Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday

This is a tribute to my sister, who celebrates her birthday today.

She doesn't know it but she was the first one who broke my heart. She did it when she left our home to work as a flight stewardess abroad. I remember wondering how to fill the gap she left and how lonely I felt. This was not the age of mobile connectivity and Internet access. It was a long time before I was able to fill in that gap.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


When I go on a trip, I will occasionally bring a pasalubong (souvenir) or two home but I usually don't go out of my way to do this.

Most of the time, it's because it's convenient or the host offers to buy it and have it ready by the time the meeting or the business is done. Hence, my officemates know better than to ask me to buy stuff for them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Guardian

He is dark and lean. Muscled, with no sign of flab, he moves fast.

Manong is no ordinary guard. His guardhouse floats nearby and he moves around in a paddle boat. His face creased and lined by the sun and sea, he must be all of 60 years old.
Yet all boat operators and tour guides respect him. Very few try to slip past him and those who do are 'baguhan' (new at the job) and do not know any better, says our boat operator.

Manong guards the Siete Pecados Marine Park in Coron, Palawan. He makes sure that no fishing is done at the marine sanctuary, which is one of Coron's tourist attractions. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

There's good left in this world

Our first day in Coron town in Palawan ended almost disastrously. We'd taken the afternoon flight and had decided to immediately start our vacation by squeezing in Maquinit Hot Spring before dark.

We take a tricycle to the only known saltwater hot spring in the Philippines, located some five kilometers from the town proper. My daughter balks initially at the water temperature, which locals claim range from 38 to 40 degress celsius, but soon adapts to the heat. A few visitors sit around the edge of the pool, soaking their legs in the water, which is said to be good for relieving arthritis and rheuma. We soak ourselves by the mini falls before we decide to head back to town for dinner.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

If only we could

We were on our way to Tagaytay last Saturday. It was one of those instant decisions (according to my husband). His boss had suddenly asked him to play golf (of course, it was an instant decision).

At any rate, I agreed that he NEEDED to go. Of course. But since he had made it a condition that we tag along, I decided to be kind and lessen any guilt feelings he might have had and come along.

And so Saturday morning found us suddenly up in a jiffy, getting ready to go out at a moment's notice because tee-off was at 10:30 a.m. and Tagaytay was a long way away.

But with construction ongoing at the South Luzon Expressway, we found ourselves crawling through traffic. And then we saw this sign.

Had we gone any slower, we'd still be on our way to Tagaytay.

When I got married

I was 34. More than old enough by the standards even of my time. In 2002, women were not marrying young. It was the sign of the times. It wasn’t just about being a career woman or being independent. It was also because it was hard enough to take care of oneself, much more a family. Women AND men were thinking twice about getting married.

I was the last to get married in my family. Five sisters -- me the middle child. Sister 2 got married first, followed by sister 1 then sister 4 then sister 5. Hmmm…if I got that wrong, one of them will correct me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our version of a totem pole

If you come from the west service road and go into what is commonly known as C5, you cannot miss this obelisk cum bust of somebody who must be turning over in his grave.

The first time I saw it, I had to exclaim at the ugliness of it. I do not know why but what comes to mind is a decapitated head stuck on a raised bayonet. Since construction had just started, I figured that there was still so much to the whole structure.

Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Last July 12 found us attending mass at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus at the Newport City near Villamor Airbase, Pasay City.

In celebration of her 40th birthday, a friend was offering mass at the shrine at 12 noon. I had to look it up on the Internet since I didn't know where it was and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was the orange (and to me) Moroccan-inspired church we'd pass to and from NAIA Terminal 3.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Favorite Food

We just came from yet another Chinese eating place.

My daughter loves wanton noodle soup. Her favorite eating places are North Park and Luk Yuen, although she will settle for Chowking if need be. At home, we try not to give her the instant noodles, but occasionally give in with the Knorr Chicken Noodle soup, which has to be cooked, rather than submerged in hot water.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The things we remember

It's strange, the things we remember.

I sometimes cannot recall what I did a day ago or worse, what I set out to do a few minutes ago. But I can remember with clarity my Lola's house.

I remember the clay-red tiles on the ground floor balcony, the books in Spanish at the 'library', the kalachuchi flowers that bordered the driveaway as well as the roses. I even remember Patsy, her dog, who we buried in the garden near the gate.