Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Month of May

The month of May spells "Flores de Mayo" This is my story:

When Roy was about 5 years old, my husband and I agreed to sign in our first born child for the summer catechism class called "Flores de Mayo". But during his first day of attendance at Queen of Peace Church, I was peering down at him from the windows of the City Health Building where my youngest son Emil was confined due to amoebiasis. From the window I saw my husband brought and fetched Roy and his cousin Jocelyn from classes. I was so down and depressed because Emil was sick. I turned to prayers and offered them to the blessed mother. Thankfully, my 6-month-old baby got well. Roy continued his catechism, and my husband and I became attached and supportive of the program ever since. At the end of the month, we proudly attended the culminating activity and fiesta mass where Roy was chosen by the Oblates Sisters as Prince Constantino to Clarissa Barrios who was the Reyna Elena.

When it was time for Tom to participate, I was asked by the MMLC (ladies organization) to enter Tom in the fiesta pageant. I sold tickets to win him a third place in the pageantry. Unluckily Tom had a mishap and sprained his ankle. Emil the younger brother happily took his place. During the coronation, despite Emil being the youngest and smallest  participant; his brave stride and winsome smile captured everybody's heart and attention. I remember Susan Sy fondly calling him "The little prince charming"
Few summers later, Tom finally took his place in another pageantry. I sold tickets to land him in another third place in our church fund raising activity. It was a bigger event. The coronation was done inside the CCI gym instead of the church compound. My Tomas was good looking. I was proud of him. He was the most helpful and gentlemanly escort of the group.

Not all summers were spent in Cotabato though. We would be in many other places but every time when May arrived, I would be comforted at the thought that the blessed Mother was with us. Most specially I had entrusted my children to her care.

For during all these random times of May while the children were growing up and I was struggling with my own personal formation, I did not forget to give what I had. For aside from the fund raising affairs, I brought my children (including the twins) to know about their God. They attended catechism classes with mostly many other children from the poorer section of society. Three of them received their first communion at the Queen of Peace Church. And they were also confirmed at different times during the fiesta. As parents, we religiously followed and supported all these church activities, as I quietly offered my children to God as flowers to our blessed Mother. My "Flores de Mayo."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Day's Activity

A lot of people ask me what do I do these days. Well, I am preoccupied everyday :) Here's my schedule of activities for today:
1. Wake up at 7 AM
2. Breakfast at 7:30 .... two pieces skinless pork longaniza, one egg, two slices of local baguette and two cups of green tea.
3. Check my email at 8:00 o'clock. Nothing much.
4. Prepare ingredients for pinsik (fried dumplings) at 8:15 AM. Find out I need some more wanton wrappers.
5. Call up my bank after 9:00 o'clock and get a call from Siolan.
6. Walk to South Sea's Mall to get wanton wrappers and other grocery needs at 9:30 AM. The walk is good exercise but sun is so hot. I use an umbrella though.
7. Get back home at 10:20 AM to finish preparing my pinsik. The family cook fry my preparation.
8. Use the internet. By the time I am done, it is already 11:00 AM
9. Play the piano to while the time
10. Lunch  with Lucas at 11:45
11. Noon break from 12 to 2PM
12. Do a 15 minute exercise and open the computer.
13. Go to the store office at 3 PM to read the papers and get acquainted with the tsismis (gossips) of the day.
14. Get back to the kitchen to talk to the cook before 4 PM and help prepare one vian (saute diced preserved radish with ground pork and eggs) Divide the food into three sections for distribution: for Lucio & Conchita, for Luna & Tina and for Lucas & Heddy.
15. Do crossword puzzle for the day until the store starts to close at 5 PM
16. Play the piano again while Lucas watches local TV news after 5 PM
17. Supper at 6 o'clock
18. Say my rosary and other prayers after supper
19. Do personal chores
20. Watch American Idol at 8:00 and other tv shows.
21. Write my blog at ten
22. Watch more tv shows, read papers and comic books before going to bed.
That's all folks :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Siquijornons and Their Stories (Honesty)

First I have to tell you about the people of Siquijor. The Siquijornons used to be the local working migrants in Cotabato City. I literally grew up with them and their stories about ghosts and anting anting. As a child, I remembered them going back to their hometowns once a year to attend fiesta, then returning back with tortas and siniguelas fruits as pasalubong.
Before in Cotabato, when I and my children got sick specially from upper respiratory ailments and fever, I would call for a local Siquijornon hilot (midwife) and/or healer to massage us back to recovery. Unfortunately from their stories, their place seemed a sinister lot with tales abounding with barangs (black witches) and curses and deaths.
One popular story in the seventies was when then first lady Imelda Marcos went personally to Siquijor to meet the supreme barang for cure of her legs that grew scales!!!
Despite their dark tales, to this day, I continue to favor employing Siquijornons most specially because of their honesty but sadly their working class are becoming less and lesser.

So as I have posted in my previous blogs, I went to Siquijor for the first time last March with some Cotabato friends. It was the last leg of my many local travels and I was kind of becoming out of sync from getting up so early in the morning.
First, I forgot to put back my local beaded necklace after a spa treatment in the evening but when I asked around in the morning, I was able to retrieve back my necklace from the front desk. Apparently the masseurs returned the lost item.
Lastly, I forgot to wear back my light sweater which I hung on the chair before I took my breakfast near the beach front. I had already checked out from the hotel and was on tour when I remembered I left the sweater. I casually asked the driver of the van to call back the front desk to locate my sweater but communication signals were poor. I left Siquijor that noon without my sweater with me. All the while I thought somebody might take a liking to it.
Because it had become my favorite sweater of late, I did not lose hope looking for it. Upon arriving Manila, I emailed Coco Grove Hotel. I got a reply telling me to call the hotel directly. And so I did and when I phoned them, I was so much delighted to know that my coat was retrieved. I requested Salcedo Oric, our store retired employee who now operates a store in Siquijor to get my sweater back. He went to the hotel with my instructions but was not able to get it back because the custodian was out. However with great sincerity, the next day the hotel sent my coat to his house through one of it's staff.

Thankfully, last Saturday April 14, I finally got my sweater back. Saldedo Oric sent it back to me through our cashier Neneng who was there with her family on vacation. I am so happy and thankful for the honesty and good will of the Siquijornons!
May your tribe increase!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Holy Week

I am spending a quiet laid back holy week, observing most of the Catholic religious rites of my parish such as:
1. Attending mass on Holy Thursday
2. Participating a half hour vigil on the repository of the blessed sacrament after the mass
3. Doing the way of the cross around the designated stations in town on Good Friday
4. Attending the communion service on the same day in the afternoon

Other activities I am unable to do:
1. The recollection at our parish hall in the morning of Holy Thursday
2. And the "Seven Last Words" done by the Knights of Columbus inside the church.

This holy week isn't even over yet, when here come text messages again from some sources telling us that evil persons from Kabuntalan/ Tamontaka are on the prowl again in the city. And this morning we heard news that South Sea's residential gate in College was bombed last night.

O Lord protect us from all these evil plotters and doers. I continue to pray that the city will be rid of these evil masterminds and become peaceful again. For all our sufferings and prayers and faith in you dear Jesus, please do hear us O Lord. Thank you.