Friday, February 29, 2008

The only dish that I know how to cook prior to my being married was, umm…..nothing! My mama is a great cook but I was never interested in the cooking part: only in the eating part. My in-laws had this terrible notion that I was a superb cook. Blame the misconception on my cousin Minerva. Now, Minerva she was the cook, baker, gourmand in the Taytay side clan. Having tasted Minerva’s dishes, my in-laws thought the cooking gene was in me. Wrong-O!

I was first submitted to the test one rainy-lazy-Sunday afternoon. I was asked to cook champorado or chocolate porridge. My in-laws, (father-mother-sisters-brothers-nephews-transient relatives) were all on the living room watching television.

Let’s have a taste of Lena’s champorado. I bet that would taste terrific” father-in-law said. Crap! How do you cook freaking champorado? Think! Think! I pulled aside Enya (the oldest maid in the lot). I authoritatively told her to prepare the rice and chocolate powder. “Use the PX”, I said. PX is short cut for Post Exchange, or imported items from US bases purchased and sold by relations of US service men. Until 1991, there were US Naval Stations in Sangley Point, Subic and Angeles City.
Back to champorado.

“How much malagkit and how much dinorado?”. Huh? What are those? Oh, different kinds of rice. I nonchalantly said 50/50. This (50/50) has got to be the safest-ever proportion. If PHI is for art and architecture, 50/50 is for monetary shares, illegal transactions, division of labor, and proportion for malagkit and dinorado in champorado.

How much coco powder shall I add?” Dang! Enya.

“How much do you usually put?”

“Half cup”.

“OK then. I’ll adjust the taste later”.

“What about sugar?”

“Let then be the one to add sugar when the champorado is served.”

While the glutinous and dinorado rice, plus the PX coco were happily cooking, I sort of hovered about the kitchen looking busy and knowledgeable. My unsuspecting in-laws, up to this time have not suspected that that afternoon was the first time I “cooked” champorado.

Lesson learned: You can just about bluff your way out of sticky situations.
Key Ingredients: presence of mind, belief in one’s self, a touch of theatrics

Now, I still bluff my way in the kitchen.
picture courtesy of : Kitchen Cow

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Posted by desperateblogger On 2/29/2008 04:30:00 PM 5 comments READ FULL POST

taTagged again and again. I have seen nothing like this before:the tagging, being tagged, getting awards and issuing out awards. I can truly say only in the Philippines or only the Filipinos can think of this tagging game. I received three tags today. The 3rd tag has some issues since the blog names have no links. The two other tags are basically the same.I'll just combine the two lists to simplify matters.

Peachy Thea Childstar Mike My Scrappy Side Abie Aggie Alpha Apple Apols Andrea Jacqui Jane Jody Joy Kelly Mich Peachy Geo Lis LisLo LisaTexas BabeLisa Lowrey apple joey allinkorea umsik idealpinkroserickarickavieves weblink cheersgerlgentomsgingmunchkingenevericKavinMars
JK youuuuuuuuuu Lena:desperateblogger

To all those being tagged, bear with it. This tagging will add to your technorati authority and maybe increase your SEO plus you get to know more bloggers! You, the tagged one, has the option to reject or play along. It's really up to you. No Pressure.

That being said, I now tag: Filipina In Hawaii FLIP' antasticWEB Pinay Mommy Online Money Money Money LightsNshaDes My Daily Ramblings Splice and Dice Pipit Blog Noypi Tayo BrainLoopsBlog

To a couple of serious political writers that i tagged, Bear with me! Add your blog right after mine then go tag at least 5 bloggers! Have a nice day!
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/29/2008 08:41:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last night I watched a re-run of the 80th Academy Awards. The event was hosted by Jon Stewart. This is his second time to host the Oscars but I found his hosting quite stiff. I’ve never been really a fan of his, actually. Has Conan O’Brian hosted the Academy Awards yet?

Anyway, the red carpet is an important aspect of the Academy awards. This is where superstars, mediocre stars and wannabe stars strut for the press. This is the event where designers fall all over nominees to wear their creations. I love Helen Miren’s gown best.

There was a flashback of all the films that won the best picture award. Out of the 79 films that won I saw about 35. From these awardees, my favorites are: Gone with the Wind (1939, no! I wasn’t alive back then), West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound of Music (1965, I can sing all the songs from this movie), The Sting (1973, this was when my secret love affair with Robert Redford begun, which Robert still doesn't know), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Kramer VS Kramer (1979), Terms of Endearment (1983) , Rain Man ( 1988, Dustin Hoffman was brilliant!), Dances With Wolves (1990), Silence of the Lamb (1991, Clarisse!), Forrest Gump (1994, run Forrest run), Braveheart ( 1995), and Gladiator (2003).

As each winner’s name was called, the statuette presented, acceptance speech uttered, I noticed one thing; no one thank God (in whatever form of religion or faith). All the awardees’ gratitude was directed to mere mortals. Where is God to these Hollywood people? It astounded me that the best script writer award was given to a woman named Diablo! Are these people Godless? Are these superstars so blasé that God has no more space in their ultra-hectic-luxurious-chic-lives?

I was sent an email petitioning the boycott of all Kathy Griffin shows. Why? It happened that Griffin got an award at the Creative Arts Emmy and her acceptance speech was: "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now." Heaven forgive for that blasphemy.

Let's say Kathy is an atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Moslem or a Jew. Her religious or non-religious affiliation does not give her right to mock Jesus Christ. Whether Kathy believes or not, there is a supreme being forgiving her right now.

Was the Kathy-incident a precedent to the Oscar winners? Was the idea of being ridiculed so daunting to the Academy winners that they opted not to thank God? Were the Academy winners just a bunch of talented-Godless-Faithless-people?

I sincerely hope not.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/28/2008 11:12:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The house is silent. Ethan is watching TV. No one else is here except for the maids and I. It's 3:35 pm and I have nothing else to do.

I have no errands to finish.

I have no one to fetch or take to school.

I am not googling any topic to help out my kids on their research paper.

I am not typing any term paper.

I am not on my way to the bookstore to buy illustration board, glitters, and poster-color for their art project.

am not going to Divisoria to buy textile for their costumes.

I don't have a Parent-Teacher Conference looming in the next few weeks.

I am not on my way to a swimming, golf, cheerdance or a volleyball competition.

My Saturdays are free of ballet classes.

I no longer have to bribe one of my daughters to take piano lessons.

I no longer look forward to trips abroad for the girls' chorus to perform or for me to watch an International Swimming competition.

I no longer have to wait for my son to finish his saxophone class or buy my 4th daughter a new flute for she dented her old one.

no longer have to cook tons of food for their respective varsity teams.

I no longer have to label all their socks, undies and hankies, to avoid mix-up.

Their baby books are all filled up with vaccinations and booster shots.

I no longer have to wake up at 5:30 am to fix their breakfast and pack their lunches.

I no longer have to supervise homeworks and study periods.

Most weekday dinners are just Ethan, my hubby and I.

So many things have changed now that my kids are all grown up. I should be glad. I should be feeling free. But: believe it ot not, I miss the chaos and hectic pacing of a mom with young kids.
Enjoy your little ones now. Do not wish to fast forward their childhood days. Cherish. Delight in the experience of caring for your children. At the blink of an eye ( for me, it was) your children will be all grown up.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/27/2008 03:31:00 PM 7 comments READ FULL POST
Thank you Juliana. Juliana is my eldest daughter's math teacher when she was in grade 4.

Being new to blogging, I was browsing other blogger sites leaving short messages for me to build up my network. I said "hi" to Juliana and left it that.

Juliana dropped by my site and left a message too. Read: Lena? I am Ms. Saporne Luanne's grade Math teacher. I recognized her picture in your blog. That was 16-17 years ago!

Small world, indeed!
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/27/2008 09:11:00 AM 1 comment READ FULL POST

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Friday: Ethan and I gate-crashed an overnight activity of an exclusive school in Las Pinas. The activity was all about the moon and the stars. Yes! It was moon-stars viewing through powerful and expensive ( at least 500,000 Php each ) telescopes.

The activity was made possible by AstroCamp. The group brought in 15 powerful telescopes to view the moon, saturn, mars, orion, and jupiter. Cool!

Saturday: We had dinner at Italianni's. Freaking Expensive. At right, me eating Sicilian salad. Yummy! It's garden fresh salad with mango, grape, almond nuts and grilled chicken.

note :Ethan's hand reaching for my fork!

Sunday:AC Chorale had its 20th anniversary concert at PCI Bank Auditorium. We watched as alumnae sang Bridges and Handog with the current group.

It was a touching moment when former members composed and sang a song for the chorale's conductress of 20 years, Tina Yulo-So.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/26/2008 03:44:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST
Promenade. If it’s used as a verb, it means to walk, stroll: used as a noun it means a walkway or path. Corollary, a JS Promenade is a Junior-Senior Walk or Strut (if I may say so). The better meaning is: a march of guests into a ballroom constituting the opening of a formal ball. Where did this yearly-highly-anticipated-costly tradition originated? What is the rationale behind?

The tradition all started sometime in late 19th century. The term JS Prom is derived from promenade ball which stemmed from the academic year-end graduation ball observed in North America and England. The British counterpart of the prom is Valedictory Ball, Leavers' Ball, or Leavers' Dinner. In the U.S., a separate ball is sometimes held for the juniors who are finishing 11th grade and for the seniors who are finishing middle school.

Here in the Philippines, proms are observed obsessively and religiously. Mothers go out of their way to drape their daughters with the “best” gown their money can buy. Sons have themselves fitted for suits or tuxedos. It is not an easy feat to “survive” a prom. I know of one mother who spent 15,000 Ph for her daughter’s gown plus another 5,000 Php for shoes and bag. Another mother shelled-out 12,000Php for her son’s formal suit. In my opinion, it is a total waste of good money.

I have four daughters and a son who all attended proms. My daughters had their junior and senior balls at the basketball court of their school. The event was always organized by the graduating batch: the decoration, the catering, the program... everything. The parents were invited at the start of the ball for fathers to “first” dance with their daughters. In total, I provided dresses for my daughters for 4 junior proms and 4 senior proms. Expenses were minimal. I did not go overboard with gowns.

My son had his two JS Proms held in Hotels. I never did figure out how much I paid for each event for it was already included in his tuition fee. For his suit, I scoured Divisoria for suiting materials and had a tailor sew the suit. I paid half the price for a tailor-made suit.

Anti-prom or morp is a social event staged by high school students in the U.S. as a protest against their school’s official prom. The main reason for the protest is the high cost of a traditional prom.

I am not against prom. I am against the heedless expenses brought about by the pressures of proms. Schools must take into consideration the present economics and plan their proms with simplicity and relevance. Parents, mommies foremost, must not go overboard with their kids’ prom attires. Remember, they are just in high school. Reserve the ball gown/tuxedo splurge at their college graduation ball.

I don’t know if I’m just being bitter on the subject of proms and grad balls. You see, I never had a JS prom or a graduation ball. The related years were marred by Martial law. Crap!.

I was met with this scenario at 11:00 pm Mcdonald's. These "prommers" are from a public high school in Las Pinas, Metro Manila

The lady and her consort waiting at the jeepney stop for their ride home.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/26/2008 08:27:00 AM 5 comments READ FULL POST

Monday, February 25, 2008

I have no idea what being tagged is. I had to ask around. Easy. All I have to do is copy/paste my tagger's thingy then tag 5 other people after. So here goes.

Thanks Butchay for sharing me this award.

Rule: Copy the entire list and add your name at the bottom. And tag at least 5 friends. (But you can tag as many as you like)

Rule: Copy the entire list and add your name at the bottom. And tag at least 5 friends. (But you can tag as many as you like)

Thea Childstar My Scrappy Side Abie Aggie Alpha Apple Apols Jacqui Jane Jody Joy Mike
Mich Peachy Dorxie Butchay Lena

Now I would like to share this award to Sheng, Rukee, Anna , Juliana, and Nanay

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/25/2008 07:01:00 PM 5 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, February 23, 2008

literally: hey! go ahead with the "push"

It’s Taytay, actually. The Tehtày is how most older generation of Taytay, Rizal folks will pronounce it. Taytay Accent.There are always two sides to a coin as to how and why my kids speak and sound the way they do now.

Bacoor accent tends to end on a high note just like the tenor when asking a question. This tendency applies to all types of sentences: statement, question, exclamation, and command. Taytay accent is predisposed to end on a lower timbre with the end syllable heavily accented. The people of Taytay have the tendency to add g to a word ending in n or to delete g from a word ending in ng. An example is kain where it is changed to kaing while karsadang baku-bako would be karsadan baku-bako. The accent is highly distinctive and well, funny. I remember Tony Gonzaga slipping into Taytay accent one time. This was when she was tapped to join Pinoy Big Brothers and she wailed “mommy, wala akong is-tepping” (step-in or slippers) in flawless puntong Taytay. To a non-Taytay-nian (I don’t know how natives of Taytay are called), Tony’s lapse was unnoticeable. Of course not all taga Taytay has the accent and peculiarities.

Just like in Bacoor, Cavite, Taytay has its own atypical words too. My mama thought it wise to enroll me in Manila when i hit high school. I enrolled at JMD-PWU. During a Home Economics class period in my freshman year, we were taught the proper table place setting by our teacher. At the end of the period we were supposed to wash and pack away the dishes. I told my group mates, “hoy, mag-urong na tayo” literally translated to"hey, let’s start pushing" to which they laughed for whatever will they be pushing? I was mortified! In Taytay, mag-urong means wash the dishes; sintang is pail, lupa is ground floor, kalupe is wallet, hâ-o is yes.

Don’t let me start with superlative adjectives. In “normal” Filipino, we add pinaka, ubod, walang-kasing to an adjective to form the superlative. The “most beautiful” is “pinaka-maganda” in Filipino. Not so in Bacoor and Taytay. In Bacoor, one has to curse first: read: DANG-Ganda to say most beautiful. In Taytay, one has to shoot first: read: BANG- ganda to mean most beautiful.

Taytay folks are actually embarrassed by their accent. Once they step over the town boundary going to Manila, the puntô is magically gone: a perfect Manila accent is acquired. Yes. These Taytay-nians can easily switch accents according to need. It’s really quite hard for untrained ears to discern a Taytay-accent-on- the- loose which bring to my mind that the Bacoor–nians must be proud of their accent for, whatever happens, come rain or shine or high water; no matter what place, predicament or persona to face, they never loose their inflection completely.

I remember my daughter not comprehending her grandaunt when the grandaunt asked her to get her “kalupe” sa “lupa”. I remember my youngest daughter's confusion with "leron, leron sinta as she kept on singing leron, leron sintang. My son compained then that he has been repeatedly asked to eat "koboy" which he does not want to since when is it alright to eat a cowboy?

It’s a wonder my children learned to speak at all.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/23/2008 02:07:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Back in the early 80’s we were living with my in-laws. Their residence was at the second floor of their machine shop. It was a large household: my parents–in-law, three sisters-in-law, two brothers-in-law, five maids, two houseboys, my husband and I, my three girls and numerous transient relatives living together in one big roof. There was always a cacophony of sounds amid us: the noise of buses and jeeps traversing by the main road, the monotonous clanking of the numerous apparatus of the family’s bread and butter and the almost-always-angry like-shouting style of my husband’s kin and their more than fifty employees when speaking.

Their inflection, my in-laws’, my husband’s, the transient relatives’ and the whole community’s, was the pure unadulterated Cavite intonation. They talked loudly and frequently all at the same time. One has to strain to hear above the din. I was worried then that my girls will eventually acquire the accent and the vociferous manner of talking. What am I to do?
When my children were very young the language spoken in our household was Filipino. I did not talk to them in English since I figured they will eventually learn the language. However, one cannot help but occasionally English-ize a word or phrase.

“Tweengkel, gusto mo ba istap toy o eeslipers?” (Twinkle would you like a stuffed toy or slippers?) “Ganda neto o, teddy bur.” (This is a nice one, it’s a teddy bear). “Wurs d erplane?”; “Ders da erplane”; “Com yor her now”. Of course that was not me. Was it the norm in this slice of Cavite to mispronounce words or make up terms? A t-shirt was a t-sert, a shrimp was a shreem, a mango was a mangoo, birthday-berdey, a turkey was a tarkey, a vanda was a panda, the dish bopis was gopis and a committee was a komiti with accent on the KO. The machine shop that was their business was of course called “masin siyap”. I was constantly reminded of my high school teacher who curses us every time she says “class get one whole shit of paper”.

My mother in-law asked me one day: Gusto mo ba ng koboy? (Would you care for a cowboy?) Huh?! What the heck will I do with a cowboy? Ha-ha-funny-dimwitted me. It turned out koboy was actually “turon” (deep fried banana in an egg roll) that goes well with “caramba.” No, not the Spanish curse word, more like “ukoy.”

I was incessant in my quest to un-Cavite my girls’ speech. I enrolled my eldest in preschool at the (then) very early age of 3. When my eldest was about to turn five, I demanded from my husband to build us a house or else my daughters and I will leave him. Dang the consequences. I designed the house. He supervised the construction. In five months time we left my in-laws’ abode and lived in our new house.

With no in-laws lurking about, I corrected every wrong grammar, pronunciation, and enunciation that I perceived my girls make. The worst part was my husband. He cannot and will not be corrected. He seemed to enjoy and knowingly commit mistakes in Tagalog! If you want to ask someone if he has eaten, one normally says “Kumain ka na ba?” When translated in English it is “Have you eaten yet?” Most Caviteños, my husband included will say, “Nakain ka na ba?” which connotes to “Have you been eaten?” By what, nobody is quite sure. Basically, “Nakain ka ba ng pating?” would indicate that you have been eaten by a shark and not the other way around.

How about the verb conjugation of the root word kain? (to eat): where kumain is past tense, kumakain is present tense, and kakain is future tense. Not so in the south of Manila where the verb conjugation would have been non-existent. Read: past: nakain, present: nakain, future: nakain. Yup! You’re right! My husband was banned from tutoring our kids in Filipino.

My kids all speak correct English and Tagalog. Well, except for my youngest and only son who is not quite that flowing in Tagalog. Anyway, they have not acquired the full wave of the Cavite “twang” but rather a mixture of Manila-Cavite-Taytay intonation. They do talk loud though. I said to myself, when a grandchild comes, I will definitely start him/her in English to avoid the Tagalog-speaking quandary.

Then Ethan, the first and so far only grandchild, was born. Everyone. English. No Tagalog. Okay. Understood. Here comes grandad. “Eetan, grandmam said eespeak in Eengliss”.

Oh my gas! Scratch it. Grandad, talk to Ethan in Tagalog. Please!?
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/21/2008 07:33:00 PM 17 comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It was in 1973 when I entered the University of the Philippines. It was Martial Law. Makibaka, huwag matakot was the chant of many students, UP included. Me? Oh, I was happy enough playing billiards and duckpins at the then new Alumni Center. In my first year, I lived at Ilang-Ilang Hall. All freshmen girls were jailed, i mean, put up there.

In 1974, a new dorm was constructed. This dorm was supposed to have two wings: boys' wing and girls' wing with a common reception hall and mess hall. I never got to live in that dorm for it was and still is reserved for freshmen. Yes. It is the Kalayaan Hall. For those who were once installed there, hey! it has been renovated in time for the UP Centennial Celebration.

I was invited by my son to visit Kalay's (that's the way they call it now) open house. Oh I was pleasantly surprised: gone are the dark, gloomy, narra panels. I think even the Kalay resident white lady is gone.The reception hall now has a wide flat TV and linear sofas for comfort. The Hall has now a happy, bright, clean, modern, and upbeat impression.

Left side lobby going to girls' dorm

The Mural was done by nobody famous. hahaha. I saw it being done by a "manong" and I even commented that his perspective was grossly distorted. Little did I know that "distortion" was the "essence".

Right side lobby going to the boys' dorm

UP Site Map Mural

The revamp reception hall. Note the new sofas and window shades.

After 35 years upon completion, Kalayaan Hall's lobby, reception area and offices were renovated. It is so sad that the bedrooms were not. My son's room is so small, airless, dark and gloomy. It terribly depressed me that I wanted to cry out of pity for my son. But hey! He is enjoying his new found freedom and responsibility. Every night, I pray real hard for my baby boy who is a baby no more. Note Ethan, checking out uncle's bed.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/20/2008 03:59:00 PM 8 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Makati has changed.. a lot. If you were a child at the age of aquarius, then you can relate to the time when the only cinema found in the Makati area was Rizal Theatre. The ony eating place found there was Pancake House. This area is now, I think, occupied by Landmark and Shangrila Hotel.

The area that is now Greenbelt used to be a great big parking space for South Supermarket. Max's was also located there and an aviary too.Now, it is occupied by a commercial complex (whose design is fitting for a tropical country) known as Greenbelt. The last time I was there, there were only 3 Greenbelt Complexes. Now, a fourth has come up linking the whole complex to Landmark at the other side of Makati Ave. by a series of covered-spacious overpasses. A fifth Greenbelt is nearing completion.

Here are some pictures taken at Greenbelt.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/19/2008 07:02:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Ethan, for a time, sang nothing else but Six Little Ducks.

Here is a synopsis of the great song.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/19/2008 09:53:00 AM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My only childhood zoo experience is that of the Manila Zoo. My papa would take me and my brother Boyet to the zoo to see the animals. I remember there used to be seals, lions, giraffes, tigers and that practically all the cages and pens were filled. It was a sad day when Peter (the spitting orangutan) passed away. With no Peter (no lions, giraffes, and other exotic animals) to entertain and please crowd, Manila Zoo slowly and sadly died. Last I saw, the zoo is being renovated complete with a petting zoo.

Ethan at the petting park of Manila Zoo

Speaking of petting zoos, there's a new kid in town. Ark Avilon, located at Tiendesitas along C-5 and Ortigas Avenue in Pasig. As clued by the name, Ark Avilon is made to look like an ark. If I were the architect, I would have made the building lived up more to its name (modesty aside).

Me, my girls and Ethan at the entrance

The star of Avilon Zoo is Jenny, an orangutan. She looked hip wearing striped pants, t-shirt and crocs. She was sweet too. Kids enjoyed posing with Jenny. Me? I bravely posed with Jenny.

Jenny in her signature pink crocs!

Ethan with his buddy Miguel even
fed the bunnies, chickens and
other cuties at the feeding station located
at the second floor. The Ark Avilon
main venue is in Montalban. Jenny's
handler said it will take 2-3 hours
to tour the whole zoo. The Ark is a
7 out of 10. I should be getting
paid for blogging about Ark Avilon.

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/16/2008 10:34:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/16/2008 09:47:00 AM 1 comment READ FULL POST
Fruit-flavored Hookah

That was the idiom I read as I was about to click the submission button to a forum post I have commented on. I refreshed and kept on refreshing the page so that I could read more of the inane phrases: Gosh, I’m speakless!; Alindog (me), dehins goli [not taking a bath], dahan-dahan lang sa pindot [caution in pushing], isusumbong kita sa nanay ko [I’ll tell on you to my mother]; I don’t care a damn!; Gloria, you’re so kaka [no idea what that means, but it sounds funny]. Of course the Pinoy humor is lost in the English translation; and of course, most Pinoys don’t really speak or write incorrect English syntax.

Are you familiar with Filipino Forums? Well, this kind forum is actually a group of people (with nothing better to do?), posting and commenting on different subjects, topics, and what-have-you under the sun. It is sort of a modern-day-cyber-round-table-discussion group. Some of the main categories are love and intimacy, arts and entertainment, politics, religion, fitness and health, jokes and humor, family, parenting, women, jobs, school stuff, poetry… name it, the forum probably has it.Members post questions, statements, news, thoughts, and ideals in the category that they choose.

My favorite is the Random Thoughts category. I, personally, would like to rename the category to Nonsensical Posts. The posts are funny, absurd and definitely senseless. Here is a sample post: Please help: What is the difference between loving patiently and patient loving? Oh, there were lots of comments on that one. The “help” comments were hilarious and well-meaning but no one actually gave a correct answer. What about the posted question: When was the last time you cried? This post was a hit!! One member said she cried 3 months ago while on a retreat: another said he cried when his girlfriend left him for another guy last December: still another one said she is crying right now reading all the corny post. Oh well, the forum is just living up to its motto: tambayan ng mga walang magawa sa buhay. (Roughly: where the ne’er do well meets)

I figured I should edit my profile for me to better establish myself in forums. I click edit profile. A drop down menu unfolded: job choices: chillen, billionaire, pimp, vampire, porn star, smurf, smurfette, retired, student…dating status: confused, dumped, do me now!, player, open to suggestions… body type: slim, athletic, more to hug, a little extra… sexual orientation: bi, straight, not sure, gay, no answer… Sigh! This is harder that I thought. I’ll update next time..ummm, maybe never.

What about you? Go ahead. Join a Filipino Forum. I dare you.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/16/2008 08:39:00 AM 4 comments READ FULL POST

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Gotta gig tonight!

No! I’m not drunk!

I’m going out. Don’t wait up.

School sucks!!!! I quit!!!!

Lucky me. I have not had the occasion to hear these phrases from my kids. No. They are not the nerdy-fanatics-worthier-than-thou-type of kids. They are just your regular neighborhood sort. They don’t smoke, do drugs or party incessantly. My kids are conservative in principles, actions, habits, etc. In other words… they are square.

My kids are focused on their studies: so focused that I have to put my foot down against their going to school when storm signal #3 is up. Their reason? No class suspension announcement yet!

My fault actually. I have rammed into my children’s the value of education: I say what you’ve learned cannot be bought, stolen or lost. It is your legacy! It is your right and privilege and it’s up to you to make the most of that opportunity!.. relentlessly.

Gosh! I so sound like my dear-departed-papa! Yes, I tend to sermonize complete with emote. I usually do the discourse during dinner. But wait! As far as I know, there is nothing wrong with my lectures.

Parents should instill to their young children the importance of education. How? I initiated my kids by developing their study habits. Kids need structure and discipline. Once your child starts preschool, set aside a time for study. By “study” I do not mean comprehensive reading and writing and math at 3 years old!: more on reciting the alphabet, doing puzzles and coloring books, story-telling and the likes. As the child grows older and more apt, then you can modify his study period accordingly.

When my eldest started preschool, I integrated into her schedule a “mommy-child” time. Oh these sessions were often tearful (on my daughter’s part) but we persevered. I bought each of my children a study table. They had their own little nook for studying and doing their homework. I bought books, books and more books for my kids to read and use as reference. (Yup, no Google yet).

The study time that I started with my kids paid off. (I’d like to think, big time).

My eldest, (who used to cry at study-time) is now a doctor. My second child (who can’t seem to grasp the meaning of study much more, spell it) is now a teacher. My third child (who used to feign sleep and appear innocent to avoid study-time) is now a dentist. My fourth daughter (the one who wanted to leave home at age 6 and hahaha, thought that unicorns are real [at age 17!]) is a senior taking up a double-degree course. My fifth and only boy (who was a super-hyper kid that we thought had ADHD and was and is still color-confused) is a freshman at a top Philippine university.

Yes. My kids are square… and I don’t mind.

Sponsor: Giraffe Childcare
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/10/2008 09:04:00 PM 10 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I have been labelled taray, astig, suplada (basically, a bitch) war-freak and other  adjectives along that line. Ummmm....not true, medyo lang(slightly).

I have been known to be quite fearless and almost panic-free in hair-raising situations. I am not afraid of the dark, nor of horror movies, nor of multo (ghost), bampira (vampire) and manananggal (a half-bodied woman flying around with bat-like-wings happily sucking out fetuses from pregnant women- a supernatural being indigenous in the Philippines)

You can count on me to be the one to light fireworks, climb on trees and face a bully for you. You can expect me to take you to the ER driving like MadMax (wait, too retro) umm.... driving like the
But! Do not! Please!... let a real-live-turkey near me!

Icka said Mom, face your fears. Gosh! Give me a break! It's not as if I'll be a lesser person if I refuse to rub-noses with a freaking turkey. Okay. Okay. Ethan is watching. I have to show him that mom is fearless.

I am not afraid of the dark and of other supernatural stuff because I was raised not to. 

I am scared stiff of turkeys (male specifically) because I was chased and pecked by one (owned by our neighbor Ka Celing) when I was 6.

What is there to fear but fear itself?  

The greatest fear is fear itself.

Wise words. True enough.

For me, fear is an unfortunate experience related to a specific event, person or circumstance that developed into anxiety as what happened to my turkey terror. This turkey business was reinforced when a few years after the turkey terror, a couple of geese (again, owned by Ka Celing) went after me. At age 23, a flock of geese and a couple of turkeys went after me a as I was hanging-out clothes to dry in my ma-in-law's backyard. I don't know if it's me or these feathered-terrors!

As Pavlov will likely agree (if he were alive today), I was conditioned to fear turkeys, geese, ducks and other fine-feathered-friends (yours, not mine). Not chickens. I like them, especially the fried ones.

What now? Face your fears! It will set you free. Visualize a "fearless" you rising to the occasion....experiencing new thrills....plunging into new challenges....being useful to mankind and setting a good example to young minds..................

Show Me That Turkey! (But make sure it's inside the cage)

Posted by desperateblogger On 2/05/2008 10:12:00 AM 6 comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, February 2, 2008

courtesy of :
Last weekend, my son told me that he needs a turumpo (top) for his PE class.

What kind of PE is that?
Oh, it's Filipino games.
Filipino games as in
patintero,luksong-tinik,and the likes? (Filipino-childhood-street-games)
What will you do with the turumpo?
Duh?! Of course I have to spin it.
But you don't know how.
Yep! Teach me.

Off we went to the palengke (public market) and bought 3 wooden tops, strings included. After getting three softdrink (soda pop) crown caps, then putting a hole in the middle of each crown with a 3"CW nail as the wedge, then threading the string through the cap, and finally doing the mandatory knots, we were ready for the turumpo lesson.

Dang! I can't make the top spin! Oh, the nail bit is off-center. (Poor quality. What do you expect? The turumpo is cheap at 20 Pesos, about $0.50 each). I got the other turumpo and walla! it spins... beautifully

As my grandson watched, my son practiced on his turumpo. After 15 minutes, he was able to do it. Next, I taught him how to catch and retrieve a spinning top off the ground. Okay. Done. Now, color the turumpo with different colored crayons. Why? To make it look colorful while it spins. Nice!

I just wonder: What made my son's school offer Filipino games as PE? Does it mean that fewer and fewer Pinoy kids are aware of the know-of and the know-how of Pinoy games? What happerned? My generation were the queens and kings of street games. We played patintero, taguan, luksong-tinik, biola, estatwa, and piko after school. The games went on for hours. As we did not have watches nor mobile phones back then, we knew it was time for dinner if one of our mothers calls out: Ano ba?! Uwi na. Kakain na. (Hey! Come home. It's time to eat.)

I was not the top queen of our street games. The queen of queens was either Solit or Pepot. They are sisters and they were so good I used to wish that I was their sister too so that I may have their super genes in playing street games.

My generation got their good share of excersise by playing physical games.

Nowadays, kids prefer to stay glued to their computers playing online games or mesmerized by their X-boxes, PS(3, is it?), Gameboy, etc. No physical activity at all!: unless they are enrolled in worthy-weekend-programs-like soccer-taekwondo-ballet-hiphopdance-basketball- and the likes. Some kids are missing a lot by not knowing and playing Pinoy games.

Great! I think I'll get 1.00 for my top spinning test.
You'll actually have a test for that?
Yep! Don't you know that this PE class is an in-demand class? The school offers about 5 classes of Filipino Games every semester and it's always filled to capacity.
You mean there are actually university-age kids interested in Pinoy street games?
Yep! It's a common sight to see students taking this subject to leave their class with torn shirts, torn knees and torn pride. Hahaha. They love the games!

Ummm... it's never too late to learn, I suppose.
Posted by desperateblogger On 2/02/2008 10:28:00 AM 10 comments READ FULL POST
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