part two of the hubby’s birthday celebration

this time around, the mini party was held for colleagues.  i spent sunday afternoon slaving over a stove preparing m’s special requests (which he considers my specialties ahem ahem).

it was a hit (i think). many were surprised that i can actually cook (i wonder why). i’m a woman, i love to eat (so i must know how to feed myself) and i’m 31 for crying out loud. i try to cook up dishes every now and then to add to my repertoire of the more common filipino feasts. and i really make it a point to cook during weekends. feeling domesticated much? lol.

anyway, that day’s menu: pasta carbonara and bolognese, kung pao chicken, fish fillet in hoisin sauce, pork adobo and mixed veggies with shrimp and quail eggs. tristan took care of the cake and cheng donated some hotdogs, too!

didn’t get to take pictures of who were there though. sayang!

kumpareng warner

candle blowing

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a double celebration

i mentioned in passing in my previous post that the family was at somebody else’s party during his birthday. diva, a childhood friend who gave birth to her third daughter some two months ago, threw this baptism cum 7th birthday party for zuri and isha. it was just last year when i was still preggo that her eldest, darla who is also my inaanak, celebrated her 7th. how time flies! parang kelan lang, kami yung mga bata, now we are raising our own kids and watching them grow like lightning. sayang all our other amigas, jane, tin and june, are out of the country. i wonder when we’ll ever be complete again. which child of ours or which wedding of our still single friends will it take for us to be together again? i so miss you guys!

i have pictures here mostly of the birthday party of isha at gerry’s grill in blue wave. unfortunately we didn’t make it to zuri’s baptism rites in nearby shrine of jesus.

the hubby’s birthday weekend

my M turned 28 last saturday.  while we celebrated, we also remembered that it has been a year since we practically lived on adrenaline as we fought the ravage of ondoy.  we were luckier than most who lost families, properties and selves.  nevertheless, it became a year of moving on and forward for many filipinos whose lives were marked by the tragedy.  we said a little prayer for them.

on a happier note, the hubby has had / will have a series of celebrations.  last week, my folks came over to bring food and goodwill.  i think it was just an excuse to visit mischa, but we appreciate it anyway 🙂

on his actual birthday, the three of us joined another celebration as a good friend’s daughters had joint parties, which deserves a separate post.  para kaming naki-ride sa ibang party hihihi. after that, we went strolled around the mall, which was great since it felt good to walk around and window shop when you’re not in a hurry and you’re not buying groceries. on the way home, this happened.

sunday was spent with my family (again) at eastwood mall.  had a really sumptuous (but seriously purse denting) feast at the flying pig and blufish (they had a crossover menu).  we all shared platters of crabs, ribs, sausages and basmati rice.

the pork barrel

king's platter

crab marites (sooo yummy)

the little girl had fun running around.  the wide space was a nice change from the living room that she was used to in exercising her little legs.  we were a little afraid she would topple over the water because she was always making a beeline for it.

happy birthday love! (permit me to be cheesy for once). i hope i never forget to tell you how lucky i am, and how complete i am now. i hope and pray all the time that we have our hearts’ desires, especially in raising this little family we have. i promise to hold your hand all the time, i hope you won’t let go of mine. 🙂

birthday boy

no more of the icky-ness

just a quick post on a realization i had today.  on the way home from a party/day at the mall, the baby vomited spectacularly.  it was a good 30-minute drive from home pa, and we both got drenched in sick.  it’s good that she had a spare change of clothes (although i didn’t).  it was such a pity to see her retching, and of course, i began worrying that something was wrong with her tummy.  i fed her some from the buffet and i almost got sick with the thought that i might have given her something that would upset the little tummy but then again, it was about 7 hours later.  and i really thought that i little rice and pancit would not do her any harm.

anyhow, after regurgitating what seemed like all 80z of the milk she drank some 30 minutes ago, she was ok. as soon as we reached the house, she was playing with the new set of toys she got.  it was like it was just another day in the office for her while the dad and helper had to hose down the interior of the car.

and then somehow it hit me that i no longer find things like this icky.  we ladies are usually squeamish about goo, bad smells, and whatnots.  before, i find it totally disgusting, not to mention stomach-turning when kids throw up in public buses.  i, myself, used to have motion sickness, and i so hated the smell and the feeling that vomiting leaves you.  but now i really understood that when you become a mom, you no longer find yourself wrinkling your nose in disgust or even bothered by unpleasant bodily fluids of another creature on your self.  i  prepared myself for changing diapers and wiping snot but it was really something else when you have sick literally on your torso and extremities.  i even stupidly tried to catch her vomit as it went on a projectile onto the floor (i really don’t know why i did that).  and i didn’t even flinch.  all i thought during that time was, i wanted to soothe mischa’s tummy and hoped that the dizziness she must be feeling will pass quickly.

suplada

i think i’ve mentioned before that i wonder how babies and kids, or at least my daughter, can go from hot to cold and back in a matter of seconds.  while most of the time she’s bubbly and even getting to be very pilya (she already knows how to play with mommy and daddy’s attention), mischa has this tendency to be very moody.  i don’t know if it’s too early to tell, but as they say, mommies can see and feel and know their kids best.  and i gotta tell you, my daughter is one handful creature.  she’s very strong-willed, and often yells and cries when she doesn’t get her way.  she lets you know if she’s frustrated or excited or happy–in a really loud way.  i’m surprised neighbors and the barangay patrol hasn’t knocked on our doors yet, especially when she makes all that racket early in the morning.

sometimes though, you can exhaust yourself trying to make her laugh or do her antics but she’s just not in the mood.  like in here when she woke up on the wrong side of her crib and it was time to eat but didn’t want to sit in her booster seat:

still very pretty though, don’t ya think?  she kinda looks like a grown-up here.  big sigh!

that b*tch

as i am a public servant, young and idealistic (still, though not as much as when i started), i believe in truly reaching out to the needy ones in our society.  since  i deal directly with beneficiaries of assistance from benevolent overseas filipinos, i thought i have seen and met people of all kinds, sizes, tribes, age, religion, gender and gender preference, social status, intelligence, etc. etc.  i thought of them as grateful, patient and humble people, having been chosen and given a chance to improve their lot.  in this age where our government, sadly, falls short of providing necessary social services, every but of help that we can get is truly godsend.  and those that are fortunate enough to receive this, well, should not be anything but thankful.  i’m not trying to be high and mighty here, but considering that they belong to the lower strata of the financial community, i would have thought that receiving help from others would merit a little humility from them.

boy i was wrong.

in the last couple of weeks, i was harassed by this girl/woman and her mother who was supposed to receive a check as reimbursement for her school supplies for the semester.  this is part of the terms of her scholarship grant being funded by a group of filipinos in washington, dc, and being managed by our agency.  while i am coordinator of the program and we serve as liaison between donor and beneficiary, i do not expect them to actually thank me for the money did not come from me.  still, this did not warrant them being intentionally rude and outright garapal when things went haywire due to their own negligence and belligerence.  for one, as a beneficiary of any assistance program, doesn’t one ought to make an effort to get the money themselves?  but these people are actually annoyed that they have to come to the office to pick up the check and encash it at the bank! and then being a no-show on the agreed time and date so she can be assisted at the bank since she’s a minor and only has her school ID to show.  turns out, the freakin ID isn’t even signed making it invalid to the bank!  for the love of me, i can’t figure out how she can present an unsigned ID to claim money (oh, being young and ____ i guess).  and then, get this, blaming me and sending me all sorts of text messages, to wit:

“umuwi po kaming walang napala. pasensya na po pero naiinis ako. kung alam ko lang na ganito ang mangyayari, sana di na lang ako pumunta.” (i did away with the actual jejemon spellings because i cannot bear for them to be in my blog.)

and then the mother texting me this:

“pasensya na po na nakapagbitiw ng mga salita ang anak ko pero kasalanan nyo pa yan.”

notice they even had the gall to use po (a sign of respect in filipino culture) and say pasensya (pardon) only to insult me in the end.

not to mention the ruckus they created at our admin and finance office, muttering irately about how nakakainis we are and then banging the main door in their effort to show how displeased they are. have they forgotten they are dealing with professional people or an institution? they must have thought they were just in a tussle with their neighbor? the way they were ranting, you would have thought they were dealing with sq___. or is it just the way they deal with others, rude, unthinking and uncivilized? and all because they couldn’t claim money?

now, i do understand their frustration since they came all the way from a different part of the metro and that, considering money is hard to come by, spending on fare and then going home empty-handed is indeed frustrating. but it still doesn’t excuse their uncouth behavior. worse, it doesn’t give them the right to confront me and our cashier by sending all those messages. a little humility and tolerance would not have hurt them.

i would have had more compassion and kindness for her knowing she needs the extra money for her studies.  i’ve been in this job for almost a decade now, and my heart went out to every person/family/barangay that i have met especially after i’ve seen their plight.  but she and her mother are a completely different breed.

now, that girl has lost the scholarship after we have reported the incident to her donor. the latter said they were not proud to have an ungrateful beneficiary to their rolls.

after receiving notice of the termination, the father threatened to have the signed agreement looked over by a lawyer and would take legal action against us. nobody daw can terminate a scholarship based on “discourtesy”. that made my daw dropped about a meter. wtf. i don’t want to sound mayabang or anything, but what the heck. if they had money to pay lawyer fees, what was the fuss all about for the check that costs php3,000+? wake up folks! the donor has spoken: they don’t want you anymore!

these people are just difficult to the core!

it really shouldn’t matter to me, doesn’t even deserve a space in this blog.  but i am just fuming mad!  the nerve!

community education program

this is why i was gone for a week last month:

every year, one of the regular projects of our office takes teams to embark on a community education campaign all over the philippines.  our cause: migration and human trafficking.

this year, i was assigned to head the group going to camiguin and misamis oriental.  coming from an agency at the forefront of migration issues and migrant concerns, we have seen the continued increase in the number of filipinos going out of the country in search of greener pastures.  statistics prove that about 10% of our population are already overseas with the figures of those going back uncertain.  as soon as migrants themselves have settled in their destination countries, they drag family member after family member to come live with them.  as we move around from town to town, city to city, conducting symposiums in schools and universities, having pulong-pulong with local government officials and officers of municipal and city halls, meeting with parishioners, guesting in radio stations, and basically “talking” to prospective migrants, we often emphasize that we did not travel all the way from manila to dissuade them nor encourage them to go abroad.  instead, our ultimate goal is to provide them with the necessary information so that they can eventually come up with informed choices.  it’s a sad reality that many of our fellow filipinos are sometimes carried away by their need and desire to provide better lives for their family by entering into deals with unscrupulous individuals, whether knowingly or unknowingly, just so they could get out of the country.  filipinos have this bahala na attitude, especially when they feel their situation is hopeless.  kapit sa patalim, in the vernacular.  it sometimes drives us crazy the way they risk their lives, their livelihood (by selling tracts of lands, carabaos, vehicles na pampasada, etc.) so that they can cough up enough money, only to be duped by illegal recruiters and traffickers.  it is bad enough that there are absolutely evil individuals and groups that prey on the desperation and poverty of other people.  worse still, many do submit themselves to these operations, albeit halfheartedly, bearing in mind that their families need money so that mouths can be fed and roofs put above their heads.  they are promised wonderful jobs, comfortable quarters, enough rest, etc. only to be prostituted, become organ donors against their will, made into slaves, abused, chained, and other fates too horrendous to speak and think about.

and i haven’t even started on those marrying foreigners for the sake of convenience or opportunity to travel and eventually look for work.  many succeed, finding love amidst all odds but many fall into the same fate i’ve mentioned above.  it’s just a pity.

so we lay down the facts.  make them see for themselves how it is in the “outside” world.  explaining to them what happens to victims of illegal recruiters and trafficking offenders.  we know and accept that sometimes, it is for naught.  that many have already made up their minds.  but as this is part of our advocacy, that we reach out to the grassroots and somehow “enlighten” people or at least make them aware of their surroundings and the issues that come with migration.  this is the reason we target students because soon enough they will be finding  jobs; the reason we come to talk with local officials, barangay captains and employees of city and municipal halls because they are the ones greatly in touch with their constituents, that they may be on the lookout for illegal activities in their areas; the reason we let ourselves be available to local radio stations so that many more will hear our plea to be vigilant and cautious, to not let themselves be victims, to weigh things more carefully.