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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Risky business

There was heavy rain last night but I really didn’t see the heavy downpour since it rained while I was attending my prayer support group. When I went out, it was drizzling (just a bit) but the temperature was real nice and the surroundings seemed bright and clean, like all the dirts have been washed out! Everything was wet from the rain yet the fountain in Liwasang Bonifacio was strongly sprouting water to the sky which would gracefully dive back to earth. Unlike other nights I would pass there, nobody was sitting around the fountain and I imagined that probably like me the fountain felt good to be alone and was rejoicing. She was singing loudly interrupted since there was no background music playing on the plaza that night. She was also dancing! Dancing to her own melody! The place was all hers and I let her be…

Time for me to go my way anyway…

So I walked and saw the main road full of people. It was late but there were still a lot of people waiting for their ride home but there were no rides. Guess the heavy downfall flooded several streets.

The empty buses coming our way were headed on different direction, the few taxis that passed through were taken, all the other public transportations were full! It would have been nice to walk but somehow I did not feel like walking anymore. I was just there waiting for a ride settled that it would take a long long while to get one (probably when all the others have taken their own ride). Finally, a bus that was headed for another direction decided to travel along my route, I figured that at least I would be moving towards my direction so I got in too hoping that it would be easier to get a ride on the next stop. The conductor mentioned that it was really heavy traffic on their line (Legarda to Nagtahan) and would take an alternate route along Espana St. (up to Araneta Ave). I was smiling, I was in luck! That’s along my route and it will be easier to take a ride there since no flooding in Quezon City… but just along Lacson St. the driver noted that traffic was not moving anymore and decided that it would probably be better to turn right immediately for Nagtahan. Ahh. Tough luck! But still I was nearer than before. I got off and was trying to figure out how to go about. Traffic was definitely not moving, that means the water is really deep. I walked to the other side of the road hoping that maybe the water is not as deep but I saw lots of people walking towards me, barefoot with their pants pulled up… definitely not a good sign.

I saw the police allowed counterflow and I decided to walk to the island hoping to force myself in a jeepney (thought I’d just slump myself in the aisle since the “SABIT” male passengers would rather stay in the door than squat inside the full jeepney) but none would take me in. The FX were full, no bus in sight. I finally decided to scout for a private vehicle I could hitch a ride. Better risk hitching a ride than walk in the flood! So with a deep breath I looked at the faces of the drivers that pass my way. I was the only one in that island (middle of the street) and I just stood there waiting. Finally I saw an SUV (I don’t know the make, was never particular about vehicles except a Volkswagen… that I could easily recognize without committing a mistake) with a kind faced driver. I flagged him. He didn’t open his car immediately and I wondered whether he would let me in or not. Finally he did and asked where I was headed, I said just to get cross the flood would be okay. I looked at him to see if my assessment was right and he did look decent and dignified. He was heading to on another part of Quezon City and said could take me further. We agreed on where I could safely get off. I know it is very risky to be hitching a ride alone but I figured there are so many people on the road anyway plus traffic was heavy so he really had no where else to go but just the same I just stayed very near the door to ensure immediate exit just in case….hehehe.

He said he didn’t immediately open since he (also) assessed me, one can never be sure! Ahh... Mutual thought. One is never really sure so must be careful!

He asked about the past road situation during heavy downpour since it was his first time to be caught up in the area. He was thinking of getting out of the counterflow and head to the side streets but I said flood might be worst there. Actually I was thinking the main road will be safer for me since there are more people :-)! I told him I believe the current route was better. But he was a better driver since on the next intersection he transferred to the correct lane and just as he did, he pointed at the big trucks that we were facing in the counterflow—that meant that the counterflow route will not longer move since vehicles are now facing each other!

The ride after the flooded area was smooth and fast. And just before I got off, he said he hoped that he was able to help even in a small way. Small? It was big help! Even if I came home very late, I had a good safe ride home! That’s really big help. Sometimes taking risk pays off.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The circus came to town

When I went down from my room this morning, I saw the family watching a video already. It was early to be watching something but I saw them glued on screen. They were already dressed up ready to be picked up by my sister for a swimming party to celebrate my sis-in-law's birthday and was watching a video, brought by my sis-in-law's bestfriend, while waiting for her to come.

Anyway, I saw something spectacular that I couldn't stop watching myself. It was a different kind of circus so I got the disc case to check what it was. It was Saltimbanco, and it was no ordinary circus presentation, for they put different fantastic performances in a story. The performers were each telling a story in all their movements! They just did not show of their skills but added life and feelings to it!

The kids have already seen it yesterday but they still enjoyed watching it again and again. And these are no ordinary kids. All of them ranging from almost 2 to 8 are "hyper"! It is hard to keep them still all at the same time. But there they were all silent and awed at the performance. One of them would ask from time to time. "Tita Beth kaya mo 'yan?" (Aunt Beth, can you do that?) and I would say "Kahit na gaano katagal ako magpractice di ko magawa 'yan!" (no matter how long I practice, I couldn't do it!) Oh it would have taken years for them to master their craft but it is not just constant practice, i think their talent is also an inate part of them that they just honed further. Goodness, the youngest performer was just a child and he was really good! Guess his mother, whom he performed with, trained him while he was still in her womb!

It would really be great to see them perform live but I think the ticket would be really high. And I thank the wonders of technology wherein their performance being caught on film/video and simple folks get to appreciate them...

Ohhh, I hear the opening music again I guess the kids decided to watch them again for the nth time. Me thinks I'll join them!!!

Saltimbanco Adagio

Here's the opening number for the circus I watched. Everyone at home was mesmerized!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pinoy Fan

Mama told me tonight of the news that Nora Aunor married a woman in Nevada and indeed I found an item on it in the Inquirer. I thought she just got married now but the marriage was still in 2000 (so that should be old news)! It was just a very short article, guess the superstar lost her shine a long time ago! Hmmm… tell that to my former officemate Felix and am sure he would protest with matching raised eyebrows ;-)

I suddenly remembered how people at home would fight over Nora and Vilma when I was young. They were really big stars then, idolized by a lot of people! I enjoyed them both but I actually liked Vilma better. Got to see a lot of Nora’s movies though since our neighbor, who was in the movies with Nora gave us free movie passes!

Geez! I remember going to a lot of movies (both foreign—that would mean a lot of karate movies and local) when I was young and I only learned the reason why when I was older… hehehe but that’s one story that I don’t think will get written on!

Anyway, I got to see a lot of Vilma movies too courtesy of my aunt who was a Vilmanian. I think I saw the last movie that Vilma Santos and Edgar Mortiz was together. It seemed to be titled Cadena de Amor (or something, it was ages ago!!!) and it was more of a suspense thriller than a love story.

I didn’t get to follow much on the stars after that (am not sure now if it was because our actor neighbor moved or because the Guy and Pip and Vi and Bot love teams were gone). The next generation “Apat na Sikat” love teams didn’t last long and even the onset of the mega star could not match the contest over Guy and Vi (maybe because there was no contest with the megastar then?) I wasn’t really too keen on the other titled stars since I enjoyed the Tito, Vic and Joey better. I was nuts about Iskul Bukol and from time to time would go to Broadcast City to watch Eat Bulaga during summer break. I even accompanied a classmate who joined their acting contest there and lined up to get autographs. I got Joey’s one time but not Vic since he is so aloof! Ah yes, I also got an autograph from Richie d’ Horsie. Why? I don’t know!!! Guess I’m just nuts even then. But honestly, I admired Joey’s sense of humor and wit. He is one very witty person! He is so fast and spontaneous with his jokes and punch lines.

For a long time, I didn’t get to watch Pinoy movies. Oh, I would see them when they are on TV already but there was a time I really liked Aiko Melendez. She was one pretty girl and talented. I watched her series on TV and would invite people at home or an officemate to watch her movie. I even have a photo with her. People in the office would tease me then. But she could not sustain her career. Maybe because she fell in love??? I don’t really know but i though it was a waste.

I’m not much of a fan now… I haven’t gone to a movie theater in a long time and don’t even get to watch DVDs at home. I seldom watch TV on a weekend and would enjoy cartoon better than other shows. I don’t have much control over our TV – it is either mama or the kids so I end up watching what they are watching but only parts and pieces… even stopped watching The Korean telenovela Jumong after seeing some of the scenes in Youtube. I still get updates though on the stars since that’s one topic the girls in my office enjoy talking about over lunch and merienda (snack). I think I was ahead than Malou (who’s always updated) on the news on Nora though.

Me thinks I’ll be hearing some report on it from her tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Here comes the rain

I just looked at the office window and it’s not too dark yet and it doesn’t seem hot also! My officemate Malou (whose ears are always plugged with earphones connected to her portable radio) told us earlier this afternoon that PAG-ASA finally declared that the rainy season is here! Hurray!!!

There have been rainfalls also the past days which lessened the heat from the past days… weeks.

Gosh, the past weeks have really been hot and humid and you try to avoid the sun as much as possible (but can’t!). Several people I know had stroke triggered by the heat. Some of them very unlikely candidate for stroke that it was soooo unexpected that you fear the heat more!

There were times I would not go out of our building at noon. And when going out of our building at noon to hear mass in the church nearby, I try to take cover on the buildings and walk fast (almost run) on open areas. That takes a lot longer than just walk straight through the street to avoid people. Even you’re your umbrella you feel the sun’s rays piercing through your skin! Sometimes I would take a ride even if it is just walking distance to church in another route. There were times that I can’t get a ride because the jeepneys are also full (guess because like me, people try to avoid the sun too and would rather pay than walk in its heat!). It really feels good to be returning to our cool office after being exposed to the heat outside!

It was harder at home at night and weekends since I had no air conditioning in my room. Even if our home is full of big windows, there were times that it was really hot (as in capital H-O-T. HOT!) And there were moments I would stay in my sibling’s air-conditioned room just to get some relief. Of course I couldn’t sleep in their room and still have to go up in my room. In the past I would not really use the electric fan in my room even if it was warm but the past weeks were HOT! Even with the electric fan on, it was bad! Sometimes I would wake up early in the morning wet from perspiration. So the onset of rainy season is really good news!

Of course, I would still wish that the rain pours heavily only while I am in the office or at home and not when out on the street. A little wind would be okay too and I could picture myself singing and dancing in the rain on some occasion, though it would be more of humming, smiling and being playful. Ahh yes, I could probably do so also without an umbrella. That is if it rained real hard (so that the water has cleared the air of pollution) and I am at home. My nephew has asked to bathe in the rain one time and even mama said she’d like to get wet too. We could probably do it all together one time!

And the best time of the rainy season is in the early morning when you are still in bed and you hear the raindrops on the roof coupled with the chirping of the birds which add some more melody! You just lie there in bed, partly awake, snuggling your pillow and with a happy smile on your face!

Ahh rain, don’t be away from us too long! I sure missed you! Stay with us but just be gentle and kind, okay?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Voting right!

I asked my sis-in-law to take this shot from her mobile phone. Okay, that is not a photo of my dead nail! I know it is not really a great photo of my finger but it is a sign that I have exercised my right to vote!

The black mark (actually it is purple) on the nail is the indelible ink placed after you cast your vote. I wasn’t able to wash my finger to lessen mark (it doesn't get washed out easily too) since I had to go to a meeting, actually a cheering practice for a sports fest to be held next week (we sure are cramming!). Anyway, while in the meeting, everyone was showing the mark in her finger. Most of us there were able to vote and didn’t really find it hard to find our corresponding precincts and cast our ballots.

We didn’t find it hard since my youngest sister went to the precinct early and she already got our room number, precinct number and even our assigned number in the list (and now there is our picture on the list too!) The school beside our home is also a voting center but our precinct is still in the old school where we have been voting ever since. It would have been more convenient if our center is just beside our home but the fact that my sister easily found our names in the old school made it alright. It wasn’t really far, we could just walk going there but since mama still finds it hard to walk, we rode our car going there and voted around noon when there were not much voters. There were stairs going to the school but mama managed it well, she really wanted to exercise her vote.

Earlier in our home we were asking each other whom we are going to vote for and it turned out that we really did not share the same candidates – well we had a lot of common candidates but nobody in our household shared the same list. We did not argue about our choices though and just wanted to make sure that we cast our vote.

Now, most people at home are just monitoring the progress of the canvassing on TV. It seems a fairly peaceful election (don't know what will happen next though). My former officemate whose 3 relatives are running for local office in their province told me that vote buying is still rampant in their place but in all my voting life, I have never experienced being paid for my vote. I kept kidding my officemates about showing me the money… how come I’m not getting any money??? Hehehe…

This year though my brother is getting some money on this election…

Nope, he is not selling his vote!

And nope, he is not acting as campaigner, watcher or coordinator for any candidate…

He is actually earning some money selling food, refreshments and cigarettes (we can sell cigarettes by the stick in our country) to voters and other passers by since his shop is just beside the school. Life is hard these days and money is money and so he grabbed the opportunity to earn some this election!

Hope the elected officials bring order and prosperity to our country… lots of opportunity to work or set up businesses, be productive and earn! And definitely hope the blessing trickles (okay not just trickle but pour out heavily) on all Filipinos!

Sometimes from the Carpenters

The carpenters video...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thank You to Mom and other special people

Here's one of my favorite songs from the Carpenters.

Sometimes not often enough
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always center around those we love
And I think about those people who mean so much to me
And for so many years have made me so very happy
And I count the times i have forgotten to say "thank you"
And just how much I love them

I find it so appropriate to thank those people we love and who mean so much to us. And on this special day, special thanks should go to our mothers!

Happy mother's day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Buhay Pinoy

Right now there are 8 kids at my home – 2 seven-year olds, 2 four-year olds, 1 three year old, 2 two-year olds and 1 six months. Five of them are mainstays in my home courtesy of my siblings and the 3 are temporary dwellers, my nieces’ children. You could imagine the riot and chaos in my home. One moment you could hear laughter, the next moment crying and shouting. Arggh… not just from the children but from the oldies (especially mama) who’s patience have been exhausted!!!

But my home is still blessed. It could be chaotic but it could also be happy. But it is not just in my home that I see a lot of children. Everyday on my way to work I see a lot of kids roaming the streets… not just kids but families! So many homeless people! They don’t have food to eat nor home to sleep on yet you see them growing in numbers. On my way home last night I saw a kid got of the jeepney while it was still moving (most probably begged from the people there) and run in the middle of the busy street then headed to a woman who took her hand (am not sure if she was her mother), another boy was walking carelessly drinking what seems to be left over juice from a fast food, while another man came walking with a sack picking garbage...

A lot of times when I see them, I would hear Heber Bartolome’s BUHAY PINOY (Filipino life) playing on my mind. The song is from long ago and I am not even sure if any people my age could remember it (am sure those from younger generation would definitely not know about it since I never heard it being played on the radio) But it seems so appropriate to what I see everyday, I thought I’d post the lyrics here (including my English translation)

Nang ako ay isilang (when I was born)
At magdilat na ang mga mata (and opened my eyes)
Ako’y agad sinalubong (I was immediately faced)
Ng mga problema (with lots of problems)

Kahit saan araw araw (everywhere, everyday)
Kung ang mundo’y pagmamasdan (if you look at the world)
Punong puno ng mga tao (There’s just so many people)
Lagi na lang may kaguluhan (and there’s always trouble)

Tingnan n’yo sa bangketa (look at the sidewalks)
Pulubi ay naghilera (the beggars lined)
Mga kamay laging nakasahod (their hands outstretched)
Doon sila natutulog (and they sleep there)

Ako’y mayroong kaibigan (I have a friend)
Siya ay hindi nakapag-aral (who wasn’t able to go to school)
At dahil sa kanyang kahirapan (and because of his poverty)
Siya’y napilitang magnakaw (he was forced to steal)

Sa umaga pagkagising (when he wakes up in the morning)
Wala palang makakain (there’s no food to eat)
Asawa ay kanyang aawayin (he’ll quarrel with his wife)
Mga anak sisisihin (then blame the children)

Ay! Kay raming mga tao (Oh! So many people)
Punung puno na ang mundo (the world is so full)
Problema’y dumarami (the problems multiply)
Sana’y isipin mo (I hope you think about it)
Isipin mo (think about it)
Sana’y isipin mo (I hope you think about it)
Isipin mo (think about it)

Na mayron pang pag-asa (that there is still hope)
Isipin mo, Isipin mo!!! (think about it)

Heber is a story teller that somehow that song got etched in my mind. I had a songbook before with its lyrics and chords and I remember singing it while playing the guitar. I forgot the chords a long time ago but the song would still be there in my mind occasionally (sometimes I would even remember just parts of the song only) especially when I see the street children. Sometimes I can't help but wonder why so many responsible couples could not have children while those who have nothing to give (not only for the basic needs but love and affection as well) could have so many.

I don't know what can be done about poverty nor how to manage our population with our resources…

All I can do is think about it (can’t help thinking about it if you see it everyday) and like Heber “think” that there is still hope…

Yeah…Hope that a good solution comes soon…

Ps. the lyrics i posted are not complete. I asked my sis-in-law to look for the music but all she found was this low resolution sample:

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Yesterday we had a joint fellowship and the other household head asked that we do an “honoring” of those present who are celebrating the birthdays this month. We all asked what it was and she said simply that we tell about the good things we like or noted on the person and then we also tell our wishes for them.

Not all the people know each other that well but we nevertheless gave honor and wishes for the celebrants (there were 4 of them) and I was observing their reactions. I noted that although all the honor and well wishes were gracefully accepted by each one, the once that really touched the persons were those given by people who know them well especially on how they have overcomed or are overcoming their struggles. For most it was an affirmation that they are doing good so far (especially for those who were doubting their efforts since some people that surrounds them doesn’t seem to appreciate these efforts) and such honor or praise encourages them further.

I don’t know how but somehow they also started praising me, appreciating my efforts for the group. I should really feel happy but I don’t know… oftentimes I am not comfortable getting praise for my efforts since it makes me conscious of my act and it somehow diminish the joy. When I do something because I feel the need to do it or I enjoy doing it, I don’t like people verbalizing their appreciation because somehow I become aware of their comment that when I do the same thing or does something even better I would wonder if I’m doing it to get attention or not so that the joy of an act get diminished.

But thinking further, I realized that there are lots of occasions too when I would want appreciation for my acts. Not really for the person to tell me I’m doing well but that my act somehow bears fruit on the other person…

I also realized that I have my own praise mechanism for work or other competitive endeavors :-) … if I know (believe) that my idea or my act is the source of a good project or program for implementation, no matter who takes credit, deep inside I know I did well and I would tell myself “Hey, you’re good!”. What can I say, I can be egotistical too! Hehehe…

Anyway, from our fellowship yesterday, I realized that sincere praising could really help a lot in affirming a person. But I also realized that there are several other ways of honoring someone. The mere act of respecting their person, of valuing the time and resources, of being attentive, or being “present” to the person in whatever way are also ways of honoring.

People take differently to your ways, and your efforts are appreciated when you find the right way (the way they like) of honoring them.

It is good to give and receive honor!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Back to school?

I saw the movie Back to School a long time ago. It is a story of an old rich businessman who went back to school. I could no longer remember the details except that it was one funny movie, kinda loud movie but funny nevertheless.

It made me associate the movie somehow with papa who went back to school to finish college when he was in his forties.

He actually started out with Civil Engineering when he was young but has to stop since he got married then went abroad to work. My father loved books and learning and over the years took a lot of short courses and seminars mostly on self improvements but after taking a short Business Management Program, he really felt the need to go back to the University to get a degree and he did. It was a special undergrad management course designed for working people like him. At the time of their graduation, I remember that they all got lots of cheers from the other graduates and guests. There they were a bunch of old people (I call them old at that time...he was about my age now but I don't really like to call myself old now...hehehe) and people thought that they were already graduate students (either masteral or doctorate degrees) but when they were asked to stand up to be presented as the graduates of Business Administration major in Management, the house went wild! And they liked it too, they were all happy to get their diplomas!

I could understand why he wanted to get a degree but I did not expect that he would love school too much and continue with a masteral then a doctorate. I kept thinking why he has to go back when he already knows too much!

Such view made me decide that I would not go back to school and take up an MBA after graduation. To my mind, an MBA is just the same stuff!

So I have not been to school in a long long time. Oh the quest for knowledge is always there but I get it from many informal sources including the net which is a treasury of knowledge!

But that's about to change because today, I finally enrolled in a university for a masteral (not an MBA though) and I am going to start my classes comes June!!! :-)

But I am not really going back to the school campus.

I would not be commuting to the University everyday to meet my professors and classmates nor would I stop working for school. Instead, I'll be studying in the comfort of my home most of the time and interact with fellow students and professors virtually. But even if it is not really a traditional school, I'm really looking forward to it! Geez, I'm excited to start and look forward to my first semester of institutional learning! And I am excited to take my first examination too, I haven't taken an examination in a long time and wonder how I will do! and most of all I am excited of the course -- Distance Education!

People at work ask me why? What am I going to do with it? I tell them I'll do a hands on teaching course for my auditors -- they are going to be my guinea pig. And why take the course?

Well, because I like it!

I told earlier in my post that I could not understand why papa had to go back school. Such thought persisted for a long time. But when papa died, I would say that I was glad that he went back to school... because he was happy with it!

And, it is good to do things that make you happy!

I learned that from the school of life!!! ;-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Labor day. No work today! Hurray!!!

I have NO other functions to attend too (well… there are but I opted not to go!) so I decided to go to the HMO’s health clinic for some consult in the afternoon. The clinic was in SM-North Edsa and it was full!!! Yup, the clinic and the mall too!

Everywhere you looked in the mall there were people. Restaurants and fast foods were full and there were even waiting line outside for many of them. The amusement centers were full and noisy. The salons I passed through were full, and the spa establishments had people waiting in the front desk. The kiosks selling different things (from foods to goodies) had patrons. Many other establishments also had customers inside. And in some areas particularly the cinema rows, you could no longer see the people but just their heads. It felt like everybody not just the work force decided to go the mall at the same time!

I’m not really a mall person but somehow the atmosphere there today seemed festive. There were all sorts of people.. young… old… abled… disabled…fashionable folks… simple folks… locals… tourists… NUNS (yup saw lots of them.. some eating some shopping)… families (yeah! Pretty neat to see families malling together)… lovers… friends… in group… alone… all sorts! Guess many people wanted to escape the heat and the mall’s temperature is very inviting plus yesterday was payday and today a holiday so many people switched to their “MALL-MODE.” Hmmm.. do they have to? On the other hand it seems that many Filipinos are always in a mall-mode :-)

Anyway, being there, you’d think we are not a poor country and that many Filipinos have money! Goodness, many of our malls here are lots better than malls in some country even those in the USA and looking at the volume of people today makes you really wonder if Metro Manilans (except me???) are rich afterall. Maybe that is why the president (as in many past Labor days) is not promising any wage increase and instead has passed the decision for any wage hike to the tripartite regional wage boards (that's going to take forever!) and maybe that is also why another mall will open just beside SM-North.

Trinoma (short for TRIangle NOrth MAll? or TRIangle NOrth of MAnila? or TRIangle NOrth of MAkati? am still not sure) just across SM-North will open soon. The building is finished and I’ve already seen their signage and some establishments completed when our FX passed by the area. The mall is partly owned by Ayala so that I hope it is as beautiful as the Greenbelt (I haven't been there in a long time but i really like the landscape there!)

The mall will be directly connected to the MRT station so I think it is going to pull a big market away from SM-North and since there are going to be transport terminals there, it means that commuters won’t be walking too far anymore to get to their ride (the present walk to get a ride is really long!)… Ahh it also means that traffic will be heavier in North Avenue. Good thing I rarely pass that area!

Ahh so many malls but I think I'd still settle with 168 mall in Divisoria... oh not to go malling (am not a shopper) but I do enjoy passing there in the morning when the stalls are just opening and there are few people since it is cool place to walk plus I get to eat veggies and pancit in their food court there :-)