Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If Even Just For A While

The first night I saw her, her face was so clear and my emotions were so strong. It was a given that she had been sick and that had recovered and was back. There were things she said which offended me but I bit my tongue and reminded myself to just be thankful instead that indeed, she was back.

The next day, I saw her again. The whole time, we were just talking casually. About what I do not exactly remember. The next day, that was all I could think about -- the 2 nights that I had been seeing her. I found it a bit weird at first.

On the 3rd night, I saw her again. She was on the phone speaking with a cousin of mine who was talking badly at her and I kept telling her not to allow my cousin to treat her that way.

And then I woke up.

I spent almost the whole morning thinking about those 3 nights. I was trying to figure out what all that possibly meant but I just couldn't think of any reason why. And then it dawned upon me. She knows how much I miss her. I'm thankful that even if just in my dreams, I am able to touch her and feel her and talk with her. I yearn for her presence even if I know that will never be possible. It's a yearning tucked away in my heart, rarely shown to other people. And tonight, I'm giving it one good cry - it's something I haven't done in a long time, something I'm trying to
stay away from anyway. It feels good.

If I see her again tonight, it will feel better.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today He Turned TWO

A year ago today,at exactly 7:25 in the morning a baby boy was born. A bit smaller than his older brother when he was born, his loud and powerful scream was nothing close to small.He proved to be a voracious eater. He loved his cookies.
And his socks.

He adores his older brother (when they aren't arguing, that is).
He is opinionated and determined to get what he wants but his affection for those close to him has no bounds.This morning I asked "Who's birthday is it today?" and he answered, "TWO!" and then I said "How old are you today?" to which he replied "ME!"

I can't believe he wore that rumper. I can't believe he's wearing that shirt already.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Woman's Weakness?

I have been controlling myself for a long, long, long time. I sooooooo want to shop. I want to shop. I have a whole list (which has been stirring in my mind for the past month or so) of things that I want to buy- 3/4 of which are actually all "wants" and the remaining are our "needs." And because most of it are just wants, I have been controlling myself from breaking lose and going berserk.

Because I have children to think about, I am able to pass a store with a humongous screaming red SALE banner. Because I have to be more practical, I am able to pass a store with very very happy and content shoppers coming out with a zillion shopping bags. Because another pair of sleek black stiletto's is of no importance compared to a pack of diapers, I can control the palpitation of me heart when I see racks and racks and racks of office wear slashed by 70% of its original price.

But it still won't change the fact that I want to shop.

Which is why I'm thankful I have a little creature who says "I wuv woo."

Shopping suddenly comes 2nd on my list.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm Sorry But It's A No

When your job has something to do with hiring people, I figured, you're going to be doomed to face really, really, really determined people who would do ANYTHING just to land a job. I do not blame them- in a developing country like ours, having a job is essential if you want to survive. But we cannot discount the fact that most companies, do have job descriptions which include the necessary basic requirements in order to stick to the prescribed standards.

In the past 4 years that I have been working, I have met a number of people with character. Once, there was a lady who brought me and my box a big box of special sweets - right before her scheduled interview. I almost gave in to her bribe. KIDDING.

On another occasion, one applicant who already failed our standards would call 4 times a day in the hope of convincing us to give her another chance. I was very subtle to her at first and it seemed like she just didn't want to "drop" it, so I bluntly told her that she simply didn't make it. I wasn't surprised when she suggested she go to our head office and talk the higher ups to hire her. Seriously, I told her it wasn't proper but she didn't stop there. She started to plead. My heart went out to her, really. My heart goes out to a lot of applicants I tell you. It can be a tough job especially when I meet such a beautiful (speaking of inner beauty) person but simply doesn't make the cut because of other reasons like exams and / or basic requirements like degree finished or whether he or she is an under grad or not, etc. Going back, so she started to plead but I just could not give in.

Most of the time, the sticky situations I find myself in is processing an applicant as a favor because he or she was referred by a higher up, friend or acquaintance but is totally not qualified. I receive personal visits , numerous calls a day and email messages just trying to talk me into "giving __________ a chance."

I try to be polite and professional and sometimes I feel like I am about to snap back but I remind myself to bite my tongue and empathize with them. I've been turned down too in the past and it can be demoralizing AND depressing but certain things are just not meant to be, I guess. I'm still learning as well but I'm getting there.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dr. Jones

I just could not connect to Harrison Ford's character in his other movies like What Lies Beneath and The Fugitive and oh yeah, Air Force One because for me, he would always always be Indiana Jones. Before watching the star wars trilogy wherein he also starred, I saw Indiana Jones first. And I loved it! The first I watched was Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade - I was 7 back then. We even visited the set in the MGM Studios in Disney World. I was more thrilled when I got to watch the first 2 Indy films.

And so since then, Harrison Ford stuck in my mind as Dr. Jones.

And today.... Tantanan Tantanantan Tantanan Tantanantantan..... I'm singing it. You could never forget the tune....So anyway, today, we got to watch the latest of Indy's films!!!

I enjoyed it a lot especially the first part. The story line towards the end wasn't that appealing though. But still, I got to see Dr. Jones! M 6 year old enjoyed it. I want to buy a collection of his first 3 movies.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Still No Cure, It Chooses No One

As soon as I got to the office this morning, my officemate who I have become close with over the few months I have been there, called me to the pantry because she wanted to tell me something. Well apparently, she got a call from her family last night to inform her that they found a tumor in her Dad's lungs. My heart dropped. And I couldn't really say anything for a good 10 minutes. I didn't know what to say. A big part of me just didn't want to say anything at all. What should you say?

She started asking about my Mom's case - hr battle with lung cancer. I wanted to share so much but at the same time, I didn't want to. My officemate said she will be visiting her dad after work and since her hometown is about 3 hours away from our city, she will be seeing her dad for the 1st time again in months. I told her to be ready for how her dad may look like since her mom said he already looked different.

I was thankful that my morning was pretty hectic preventing me from finding time to sit down and talk with her. I used that time to reflect and collect my thought. Damn hard.

We had lunch together. She needed someone to listen, so I did. It was very painful. I felt for her and remembered the ordeal my Dad and Mom went through and how painful it was for all their loved ones see them suffer and die.

Before we left the office, I told her to take care. I said it would be good to be as logical and practical as possible but she should cry it out if she felt so.

Trying times like these can make us or break us. Difficult as it can be, it is all up to us. I pray her father beats this. The big C.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

No Harm In Trying

3 weeks ago, the bank I worked for joined the annual Sportsfest of the association to which we belong. I woke up early and passed on joining the fun run. No thanks I said. When the games began, I excitedly waited to watch them all play. I had no plans of joining the games - at all. I was there to organize and support. Until...

There. Ever had people around you make you feel guilty? Anyway, all I heard around me was ..."For the sake of the cammaraderie"... and "Be a sport." I wanted to bail out but hey, for the sake of having fun, I joined and played table tennis - doubles. The last time I played ping pong was probably when I was in college. Geez. I was nervous, but I focused. And then...

We won!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It Can Get Crazy, But Ironically, It Keeps Me Sane

When I started working, I asked my Mom why she worked all her life. And she said providing for the needs of the family was her primary reason aside from her love for teaching that is.Seeing her divide her time between work and the family is something I witnessed while growing up which I think had a huge impact on my choice to be a working Mom as well.

I saw her get up early in the morning to fix breakfast, she saw me off to school, she would have 2 or 3 classes a day, she would pick me up, she would prepare dinner, she would check papers, tests and quizzes before retiring for the day. And when I had my eldest, she would squeeze in a lot of time to look after him, bring him out or play with him.

She was very active in my school activities. Attending PTA meetings, staying up late to help me review for our quarterly exams, attending my taekwondo competitions, helping me with my school projects. As I got older, we would both crunch our brains trying to solve my algebra problems (we're both not too good with numbers), brainstorm with me on ideas for my thesis and help me prepare for class presentations.

For 23 years of my life, I saw her do that. Which is why I think, right after graduation, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to find work even if my son was only 2 at that time.

Her being a working mother was never an issue with my Dad. Which is why I think I found it not to be an issue at all with my husband that I worked.

She didn't need to say anything, really. I never hear her tell me that I needed to work when I grew up nor did she say that I stay home at care for the kids when I had my own family. Maybe she meant it to be that way, for me to see it as a choice. For me to realize what I am supposed to be - on my own. No pressure, nothing dictated upon me. Merely witnessing who she was gave me enough inspiration although I never really paid much attention to it. Only now that I am working and have my own kids did I realize how much love is required to last the day.

At the end of each day, when I come home tired and my feet hurt, before complaining, I quietly thank the Lord for my aching feet and tired body because I know my day was productive, I know that the work I did for that day was all worth it - for me, the kids and the family.

It may be a choice. Yes, I think it is. And I have chosen to be this. I do feel enormous amounts of guilt leaving the little one at home when I leave for work but I try my best to be creative when it comes to managing my time so that nothing is sacrificed.

My children are still young and I have a long way to go. There are days which end p being soooo crazy starting at 6 in the morning and seems like evening is so far away. Hectic schedules, busy lines, endless expectations, pressure. But as Susie said, you have to find you balance. And I think this is my balance.

One day, I will look back at all of this and I know I will find myself smiling, fondly remembering how crazy it could get. But right now, I will look forward to the impact I am creating on the lives of my children. Someday, they will appreciate it. It could be long after I am gone, but I know they will. Just as I have.

Thanks Mom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Again, Where Did Time Go?

I'm starting to feel a bit panicky.

Somebody is turning 2 in 7 days.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Thankful It Came.

The rains started to pour on Friday night. I didn't quite notice the wind yet until late Saturday morning. We all decided to stay indoors since the weather outside didn't look too good. Monsoon rains in May, I thought. Come Saturday afternoon, the rains and winds were getting much stronger. I tried not to pay much attention to it, after all, it still is summer.

The lights suddenly went off together with winds that were strengthening. Was there a storm? How can there be a storm in the middle of May? Storms come in June, I thought. As darkness crept in, I realized and convinced myself that yes, I think there is a storm. I cooked in the dark with the help of candles. The kids tried to entertain themselves in the dark but not before long they were both scaring each other and then there was crying. I lit my candle collection on top of our piano, just to add a bit more light to the very dark house.

We could hear the wind blowing and the rain banging on the window panes. It was still pretty early and then I had an idea. I told the hubby that it would be great to "camp" out. So we fixed the mattresses of our beds on the floor, brought out the blankets and pillows and made space for all of us to sleep beside each other. The night was so cold but the moment just warmed my heart so much. We all had a blast finding enough space to comfortably sleep and surprisingly, we all slept so well.

The lights didn't come on the whole day the next day. It decided to come back on the day after the next.

With the lights back on, the sun came peering through the clouds.

After the storm came the sun. As it always does.

The lights

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ramblings...Writing Away

It was one that was marked in my heart. Young as I was, i believed I knew what love was. What it meant. And all I really cared about was the fact that this thing called love felt good. It gave me the high. Never mind if people laughed at me, why did I have to care? All I wanted to care about was the happiness I was feeling. I do not remember what was so memorable but it was memorable.

But as people say, nothing lasts forever. And so it didn't. At that time, I didn't know what was to come next. Was it finally over or was I just telling myself it was? I tried to forget. I tried to look for outlets to forget it, to forget him. I thought I did. I wanted to make myself believe that I was helping myself get better - get over it.

It lasted for a while. It felt like a long time but as I look back, it wasn't. I tried to distract myself. I met a person who tried to help me forget. And I wanted to believe that I was happy again. But hard as I tried, it wasn't working. I tried to focus and refocus but it didn't work. I probably tried to hard, until I guess I realized it wasn't worth fooling myself and the person who was starting to believe that he had found his happiness. It was a risk, a scary thing to do. But I had to let go and I had to make him let go.

And I did. I went back to my old happiness believing that it truly was my happiness.

Was it?

Sunday, May 11, 2008


When I was little, you used to tag me along to your school where you taught. I used to sit in when you had class and soon, your students became my friends / baby sitters. I watched you work so hard everyday.

When I started going to school, you would wake up early each day just to cook breakfast and send me off to school. You would if you had the time, pick me up in school. You would do the groceries and marketing before coming home to make sure that dinner would be served.

You would stay up late helping me review, finish my projects, help solve math problems and read stories to me before going to bed. When I would fall asleep, you would finish the dishes before checking your students papers and studying for your next days lessons to teach.

You made me feel how proud you were of me even if there were so so many times I let you down. You stood by me during my darkest moments.

You taught me the essence of hard work. You taught me never to give up. You taught me to face the consequences of my mistakes. You taught me how to be a mom.

You taught me so much.

You left when I still had so many questions to ask you. But you had your reasons.

When I make decisions, I always think of you. I feel lost most of the time and I find myself looking for your presence. I miss you everyday. I remember you all the time.

I Love You Mom. I Miss You much more than anyone could ever imagine.

Happy Mother's Day Ma.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

After All, It Is Our Day

We celebrated it as mom-daughter for 18 years.We celebrated it together as moms for 3 years. I have been celebrating it alone for the past 3 years.

It's that time of the year again. I wanted to believe that it would get easier as the years went by. But not really, the feelings stirring in me are still the same as they were last year and the year before. Maybe it can be described differently, but the intensity is still the same.

The feeling of inadequacy has been so heavy lately. Wanting to turn to someone to talk to, to ask about things, to share stories with. Wanting to ask if what I am doing is right, if I should do something more, etc.

I guess being a mom now just makes me realize what kind of a bond only a mother and a child could share. It pains me to know that now that I want to nurture that bond with my Mom, I can't do it anymore.

Life was never explained to me in full detail-- after all, that would have been impossible to do. But growing up as an only child may have shielded me from a lot of the harsh realities of life. Is anyone to blame? And just when I was entering adulthood, the Lord decided it was time for Him to take away my parents. It was easy to accept in the beginning because just thinking of them having to suffer more (in the hospital) pained me too much. But as time has gone by, I have found myself questioning what this is all about.I'm not as strong as people think I am. And many times, I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. Or scream my head off. Or fall asleep for 10 years.

There are so many things I want escape. I'm yearning for that voice that could tell me that everything will turn out right. That things will be OK.

Each day I tell myself that later would be better, that tomorrow will be fine. Even if deep down in my heart there is so much doubt. It has proven to be very difficult to fight that doubt, to keep the faith, to believe that behind every grey cloud is a silver lining. Reality bites. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Nobody knows and nobody will ever know.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chit Chat

With my boss on maternity leave, I have been manning the "battle station" all by myself. I try my best to be creative about the way I manage my time so that I get to finish the day's work and if there are some pending tasks left to do for the next day, I try to leave it at a minimal so that back log is avoided.

But the past 2 weeks have been a bit crazy. I have been trying to look like a headless chicken running around. As much as I try to keep my day sane, I have so far one big complaint to complain about.

So much of my time has been spent on the telephone. It's crazy. You sit down, the phone rings. Sometimes it is an important concern or issue but in between the conversation, there is always the small chit chat. You stand up, the phone rings. Chit chat again. While interviewing, the phone rings. And then chit chat again, of course I always have to be polite. Without my own secretary, I have no way of screening the calls. So even if the concern is not that important, I end up having to entertain the call.

Before I know it, half of the day is gone.

It's crazy.

And then the phone rings again.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Eerie Changes

In our country, we basically just have 2 seasons -- the wet and the dry. The wet season covers the months of June - September when all the tropical typhoons hit the Northern part (where I live) of our country while the dry season covers late October - May. Summer for us is April and May.

It has been a month since summer has set in but I wonder why it isn't summer AT ALL.

Years ago, I knew summers as long, warm, sunny days. The normal temperature of the city where I live ranges from just 12 C to about 22 C. For us, hitting 24 - 25 C is HOT and a big bowl of halo-halo or a popsicle stick enjoyed with cousins would be the best solution to cool the heat. Unlike the rainy season when the sun would set by 5 in the afternoon, summer afternoons last until 630 or 7 in the evening. The cool wind that would blew in the afternoon would be enjoyed outside in the porch or in the small playhouse built in the middle of my grandmother's garden.

As I grew older, summer mornings would be spent taking up summer classes and then long afternoons would be spent at cafe's or bars chit chatting with friends. A cold glass of beer would be our solution to cool the heat - or am I being contradictory? We would always complain about how hot the weather was. Sleeveless blouses, shorts and windbreakers would be in our cabinets while our thick warm heavy jackets would be packed away until June or July.

April and May for me, would always be memorable.

But as I said, May has set in already and I do not quite know where the summer is. It has been raining since the start of April- everyday, even in the mornings. The small inflatable pool of the boys has only been swam in twice because by 9 or 10 in the morning, heavy grey clouds start looming above our skies. By 2 in the afternoon, thunder and lightning and heavy heavy rains cover our city. Umbrellas and thick jackets are always a must when I go out. I have not had more than 3 halo-halo's since April.

It is what we have been doing to our home -- Earth. I know this is just one of the few effects of all the trash we have been throwing, all the pollution, emitted by our cars, all the trees we have been cutting,etc.

I wonder if the "old" can still be saved. Is it still reversible?

Change can be good - as some say, but this kind of change, I don't think so.