Monday, July 9, 2018

Birthdays in July

There are many birthday celebrations for the month of July. In my own family alone, I have two: Lucas on July 12 and Roy on July 15.

This year my sister-in-law Tina is celebrating her 80th birthday this July 10. Her children and grandchildren came home to give her a grand birthday party. Luna and Tina have the most grandchildren in the Tan family. They have 5 children and a total of 15 grandchildren. Not all grandchildren arrived though, some have to attend classes in Manila. If you must know, Luna and Lucas are brothers. We live in one building, our front doors are facing fronting one another. We have one common kitchen (aside from our own individual kitchens.) We have one common family cook that prepares our common meals. Sometimes we prepare our own special viands in our individual kitchen too, but most of the time we just eat whatever the cook prepares for us. Their children and our children literally grew up together in Cotabato City. My son Roy and his cousin Jocelyn belong To the same batch, and Tom my second son and his cousin Jacqueline were classmates from kinder to high school. Infact I can say, Tom and Jacqueline are the closest cousins among them. But aside from the family store and common events, our children's upbringing are totally different. I was the strict and disciplinary mother, while Tina was the pampering good mother. We did not interfere with each other in bringing up our children though. Which ever style we adapted, they all grew up to become fine young men and women too.

So Apollo the eldest son of Luna and Tina is likewise celebrating his 50th birthday this July 11 here in Cotabato. My in-laws house is in such a merry atmosphere. Too bad my children are all too busy with their work, they can not make time to come home for all the happy occasions of their Aunt and cousin. Anyway I have been helpfully assisting them in many ways like lending my children's pillows and blankets and/or bedding's and my maids help clean up our common places for them to use.

Lucas will have his own simple celebration at home on July 12. There will be a party for the workers of LCT Hardware. My children will not come for this occasion. We will soon be going to Manila anyway.

Roy's birthday falls on July 15 and he is far away in USA. I pray for the good Lord to bless and protect him always. Happy birthday to all July celebrants!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Before and Now

I was a cute little girl before, now I am an ugly 66 years old woman. Well, but I have not been pretty, or lovely or physically attractive ever since. Some things never changed. Hahaha!!!

Many things do change inside me though, let me do some comparisons:
1. When I was young, I had no care in the world. These days I have become such a paranoid, scared of so many things beyond my control. I dare say, nothing is really within my control!!!
2. Before I loved to hear the pitter patter or the sounds of rainfall on my rooftop. Now a days I am afraid that the big rain would cause my roof, gutters and down pouts to break while I sleep.
3. Before my home was my greatest safe haven: now I know better. Nowhere is safe in the face of natural or man made calamities like earthquake, fire, typhoon, akyat bahay (home break-ins), etc.
4. I used to think I was an introvert, my children say otherwise.
5. In the past, I taught and tutored my children relentlessly: today I am learning a lot from them. I am surely proud of it either way.
6. I used to be quiet and slow to respond: Help! I can not hold my tongue in check and quick to get into an outburst at an instant provocation.
7. I was a spoiled brat among my siblings, but I think I have grown wiser and more matured in this aspect. Not bad at all.
8. I was spoiled by my mom before: my husband spoils me now. Hehehe.
9.  I was unkempt and dirty as a child: a complete turn-over as I grow older. Infact I have become more of an OC (obsessive compulsive) person right now.
10. I had so much hope for the future before: yet now, I am frustrated with the present and in distressed for the future......not really very good in this sense.

Surely there are more good things, but I am just too lazy to think about it now. To sum it all though, everything points to growing old. It is such a scourge to grow old. Like a child, I want to be taken care of. O Lord, please just do take care of me and my loved ones. In you I hope, in you I trust.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Domestic Woes

I literally grew up with househelps all my life, both in Cotabato and Manila. I leave my house in the morning (ie) with upheaval bedroom, cluttered bathroom, hamper full of dirty clothes, and I arrive home to a neat and clean and sparkling abode. When I get home, the dinning tables are set and meals ready to eat. I live a comfortable life with cook, nanny, cleaners, helpers, etc. But maids do not stay long. I constantly change househelps every two or three years. Most of them leave to get married, few look for better employment. I don't fault them for wanting a better life. But I do get so flustered when they leave. I simply can not do with out them.

Few helpers I got, came at the age of 16 (mostly older). I trained them for housework. They broke my things, ruined my clothes. I scolded them for not being focus at work. If they played the radio to the fullest volume at work, it was all right with me. My maids are busy mostly in the morning. After cleaning up the kitchen and dining table after lunch, I allow them to have siesta in the afternoon, or watch tv at night at the sala. They are off on Sunday afternoon and come back home at 8 in the evening. After staying with me for one year, I even allow them to go home for few weeks vacation. I pay for their half fare travel or even full fare sometimes. There is only one thing, and one thing I abhor, and I do tell them this from the beginning of their employment; that I do not like itchy palms and fingers, meaning, I do not like things to get lost. I do not like thief at home! Mind you I do notice the things that are misplaced.

I have employed both good and bad maids at different times. Good maids are loyal, they take care of my things, they ask permissions to go out, they come home on time. Bad maids are those who came in for purposes of looking for boyfriends and they get wild once they got one pursuing them. Some maids are intelligent, after leaving me, they go to school/they get to work in business establishment or even go abroad for employment. Those who left me in good standing, I have only the best wishes for them.

Currently I am in dire need of hiring new maids. One for Cotabato and one for Manila. One of my better maids here in Cotabato has left me to get married. The one in Manila is going on leave because her mother is sick. Help, help, help....I need help. And I need help soon because I am going out of town. Oh Mama Mary, please help me get good helpers who will stay with me for a long while. Help, help, help....I need help!

1. A new maid came to my abode in Cotabato City on June 4. She is 18 and learning the ropes. Thank you Blessed Mother for helping.
2. In Manila though, at my second home where my children are staying, Karen who had been my helper for 6 years, went home to tend to her family because her mother was sick. I was not able to get extra help in Manila to replace her. Karen promised to come back though on July 2. In the meantime, Runalin, the remaining maid in Manila is coping up with all the work at home. I went to Manila for three weeks and I tried to help out with the chores. Thank God for Runalin. She is very able. Thank God for giving me good househelps. (But Runalin is going home to her family next year) I pray, may they all stay long in my employment. Thank you! Thank you!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Not the Achiever Type.....

I have to confess, concede.....I am not the achiever type. I don't aim to be the best, to be at the top. I never desire to be the richest nor wish to be famous. (This is not sour grape-ing, although, I do agree that many times I do get envious too. Hehehe.) My only desire is to be loved. I was the favorite girl at home, an obedient student to many teachers, well loved and liked by a closed circle of friends, respected by my students and casual to a lot of acquaintances and people. What my heart desires most, is to be loved; most specially by my Creator, my God, my Savior and Redeemer and the Holy Spirit. I know I am loved, that I have a special place in the heart of Jesus. I try my best to be pleasing to him. I pray constantly to be guided and blessed and protected by my Lord. I ask help when in times of troubles, doubt and darkness. I reach out for intercessions from our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and all the angels and saints. This special love, I also ask for my husband Lucas and all my children and grandchildren, my siblings, and the people whom I love. I am honestly grateful for the countless personal encounters, the help He has given me in times of trouble (or even before). I have been saved, together with my love ones many times in the face of accidents and dangers. He has also given me beautiful gifts that I did not pray for. I only have to knock and ask. He always knows what is best for me.What else would I desire more..........

My life however has been marred by imperfections: When I was young, I had nightmares, night terrors and intermittent visions of paranormal faces. Could they possibly have existed only in my mind? My parents were extremely concerned  and I was so scared. With lots of prayers and personal struggles; and with God's help, some how I was able to overcome these my childhood maladies and episodes.

While growing up though, I was most of the time lazy, unkempt, dirty, happy-go-lucky. I hate doing school work specially those routed Chinese lessons. When I went to college, I had a culture shock. I realized I wasn't any good at all. In UST, Manila, I was having a hard time with chemistry, so I shifted from Biochemistry to Education. It was the easiest way out, I thought, for me to earn a bachelor's degree without much studying. Hehehe. In my heart though, I knew I could have been a good nurse or a doctor, but the problem was, I never did like burning the midnight oil. Ay, there's the rub!

When I got married to my husband Lucas Tan, I got married to the family business as well. I had to help my husband in the family store but, alas, I wasn't cut out for it. Embarrassingly, I did not even do good as a store cashier, because I simply could not stay put in one place for hours. My husband and in-laws must have been aghast that I was such a misfit.

Later, I did get to practice my profession as a teacher when my eldest son Roy was in kindergarten at CCI. I was bringing him to school and I was spotted by my college teaching supervisor from Notre Dame University, who was by then the principal of CCI.  (Let it be known that I came back to study in Cotabato when my mother died in 1971.) To make a long story short, Dr. Teodoro Carrasco offered me to teach, and wallah! Did I ever become the best teacher in CCI!!! Hahaha.

As a school teacher, my professional forte became noticeable and popular. Few years early on, I wishfully contemplated to put up my own school, but in 1993 however, I was able to see my dreams fulfilled. I was able to establish and run my own kindergarten school known as St. Martha School. It was a gift from God. Things just fell into places. Everything happened so quickly, liked a snap. (Not that I had not encounter any problems at all.) But all of a sudden, opportunities were opened. It was no easy task for I was doing all the work by my lonesome. But thank God, people just popped up to offer their help in a blessed silver platter. I had only but to put and assemble all the pieces together. And wallah, did I ever assemble and put everything beautifully all together at St. Martha School!!! Teaching was a challenging task with big responsibility, but it was great! I was a good teacher, and I was exceptionally even better running my own school. Everything boiled down to the work for which I was trained for and loved most! I need not even have to prove myself, I was just simply a natural.

But alas again, after 15 years, when the lease contract ended, my land lord and/or business associate became difficult. He wanted his land back. So I gave it up and closed shop. Before retiring, I relocated my St. Martha School teachers and pupils to CCI. Bragging aside, every school in town wanted my products. My teachers were well trained and the school kids were all smart and lovable. 

An after thought - Right after I retired from teaching, there was a resurgence of rampant kidnapping for ransom in Cotabato City. I instantly knew why closing the school was by then my only option. I verily thank God for saving and protecting me. If I had not given up St. Martha School, my school kids and myself would have been easy targets. It would have been the dead of me. Thank God for the right timing. Thank you my guardian angels too.

Currently I am 66 years old and enjoying my retirement. O Lord, do keep on blessing me and my family. I only wish to be loved by you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Parties, Beach and Fun at 50th Year Reunion

 All girls dance presentation
Ten girl attendees, very graceful all.

 Seated: Anita Go, Imelda, Anita Du Siy, Corazon, Rosalinda, Herminigilda
Standing: Heddy, Erlinda, Wee Eng, Rita
 Class picture with our anniversary cake
Beach Time: Who might this sexy girl be on the beach? Hahaha! Rita and her beach wear!!!

Beach Game: Relay by passing the water over the head to the next team member. Game master Imelda explaining the game procedure.
How come the first players Efren and Ricky were starting the relay game too slowly by walking instead of running. Hahaha! Infact Ricky slowed down to wait for Efren to reach the water.
 Guess which team won the game? I felt so comical playing this game. I never laughed so hard and so long in a long long time that my ribs really hurt.
 Dusk at Misibis Bay Beach
 Picture, picture at the beach before dark.
My roommate Anita Go and I
 Solo picture posing with the jet ski. Haha.
 Class picture at Misibis Bay
 Reunion commencement picture at Hotel La Venezia, Legaspi City
 Awarding of class pin: at random
1. Rita Cua Uy - Most charming                       
2. Efren Yap - Best class composer                    
3. Anita Du Siy - Best New Yorker classmate   
4. Benjamin Tan - Most informative and helpful classmate
5. Pablo Lu - Most youngish looking classmate
6. Ricky Lim - Most cheerful and agreeable classmate
7. Roberto Co - Best gentleman                            
8. Corazon Te Taeza - Most loveable                     
9. Erlinda Ko Chua - Most sweet                            
10. Rosalinda Ko - Tallest girl in class               
 11. Wee Eng Lu Ong - Most shy                              
12. Roberto Yap - Best class gaming king   
13. William Lee - Best class accountant
14. Johnny Co - Best class insurance agent
15. Herminigilda Chew Arispe - Most amiable
16. Anita Go - Most quiet
17. Ramon Yee Fon - Most friendly
18. Quan Minton - Best poultry and farming king
19. Geraldo Tan - Most charming tisoy
20. Alberto Lim - Most piety and civic minded classmate
21. Roberto Atienza - Best class architect. 
22 Antonio Dy - Best class sales representative.
23. Imelda Tan Bugayong - Most busy class secretary and treasurer
24. Heddy Ledesma Tan - Most active class coordinator. Hahaha!
25. Jose Tan Lim - And most importantly, our best class president for life. The biggest donor!!
I take full responsibility in the description of my classmates. Hahaha! 
Hope to see you all again in two years time. If God is willing. Love you all!!!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pictures from 50th Year Class Reunion (Albay Tour)

March 8, 2018
CCI Batch members of Class 1968 flew to Legaspi City early at 4:30 in the morning. We arrived Legaspi around 5:20 A.M. As the plane was descending and everybody else seemed to be sleeping on the plane,  I saw from the window on my aisle seat, together with Yannie who was by the window, a faint reddish glow from the mouth of the volcano. The faint glow came intermittently, and I was ecstatic; but alas, I was not quick enough with my camera. I just had to enjoy the spectacle with my own naked eyes instead of capturing it in photo.
Upon landing, I quickly took few shots of this beautiful majestic volcano with its smoke arising in amber color.
  Mayon Volcano
Legaspi City, here we come!!!

Since it was too early to go to Misibis Bay, and some of our classmates were arriving in another morning flight via Cebu Pacific, we opted to wait for them by taking our breakfast at Mcdonald's and go for the Albay Tour in three vans. 

 Cagsawa Ruins
 10 girls in a row.
 By the rice fields.
 10 girls and some boys. Haha!
 At the church
 Spelunking and group picture
 Group picture at Hoyop Hoyopan Cave. Not all girls were capable of doing the spelunking, so they stayed inside the van.
Arriving Misibis Bay in the afternoon around 4:30pm

More pictures next posting.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 Golden Jubilee Reunion at Legaspi (Planning Stage)

2018 is our batch golden jubilee reunion year. Earlier on last year, my classmates Jose T. Lim, Ricky Lim, Roberto Atienza, Quan Minton, Gerry Tan, Imelda Bugayong, Anita Go and I met at Robinson's Magnolia, Quezon City to discuss our forthcoming reunion event. The venue and date were initially most important. Our class president Joe suggested Legaspi City with the beautiful Mayon Volcano as backdrop and Misibis Bay Resort for beach and hotel accommodation. Joe as you may know, has been doing business with the Misibis Bay Hotel Resort owner, it was therefor a practical move for us to avail of his business connection for a discounted rate. "Aye, aye, aye..." and so we voted. During the meeting, we also agreed on the date, from March 8, 2018 (Thursday) to March 11 (Sunday). Some deciding factors were considred: 1. It being a lean tourist season. 2. March has better climate too, it being less stormy and not too hot. 3. Early March is also for the benefit of some accountant classmates who would be busy for April's taxation. And 4. It was also to accommodate Rita Cua Uy who was coming home for the third year death anniversary of her father. And so, with the date and venue so decided, we can now book cheaper promotional flights to Legaspi City as early as possible. Thus, being the class coordinator, I wrote the following letter:

June 10, 2017

Dear Classmates,
Greetings! This is to inform you regarding our grand 50th year class reunion for 2018:
A.    That during our 48th year class reunion in Bagac, Bataan; we had a meeting and majority voted on the following:
1.     To hold a celebratory excursion in the Philippines for our 50th year class reunion against going abroad in 2018.
2.     That the excursion will be exclusively for class members only, with exception for classmates with health issue or other acceptable reasons.
3.     That the excursion date will take place more or less around February and/or March of 2018.

B.     Basing from this majority rule decision, last May 30, 2017; I met with Joe, 
      Ricky, Berto, Minton, Gerry, Imelda and Anita Go at Robinson's Magnolia, 
      although other class members were contacted to come. During the lunch meeting, 
      we came up with the following:
1.     Reunion date – March 8, 2018 to March 11, 2018 (Thursday to Sunday)
2.     Venue of excursion – Legaspi City and Misibis Bay Beach Resort.
3.     Logistics:
a.     Buy your own plane tickets to avail of promo fare or you may buy your tickets in groups.
b.     Please buy the first early morning flight to Legaspi City via PAL on March 8, 2018.
c.      Upon arrival at Legaspi City airport, we will take a chartered bus to Misibis Bay Resort ( Shangrila Hotel equivalent)
d.     3D2N stay at Misibis.
e.     Leave Misibis for Legaspi City by bus on March 10, 2018. Tour scenic spots of Legaspi. The main attraction of which is the Mayon Volcano.
f.       Overnight stay at Legaspi City on March 10 (Saturday)
g.     Return home on March 11, 2018 (Sunday)
4.     Contribution – P10,00.00 per person inclusive of hotels, bus and food.
5.     Add on – urging classmates who can afford to contribute more.
6.     No traditional class party prior to excursion.
7.     Be seeing each other at the airport in the early morning flight of March  8, 2018
8.     Please make us know if you are coming or not as early as possible so Joe can make the necessary hotel reservations.
9.     Send your contribution online to Imelda Bugayong/Jose T. Lim at Metro Bank account #.....  After your deposit, please inform Imelda through her phone #..... so she can properly check the transfer. Thank you for your cooperation.


My letter was sent via email, others were personally delivered to my classmates' front doors or establishments, and some were coursed through William Lee who helped me disseminate to classmates in Davao City. The first to respond was Efren Yap. I was very happy when he replied he was attending from his Facebook account. Efren, you see, lived in Los Angeles, USA. In addition, Sitinela Bansuan who was also living in LA, Rita Cua Uy from Canada, and Anita Du Siy from New York, USA, all responded favorably to come home for this our 50th year event. Yehey! This would be the first time that classmates from abroad were coming home for the reunion! To add to the attendees, another elusive classmate Erlinda Ko Chua in Iloilo was also persuaded by Wee Eng Lu Ong to join. I was simply elated. The female attendees were increasing. We had to make this reunion worthwhile and successful!

But alas! Mayon Volcano in Albay was erupting! It was at its peak of eruption early this year. The volcanologist raised the alert system to level four. For months on, there were lava flows and ash falls. At sometime, flights to Legaspi were also suspended. Nearby villages were also evacuated. This geological upheaval raised concerns for many. Because of this, I requested for a meeting and asked Joe and Ricky and Imelda to have some contingency plan, but my classmates in Manila were unfazed. According to Joe, there were even more tourists going to Legaspi to watch the eruption of Mayon Volcano. Ricky even jokingly said, that if ever the planes won't fly, then we will take the bus to Legaspi instead. Hahaha. So thus subdued by my very positively thinking friends, I began writing some assurance letter to my concerned classmates that in the event of a major eruption, we will find some other place in Manila for our reunion (with fingers crossed). Hehehe. There were also some changes as we moved along. Most of us had decided to stay for another day in Legaspi City and go home on March 12.

Unknown to them, I had been calling up Hotel La Venezia in Legaspi City to oftenly inquire about the situation of Mayon Volcano. The people whom I talked to, all assured me that the lava flow and ash fall were in the opposite direction of the volcano, that Legaspi City indeed was safe for the reunion. With some kind of assurance, my classmates one by one began to arrive Philippines and Manila. I was hopeful for 30 pax attendance, but at the last stage of counting, 27 seemed to be the number. At the last moment though, Sitinela Bansuan from L.A. was unable to come due to one reason or another. Samto Uy too from Cagayan de Oro failed to be present due to sickness. The total number of person hence attending became 25. On the day before we flew to Legaspi City on March 7, the alert level of Mayon Volcano was brought down from four to  three. Yehey! Legaspi City, here we come!!!

Pictures to be included on next posting.............