Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while. In more than three months, I shy myself away from jotting (well, let’s say pounding) my thoughts on my keyboard due to reasons I cannot disclose as of this moment. Honestly, I thought I would not return to this side of the web, making my little world known to strangers and acquaintances alike, but as you can see, I am right here again, welcoming myself back!

What brilliant way to restart another life at blogging is to join the Weekly Photo Challenge. (Seems like a desperate move? Hmm, I’ll leave that to you. Lol!). Anyway, I consider it really a timely post for me since green, is my favorite color.

Green for me, is the color of life. Look behind you, around you and you’ll see a lot of greens. Trees, leaves, grasses, while some would change color overtime are predominantly and naturally green in nature. Nature. I am a lover of nature. But more than that, I fight for nature. I am an Eco warrior. Yeah, if I weren’t born from human parents, I would believe I am an offspring of a natural living creature, maybe from a tree or a spore. (And yeah, I have the resemblance, you know).

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Yes, these plants are mine. (Oh well, what can I say, I have  a green thumb). And no, most of them are already dead right now. :(

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basangsisiw:

From Edwin’s words himself, there’s a first time for everything. And I owe the man my first (cameo appearance) “mention” in a blog. Hehe! Thanks AwkwardList! :)

Originally posted on AwkwardList:

How do you greet people?

I high-five, smile, wave, hug, shake hands, bump fists, secret handshake, kiss, dance, or I just don’t greet and move on straight to the first topic of conversation.

How do you say goodbye?

For some, it goes along with them. How they greet or how they say bye is a bit like their Catch Phrase, or catch “action” like basangsisiw mentioned. I say bye differently to many people. Some I hug, some I do the little hand gun gesture to, and to others I high five.

But what do you do when you haven’t established such a gesture with someone before?

As you may obviously not know, unless you follow me on Twitter, I try to go to the Downtown LA Art Walk every month. If you’re around, you should definitely go next time! Anyway, I was there with a few friends last…

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This is my place. Love it and hate it.

This isn’t the place I was born. Nor the place I would have chosen to be raised had I been given the choice. This here, is the very place where I have spent almost twenty-eight years of my bittersweet existence. For almost three decades of being alive, this spot became the cradle of my existence. Taken to here while still two moths young, raised til I grew up today, this is the only place in the planet where I can muster the gut to walk close- eyed… and still keep the confidence to go on walking.

This is my place. My home. Barely a mile from the National Highway, situated on the foot of Canghambay, City of Naga in Cebu, rests my humble home and nearby community. Plain rural living. With some parts blessed with panoramic view while on the other, the not-so-good scenes of families living in utter poverty. From time to time, you get a handful dose of views enough to keep you human, reasons for you to keep grounded. Not everyone has the opportunity to be as close to the seemingly abandoned souls of the society as what I, we here came to witness in this place, day by day. Enforced or unenforced child labor is rampant. Kids voluntarily do things that only adults should be allowed to do but because it’s the only way to help their parents put some food on the table, these little workhorses endured the fatigue and the temptation of letting go some chores and tasks so they could let themselves just be–kids. A number fortunately are taking education seriously while a majority took the other way out. Either they’ve stopped because parents are incapable of sending them to school or they have opted to leave school to look for easier and quicker ways to help the family. Either way, it’s never a comfortable sight to be looking at.

The greatest consolation is to hear and see young people’s laughter regardless of what they are going through in life.
(Note: The kids shown here aren’t necessarily who I’m referring to, maybe only half of them).


Children’s population is skyrocketing in this area. And you need not see the actual statistics to realize how it  has spiked up these past few years. Anywhere you go, you will see children, little kids on the streets being watched by their older siblings, who are young children themselves.

I’ve seen fathers and family bread winners who pulled off everything they got to sustain their family; such respectable act to behold. Yet, I’ve also bore witness to disgusting leeches relying, feeding on the hardwork of another member. Pathetic! The problem with poverty is only temporary as there are ways on how it can be addressed but laziness as a behavioral problem is a different thing. Plain housewives are widespread as the children are, especially very young ones. I am at awe at the kind of adjustment these young women had to go through for choosing married life at this point in their lives.

With the place itself, I feel blessed having lived in a house where my privacy is well taken care of. People can come near us only when allowed because aside from the German Shepherd roaming around the perimeter, it’s fenced, not gated though, but to those who have known us since a long time ago, knew and respected that what surrounds our home belongs to us as a privately-owned property. Somehow, I wished we were secluded just so I could keep myself from seeing things I no longer want to see. However, there are things I do wanted to keep for my own fancy, like watching the view from the back of our house onto the crystalline blue waters beyond the towering twin chimneys of Salcon Power Corp. Urgh! If there could be a way to uproot those two view-blocking structures of the power plant, I would kindly volunteer myself.


These monstrous Megawatt power plant has been here for as long as I could remember. As to my Nanay’s recount, the area which now supports the other gigantic newest coal-fired powered plant of KEPCO was used to be part of the sea. It was in the 70’s when massive reclamation was done to give way to the new project. Regardless of the roaring noise and air pollution it created from time to time, I still love this place. With all its sickening excrescence, it is still a wonderful place.

These among others are usually what greets me every morning. These certainly aren’t the kinds that will make your day but who am I to grumble? After all the years I have lived here, even with the fact that I would not opt to live in this place if I did had the choice, somehow upon seeing what life was for many of those who I came to co-mingle day by day, I’ve learnt that this here, is my very place. Every waking moment is an opportunity to get closer to my very own humanity in a more personal way. And I wouldn’t need to live or go  somewhere else to realize that.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

Shielo, Me, Mahin and Gogi

This is one, if not the only photo I have of my college bffs where all four of us were present. Thanks to Mahin’s hubby, Wilmore for the rare shot and for the memento I hold so dearly til now.

These girls were like my sisters; odd sisters I must say. We became friends not because we share same interests nor follow the same tenets in life. In fact, we are so different in many ways that most often than not, we ended up biting each other’s tail. Yes, it’s common for us to head-but one after the other, refute one’s opinion and take side with another but no matter how oddly unique we are as persons, we stick and consider this gang of four not-so-ordinary females, each other’s friend.

We’ve been friends for eleven years now and though we led separate lives making a living in separate places, I know the tie that binds our friendship together cannot be separated neither by time nor distance.

Me and Shielo

Mahin and Gogi with the (Telly)hubbies

Just this morning, I got the time to browse my friend’s albums. Well, they looked genuinely happy in their photos. And I am as equally happy for them for the kind of life they are making with their own families. They looked a bit older though (hope they don’t mind this) but prettier nonetheless.

To my four bffs (including my high school bestfriend Julieta), Shielo, Alma and Gogi, I wish you good health and genuine happiness. I miss you guys! Love lots!

PS. See hi to my alter ego, Julieta!

Yes, she’s one of the dearest friend I have. And no, I’m not sure what exactly she was doing here. You guess! ;p

Disclaimer: All images that appear herein except for the first one above is not mine and was just accidentally reproduced, copied, edited and stolen for personal purposes only. The owners are prohibited to seek any legal actions in relation to the rightful usage of said non-copyrighted materials, or else

Look, stop and listen!

I wish I wouldn’t be the one affirming this, but I’ll keep modesty aside and for once acknowledge myself as a listener. I’ve always believed that every person born in this planet falls to a certain class of a co-existing role, that of being a listener or a talker. Certain elements and factors could affect someone’s ability of being a good listener or a good talker and whichever category one may fall into, his interactions with other people are governed by what role the person has been made to portray.

Code Talker

Code Talker (Photo credit: Chris Corrigan)

Dropping by at Random Olio’s post Do You Listen 100%?., a realization came to mind about what category I could count myself to suit into and how I was shaped by the role I’ve played.

Fortunately, my being a listener in a way aided me to become who I am now. I am who I am because I have been an intent listener, and anyone who knew me can attest to that (or I can force one to make the attestation). Not that I hate talking or something. It’s just that it feels good when I listen to people and feels way better to let them feel that I am listening. I get amazed about other people’s views and opinions so much. Plus, the learning that comes from listening is  more than fulfilling. It’s unimaginably emotionally moving.

Being a listener cannot be achieved overnight though. It is, nevertheless a long process which sometimes demands genuine self-examination to grasp fully how it is and what it means to be a mere listener and why it’s important to stay as such.

Wanting out a proof as to my being a listener, I tried out Quibblo’s “Are you a talker or a listener test” and here’s my result. Notice that I intend to have my proof derived from a third-party entity (if you can call a personality examination site as one) to prevent impartiality.

You are deff. a listener. You like to talk and share your opinion  sometimes, but you rather listen to what others have to say. When something is bother a friend, your always the first person they go to so they can let things out and for advice. (that your good at giving!) You are always concerned about the people you care about, and always know what somethings up with them. You also listen to everyones problems, even when your not in he best mood. Sometimes you tend to keep things inside though. Try letting things out and talk to someone when somethings bothering you. This may build up stress. Next time somethings wrong, talk to a close friend or a family member, they won’t mind trying to help you out. After all, your always there for them!

And oh, I don’t mind if the site isn’t legit to conduct such test or if it doesn’t proofread nor check its contents before publishing (not that I try to make excuses on the site’s behalf for the lack of using any proofreading tool. Hihi!) because that would be beyond the context of this post since I’m only after here for the proof. Ha!

Being a listener nonetheless is a self-gratifying task that propels learning of others and of yourself but it may also has its negative impact. Stress! Because of the role you play as the listener, most often you end up being overly affected by what others has to say and share to you. Trust me, I’ve been through a lot of mess because of trying out fixing other people’s mess and minding their problems as if they’re my own. It sometimes becomes ugly and physically exhausting to allow something like that to alter your mood and disposition when at the beginning they do it unintentionally not thinking that it will have a bearing on you at all. Thus, you can forgive them on sharing their frustrations, hopes, joys or more specifically their lives since it is done unconsciously if not for the end alone of sharing it to someone in the hope that they will be listened to, consoled or empathized…if not by a fellow talker, then most probably by a listener.


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You Beach! You’ll See!

Oops! Not that I’m cursing or something. It’s just that I hate lazing around here, spending days on sedentary mode when I could be doing something else, like strolling in the beach, watching kids build sand castles or just simply adore what beauty the ocean there is.

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Guanzon Beach (Langtad, City of Naga, Cebu)

But since the wet season has just started, getting that wish done will be far from being real. I’ll see you soon beach! If I’d be lucky, maybe not for long! Wink!

Memoirs of My College Graduation

I cannot imagine how many times I have retold my college graduation story to someone. In fact, not just that fateful time of college merry-making but also those times of struggle I had while studying, every time when the need to retell it arises.

While people may have think it doesn’t need an ounce of nerve to have my story being listened to again and again, deep inside it kills me to recount back what experience, the good and the not-so-good ones I have to muster to get through some of the tougher times of my life. And everytime I came across with someone who whines and grumbles over little things because they seem not to suit his/her pleasure, when in fact they could be the very same thing someone out there may have wished in life to have, the urge to do the solemn task would rise in climactic trend. And so, in the following moments, I had my mental pages perused, dog-eared at the most dramatic parts, scanned for what lesson I could impart to those who listened, and are willing.

The war is over, at last!

Graduation day is a day of victory for students. Victory because after the years of battling over the professors assignments, projects, theses to pull through despite the financial, emotional, psychological or a mix of these odds one faced, finally the end line has come. No one except yourself can withdraw from the chance of having to walk the red-carpeted isle of the walkway towards the center stage where you’ll get the official nod of the school administrators that you are legible to graduate; unless the school finds a genuine fault like when computing grades that will hold back your momentary spot among the thousands of students vying to leave the school premises after graduation, you, as how your siblings, parents, relatives–near and distant– neighbors and the community expected you: a graduate–fresh, idealistic, with guts tantamount to a hundred political trapos, they say.

The onslaught of the year-end dilemma

However, graduation days sometimes had its flaws. Sometimes the very essence of graduation gets marred by what graduates aspire to be– how they will look like, what dress and shoes to wear on, jewelries to flaunt and what matches which, who will do the make-up, etc. Waste of time. Not to mention, waste of money.

Or perhaps, I was just being cynical about it. Because first, I never had any nor got the chance to be how I would have wanted to appear in my college graduation day. No wonder why I cannot take my graduation picture out of the album where it had been hidden since 2006. It looked totally not the kind I hoped it is but had been. Regrets? Perhaps. But to where shall I put blame to? My parents for not providing me the whims a graduate would want to have in exchange for the diploma I and them can now brag about? My parents, who despite our financial incapability had stubbornly made us pursue schooling? These two people who had to break their backs, turned night into day working, securing for ways on how my siblings and I can still go to school the following day? Then, perhaps it wasn’t them who played Grinch  that caused my bittersweet college graduation memories. I believe I caused it myself.

I remember how on the vesperas of my graduation, I strolled the city and Tabunok with only 300 Pesos on my pocket, wishing, hoping I could find something to wear for my graduation day (one for the Baccalaureate Mass in the morning and for the graduation proper in the afternoon) with that considerably tight budget. Sounds almost impossible. And it was.

Hoping from one mall to another, I no longer expected to find a valuable dress since the price of most graduation dresses especially during their peak season, were not even twice the amount I had on hand. Precious hours passed. The search continued. Luckily when I got to a Chinese Mini-Mart in Tabunok, I finally found what I had looked for, my  cheap graduation dress. Yes, it was cheap. (It actually just cost P200 or about $5 then). That was all I could afford to have; all that my parents could humbly provide.

Bittersweet, it always has been.

Graduations aren’t always about confettis and garlands.

While everyone was busy figuring out which wardrobe to wear at each occasion on that day, since I only had one option, I spared myself of the dilemma. What I wore during the Baccalaureate Mass in the morning was the same outfit I had in the afternoon during the graduation proper. Moreover, while most female graduates at that time may have hired someone to do their make-up, I did mine… alone (to think I’m the farthest thing from being a woman as I don’t wear make-up at all). The overall outcome? Well, I was just as happy as everyone, at least.

The whole graduation ceremony only produced me two photos (these two I’ve kept in the album). Both from the official school photographer. Since we didn’t have a camera at that time, that two memoirs are the only visual proof that I did attend my college graduation ceremony. At least I have two. In my high school graduation, I never had even one. Sad. Haply.

Caprices and whims by itself aren’t all negative. When you’ve done something great and you want yourself rewarded for it, even if others would think it as a waste of resources, so long as you won’t step on someone’s foot in so doing, then by all means, go for it.

“The most important things in life aren’t things.”

 Anthony J. D’Angelo quotes

Now, do I wholly feel deprived with what I experienced? Partly, I was deprived but of my whims. Eventually, I realized that those aren’t the most essential factors I will need to start the new chapter of my life, in the real world–the one which is about to begin– the kind of life when dear old me will be tossed, scorched and pounded into the mold to be shaped to who I was destined to become . That is why I feel blessed I was able to graduate. That in itself, shall be a cause of merriment. I’ve even known some well-off friends and acquaintances who in spite of their money and capabilities failed to finish their college education. Perhaps they don’t consider it a threat to be an undergraduate considering the amount of wealth their families have provided for them. This just goes to show that it’s will, not wealth that will take you further and farther. After all, “a person with big dream is more powerful than the one with all the facts”.

The commencement of learning

Yet with or without the fancy things one would aspire to have had, I managed to surmount the odds. It’s the best consolation I got during that fateful graduation day in 2006. And it was the best gift I have given to my parents for painstakingly enduring the hardships of letting me finish my education. They could have chosen to let me stop, but they did what they think was best and will be best for me. I may never had everything in life but what else would I be asking for when I have the most determined parents in the world. If they, the workhorses of my life had nailed their trust that I would make it, then who am I to disappoint them? I am just the fruit of my parent’s labor afterall.

Had I not gone through the kind of life I’ve had or if circumstances had been different, maybe I won’t be scribbling here this slightly tormented journey of mine or even share it to you but for the hope of imparting what learning I could affect, I willingly yield to that intent.

The experiences one goes through are what defines a person. Good or bad, these strength-boosters are there to either make or break you. Thus, your fate, as the free-willed creature that you are, is governed by what choices you make. Either to stop or continue, to lay frustrate or bounce back, to aim for the win and be at par with the greatest or to be content being second. Whichever one chooses to go after, one must not forget that life is fleeting. And while it is best to live life to its fullest sense, it is likewise just as important to note that whatever goal we set ourselves into, no one other than the grass below our soles gets stepped on. Because, life is for me, is a ‘soul’ matter.

Experience is not what happens to a man.  It is what a man does with what happens to him.  ~Aldous Leonard Huxley

Why My Choice of Music Suggests I Am Older Than My Age

Music, as the Filipino that I am and for the hopeless romantic that I’ve been, makes more than just tickle my heart or uplift my rotten spirit. It brings home memories that sometimes I would not remember otherwise. Either precious ones or seemingly good-for-nothing memoirs of my fleeting life, music encapsulates me to that fateful time of which I am bound to give due respect and consideration. The songs and all the memories it conceals, serve not just a temporary vessel of those certain points which I tried to keep just to myself but a worthy remembrance of the days gone by–from childhood, to teenage and now my adult years.

Aside from prayer and meditation, listening to music is my primary resort to get rid of my sullen days. Yet instead of choosing light upbeat songs to kick the blues away, I opt for the gloomy, melancholic kind that either help me get through the feelings successfully or worsen the tone of my clear predicament. Either way, it is just great to let myself drift to whichever realm the songs would lead me to, but most of the times I ended up walking down memory lane with each particular song being played. When I say a song is a personal favorite, it certainly means more to me than just the ordinary reasons of liking something. One song corresponds to a point, a stage, a moment in my life which I consider precious and significant to my growth.

I was born two decades after the baby boomer era (Post WWII baby boom) come to its end but with the choice of music that I’ve enjoyed listening, it seems that I had apparently been born even before it, which left me to wonder if I really am just twenty-seven years old, now.

My choice of music varies greatly– from Pop (with Lady Gaga and Nikki Minaj as exemption), Alternative rock (Vertical Horizon, Nickleback and the rest in that genre), R&B (Usher, Mary J. Blige), Opera (Josh Groban, Luciano Pavarotti, Charlotte Church, etc) to the timeless Classics. But have to say, the last weighs and moves me more than the rest. Why? I for certain, would not know exactly why.

Maybe when you get goosebumps when you hear artists sung their piece as good as this,

and the feelings just remain that even after hearing, you found yourself humming to the tune, half- consciously envisioning how that artist did it, and in so doing you feel some heaviness or peace in your heart or you got taken to a certain period of your life (like when a certain guy who happened to live next door sung it to you on your 25th birthday and you just completely ignored him…OK, not really completely for you remember the song he sung) for having done such, maybe these, among others, are the reasons why particular songs became a significant part of our lives.

Or maybe because, you grew up listening to it since 1.) it’s a favorite of either Mom or Dad or 2.) it’s a favorite of both,

3.) it’s the song your brother would have his free time traded just to hear it

4.) or the other brother’s undying type of tunes.

Whatever reason you may have for loving a song, the emotional attachment that goes with it, is what makes it more delectable. Thus, instead of getting fed up by its continuous playbacks, you clamor to listen to it again and again. (Luckily, I know how to have my favorite Youtube videos repeat automatically at great ease! Thanks to my curiosity and Google, of course…) :)

I could name a dozen more tracks which I consider personal favorites and mostly they belong to the oldies. Whilst most people my age would go head rockin’ to the contemporary tunes, I otherwise find the greatest company in the remnants of the 70s and 80s music which I aptly consider the Golden Era of Music. For me Classics do more than just drive you head- rockin! It had a mysterious element in it which pierces you through; compel you to clamor for more. Ask those who profess their love to the genre and you’ll get varied astonishing responses.

So that’s it, who would think I am actually younger than my choice of music? If anyone here does, you’ve done one noble act. Thank you! It actually matter the least to me if get branded as old, outdated, boring, blah blah blah… And to those who pukes at the idea of getting stereotyped, well, sorry about that but me, I stand to defend the tenets I have of music . People like you and me get old, die and get forgotten but the music that captures my heart today will live on to do the same thing, somewhere some other time. That’s why they’re called immortal classics. They may get old but they don’t die. Immortality…

OK, ok I admit it, I’m a fan of the Bee Gees!!! :p

Just got lucky I found another one here:

http://mwoodpenblog.com/2012/05/18/disco/

 

From a Daughter’s Vewpoint

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

- Washington Irving

Even days before, I already had in mind about writing a little tribute in honor of the very special woman in my life, my Nanay (Mother). I did try hard to compose something better than my previous works, sadly it proves futile. Instead of focusing on my blog contents, my drive to produce a sensible blog this time, creates more hassle than help. I cannot focus. I was bewildered. So I let the thinking cool down a bit, doze off greatly from time to time, repel what negativity comes to mind and just savor what the heart wants to say.

After a considerable time, I had me bolted in my seat typing this. It’s nothing spectacular actually. But, however mediocre this piece may seem, know that it comes from my heart. Anyhow, my Nanay knowing her as an avid fan of my humble writings, would love this. She may even cry upon knowing I am writing about her… OK, no more nonsense, I promise.

My Nanay has been a significant person affecting me and the way I view life. With her as the only (aside from me of course) woman in the family, expectedly, most of what I know now and what I am now, is a lifelong result from being her as my guide and fortress. But she knows this does not hold true to every aspect. She is not much of a disciplinarian but she is neither a carefree Mom who thinks less about her offspring. She is one concerned Mama whose naïvety can sometimes drive you crazy. Yes, she’s as naïve as my four-year old nephew, Xian. And we love to tease her and play her ignorance about things serious and trivial. To a times, she would cry, while us, we giggle to death.

Look in those eyes… Listen to that dear voice… Notice the feeling of even a single touch that is bestowed upon you by that gentle hand ! Make much of it while yet you have that most precious of all gifts. Read the unfathomable love of those eyes; the anxiety of that tone and look, however slight is your pain. In after life you may have friends, fonds, dears, but never you will have again the inexpressible love & gentleness levished upon you which none but a mother bestows.
– Macaulay

It’s not that we like to see her cry. It’s just to let her know that being a mother doesn’t always have to be serious all the time. That an innocent mistake can be a source of healthy fun among the family members. A fun that’s worth keeping and laughing.

There’s nothing so special about Nanay, except that she can juggle her time between her so many and often schedule-conflicting responsibilities as a Laity and that as our mother. As an active member of the Church (a Legionary for almost two decades already, a chapel leader and an officer, BEC coordinator, etc.), Nanay is probably the busiest woman I know. Although sometimes I would have preferred her to give up her many responsibilities in the church and just focused to her role as our mother, she refused and rejected the idea. At times I had a hard time figuring out why she had to do what she was doing, why we had to compete with other people just so we could have a moment with her, why sometimes we refuted on petty quarrels as a consequence of her responsibilities, but eventually, after witnessing (for almost twenty-eight years now) on first hand her passion with the little endeavors she had, I realized that her role as a mother is not only confined to the corners of our home– to us her immediate family but instead to wherever her presence is needed, may it be inside or outside the church. Reaching out and extending her hand to those who needs her is something I cannot take away from her, not even me her biological child.

And because of that, I loved her. I loved her stubbornness to stand with her ideals. I envy the fortitude and humility she possesses, something which I am finding hard to practice. She is a modern-day martyr who opts to be submissive to other people’s opinion to prevent possible clash, although sometimes situations just flare up uncontrollably.

As a practicing Catholic, Nanay brought us up to be faithful and true professors of our faith. Perhaps, my decision to consider entering the religious life has been affected, one way or the other, consciously or unconsciously by what I saw Nanay had been lovingly working since long time ago. I could not imagine Nanay without her church activities and the church without my Nanay in it. The one can’t be separated from the other. But she is nevertheless, still a person, not a saint.

There are however qualities which I wish would somehow disappear from her as much as there are odd/weird/bizarre personality that is uniquely Nanay’s, as she is not at all perfect. Like when she suddenly becomes a monster (just kidding) and initiates an argument, although this becomes visible only occasionally. I think, like Tatay (Father), we half- understand what causes such outpouring of emotion. It’s most likely the mental and physical stress, not to mention the severe fatigue that gets through her due to the varying work she had that made her react that way. That’s why sometimes instead of arguing with her, I just agree to what she has to say, for I know she’ll eventually cool down and therefore realize her mistake. (I think I did learn from her the strategy how to keep mum when the need to become a sudden PWD arises). But the good thing about her is that, she knows how to accept her mistakes, sometimes she just needs other people to help her figure that out.

As the kind of mother that she is, Nanay did her best to compensate for her little shortcomings. In fact she is a trying hard-to-be-perfect mother. Yes, she may indeed not be a perfect mom for us, but I believe she did what she can to do her role, as best she deemed it to be. Even if it means she’ll have to pass a meal so we could have ours, or keeping up with her “housewife roles” simultaneously with her out-of-home church responsibilities.

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
-Tenneva Jordan

For the countless times that Mother made me feel loved, for the many instances that she unconsciously affirmed to me that I am unconditionally loved beyond my imperfections and failures as a daughter, as a sibling, as a person, for assuring me without having to verbalize it that even if I am the most useless, incapable person in the world, or even if I happen to be born handicapped of something, she will stood by me through it all and loved me for me; for this I am honored to have her as my mother, however imperfect she may appear to anybody.

” For all the ways you’ve helped me grow I want to say I love you so.”
Unknown

Happy Mother’s Day Nanay Dora! And to all Mamas, Moms, Mums and Nanays out there! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live, enjoy and experience life! Mwah! Mwah! Tsup! Tsup!

Weapon of Self- destruction

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

- Siddharta Gautama Buddha

Anger is like a poison. The longer you take it with you, the more likely you’ll end up hurting, if not killing yourself, sometimes without you having realized it. There are nevertheless ways to deal with anger healthily as much as there are strategies to escape from its terrifying wrath and all the consequence it brings. Defusing anger positively is always possible, though it requires great will- power.

Why is there a need to manage anger?

Anger is a normal human emotion that when uncontrolled would result to strained relationships and other complex problems. If taken as the natural human emotion that it is, maybe anger would not be viewed that negatively, after all, emotions are not in itself unhealthy. On the other hand, it helps humans keep track of their own inner humanity. Getting steamed up when confronted with a not-so healthy situation and expressing that emotion outwardly only becomes complicated because primarily the decisions we make in life are governed by the relation we have of others; by caring about how each decision we make will affect other people–their lives and ours, we tend to become submissive and resilient. As a result, when we vent out our frustrations, we take seriously what our responsibilities are and do it in ways that would not put our relationship with our co-existing creatures on the line.

Nonetheless, preserving relationships is as important as fighting for one’s ideals but in cases wherein you do not trust yourself fully to make sensible actions and just decisions, it’s still best to give way for more patience. Stretch out that patience while you can. Stay even- tempered and forbear what cross you have to carry. Or if not, just devise ways to escape from the possibility of engaging yourself in something you might later regret.

Here’s how I keep myself away from creating more trouble: by sending signals to the possible victims that I am at the verge of my boiling point. If I get lucky and the victim is vigilant and sensitive enough to sense why I am reacting the way I am, then good. That means, I need not worry about any unpleasant aftermath. But if I am unlucky, I will be the one doing the adjustment.

1. Becoming a PWD (deaf and mute), all of a sudden.

If you do not have anything good to say (as of the moment), please don’t say anything. Or be ready otherwise for the dreaded word war (and all its consequence). Sometimes, the heat will subside, sometimes even cool down by itself if the host’s anger will not be reciprocated. A sudden transformation to being a PWD will in no doubt send signal that you are not and would not resolve to a heated confrontation.

Or if you can still manage to keep a little soberness in you, a simple yes and no answer to every question might help. Just the same, although it may seem unintelligent, a cold response will beacon that a comprehensive conversation is the last thing you consider, for the moment. Unless maybe if the person is way too naïve to sense what that coldness means.

2. Turning to my safest sanctuary: my room.

Unfortunately, if strategy no. 1 becomes futile and ineffective to drive people away from my bad temper, I use this strategy. Sadly however, this made my family think that I am missing the silent, contemplative life inside the convent. Hereafter, expect a charade of spirit- boosting advises that to some extent influences me to make the long- awaited decision in my life– either to enter religious life now or enter it sooner… Glad I have the choice.

So, in this case, what I do is make them see (on purpose) that I am doing something, not just daydreaming whatsoever.

3. Getting occupied (on purpose).

This is a ploy I use whether I’m inside or outside my room to drive the victims away. Most of the times, one would see me totally engrossed in writing, blogging or doing arts and crafts (without real and concrete result).

Busy- busying can surely help get rid of interrogations which would only ignite more flame to the seemingly dormant volcano within you, unless again if the victim’s sensitiveness is way less than normal.

4. Sleeping.

It doesn’t sound like a productive strategy but it’s a proven more effective ploy I’ve used to completely escape from further interrogations. If this ploy fails, either you’ll end up fighting with the victim or fighting your daymare (if there is such a word).

When on the peak of anger, interacting becomes a dangerous thing. More often than not, it creates more harm than help to vent out irresponsibly.  Anger can destroy the host as much as it can destroy the possible victim/s, sometimes even worse. A person faced with an unpleasant situation, which for most times will serve as the catalyst to lose that calmness and composure within him will always have a choice–to lose it completely and wish to God no grave consequence  will happen or let that bursting emotion die a natural death.

Through prayer and sound discernment, I try to take the latter always. And yes, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of patience and humility to stay sober despite the provocative elements being hurled upon you but if you inculcate in your mind, engraved, sculpted in the recesses of your mind that there is more harm to speak your view, which are now marred by anger, especially if you have tendencies to bad- mouth, call names or curse people when on the onset of anger, it is still wiser (and humane) to just zip your mouth for a while until such time that the flame has subsided.

Until then, you may contemplate. Go to the most serene place closest to you (this time it could be your room) and think things over, again and again. And when the time is ready, when you sense that the door of communication has been opened again, jump in, speak your side, make known your view on the matter, but keep your wits as always and your heart ready for forgiveness.

However, if for some reason anger becomes self- destructive (physiologically) that instead of relieving yourself of the guilt it may cause when it’s directed toward others, then you have the right to free that emotion let alone relinquish it once and for all. As long as you don’t allow yourself to get totally consumed by the flame of that hot coal, I believe it’s still possible to stay human as how God created you to be.

“Hatred stirs up disputes, but love covers all offenses”. (Proverbs 10:12)