careless yaya

i have had yaya vinvin since after the new year holidays this year.  she’s the only one who’s lasted this long (7 months and counting).  before, i used to rack my brain why there was a continuous parade of short-lived nannies who are in and out our door faster than you can say mischa.  i lived through horror stories of unhygienic, smoking, hysterical and sosy (who thought we were paying her P500 for a half day’s work) helpers that it somehow crossed my mind dozens of times whether we are horrible employers, and if we treat them badly.  i couldn’t think of any reason why anyone didn’t last longer than 2 months.  in my moments of introspection (and desperation), i wanted to take the blame why we couldn’t hold on to mischa’s yayas.  they were given decent salaries, provided comfortable quarters, etc.  i haven’t been in the motherhood game that long back then, but i thought that we were treating them fairly enough, except that i couldn’t bring myself to get too chummy with them. others i know make it a point to ask them about their families, their life stories, what bothers them, their favorite foods, find out more about their children.  i guess in time, i might develop this kind of emphatic trait of employers, but it’s not really me to be ma-chika with other people who are strangers at first.  it takes a while for me to be ultra comfortable, even with friends.  it’s not my personality, really.  as long as i see that they’re doing their job well, we can get along fine.  but i’m not really into the closey-closey relationships, i’m not just made up of that stuff.  sometimes i do talk to them, and ask them what they need.  with yaya vinvin, i guess i’m beginning to warm to her with as much warmth as i could muster.  don’t get me wrong, i trust mischa with her so that counts for something.  she’s the only one i have felt comfortable with from the get-go.  i can go about my business leaving my baby, knowing that i can work in peace knowing she’s being taken cared of well, without her turning into a yagit or an uhugin.  i also know that she follows my instructions when it comes to mischa to the letter. by this time, she knows what we like and do not like, and she’s careful enough not to test the waters.  at the young of 20, she keeps house for us quite well.  my hubby is short-tempered, and to say he hasn’t reprimanded her is an achievement in itself.  lol.

until recently.  we discover stuff upon stuff of broken plates, cups, containers, and house decors, and burned pieces of clothing.  sigh.  i knew things couldn’t be perfect.  she’s bound to be bad at something (not that i was hoping for something to happen, of course).  it’s just, you realize that things are too good to be true.  sure, she performs everything without complaint.  i hardly ever hear her actually, much less complain of things.  she doesn’t even tell me if things like laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, cooking oil, etc. have gone up to dry.  i usually just discover that we are left with very little or no supplies at all.  it’s different with mischa’s supplies but i am such an OC when it comes to her milk, water, diapers, vitamins, etc.  anyway, that’s what we have to deal with lately–her becoming careless and a little clumsy.  she’s broken several of my stuff (wedding gifts, and these are limited) and my sister-in-law’s (we are playing house guard while her family is in UK), and has burned hubby’s uniform and other clothes.  now, these are minor things really but of course, it can piss you a little when you come home and you find out about these.  we’re thinking now if we are going to ask her to pay for the subsequent things she breaks or not.  as i told hubby, it’s not the things per se that we value, it’s more of teaching her to be more responsible for the things being entrusted to her.  i also find this a little harsh as she receives minimal pay and i know that her family needs the money she sends them but how to teach her a lesson?  how to ensure that she provides more care and attention to the things we’ve built or invested in?  we don’t have much right now, and what we already have, we treasure to bits.

how do we deal with this?


while my credit cards, bills in particular, oftentimes give me headaches, my recent use of them gave me something to cheer about.  i knew hubby and i made a pact not to use our plastic money save for emergencies, but it has been put to good use in last couple of months.  (i think i may be sick, is chronic usage a sign of an illness?).  thanks to hsbc anyhow, we got to have free starbucks coffee and rebates everytime we load up on gas at caltex stations.  whoopee!  i just have to pay as soon as we spend credit so as not to fall back into our previous state of virtual credit card debt.  we had a little breathing room thanks to good ol’ mico.

sometimes i envy those who can spend and spend, and have the littlest care in the world, and not have to watch where all your money goes.  oh well, i’m blessed in more ways than one so it’s just a teeny, tiny snag in our lives.  there are more important things in life than money.  i should just be grateful we are living comfortably albeit a little tight at the moment.

beautiful camiguin

posting pictures of side trips made in camiguin.  too bad i was starting to get sick by the time we came onshore.  i showed a little less enthusiasm than i would normally allude especially when placed in the vicinity of a sun-kissed beach.  i could’ve have jumped for joy considering we were under a small deluge of rainshowers in misamis oriental, the sun and sea should have brought more cheer but i was going under the weather myself then.

camiguin was breathtaking but i was too sick to notice, and i feel so sorry for the lost chance to appreciate the place deeply.  well, i sure hope i get the chance someday to come back, and do my rounds better.

about to board the ferry

the island province was so near, we could see it in the distance even if we haven't left the port yet

entering the ardent hot springs, just at the foot of mt. hibok-hibok

the water is soothing, perfect for an early night swim

my two companions relaxing

the pool at our first hotel where we took a dip the night before

us under a gazebo

sunrise at white island. we got up specially at 5am to be able to see this.

the mainland is just 10 minutes away

the sun has risen a bit higher

posing for posterity


feet and footwear

pretty ladies

going back

boat ride

tv overload

in the last few days that i was held captive at home by pneumonia, i spent more time glued on the boob tube than in the last two years or so.  i used to stay parked in front of the tv when i was still single, preferring the solitary restful pace of it over going out at night or on weekends.  don’t get me wrong, i like being with friends and family, too.  but most of the time, i savor the alone-ness of it all when you don’t have to bother about conversation and worrying about keeping appearances.  i could have won the couch potato of the year award year after year.  it wasn’t all tv though.  i love just hanging out in my room all day, all night, with a good book and a cold drink in hand, or turning up my pc.

all that of course changed when i finally moved out of our house to live with hubby late in 2008.  it was different when you have a household to run.  also, we didn’t get cable so it was just a deluge of local channels with boring and baduy shows on.  i had to do away with my “me” time.  how could i follow my shows when there is an overeager and uberly charming little package demanding attention?  who could have thought that that little bundle of joy is enough to keep one occupied during her waking hours, and even in slumber?

anyway, the last few days saw me having my fair share of watching tv again, this time with my little girl in tow.  i know many moms would frown on this–having your toddler stay to watch tv.  but if it saves about 15 minutes of your sanity, or it allows you to fix that quick meal, or a few things around the house, why not indulge a bit?  well, to each her own.  we each have our own ways of coping with motherhood and your household, and i don’t think this makes me a bad mother anyhow.  a mother also wishes she has two extra pairs of hands, eyes, ears and whatnots.  what i’m really most concerned about mischa watching tv is her picking up things, like foul language, wrong grammar and horrendous diction.  things that can be watched out for anyway, with proper guidance and scrutiny.  i think we’re gonna have to have that cable installed soon so she can keep up with disney and nickelodeon though.

these what kept me hooked in the previous days:

i watched these with the whole country.  i was one with the filipino people as the nation sat gripped in horror and trepidation monday night as a wrongly-accused former police officer tried to get his the philippine government to listen to his side of the story.  it was too, too bad this all ended up in misery, confusion and eventually, death and destruction.  everybody involved–the police, the media, all got it wrong.  i wanted to bang mike enriquez’ head and the whole of gma news team for that unceasing coverage that led to the deterioration of talks and the diskarte of the rescuing team (which by the way, managed to botch its own efforts in taking control of the situation).  it was useless and the only achievement the coverage made was to sensationalize the whole thing, instead of keeping lives safe.  the media and the networks made their choice, and it didn’t bode well that they value their probable ratings more everything just went up in flames, and now two nations, the philippines and hongkong, where the tourist-hostages are from, are mourning the losses.

now for the second part, i, along with the rest of the country, cheered, as venus raj, sashayed and wowed the crowd during the ms. universe 2010.  even mischa was clapping as she was called for the top 15, then top 10, and finally the top 5.  we all thought she was actually going to bag the crown.  until william baldwin asked that question, and venus opened her mouth to gush and virtually giggled her way through.  sigh!  her chances flew out the window.  i visibly cringed as she fought through her nervousness, and thank the heavens as soon as it was over.  oh well, she did better than most of our filipino contestants have done in the past decade.  if only she can “major, major” do it again!

of another hiatus

this month has been one of the slowest of my blogging life, not counting the time 1) i gave birth; and 2) wordpress has been declared by our internet police as “too personal” thereby blocking it for months.  nonetheless, this time, my prolonged missing-in-action mode were due to my weeklong business trip to mindanao the second week and then my fever cum persistent cough, which i tried to ignore balled into big time pneumonia.  yep, that’s right.  i almost landed myself into the hospital for not minding my more than a week cough.  last week, i had the gall to go to work for two days even if i was barking like a dog.  my colleagues were all advising me to rest and get off work.  inwardly, i think they were afraid of catching my virus.  lol.  i really don’t know what i was thinking, or what i was trying to prove.  anyhow, when i went home thursday night, my fever shot up to 38.6, and i slept on the floor to keep what little virus i could away from the bed and mischa, covered from the neck down with a blanket to keep the cold out.  my spit had blood on it, and so it was hello doctor it is.  after waiting for an eternity at the manila east medical center, the internist looked me over, listened to my symptoms, ordered tests, declared me sick, and wanted to confine me.  i so kindly refused, all the while already calculating the costs of room, meds and PFs that will seriously dent our already stretched budget.  nonetheless, i inquired about what my confinement will entail and thought of managing my illness at home (which i have been doing for years for my asthma anyway so i was not without practice.  i would know if i really need the hospital).  the doctor told me she would want to be on top of my medication (which was 3x a day, a very small feat), and can request the use of a nebulizer in case i needed it.  my practicality won, and we went home to buy the antibiotics she’s prescribed.  asked mama to bring my own nebulizer, which i haven’t had to use in, i think, a decade.  which was also great news, for i have become fairly dependent on the equipment before when i have had regular bouts of asthma or allergies.  anyway, i was put on zithromax (which cost a fortune by the way), and i’ve begun to feel better.  i wasn’t coughing as much, and i could hold and take care of mischa again, which i purposely didn’t do for two whole days, and pained my more than the physical illness, especially when she tried to reach out for me.  my parents went there (against my wishes again, of course, when did they ever listen), and i spent half the time i was off work trying not to get too stressed out over their presence.  their obsessions over my daughter, especially my father, is getting unnerving, not to mention creepy.  if i had to get help again from them, i wish it was only my mom coming there.  and it is very seldom that i ask them to go there because i know of the anxiety it would bring me.  i hope that they wouldn’t pull the health thing of my dad over my head whenever they want to get their way with mischa.

the new best friends

as i have previously posted, mischa got to be taken cared of by no less than mama old.  yay!  her two-week stay with us lessened (but not totally diminished of course) my worries about my kiddo while i was away on a business trip.  save for some embarrassing beeyotchy moments displayed by mischa, they got along really fine.  i am so glad they got to spend some quality time together.

in sickness and in health

the hubby and i have been saddled with the flu virus since the weekend, and we’ve been cooped up in the house ever since.  what a way to a reunion after being away from each other for a week.  my cough and colds started halfway into my travel to northern mindanao, and i tried my hardest to keep up with our activities (official or not), all the time feeling lethargic while keeping myself from coughing my lungs out.  mischa got sick at home, too.  you could say we were all bitten by the bug.  thank god my mother in law was there to take care of her so i didn’t worry myself too much, although i kept wishing it was i, her mother, who was taking care of her and comforting her when she couldn’t sleep.  the past few days was kept taking care of all three of us.  even if my folks wanted to be there, my dad also had to undergo a battery of tests for a continued stomachache.  he’s due for a colonoscopy tomorrow, which we hope would yield no negative results.

we should take care of ourselves better.  i, especially, always have in mind that my daughter is very, very young, and she needs a fit and healthy mother who will take care of her all the time.