Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving daw o!

The US celebrated Thanksgiving this week. Canadians had theirs last September, I think. I wonder why we don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We do have a lot fo be thankful for, don't we? It cannot be the cooking for we can also cook turkey as the bird can be homegrown. Brusselsprouts? Well we do have cabbages, and they're even bigger!

Well, for all it's worth, my family has a lot to be thankful for. No not, material gains, but emotional ones. The feel so good type of things. I believe we maintain a stable, happy family, so far.

First, I have to congratulate myself for it is now officially a whole week since I stopped smoking!!! I am smoke free, my friends! And this is not yet known to my family. Kim, my youngest daughter would be ecstatic if she finds out I have not been smoking for a week! Oh, I almost did.. You see, Angie, Nitz' youngest sister, just arrived from Saipan. So too, did the family of the nitz's sister's hubby. So part of the celebrations is a dinner at Dad's last Thursday and a big Filipino dinner last night! I almost broke my promise not to smoke. The strongest urge came to me this morning when Angie gave me a pack of Marlboro lights! I let it lay in front of me while I bloghopped! Then, decided I couldn't take it anymore. I took it out and gave it to a neighbor. See, i do have a strong will power if I wanted to. For that i have to be thankful!

See, my children can have titles if they wanted to and enjoy the privileges, if there are any, of each title. Kraiganne is the eldest, which says a lot! Mickey is the oldest son! Kim is the youngest daughter, and Coby is, well, the youngest! O walang inggitan, di ba? (No jealousy among the siblings, right? :-)

OF course, the school where I teach and where all of my kids go to, celebrates its Foundation week this week. And yes, my wife belongs to the same university system so this school is very much a part of us. I have been working here for twenty years, my wife, even longer. As part of the festivities yesterday was a concert given by the Music Department, (we do have a strong Music Department) where my eldest son, Mickey, played solo violin and i have the whole performance on video! That was a natural high. When he was called tp the stage, I was a bit nervous. Let me backtrack a bit. This was a bit of a masterplan, you see. When Nitz and i got married, I told her we will have a child who will play the violin. Funny but it was the violin, not the guitar which I can play. When Kraiganne was about 4 years old, my wife took her to St. Scholastica for piano lessons. I thought, so okay, I may be wrong with my foresight. Anyway, since we didn't have a piano, Kraiganne practiced on a make shift, drawn piano my wife borrowed from a friend. Picture this, you have a board of piano keys, not producing a single note, and all you do is rely on memory as to which key to press or what finger to use rather than how each of the key would have sounded. That's how my Kraiganne learned how to play her first piece. So, when recital came, i was really a mess. Jittery and frightened. When Kraiganne stepped on the stage, all smiles and confident, I was ready to be crushed! But lo and behold!!! She played the piece without a single error! Well, after that, she probably realized singing was easier and so stopped taking piano lessons.

Her siblings came and still no sign of my own Itzhak Perlman.

Then, one day, during one of my breaks inside the faculty room, Mickey (who was in Grade three then, about 9 years old) approached asking me to sign a paper that says I was willing to let him take violin lessons as his activity. You see, our students are given one elective subject starting at this age. I said sure. Then, after several months, he comes to me again asking me to buy him a violin. I had to tell him "No. First you have to show me you are really that interested. I don't want to waste big bucks on something you might lose interest in after several months." That really got him frustrated. But good son that he is, he obeyed and we would go home with a borrowed violin from school. After several months, I realized he was really interested. He never let the borrowed violin stay away from his sight anywhere he went. It was easier to look for him when we were about to go home from school because all I had to do was follow that nursery tune he was trying to master. At night, you would hear Kraiganne complaining, "Papa, I want to go to sleep but Mickey won't stop his eng-eng!" Smilingly, I would tell her to just learn how to sleep with the noise. After all, i have this belief that "the world will not stop just because you will be sleeping,my child!" :-) Now, Kraiganne, although she wouldn't admit is, is his biggest fan! Well, okay , second. First being his mother of course.

One last thing, Mickey seem to have had a fondness for the guitar. One day, he tried tinkering with my guitar. Asked me to show him where the notes were. To my surprise, he learned Earl Klugh's "If you should know by now" alone! Well, I knew he could read notes but i didn't know he could transfer the information so easily.

Another thing we have to be thankful for is the gift of friendship. We keep a very close knit group of friends with whom we celebrate every occasion imaginable . This started with two of my best friends who I used to work with in the audiovisual center of the university library. While we have separated ways, ( while Redjie Jimenez is now the head of the unit where we worked in, Ollie Marcelo, now manages hiis own thriving printing press business.) This friendship grew and we are now composed of seven families who celebrate Christmas eve together, birthdays, go out on trips (we've practically covered the whole of Luzon, except for the Bicol region) using a common trust fund. Since its going to be a long weekend, we are all going to Subic tomorrow and staying there till Monday!

Lastly, I am thankful for having started out this blog! Not only did I have a venue to practice writing, I have earned a good amount of friends whose ideas i respect so much and help me shape the man i am today. You see, inspite of my 40+ age, i am still developing into something. As the cliche goes, life begins at 40, and i believe it. So, even though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving day, THANK YOU WORLD, THANK YOU LIFE!


TinTin said...

(aka pinayhekmi)

An artistic and musical family. That is so inpsiring. I hope to have all my children play musical instruments as I never learned any and I realize what I missed out on. The violin would be perfect! Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

rolly said...

Tintin Happy thanksgiving to you and your hubby. I wish I could put Mickey's tape here like Batjay's doing. Sarap ng feeling, e.

jillsabs said...

oo nga, we do have a lot to be thankful for.

so even if i sometimes get irritated with my sister for bossing me around (even if i AM older than her!) i'm still thankful that she's around to boss me around

Jet said...

Hear! Hear!

You have such a wonderful family Tito and I hope to meet them this December. :)

ting-aling said...

Unang-una, ako ay nagpapasalamat na hindi ka na naninigarilyo..let me guess, sa school kayo nag-meet ni Tita ano? You have a good family.

metal said...

everyday should be a thanksgiving day, hanggang ngayon narito pa tayo sa mundo, na hanggang ngayon kasama pa natin ang ating mga pamilya, na hanggang ngayon, gaano man kahirap ng buhay, nakatayo pa rin tayo.

hanga ako sa 'yo tito rolly...quitting smoke is a good move, lalo ngayon na di na tayo pabata. i've also done it a month ago and thought i should have done it a long time ago...

joan said...

Totoo ngang may HIMALA!!!! Sige ipagpatuloy mo ang paghinto para ma inspire din ako, si joji stop na tapos ikaw so wala na akong smoking buddies!!! keep it up!! Tell Mikey, congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

onga sir i saw you sa concert namin hehehe.

grabe super proud ka talaga! congrats sir :P


BatJay said...

congratulations tito rolly. sana maipagpatuloy mong maging smoke free. ganyan din ginawa ko nung huminto ako - i announced it to the whole world. iniisip ko sakali mang matukso akong magsigarillo ulit, mahihiya na ako sa sarili ko dahil pinagyabang ko na. hehehe.

cathcath said...

congrats for being able to give up smoking. Kulit ba ni Doc Emer?

A cousin of mine who stopped smoking saved the cigarette money in a piggy bank. After some time,when she was thinking of rewarding herself on Christmas, she
found that she could give herself a brand new oven.

One more thing,titorolly.
The education of your children is the greatest
investment that you have made in your life.
Payback is not only to you and your wife in terms
of thoughts that you have left them well prepared for
the future,but also to their children and their children's children.

You have so much to thank for, really.

Belle said...

Hi Kuya Rolly. =) Buti na lang holiday bukas, parang nabawasan pagka windang ko. Kaya ikot muna ako sa mga blogs. Congrats sa di mo pag-smoke ng ilang days!! Yay. Ituloy mo po ha. Kayang-kaya yan. Yung iba kong friends, nag-uumpisa na ring tumigil. Saya di ba? =)

Yes, Tito, we have a lot to be thankful for in our lives. Everyday. Nga pala, me turkey bang binebenta dito sa atin? Nung tinanong ako ng mga visitors namin nung Thanksgiving, wala akong maisagot. (lol)

pepsi said...

o sir, where's my acknowledgement? tumugtog din naman ako diba? (joke lang!!! lol. :P)

since the president likes to make up holidays anyway, why don't we just request her to implement thanksgiving sometime in november-december. a cause for some family gathering before christmas. :P

Ate Sienna said...

Happy thanksgiving din sa iyo, unkel rolly. It's not really the actual day that matters, diba? It's the act that once in a while during our busy lives we'd pause and say "thanks" for all the graces we've received.

Oh and just an after thought, about that patricia evangelista thing:

I'm not sure how old Patricia is, she might be very young or old enough. But the editors of the newspaper where she writes her articles should also be more responsible, specially kung bata pa nga si Patricia. They should have checked the facts or asked Patricia to verify the facts first. But I'm not surprised. Kahit naman sa CNN or sa ibang newspapers dito, nangyayari din yan. Minsan nakalagay lang sa internet, akala nila tutuo na without verifying the source tapos ilalagay na nila sa dyaryo nila.


rolly said...

Sorry for my late response guys. Medyo inabot ako ng delubyo sa highway kagabi on our way home from Subic.

Jillsabs Ang bait mo namang Ate. hindi naman siguro aabusuhin ni Ida ang kabaitan mo. MAbait din naman si Ida (pag tulog) Bwahahaha

Jet I may be a poor man but my family doesn't seem to mind naman. They can understand what sacrifice means when we tell them no to certain things.

tingaling Yes. Sa school kami nagkakilala ni misis. Ang kulit nya nga nung nililigawan pa niya ko e. HAHAHAHA

rolly said...

Metal Musta ka na bro? Yes, everyday should be thanksgiving day. Parang all saint's day no? We should respect our dead everyday and not just one single day. Ay, pangit yata yung simile ko.

Anyway, isang buwan ka na palang smoke free. Mas congrats sa yo kung ganon. Ang hirap i-resist minsan no? I tuluy-tuloy na natin to.

Jonix!!! Kamusta na ang kaibigan kong pranses? Comment ca va? Oo naman, merong himala. Pag umuwi ka dito, la ka nang ka-jamming.

riana halata ba? Babaw lang naman kaligayahan ko e. hehe Salamat sa dalaw.

rolly said...

Batjay Ang hirap mag-maintain ng pagiging smoke free. Especially during our trip to Subic this weekend. Pag magsisigarilyo mga barkada ko, inggit na inggit ako. Twing hihigop ng usok napapahigop at bumubuga din ako kaya lang walang usok na lumalabas. BITIN!

Cathy HIndi naman dahil sa kulit ni Doc Emer. Well, kasama na rin yun hehe. Actually, I am planning to do just that. Save my money which i ought to be spending on cigarettes. Dahil 9 days na, meron na kong Php 90 hehe

Belle Uy, my favorite filipino poet nadalaw. I'm glad you are taking time out from your very busy sked to bloghop. You work hard I am beginning to sense you are a workaholic. Ingat ka din.

rolly said...

Belle PS. May nabibiling pabo dito sa tin. Kaya lang ikaw yata ang magkakatay hindi katulad sa abroad na nakabibili ng dressed na.

Pepsi Oo nga naman. Congrats din sayo. Actually lahat naman ng tumugtog last Friday magagaling e.

Ate Siena Yes, I don't think thanksgiving is actually confined to a single day but should be done everytime a blessing is received.

Well, i think I've spoken my piece re Patricia Evangelista. I'll leave it at that. :-)

cathcath said...


may comment ako dito noong isang araw nawala.
anyways, suggestment ko sana na ilagay mo sa piggy
bank yong ibibili mo sana ng sigarilyo. at the end of the month,kuwentahin mo ilang ang nasave mo tapos ibili mo ng kung anong gusto mo. :)

rolly said...

Cathy i don't think nawala yung comment mo. It's still here. You're talking about your cousin who saved her cigarette money, right? I even answered the comment. Look again ;-)

Cerridwen said...

WTG tito rolly on your trek for being smoke free and having a great family....

Anonymous said...

Ka Rolly, first of all thank you sayo for bing the TITO ng lahat ng bloggers, kaya ka pinag papala ng husto dahil sa kabutihang ng loob mo (pero okay na okay ang mga comment mo sa stories ko, i need those comments it inspires me more hehehehehhe)

we should all be thankful for we are living, may konti mang kahirapan sa buhay ay meron naman mas masaganang bagay sa atin na hindi matutumbasan ng kahit na mag kano.

thank you Ka Rolly


Day said...

tito rolly, congratulations for being smoke free. I know it's hard that's why I admire your will-power, also for having such a wonderful family :)

watson said...

Hello Tito Rolly! When I read about Kraiganne's part with the makeshift piano, it reminded me of the movie "Little Man Tate". Eto na naman po, I forgot the names of the characters. Anyways, they had to sell the piano for financial reasons, and the mother painted a piano on the wall instead. The boy played on this, the keys sounding off melodiously in his mind.

rolly said...

Cerridwen Thanks a lot. I try to always make my children appreciate what they have.

BongK Mukhang di ka makapasok sa comment box a. buti na lang persistent ka.

Actually naniniwala pa rin ako sa lumang kasabihan na the best things in life are free! Buti na lang kasi wala naman akong pambili. hehe

Day Thank you. Uy happy anniversary sa inyo ng hubby mo ha. Alam mo naka tigil na ko ng pag smoke for about 6 years kaya lang bumalik e. Subok uli.

Watson That was exactly how Kraiganne practised. She tried learning the guitar but college got in the way. hehe

Dr. Emer said...

This was long overdue, Tito Rolly. Sometimes, when confronted with stubborn quitters like you and ate Sassy, I feel compelled to show you a real gross specimen of a dead smokers' lung. Not to scare you but rather to show you HOW REAL the HARM being done by cigarette smoke. It is good you have finally mustered the resolve to quit and make the fight shine more in our favor. You have not only made this healthy choice for yourself, but for your family as well.

Your family reminds me of the Von Trapp family in that famous Plummer-Andrews musical. It will be such a waste if you would not be able to see every potential your kids will display in the future because of COPD, emphysema, or worse, lung cancer. 'Reminds me, Bibot Amador recently died of lung cancer recently --- the stress of theater plus her dedication made her chain smoke.

Remember, no matter how talented we are or we may become, it is all for nothing if we won't be there to enjoy it.

I congratulate you for one of the wisest decisions you've ever made. Si Ate Sass naman ang susunod. ;)

JMom said...

Amen to that! We all have a lot to be thankful for.

You are certainly a rich man. Your family is a gem :)

ree said...

Trapped in a cliche, are we now? Let me see, I'm 42 myself but I still feel like a delinquent most times. hehe I hate cliches myself -- well, starting last night! I had just employed one on my partner last night, when she started bemoaning about some bills. I told her, if with some facetiousness, "GOD helps those who help themselves,and your Bible says so..." and she clammed up. I was on the computer at that time, and I couldn't help but silently gloat about that small victory over "feminine chatter". Out of the blue, I thought, "Lemme type that on the google bar." I wanted to find chapter and verse.

I felt really small when I found out it was not merely absent from the Bible, but decidedly, and essentially against one of the Christ's major precepts.

I had to think about that, of course, and I've decided being older is not that good, after all. The older we get, the more set our perceptions become, and the harder it is to adjust our outlooks.

Take Thanksgiving. We never had that in the Philippines, yes -- certainly not as an institution that it is here in the States. Yet, I have never forgotten how every simple thanksgiving prayer over a small dish of dried fish by my Mom over breakfast transform each start of every long and meatless day into glowing, shared laughter. We don't have Turkey Day out there, yes, but we do have Family. And in the essence of the family unit, the Philippines and Filipinos put the typical Americans to shame.

We don't need to designate one of our Filipino days as Thanksgiving Day. I'm sure we celebrate that enough, at every flip of "daing" on a sizzling skillet, and everytime we thank our Lord for His grace...every day of our Filipino year.

Oh man, I'm talking too much again...

celia kusinera said...

Congratulations Tito Rolly for being smoke free! You've got a lovely family and indeed have a lot to be thankful for.
Your last paragraph really caught my eye. I am enjoying blogging a lot not only because I can express my myself to the whole wide world. But most of all because of meeting people like you. I feel as though the Pinoy blogging community I hop around are my virtual barkada. Sorry I'm just feeling 'lovey' today. *Hugs* to you and your family Tito Rolly! Hope I can me you all in 3D one day.

rolly said...

Doc Emer I've seen pictures like that before and it didn't deter me from smoking. None of the smokers do, actually. Somehow we either feel invincible 9that won't happen to me) or the bahala-na attitude working.

Ah Bibot Amador, i worked with her for two school plays... She did chain smoke! Terrible. She didn't care about the no smoking sign inside the theater and had the ash tray from the lobby taken to her while she directed. :-)

JMom thanks. Yes, my family is my pride and joy.

rolly said...

Ree Yes, this is a bit of a cliche. "Gloating over feminine chatter." HAHA, that was funny. When was the last time I experienced that, I wonder...

I guess the reason we don't have thanksgiving day is precisely because everyday is thanksgiving day as you said. The americans practically have everything, I guess that they had to have a day like this to remind them. That makes sense, doesn't it? At least to us...

Celia The feeling is mutual. Yes, i hope we get to meet you in person, too.