Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hello again, my blogging friends! I'm so sorry for being out of the circulation for almost two months. The reason is we started a little business which took almost all my time.

Remember when I was asking you guys what business is better, a transport business or an intenet? We sort of decide on the former but ended up with opening the latter. So now, we already have a place but it's not in full swing yet. We're still waiting for our own power supply meter. However, the Playstation Games are now ongoing.

So I hope you still have time to visit my site once in a while. Promise I'll pop up whenever I'll find time ...

Miss you, my blogging friends...

Monday, July 21, 2008

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Have you ever wondered how moms do everything in so short a time? Have you ever thought of how they manage to prepare the breakfast on the table that waits for everyone when they wake up? Have you ever noticed how clean the house is even when you kids are out to school or just merely lounging around in front of your computers or televisions? Were you ever grateful for the freshly ironed clothes you're wearing? Did you, for one moment, appreciate how easy life is with your mom around?

These have all occupied my time for the past number of days. I was busy doing things around the house that I no longer have time to sit down and do my blogging. Previously, I had some free time to do whatever I want even for just a couple of hours because my helper was regularly coming in. These days, she has been reporting on and off, so instead of waiting for her to do the cleaning and washing, I do them myself. When she decides to come in, there's nothing much to do anymore because I usually do these things early in the morning. I wake up at 5:00 AM and she comes in at 8:00! You can just imagine the work I've put in for the three hours before she comes in for work! My husband wanted me to look for someone else but the truth is, it's hard to find someone you can trust and someone who can take care of my invalid father-in-law. So I still keep her despite the constant absences.

At times like this, a mom can only imagine how her children and her husband might fare in case she leaves them for good. I often wonder if they can manage well. True, they will try to do the things that I may have done but not as good as I did. So whenever my children are free, I let them help me with the chores.

On weekends, I divide the housework between us and I let them watch me cook, patiently teaching them the procedure of cooking good meals. I teach them how to do the laundry (white things go into the washing machine first, light ones next and dark ones last), I tell them what fabric should be hand-washed, what can be folded right after they dry, or what should be ironed first before folding or hanging them in their cabinets. I teach them how to get rid of dust, how to get under the furniture, and where to put things. I teach them to give our four dogs a bath twice a week, what to feed them, and getting them outside after meals.

Yes, they are starting to learn how to do things but whenever our helper is around, they don't attend to the chores. And whenever mom is around too, they just take it for granted that I will do everything that needs to be done. After all, aren't moms superheroes?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Rainbow After the Storm

I'm dragging myself back to blogging today, after days of going around the house and doing whatever comes to my mind. I finished reading three pocketbooks, and spent hours watching shows on cable. Sometimes, I sleep the whole afternoon and lie awake at night. Today, I woke up refreshed and decided to visit my sites. Thank you guys for the regular visits, though I was inactive for quite some time.

Although I still feel lonely for losing Elaine, I feel that God has always been with us. And after the loss, God delivered another gift to us, one that reminds me that life just has to go on.

My husband called me early Sunday morning (that was Father's Day). I felt excitement in his voice, though he tried to sound casual about it. He said he just got a promotion, he is now the manager of their company's new network program. Previously, he was the network administrator but now, a new department has been launched solely for their JD Edward program, and he sits on top of it. I know this didn't come easy for him, he had to attend seminars in different places like Johannesburg, South Africa and more recently, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I am just so happy for him because the truth is, I had been hoping for such a promotion years ago. Honestly, I lost hope because there has never been a Filipino manager in any important department of their company. I think he is the first ever! So I believe that the company truly sees his loyalty and capacity to manage his own department.

The news is like rainbow after the storm in my life. It gives me the strength to move on, it makes me realize that my family is still here, needing me to keep them together. Storms could shake our lives at times when we least expect them, and they could damage us to some extent, but all we really have to remember is that they always pass. All we have to remember, most of all, is that there's a rainbow after a storm.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Yesterday, I had a wake-up call from my nephew, Elaine's brother. She passed away, the doctors tried to revive her when they brought her to the hospital but they failed. She's gone and I feel a vacant spot in my heart for the closest niece that I ever had.

Looking at her, I came to think that perhaps she stopped fighting for her life because she can no longer bear her pain. I was there the day before she died and I witnessed the unbearable pain that she felt during her spasm. I can't help thinking too that maybe, God heard her prayer, because she was asking to end it all.

We will be laying her to rest tomorrow afternoon and it would be the last time that I will be able to see her. I hope she will have the eternal peace and that the rest of us who are left behind, will continue to cherish the memories she has left deep inside each of us.

To my favorite niece and my best friend... Goodbye!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life is full of surprises!

I went to the bakery shop of my sister the other day because I missed eating her dice hopia filled with black mongo. Since my sister got bedridden, her youngest and only son takes over the management of the shop. While eating, we talked about a lot of things, trying to fill in the gaps of family news since we last saw each other. Mostly, we talked about our dogs (they have 11!). My son and my nephew compared notes about buying and selling breed dogs.

Suddenly, my nephew dropped a bombshell when he told me that his older sister, Elaine, who happens to be the closest niece I ever had (because she is only a year older than me), has cancer. The news shocked me because I never thought of her being sick. She has always been healthy, although a bit overweight. He said that she underwent a surgery on her gall bladder last month and they thought everything was fine after the operation. On Mother's Day, while she was having dinner with her children in a restaurant, she had a sudden stomach cramp and started vomiting so they rushed her to the hospital. More tests revealed she had cancer.

I wanted to see her, hug her, and comfort her. But what can one say to a dying person? When a person is sick, you visit and tell her that everything will be alright. But what if she's dying? How can you comfort a person who knows that she has only a few months to live? Would she like me to talk to her about her illness? About death? About religion? About life after death? About her children who will be left behind? Honestly, I don't know what I might even say when I go visit her.

So this morning, I just called her up. I told her that her brother told me she had a surgery and that I just wanted to know how she is now. She said she's fine and she sounded really fine, rather cheerful by the sound of her voice. Perhaps she was faking it, or perhaps she still is in the stage of denying how ill she is. Whether she is putting on a strong front or denying, the fact is, she doesn't want me to talk about it. It's so surprising that at times like this when you want to reach out your hand to comfort her and offer your shoulder to cry on, she chooses to ignore them. One thing left for me to do is pray that if there is indeed a miracle, I want her to have it. After all, God works in mysterious ways.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

College Scholarship

My daughter took the scholarship exam last year for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) dependents. They told us the result would come out last April but it didn't. Finally, they uploaded it on their website last Thursday, May 22. Unfortunately, my daughter did not make it to the top 100. I just recently knew that there will only be a hundred slots for OFW dependents nationwide.

Can you imagine that? There are thousands of overseas foreign workers who are pouring in dollars in remittance to the country and they could only afford a hundred scholars? Call me a sore loser, but I thought that anyone (regardless of how many) could avail of the benefit as long as they pass the exam. Since it is a requirement for those who may want to take the exam to have good grades, I thought all those who qualified and took it and passed, can have the scholarship. But no, since there are only a hundred slots, naturally it follows that only those who are on the top 100 examinees will be taken. It should have been fair is to set a margin, an actual passing average for the test and all those who garnered the average score can avail of the scholarship, no matter how many.

The scholarship program offers PhP30,000.00 per semester for each scholar. This is more than enough to pay for one student's tuition fees alone. This could also cover the books and the allowance. It would have been a big help for us but what can we do? It's the way they run things, and like it or not, we cannot avail of the benefit. Guess I have to stretch my budget again with another child going into college when school opens this year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

just merely rambling...

It's been days since I last peeked into my sites because I was hooked on the DVDs that my eldest and his girlfriend gave me last Mother's Day. They gave me six (!), three korean films and the Dr. House series (1-3).

I finished watching Dr. House and my eyes are bleary. Imagine I was sleeping at 2 in the morning just because I detest the idea of leaving the series midway! Actually, I hate the personality of Dr. House and as the films progressed, I hated him more. I cannot imagine that a jerk like him could really exist in the real world. But, if there is one thing that is good in him, it is his ability to drive on and on until he is able to diagnose the symptoms and heal the patient. His confidence is enormous, his ego is spiteful, but his curiosity is oftentimes the reason for his unrelenting drive. For this, I sort of admire the man his guts.

I am writing about him here because there were lessons learned from my watching the series. In all honesty, I would describe myself as passive, not really the type who knows what she wants and does everything to get what she wants. Sometimes, I want something but if I feel it's out of my grasp, I'd settle for the next best thing. Not really good, right? Well, I guess it's just me. I'm easily satisfied with what I get, what I have, and what I can't have is just that... I can't have them! I get to live without them.

My children are different though, perhaps they get their attitude from their father, my husband. They're all outspoken (which I am not, because I hate saying things that may hurt people), they seem to know what they want to do with their lives, and they work to achieve what they want. I don't want to change them, I like their guts. It's me that need to change, but the change will be very very hard to make because this is just me.

Now I'm really rambling! Pardon me, but I got nothing else to write, just give this menopausal lady a chance to ramble...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Internet Cafe or Transport Business?

My husband wanted me to have a small business of my own, a kind of business that earns daily, something that could augment his income. His advice is to open a small internet cafe or buy one or two passenger-type jeepneys.

A "jeepney" is a vehicle that caters to commuters, duly licensed by the Land Transportation Office. It has a franchise to operate in a certain route, from the city to the suburbs, or from the city to the northern and southern parts of the province. The minimum fare is PhP6.00 for the first five (5) kms. So, the idea here is to rent out your vehicle to drivers who pay the boundary fee of, let's say, PhP700.00 daily, depending on the route and on the kind of vehicle that you rent out. Maintenance cost of repairs and parts are shouldered by the owner. Usually, you have a regular driver and an extra driver for the days when he rests or when he cannot drive. This way, your jeepney can operate daily without a hitch.

While an internet cafe is a place where you rent out computers to users on an hourly basis. Before, when computers were still expensive, the hourly rental is PhP20.00 to PhP25.00, but now that internet cafes are all over the city, the rental goes down to PhP15.00 and some net owners even have promos for PhP10.00/hour. You also have to rent a place, install an airconditioner, perhaps hire a staff to help with the users.The maintenance cost here comprises of the rental, electric bill, water bill (you should have a restroom!), staff's salary, internet access fee, and repairs of computer units.

I'm still undecided on what to choose between these two business ideas. If you were me, which is the better choice - an internet cafe or a transport business?

Human Rights Violations in Somalia

Today, Bloggers Unite asked its members to post something that is relevant to human rights and human rights violations. As I was browsing through the internet, I came upon the Amnesty USA website and I found their press release about the current state of affairs in Somalia. For us who live in the democratic countries, this comes as a shock to us that despite the fact that people now live in civilized ways, acts of savagery still persist in places like Somalia.

My prayers go to its abused citizens with the fervent hope that this would end and peace and order will finally reign.

PRESS RELEASE/http://www.amnestyusa.org
May, 01 2008

Killing of civilians now routine in Somalia

(Nairobi) Amnesty International today released a groundbreaking report revealing the dire human rights and humanitarian crisis facing the people of Somalia.

The report contains first-hand testimony from scores of traumatized survivors of the conflict, exposing the violations and abuses they have suffered at the hands of a complex mix of perpetrators. These perpetrators include Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops on the one hand, and armed groups on the other.

“The people of Somalia are being , raped, killed, tortured; looting is widespread and entire neighbourhoods are being destroyed,” said Michelle Kagari, Africa Programme Deputy Director at Amnesty International, speaking from Nairobi.

Witnesses described to Amnesty International an increasing incidence of Ethiopian troops killing by what is locally termed “slaughtering” or “killing like goats” -- referring to killing by slitting the throat. The victims of these killings are often left lying in pools of blood in the streets until armed fighters, including snipers, move out of the area and relatives can collect their bodies.

In one case, a 15-year-old girl found her father with his throat cut upon returning home from school, after Ethiopian security forces swept through her neighbourhood.

Other cases in the report include:

• Haboon, a 56-year-old woman from Mogadishu, who said her neighbour’s 17-year-old daughter was raped by Ethiopian troops. When her 13 and 14-year-old sons tried to defend their sister, the soldiers beat them and took their eyes out with a bayonet. The mother fled. It is not known what happened to the boys. This girl is in a coma as a result of the injuries she sustained during the attack.

• Qorran, another 56-year-old woman from Mogadishu, described how after her family went to bed, she went out to collect charcoal. While she was out, a rocket propelled grenade was fired at her home, completely destroying it. She said, “When I came back, I couldn’t find my house.” Her husband and sons were all killed in the attack. She told Amnesty International, “If grief is going to kill anyone it’s going to kill me.”

• Guled, aged 32, who said that he saw his neighbours “slaughtered”. He said he saw many men whose throats were slit and whose bodies were left in the street. Some had their testicles cut off. He also saw women being raped. In one incident, his newly-wed neighbour whose husband was not home was raped by over twenty Ethiopian soldiers.

“The testimony we received strongly suggests that war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties to the conflict in Somalia – and no one is being held accountable,” said Kagari.

“The human rights and humanitarian situation in Somalia is growing worse by the day. This report represents the voices of ordinary Somalis, and their plea to the international community to take action to end the attacks against them, including those committed by internationally-supported TFG and Ethiopian forces.”

Security in many parts of Mogadishu is non-existent, and the entire population of Mogadishu bears the scars of having witnessed or experienced egregious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

“There is no safety for civilians, wherever they run. Those fleeing violence in Mogadishu are attacked on the road and those lucky enough to reach a camp or settlement face further violence and dire conditions.”

The Transitional Federal Government, as the recognized government of Somalia, bears the primary responsibility for protecting the human rights of the Somali people. However, the Ethiopian military, which is taking a leading role in backing the TFG, also bears responsibility.

“Attacks on civilians by all parties must stop immediately. Also, the international community must bear its own responsibility for not putting consistent pressure on the TFG or the Ethiopian government to stop their armed forces from committing egregious human rights violations.”

Amnesty International urged that the capacity of the UN Political Office for Somalia be strengthened, and that AMISOM – and any succeeding UN peacekeeping mission – be mandated to protect civilians and include a strong human rights component with the capacity to investigate human rights violations.

The organization also called for the UN arms embargo on Somalia to be strengthened, amongst other recommendations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Question of Choice

As my regular readers already know, my youngest and only daughter has graduated and she's going to college when school opens in June. Even before her graduation, I have been asking her what course she wants to take, but she merely shrugged her shoulders and say she hasn't decided yet. But last week, when enrollment started and her high school friends called her up so they could enroll together, she suddenly decided she'll take up Psychology. The decision was made while she was on her way to a hasty shower!

Weeks of asking and suggesting did nothing for her to make a choice. Her father called to say that it is best for her to take up Industrial Engineering and my eldest son agreed. My second son said that what really fits for her would be Veterinary Medicine because she really loves dogs and cats (she fears anything that creeps!). The third son said she should take up Accountancy and proceed to Law because she has a good analytical mind and she'll surely be a good lawyer. While I suggested that it would be good for her to take up Medical Technology because she came from a science-based high school. She listened but she did not decide.

How could a sixteen-year-old decide what she wants to do with her life? Seriously?

I'm beginning to think that our educational system is just too fast. In other countries, kids start college when they're eighteen, which I think is a good enough age to consider them eligible in matters of choosing their careers. At eighteen, they would have gone through the normal fun-filled teenagers' life.

My sons started college when they were sixteen too. And look at them now! My eldest has not graduated yet because he said he really wants to be a nurse. The second also took up engineering but shifted to Information Technology on his second year. The third again took up engineering but shifted to Accountancy and thinking again to shift to Education, majoring in Special Education. And I'm afraid that my daughter will do the same although she is more mature than her brothers were at her age now. But what can I do? She seems to have made her choice.

I just hope that she has made the right decision.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


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A mother is a pillar of strength,
a light that enlightens the mind,
a heart that beats with love and understanding,
and a rod that straightens the path of life.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Apples of My Eyes

For me, what completes my life is my very loving and responsible husband, and my four children. They may oppose the posting of their picture here but I can't help it, I am proud of them. I just feel so blessed as a mother that I was able to raise them well, and that even at their age now, they have never talked back. I allow them to speak for themselves but they should never raise their voices on me. Even if they're all grown up, they still live by the values that I tried so hard to teach them. And for all these, I feel that God has really blessed me!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Do we get our negative traits from our genes?

The past month was not good for our family, on my side, that is.

Basically, Chinese families here in the Philippines are close-knit, and we put too much emphasis on family ties, keeping the ties strong and each member does not even dare to sever them.

My father was strict regarding respect of elders, we bow down to elders, take their hands and place them on our foreheads to show that we recognize their authority and that we respect them. This has been inculcated in the Filipino tradition as well, although I have observed that nowadays, young people no longer do this. A peck on the cheek is more fashionable.

Sorry, I got carried away. I could ramble about the change in tradition for hours but this is not the topic of my post now. I just want to stress the importance of family ties in relevance to what I am about to say following this long introduction.

I said that the past month was not good for us. First, I was rushed to the hospital for hypertension. Thankfully, it was just my first and it was very mild. Second, my sister-in-law (wife of my eldest brother who has passed away) also had an attack brought about by diabetes. She stayed in the intensive care unit for a week. She's home now, although her speech was affected.

Her attack renewed family disagreements. Her eldest son and the youngest were not speaking to each other for months now. The reason is not so serious but they are both so stubborn and hard-headed and so proud that neither took the first step to patch up their rift. They met in the hospital but stayed away from each other.My sister-in-law wanted them to forgive each other and act like they should, as brothers. And she chose me to mediate between them.

The responsibility falls on me being the older generation in authority. My elder sister, incidentally, is not speaking to her too. The rift between them was about inheritance and it's been awhile that my sister, who is so proud, so hard-headed, and so stubborn, refused to patch up with her and even told me that if and when she dies, she doesn't want my sister-in-law and her family to attend her wake and burial.

So there I was, speaking to my nephews (separately, of course) about renewing their bond as brothers and the importance of family ties. But nothing came up, each of them vehemently maintained that he's right and that the other should ask forgiveness first. So, until now, they're still not speaking to each other and I let them be.
Why? Because I got angry that they did not respect me and I decided not to speak to them anymore! My children told me to forgive them but no way, they disrespected me so they better do the first move and do what I want them to do, then, I'll forgive them.

As you can see, the negative traits that I mentioned run in the family. Even my three sons and only daughter have shown these. In their case, however, they show such traits to their friends, not on each other because I have brought them up respecting each other. Well, I don't know if they will still do, once I'm not around anymore.

Let me ask you, do we get our negative traits from our genes?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The End

Remember what I wrote about in my older posts? I told the story of Mark and Anne.

To recap, Mark went off to Saudi Arabia to work there as an industrial electrician, leaving his wife and two children here in the Philippines, so he could earn more and save more for the future of his kids. Wage of manual labor here is so meager, and even for food alone, it can barely sustain the family. So he chose to work abroad as an overseas foreign worker.

Anne, on the other hand, who also wishes to give the children a better future, chatted online with foreign males and married one, while his common-law (they were not legally married) husband was still abroad.

Now, Mark came home on the second week of April, without a wife to welcome him, and only his children to give him strength and sanity to move on.

I was expecting he'd blow his head off when we went to see the kids at his in-laws' place, but my fear was unfounded. He remained calm as he listened to his in-laws' washing of their hands, telling him how they could not stop Anne from marrying the foreigner; about Anne's determination to uplift her status in life for her children; and about how he could move on by looking for another woman who would stay by him through his ups and downs. Mark took all these in silence, perhaps fearing he might say words that could be out of line.

The children came to stay with him for a week and he showered them with gifts, taking them shopping and eating out. I can see how the kids missed their father, and they were outspoken about their choice, that they'd rather stay with him than join their mother in the States.

I do not condemn what Anne did because I understand that she only wished security for her children. But I cannot help taking sides because I know that Mark is doing everything he can to give them what she wishes for.

In the Cebuano dialect, there is a saying that goes "Bisag saging, basta loving". It means that even if you share a single banana between the two of you, it doesn't matter, as long as you love each other. Guess this isn't true anymore....

Monday, April 21, 2008

Local Hospital Scandal

Have you seen You Tube's "janjan"? I'm sure most of the Filipinos around the world have seen the video. For the sake of readers who are not Filipinos, the video is of an actual operation in the local provincial hospital here in Cebu City, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Janjan is a 39 year-old homosexual who came in for an operation. A body spray canister was lodged inside his anus and an operation was needed. During the operation, a video was taken wherein the doctors performing the operation and the nurses who were assisting, were making fun of the poor guy who was undoubtedly sedated and unaware of the things that went on around him. One of those present inside the operating room got hold of a copy of the video ( it was also said that the video was circulated through mobile phones), and uploaded it to You Tube for fun.

Now, "Janjan" has filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the attending physicians and the nurses. Sad to say, he who placed his life on the hands of these professionals, giving them his total faith, was humiliated and now ridiculed due to their absurd sense of humor.

I am so astounded with these so-called professionals. Just because the guy is a homosexual does not give them the right to forget medical ethics. It's a pity that some people think that homosexuals deserve less respect than normal men and women. Irregardless of sexual inclinations, each and every person deserves respect.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm Back!

After two weeks of rest, I'm back. My blood pressure was irregular, it sometimes accelerates and sometimes it plunges down. I'm feeling so much better today so I decide to check my blogs. My email is sooo full, don't know when I could actually sort all of them. I will try to post in my three blogs this weekend.

I would like to thank my blogger friends who kept on dropping by my blogs...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Goin' Slow

My sons rushed me to the hospital Wednesday night because while I was watching a favorite TV show, I suddenly felt dizzy and everything seemed to spin.

They took my blood pressure in the emergency room and they found out I had hypertension. I just couldn't believe it because I have always been one with a very low BP, 90/60 is normal to me. My BP that moment was 140/85.

So they gave me a tablet which they put under my tongue and made me rest for an hour.
My pressure went down to 120 in ten minutes.

I was allowed to go home after I promised I'll go slow from then on.

Now, I have to take medication daily to control my blood pressure. They tell me I have to take care of my diet as well.

Menopause really sucks, this is all I can say.

Well, I will still continue writing here and reading my favorite blogs but I have to go slow...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Guadalupe Shrine

I promised on my previous post that I will upload some pictures here of the House of Prayers, where my daughter and her class went for a retreat. We had a change of plan though. We had our Way of the Cross in Guadalupe last Good Friday. Here are the pictures.

This is the opening of the cave. Sorry, tourists pose at the entrance when I took the picture.

This picture is taken inside the cave. The image of the Blessed Virgin is at the center and on the left side, below the image is a spring where one gets water to treat their illness.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bad Dream

Yesterday, I woke up crying from a very dreadful dream. It seemed true and I was really sobbing. Old people in my country always say that when you have bad dreams, especially about death, you should tell this dream to people so as to thwart away the evil. I've told everyone in the family and now, I'm going to tell you.

The dream was about my only daughter, the youngest among my four children. She was riding on a passenger jeepney (filipino transportation) on her way to the city. The jeepney had an accident along the highway and she died. Not knowing that she met an accident, we were waiting for her until dinner time and when she didn't come home, we started looking for her but we were not able to find her. The next day, a police officer came and told me the news. I went to the morgue and I saw her there and I cried. This was when I woke up crying.

I called my husband overseas and told him my dream and we agreed not to let her go to their graduation bash which will be held in a beach resort in the neighboring island of Mactan. We just thought we ought to be cautious.

Can anyone tell me the meaning of this dream? What is this really? Is it a premonition or just a part of my unconsious mind?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Holy Week

It's the Holy Week, and for us Catholics, it is an important period to renew our faith. I just came back from picking up my daughter from the House of Prayers, a retreat house in Cebu City which is owned and operated by the Augustinian Recollects. The graduating class stayed there for one day and one night. They had seminars, faith renewal sessions, open forums and recollection. I hope she learned a lot from her stay there.

The House of Prayers is on top of a steep hill. Some cars had to turn off their aircon on their way up. Thank God our car sustained the trip with the aircon on. The view was breathtaking. You can see the whole city below and I could just imagine seeing the city lights at night. The breeze was cool although the sun was shining brightly.

I've asked permission from the sister there to go back with the whole family on Good Friday, to have the Way of the Cross there. There's a developed calvary downhill and it would be a good place to make a sacrifice as we pray the station of the cross under the sun. I will try to get pictures of the place and upload them here after our visit.

Incidentally, it's the birthday of my third son, Jonathan. Guess we're going to pack a meatless lunch since it's Good Friday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Domino Effect Tag

i'm doing my blogging stuff and rounds to my blogger friends when I got this domino tag from a dear friend housewife@work;

vanidosa, Thea is {bloggerhappy.com}, Childstar, Mike, My Scrappy Side, Abie, Aggie, Alpha, Apple, Apols, Jacqui, Jane, Jody, Joy, Kelly, Mich, Peachy, Gatteo, Liza (A Simple Life), Tet, Nyumix, JulianaRW, Liza(MCN), Wifespeak, MAX, Hanna, Michelle, Butchay, allinkorea, korean food, idealpinkrose, housewife @ work, the_sphinx.


Simply add your name to the bottom and pass it forward.

ur resident chef, the life of an oregano addict, space of reality, spice of life, busy mom's journal, my log and my dog, and eurodog training.

(sorry... i am still in the process of learning how to add the links. can anyone help me?)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I want to reach ten posts but played with different ideas. I'm not really sure what I would talk about tonight so I'm leaving the title blank until I'm done writing.

Let me see, my children? No, these days, we're running normal lives. Pets? No, that's for my other blog. Hmm... yes, I will talk about my househelp instead.

Merly is a forty two year-old woman who works for me for the past two years now. She's married to a man who works as "kargador" (meaning, he helps carry heavy parcels and boxes or sacks of things for people). They have nine children, the two older girls are not married but have 4 children. So, they are fifteen (15) in the family and they live in a makeshift house with no room. The ground is their floor, rusted galvanized iron are used as walls, and for their roof, a waterproof canvas with some torn portions, just to protect them from the heat of the sun and the pouring rain.

She comes in at 8:00 in the morning and goes home after we have our dinner at night. Merly is a good helper, she doesn't have to be told what to do. I often tell her to let her older children work too, to help with the family expenses especially food. She says, they cannot leave their children for who will take care of them? She even sends her third daughter to a private high school (although the tuition is not so high there), while the rest of the younger children go to public elementary school.

She tries so hard to put food on the table with her meager wage from me. Her husband does not earn much, usually fifty pesos a day which is good for 2 kilos of rice only. She puts up with this but the one thing that she hated most about her husband is that he womanizes, even with their state of living. So, she didn't go home for six days, vowing she won't go back to her husband anymore.

Yesterday, her second daughter came to let her know that her eldest once again left home and that her grandchild is vomitting and has diarrhea. So poor Merly advanced some money from me and went home to bring her granddaughter to the doctor. Today, she is absent.

I'm thinking, to what extent can a mother sacrifice for her family? Merly is a very simple woman with a very simple ambition in life. She exerts strength and has a very strong determination to feed her family three square meals a day. She just wants a husband who can help her but even this is deprived from her. She cries and her body aches, but she hides them. She puts on a happy smile and continues to do her chores as if she doesn't have any problem. That's Merly, my househelp!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Family Ties

It's been raining cats and dogs the past few days and I rather feel under the weather. Rainy days make me sleep, dream and eat more. As I was sipping hot coffee and staring at the small pools of water accumulating in the yard outside, I came to think about where and how my half siblings are now. Thoughts of them make me feel so incomplete, knowing that I have sisters and brothers who might still be in China, or in Hongkong, or anywhere else in the world.

You see, my father was an immigrant from China. I don't actually know the exact date but I know he came here before the second world war. He married a Filipina and they had three children, 2 boys and a girl. The wife died and he married my mother. There are two of us, me and a younger brother. All these time, we all knew he left his first wife and children back in China when he migrated here.

I remember he communicated with them when I was still a child. He did not talk to me about them and I did not ask him about them either, maybe because they were strangers to me and they were so far away. It remained this way until my father died when I was sixteen. My mother died too four years later. Perhaps my older brothers knew their address but they're both dead now. My elder sister is still alive but she doesn't know where they are too.

I tried searching for them in the internet but so far, there's nothing. I wish someone from Amoy, China can read this and get back to me. My father's name is LIM CHOCK LAY.

I really have this wish of meeting them soon....

Friday, February 29, 2008

She's Back!

I received a call from my daughter, Gabrielle, just after dinner. She was crying on the phone and could hardly speak. In between sobs, she asked me to fetch her, said she had a terrible headache and that she's running a fever. So I asked my eldest son to drive me to Carcar, an hour away from Cebu City.

Her Tita Inday also called to say she took Gabby from camp and brought her home with her so she could have a decent dinner since my daughter did not eat the lunch prepared by themselves. Reasons? One, she is sick. Two, the food sucks. Three, the utencils used were not properly washed due to lack of water.

Result? She had this terrible headache. Other factors why she got sick: the makeshift bathroom is so small and muddy; she doesn't know where the toilet is; and there were no stores selling the stuff she likes.

So after a day in camp, my Girl Scout is home, comfortable in bed with new sheets and the aircon running. In fairness to her, she has a slight fever.

At least, I can sleep well tonight...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Off to Camp

Yesterday, my sixteen-year-old daughter went off to Carcar, a southern city in Cebu, for their Girl Scout camping. They will be staying there until Sunday. Actually, it's her last camping activity since she will be graduating next month.

You could just imagine how nervous I felt, letting go of my youngest child and only daughter at that, to some place all on her own. When her three older brothers went off to camp during their high school days, I wasn't as nervous at all. Perhaps it's because they were boys and I knew they would have managed.

So last night, before she even reached her destination, I have already called up my husband's cousin who is living there and asked her to check on my daughter. The problem was, it was raining so hard that she couldn't go to the campsite but promised to do so today. I felt like flying, thinking how she could manage to set up her tent and be comfortable with the heavy downpour. I sent text messages to her on what to do and how to do them, and not quite satisfied with the short replies, I called her. And wonder of all wonders, she sounded really cooool! She told me not to worry and that everything's fine, and security-wise, a big group of police officers and even some army personnel are deployed to watch over their camp. I felt relieved, and I felt that my baby is now a lady, and that it's okay to let her go SOMETIMES.

This morning though, when I woke up, there was a text message from her. And her message? "Mom, can you ask Tita Inday if it's okay for me to take a bath in her place? Bathrooms here are so eeowww!!". Oh well....

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Little Fight About Our Dog


My husband came home from the Middle East for a vacation during the Christmas holidays. When he left more than a year ago, we only had two dogs, one male pitbull named Koga (who unfortunately died of leptospirosis) and a black female labrador. He didn't complain much about them because the pitbull was still a puppy and the labrador was his, meaning he bought it. They called her Sasha and she was a lovable dog but she had a trait which made us keep her inside. Three times she bolted out of our gate and three times, she went straight to our neighbor's place and chased and bit his fighting cocks. Good thing the neighbor just forgave her and asked us to keep her in chains. We didn't though, instead we became very attentive and cautious when we open and close our gate.

This time, when my husband came home, we already have four dogs, two pitbulls (male and female), Sasha, and a cute mixed pug/shi tzu named Aiko. The male pitbull is Kiba and the female is Yuki. When he first laid eyes on Kiba, his comment was, he was a very big, handsome dog. At first, he tried to get friendly with Kiba but because of his size, he doesn't like it when Kiba jumps on him while he is sitting in front of the TV. And he doesn't like the dog licking his face either. He knew I love the dog, in fact, he tried so much to bear with such hassle. Naturally, he wasn't able to hold it much longer, he asked me to let Kiba out of the house. I tried but the dog went on barking and whimpering, begging me to let him come in. I couldn't help my "motherly" instinct and it gave me a bad mood, hearing his cries. So, when I see my husband in a bad mood, I let the dog out and when he's in a good mood, I let the dog in. My husband also tried his best to adjust to him too, until his vacation was over. When he left to go back to work in Saudi Arabia, the dogs came back to rampage inside the house.

Now, we are planning to move to another house near the school where my children study, I have this decision to start disciplining the dogs not to enter the main house so that when my husband comes home, he will be able to rest and enjoy his vacation. I love my dogs but I love my husband more and he just can't help it, he hates big dogs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Unfaithful "Wife" (Part 2)

Thinking back, I remember that even while Mark was still home, Anne was into internet chatting with American men. I tried to understand that the reason was perhaps financial, because as I have heard her say, American men are generous, which means that they send her dollars whenever she needs money. There was even a time when they had a fight over this and Mark went home, leaving his wife and children in their home. But of course, they made up again like they always do after they fight.

Now that Mark is working abroad, Anne kept on with her internet "connection". Mark's family thought that she was seriously trying to hold her family together despite the distance. Then it was perhaps late October when we heard that she has left for the US, leaving her children behind with her sister. I called her family to verify if it was true and they said that it was. At the same time, they also apologized for her action. So I called Mark in the Middle East to give him the news that his wife got married with an American and that she has already left the country with her new husband.

Mark was shocked and he wanted to go home right there and then. He thought that Anne was going to apply for work abroad but he did not realize that she was planning all the while to leave him. He is scheduled to go home next month and I hope that he will stay calm when he faces his "in-laws" after what Anne did to him. And I still do not know for sure what his decision will be with regards to their children.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed until next month.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Unfaithful "Wife" (Part 1)

Today, I wish to share with you the true-to-life story of a family member, who is, incidentally, an overseas foreign worker, working as an assistant electrician in Qatar. He has been living with a girl for six or seven years, and has considered this girl his wife, sired a daughter aged five and a son aged three years of age, with her. Let me name my brother-in-law Mark and his common-law wife, Anne.

Before their union, Anne was married to an American that she met and made friends with, through the internet. This American came to the country to marry her after only a few internet encounters. They got married and after the ceremony, the man left her with the promise to process her papers so she could join her in the States. But before the papers were done, my brother-in-law came into the picture. Because of mutual friends, the two have been writing to each other while Mark was in Kuwait at that time. When he came home, they met, talked, and dated. Soon, they lived together.

When the American heard about what she did, he called Mark and verified the rumor which he heard from Anne's friend. Fearful that there may be some legal problems if he tells the truth, he told the husband there was nothing between Anne and him. At first, the husband believed their lie but due to the persistent rumors, he cut his communication with his wife and stopped sending money to Anne. Anne and Mark now live as husband and wife. She gave birth to a daughter who carried the American's family name, and a son who carried Anne's maiden name. Life then became hard financially, especially because Mark was not able to work abroad for six years. There were times when they had big fights and separated. Such fights do not last long though, they always end up getting back with each other. Such was their life when opportunity came again for Mark to work in Qatar. He left Anne and his two children to work abroad so he could give them a better way of life.

(to be continued...)

Thursday, January 24, 2008


    Shame on me! I still grope around on what i should do to my blog. Sometimes, I laugh and ask myself what on earth does a fifty one year-old woman do in this highly youth-populated world of internet? For one thing, my son and my vacationing husband talked me into this and for another, I am just in need of something worthwhile to do, being confined to the house by myself. My eyes often blurred with constant reading and DVD watching.

     Being a full time housewife and mother, I just realized how "alone" I am, now that the kids are grown up and my husband working abroad. I did not have this feeling while they were still young. My three sons and my youngest daughter are quite a handful while still in their formative years. I was busy with disciplining, teaching, and taking care of their most basic needs. Early mornings were always busy, waking them up, preparing food and seeing them off to school. Now, I merely prepare food on the table and they do the rest. Actually, it's boring, more so for me because I am basically a homebody. I wanted to work again but here in the Philippines, I am just considered overaged to start a career again. In comparison, women of my age in the west still have time to make themselves useful, career-wise. Hopefully, this blog could give me a new avenue to stop me from feeling stagnant and boost up my dwindling ego.

     Really, what can I do with this new tool? Can anybody out there help me?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cebu's Sinulog Festival

    Tomorrow, Cebu awakes with the annual exciting rhythm of the Sinulog Mardi Gras. The organizers are happy to announce that this year's contingents are exceptional, some of them coming from the different provinces of the country. Being a Cebuana, I sort of lost interest in watching the street-dancing the past years. I decided to give the chance to watch it to the great mass of tourists who seem to enjoy the crowd and the extreme heat of the sun. I found out I could do with the watching in the comfort of my home through the television coverage of the two(2) competing TV stations (how they compete!). Piece of advice to those who would rather witness the grand celebration in person, beware of pickpockets. Great opportunities abound for men practicing this trade though authorities try to gather known pickpockets before the event every year. Another advice...beware of hands that stray on your behinds while you jostle with the crowd. Pit senor everyone!!!!!

Once again...a departure

      It's sad to think that you marry someone of your choice with the thought that you're going to spend your whole lifetime with him. Woe to all women like me who have husbands working abroad as overseas foreign workers. Me and my husband both make sacrifices, he leaves home to find a better-paying job abroad while missing me and our four children. While I'm left behind, doing a man's job in disciplining my three sons and the youngest daughter. Truly, the truth hurts. I am just so thankful that I absolutely trust him and he absolutely trusts me. Even with the distance, our family is as strong as ever. And for all these, I thank the Lord.