Saturday, May 29, 2004

Derma clinic, anyone?

In her latest entry, sassy talks about breast implants and vanity. She narrates how people are being duped by quacks for a smaller fee than if they were treated by a licensed doctor. This sparked my memory that happened a few years back.

Two years ago, my eldest daughter, Kraiganne, who was about 16 then, was starting to have pimples. As her mother believes that pimples can really be nasty and have lasting effects like scars in her line of the family (shhhh!), she took my daughter to the derma clinic. When they arrived home, my wife was narrating how expensive and how tedious the procedure was.

I told them, "what's with pimples? It's part of growing up! I never had to consult with dermatologists when I started to have pimples!"

Just like it was rehearsed, they both shouted: "Kaya tingnan mo mukha mo!" Grrrr!

I wonder how my father would have reacted if I talked to him like that? Pihado, mata ko lang ang walang latay!

Now, why am I relating this? The point is that one does not always discipline youngsters the same way one had been subjected to. Time changes. Do we regard children who do not say "po" or "opo" as disrespectful? Do we consider a youngster who reasons with us ingrateful? In my opinion, gone are the days when parents used to say: "Sumagot ka!" and when you try to answer, would say, "Wag kang sasagot, bastos ka!"

As much as possible, I allow my children to reason out. Although, sometimes, I forget this bit of knowledge and revert to how I was treated by adults. Old ways die hard, you see. Ahh, parenting is such a hard job.

Moral of the story, sometimes it would be better if you don't try to interfere with your children's affairs. If you do, two things might happen: 1. You end up being humiliated like what happened to me, or,
2. Baka makasapak ka lang ng teen-ager. hehehe

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Nitz, the discipline officer

My wife's job is a discipline officer like myself. (Our poor kids must be overwhelmed. First their mother, now their father is head of discipline) Anyway, somehow our jobs are carried over from work to anywhere we go. This is especially true with my wife. I remember when she was still in the Purchasing Office, there had been a couple of times when she answered our phone, "Purchasing office, good morning. How may I help you?? AY MALI!"

Anyway, this phenomenon is sometimes unhealthy. Take for instance what happened during Kim's (our third child) birthday on July 15, 2003. We were having our dinner celebrating when the quiet evening was disrupted by shouts from outside the house like there was trouble. I was having a hard time finding my slippers so Nitz beat me in going out.

When I finally found a slipper I could wear, I rushed immediately outside because I'm sure there was a fight going on. It turned out to be coming from the neighbor who does laundry work for us. To my shock, I saw my wife in between the laundry woman's live-in boyfriend and her brother (both drunk) who were engaged in a fisticuff. So, imagine this. All the other neighbors watching, the security guard nowhere to be found.... and guess what......

My wife was with them, trying to stop the fight!

So. I shouted, "Damnit, Mama, stay away." She wouldn't listen and anywhere the trio went, she was there pacifying and stopping them. Just one stray punch would have knocked her senses off, right?

I went near them and told the protagonists to stop it and grabbed Nitz. "GO HOME!" She said, "but I pity Heidi (the laundry woman).

When we went home, I scolded her no end. "If there's someone being beaten up, then help him. But when it's about two people who want to slug it out. Enjoy the show! Then I told her in all of the rumbles that I've seen in my lifetime, it was always the pacifier who turned out dead. And that's true. I've seen it a couple of times.

Finally, I said, "when you're in school, you are the discipline officer but here, you are a plain housewife, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"

I wonder if I shall turn out to be like this, too?

There is something nice that came out of it, though. I narrated the story to several of our friends and my friend, Tom Spencer, ever the poet, came up with this poem for her.

The Priestess of Peace

A ruckus broke the solitude of dinner hour
The lady of the house, ran to find the cause
A neighbor's drunken friendship finally soured
The lady rushed to intercede without a pause

Stumbling through the house on a slipper search
I heard the sounds of pending fisticuffs
Picking up my trusted club of ancient birch
Knowing tales of forgone fights by toughs

The lady stood in all her mighty grandeur
Far below two would-be fumbling fighters
Her instincts of a mediator pure
stood defiant . . . three hundred pounds the lighter

Nitz Delos Santos has found her worldly place
A priestess of peace . . . for the human race

Written For Nitz Delos Santos 7153

By Tom Spencer

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Disturbing news

An email sent to me by my niece, Lissa, caused me to tremble in fear. It was an article about Sef Gonzales, the Filipino-Aussie guy who got three guilty verdicts for murdering his parents and sister sometime in 2001. From the article, we see a demented being who lived a life of deception and magnanimous lies, showing an "angelic, smooth, sweet, small, ambitious, a charming friend and an easily smitten lover" on one side while planning to kill his parents first through poisoning, and eventually stabbing them to death out of jealousy, greed, and hate rolled into one. In the article, we see how Mr. Hyde tries to cover up his tracks and even spraying the walls of his house with racial slurs to mislead the investigators. When these started to cramble, he bribes a prostitute to be his alibi and even admitting to a girlfriend that his sexual powers were just sufficient that said prostitute would be on his side for . He had the gall to sing during the eulogy the Mariah Carey/Boys II Men song, "One Sweet Day" a capella which the mourners and the police found to be strange.

What made Sef turn to be this demon is beyond comprehension. He lived with devout Catholic and very affluent parents who tried to give him the best education he can have. And yet, he was threatened to have all the luxuries taken away from him because of his academic failures and liaison with a woman his mother did not approve of.

How do we discipline minors? Should we be strict or should we be lenient? These are the questions plaguing me now that I have been assigned to a new post. How do I sense a troubled child? How shall I address the situation? Will I be helping the child and put him/her to the right path or will I aggravate his/her already battered soul? The questions are as limitless as the answers are. All I can do is pray that I shall have the right answer all the time.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

De-mystifying Tuck

Taken last night at the Meralco Theater. with Rhea Patti and Tuck. See how happy Tuck is to see me in person at last. hehehe  Posted by Hello

For more, go visit this site.

Friday, May 21, 2004


One of the setbacks I foresee in the future now that I belong once again to the administration is that I may have to be unfair to my kids. Unlike before when I was a subject coordinator where my concerns were just about the department, being a level coordinator is different. I would be handling the discipline of the students and the classroom management of teachers.
I have already talked with the three children who are still with me, especially Kim as she will be directly under me. I told them that from now on any allegations of misdemeanor on anyone of them will mean sanction right away. No questions asked. I know it is not fair but they have to learn to deal with it. Come to think about it, it might be a blessing in disguise for if what I told the kids sank in, then they will never be in trouble.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Look at me!

taken a zillion years ago Posted by Hello

I managed to put the picture where I want to put it. And now, this! Hah! Now, I know I didn't finish college for nothing. I can follow directions. Yippee.

Maybe you're asking why a normal person in his right mind would want to post a picture like this. Well, who said I'm normal? :=) If at all, this picture proves how different I am now. I am no longer that irresponsible "istambay" who had nothing better to do but pluck his guitar, chase after girls and pester them, drink till I drop, try everything new. I am now a father of four and a husband to a cute wife with a fresh smile every morning, art teacher, striving artist who hasn't painted in years, debate coach, and lately, a student of poetry.

Still nothing to do today. Just reading blogs and tinkering with the computer. I can't move my things yet as the one I'm replacing still has his things scattered on the table. Besides, I haven't gotten my appointment paper yet so although I've already attended meetings, I don't think I'd consider it official until I received something.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

So many bloggers, very few faces!

Posted by Hello

I'm experimenting a bit. I'd like to put my picture on to my blog. The reason being that while reading a number of blogs, I always feel that I've known the writer personally but, there's something missing. I don't know how they look like. I can't blame them. A lot of people are very reserved, some are paranoid that putting their picture on a public venue like the internet, is dangerous. Not me. I take risks. I want my blog to be very personal. Putting a face next to my thoughts would give the reader an idea of how I look like. Besides, if the reader would find the blog nonsensensical, then at least there's something to look at. The only thing is that, I CAN'T GET IT TO WORK AND PLACE IT WHERE I WANT IT TO BE!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2004

1st day in the office

My new job is a little interesting. It's totaly different from what I've learned in school. Not only because I am a Fine Arts graduate and being in-charge of discipline to at least 600 students or so and the classroom management of 30 teachers is different but more so because I was a teacher's nightmare in elementary and high school. Well, not entirely true. I was also loved by some. The thing is, being an outstanding student, I was not.

Anyway, I was reading the cases of students placed under Strict Disciplinary and Disciplinary Probations knowing that they will be the first cases I will be looking at come opening day of classes, I was contemplating why these students were placed in such a predicament. I can only look back and think of the days I was still a student. (And that was a long long time ago.) What prompted me to do what I did that caused me too much trouble? I can only think of one basic answer: "Blame it on my youth." In other words, I didn't know any better. And yet, I know I cannot use this as an excuse to errant students. I am here to guide them. Teach them how to live in a world that is full of rules, follow a strict conduct of morals, ethics, etc... in other words, everything I rebelled in during my heyday. Ah, this is going to be a tight journey. All I can say to myself is "brace yourself, man. Hold on to the rails so that you don't get thrown out of the ship."

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Opening a new blog

Batjay suggested via the email that I create a blog about teaching as there are not too many around. Hmmm, not a bad idea, so here goes.

It's now official. I am once again part of the administration. No, I'm not looking forward to it as I still enjoy being with the students. But the principal is my friend and he thinks he needs me to this post. So, what am I supposed to do, eh? So, the opening of this blog is just right. No position, new blog.

Although the position is still that of a Coordinator, a position which I had for sometime until I resigned, this time the job entails handling discipline problems. (I never thought I was disciplined. The principal has to do some heavy thinking, I guess)