Monday, May 31, 2010

 


Philippines in the 1970's , 7:00am ... I remember waking up early to tend to my things and my younger brother's stuff for school. At the tender age of 9 years old, I would carry full buckets of water to fill up containers for our cold shower . I would always have to fight for my turn in the long queue of empty buckets when someone tries to cut in the line. I would always immediately voice out ~ Hey ... 1st come , 1st serve !  The nearest manual public water tap outside our house is always busy at night so I try to go very early in the morning to get that much needed water reserve for our bathroom . I can already cook simple things before and after school like boiled rice , fried egg, fried fish , do my own laundry during the weekend and do budgeting & marketing for the household . Why is that ? We were raised with fear by a single parent ~ my father. My mom couldn't take the physical / moral abuse, domestic violence in our house and I couldn't blame her for her painful decision to run away with my youngest brother who's at that time only about 5- 6 years old. I cried my heart out the moment I saw her sneaking out of the house with my little confused brother in tow. She can't take all of us coz she doesn't even know where she's exactly going at that time. I was questioning myself repeatedly : Where are they going ?  The moment I saw the door closed behind them, I bursted into tears. I told myself that my life as well as that of my other siblings' would change big time without her. I had cried each and every nights  after she left.  I would be crying my eyes out thinking about her and my little brother until I fall asleep . My father would always ask me whenever he caught  me crying at night on the mat on our wooden floor " What's the problem ?"  I would always say ... Where's mom ? Are they coming back ?  He never gave me a reply . He would just tap my hair and tell me to go to sleep. Thinking I have no mom to take care of me and my elder sister and my younger brother is a reality that is frightening me . During those early stages, I was scared, lonely and confused with the situation. I can't say anything against my father , about his physical abuses and why he had to beat my mom and even us when he gets mad. In my young mind, I just don't understand why ...

My father works for The Philippine National Railways ( PNR )




 He travelled weekly and left me and my siblings alone in the house without any adult to look after us most of the time. That's one good reason why I was very independent ... a survivor ! My sister was 2 years older than me but she's a typical spoiled princess. She is the authorised boss of the house when father was at work and gone for 3-4 days sometimes almost a week bound to the Bicol region south of Manila . The place where he met my mom years ago.


Beautiful & Majestic Mt. Mayon found in my mother's Bicol province .

Often times he would get stranded in the provinces of Bicol region due to heavy typhoons. We had no choice but to manage on our own till he 's back from his trip. He normally comes home with loads of food stuffs. A cage of live chickens ( that I had to slaughter later on  ... OMG! ) , A container of mudfish ( dalag, hito and guess who's gonna clean them ? Yours truly of course who else do you think ? ) , dogs which I thought are for pets but oh no ... my uncles would take care of these poor creatures and I would just see their parts boiling in a big pot later on .Shocking ... What a sight ! Yes, my family eat dogs but I don't mind. That was then when I was young I had eaten it too. But Now, I don't even want to think about eating it anymore ... never again !

Anyway, when father is gone on a trip , big sister would just sit the whole day and read a book while I do mostly ( if not all sometimes )  the housework and would still get beaten up at the end of the day when house is not tidy enough. She would pinch me so hard on my chest . So hard that I get black & blue marks on my skin.

Sparkling clean is a must in & out of our home especially when meticulous father is at home who checks the top cupboards and under the cabinets for dust , I must be careful even more !  He's got no mercy ! Oh well , I got no time for playing at that stage. The 2 storey house we had gave me so much job to do ... one rug in one hand, a broom on the other,  clean here, mop there, try to get rid of marching ants anywhere, need to manage with our school uniforms ( wash / press) , organize our snacks and things to take to school , etc, etc. . Life is not easy without my mom around ... sigh !



School life is not that fun either in my early schooling years eventhough I got special honors and medals from different subjects. Every time the school year ends, it was either my  class adviser or my Auntie ( my father's eldest sister )  who would be more than happy to act as proxy for my parents. They would proudly come up the stage to pin my medals on me or receive my awards . None of my parents ever came when I was in that elementary school ... so sad ! 
Same situation with my elder sister who's also getting honors & school awards. It's such a pounding heartache seeing other students with their proud parents attending the ceremonies. Why don't we have such chance to be with our parents , make them feel proud of us just like the other students ?

Below is my Gold Medal I had kept all these years. I was happy I was able to keep it eventhough the ribbon and my name tag had already been lost.


 I attended an Accelerated Class under Mr. Wilfredo  San Juan / Ms. Lolita Ventoza for 2 years  ( Year 1975-1976 / Year 1976-1977 ) at P. Burgos Elementary School along Altura St. in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The accelerated class made me skipped a year in the elementary grade. So instead of 6 years, it only required me 5 years to finish elementary school.
 I can still recall that some of my female classmates ( each and every letter of their names are clearly embedded in my brains until now ) would bully me for not taking my books with me ( I forgot sometimes ! ) or wearing clean uniform to school. My fault I know coz I didn't have enough time to check my own stuffs and wash my uniform during school days or sometimes, I just simply forgot that I had spilled something on me during recess time the day before . My excuses were either I was so busy or too occupied at home doing house chores or running errands or didn't really want to wash them coz they won't dry especially when it's rainy season. So, chances are I would end up wearing the same and the same uniform top blouse & skirt for 2 days, sometimes 3 , shame but during those times what do I care ! I only had 2 sets alternating during the week!
Nevertheless, my classmates would envy me when the teachers like and appreciate my presence and participation in the class. It was so obvious that I always end up as a teacher's pet , not once but more than twice ! Geeee ...  I guess because I'm smarter than any of them ha-ha !
I remember my Home Economics teacher Ms. Ildelfonso giving me a beaded Resin choker as a reward for my good grades in her class after submitting a crocheted rose doily she had put on display in her classroom. Just too bad that I had allowed my classmate Luzviminda to borrow the graduated choker from me one day and she never returned it back . Despite of several requests to have it back, she just said she had lost the parts coz it broke accidentally. Somehow the bead's shape looks like this only with more bold colors of plain red, orange, yellow & black tubular beads alternating on the cord with screw type clasp.



Being around with rich classmates is also something I hate so much during those days. They always try to point out that I don't belong in a designated group mainly because I was so different mentally , physically and materially ~ they often say my personal things were cheap, my shoes were old and with holes, my books had torn out pages without any cover , my snacks were not packed nicely like theirs , that I hardly attended any school field trips ( father won't allow us to participate in those kind of activities for financial reasons ) ,  that I was fat and my face is as round as an airport ... blah-blah-blah . Oh well, I just ignored all their abusive behaviours until one very memorable day , I snapped out of the blue and hit the leader of the pact who's the daughter of the Superintendent of the City Schools of Manila. Ooooppppsss!  I was not scared of who she was anyway. She can do what she wants, she can say what she wants but she has no right to tell me that I looked like a beggar coz I don't have a responsible mother taking care of me ! That's it , no one talks anything negative about my mom ... they have no right to say so ! Hearing that from her, I suddenly saw everything in black & white with flying stars and I just raised my hand . Sure enough that it landed straight unto her face ! Bingo ! She was stunned ...

Although deep inside my heart,  I know what I did to her was wrong. We both ended up in the Guidance Councilor's office to tell our own side of story and I sincerely apologized to her , I had to. Our Parents were called in . When neither parent of mine came coz I have no parent available to meet my teacher / guidance councilor , I had sensed that they pity me in the end and reconsidered my good character history . They gave me some advices and told the girl to behave herself as well.
 From then on , she never came near me at all  . Good coz I got rid of her group's verbal abuses . What a relief coz they had stopped from bullying me !

Anyway, The lesson I would like to share to all of you is

 ~ Never be afraid of anyone.
Whether You're Rich or Poor ,
We're all born equal.
 No matter what !
Respect others the way you respectyourself
and the world would be one nice,
peaceful  place to live in.


This is just part my childhood memories.



 I 've got more stories to tell but I'll for now reserve them for the next time ...
So don't forget to visit my blog again soon !

Thanks a Lot for Dropping By !


Thursday, May 27, 2010

High School Memories ...

 


Do you remember any of your high school mates 10, 15, 20, 30 or more years ago ? Ever wonder what they're doing now and if they ever think of you too ? I used to have 2  favorite friends while in Senior High School ( Batch 1981 ) at " The National Teacher's College " located in Manila. They're Analene C. Deacosta  & Heidi Espiritu . I always wonder where they are now and what they're doing . Finding them is like looking for needles in a hay stock. I had searched a lot of  networking / friendly sites like Facebook, Friendster, Tagged, Myspace , I even tried Twitter but still couldn't find them anywhere. But luckily, a schoolmate found me and that's how some of my other school mateswere found too. We're all so happy to communicate and we're now on a mission to search as much people from our class so we can gather and have a Class Reunion this year. That would be very exciting ! How I wish my missing friends ~ Analene & Heidi would be informed about it too by word of mouth. How I really hope to see them there and bring back old memories, our laughs, our secrets, our giggles , so on and on  ...


Some of my classmates are now connected to my network on my Facebook site . It's really amazing how this site gathers people from all over the world into one venue .. the internet. This technology is a super break through . My only regret about the internet was we didn't have it before in the Philippines 30 years ago . The time I was in High School. I would have been able to save datas of my friends and have updates and could communicate with them from time to time. What a big miss !



Sunday, May 02, 2010

MAY ~ Mother's Day !





Here comes another time to celebrate - The Month of May.
May is the fifth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. It is also a month within the northern season of spring.
this is the month when Mother's Day became a public holiday on May 9, 1914.

Mother's Day was first observed in 1908. It was designated by Presidential proclamation, and was recognized officially by Congress and the President in 1914. It is celebrated in honor of Mothers on the second Sunday of May.

Mother's Day is a special day for everyone! We use this day to honor our mothers all over the world!



I'm happy I still have my mother around to share things with. To you mom and all the other mother's out there, this poem is just for you ...

A Mother's Love


There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.

~Author Unknown ~




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May Quotation
Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Deck'd all with dainties of the season's pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around.
~Edmund Spenster ~

 
Lilium bulbiferum