’ll have another item for her store and she in turn would answer back by saying the retail price of each good. The new hires are also very excited being the first time and they usually have beginners luck and so brings home lots of stuff. We have a lot of new players this year and they came from different provinces too so that there were also cheering per regions and if someone would not be getting any winning then would try to do some ritual to ward off the bad energy and hopefully win something in the next round.

Today, we really had lots of prizes and plastic bags were not enough to carry the winnings, we had to use cartons and I'm happy to say that mine was heavy!!!

We really had fun today! Hope mid- autumn in our company comes soon again!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On trees!

It has been 4 days since Typhoon Milenyo and the roads have not been cleared of all the fallen trees and other debris. Actually many, particularly those blocking the roads have already been cut and the logs piled together, some are actually neat piles and you wonder what they are going to do with it. It would be a waste to make them just as firewood since some of the trunks are pretty big! I guess the same thought went in the mind of MMDA chair- Bayani Fernando, thats why MMDA has launched the Disenyo Milenyo contest wherein people are encouraged to submit artwork from all the trunks from the trees. I wonder what they’ll come up with?

Anyway, yesterday my brother and I went to south of Metro Manila and the damage there seems greater than in Quezon City. Aside from the 2 large billboards that collapsed-- the one in Estrella St. which was on top of the building and which did not only destroy part of the building and vehicles nearby but also caused loss of a life; and the one in Magallanes which was also one huge square billboard frame (it had four sides forming a square and you somehow wonder why being balanced it would collapse) which hit one side of the flyover --there were more TREES and other structures that fell down and were damaged!

We would slow down a bit each time we would come across a structure or a big tree that had major damage BUT my brother also slowed down at one point to check if his favorite tree was affected. He was really happy to see it standing tall and beautiful and PERFECT (as he calls it) and unscathed, its leaves alive and so green! It was an ACACIA tree along Commonwealth Avenue in an enclosed part (grill fence) owned by the University of the Philippines. There were other acacia trees there too and they did not seem to have incurred major damage as well.

I was thinking about the trees that were uprooted or have been cut and those that remained standing. I was trying to look for a common denominator on what would cause a tree to fall in a typhoon. There were some trees that are so sickly looking and thin that survived and there are those that seemed to be firmly rooted on the ground which looked pretty healthy (well I pass them almost everyday and know how they looked before the typhoon) yet fell, there were even those that have been covered by concrete that cracked the concrete and fell! Even many those that have been trimmed already to prevent accidents were also affected. I concluded that that there would always be something that would have a bigger bearing on the way things are BUT that you can not really say by just appearances.

I’m just glad about my brother's favorite tree being able to survive the typhoon because he is right, it is really a beautiful tree, I'm also glad that somehow despite the many fallen trees, there are still lots of trees that have survived and even remained beautiful and those that have fallen? Well somehow they’ll be put to good use not just on the design contest but also lots of people hoping to get good source or firewood… and those that still have roots, hopefully they grow again and that they become stronger for the next typhoon.