Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Rally for Easy Money

Went to work yesterday with a shirt a bit wrinkled... I am not quite that expert in ironing. It just so happened that our labandera (laundrywoman) wasn't able to come. She launders our clothes on Mondays and comes back the next day for ironing. For some strange reason, she wasn't able to call or text (yes, she has her own mobile phone).
This morning was a relief. She came in with a story that left me in awe...well, if you'd describe it that way.

The reason why she wasn't able to come yesterday was because she had to 'attend' a rally re: the impeachment of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Batasang Pambansa. My mom reacted and asked why the hell does she had to attend that rally. The answer was.. "Ma'am, kasi may bayad na P100.00 para dalawang oras lang" (Ma'am, they pay P100.00 just for 2 hours of rallying). Apparently yesterday, there was a 'recruiter' at their place recruiting 150 people to join the rally for a hundred bucks, complete with merienda (snack)-- juice and hamburger-- and two trucks to charter them to and back. Our labandera has been doing that eversince... I remember the time when I was still in retail and was assigned in Robinson's Galleria-- that was when there was a big big rally in favor of Erap at the Shrine(then Pres. Joseph Estrada) It was the year when he was replaced by GMA. There were lots of people in the mall and grocery with crispy P500.oo bills. Hmmm....

So to make the story short, our labandera, who earns P300.00 per day for her services, made P300.00 (she was with her two kids) yesterday for just 2 hours, basking under the sun, attending a rally for GMA's impeachment. Sheesh! Well, easy money, that is...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Art Therapy

Went out with my good friend, Gel, today. We both sort of need a breathe of fresh air and a dash of civilization, after a week of work. I've known her for the most of my years... classmates from Grades 1-5 (she was in a different class in the 6th grade), 1st-4th year in High School, 1st - 4th year in College, and up to the 1st year at work (at a bank). We only became really friends in 2nd year college.

Gel is sooo talented in photography. I'd think we'd be a great team with our own galleries! We spent the day talking about life, what it made us, why it made us as such, and what more of life we would anticipate. We visited art galleries in the Shang-rila Plaza Mall in Edsa. Watched a live on-the-spot painting session with Saturday Group's (and my mentor-- teehee!! ) Fernando Sena and his class.

We also visited Color Me Mine (Philippine franchise at the 5th level of the Shang), where one could paint his/her own ceramic art piece! You chose a ceramic piece and you are provided with paints, templates, etc. You draw or paint your design and once finished, your masterpiece will be 'fired' in kilns (Any of various ovens for hardening, burning, or drying substances such as grain, meal, or clay, especially a brick-lined oven used to bake or fire ceramics.) for that final touch! The staff there are so accomodating and really answered all our queries. Wow... great way to spent the day! Art therapy to the max!

We'll be coming back, that's for sure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Man In My Life

When I first saw him, my heart fluttered.
He has the most wonderful smile that could melt a woman's heart.
His eyes are expressive. He would catch me looking at him..
and then he'll give me a smile.

He'd embrace me tightly when we sleep, seeming to say, 'just be here
beside me'. He'll wake me up in the morning with his kisses...
and call out my name.
He would sneak behind me and steal a kiss and embrace. He'll hold my
hand and sing me a sweet song.

When we talk, he'll listen and he'll share his day with me, what
he had for lunch, the people he met, the places he's been.
We would laugh together, or just sit and enjoy each other's company.

He's handsome, he's sweet. And I love him.
He's three. He's my son. And he's mine.

Tristan Diego...


Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Cat Knows

Tygra is different today. He seems to sense that today isn't a good day for me. He usually just sits on top of his favorite majhong table in the terrace. For some strange reason, today, he has become a lap cat! He would follow me wherever I go and jump on my lap at any given opportunity he would see. He'd cuddle up and purr as if saying that everything will be just fine.

Bless you Tygra. *cry*

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stupid is as Stupid can be!

Have you been in a situation where you are expected to assume a different personality or character? Were you ever caught between work and personal life? Or perhaps lose respect in yourself because of a stupid decision? Well, it's not the most wonderful thing in the world.

This is what I get for changing careers. I've ever been so happy and content with Retail Management (more than 12 years), since I'm working with people who are 8 or more years younger than I am, makes one see a different perspective in life. I've become their 'mother image' or a 'big sister', where the've given their trust and where their own decisions would also rely on whatever opinion or advice I give them. I can always be seen smiling, laughing... They in turn had given me an alternative home-- well, I am not exactly in a perfect and successful marital bliss.

Major decisions. Yes. I've changed careers. A bit on the advantageous side. More time for myself. I get to learn more. But did I really? The realities and pressures of THE real work place has taken a toll on me. I've been in retail heaven for the longest time, surrounded with people, busy with everything, etc... well, I miss those times.

I am to blame. I lost a dear friend because of stupidity. Because of pressures at work? Or because I don't have anything else to do? Simple. Just because I was thinking about my selfish self and what I was expected to do. I had forgotten that I've got other people to answer to. How can I be so insensitive? Miserable? Yes , very. Moving on? Well, trying to. But can't. I won't be able to find anyone like the friend I just lost. My fault.

Guess that's life.. and a big, big lesson for me. Wherever you are now, my friend, I want you to know that you'll be always in my heart. I sincerely am sorry. You've made me come out of my shell and smell the roses. I never thought that I would trust anyone again.... but I wasn't thinking. I tainted a good relationship. I know you won't forget, but at least forgive me.

You take care and I love you always.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Great Raid

I got the chance to watch "The Great Raid" not just because of Filipino actor Cesar Montano (I can't believe I'm posting his picture here too!), but because of the historical relevance it has.

The movie doesn't have the grand special effects as "Pearl Harbor" or other war movies, but I did appreciate it... story wise. Shot entirely in Australia, I'd say they really did a wonderful job in depicting Philippine countryside. In the Manila scenes, I could've sworn I saw the Manila City Hall in the background.

The opening scene of the movie showed American POW being led into tunnels (in a Palawan prison camp) by Japanese soldiers. Poured gasoline and setting them on fire. American soldiers who were able to get out of the tunnel were shot by the Japanese.
I've got this urged to poke at my seatmate and say "Hey.. those tunnels are near my grandmother's house!" (There are first account details of this in my grandmother's book, 'Puerto Princesa during the Second World War: A Narrative History 1941-1945')
There were good and (mostly)bad reviews about it, but yeah, it's their opinion. I could not agree more with the review given by Roger Ebert . Proud to be Filipino, I am!

Cesar Montano

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Mayonnaise Jar and the Coffee

I would like to thank my cousin again for this. Ivy dear... you're the best!!

The Mayonnaise Jar and the Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much
to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough,
remember the mayonnaise jar...and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him. When the class
began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and
empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with
golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar
was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of
pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the
jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students
again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and
poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled upeverything else. He
asked once more if the jar was full. The studentsresponded with an
unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee
from under the table and poured the entire contents
into the jar, effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter
subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar
represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things-your God, family, your children,
your health, your friends, and your favorite
passions-things that if everything else was lost and
only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter
like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else-the small stuff.
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he
continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the
golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your
time and energy on the small stuff, you will never
have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical
to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time
to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to
dinner. Sing Karaoke. There will always be time to
clean the house and fix the disposal." Take
care of the golf balls first, the things that really
matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and
inquired what the coffee represented. The professor
smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you
that no matter how full your life may seem, there's
always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a

Have a blessed day and week!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Woman that is my Grandmother

I spent the day today with my visiting maternal grandmother. It was quite a discussion with my 6 year old daughter to 'postpone' our Charlie and the Chocolate Party movie date for us to accompany my 'lola' (grandmother in Tagalog) today for errands, etc. before she heads back to her home in Palawan.

My lola (Carolina) , an 85 year old admirable woman will be turning 86 on Monday, Aug. 15th. She is the eldest of 4 siblings (incidentally, my great grandmother (Faustina, lola's mom), my mom (Ceres), me, and my daughter (Andrea) are all eldest daughters). She is a strong-willed woman. When she talks, everyone listens.

She grew up in Cuyo, Palawan where she was only able to finish until high school. She eventually became a teacher, gov't. auditor and city councilor. She was also Palawan Museum's 'reason for being' and curator, a writer -- her book 'Puerto Princesa during the Second World War: A Narrative History 1941-1945' (I did the cover design and lay-out for that ), an artist (sewing and pressed flowers), President of FORWARDE (Foundation for Women's Advancement, Rights, Development and Empowerment), co-emcees in their local radio station, Daigdig ng Mga Kababaihan (The World of Women) , an education and information drive on women's gender converns... and a lot more that I can't remember! Whew!!! .....

Anyway, she came to Manila because she was unable to receive her monthly pension for PVOA (Philippine Veterans) for almost a year now. Apparently, to her disgust, she found out that someone submitted a report to that my lola has remarried. She was raging mad not because of the delay or the inconvenience of coming over to Manila to fix things up herself, well... a little mad...---BUT she was more concern of what others might think (I say really... old school..) that she has remarried! We told her it was ok for us if she were.. lol... oh my, did she walked out on us!

She says she's too old for that kind of thing... which made me think. I may not know how lola managed to go through her daily life in Palawan. She lives in Puerto Princesa, in a beautiful house on a cliff facing the Sulu Sea. Her constant companion is her housemaid, and my aunt (nurse). She has kept herself busy doing lots of things... is it to fight her boredom? Is it to set aside certain feelings of loneliness without lolo (my grandfather, died in 1990)? Is it to forget her concerns that she could had done something that could've saved her only son (died last year)?

Lola has gone through lots. When we visited lolo's and my dad's grave in the cemetery this afternoon, she said something about not fearing death and having strong faith in God helped her through all this. I envy her. I am in the middle of a crisis in my life right now... and as I looked at her praying quietly beside lolo's grave, I knew that she's not lonely. She has accepted.

Something that I've yet, too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Turtle Named Tanya

I remember very well..It was in August last year, when Andee represented Miriam College Child Study Center in the 1st Golden Crayon Awards held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, during the National Book Fair. Phoenix Educational Systems, Inc, Robins Branch (distributors of World Book Encyclopedia) spearheaded this Draw-A-Book contest, a parent and child activity, with the theme "Spending Quality Time with a Parent".

The contest actually started end of June, where parent and child must finish 80% of the book at home, and the remaining 20% will be finished by the child in school, in front of the judges and Phoenix representatives.

Honestly, I was more pressured and stressed out. Maybe because I wanted Andee to experience friendly competition, well, more over, win. Or maybe because of my known reputation in college (Maryknoll '89) as VP in its Artists' Circle and such.. that some of the teachers in Child Study were my batchmates. Expectations, expectations. Ha! really, what a mother thinks!

I watched Andee do the final oil pastel touches using my own more-than-17-years-Sakura Oil Pastels-- or what's left of it! I'd say... the quality of the pastels are really, really good after all these years! We received word after a few days that her entry "Tiny Turtle Tanya" was chosen to represent Miriam College Child Study Center.

There were 15 schools represented during that time. Each of the 15 representatives were initially awarded a Golden Crayon Award medal for winning in their respective schools. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Andee was the youngest of the 15 (she, being in kindergarten, while the others were between grades 1-3)

There were 3 more prizes at stake: Koko's Choice Awards (3 winners) - Koko, being Philippine Star's kiddie magazine; Artist's Choice Award (3 winners); and Working Mom's Award (3 winners) - for Working Mom's magazine.

Andee's entry, "Tiny Turtle Tanya" won 2, namely: 1) Koko's Choice Award, which her work was featured in Koko's kiddie magazine in Philippine Star; and 2) Artist's Choice Award, where she got a glass trophy and free Art Lessons.

Wow! I would never ever trade that moment to see how Andee gets up on stage-- 3 times! Her face beaming, wide smile, sweet happy face! Good experience for the both of us, and times together well-spent! This made me see how a little girl gets and shares ideas, be creative and have talent that I never thought I'd see this early. Ha!!! Like mother, like daughter!

Hmmm... now if she could just learn how to sing....

Andee at 5 years old. 1st Golden Crayon Awards, World Trade Center in Pasay City, during the National Book Fair. August 2005

Monday, August 08, 2005

Photographs and Memories

In search for my little box of 'horrors', hahaha, well, horrors, because that little box has ALL my ID's from my previous employment, clubs, and what-have-you. Boy, you could imagine how looks can drastically change!

Anyway, I found 3 old photo albums. 1 from highschool, and 2 from college up to around 5 years of employment bliss. Aside from this, I also found STACKS of photos from the 6th year of employment bliss up to the present..well, actually around 10 years of photos (since the remaining 2 years to present are now digitally stored) I saw faces of good friends that I wonder how they are now. I saw how my hairstyle range from bob, to bangs, to layered, to long and straight, to long and curly, to super duper short, etc. Then I finally saw
it... (or didn't see it)...and I can't believe why I don't have any picture. For all those years that they've kept me company. For all those years that they've kept me busy. For all those years that they've been an inspiration. I don't have pictures of my cats!!!!!! Yes, my cats!!! The time when, at the peak of my 18-cat-motherhood life.... I don't have even one unfocused, faded photo of my 18 cats. The only photos I have were during the first few ones, and now, with Tygra (what's left of them) Geezzz...!!

From the top: Cotton (tortie), Tygra (silver tabby), Pitikay (black short), me (at 23 (sigh) and Dagul (seal-point siamese), and me again (at 5 months pregnant with Andee), with struggling Lucky (persian tabby)

Friday, August 05, 2005

My Art and Cafepress

I opened a new basic shop at Cafepress for my artwork. I've got lots of it (my art) stashed away at home. Some as early as when I was just 8 years old (kudos to my mom for keeping it!). The hard part is getting it scanned since the size of the art work has bigger dimensions than that of the scanner we have at home.

I initially uploaded two artworks.

One, Woman's Face, rendered in Charcoal pencil (from a picture in an old magazine) , and the other,

"Nude Duet" in Oil Pastel (based from a picture from one of our sessions then with K.A.T.A.G. or Kabataang Tundo Art Group, headed by our mentor, Philippine Artist Fernando Sena).

These were done during my college days (Maryknoll College Artists' Circle) and were put on exhibit at the City Gallery in Rizal Park, Manila (1986). See it on items here at Cafepress.

I am trying to see if I could upgrade the shop to premium. I already have my hands full with JustCats and perhaps two more stores won't hurt? (gulp!)

I've also uploaded three more pressed flower art to complete the collection for My Backyard Gallery. It does really look great as a whole don't you think? I really love how it looks in those throwpillows! Pity the shipping costs are too much!
See more at My Backyard Gallery!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Come to the Garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses...

My cousin, Ivy, forwarded this to me. Hope you'll like it...



1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul


1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness


1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another


1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another


1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends


My instructions were to send this to people that I wanted to bless
and I picked you. You can too.

Just beautiful! Don't you think?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Remembering Mozart

On my way to work today, I go the usual jeepney ride to Manggahan in Pasig. The weather was cool this morning, and windy. That was around 9:45am. The jeepney stopped at their usual 'stops' and an old couple, both I would say, about their 60's, got on the jeepney. 'Lolo' was carrying a plastic bag with fruits and vegetables, while 'Lola' has a small basket, as I see it, covered with a piece of cloth.

It was only when a little girl (a passenger) gasp and shouted "Mommy, puppy! puppy!" that I saw what was in the basket. Yup, the puppy was around 4 months old.... dark brown, big floppy ears. I saw Lola cuddling and caring fore it.. took out a baby bottle and fed it with milk, as the little girl looked on. Seeing this, I remembered Mozart....
Mozart was only 2 months old when he got sick. No one else at home had the time..or the will! take care of him since most are busy with work anyway, and his medications are scheduled every 3-4 hours or so. Mozart is my cat. His mom is Evita, my red persian-shorthair --- who actually looks more like an american short-- while his dad was, well.. 'at large'.

Mozart came out long-haired, bright red coat and beautiful copper eyes. I've taken him to the vet once or twice because he seemed lame and doesn't eat. He has to take his medicine every 4 hours for two days. Fortunately, the first day, I was on day-off. I was then Merchandise Supervisor for a waterpark down south..Splash Island in San Pedro, Laguna. The second day, I had no choice but to take him to work.

So armed with a basket, a few old rags, his medication and food-- I took him to work. Left the house at 5:00am to catch the company shuttle to Laguna at 5:30am.

Animals were not allowed, of course. Mozart's temporary home was inside my office. I would check on him not every hour, but every 5 minutes! My staff would go in and pet him once in a while and assured him that he'd get well. My staff.. King, Grace and Jun. And of course, how can I forget Rey-- my so-ever criticising, persistent, handsome assistant who would jokingly say that Mozart's well off as 'siopao' !

Anyway, Mozart got well of course but I miss him. Wherever he is now I hope he is well taken care of.
"Manong, C-5 lang po!" a passenger called out... I snapped out of my daydreaming.. what's this? I wiped the tear in my eye and alighted from the jeepney.

There are reasons why animals, or pets, or cats come into our lives. For me, they have this special 'thing' that makes a person more caring. Or loving. What is life without them as they stand as our kids to teach us the ins and outs of 'parenting' even before we're married and have our own family?
The puppy is so lucky with the old couple to take care of him. Because of them, too, I had put aside a moment of reminiscing. Remembering Mozart.