Saturday, December 30, 2006

Nang si Kristo’y Isilang…May Tatlong Koreanong Nagsidalaw

Tambay mode ako. Pagkabangon sa kama, tumunganga at nagpakatamad. Saktong walang magawa si Nichi sa bago niyang permanent marker. Napagkasunduan naming drowingan nya na lang ang leg ko ng isang character (of my choice) sa Yugi-oh cards nya.

So ayon, matatapos na sya nang may tatlong Koreanong kumatok sa pinto namin. Magsusurvey daw sila. Yun lang pala eh. Kinuha ko agad yung questionnaire. Palibhasa hindi pa ako nagtutoothbrush, pinasok ko sa bahay yung papel. Maya-maya pa e nagtangka nang pumasok yung babaeng Koreano.

“Can we come in?”

Op kors, I had to live up to the Pinoy hospitality.

“Come in. Take a seat.” Sabay hawi ng mga kalat sa sofa namin. Tapos binalikan ko yung questionnaire. Patay! Isa itong trap! Puro mga bible chenes ang tanong. Hindi naman sa takot akong matanong tungkol sa bible, considering that I got 3 line-of-sevens sa Christian Living nung high school ako. May idea lang ako na hindi aalis agad ang tatlong Koreanong ito.

And true enough, matapos silang pakainin ng mommy ko ng saging which they called “banana monkey,” naglabas na sila ng bible. (Tuwang-tuwa sila sa thought ng “banana monkey”. Ako naman natatawa kasi yung mommy ko e kasalukuyang nanonood ng Koreanovela sa channel 7.) Tinanong nila ako kung nagbabasa ba ako ng bible. Sabi ko, oo, noong nag-aaral pa ako sa Catholic school. Di ko na inexpound na actually, ginagawa ko lang coloring book yung bible ko kaya nga yata nangolekta ako ng line-of-seven doon.

Nang mapadaan ang daddy ko, sabi nya, in Filipino, “bebentahan lang kayo nyan!” I hope di siya naintindihan ng aming mga kimchi-eating guests. Kasi, paano na ang Pinoy hospitality?

Titiisin ko sana na basahan nila ako ng bible kaso may question and answer portion pa. Parang they wanted me to get involved.

Attack of the ADHD na ito kaya napasabak ako sa Inglisan! Sa pagkakaalala ko, ito yung mga sinabi ko:

“I think you are going to start preaching to me.”

Tumago ang tatlong singkit. Take note: nakabukas ang bible nila sa revelations. Talagang tinatakot ako!

“I told you earlier that I used to read the bible. I no longer do that now because I now have a different way of nourishing my faith. I do not believe that I will enter the kingdom of heaven just by praying alone. I think that it is also important to do good deeds to the people around me.”

“Yes but,” sabi nung isa pang Koreana na mukhang may cultural ignorance sa pagrecognize ng mga Pinoy sa kanilang personal bubble—I swear ang lapit ng mukha nya sa akin! “Jesus said ten thousand years ago, ‘come to me if you thirst…blah blah blah…it is the only way you can enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Then this time (balik sa revelations) only those who know the spirit and his wife can enter the kingdom of heaven.”

“I am so sorry but I don’t believe in that. Not all of us have the privilege to read books such as the bible. And I don’t think God will favor those who were lucky enough to have read the bible and known the existence of the ‘spirit and his wife.’ I don’t think God will lock his door to those who cannot read or those whom you, preachers, did not reach.”

“Yes, but ten thousand years ago…” Prerecorded yata ang ten thousand years ago script ng Koreanang ito!

“I have a different way of interpreting the bible. I am so sorry but I’m afraid our beliefs will not meet. I strongly believe that prayer and knowledge of the bible are not the key to God’s kingdom. I’ve seen religious people. I’ve known some who are strong in faith but weak in action. I don’t think they will enter the kingdom of heaven for that. And besides, I do good to the people around me because I want to do good, not because I am finding a way to get to heaven, to assure myself a place there.”

Hindi ko na maalala kung anu-ano pa exactly ang mga sinabi ko. Basta namalayan ko na lang na nakatunganga na ang tatlong Koreano. Hindi ko alam kung naintindihan ba nila ako o kung may sense ba talaga ang mga sinabi ko. Nagulat din ako. Ang dami kong sinabi sa kanila. In English pa! Marunong pala akong magsalita ng matinong Ingles!

Pack-up ang tatlong Koreano. Nag-sorry ako dahil ayaw kong isipin nila na binastos ko sila. Ang akin naman e, kanya-kanyang paniniwala lang ito. At kung ano man ang mas makakabuti sa iyo, ang magiging daan para maging isa kang mabuting tao, why not go for it?

At kagaya ng sinabi ko sa isang katext ko kanina, hindi “matanda” si Papa Jesus—hindi siya yung tipong pag nagsabi ka ng opinyon mo na medyo lihis sa paniniwala niya ay e ikukumpas niya ang kamay niya para mag-apoy na lang ang kinatatayuan mo. Hindi narrow-minded yung batang ipinanganak sa sabsaban. Sa dami ng mga pinagdaanan niya, malamang sa oo, mulat ang mga mata niya sa realidad hindi lamang sa mga pinagsasabi ng mga sikat na propeta noong panahon niya. At sa palagay ko, si Jesus, may sense of humor siya. Kasi naman, kung hindi siya marunong sumundot ng joke sa mga speech niya, malamang tinulugan na siya thousands of men, excluding women and children, na audience niya sa gitna ng disyerto kahit pa may free food sila.

COMMENTS

Buwahahahahaha!!!
banana monkey sounds two degrees removed from kimchi chinky
cheers to the people who still subscribe to "sabi nilang mga matatanda..." and may they find other people to blame for thier upbringing.
Posted by: Poli | December 30, 2006 01:12 PM

Talent,
sooooooooper winner talaga ang acting mo! ang galing! lol! dapat nirerecord mo un ganyan, tatalunin mo pa si rex navarete i swearrrrr!!!
Manager
Posted by: ChRiStMaSII | January 4, 2007 10:18 AM

Manager,
Gusto ko na talaga maging stand up comic. Seryoso! Wala ka bang alam na raket?
Ayos lang sa akin ang mapuyat!
--Talent
Posted by: Tyrene | January 5, 2007 09:03 AM

malabo yata yung "Jesus said 10 thousand years ago", no?!
hindi ba dapat 2000++ years lang?
ano yon? imbento?!
tye, here's to a life led not by religious faith, but faith in one's self.
happy new year!
Posted by: Nikka | January 5, 2007 09:04 AM

Aba, you know your bible! Yun din sabi ng kapatid ko. Siyempre ako, hindi ko alam yon!
Posted by: Tyrene | January 5, 2007 09:07 AM

so ano na ngang pinag uusapan!!!!????? wahahhahaha
Posted by: evil | January 22, 2007 09:09 AM

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Senti…I Can’t Help It

Hindi ako makasulat nang matino. May thoughts kasing bumabara sa isipan ko kaya hindi makadaloy ang sana ay blog-worthy stories ko. Sinusubukan kong isantabi ang barang ito pero ayaw umusad ng attempt ko. I am hoping that this entry will work like Gleam liquid Sosa. Nawa’y matanggal agad ang bara!

Pero bago yon, disclaimer muna…

I realized during my crying festival that my health care provider may not cover my psychiatric concerns and that I would have gone totally insane if it were not for my writing. Hence my blog is sort of sacred. And as much as my published thoughts, by my own volition, have turned public, I still have command over my space—I mean, my friendster blog. Kaya magalit na ang magagagalit. This is my blog. I think I have the right to say what seems healthy for me to say here.

Sabi nga ni Connie Veneracion, isang multi-awarded blogger and Op-ed columnist, ang bawat blogger ay dapat na may matibay na sikmura kagaya ng mga kolumnista. Sa pagsusulat, siguradong may titira sa iyo kaya dapat handa ka.

Sana nga handa ako.

Bukas Christmas eve na. Pero bakit hindi ako masaya? Bakit bitter ako? Shut up if you’re going to say wala kasi akong boyfriend! Wala akong boyfriend since pinanganak ako. I wouldn’t know the difference. Bad trip ako kasi iba na ang Pasko.

One time habang kasama ko ang ilan kong kaopisina sa napakahabang pila sa ATM, nagtanungan kami kung papaano namin i-se-celebrate ang pasko. Nalungkot ako para sa isang officemate when he said that he will probably greet Christmas alone. I asked him why he wouldn’t spend Christmas with his family. He said that kanya kanya na kasi sila. Nalungkot talaga ako. Parang weird yata ang pasko kung walang pamilya. After all, Christmas is originally about a family welcoming a special new-born baby.

Hindi attempt na magpaka-macho ang pag-claim ko na never akong naniwala kay Santa Clause dahil hindi naman talaga ako naniwala sa matabang mama na yon. I have to stress out that my childhood was perfect even without Santa Clause. Mahusay ang mga magulang ko dahil naipahatid nila sa akin na ang Pasko ay tungkol kay Mama Mary, Papa Joseph at Baby Jesus. Kaya naman walang bahid ng komersyalismo ang early Christmases ko. If you think about it, Christmas is not about decorations, or Christmas cards, or gifts. It is all about family.

Yes, family.

For 24 years, I spent Christmas with my immediate family. Parang may time na hindi kami complete dahil naalala ko na yung dati naming bunso (tatlo pa lang kaming magkakapatid noon) ay naospital isang Pasko dahil nahulog siya sa hagdan. Nonetheless that Christmas seemed complete kahit si dad, ate at ako lang ang nasa bahay. Tapos six years ago, muntik na kaming magpaskong lahat sa ospital nang madiagnose si Nichi ng Leukemia. Mabuti na lang at nadischarge kami ng umaga ng Dec. 24. Then last year happened.

Nakakalungkot dahil isa na kami sa maraming Pinoy families na hindi kumpleto dahil mayroon na kaming OFW (or para sosyal, ex-pat) sa pamilya. Kaya galit ako sa pagtaas ng presyo ng lata. It took my Ate away from us. Kung OK sana ang ekonomiya natin, kumpleto sana kami.

Thankful ako dahil despite the events in our family life this year, we managed to come out complete. A few days ago, my dad told me that Nichi’s doctor told him noong malala si Nichi na devastated na talaga ang katawan ng bunso kong kapatid, na kumalat na ang impeksyon sa katawan nya, na alam naman ng bata iyon, na susunod na mangyayari sa kanya ay mag-slip into a coma then perish. Kaya naman pala parang nalugi ang daddy ko. I told my dad, “kaya pala parang nag-space out ka na nung umiiyak si Nichi sa ospital.” Even I knew that something was wrong kasi alam ko my dad always knew what to do pero nung dark days ni Nichi parang pati daddy ko ay wala nang magawa. Himala talaga na nagawa pa ni Niching magkakanta nitong nakaraang kasal ng Ate ko. May powerful being na nagbigay kay Nichi ng hindi lang pangalawang chance na mabuhay.

Siguro human ako for demanding more. Kasi if I were to be asked, hindi ko lang hihilingin na makumpleto ang pamilya namin. Siyempre gusto ko sama-sama kami. Pero as the cliché goes, “nothing is constant in this world but change.” So change it is.

A week ago, we welcomed my sister’s husband to our family. Sabi nga ng dad ko, hindi siya brother-in-law. Brother siya. Which is correct. Nakinig akong mabuti doon sa toast ng daddy ko during my sister’s wedding’s reception. And he has a point. Your daughter marrying someone doesn’t mean you are losing her. On the contrary, you are gaining a son. Korekek! Sa wakas I am having the older brother I never had. Pero siyempre, hindi lahat ng pagbabago ay madaling tanggapin. Kaya nga yata naimbento ang limbo.

Nasa Pilipinas si Ate ngayon pero hindi niya sasalubungin ang Pasko with us because as the wife of her husband, she has decided to spend Christmas with Kuya Warren's family. There is nothing wrong with that really. Kasi she already is a part of that family.

However, I can’t help but feel abandoned. Hindi rin pala kami kumpletong sasalubong sa Pasko. Sa picture lang na naman ulit makikita ni ate ang mga mukha namin sa bisperas ng Pasko. At, oo, kagaya ng thought na nakabara sa utak ko, may lump na naka-stuck sa throat ko ngayon dahil needless to say, malungkot ako.

Hindi naman ako pwedeng magalit dahil mali iyon. That’s when my hurt will be out of line. Somehow I am lamenting yet trying to be rational. Mahirap siya. Naiisip ko iyong isang comment ni Ate dito sa blog ko noon. She said that I will forever be her sister. Pero since last year, I was just her maid of honor, except nung napaemergency uwi siya rito dahil nga na-ICU si Nichi. In between sa paghihintay namin sa viewing hours sa ICU, naging magkapatid ulit kami. Nagawa naming mag-usap ng hindi lamang tungkol sa kasal nya kung hindi sa buhay ng isa’t isa. Ngayong tapos na ang kasal, hindi ko alam kung mag-ano na kami. Kasi napansin ko we no longer tell each other everything. She withholds her stories; I screen mine. Ganoon ba talaga kapag lumalaki na ang magkakapatid? Tapos lalong hindi malinaw dahil yung dating roommate ko, na ka-kunchaba ko sa mga Christmas surprises ay absent, hindi dahil mahal ang lata, kundi dahil may asawa na siya.

Itong taon na ito, nasabihan ako ng “grow up.” Alam ko na guilty ako sa pagiging female Peter Pan pero hindi ko na-realize na masasaktan ako sa imperative statement na, “grow up.” Siguro kaya hirap akong mag-accept ng change dahil nga bonsai ang maturity ko. At kung ang mga kasabayan ko ay adult na, ako ngayon pa lang tinitighiyawat ang mga pananaw ko sa buhay. Pwede ko sigurong gawing project yon sa 2007. Maybe that’ll help me cope and adjust.

Pwede ko rin sigurong paluin ang sarili ko. Kasi naman, October of last year pa lang sinabihan ko na ang sarili ko na, “prepare yourself, a big change is about to come your way.” Kaya nga nag-aaral akong mapag-isa. It is the only way I could detach myself. Akala ko naman OK na. Sus, not enough exercise pala ang shopping, bowling, eating and watching movies by myself! Ito yata ang problem with thinking. It proves to be depressing.

But I will get over this. I know I will.

Sayang lang nga, kung alam ko lang sana na last Noche Buena na namin together yung noong 2004, e di sana sinagad-sagad ko na. Tunay ngang nasa huli ang pagsisi. Madalas kong sabihin ngayon na time’s a ticking. Yung nangyari kay Nichi, yung kasal ni Ate at ang Pasko namin bukas ay ilan lang sa mga pangyayari na nagreremind sa akin ng time really is a ticking!

Ewan ko kung kelan pa kami muling mabubuo sa pagsalubong ng Pasko. Who knows kung may mag-aabroad muli sa amin next year? And with what I heard hindi na dito magpapasko sina Ate and Kuya Warren next year. Baka they will spend the holidays in another country with the same people with whom they will be spending this year's Christmas with.

It sucks sometimes. Late na pag nadiscover mo na times-up ka na pala. Iiyak ka na lang upon realizing that, shit, you can no longer turn back time!

So let me say it.

Shit! I don’t think that I can turn back time!

COMMENTS

Naiyak ako.
Yun lang.
Shit. We can never turn back time.
Shit again kasi the truth hurts.
Tye... kukunin ko blog mo... ipo-post ko sa blog ko. Gusto ko i-share sa lahat ang views mo. Antipatikang talentadong writer ka!!! It's about time the world hears you.
Love you, sis!
Posted by: Addict | December 23, 2006 10:01 PM

Kaya ka naiyak dahil umiiyak ang nagsulat ng binasa mo. Hindi ko alam kung minumura mo ba ako pero since antipatikang talentada naman ako, I'll take your comment as a compliment. Salamat! Palakpak tenga ko.
Posted by: Tyrene | December 30, 2006 10:16 AM

Aww... in fairness to you, dpat magsulat ka professionally. Set up a blog somewhere na mas marami makakabasa. Ako ang unang fan mo!
Well, napa-sigh ako nun part na xmas nyo last year. naisip ko rin ang mortality ng pagiging sama sama. totoo nga naman. we dont know what can happen in 1 year. baka nga next xmas di na pareho. but well, isipin mo nalang (ham yan!) u have all other xmas' of your life to reminisce na kumpleto at masaya ang lahat. darating ang araw mga bagong memory naman ang papalit, sana lang mas masaya ka na sa susunod diba?!
ps.
di ka nagiisa, ganyan talaga pag pasko, lahat ng SSB senti, hehehe!
Posted by: ChRiStMaSII | January 4, 2007 10:27 AM

Christmas, Pasensya na at sad ako nung birthday mo. Pero tama ka. Aabangan ko na lang ang next na pasko. Hopefully bagong adventure na yon. :-)
About the new blog, I've thought about that. In fact nagsimula na ako with a new blog pero long way to go pa siya. Ang drama ko sana ay new year, new blog pero hindi ko na-meet ang aking Dec31 deadline. For now, pinopost ko rin doon lahat ng posts ko dito. Wala pa siya masyadong laman but you can be one of my first visitors there. Just go to http://battik.blogspot.com/
Thank you for reading me and, as we say it at Hallmark, happy belated birthday!
Posted by: Tyrene | January 5, 2007 09:25 AM

wala bang blog about new year's eve.. nung sama-sama tayong lahat? i hope it counts.
love does not require physical presence.. napapakita ito kapag malayo ang mahal mo and still napapakita mo pa rin ang concern mo by calling or by texting.
i dont take this blog against you. kaya nga may freedom of speech. kaya lang when you write you are also documenting everything. your happiness, your pain.. i just hope you learn from them and not treat them as a scar which will never be healed.
- ate win
Posted by: Wah and Win | January 15, 2007 08:10 AM

Friday, December 22, 2006

If It Falls Off


I will not see a doctor if I didn’t think something is wrong. But I am in pain. Unfortunately I seem to be the only one who realizes that this could be bad. Even my health care provider is postponing my diagnosis to celebrate the holidays. THEY will celebrate the holidays while my right boob is probably rotting and who knows, 11 days after my trauma, my boob may be falling off.

Call me unlucky for being the only one damaged during a minor accident in that friggin FB van during my sister’s wedding. My right arm, boob and rib cage slammed at the solid metal back of the front passenger seat when the driver hastily stepped on the breaks. He said a cab tried to cut us. To hell with that cab! For a moment I thought I lost my arm.

None of my family was there in the van to comfort me. No one in the van had the initiative to care even if I was telling them that I think I just lost my right boob. I guess they thought I was joking.

Of all the times to incur pain, why during my sister’s wedding? Why when I am wearing a red sparkly gown? And we were on our way to the church—meaning I had to suppress my pain during the whole holy matrimony thing until the end of the reception. The moment I got off the van I told my parents what had happened to me. Of course, everyone was busy with the wedding. No one seemed to have absorbed that this time, I wasn’t kidding. I had no choice but to procrastinate grieving for my dead muscles and, probably, broken bones.

The show went on. Ergo, I proceeded with my maid of honor duties albeit my internal, physical throb. And when the lights went out, I burst into tears. My brother asked me if I wanted to be brought to the hospital. I avoided his question by crying some more. Heaven knows how I am afraid of hospitals!

When I retired to bed, my trauma site ached like crazy. I celebrated my mortality by crying just as crazily. The tears that I shed lasted until 10 AM the next day. In one episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the character Christina yelled, “Make it stop! Sedate me!” She was pertaining to her tears. I never thought I would be her. Lucky me, I slept through my sobs and pain. When I gained consciousness at around 5PM, my tear ducts were dry and my eyes were beyond bloated. My vision had turned panoramic! I swear, what comes after a crying festival isn’t the best hangover there is.

I no longer worry about my arm. In fact I’m beginning to like my bruise. I look like a dog with one giant spot. It’s not everyday that you get a chance to look like a dog. I am happy to have been given that opportunity.

Yesterday, I mustered enough courage to see a doctor. Then again, I was still hurt. I had no choice but to have my bump checked. The doctor said that the stinging feeling on my bruise will last for another one to two more weeks. He ordered that my arm and ribcage be X-rayed to be sure that I did not break anything.

A while ago, I went back to the hospital to get the result of my X-ray but some cosmic force wants to prolong my agony. No doctor accredited by my health care provider will be able to take a look at my X-ray not until December 27. On my way home, I could not stop myself from thinking that December 27, 11 days after my accident, maybe too late to treat a blood clot. I am afraid that by that time I may be facing muscle death. (This is what watching too much House episodes does to you. Still, I could be right.)

Throughout all this, I manage to feel pissed off. I take care of myself—a lot—because I don’t want to get hurt, then this happens. If the fates think it’s funny then they should die laughing. This is what I get from being involved in a wedding—to think I did my part amidst my occasional whining. If the fates are still laughing, then they should die. Now.

My mom reprimanded me for saying that I may lose a boob. She cannot blame me for thinking negatively. The thing is, a part of me aches leaving me less than assured that I will be fine. It doesn’t help that I am hypochondriac thus explaining my tendency to magnify my injuries. Then there’s my sense of humor that thrives on hyperboles. I find exaggerated things funny. You see, I am worried but that doesn’t mean I have lost my sense of humor. I wouldn’t allow the fates to cannibalize my mishap. I will share this comedy. And if ever my boob falls off five days from now, at least I made a big laugh out of it.

Perhaps after I grieve, I’d know what to ask people next Christmas—a one-cup bra for a one-boob chick!

COMMENTS

okay. now i know how much you hate hospitals! kaya pala hindi ka mapakali nung wedding ni ate windale. hahaha!!! tye, it won't fall off. it might shrink but it won't fall off, that i assure you. now, do i sound more positive than your doctor???
sa pose mo ba naman sa picture nating tatlo ni Leng (The Singles/Attack of the CommArts), mahahalata bang you were in pain???
miss you!!!
at don't worry, okay ang resulta ng x-ray mo. may right boob ka pa next year.
mwah!!!
Posted by: Addict | December 22, 2006 06:21 AM

if it's of any comfort, "there's more to chicks than boobs"
ah, kaya siguro ako naging artist at hindi writer...
Posted by: Poli | December 30, 2006 01:22 PM

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Wise Men Say...

“…only fools rush in.”

I wonder what the wise women say.

Last night I went out with my kumares. Notice how fond I am of using the term kumare. It has a lot to do with them, the actual people I am referring to, being my first set of kumares who are within my age range. I have to thank Mareng Cheche, Pareng Budic and baby Perry for making that possible.

Our dinner was not really a girl’s night out because Mareng Ging brought along her son, Carl which was not at all bad. Carl is five years old. He is therefore within three months to seven years old—the age of kids when they are at their cutest—that is, according to me. Anyway, Carl is very amusing and is pretty much bright. He talks a lot and, amazingly, he makes sense!

I think it was Mareng Cheche who said “Ging, magaling na ba magbasa si Carl?” Which I followed up with, “Oo nga, parang ang dami na niyang alam!” To which Mareng Ging replied, “Nasa delivery lang yan.”

And just as the son, the mom, too, made sense.

It is how we deliver things that make a difference. Delivery may make or break us.

Last weekend, I dragged myself early out of bed just to make it to my 8:30 A.M. dental appointment. Nope, I was not looking forward to it. When I am the patient, doctors including dentists are monsters. I am extremely afraid of them. I once stopped a dentist who was half-way through drilling my molar, not because I was in pain but because I couldn’t stand my fear. I walked around with an open-drilled molar for about three months—the same span of time it took me to gather enough courage to go on with the dental procedure which usually runs about 30 to 60 minutes.

Somehow I realize that I do have to face my fears. Of course, I would not want to be late when I do that. And I wasn’t.

Unfortunately the dentist and her staff were. I arrived in a clinic with no signs of living, human medical creatures inside, thus aggravating the tension a battik patient goes through whenever within proximity of a clinic or a hospital.

Forty-five minutes after my schedule, the dentist and her “staff” arrived. Five minutes after that, I found myself sitting on the reclined dental chair, leaving me powerless, so to speak.

“Kanina ka pa ba naghihintay sa labas?” the dentist asked.

Nandito na ako ng 8:30. Ni-remind kasi ako ng assistant ninyo kahapon to be here on time.” I tried to deliver it as if I were not pissed off. The dentist was about to stick several of her apparatus in my mouth—I wouldn’t want her to hate me. What am I? Crazy? Wimp, yes. Crazy, no!

Sometimes, clamming up is the best means for self-preservation.

But, God, I hate late! The day after that fateful dental incident, my new cube alarm clock failed me. I woke up late for my scheduled Divisoria trip with my friends. On my tardy way to our meeting place, I saw this huge red sign which read, “Hate Late?” Some cosmic entity is speaking to me. (Yesterday, I figured out that the said cosmic entity is none other than Pizza Hut—the company responsible for those huge red hate-late signs around Pasig.)

Recently tardiness has gotten me a 16-hour suspension from work. I will not try to defend myself for incurring 20 lates this year even if I know I can justify my lateness. A lot of people, though, were surprised because of that suspension and the very “demeriting” news (I am inventing my words now) even reached Singapore which is not at all OK with me. I mean if I screw up, I prefer that it won’t go international—after all, I am NOT famous.

However it is clear to me that although I hate late, I am not one who is incapable of being late for no good reason at all. Probably the best no-good-reason-for being late is procrastination. I have come to realize that I am guilty of procrastinating almost everything in my life that if ever I decide to come up with a list of things I’ve postponed for yesterday, it will take me forever. Well, one, because I will surely procrastinate and, two, because my list will be infinite.

So now I am reduced on rationalizing: if fools rush in and I procrastinate then I will be no fool according to wise men.

Still, I wonder what the wise women will say.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Of Being Pinoy

I was born and raised in Manila, the place where Filipino is most corrupt. By “Filipino” I mean both the language and the people.

It is my excuse for my poor mastery of my first language. I know I should be ashamed for not understanding the words lumagom, ilaw-dagitab, wating-wating, untag, bagol, lukbutan, gora, and natulig—all of which I got from Efren R. Abueg’s Mabangis na Lungsod, a short story I read back in high school. Thanks to my brother who has a penchant for leaving his things at random places in the house, I got a chance to refresh my memory with the story whose title I often use to refer to Manila.

However, I do love Manila—Intramuros to be exact. If there is one thing I enjoy about being my sister’s maid of honor, it will be having an excuse to visit Intramuros. It probably is what Rizal meant by “primordial sense of belonging.” I somehow feel attached to Intramuros having been born in Manila. Then again, it is Intramuros. Who wouldn’t want to explore its rich terrain and history?


Don’t think that I am kidding when I say that I learned English from Sesame Street because it really is how I learned Uncle Sam’s words. It is very rare that we speak in English at home. As far as my family is concerned, Filipino and Cebuano has been our vernacular. Note the “Cebuano.” The little Cebuano my mom uses have contributed to the slight “distortion” of my Filipino (or should I say “Tagalog?”), along with a number of gay and kanto words, thus my incapacity to speak and write in straight Filipino which is bad, especially for a UP graduate.

But my half-mutilated Filipino language is the least of my worries for now. There is the Filipino people I have to deal with.

For all good reasons, I try to hang on to my faith in our kababayans. I cannot inhabit my country and at the same time loathe its people. Plus I still believe that despite every Pinoy’s shortcomings as a citizen of this nation, deep inside he has that heart of gold with “Made in the Philippines” carved on it.

So call me naïve. If that’s what it takes to have hope in our people. If that’s what it means to choose to believe that the reason why an alarming number of Juan’s and Maria’s are migrating abroad is to bring in more dollars to their Inang Bayan rather than to run away. If that’s the price I have to pay for preferring to count the number of smiles I get from our brown-skinned fellowmen instead of taking note of their grunts.

Yet, the Filipino psyche puzzles me. And sometimes, it saddens me.

Last Wednesday, I went to the mall to look for a lotion or a moisturizer that would heal a dry patch on my skin. To my dismay, around 98% of the products I saw claimed that they will make my skin whiter. I had no intentions of having “fairer” skin but, apparently, beauty product manufacturers assume that a Filipino buyer would, more or less, want to become lighter than s/he is. Colonial mentality has consumed our people’s vanity so much that it has begun messing with the Pinoy melanin. If you think about it, it is quite disturbing.

I found my moisturizer with no “whiteners” printed on its label. Hopefully, there is no whitening ingredient in it, too. As I was about to pay for it, I noticed that a beige purse was left unattended on the cashier’s counter, which I found weird because the purse is almost the same size as a tiny ladies’ bag and what kind of a lady would ever leave her bag on a cashier’s counter?

I informed the female bagger of the purse which she previously thought was mine. I swear, she tried to listen to the bag before she kept it. I would have done the same thing, I guess, because the possibility that the bag contained a bomb of sorts did cross my mind. And two people with whom I shared this story with thought so, too. So there goes the applaud-worthy Pinoy honesty and the depressing repressed fear for Pinoy security.

The mall did not explode after I stepped out of it and, thank God, it remains intact until now. Still the more “explosive” part of my story is about to come.

That same night, I happened to ride an FX with two guys sitting on the bench parallel me and the lady beside me. It would have been a normal ride home had it not for the older guy telling the driver to drop them off to Danny Floro. I have lived in Pasig long enough to know that Danny Floro is Pasig’s motel strip. I am aware that it is none of my business to scrutinize the guy, who, as perceived by my gaydar, is gay. To be clear about it, I do not have a thing against homosexuals and their indiscretions, heaven knows why but that is beside the point.

Last Wednesday’s incident especially bothered me because of whom the gay guy was with. It was not just some guy; it was a boy, probably one third his age. And by the look on the boy’s face, I do not think he had a vivid idea of what he was getting himself into. The whole trip, he tried to tuck his head on his lap, or the old gay guy’s left lap—I am not really sure which. I was hoping that I was judging them incorrectly. I was silently wishing that they prove me wrong. But they got off in front of one of the motels so what was I to think?

Yes, this thing happens to different parts of the world, but I was not prepared to witness it in my own country. Maybe the gay guy and the boy were in a relationship—neither of them was forced to get off the FX and step into the motel. Maybe both of them get something from each other. I would not really know. Still, these thoughts will not appease me and I am just a spectator.

They say that last week during Manny Pacquiao’s final battle with Eric Morales, the crime rate dropped to zero. Imagine if the fight lasted 12 rounds—how long that would have bought us peace, how those 12 rounds would have kept us from screwing up. Pacquiao’s gloved fist fight somehow proved that we Filipinos can be united and civilized. Ironically, it is a legal, violent form of sport that held us together. And during the whole three rounds, the time when Filipinos seemed to have behaved themselves, I kept uttering in between my faux sobs, “barbaric!”

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Confessions of a Dancing Queen

Houston, we have a problem: Kailangan kong sumayaw!

Magiging plastic ako kung sasabihin kong ayaw kong sumayaw dahil gusto ko naman. I really do. Ang problema, ayaw ng sayaw sa akin.

I find myself faced in a constant dilemma. And it has something to do with my anatomy, probably due to a loose wiring in one of the lobes of my brain: Kailangan kong pumili which extremity ang sasabay sa beat—yung upper or lower—hindi pwedeng both. For some reason, hindi talaga kaya. So patay talaga!

Noong bata pa ako, bibu-bibuhan naman ako. Sayaw kung sayaw! Minsan din akong sinabihan ng tita ko na may future ako sa pag-indak. May kakayahan daw kasi akong sumunod sa rhythm.

Sandali namang nagkatotoo ang sinabi niya. Mula grade 1 hanggang grade 3 ay naging cheer dancer ako. (Hehe. Peachy Crystal Girls, doo-bee-doo dum dum!) Tapos naging aktib ako sa mga dance numbers noong grade 4 and 5. Tapos, ayon! Napagdesisyonan kong mag-lie low sa dancing at magtago behind the scenes.

Pero siyempre, wala akong takas sa pagsasayaw. Madalas kasing lesson sa PE ang iba’t ibang klase ng sayaw kagaya ng folk dancing na minsan kong isinumpa. Pohtek! First year high school na ako, pinag itik-itik pa ako! Eh talent lang iyon ng mga bata sa Little Miss Philippines, eh. Then there’s the ballroom dancing na good luck na lang sa partner ko kung paano niya ako papasunurin. Hindi naman ako bumagsak sa PE so I guess, hindi naman ako ganoong kasama sumayaw. (Or then again pwedeng naawa lang sa akin ang teacher ko.)

During high school required kaming lahat maging part ng pep squad. Yung mga graceful and elastic (I mean, flexible) nagiging cheer dancers. Again, let me say na seryoso ang cheering competition sa St.Paul, Pasig kaya hindi biro ang maging cheer dancer. Yung mga sporty, nagiging players. May special participation lang sila sa cheering. Sa isang kanta lang sila papasok, unlike the pep squad and the cheer dancers na the whole 30 minutes ay nagkakakanta at nagsasasayaw. Needless to say, yung mga di pumasang dancers at players ay bumabagsak na pep.

Pero yon OK lang sa akin. Masaya namang maging part ng pep squad. Lalo na kapag pep squad ng batch namin! Hehe. Naaalala ko na ang favorite na lugar namin kung saan kami nag-papractice ay sa red tiles kapag nasa loob ng campus at sa Green Meadows naman kapag nasa labas. Somehow, may swerteng dala sa amin ang Green Meadows. Na-try na din namin sa Green Park, covered court ng White Planes, clubhouse ng Valle 2 (or 1?) at sa basketball gym ng Acropolis. (By the way, sa clubhouse ng Acropolis ako nakatakdang sumayaw. Yikes!) Pero talagang mas gusto ng batch namin sa Green Meadows.

Segue lang. One time habang nag-break kami sa practice, natripan kong mag-swing with my friends. Eh nabore na ako sa conventional way of “swinging” kaya naisip kong ilipat ang kamay ko from holding the swing’s tali to holding the inverted Y part, connected to my seat. Siyempre tumaob ang swing. Napa-back roll ako. Next thing I knew, nakahiga na ako sa damp grass at ang natatanaw ko ay ang ant’s eye-view ng seat ng swing. At dahil wala akong extra shirt, the whole day akong may putik sa likod. Kaya yata extra memorable sa akin ang Green Meadows dahil doon.

Back to the dance, kinakareer ko rin naman noon ang routine ng pep squad (in fairness). Masaya kase. Enjoy! Plus, mga 200-300+ naman kami kaya hindi nakakahiyang sumayaw.

Ngayon, eight lang kami. Brighter side: one-minute exposure lang. Pero OK lang talaga. At least now I found something that will make me nerbyus again. May pagka-sucker for stage fright kasi ako. Masaya para sa akin ang kabahan dahil pupunta ako sa stage.

Isa sa mga regrets ko ang di ko pag-sali sa cast ng mga play sa UPLB. Well, except dun sa chamber theater namin na parang street play kung saan ako yung roving narrator (memorized lines yon—something which is a challenge to my forgetful brain). Pero culminating activity kasi yon so no choice ako. Nga pala nagkalat ako doon sa dance part ng chamber theater namin. Bakit ba kasi kailangan pa naming sumayaw for that?!

Hindi sa auditorium yon so it doesn’t count. Noong naging stage manager naman ako, in one of our rehearsals, may pasaway na Moon Dancer na di nagsabi na aabsent siya. I had to learn her part in 15 minutes. Mabuti na lang at supportive ang iba pang Moon Dancers. Tinuruan nila akong sumayaw. Pero kahit sa D. L. Umali Hall yon, rehearsal lang siya. Somehow nilimit ko ang sarili ko sa backstage. Ayan tuloy hindi ko na-feed mabuti ang aking star complex!

So this is it! The chance to satisfy my frustration has come. And of course, I’ll seize it.

I’ll seize it with my dignity intact, I hope.

COMMENTS:

sasayaw ka sa FDC Christmas party? ows? ;p
Posted by: Kate | November 23, 2006 09:07 PM

Believe it or not, oo, kate and I am hoping that you will go dance with us, too. Masaya yon!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 04:41 AM

Gusto ko yung "Scissors" (o Scissorhands?). Eto lang ata kaisa-isang chance ko na magawa ko ang dance step na yun (medyo weird nga naman kung sasayawin yun elsewhere, gaya ng debut ng pinsan o sa club). Go, go, go! masaya nga! :)
Posted by: Ody | November 25, 2006 06:01 AM

Goodluck tyrene! haha natawa ako sa swing story mo! anong year tayo nun? bat di kita nakita? hahaha! naalala ko rin tuloy mga hs PE classes natin with itik itik and all that crap! goodluck! galingan mo! tayo mo bandera ng batch98 pep! hahahah! balitaan mo kami uli!
Posted by: Christmas | November 25, 2006 10:28 AM

Gud luck talaga sa akin! Second year tayo noong nahulog ako sa swing, the same time na naging manager kita...sina Corina, Jane and Cyn Clare and naalala kong witnesses--mahusay talagang mga kaibigan...pinagtawanan ako! I remember na ikaw ang partner ko doon sa swing--as in the ballroom dance practical test. Hehe. I hope walang kang namatay na toe nails dahil sa akin!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 08:43 PM

Grabe naalala mo pa talaga! Ako di ko na nga maalala kung sino teacher natin nun! at kung sino sinong partners ko... naalala ko lang na may PE na pinatakbo tayo up and down ng gym na sobrang kapagod. first year ata yun. second year though, masaya un, i think i remember isa sa mga pep pracs naten sa busport e habang nagiintay ng practice dun tayo umupo sa tabi ng mere maria at nagtatawanan. di ko na maalala sino sino kasama naten. kaw ba partner ko nun sa pep?! hmmm...
Posted by: ChRiStMaSII | December 9, 2006 08:39 AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

When Cyberbobo Went Online and Cried Help

Sometimes I worry that by nurturing a life in cyberspace, I am detaching myself from real people. That sitting in front of the monitor is tantamount to retreating to an alternate Achilles’ tent. That the more I improve on my internet proficiency, the better my antisocial skills become.

But my fears are not enough reasons for me to pull myself away from this wonderful gift of technology. It is a bit too late for me to run. Somehow the internet has become a vital part of me.

Akala ko Techie ka?” I got that once from a friend of mine after admitting that I knew zilch about the internet. I was a self-confessed cyberbobo. If it were not for a paper in my Humanities II class I would not have dared to go online—by myself.

Yes, I was a late internet bloomer. I had computer classes since the seventh grade but the World Wide Web did not hit much of my side of the globe until I was on my senior year in high school. Then, as I have said, college happened.

The internet saved my life a number of times in college. It had been one of my tools for research, a source of entertainment, a way of connecting with old friends, and an effective means to submit my papers on time.

I found my present job in the traditional classified ads but it found me through the net as I opted to send my résumé via email. Then there is my sister who moved to Singapore a year ago with whom I regularly chat with, not to mention exchange emails with. Whenever we feel like seeing each other, we just plug in our webcam then go online. With that the world becomes smaller again.

It is an amazing thing the internet does, pulling people together. And I am a dumb-founded witness to that power.

A few months ago, Nichi, my youngest brother who has leukemia, suffered severe complications due to his damaged immune system. He is 12 years old and none of us in the family was prepared to see our giant baby almost lifeless in the Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

The whole ordeal was both physically and emotionally straining not only to Nichi but to our whole family as well. Add to those torments the financial side of our battle. As real life would have it, my family does not own a land, a house, a car or even a carabao—any of which we could have sold or pawned just to settle our hospital bills and ensure Nichi’s continuous treatment.

Not knowing what else I could do, I turned to the PC and the internet, and composed a letter pleading for help from people who knew me and from people who do not even know I exist. I sent my letter to different individuals and organizations night after night hoping that someone would finally respond to my cry for help.

Soon after, several classmates of mine from college replied, followed by a classmate in grade school, then an ex-officemate, a friend of a fellow GMA intern, different sets of family friends, friends from United Laboratories, friends of friends, and so on and so forth until a network of people had offered their help. Even strangers willingly sent their assistance. World Vision, for one, did contact me and gave their pledge. (Yes, everyone, World Vision really do what they say they do! So I suggest that you do not ignore their stalls in malls. If you have money to spare, by all means, coordinate with them.)

I also received a phone call from a doctor who was one of the first people to read my letter. He was so generous in suggesting means by which we could find aid and he, too, promised his support. Before our conversation ended, I tried getting his contact number only to find out that he was calling from Texas, USA, thus explaining the poor telephone connection. Knowing that he went through all the trouble just to reach me was enough for me to thank him probably for as long as I live.

Even until today, I receive emails, text messages and phone calls from people whose hearts were touched upon hearing about what happened to Nichi. And the help that has been pouring in has not yet ceased. They come in the form of prayers, suggestions for alleviating Nichi’s situation, words of support and monetary assistance.

Some of Nichi’s bruises have not yet completely vanished and most of his veins that collapsed because of injections, transfusions and IV lines have not yet fully recuperated. But his spirit is up again. We only have to remind him of the people who are rooting for his fast recovery—friends and strangers with whom we got in touch with mostly through the internet.

Still I remain wondering how my message reached these people—how many degrees of friends it went through for them to receive it. My letter had been forwarded to as far as a community in Canada to as close as one of Nichi’s doctors at PCMC. When you think about it, it is more than amazing.

Contrary to my fear, I found people, lots of real people through the internet. By logging in to the web, I did not retreat but found a whole army that would back me up with my family’s battle. By going online, I was introduced to a better side of humankind—the generous, caring and charitable kind.

Now you see why I am glad I did not run away from this wonderful gift of technology? Through the internet I found help that somehow saved my brother. Along with that I discovered angels among people I was afraid I was isolating myself from.

I was once a self-confessed cyberbobo.

I went online and cried for help.

I found more than I was looking for.

COMMENTS:

now this, deserves --yet another-- print space in the youngblood section of the inquirer.
that was very detached, yet poignant, tye. parang ikaw, and that is what makes you a real writer.
did that make any sense. who cares at this point? that essay was smashing!
Posted by: Nikka | November 17, 2006 09:46 AM

Thanks, Nikka! I really hope to get THAT space!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 18, 2006 11:58 AM

nice :)
Posted by: Kate | November 18, 2006 10:10 PM

wow tye! e2 na ba ung entry mo dpat? hmm... i agree with nikka. galing! o, seryosohan na talaga ang writing mode natin ah... go tye!
Posted by: Joan Gracy | November 23, 2006 06:02 PM

Thanks, Jo! Sa wakas nakapag-comment ka rin dito. :-)
Posted by: Tyrene | November 25, 2006 04:36 AM

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Taking In The Punch

Never in my life have I been punched in the face before. Not until two weeks ago when my officemate’s fist hit my nose by accident (or so I think) thereby causing an uncontrollable flow of tears in the middle of Divisoria. Yes, it would count as crying in public. And there is no place more public than Divisoria. How embarrassing is that? If only those tears will free me of a few of my emotional baggage, then I wouldn’t have to ask Nikka for one precious Prozac or Lowny for a dose of lason. (Battik wonders: Bakit sosyal ang kay Nikka? And, Lowny, nasaan na ang lason na expired and mas effective?)

I was afraid that my nose will go sore because if it did, I would surely end up looking like a Jew. No offense to Jews out there. I am just not into looking like someone I’m not.

Speaking of someone I’m not, I am being dragged deeper and deeper into this wedding thing that if I am not careful I would end up a full time maid-of-honor, someone I am not. I have reasons to believe that I was never designed to become one. I lack the aptitude and the attitude. I am afraid that my being trapped in this maid-of-honor uniform has turned me into the whiner I shouldn’t be. Que horor!

I had this instructor in college who had an exceptional gift for relentless whining. Every meeting he would give us a litany of why life sucks. One time, I tried saving the class from him bursting our the-world-can-be-a-better-place bubble. I told him that if he is not happy doing what he does, he ought to find something else to do. Something he’d rather like. To which he retorted, “But we cannot always do everything we like (or something to that effect).” I bounced back by saying, “well you shouldn’t settle.”

Heaven knows I would crucify myself if I become him. Yes, I do whine and even proceed on ranting, but I see to it that I do both activities in moderation. Plus I try not to get stuck with a half empty glass. I am capable of acknowledging the glass’ half full part. Thus, at the end of the day, I manage to smile and laugh longer than I whine and rant.

Besides, I can find ways to do what I like. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to escape not doing what I don’t want to do. (That’s three negatives in one sentence! This is bad.)

Sheesh, what wonders can words do! And semiotics is not even half of it. Yet semiotics has placed me in trouble more than once. I had to report on the subject three times during college at three different classes. It’s all part of the grand Communication Arts scheme—realizing the power of signs.

Dammit, I wasn’t a Comm. Arts graduate for nothing! I am capable of recognizing signs and significants even if I seem not to and even if society tells me not to. I can read between the lines, maybe not the lines of poems but of things all around me. I can tell why a certain thing is placed in a certain scene of a certain movie. I can explain why a certain author used a certain word in a certain story. Hell, I can even say why a certain part of a certain building is placed in a certain spot.

The key is deconstruction.

And you know what? It works in real life, too. By breaking into parts another’s actions, words or illustrations you will discover messages, underlying meanings. And I tell you, the things conveyed by each existing sign get more and more interesting depending on the degree of their explicitness. I would give you a concrete example but it will blow the implicitness of my point, thereby taking away your interest. So there goes.

The dilemma now is whether to acknowledge the meanings you have unearthed. I did that once and I ended up like a fool for putting meaning to something which according to them meant nothing. (Battik’s note:The withholding of them’s antecedent is intentional.) Recently I decided to trash a set of messages I decoded through deconstruction in the hopes of saving myself from becoming a fool more than once in my lifetime. Unfortunately I may have hurt somebody’s feelings in the process, not to mention mine. Hence the troubles caused by semiotics.

Now I realize why signs proliferate. Humans often chicken out and hide behind signs. Too bad signs more often than not are arbitrary. (Allow me to say this: Is it just me or am I beginning to sound like a textbook? Feel free to comment.) Therefore hiding behind signs has its consequences.

At this point I shall succumb to explicitness. I too am chicken that’s why I am abusing signs. I have been abusing signs from the beginning of this essay up to this point, and maybe beyond. I really am taking in the punch, not only the physical punch but the punch I hid in the signs I just abused.

So there goes.

COMMENTS

About the maid-of-honor bit...hindi ko pa man din napopost itong entry na ito, nakatanggap na ako ng offline yahoo message from no other than the bride herself. And the message is this: http://www.classyweddingfavors.com/reception-MaidHonor-Duties.htm
Ang husay!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 12, 2006 01:21 AM

tye, wala nang prozac sa medicine cabinet namin, pero wag mag-alala, meron namang rugby sa tool box, life is good ka na non.
by the way, nasuntok din nga pala kita isang gabing natulog ka sa dorm.
Posted by: Nikka | November 12, 2006 07:14 AM

how i wish i can be a maid-of-honor before i become a bride.. but no chance at all, i have a month to go. it would be an honor for me to be chosen as one, especially if it was by my sister. it would hurt me if my sister had chosen somebody else. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that i would not miss.
-ate win
Posted by: Win and Wah | November 15, 2006 08:41 AM

I get what you mean, I really do. But even you would attest that I am not delivering the best of "maid of honoring" which makes me feel even more of a loser that I already am. If only you will get what I mean...
Posted by: Tyrene | November 18, 2006 12:03 PM

Friday, November 3, 2006

Points sa paligid ng Clichés

Naloloka na yata ang aking hormones. Feeling nila, buntis ako. Ano ba’t tuwing umaga na lang e nasusuka ako. Morning sickness ba ito? Tapos, yung usok na ibinubuga ng tambutso ng mga jeep na dati ko namang nalalanghap ay exceptionally nakakasuka rin.

Naiisip ko tuloy, ganoon na ba kalala ang buhay ko at pati katawan ko ay nasusuka na sa bawat pagsikat ng araw na sinasalubong ko? Psychosomatic ba ito? Depression na kaya talaga ito o gawa gawa ko lang?

Noong Biyernes bago ngayon, nagkaroon kami ng mini costume event sa opisina. Halloween kasi. Marahil KJ ako dahil hindi ako nakilahok—hindi man lang ako naghagilap ng kahit ano na magmumukhang costume. Gayunpaman, hindi man ako nagbihis ng anumang pang Halloween, nagcooperate naman ang aura ko dahil buong araw akong zombie mode. Maski yung isa kong kaopisina ay napansin ang aking zombie-like aura. Gising ako, naglalakad pero ika nga ay, “nobody’s home.”

Bakit ganito? Buhay pa ako ay namamatay na ako. Para akong UP student na naka-enrol pero hindi pumasasok. Bawat araw na lumilipas ay nasasayang. Naalala ko tuloy nang pagalitan ako ng College Sec namin. Nag-AWOL kasi ako then nagtangkang bumalik. Sabi nya sa akin, sinasayang ko ang slot ko gayong ang daming gustung-gustong makapasok sa UP.

She has a point. Na-gets ko sya doon. Kaya nga pinagbuti ko noong tanggapin niyang muli ang prodigal student. Ako ‘yon. And indeed, UPLB was sweeter the 2nd time around.

Noong estudyante pa ako (Mga P3.25 pa lang ang pamasahe noon. And yes, inabot ko ang P2.00 student fare!) Nangangarag din naman ako sa school work. Pero hindi ako ganito ka-exhausted.

Pwede sigurong dahil iyon sa fresh air sa LB kaya di ako masyadong namamatayan ng neurons noon. Hence, naiiwasan ang zombie tendencies. Or then again, mas bata pa ako noon kaya mas fighter pa ang katawan ko. Mas tolerant pa ako sa physical, psychological and emotional pambubugbog ng forces of nature.

Pero ewan ko. Sa UPLB may panahon ako to stop and smell the flowers. Kaya siguro napapagod man ako, narerejuvinate din agad ang energy ko. Ngayon tira lang ng tira. Leave na lang ang sagot kapag di na kaya ng katawan.

Sa UPLB sagana ako sa freedom. Maski breakfast, lunch at dinner ko ay bahala ako sa buhay ko. Walang pipigil sa akin kahit all day junk food ang kainin ko. Problema ko na iyon kung di ko hugasan ang mga pinagkainan ko, di ko walisin ang dorm ko o di ko iligpit ang hinigaan ko. Kahit umuwi pa ako ng pasado alas 12 o kinabukasan na ng tanghali ako umuwi, OK lang. Walang mag-aalala sa akin. At wala akong aalalahaning nag-aalala sa akin. Syempre alam ko na ang mga panahon na iyon, ang mga carefree days ko sa LB, ay magbabackfire din. Ang somewhat hedonistic lifestyle ko sa probinsiya ng Los Baños will someday run after me and bite me in the ass. Kaya ito na nga. Minumulto na ako.

Siguro kapag nabasa ng mga kabarkada ko sa UPLB ang 1st paragraph ng entry na ito, sasabihan ako ng mga iyon, “feeling mo naman may matres ka?” As if naman hindi na-aaffirm buwan-buwan na “yes, iha, meron ka nun!” Oo madalas namimiss ko ang usapang bading na ganyan usually ang flow. Maski ang aking gay vocabulary ay namamatay na dahil sa kakulangan ko sa exposure sa mga babaeng may kakayahang maging bakla. (Paging Nikka and Luna, and Sarifah na rin, iligtas nyo ako sa apoy ng straightness!)

Recently napanood ko ang ilan sa mga outtakes ng Ms. Congeniality. May isang eksena doon kung saan tinanong ang character ni Sandra Bullock ng daddy niya kung lesbian ba siya. Sabi niya, “I wish.”

She has a point. Na-gets ko sya doon. Napaka-convenient ngang maging tibo. Para kapag may nagtanong sa iyo ng, “Bakit hanggang ngayon wala ka pa ring boyfriend?” May isasagot ka na. “Kasi po tibo ako.” O kaya naman kapag may nagtanong ng, “Ikaw, kailan ka susunod (sa Ate mong ikakasal)?” Pwede mong sabihin, “Naku po, wala pong nagkakasal ng tibo dito sa atin!”

Now that I think about it, magandang idea nga yata iyan. Maisagot nga sa mga taong nag-aakalang nakakatuwa ang mga ganyang tanong. Tingnan natin kung ilan ang mabibiktima ko sa December. Op course I will laugh the loudest because mine will be the last.

Laugh, that is.

Sayang lang nga at hindi ako tibo. Alam ko naman iyon. My gahd, after 26 years I should know! Apparently hindi naapektuhan ng 11 years ko sa all-girls school ang aking sexual orientation. Maski mommy ko alam na straight ako. Tinanong ko kasi siya, “Ma, hindi kaya ako tibo?” Ang sagot niya ay something like, “OK ka lang? Ikaw? Tibo?”

You’ve got to hand it to my mudra! Speaking of mudra, nakakainggit ang mudra ko (mudra = mommy) kapag natutulog. Talagang detached siya sa mundo. Ako naman lately ay hindi nagkakatulog. Hindi naman ako inlab. Nyehe! But why? Konting puyat pa at tighiyawat sa ilong at sa pisngi ay pihadong dadami. (Yes, go Vina Morales, Go!)

Bad trip talaga ang tigahiyawat lalo na kung 26 ka na. Hindi na kasi cute. Kadiri na siya. Hindi na dapat nagkaka-zit ang mga tao kapag above 25 na sila. Pwede bang i-appeal sa kalikasan iyan? Kasing bad trip yan ng mga walang pakundangang tanong sa iyong non-existent love life. O kaya naman ng mamatay habang buhay ka. O ng maglakad na parang zombie. O ng masuka tuwing umaga.

Pero walang tatalo sa ka-bad tripang dulot ng mapagkamalan kang buntis gayong busog ka lang. Si-yet!!

COMMENTS

you have to try and sit in with the Marketing people (Ody Benz Kath and Ces)
ma-e-exercise ang bakla-speak mo (lalo na siguro kung nandoon pa si Rianne)
napakaaga magdeteriorate ng katawan natin dahil sa substance abuse (MSG galore)at sedentary lifestyle (upo sa opisina, upo sa jeepney, upo/higa sa bahay)
Posted by: Poli | November 3, 2006 07:41 AM

ako rin! luna! save us from the fiery pits of STRAIGHTNESS!
tye, ikaw yata ang soulmate ko at hindi si joy. you know, the issue of slow death and the perpetual discussion about my sexual orientation and all.
basta pag may nagtanong kung may boyfriend ka, sabihin mo nonchalantly
"girlfriend po".
tapos sabay blurt out ng...
"charot" then walk away
tignan ko lang kung hindi sila ma-confuse and all kung bading ka ba o tibam. ewan ko, but it works for me! shiyat-up agad sila dun.
bochogs of the world unite! skinny bitches should die! die you maggots!
bitter ba ko?!!
Posted by: Nikka | November 4, 2006 07:23 AM

Suddenly I remembered my long walks in LB. The best yon especially this time of year.
Hay...na-senti ako lalo.
About your suggestion, it's some kinda weird talking gay with my uniform on. Parang di bagay kay "Ma'am" mag-bakla talk. Even "teacher" thinks so.
Posted by: Tyrene | November 6, 2006 06:57 AM

Nikka, tunay na napapatawa mo ako sa mga comments mo. I should try your advice.
Kala ko si Athan soulmate ni Joy...Julio't Julia remember?
(Andami namang soulmate ni Joy. Hehe.)
Shet, Nikka, kung soulmates tayo, baka tayo magkatuluyan. Patay!
Di ko carry!
Posted by: Tyrene | November 6, 2006 07:02 AM

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Special

Allow me to boost my dying confidence by reminding you that, once in my life, I was a Youngblood baby. To be exact, the first article I ever sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer was published two years and one day ago—in time for the season of dead people.

Thus, Halloween becomes extra special to me.

To commemorate that fateful day, I shall post all the text messages I received and saved on my notebook which have something to do with the said article. (My excuses for presenting this important part of my blog entry in photos are as follows: I am too lazy to type them, I wish to preserve these pages of my notebook, and I am abusing this gadget called scanner.)











There are two times in my life when I felt so happy for myself that I didn’t mind getting hit by a car, that if it were the end of me I knew that I will pass away REALLY happy. My Youngblood moment is one of them.

Spirits don’t just die, everyone. Especially this time of year. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Www-wedding?



I woke up with one thought in mind: Today is Wendi’s wedding. It’ll be the day’s big event.

Note to self: Buy a gift wrapper with a matching gift tag.
Thought balloon: Why don’t I get these things for free? I work at Hallmark, for crying out loud!

I have a gift, I have a decent wardrobe, I can whip something that will resemble make-up, I just have to comb my hair for a change—to make the day special, and what else? Ahh, Mom tells me to spray on perfume. Good. I can pretend to be “formal”.

I hail a cab. The driver seems clueless as to where the Our Lady of Pentecost or Loyola Heights is. Well at least he knew Katipunan Avenue. I will have to confiscate his license if he didn’t. We nearly missed our turn. Good thing my geographically challenged brain is lucky today. Female intuition must be kicking in. I instruct the driver to turn here and there as if I know where we are going. As soon as we spotted the Church, the driver, who was silent the whole time said, “aatend ka pala ng kasal.”

Note to self: Be nice.
Thought balloon: Tama! Ano naman ang akala nyo, Manong? Feel ko lang magmaganda?

Great! I’m early. The bride, my friend, is not yet around. Only men in barong are present. And I doubt if the groom even knows my name. He must be thinking, “Hey, I have seen this girl from somewhere but I have no idea who she is.”

So I find a spot where I will be able to blend with the empty seats, away from people who actually knew each other. It’s no one’s fault really. The invitation says 2:30 p.m. Thanks to my theater background (not to mention very cooperative stomach) I made it not only on time but ahead of time. Yes, sometimes my theater training still makes it presence felt.

At least I have a few moments alone to shoo away yesterday’s crappy mood. And I also have time to psych myself for this event—for a wedding, that is.

Note to self: Don’t puke.
Thought balloon: I’ll get through this.

The invisible choir is really good, the bride looks beautiful, the holy matrimony thing is not stiff at all, and the flower girls are quite entertaining. Wow, Wendi and her gang has pulled off the first half well! And I can still smile.

Now off to the reception. The club house feels cozy even for a semi-stranger like me. The hosts have fed me well. Everyone seems pleased.

Whoops, why didn’t I think of the tossing of the bouquet before? Yeah, although I don’t feel like it, I am a single woman. I am required to huddle behind the bride’s back as she tosses her bouquet.

Note to self: Do not crush or kick the bouquet if ever it lands close to you.
Thought balloon: No bride or groom or guest, for that matter, will find that funny.

Positive thinking may save me. Well actually I am thinking the negative, which for me is absolutely positive. “Pretty bouquet, don’t you dare come near me!”

My positively negative thought did save me. Hallelujah!

This wedding is turning out really well. Not pretentious at all. Thus making it better than well. And although I am just a supposedly stress-free spectator, I am more than happy to have survived it.

Note to self: Don’t judge an occasion just because it is a wedding.
Thought balloon: Maybe a wedding truly is a happy event. Maybe all the preparations—the church, the choir, the flowers, the gowns and barongs, the luxurious car, the caterer, the band, the audio-visual presentation, the cake, the souvenirs—are all worth an event that runs for at least six hours. Maybe it is possible for an individual to find his “perfect” match. Maybe there really is such a thing as love—it being forever though is not guaranteed but at least it exists. Maybe a couple say their “I do’s” because they want to, not because the have to. Maybe a wedding is not a bad thing. Maybe it is not a death sentence after all. And maybe there is hope in it.

Maybe this wedding has gotten into me. Maybe I will survive the one on December. Maybe I will not fail the bride by then. Maybe I’ll turn out to be a better maid-of-honor than a sister. Maybe I will be able to prove that I am not a disappointment, or a wrong choice. Maybe I will feel better by then. Maybe I will be a better person when that time comes.

And who knows, maybe, just maybe I will actively try to catch the bouquet by then…

Poof!

There are some things even my thought balloon cannot handle.

COMMENTS

yes, hindi ko na-handle yon. kala ko pa naman e kabatak kita sa "not-the marrying-kind-club" forever and ever. charter member pa naman tayo noon!
anyhoo, the essay got me thinking about the exact same thing. maybe the bouquet will eventually fall on my feet, or it might hit me so hard on the head that i just MIGHT decide i would want to get married one fine June day.
who knows?
but seriously tye, you already are a better person. you had always been your "best person". you just needed to know that, i guess.
now if only your ate would realize that you are not the MAID OF HONOR but the BEST MAN, then everything would be ok.
Posted by: Nikka | November 1, 2006 10:17 AM

Hehe, Nikka, kabatak mo pa rin ako. Kita mong di kinaya ng thought balloon ko i-entertain ang idea of getting hitched someday.
And thanks sa comment mo. Lalo na sa BEST MAN part. That's the only sensible comment I got from this whole wedding thing. ;-)
Posted by: Tyrene | November 2, 2006 06:58 AM

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rambles of the Un

I’m blue and the weather speaks of how I feel. It is 3:40 in the afternoon and my supposedly well-lit room is devoid of sunlight.

I am not at work because my stomach has gone crazy from yesterday’s food tasting and a heavy dinner at Superbowl. I figure, I am gifted with an anorexic stomach—it can only handle one grand meal a day. Unfortunately, my brain has a flair for binging and since the mind rules over anything else, I end up taking in more than I can handle, leaving me in trouble—stomach trouble, that is.

A former high school classmate who once said she may name her future daughter after me (she liked my name, not necessarily me) sent her apologies for not being able to remember me. This is what I get from sending messages to people I add in my Friendster list which often contain the line, “I hope you still remember me.” Most people, they stop at adding friends and former acquaintances in their accounts. Not me. I send my hellos because I want to be polite and sincere. And now that someone has actually forgotten me, I feel…violated.

Then there’s last Friday when I felt that I was unusually hurting. And nobody, not even my shadow, knew it but me. I was so good at masking my pain that I was even able to post something about Friday the 13th, my lineage, and Chinese Dragon dance when in fact sometime during that day I had written this:

Say Cheese!

Bleep you, Eros!

You turned me into a pink loving freak! No, I wasn’t teasing you with my taunts last time. I wasn’t challenging you to do anything. I was just mocking you.

Now don’t you get me started with your mockery-is-the-best-form-of-challenge gibe! I bet my flat ass that you don’t even know rhyme even if it hits you on the face.

I haven’t completely fallen to your pit, Eros. I will bounce back. I know I will.

You shouldn’t do this to me. You shouldn’t.

Leave me in peace.

Because if I break, no one will pick up my pieces for me.


Perhaps I have bounced back, high enough that I have mustered the courage to post the cheesy bit that sprang from my alleged pain. Funny thing is, although Eros do not exist I have a history of carrying out a conversation with him, one that dates back to June 7 this year, the “last time” I was referring to in Say Cheese! It goes:

Hey, Eros!

Don’t think that I can’t see through you. I know that you’re up to something.

What’s with you today, huh? First you let me bump into your chosen subject. Classic! Frankly I am quite disappointed in you. I expected something original, you know, after all, you are Eros.

Then what? Music?! I listen to music all the time, pal. You have got to find other means to stir up my emotions in the standards of your specialty.

Oh yeah, the romantic camera angle you showed me. Clever, eh. You are using my fascination with movies to tease me. But surely I can come up with better scenes. And I am not Eros!

You know so well how much I would hate to get involved with your shenanigans. I am extra sensitive with issues that has to do with you. After all, you are a suspicious character I’d rather not trust.

So if you wish to pull me to your trap, I suggest you try harder.

I’m tougher than you think.


In my piece of paper, the previous stream of thoughts was suffixed with the following:

The monologue you just witnessed is a verbal presentation of a chemical reaction involving a series of “kilig” elements and Dalton’s tiny indestructible model of an atom.


Dalton’s tiny indestructible model of an atom is not so indestructible after all and yet it remains whole.


My blog seems unvisited as reflected by my comments portion where I, the author, was the one who posted the last thought seven days ago. Of course, poor readership results in the ebbing of the drive to write. That is why I have not written anything about my new cute godson, Perry, and my new kumares with whom I spent a Cubao Safari (as coined by Mareng Ging) last Sunday. Too bad, my mood will prevent you from hearing how we were time warped to a Marikina corner in Cubao. Or how I braved the streets of Quiapo in my skirt. Yes, skirt in public. Like haven’t done it for at least 13 years of my life. No big deal there.

Also, since my dad’s incessant texts and calls asking me where I am or when I will be home every time I leave the house have started to bug me, I have decided to confront him about it. I mean he is a cool dad but he does have a tendency to become “the jealous boyfriend.” I told him a while ago, “Dad, siguro mahirap kang maging boyfriend. Text ka ng text ng ‘san ka na?’ Tapos iba pa yung tawag” Of course he defended his side and of course I got his point. But I had to insist, “parati naman akong nagrereport sa iyo kung nasaan na ako unlike ni Ate and Soy.” Which I think he didn’t hear.

I chose to laugh it out, his nth text last Sunday about me getting home before it gets dark. I was waiting for him to add, “umuwi ka na, nakapalda ka pa naman.” That would have been funnier.

Yesterday, I was supposed to cram the day with my maid-of-honor duties. Still, I sneaked out as early as I could to claim the replacement of my ATM card from the bank branch during banking hours, as said by the phone bankers I talked to days before. Bank! (I mean it as a cuss word.) To my disappointment, my new card was not with them but on the express banking center where I opened my account which, by the way, doesn’t operate until the exact time I should be hitting the road with the future bride and groom to meet their caterer. I swear (not a curse), I clarified to several phone bankers where I should be claiming my card and where I had opened my account. They all told me to do the transaction on THE branch during THE friggin’ banking hours. Grrr…strike one! I guess they ought to know that with matters like this I don’t keep my mouth, or at least, pen shut. I really do make reports and demand action just as I did with Globe Telecom.

Oh what else? I got lost in Marikina with Ate and Warren, the future bride and groom, yesterday while we were searching for their caterer’s headquarters. Good thing, I wasn’t the one who paid the cab. Otherwise I would be blue and broke right now. Anyway, the long search was rewarded with a fantastic multiple-course meal—the main reason for my present upset stomach, not to mention indigestion.

No, I am not UNHAPPY despite the negative vibrations carried by my present blog entry. I am just UNINSPIRED and, mostly tired. Then again, I was able to come up with this two and a half page entry, didn’t I? Perhaps I am not all that uninspired. I am just un.

COMMENTS

oo nga, gabi na, nakapalda ka pa naman. susme. uwi ka na ng maaga. nyahaha. buti ka nga eh hinahanap. ako hindi. kebs forever!
ganda ng mga ninang ni Okay ka, Perry Ko!
sweeet.
Posted by: GinGmaGanda | October 17, 2006 08:43 AM

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekend Wonder

It is Friday the 13th. I am hiding in my room. Tomorrow is Saturday the 14th. I am not sure if I will be coming out by then.

I fear the 14th more than the 13th.

I was born on a Saturday. It was the 14th day of the month.

My fear is not unfounded after all.

* * *

I am not really into superstitions. I like formulating my own superstitions, though. But I am not Chinese. Probably a tiny, recessive part of may be able to recognize Kanji especially since my dad’s mom’s dad’s mom’s dad is an Ongkiko—or so I remember my Nanay Isay’s story. Needless to say that the Chinese blood in me has been diluted by at least four generations. And that is just one quarter of the story.

I have no idea if my mom has Chinese blood. But she once mentioned that she attended a Chinese School some time in her life. Her story is pretty much vague to me. Maybe if I ride a boat or a plane and visit her places of origin, I would know more about her past. Or then again, I could just start listening to her and her stories instead. Maybe then will I know if I am Mao Tse Tung’s racial sister.

* * *

Since, I consider myself NON-Chinese I am not aware of Chinese Festivities such as the Moon Cake Festival which I now know exists—at least this time of year, thanks to that mini event at Megamall last night.




I was about to go home when I stopped to see the Dragon dance at the atrium of Megamall’s building A. Prior to last night I had no idea what that dance was all about. Apparently it is some mating dance and the dragons were less than subtle at humping each other. Chris, my officemate who witnessed the event with me, tried to explain what was happening without sounding offensive or, for a lack of a better term, pervert-y. Which was weird because as I have said, the dragons were less than subtle. Or then again he may be analyzing the dragons and was just thinking aloud.

The dragon dance was amazing though. I mean it is not just some dance. It was a ritual and the men inside those two dragons, they were serious about what they were doing. They must have studied and practiced their routine for, probably, years.

Those Chinese, they are all around us and yet it is only now that I really feel their collective presence. It helped that I have become a frequent visitor of Divisoria these days. I’ve talked to them, tried to haggle, and in a way established something close to friendship. And they do know how to speak Filipino. Which is good. Somehow we too are dominating their world.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Speech, Kids and a Fork

What a week! Trouble keeps on heading towards me. It was really chilly! I became ill…

That is as far as I can remember—the single stanza speech exercise we had back in high school. It was supposed to improve one’s switching from long “e” to short “i” and back. I guess I need a lot of this exercise today as I am consistently fumbling on my “eee’s” and “i’s”.

It is beginning to bother me. After all, I have minor studies in Speech Communication. Part of my Speech Comm background is my Voice and Diction class where I got a 1.0. Add to that the three best speaker awards I got for three different speeches in my Occasional Speech class. I was not bad in my Oral Interpretation class either. I even once gave a speech in British accent which, I guess, I did pull off well.

And now I stutter and I seem to have lost my inner speaker. It is sad.

From an exaggerated stand point, I guess my lost inner speaker may be one of the reasons for my sleepless nights. I mean, can you imagine how uncomforting it is to be a passive spectator to a disintegrating special gift? At the rate I am going, I do not think I can keep the promise I made one of my instructors back in college. I told her I would work on my emcee-ing skills. Not only am I not improving it, but I am actually losing it.

I am not supposed to deteriorate at 26. Nobody is supposed to deteriorate at 26.

Ahhh, 26!

Last night, I went out to buy an internet card. There were a lot of high school boys and girls hovering around the business establishments near our place. There was a concert in their school and they were out to get something to eat. I know because my high school brother attends the same school and he was in the same concert last night.

I tell you, when you are around these kids, you cannot help but feel old. I felt old. The most frightening thing about getting old is probably defined by the relationship between your age and the number of mistakes you are allowed to commit. It is inversely proportional—the older you get, the less blunders you are entitled to. It sucks really.

So if I were to advise the kids of today, I would tell them not to rush. Never ever hasten the growing up process. Because when one hits the adult mark, there is no turning back. Otherwise one will face a more grave form of deterioration. This deterioration will not just suck; it will suck suck. Or make that triple suck.

If by reading me right now you get the notion that I am depressed, don’t. I am not in one of my sunny states but I am not depressed either.

I am in a fork and I am trying to assess things before I choose my path. I should do good after all I will be a godparent to a boy named Perry seven days from now.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Series of Minis

This is my 51st blog entry and I’ve decided to rummage through my trash pretending not to be trash and hopefully give you a series of minis—my quick thoughts on whatnots which I jotted down on pieces of scratch papers at random moments in time.

Random moments in time as they may be, however, my obsession and compulsion would not let me in peace unless I declare that the first two minis were written today, 6 October 2006 while the next two were on 4 October 2006. The last one, you just have to believe me about its randomness.

Renewable Energy’s Statistics
Nichi’s almost up and about. He’s craving for food and he’s back to his old talkative self again. And he looks great, too!

Sometimes I realize that my 12-year-old brother has been through more than I have—medically, physiologically, spiritually and emotionally speaking. He’s been treated by 3 Pediatric Hematologists plus several other Hema Fellows, a Pulmunologist, an Infectious Disease doctor, an ICU doctor, a Gastrointestinal doctor, a Neurologist, and now he is seeing an Oncologist. I will not forget to mention the nurses and midwives who have attended to his needs while at PCMC, especially the friendly nurses of Ward 2A.

Nichi has undergone multiple blood tests, Intrathecal, bone marrow aspirations, RBC and platelet transfusion, and GCSF. He’s taken numerous milligrams of drugs I cannot enumerate by myself. He’s had X-rays, a CT scan, an EEG, an ECG, Kreatenin tests and an MRI is yet to be scheduled.

Despite these statistics, he manages to stay as normal as he can, playing his Yugi-Oh cards—the game he has commissioned me to master (he has lent me his Yugi-Oh Rule Book), watching TV in an hour or less, playing the computer in an hour or less, and living for the rest of the time.


Drowsy on Monday, the Truth on Wednesday, Fun and Dry on Friday
Monday, I was more than lazy. I was completely sleepy. Not even the mug of coffee did the trick. The whole time I was trying hard to keep my job…and my consciousness.

Wednesday, the truth hit me. It was the drugs that were pulling me into an untimely slumber. Sometimes, truths are revealed through comparison. Only then did I discover that I had been taking the non Non-drowsy kind of medicine last Monday!

Friday, the only 8pm weeknight which had been spared of a crazy downpour. The moment I had been waiting for after (3 x 9.6 hours of work) + (2 x 11.6 hours of work with overtime). The mall was unpopulated because of the Octoberfest. I laid back and had a nice chat with a friend.


Bactidol Will Keep Me Alive
Yes, Bactidol!
Milenyo splashed my face with water,
Whipped my hair to an utter disarray!
Neneng didn’t spare me of her fury.
I had to experience her powers!
And so my tonsils have begun to hurt.
My nose…it’s clogged, It’s runny, it’s clogged.
And yet here I am standing
Amidst an impending fever.
I am not hungry, unlike the Beegees
But Bactidol has kept me alive.
Except for my tastebuds, though.)


Subnormal
I am one of those people
whose normal body temperature is a little over 36 degrees Celsius.
Suffice it to say that I am cold blooded.
But this did not happen overnight.
I have been like this for a long as I can remember—
Specifically in high school when I learned how to take my own body temp.
Cold-blooded as I am, you wouldn’t have to worry
About me performing a massacre with one giant bolo.
That is, if I am successful in keeping my cold-blooded cool.

Gift of Tongues
I swear, swearing is a gift! I mean, yes, it is vulgar and it isn’t pleasing to the ears at all but it still is a privilege. If we cannot throw a hammer, a chair or anything within grasp to the object of our wrath, we can at least throw profanities. Besides, it is not like we have to yell.

One curse and, hopefully, the anger’s gone!

And if we still have the decency to control ourselves despite ebbing patience, it will be best to curse at inanimate objects or perhaps at the empty polluted air just so we won’t hurt others’ feelings and at the same time save ourselves form an impending heart attack.

Posted on 06 October 2006 at 10:14 AM in Whatnots | Permalink

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nichi’s Home



Dr. Hermogenes Purugganan, Nichi’s Pediatric Hematologist, discharged Nichi from the hospital last Friday (Sept 22). Dr. Purugganan reminded us that Nichi is still in a critical state. His immune system is still low making him very prone to infection. Because of this we are advised to take extra care of our Nichi.

Nichi is under continuous medication—mostly antibiotics and one capsule to prevent seizure from occurring again. We are praying that nothing wrong will happen to him from here on.

The result of his lumbar tap will come out tomorrow, Monday. We hope that it will show no blast cells have entered his brain. He is scheduled for check up with his hematologist and neurologist on Wednesday.

As of now all the treatment for his leukemia is on hold. His chemotherapy will resume when he regains his strength.



The help we got from people (whom I’d rather call angels) who responded to our letter made it possible for us to pay our hospital bill incurred from Sept 9-Sept. 22. That and Nichi’s smile are two miracles we will forever be grateful for.

Just the same, Nichi still needs all the assistance and prayers he can get. Palaban nga talaga itong kapatid ko. I have never known anyone who loves living more than Nichi. With that my whole family and I are thanking you for helping him continue what he loves to do.

P.S. Kindly forward this message to people whom you forwarded my previous message so that my “thanks” may reach them. Thank you very much!

COMMENTS

i'm glad he's out of the hospital. sorry hindi na ako nakabisita ulit. so very busy. saka does he still need blood donors? i'm establishing contact with the red cross; may training kasi kami and hopefully medyo maka-chika ko yung instructors. i'm not promising anything pero i'll see what i can do.
we're still praying for nichi. hindi naman matatapos yun.
ikaw, you need your rest and strength. your family needs you. kaya stay strong, tye! hindi ka naman bibigyan ni God ng ganyang sitwasyon kung alam N'yang hindi mo kaya.
give my hugs to nichi. i'll be just a text and phone call away, okay? =)
Posted by: Badger Addict | September 26, 2006 04:23 AM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

URGENT: My Brother STILL needs your help!

Joseph Nichole (we call him Nichi) is my 12-year-old brother who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in November 2001. He has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since. However, he has become more than sick for the past weeks. My family has exhausted all means to help him get well yet he still needs further help.

Because of this, I would like to solicit whatever amount you are willing to give to help maintain my brother’s very expensive medication. As much as my family and I would like to save Nichi’s life, our dwindling financial capability is threatening to put on hold Nichi’s required medical attention.

Just last January, Nichi’s attending Pediatric Hematologist, Dr. Hermogenes Purugganan, recommended that he go through radiotherapy at St. Luke’s Medical Center to eradicate the blast cells (abnormal white cells) that had penetrated his brain. For a while, the results of his regular Intrathecal (IT; the procedure in which cerebro-spinal fluid is taken from his spinal column to determine the presence of blast cells) was OK not until June this year.

In response to this, his doctor designed a more aggressive protocol to treat his Leukemia. It was supposed to run for 22 weeks. However, after Nichi’s 5th week of treatment, he acquired a certain type of weak bacteria which had adverse effects on his immuno-compromised body. The type of bacteria that struck him is not harmful to healthy individuals (immuno-competent individuals). Nevertheless Nichi ended up having fever which eventually led to pneumonia.

He was placed in the ICU for six days. A number of tubes were shoved down his throat: one was connected to the respirator that helped him breathe, another sucked phlegm from his lungs, and still another was used to let food substitutes enter his stomach. After having been moved out of the ICU, he stayed five more days in the hospital for the doctors to closely monitor his status.

Although discharged from the hospital, he still had to continue taking two types of antibiotics, Zyvox and Ciprofluxacin—both rare and expensive—to maintain his improving system.

Last September 8 (Friday), three days after he was discharged from the hospital, Nichi once again began to have fever. He was admitted to PCMC the following day and he still is in the same hospital today. His attending Infectious Disease doctor, Dra. Banez, has introduced another set of antibiotics which entered Nichi’s body through an Intravenous (IV) line to help him fight the infection, plus GCSF to induce white blood cell production.

Come September 12 (Tuesday) Nichi began to have diarrhea which lasted for almost 5 days. He hardly ate anything thus making his body weaker than it already is. A certain type of solution was transfused through Nichi’s IV line every time he defecated to replenish his body‘s lost fluids and to keep him from being dehydrated. Potassium was also incorporated in his IV line to help normalize his body’s dropping potassium level.

Last September 17 (Sunday), while playing a card game with my other brother during his feeling-a-bit-better moments, he suddenly lost consciousness and suffered seizures. It was a good thing that my Dad was able to catch him on time; otherwise his head would have hit the tile floor of the hospital. His Neurologist, Dra. Ortiz, immediately ordered a CT scan which showed atrophy—Nichi’s brain has somehow shrunk which might have caused the seizure.

Yesterday (Sept. 18), Dra. Ortiz ordered that Nichi’s EEG (electroencephalogram) be taken to further observe his brain. As of now we have no news yet about the result of the said test.

Dra. Ortiz also ordered an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which is supposed to be done at Cardinal Santos Hospital. PCMC is not equipped with an MRI machine. We would have wanted Nichi to have that MRI so that whatever problem there is with his brain, it will be treated immediately. However, my family and I can no longer afford such procedure which, according to the doctor, may range between P12,000.00 - P17,000.00.

Today (September 19), Nichi underwent two units of red blood cell transfusion. By now, most of the veins on both his hands have collapsed making it almost impossible for the doctors to insert a new IV line. But Nichi is a very brave boy. He is willing to endure all the needle punctures for his medicine and blood tests just to get well.

We are not yet sure until when these treatments will go but we are hoping that they will help Nichi recover as soon as possible.

Because of these series of events, I have decided to muster enough courage to personally ask you to help save my brother with whatever amount you are willing to give.

If you are interested in helping, you can reach me through the following contact numbers:

Cellphone number: +639167911066
Landline (residence): (+632) 641-7090
(Office): 671-0555 loc. 108
Email address: battik14@yahoo.com
tyrene_delgado@yahoo.com

Thank you very much and may you be blessed for your kindness.

Sincerely,
Tyrene Delgado

P.S. I would greatly appreciate it if you can forward this letter to anyone whom you know may be able to help my brother. Thanks again.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Me want Me Palanca

Michael Francis Andrada officially has his own Palanca Award to boast and I am green with envy.

As I was browsing through today’s paper, deprived of a good night sleep, having to transfer from the couch to the cold tile floor and to the couch again of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center’s room 208, my English Prose Writing instructor seemed to have popped out of nowhere. His winning smile, no doubt, has slapped my face awake this morning. Apparently he has made a mark in the history of Philippine literature.

As much as I am proud and happy for Sir Mykel, I have lost all means to congratulate him, not even to venerate him. His cellphone number has ceased to exist and as it turns out, he has become a lost Friendster. I figure, he is one of those Friendster addicts who, for some magical reason, decided to turn their backs on the hype and keep what remains of their identity private and limited to people whom they actually see in person.

If any of these blabbers reaches him, please make sure that the congratulations part is clear.

So it is the time of year again for me to pine for that Palanca Award—the moment to feel inspired by the present year’s beaming winners. And the months that come after this, well, they are reserved for procrastination: the time to postpone writing my winning entry. After all, April is more than a hundred days away.

I am trapped in this loop. God help me!

Not too long ago, I had a very strong feeling that I am going to get myself a Palanca Award. I am not a clairvoyant or anything close but I somehow knew that I will win someday. I even texted some of my friends about my impending success.

The only problem is I have no piece to submit. Worst of all, I have not done anything to compose an entry. Thus the loop.

I really want my Palanca Award. Ever since I realized that I am hungry for a prestigious literary recognition, I’ve been keeping the issues of Sunday Inquirer Magazine bearing the Palanca winners. Those broadsheet magazines are lurking at unidentified areas of my room. May be if they pile up high enough, I’d get the urge to write. Only then will my self-formulated prophecy will be fulfilled.

COMMENTS
May cash prize ba ang Palanca? sana meron.
(teka mako convert ko ba ang prestige into food? Yes, kapag dumating na ang opportunities na kasama nito.)

may nabasa ako somewhere na dapat kang maging committed. kapag committed ka na gawin ang isang bagay ibat ibang opportunities ang lalabas/ susulpot na otherwise ay hindi mangyayari kapag hindi mo binigay ang iyong commitment sa isang bagay.
katamaran man or takot takot ang sanhi, kapag di mo sinubok lumabas sa comfort zone, walang mangyayari.
(wow, nagsalita ang mahilig tumambay sa comfort zone)
Posted by: Poli | September 10, 2006 10:12 AM

haaay palanca...
Oo nga. Ang sarap siguro nun no?
Well, I can only pray all is well. Strength to your little angel and the whole family.
Salamat sa update
Posted by: Jab | September 10, 2006 09:30 PM

Palanca... So near and yet so far.
Napansin mo ba ang madalas na paggamit ko ng tatlong tuldok na hate na hate ni U? Dapat matanggal muna ang nakagawian kong yan bago ako maghangad ng Palanca award.
Ikaw, madami kang pwedeng isulat. Wag maging tamad. Maging masipag. =)
Hugs for Nichi!
Posted by: Badger Addict | September 12, 2006 08:31 AM

Poli, nais kong i-share na ang comfort zone...it's beginning to be uncomfortable. I am hoping na kusa na lang akong isuka ng comfort zone.

Jab, salamat sa dasal for our Nichi.

Faith, I am guilty of ellipsis abuse. (Check out my 1st comment.) Tanong ko lang, saan makakabili ng anti-tamad drugs? I have a feeling that I'm gonna need THEM.
Posted by: Tyrene | October 8, 2006 07:30 AM