Thursday, August 29, 2013

In the Tagalog hot seat

I like being open to new things and I sometimes pay the price for it.

Just recently, I found myself serving as a judge for what I thought was a singing contest in a public elementary school. Except that it wasn’t just a singing contest. It was also a poetry recital contest, a group oration and had the teachers not anticipated the lack of time and held them earlier, it would also have been a story-reading and story-telling contest - all in Pilipino.

This trio of Grade 5 students was amazing while
doing a Balagtasan (debate in poetic verse).
I had unwittingly said yes to all these contests that were part of the school’s Buwan ng Wika culminating activity.  The principal had visited us while we were helping serve some of their students under the feeding program conducted by the Shell Tabangao Ladies Circle (STLC) and asked us to judge a singing contest in August. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family photos

Take them while you can.

Maybe this isn’t really relevant today since everyone takes pictures of just about anything with the advent of camera phones, tablets and low-cost digital cameras.

But in my time, not all families had cameras. And those that had were not so free in its use because (and I am dating myself here) it was the type that used rolled photographic film which had a limited number of exposures. I remember that it was a luxury to get a roll of film with 36 exposures.

So when I looked for a picture of our basic family unit (before everyone upped and got married), the only one I found was taken decades ago. The most recent one I could find was missing a family member because it was taken when all five siblings came together --- to bury our father.
The last time all five of us sisters were
together was when everyone came home
for Daddy's burial.

Just recently, my daughter asked for a family picture for a school project. Easy enough, I thought until I found myself looking through several folders before I found one of all three of us. That’s because her Dad and I take turns taking shots.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A pharmaceutical post (of sorts)

I didn’t know what I was in for when I volunteered to serve at Shell’s medical and dental mission in Tabangao, Batangas City last August 3.

Sure, I’d been at medical and dental missions before, but always as part of a coverage team. 

The full breakfast spread for the volunteers should have set off warning bells in my head. After all, why were we being treated to so much good food if we weren’t expected to burn it off – fried rice, daing, tapa, itlog, manok and all?

One of the doctors of the Batangas Medical
Society attends to a young patient at Shell's
medical and dental mission.
They did ring faintly in my head at the reaction of some of the other volunteers when I told them I had volunteered at the pharmacy. “Kayong pinakahuling matatapos (You’ll be among the last done),” said one. “Magulo diyan (It’s a riot there),” said another.