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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Rite of Passage!

mickey Posted by Hello

Coby Posted by Hello

Father and Sons Posted by Hello

It has always been said that the children are nothing but the parents all over again, only better. Here are pictures of my two boys. Mickey is the artist. He plays the violin. Been doing that since he was in grade three. He is a member of the school's symphony orchestra and one of the quartet who plays in concerts and school activities. As a visual artist, he paints using all sort of medium and is a member of deviant art. You can view his works here. Coby, on the other hand, is the youngest of the brood of four. He is the athlete among the lot. He belongs to the training team in swimming in school and plays basketball well. The last one is yours truly, when I was about their age. Can you see the resemblance? i have written a poem which I would like to share here. This was written right after the three of us had gone home after a three day camping trip to Makiling during the school's Father and Son camp. This has been published online. You'll find it here Hope you enjoy the pictures and the poem as well. Here goes:

Rites of Passage

I have camped on
these grounds when
I was young,
braved the thick forest
to test if I
could be a man.

Leaves relentlessly fall
raining down on my tent
weave a golden mat on the dirt
just like it did before.

Insects stubbornly
invade the silence
unfazed by the dark night
or the snores from
other fathers
tending their sons.

Inside my tent
two growing boys
saturated with play
innocently asleep
carelessly sprawled
on the sleeping bag.

How I envy the trees
defying the wind outside
with each offspring
a success,
they stand
sturdy and proud.

I come back
to camp on these grounds
once more
to test if I
can be a father
to these youthful boys.

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Knockin' on heaven's door

I just visited my mom yesterday and I just realized how bad her dementia is getting to be. For those of you who are not yet in the know, she's suffering from alzheimer's disease. I've written several poems about my mther's condition. If you care to have a look at one of them, you'll find one here I know it's dementia as she's seeing people not visible to us, more often now. Yesterday, while I was playing mah jongg with my siblings and a cousin, I overheard my mom softly moaning, crying in despair in her bed. My kuya told me it's just natural for her to be doing that. I stood up to check her out. She said she didn't know what to answer the "lady over there." I asked, "Why? What's her question?" "I don't know. She keeps on asking me questions. Told me she's my mother."

That gave me a scare. No, I don't believe in ghosts. I am not outrightly rejecting the possibility of their existence but I have yet to see one and at this time. (I don't want to be disproved, though hehehe) At any rate, this reminds me of my dying father. He was in my sister's arms inside the cab enroute to the hospital during that fatal first heart attack. He told my siblings that he was seein his mother (my grandmother) and some relatives long gone. Now, I've heard that story quite too often now and not only here in the country but in other cultures as well.

What does this tell me? SEveral things. First, this death experience must be true. It gives me a glimpse of what death is all about. To me, it is a passing on to another dimension. A dimension that we have yet to learn fully about but will never do. If I am to believe there's another dimension out there, then what is it? Heaven? Probably. Isn't it nice to know that there's life after death? I'd like to believe that. Although it won't eradicate my fear of death, it alleviates its existence.

Going back to my mother, she kept on insisting that there's a woman by the door. I told her there's nobody. Then she cried in terror and asked, "what is she then, a ghost?" "No, didn't she tell you who she was?" "YEs, she said she's my mother. I think I'm going to die!""No, you're not! I am here," held her hand and brushed her hair with my other hand. And she was probably soothed as she kept quiet. Then I realized, in spite of my mother's age, she is as clueless as a teen ager when her time will come. I've heard people talking in wakes about how the departed had managed to say goodbye to their loved ones before dying. Maybe we do realize it at the last moment, I don't know.

Looking at my mother, healing bed sores and all, the third thing I realized is that if this is what getting old is, I don't want any part of it. I want to live as long as I am lucid and kicking. But once I become a burden to my family, then, I think it is time to go. God help me, but I hope my dead relatives pick me up immediately. In the meantime, I have a mother to attend to. A mother who will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow. (A birthday that doesn't mean anything to the celebrant.) A mother who embraced me during the times I was afraid. Took me to school, took good care of me. Cooked me wonderful meals, teased, encouraged and most of all, loved me very much. God! I want my old mother back.

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Saturday, January 15, 2005

it's Jet's birthday!

I just have to write about it. Today's the birthday of a very good friend, both in cyberspace and in flesh and blood. A kindred in spirit, she, according to her amiable husband, has a very infectious laugh like I do. Well, maybe I don't have that infectious laughter but I do love to laugh. I love to see people being very happy. I appreciate people who has a good sense of humor and i dread being with a person who never knew how to laugh. Keep me in a room with a boring guy or a woman who does not know how to smile and I assure you, i'd rather jump off the windows and die.

Well, anyway, Jet as we fondly call her, is a lady you would certainly want to see laughing all the time. If only to lighten up a hectic day, her smile is enough to to keep your worries away. I didn't even have to try hard to see her laughing to tears. She's a natural. When she laughs, all her muscles contribute and you feel the sincerity with that laughter and you become pleased with yourself. Yes, she gives without any effort whatsoever. All she has to do is be herself.

Jet, I raise my glass of cabernet to cheer you on your special day. I'm sure your hubby has lined up a lot of tricks just to pamper you more today than he does every minute of your life. Happy birthday!


Thursday, January 13, 2005

I was pissed!

Now that it's been two days ago, I can tell about how angry I was last Tuesday. I had to let go off some steam lest i write something very unpleasant and ruin your day. You see, since last year I have noticed this red CRV car in the school's parking lot parked almost sideways occupying two car spaces in my favorite parking space. The first time, I reasoned, either the driver was in a hurry or s/he didn't know how to park the car properly. Must've been a new driver. Well, anyway, it was way too early so I had a lot of spaces to choose from. My first reaction was to look for the owner and tease him/her about the way s/he parks his/her car. i realized later that the car does not belong to any co-worker or even a student. It leaves right after the morning mass is over. You see, we've opened the chapel to residents of the village, and some do hear mass there regularly, the owner
of that red car included. After seeing the same car parked the same way for five times, it dawned on me. The driver doesn't want any other car besides his/hers.

I so much wanted to leave a message on his windshield that goes like, "if you can read this, you will park your car properly next time." I still haven't gotten the guts to do it. Almost did last Tuesday, though. I was taken by surprise that the SLEX would have a counterflow with the southbound vehicles. For some reason or another, some schmuck in the SLEX hierarchy's solution to the heavy traffic for northbound commuters is to open the southbound track and run counter to the flow. Well, he decongested the northbound to about 5 per cent of very lucky drivers alright but totally immobilized us till the end of the Skyway ramp delaying us by some thirty minutes or more. Should I mention that we're all paying a huge sum for
using the highway? Why will they be special? Wby do it at our expense?

Anyway, I was running late that day so who do you think would be happy seeing the red car parked haphazardly again? Just because I had to back out and find another parking space which was almost filled by now, I was late for five minutes. Not a good sign to someone who's in charge of giving out excuse slips for tardiness, is it?

So, to all you drivers out there, be considerate and responsible. It's time that we learn respect and road courtesy.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Huling Hirit

My good friend Batjay and his adorable wife, Jet are headed to go home to Singapore tomorrow, January 5. Somehow, I am saddened that they have to leave the country for as always, I equate their presence with lots and lots of fun! But as it is, everybody will have to earn a living and their source of income is in Singapore.

Anyway, we had another chance to meet last night and again, with several bloggers whom I've befriended since I've started blogging.

First to arrive (ayan doc ha) was the good doctor Doc Emer and his animated and lovely soulmate Jane who we have been urging to start her own blog, Soon after, we were joined in by master storyteller Bong K and Giordano model look alike Mari.

Also in attendance were new friends, the captivatingly beautiful Toni and her hubby, the bubbly and artsy Tanya and the very endearing

Unfortunately, supermom and pinay expat emag owner Melissa was a no show. Must've been stranded with the celebs she was interviewing.

Anyway, as always, we had lots and lots of fun and parted ways at around 1 am.
See you again soon guys. And to my dear friends, Batjay and Jet, bon voyage tomorrow. Can't wait till you get back again.

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Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
Posted by Hello
Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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