Wednesday, April 23, 2008

S.U.S.

When we were in our preschool years, we made friends and play with other children our age. As we enter into our school–aged years, we made friends with same gender and finally having someone whom we call our best friend. That will go on until our adolescent years; however, this time we welcome heterosexual friendship. We can even have best friends who are our opposite sex. And some would go as far as ending up together but others ain’t so… Well, let me begin to tell you about my friends.

I was in college when I experienced having a group of friends or shall we say ‘barkada’. Usually, I only have about 1 or 2 (or 3 the most) when it comes to having friends. Perhaps I was just too picky. I do have a group of barkadas in my high school days but it didn’t last long. I can’t stand obnoxious, irritating, demanding or dramatic kind of friend so I’d ‘better have few friends than to have more friends and have more enemies’ – Well, that became my motto until I met some awesome, funny, sincere, weird kind of friends. We were a group of 13 – 7 boys and six girls.

We actually came to know each other because we joined the same organization. But the idea of creating our own group out from that organization just popped up our minds 1 day. I think few of the reasons were, we have the same ‘wavelength’ and also, we belong to the same age bracket (obviously)… And even though during those years some of our barkadas became an item, none of us ever ended up together…I think it was better that way, hehe. We were supposed to be friends! And friends should treat each other like brothers and sisters.

I sometimes felt nostalgic hearing the song of Michael W. Smith’s FRIENDS because it was our group’s theme song. I’m always reminded of my friends whenever I hear this music that was once dear to our hearts. We even had our motto in life, bisaya lang like: Sa kapit-os ug sa kahamugaway…I think it meant ‘For better or for Worse’. We also had our handshake greeting but I can’t demonstrate it here.

Some of my S.U.S. friends are now living outside the Philippines, some are just right here and most of us are married already, except for 1? Am I right? And most of us have cutie kids, too!

S.U.S…well, you might be wondering what it stands for. Originally, we created Kingdom of SUS and we even have a King and a Queen. I guess I was a Princess in that group, hehehe. Corny it may sound but we had fun, so what?! And oh yeah S.U.S. stands for Sano ug Sana. I think it’s a Boholano term for Amigo and Amiga but others would interpret it as – Crazy guys and Crazy gals. Whatever, I go for both.
gipicturan ko nlng kay di pa uso ang digital cam, wa pa jud koy scanner!
- naa gani mga duwende nakasampa sa among photo op -
I missed these friends of mine. I wish one day we could have a get together again. Our last reunion was in summer 2002. I was newly married then, not sure though if I was the first to get hitched in our group, had my memory failure already.

Anyway, my S.U.S. friends are the most wonderful friends I have in College. We laughed together, went mountain-climbing together (who would ever forget Manlumot adventure?), cried together (duh), dined or went to lunch together and made all those crazy stuffs were just a glimpse of my memories. How I love to reminisce the past…I miss you all guys.

My S.U.S. friends are the following: Dondon/Donot, now happily married to my dear distant cousin Ann. Don is a PMMAer so he frequently sails outside the Philippines. He now has 2 beautiful children. Don, thanks for the genuine friendship! Anthony/T. Toink, a Mechanical Engineer, just married last year. All I know is that he is based in Visayas. A real gentleman, that’s Tonee Tee! Mark/Makoy is married with 2 kids na daw. He is operating his own carinderia somewhere in Nazareth. Guy/Tuyom (because of his fido-dido hair) is a jail nurse in Camiguin. He married my classmate in College and has kids. Jun-jun/Unyot is now residing in Abu Dhabi with his wife and son. He’s also a flight steward so I hope I could bump unto him somewhere around the world. Michael/Quil-quil/Papa Gins (because he loves ginamos) is a law graduate. He is married to a doctor and he is also a professor at Lourdes College. He teaches Economics. He is such a funny guy, never a dull moment with him and he reminds me of Chandler of Friends. I hope he and his wife will be blessed with kids soon. Lip2x/Lipax/Bolongkoy is still single but dunno if he’s unattached. Lipax is such a nice friend. He’s very attentive and can be trusted with secrets. He’s also very poetic, such a sweet guy.


moi, kath, karen: dili pa uso ang kilay 2000.
maygani blurred ang pic


My girlfriends! Well, there’s Carlou/Yoyoy (because she used to be fond of singing Yoyoy Villame’s kind of songs, hehe). She’s actually my best friend and we were both members of XU Glee Club. I persuaded her to join my other organization and both of us, too, became members of S.U.S. I won’t dwell much on her here because I might write a long story about how we became best friends. Carlou is a single mother of a cutie son. She’s actually a Davaoeño but she’s currently residing in Cebu because of her work. Irish/Pantat, haven’t seen her in years but she’s happily married with kid/s (?). She’s sensitive, funny but a bit childish during our College years. Miriam/Tata, haven’t seen her in ages, too. I think she’s already married but I’m not sure if she still resides in Zamboanga.
Kathleen/Ngak (Becoz ingak is here favorite expression) is happily married with 1 guapito son. She’s currently residing in Bukidnon with her family. She could be both – extremely gay or extremely serious. Depends on her mood but she’s nice to talk to especially when you ask for some advices like matters of the heart. We were classmates for 2 years in grade school and we were classmates again in College. Karen/Gorit is married to my husband’s brother, so she’s my sister - by law, and they have 1 cutie son. Gorit’s a silent type but she could be funny, too. I like hanging out with her because she could easily understand me and we seem to have so many things in common, well, obviously (our husbands are brothers, got it?). Sometimes, you can see us both at the mall – ga rampa - it's our ‘Girls night out’. The 13th member is yours truly-Kukai. Married with 1 beautiful little girl. Even though my friends and I are apart from each other, I do think of them every so often. They made my College life interesting and worthwhile. To my S.U.S. friends, I hope you think of me, too, the way I think of you, hehe…naningil daw o. Bitaw, I wish you all well and I hope near or far, wherever we are, our friendship will always go on and on…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cousins


"How sweet it is to be loved by you"

These two little angels are first cousins. Born 5 months apart, Kirky boy and Chloe girl are fond with each other even though they don’t get to see and play each day. Chloe calls Kirky boy, Cousin Kirk. And Kirk calls Chloe, Cousin Chloe. They sounded really cute.

Only 5 years old, Kirky told Chloe not to be afraid of things that scares her because he is there to punch it, he, he. I could just imagine the circumstances when they will both grow up. Chloe now has her bodyguard and Kirky’s there to watch for her.

But at this time, we, their parents just enjoy every moment watching them, playing together, making noise together and striking a pose for the camera while my sister in-law took these pictures of them worthy to be saved.

Children Learn What They Live

Preschoolers at Lifetime Study Center SY 2007-2008
(Free ad: you can see this tarpaulin at the gate of Lifetime;
Chloe, raising both her arms)


Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.

If a child lives praise, he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

Where lessons learned last a Lifetime…
(Extreme right: Chloe raising her left arm)

I love this poem so much. I was in my 4th grade when I read and learned about this poem. Although I have forgotten some of the lines when I grew up, I am so thankful to have found this poem at the back of Chloe’s baby book. I hope that we, parents, should try to apply this to our children to make them confident, competent and mold them into a better person as well.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hello Kitty


I love Sanrio products, most especially Hello Kitty. I can still vividly recall the days when I was so fond of this cutie cat, with a yellow nose and who wore a red ribbon and a red overalls. I was in 2nd grade at that time and my mom even opened a bank account for me with a Hello Kitty passbook. But, oh well, the bank closed. And the Hello Kitty Fad disappeared.
It was in late 90’s or early 2000 that the Hello Kitty craze came back – with a vengeance! Obviously, they have widened their line because even adults like me were still attracted with their products – or maybe I was still a kid at heart or simply just a big fan of this kikay feline.
And Hello Kitty was sporting a new and different look, because maybe she found it too boring to wear only the same old color – red. And she came with a partner, too! Dear Daniel was there maybe to make her life more exciting. Hello Kitty was wearing pink color most of the time or sometimes, purple and blue for Dear Daniel. Their lines expanded not only as stuffed toys but you can also see them made of telephones, clocks, t-shirts, shoes, watches and even guitars, too!

McDonald’s food chain even attracted buyers of these cuddly kitties and was sold like hotcake! In fact, I actually owned 4 Hello Kitties in 1 week. Now, I am just too glad that I have a daughter in whom I can pass the ‘toys’ I once owned. She loves Hello Kitty, too. So at least, we have something in common.

Books

I’m not bookish but I love reading interesting novels. I was 12 years old when I first read Sweet Dreams book entitled P.S. I LOVE YOU, but I can hardly recall what it was all about. In high school, it seemed everyone was crazy about Sweet Valley High – until I joined the craze. Reading that book somehow released peer pressure at school. Sometimes, I would identify some characters in the book with my classmates, especially the flirty and scheming twin of Elizabeth, Jessica. But she was too pretty to compare to a villainous classmate whom I dislike…Thank God for that book, even though corny as it was, it helped me unload the pressures at school.

Another book that I read in High School was Emily Brontë’s Wüthering Heights. Our English teacher actually required us to read those kinds of books. She also recommended ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and Jane Eyre, but I chose Wüthering Heights. And, oh my! It was in old English. But then I managed to finish reading it. It was only later that I learned to appreciate the book when it was translated into modern English and was later made into film. Now, I’m hoping to own copy of her book.

I came to appreciate novels when I was in College. A friend first introduced Sidney Sheldon’s MASTER OF THE GAME. At first, I refused to borrow it. I was discouraged when I saw how very thick it was (It was a hardbound copy). Upon her insistence, and after telling me how great the book was, I agreed. Besides, she told me to return it anytime I wanted to, as long as I read the book. So, why should I refuse?



But miracle of miracles, after reading the book, I didn’t want to close it anymore. Kate Blackwell was a genius – but also a bitch. Alexandra was such a naïve but lucky girl and Eve was just a plain psychopath, I wanna choke her! Finally, I surrendered reading the book at 3 in the morning. However, as soon as I got up from the bed, I continued reading the book, line by line, page by page, cover to cover. OMG! It was absolutely entertaining, the author was brilliant, it was superb! I read that book 4x since then. And that started my affair with Sidney Sheldon books. I also liked ‘RAGE OF ANGELS’ with Jennifer as the heroin. And I so love Tracy’s character in ‘IF TOMORROW COMES’, being a master of disguise and a master thief.
I also loved the 3 doctors in ‘Best Laid Plans’, the dramatic and vengeful story, ‘The Other Side of Midnight’, and I came to hate, pity, but love Ashley in the mind-boggling novel in ‘TELL ME YOUR DREAMS'.

I think all of those books are worthy to read. Too bad, Sheldon passed away last year. But I thank him for making all those fabulous novels worthy to be called Bestsellers.

One other author I also admire is John Grisham. It’s great to read books that is also fast-paced and gives a court scenario. He’s a genius when it comes to the law and order genre. As for fantasy, I came to admire J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER. It not only entertains kids but adults as well. She’s a great story teller and I salute her.

ENOUGH!

I lived separately from my mom after I got married. My mom became a widow at the age of 55. Thankfully, my older brother was there to accompany my mom even until he got married. I was glad he was there for my mom, although I also often visit my old place with my husband and daughter, and sometimes my other older brod and his wife also go there to stay overnight or just visit. Everything went well. My family lived harmoniously. Even though my dad was not around anymore, we gained four additional members to our family – my two sisters in-law, my husband and my daughter. And Christmas was never dull in our family.

Months ago, a relative asked to stay at my mom’s place. Ever hospitable, my mom agreed to let her stay. We’ll, I’ll just name her – Melody. She said she would undergo a surgery, and that she had to rest at home afterwards. Accompanying her was her boyfriend. I’ll name him Johnny Bravo. But her family was sooo against Johnny – but that’s another story to tell. After the surgery, she decided to stay at my mom’s place, and later, she realized it might be a good place to hang around for awhile, hmmm.

My mom didn’t have any helpers at home, so with the absence of Melody’s relatives (who just came to visit a few times then leave), my mom was left alone to take care of her, buying her foods, meds, groceries, milk, fruits, etc. Sometimes, in the middle of the night she would call for my mom to look after her coz she felt scared, in pain, whatever. If not my mom, she would knock at my elder brod’s bedroom to let him look after her. It wouldn’t have been a disturbance at all, if only it happened only once or twice, but then it occurred all too frequently.

Johnny? Well, he keeps watch over her alright, but he sleeps in another room at night. Though he’s there to clean up her mess…– mess, as in literally – because she’s not suppose to lift or carry heavy objects…Poor guy, but good for him! Against all odds, he’s there for Melody because (according to him) he loves her. But I won’t dwell on the topic of their love story.

Melody went back to her hometown for awhile but came back to my mom’s place because of another treatment. It’s supposedly called Radioactive Iodine or RAI. It’s actually a radiation therapy taken orally. It works well with the patient having a thyroid problem but is considered dangerous for children, pregnant women or women in their reproductive years. In short, Melody needed to be isolated. She needed to have her own set of utensils, linens, etc., and she was required to flush the toilet three times after using it. She was cautioned not be in contact with others to avoid causing harm.

We had one vacant room at home, with its own bathroom, so Melody asked my mom to let her stay in that room 5 days after the treatment. However, if you’ve read the internet or medical books, it is clearly stated there that a patient like her should be isolated for at least 11 days. Did I fail to mention that Melody was quite demanding? Well, she had a way of always getting what she wanted. And in the end, her wish was granted, provided that she never get inside the main house but stay only on that separate bedroom until the 11th day is over. My brother and his wife have no kids yet, so it was quite risky for them if Melody was around or near them. My mom needed to refrain from going near her, too, to avoid being the carrier of whatever comes out from her radiation.

A day prior to her arrival, my mom diligently cleaned up the room. My other older brother, who used to own that room, took his things out for Melody’s convenience. Everybody went busy even though deep inside they were hoping she would stay somewhere else. But my family was very hospitable (!) as I’ve said.

The 5-day-stay at the hospital was over and then she returned to my mom’s place. As soon as she stepped into ‘her’ room, she complained of so many things. The room was too hot for her, she might have asthma attacks, there were a lot of mosquitos, she felt like this and like that. In the end, she entered the main house, stayed there, ate there, used the toilet without even bothering to flush the toilet bowl properly, and well, slept inside my mom’s bedroom. My brother was outraged and insulted. I was furious upon knowing this, my mom was speechless. In fact, everybody felt they just had ENOUGH!

It was so ironic that the owners of the house ended up sleeping in another house. Why? What was left of them anyway? They felt so defenseless and thought the better to run away or else trouble might happen right in the middle of the night.

Melody is already in her late 30’s, nearing 40. Her boyfriend is 51 years old, separated from his wife. But Melody’s family is so against Johnny. And Melody just despises all the people who would dare say negative things against Johnny. Apparently, they “professed” their love for each other even though they stepped on everyone else’s toes. And that’s probably one of the reasons why Melody wanted to stay at my mom’s place, so that she and Johnny were free to be together, with no one bothering or spying them. Johnny would also have free board and lodging, among other things at our home! Melody was raised too spoiled by her mom. She is very dependent and always lets other people do simple things for her. Poor mother of hers, she always wanted what’s best for her daughter to the point that she’s the one receiving all the insults for Melody. She’s already old but her love for Melody is so big that she’s blinded to the fact that Melody’s abusing her. But I don’t know who’s to blame here. I guess they’re all at fault.

So, what happens now at home? My mom and brod went back home anyways. But with a heavy heart, my brother was not able to control his emotions anymore. He poured everything out, but not to Melody - but to her mom. Poor old lady, she accepted it but asked everyone not to tell Melody about the incident. I, for one, was hoping that Melody should know about it. She was the one who brought up all this mess. She should have acted her age, be responsible, be independent and use her brain.

In the end, they all went to stay to her sister’s house. But should we feel guilty about this? If only Melody did not break the rule, maybe they could have still stayed at home. Even my own family risked their own health for her. But this kind of people should have at least some decency, some “delicadeza” or “hiya” because they’re the ones forcing my family to let them stay. Now that they left, should we be ashamed of what we did?
This story is only a short version. If I will all write everything in verbatim, you might hyperventilate in anger and would need oxygen. And I know what you’ll say – that enough is enough!

When I wrote this blog early this afternoon, I had no inkling of what transpired at my mom’s place. At 5 p.m. I called up my mom. Damn! Those people are back again. Melody didn’t like her sister’s place. Gosh, I should have known! Everywhere you put her, she’s never content. I told my mom to put down the phone because I didn’t want to hear what she was going to tell me anymore. This whole thing is such f***ing b***sh*t! My family couldn’t do anything and I’m in a rage.
What can one do if an enough is more than enough???!!!

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