Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Martha reports for her first job today at Meralco after several months of job hunting. Lucas and I are elated because at last, all of our children are now gainfully employed. Irregardless of how much they earn, whether big or small; it is a fulfillment for us parents to see them become financially independent. I have so much to thank God for guiding them. Not only are they able to finish their bachelor degrees, they also make good with further academic studies. Second degree study and post graduate achievements in the family include my daughter-in-law Angel, thus Marion is now greatly challenged by the people around her :-).  I am also proud to say, that my children are good conscientious workers who try to do better. Here I have to specially mention Marion who has taken up my footsteps as a teacher. She sees to it that her students' intention is not merely to pass the long accounting test but that they must also learn as much from her. At the end of the day, before I go to sleep. I say " Thank you my Lord. Keep us all safe. "

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Domestic Helpers

Today, my topic may appear boring. But since I just acquired a new helper this morning, I have decided to write something about domestic helpers. This is a write-up more on sustaining my memories of people who became a good part of my daily domestic life in the past.
As far as I can remember, ever since childhood up to the time I left for college in Manila, my meals and meriendas were mostly prepared by a fair skinned family cook by the name of Nasing. She was a widow from Siquijor who claimed to see spirits in the form of human likeness. Many years later, Beatriz, her grown-up daughter applied to become our family helper too. She washed and ironed our clothes with impeccable skills. Beatriz soon got married to Sancho, a young apprentice who was the son of my father's old driver Ponyong. Before my mother died in 1971, Nasing was replaced by small and dark skinned Laria who could equally cook as well, aside from making good homemade fishballs, salted eggs, ginamous (high salty preserves), kinilaw na uyap and other delicacies. When I came home to Cotabato during college days, our drivers were Ibarle and Rafael (from my father's trucking business). Helen and I had our informal driving lessons taught by Rafael when the streets of Cotabato were not plied by chaotic tricycles yet.
When I got married to Lucas, I could barely remember any of his family housemaids who came and left as they willed. When I gave birth to Roy and Tomas, I employed the care of professional midwives but when Tom was about 8 months old, I got this skinny girl Naning to be Tom's yaya. Since then, thin but headstrong Naning stayed with me and later with my maiden family in Manila ( that transfered before the earthquake in 1976 ) for a long durable time. She stayed with me to take care of Emil and went to Manila with Roy when I needed a good helping hand to take care of my sickly boy. While with Roy in Manila, she also became the Ledesma family nanny to Joemar, Miguel and Martin. When I gave birth to my twins in Manila, she was then working under the employment of my eldest sister Imelda/ sister-in-law Jean as a cottage industry seamstress. Fortunately she helped me took care of my twins when I needed an extra help after childbirth while in Manila. When she left for Iceland, the Ledesma family put up a sum to help her leave the country which she paid us back all in due time.
Mary, the former cook of LCT Hardware was one of the househelps my mother-in-law liked. Mary was a widow who had two daughters left in Siquijor. She was unlike the other easy going mindless singles. She worked conscientiously until she married our store driver Nestor who was looking for a more matured woman to be his lifelong partner. One of my more enduring and dependable household helps was Imelda. She was nanny to my twins and went to Manila with me for a year in 1991 leaving her worthless boyfriend behind who married another woman while she was away. I couldn't imagine myself managing my temporary home in Manila then without her. When somebody tried to intrigue her to leave me by saying "You must be very tired working alone by yourself." She promptly answered. " No, infact I am quite embarrassed because Manang ( that's me ) does most of the work at home." She was very patient with my children and we loved her. Sometimes she could be hard of hearing. She had some hearing defect from childhood I think.  It was very hard for me to let her go when she left to marry a more worthwhile boyfriend. Last but not the least was Joyce whom I brought to Manila to cook for my children. Martha and Marion were in high school then. She stayed for more than 5 years and learned not only how to cook well but make little repairs at home as well. She was able to save a lot of money from her salaries and bonuses. Joyce decided to come back home to Cotabato for good this summer. She has remained single and I guess is in search for a more meaningful personal life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Epol, Davao

I went to Epol, Davao last Saturday with my friends. We were the guests of Mrs. Carmen Tan of Oasis Garden Resort, Davao City. Mrs. Carmen Tan is the fifth auntie ( Go-i ) of my friend Siolan Yap.
Epol is a place located in the mountainous terrain of Davao Province near Bukidnon. The weather is cold, very similar to Baguio City. When we were there last Saturday, the climate changed from sunny, to cloudy, foggy then rainy. In the late afternoon, a cold mist drifted down and settled on our lodging which was situated on a picturesque high hill. Intermittently, there were also a couple of  afternoon showers and a big down pour at night. It soon became colder and everybody had to put on his sweater or coat.
There were two lodges in our particularly scenic vacation site. Both houses were fully occupied by the hosting families, their friends and helpers. Grandchildren of Mrs. Carmen Tan pitched tents on the ground. The vicinity was well planted with pine trees, variety of flowers and plants, a well tended lawn and a generator on the outskirt field that functioned the whole evening through. The main lodge's big hall was teeming with activities while the matriarch was happily surrounded by family members and friends. Household helps were brought by the family to cook our meals, attend to our needs and other beckons.
Eating activities were non stop. Each group brought their own special food such as pasta, pork and chicken viands, homemade bagoong, durians and snacks etc. Our Cotabato group contributed pastils and Bansalan nilagang mais which everybody loved. I also brought my cheese cup cakes and a box of lipton tea too. We had hot soup, broiled fish, pork barbecue, vegetables and fruits every meal besides other things. I was able to eat my first passion fruit and sayote top vegetable too. Hahaha!
Inside the big hall while the rain was pouring, indoor games were played by adults and kids such as madyong, poker and bingo. I did not participate in any of those games but watched them play and/ or chatted and read my newspapers. Hehehe. There was this endearing chubby boy named Chibby who lost at every game he played but who won the hearts of every adult there instead . I had fun watching the kids play bingo. They were so animated, so unlike the serious grown-ups who were so focus. Hahaha!
I did not have a very restful sleep the first night. My companions from Cotabato were talking so loud unmindful of the others who were sleeping already. There were 3 to 4 different types of snores in the room and one was loudly gasping for breath and talking in her sleep too. I was really afraid that Ivy was going to have a heart attack in her sleep that night. Hahaha! I also kept on going in and out of the bathroom about three to four times that evening too. Hehehe!
Next morning, My Cotabato group and I went on a sight seeing trip to Sea Gull Resort owned by Dureza, a Cotabato politician. On the way, we decided to proceed to the next barrio called Buda and even went passed through it, reaching Bukidnon boundary. What did we do in far flung Buda? We got to buy some fresh sayote tops which was really cheap. Hahaha. I bought some mangosteen too and we took photographs nearby a the roadside falls. Then we headed back to Sea gull Resort and took a long walk inside. It was an easy refreshing morning walk on the paved mountain paths of the resort hotel. It was very scenic, the sun was not too bright and the air was just cool. After the walk and a light snack, we went back to our lodging near noon just in time for lunch. I had a quick nap in the afternoon and the whole gang left Epol for Davao City around 3 in the afternoon.
Thanks to Mrs. Carmen Tan, her children and families and Siolan Yap for the invitation and  wonderful vacation in Epol and stay in Davao City, with plentiful of bring-home pa aside. Thank you very much for your hospitality.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Do I Do?

Well, I am home in Cotabato for about 4 days now. For those who worry that I have nothing to do, here are the things I have been doing lately:
1. Rearranging the house decors. hahaha!
2. Tidying my clothes and closets.
3. Checking my bills and payable.
4 .Pay my bills. 
5. Going to the grocery.
6. Calling my friends.
7. Gossiping. Hahaha!
8. Visit the cathedral for personal prayers.
9. Do daily exercise.
10. Check on the air conditions, linens, bathroom fixtures etc.
11. Replace the bulbs on lamps and grotto.
12. Bake cheese cup cakes and will be baking more.
13. Cook soup for for supper.
14. and right now, I am planning and preparing for a couple of vacations. Hahaha! ........They may all sound domesticated and boring.......but hey, I am pretty busy! I have house guests tomorrow and I am going out with my friends this week end.
So long........Talk to you later!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 2010

It"s starting to rain here in the Philippines. In Quezon city, the down pour is sudden and heavy. The weather is erratic. It can be sunny, then dark and cloudy. Sometimes it is hot and humid, then a sudden gush of wind and heavy rain falls. I stay at home most of the time these days. I am really into a restful mode of vacation right now. Hehe. Soon I'll be back in Cotabato. I hear, it is also raining in Cotabato and flooded too. There was also an earthquake two nights ago and I worried that Lucas was all alone at home. Anyway tonight he is going to his monthly masonic meeting and I am sure he is going to enjoy the fellowship.
Summer is over and school begins on June 15. This time I really don't have to hurry home for school. I'll do take my time slowly. One thing at a time but I better think of something to do quickly! Hahaha!