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

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Manila Tour

I just came out of Binondo church after the noon mass when I noted 2 huge yellow jeepneys outside with the Wow Philippines sticker. When I passed near it I noted their website also posted. I walked further going back to the office and I passed by a very fair gentleman in white short sleeve barong and his face was very familiar. I was still trying to figure out who he is when I noted the a number of people coming from Plaza Ruiz with name tags and shell necklace with huge button sticker (Just wasn’t able to read what was on it)… ah they are from the group that rode the tourist jeepneys and it suddenly flashed in my head… Ace Durano, the tourism secretary that was who the man is! They might be having a familiarization tour for a certain tourism project.

I crossed the street going to the plaza and there were still a couple of the people from the tour and I noted another familiar face. I’ve seen him before in front of Binondo church as he was guiding a small bunch of foreign tourists and I was thinking that this time he was guiding a bigger group. Aside from Carlos Celdran, he is one of those people that do a walking tour around Manila and I thought that I’d look him* up on the net when I get back to the office.

It was still a long walk to the office and I was thinking about tourism in Manila. I would love to join one of the walking tours. I’ve been thinking about it but have not really come to joining one (I’m thinking about a lot of things but have not done most also… sigh!!!) Often times also when I’d see foreign tourists inside Binondo church or in front of it with their maps with them I wonder what will be their reaction if I approached them and tell them something about the church or direct them to the place they are trying to figure out in their maps. I would love to talk about Binondo church, I don’t really know its history but I could tell them about the paintings on the church ceiling… that in front, on top of the altar is Saint Michael the archangel, at the 4 corners of the dome are the 4 evangelists with the painting of Jesus during the last supper on the left and on the right is the young Jesus and Joseph as carpenters, then on the middle of the church are the mysteries of the rosary (it only had the 3 mysteries since it was painted before the luminous mysteries were added) and there is also Saint Joseph on the ceiling on choir section which is across the altar.

Then I thought about the maps, I’ve seen a lot of tourists having difficulties when they look over their maps (mostly road maps on booklets) and I kept thinking how nice if they have a colorful (cartoon-like) map that features the tourist destinations around Manila… there’s a lot to see and it will even be neat if the destinations have stickers where the tourist can get and stick on their maps to show that they’ve been there so they could keep it as a souvenir later.

Since the former Mayor Lito Atienza fixed a lot of tourist areas in Manila, for me it has become a very nice city to tour. A jeepney tour would be neat but a walking tour with the guide telling you about history and trivias of the place I think would even be better.

I experienced a guided tour when I went to India and when you hear about the history of the place you visit, it becomes more alive and exciting! You could imagine how it was before with all the people the culture and all its splendor. Manila has a lot of history too and I think a lot will appreciate it when someone guides you through it. Now the guiding is for the experts… and I hope I’d have a chance to join one of them someday… soon!

Ps... i've checked the net for the tourist guide I saw, it believe he was Ivan Man Dy :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The result is out!

The girls were waiting for the CPA board exam to come out, for sure it will come out today… Sonia kept checking the site in her computer and Mitch was nervous… finally she asked permission to leave the office early… and the girls still kept checking the net until one of them shouted and it was official Mitch made it! The girls sent her a text message to break the good news and my boss just had to call her on her celfone to congratulate her. She was already in church saying her thanks!

To think that it was only Monday that she had her final exam and now the result is out in the net… tomorrow it will be in the newspapers.

During my time we had to wait for 6 months for the CPA Board result to come out since our examination was not computerized. There were essays and problem solving where you had to show your solution. We had to use fountain pen and had to write legibly and neatly and if we make mistake we have to cross our answer with a line and write the correct answer on top… well for problem solving and essay at least. I can’t remember now if we had to shade multiple choice questions or encircle them… it was so long time ago!

And for 6 long months we had to continuously pray not just that our answers are correct but that the examiners who would check our papers would be in a good mood when checking our papers so that they have a nice disposition when reading our answers especially for essays questions and our chances for passing is greater.

Now all questions are multiple choices. I am not really sure if that is a better basis for assessment compared to the type of test we had but there has to be some way of filtering out all those examinees. But getting the result early is something really great! And now Mitch can finally relax! She’ll get her license soon… but what is much better is that we’ll surely have a blowout!

Yup! Blowout.. blowout...blowout! Ahhh everybody is already waiting for that and for sure the banner we have for her tomorrow will make her think of giving a big blowout!

So... looking forward to tomorrow! :-)

Ahh not just for the blowout but to really congratulate Mitch "face to face" on her success!

We are all happy for her!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wishing for an interconnected lrt-mrt

The traffic in my normal route to work for the past days have been heavy so I decided to take a taxi and try another route yesterday and I realized that the concrete posts connecting the MRT (Manila Railway Transit) Station in North EDSA to the LRT Station in Monumento are already in place and they are already placing the horizontal beams to connect these posts, pretty soon the MRT and LRT will be connected.

I have heard that there will also be an LRT line along Commonwealth Avenue (the killer highway which is my main street) from San Jose Del Monte Bulacan up to Monumento. If that finally push through it will probably connect with the station in North-EDSA then to LRT-Monumento but I am not really sure. How I wish that the line along Commonwealth Ave (if it finally pushes through) doesn’t head to Monumento but instead proceed to Quezon Boulevard going to either Recto or Central Station in Lawton. Espana St. always gets flooded during rainy season and an elevated railway would really ease the burden of commuters especially those going to the University Belt.

One of the things I love about Hongkong is their interconnected mass transit system (their LRT and train system) that allows you to go almost everywhere just through that system. It is something that I wish for in our country and an implementation of their octopus card for our LRT/MRT would likewise be neat. Instead of holding the ticket-cards and swiping them in the entrance you could have a pre-loaded card in your bag/purse and just pass it through their scanners, you don’t have to get it out of your bag anymore!

I recall that Melbourne also has a good tram and train system but as I can remember they don’t seem to be connected as in the mass transit system in Hongkong. Trams can be taken along the road but you will have to go to the train station separately if you’ll take such ride and if you ride beyond Melbourne could even ride the Puffing Billy (I wonder if that old train it is still working). But the trams in Melbourne, I think are pretty neat, they sort of work on trust system since no one checks if you validate your ticket plus they have a free tram that allows you to see part of the city. It was one of the first rides we took when we went there and it was our van driver who brought us from airport to our hotel there that suggested to us so we get to have a quick look of the district. There is no tram here nor will there ever be one I think but it will be neat to have a ride (tram or monorail) that would take you around Manila and have a glimpse of tourist spots around the city.

Ahh just seeing those concrete posts set my mind to wishful thinking. In time I’m sure it is going to happen just hope it comes soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lahing Pinoy... Ako!

It is the first time I heard Manny Pacquio’s song completely (I have been hearing parts of it especially the refrain but I have not really heard the whole thing till now) and it is a good song. No wonder Manny includes Lito Camo in his fights even if he’s no boxer. He is a good lyricist and composer and he could write songs that could uplift you and make you proud! And so typical of him to add “HOY!” in the song because it is so Filipino!

There are things, events and some people that could sometimes make me wish I was not Filipino, but if I really look deep inside myself… in the values I treasure… in the family and friends that surround me… in the laughter that suddenly bursts inside me amidst difficulties which nurtures my hope and bolsters my courage to hang on… in facing so much difficulties that makes it easy for me to appreciate simple things that come my way… for being grateful for the things that I have…I realize how lucky I am that I am a Filipino!

The song caught my attention and I know I couldn’t sleep without looking it up. So I got the lyrics and tried to translate it…

Lagi kung itataas (I’ll always raise)
Bandila ng Pilipinas (the Filipino flag)
Saan man sulok ng mundo (In every corner of the world)
Iwawagayway ko ito (I will wave it)

Kahit saan kahit kailan (Anywhere, anytime)
Bastat kung para sa bayan (If it’s for the country)
Buhay ko ay ilalaan (I’ll give my life)
Sa lupa kong sinilangan (to the land of my birth)

Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)

Ang lahi ko (that’s my race)
Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)
Ang lahi ko (that’s my race)
Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)
Ang lahi ko(that’s my race)

Sumigaw ang pinoy..HOY!! (The Filipino shouted... HOY!!)
Ang lahat ng pinoy...HOY!! (All the Filipinos… HOY!!)
Ang lahi ng pinoy sa mundo (The Filipino race in the world)

Lagi kung isisigaw (I’ll always shout)
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas (Long live the Philippines)
Ang bayan na pinagmulan (The country I came from)
Kaya ako ay malakas (That is why I’m strong)

Dugong bayani ay taglay (I bear a hero’s blood)
Ang syang nalalalaytay (It is what flows…)
Sa nag aalab kong kamay (in my hands that burns)
Pag sumuntok todo bigay (that hits with all its might)

Repeat Refrain.

Sumigaw ang pinoy..HOY!! (The Filipino shouted... HOY!!)
Ang lahat ng pinoy...HOY!! (All the Filipinos… HOY!!)
Ang lahi ng pinoy sa mundo(The Filipino race in the world)

Repeat Refrain.

Sumigaw ang pinoy..HOY!! (The Filipino shouted... HOY!!)
Ang lahat ng pinoy...HOY!! (All the Filipinos… HOY!!)
Ang lahi ng pinoy sa mundo(The Filipino race in the world)

Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)
Ang lahi ko (that’s my race)
Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)
Ang lahi ko (that’s my race)
Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino (Filipino, Filipino, Filipino)
Ang lahi ko (that’s my race)
Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipinooooo AKO (Filipino, Filipino, I AM Filipino)

Of course also tried to get a video to go along with the song…

Pilipino ang lahi ko and yes I am Proud to be PINOY!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers day

My siblings, sis-in-law, my mother and I were talking over lunch yesterday and our topic went to how good mama was tracking down members of the family. She was proudly discussing the times she was able to track members and in catching them red-handed on their naughtiness and she was actually serious while she was talking about it. We were laughing as she talked about each event marveling at how good she was when I suddenly told that there was one time that she too got tracked… well actually it was more caught on what she said and she could not think of anything that could be held against her…

Then I blurted “saan na ba yung driver ko?” (where’s my driver?) and a big smile came to her lips and she sort of giggled as she told of the occasion. She said that she was just kidding when she said that while she and her co-employees were waiting for their rides after work. And we were laughing with her as we teased her how papa would talk about it wherein he said that mama uttered the word to her friends not knowing that he was at their back then he came near her and whispered “driver pala ha!” (so, I’m your driver, huh!)

Papa has a way of telling things and there was always a good laughter that goes with it. He had this good humor laughter that is contagious and everybody would be rolling on their stomach laughing. Of course he knows it was just a joke but sometimes he would tease mama and she would be sort of embarrassed then smile, then laugh along with it.

We really had a good laugh that day and stayed long in the dining table exchanging stories. We did not have a chance to exchange stories on our celebration of mother’s day today but there were lots of food despite no cooking done at home and we stayed long in the table this time just eating and celebrating the day.

Mothers day! All the moms in the family including my sisters-in-laws (even my niece-mom) were around except for one sister. It would have been lots better if she and her family were also around but there will be lots of other family occasions we’ll celebrate together.

Our cake (birthday cake my nephew says as he sings happy birthday to all mothers) greeted all the mothers at home and the children also made their mother’s day greeting cards. And I, too got a card even if I am only a proxy mama! :-)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thank you Lord

It has been sometime since I came from the province to visit my sick aunt. My uncle would tell me at times that sometimes he gets tired because my aunt does not cooperate for her recovery. She wouldn’t eat even if she needs the nourishment… she would ask for food that are not available and if he gets it for her wouldn’t eat it. I could understand how he feels. I also took care of my sick grandmother for almost two years and it could be difficult. I remember feeling so frustrated when she is sick and I would give her very expensive medicine and she would spit it out. But I asked the Lord to give her more time so I could take care of her and never take her until she feels our love... really feels it from the core of her being! She died in my arms... I still did not want her to die and got used to taking care of her but realized that it was time God took her... She finally felt the love we had for her.

Taking care of my lola was difficult but it was also the most creative part of my life. I remember asking God for the grace for me to be able to take care of her and He did grant me such grace because when I look back I could never imagine how I had the patience and strength to carry on. My sister who is a good caregiver would often times tell me I’m clumsy and rough but during those times I was able to take care of her properly.

I know how my uncle loves my aunt yet I also know how difficult it is to take care of a sick person no matter how you love them. He too needs to ask for the grace to carry on. I guess that’s the only way to be able to have the strength and patience to carry on.

Before I left the province my aunt asked me to give her the lyrics of the song my cousin and I used to sing. It was our favorite song. I would even strum the guitar as we sing it. It was a long time ago and I have not heard the whole song sung even in church. I still sing part of it often but I’ve lost the words to most. I found the song in youtube (It is even longer than waht i remembered of the song) and am posting it here.

Hope to be able to download it also so I could send my aunt and she could listen to it. Hope it helps in her healing…

and the song… it has always have been in my heart. It had carried me through to my trials. And if my cousin hears this too I am sure she’ll be very happy too. She has always been a happy soul despite all her difficulties which have been a lot…. She is also one of the people that inspires me in times of difficulties and I know how my aunt is waiting for her to come home too.

Then we can all sing "Thank you Lord!"

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Round 2

Just round two and the Paquiao-Hatton fight was over!

Actually I wasn’t able to view Manny Pacquiao’s fight live since I was invited to play the guitar for a fiesta mass near our place. It was just held in the chapel and there were not many people as those celebrating the fiesta of their patron are from another place who built the chapel in that neighborhood.

There was going to be a screen in the covered basketball court in our barangay and my brod-in-law was planning to go there but he just stayed home when he learned that my brother was able to get a live video streaming (for free) in the internet as in the last fight of Pacquiao.

I was in the chapel when I heard shouting… just two sets of shouting and I did not know what happened next. The priest stopped his homily for a short while knowing that the shouting came from those people glued on the fight but he caught our attention once more saying that we, the people inside the chapel were the winners. I heard after the mass though that Manny won in just two rounds. Ahh we all asked “that fast?”

I got home around 2:00 pm and the main fight has not even started on TV. My sis-in-law told me about the fight and said that my brother immediately went out of our gate, shouted and jumped when Manny won. Hehehe… I told her, that he was just showing off to the neighbors that he saw the fight ahead! Nobody was in our living room when I came as they were already doing their business. I opened the TV even if I knew who already won. Geez the fight was supposed to be over in less than 6 minutes but it took forever to broadcast that fight on TV! It was almost 3:00 pm when they started showing the fight. So many advertisements!

I was glad that Manny won but it would have been nicer if the fight was longer and I still didn’t know what the outcome would be as I see them slug it off showing off their skills and my heart would go thump… thump… thump…excited… worried on what the outcome would be.

I sure missed that thrill but the joy that Manny once again shared honor for our country was nice and I know of someone else who would have been happy to see the fight… Hmmm… or maybe he too was watching the fight?