If I Still Haven't Rejoiced...

1:07 AM Thursday, July 30, 2009

... and expressed my thanks to God, the friends who prayed, etc., then here it is... I am happy to share that my sister passed the Nursing Board!

Of course, it's kinda useless really in the U.S. because they don't really require that there. But still, it's proof that she has the smarts, not just the heart, to be a nurse.

I can still remember how my heart ached to see her crying for hours when she didn't pass the first time. I knew she was so disappointed with herself and so ashamed. I also remember vividly the fights we had because she was paying more attention to the bloody boyfriend than her review... but at least, common sense prevailed, and hard work too.

It's recession in a bad way in the U.S. My friends tell me even nurses can't get good work... but I have no doubt things will turn around in time, for Americans, for everyone. And now I pray that she will get to establish a good life for herself abroad. Not just because our parents are working hard for it, but also because she will be a mother herself.

And, for what it's worth, if this present boyfriend IS the one she's going to choose to spend her forever with, I really hope and pray he's at least half the man my husband is.


She's currently in Florida, enjoying Disneyland, ahehe.


3:31 AM Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And major sigh again.

So far, this is the most flattering shot i've seen of me in Boracay. I like to think I wasn't really in denial that I wasn't slim anymore, but yikes and double yikes, I am really, really super wide now. However way I pose, I am wide. Whatever I wear, I am wide. And looking at pics of myself in a two-piece makes me laugh because the proof that I had a waist before isn't really very flattering now. Now, it's this weird line on my sides... and yes, most times, I look pregnant.

And it didn't help that twas very rainy in Boracy so all we really did was sleep and eat. I had Starbucks frappes alternated with FIC choco mint ice cream. I had crabs and shrimps almost everyday. Yeah, I was a pig... so I am wide. :D

And heaven bless hubby for saying I looked okay in this outfit when really, I looked like suman and very TH :) I love him!

Happy Birthday, Py

12:55 AM Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You'd have been six years old today. But even so, you've been loved by us for more than six years. I hope you always know it.

Okay, this is me ranting away.

My family was one of the many affected by the runway problem here in Kalibo yesterday. They said the airport was closed at 2 PM. We checked in at the Caticlan airport (SeztAir flight) at 2 but left at past 3 but were not even advised that there's a problem in Kalibo. We got to Kalibo at 5 PM and saw hundreds of stranded passengers who were clueless because no airport representative was making any official announcement. Understandably, foreigners were upset because they were going to miss their flights back home.

They said they were hoping they could fix the problem which was why there wasn't an earlier advisory made. But, since it was a runway problem and security is foremost in airport operations, I should think that they should still have made the advisory and closed the airport to really investigate and fix the problem. Surely, a runway problem that was big enough to cancel flights for will not be resolved in an hour or two. Turned out, there were 16 PAL, Cebu Pacific and ZestAir flights that were cancelled yesterday. So that's between 400-600 passengers easily affected.

And Kalibo being an international airport, one would think that they'd at least have a ready directory of inns, pension houses and hotels in the area that they could hand out to the stranded passengers. And how about footing the bill for meals and accommodations? Or just transport fare at least (tricycles charge between P50-80 just to transport people from the airport to the nearest budget inn)? And really, how about showing your face to the people, after all, you collect terminal fees?

ZestAir personnel got numbers of their passengers (those who were proactive enough to do something) but they also didn't really run down their list to make calls.

But really, tourism has just suffered majorly with the way they've handled this situation. And I really want to harangue someone, anyone, over this!

Boracay Now

7:12 AM Saturday, July 18, 2009

The first time I went to Boracay was 2001, I think. Then I went again in 2003. Back then, the original talipapa where souvenirs were sold was not yet burned down, and it was the same marketplace where you can buy seafood and have local carinderias cook it according to your preference.

Back then, buffets weren't that popular. But yes, eating in restos along or near the beach will cost you. Even then, lobsters were what the locals used to entice foreign travellers. And there was no real road then, just a main street that was usually flooded in some areas and holed in some areas. And the only franchised establishment then was Friday's, located by its lonesome at the end of White Beach.

Now, it's a more commercial place than ever. I actually don't get why they wouldn't allow Jollibee to set up shop there since there's Yellow Cab, Starbucks, Andok's (5 restos!), Mang Inasal, FIC, etc. already competing with the local restaurants. And there is a major road now instead of just a street. And the buildings are many and sometimes immense, with nary a system or tastefulness to the grand design. And the locals are being pushed to smaller and smaller living quarters to make way for family-run room accommodations.

And the flooding is actually bad. Then again, it's been raining for over a week now here. But still, all those buildings being built have resulted in a drainage problem.

There are even two international schools here now, because foreigners have settled here. Some have married locals so it's also not surprising to see foreign-looking kids speaking a mix of Tagalog and Bisaya. And there's a homeschooling org here also. And then there are at least three major shopping areas for souvenirs (the original talipapa, D'Talipapa and D'Mall). And there are so many buffets now to choose from, as well as so many spas and massage places. There are still massage offerings right on the beach but they're not that many anymore as most have moved to buildings.

In a way, I am really more saddened with all this progress. I just think things could have been kept simpler as more people settled here. I was hoping some degree of consideration for what makes Boracay wonderful was made.

But of course, it's still very wonderful here. Eventhough it's raining like hell for days and I was caught in what felt like a storm at sea with a toddler in my arms yesterday. How could Boracay be anything else?

We Had Him by Maya Angelou

9:08 AM Thursday, July 09, 2009

We had him by Maya Angelou

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing,
now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips
like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace.
Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances
across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing.
No clocks can tell time.
No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember
that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love,
family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style.
We had him whether we know who he was or did not know,
he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing.
He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama,
and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

I have yet to watch the memorial... had hubs download the file (almost 2 gig).

Return to Innocence

10:08 AM Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Well, I highly doubt i'll ever be innocent again. But still, I spent two days (Mon-Tues) attending a seminar on handling CICL cases (Children In Conflict with the Law). I also learned about R.A. 9344 (also known as Pangilinan Law because it was championed by Kiko Pangilinan, our country's response to UNICEF's challenge) and restorative justice which some believe is a better one than the retributory, punitive justice system we have, especially for kids.

It's been 3 years now since this law has been passed and its progress has been very slow. For one thing, it requires a major paradigm shift for all lawmakers and enforcers. It also requires additional budget for more youth homes, social workers, rehab centers, and information drive.

And then there's the fact that gangsters, syndicates, even parents have capitalized on this by getting children to do their dirty work for them as all kids 15 years and below are exempted from criminal liability (but not civil liability and rehab). 12-15 year old kids can brandish guns very well too, so they are being used in the wars being waged in Mindanao.

Going back to the paradigm shift required, this law acknowledges that all kids below 18, regardless of their crime, are also victims of their circumstance. Which is why intervention, diversion, rehab programs for them are important so they can still have a chance to become productive, contributing adults in future. Theoretically, it does seem like a sound argument, after all, kids who are jailed end up just becoming better, hardened criminals from learning from the pros. But practically, it can be a logistic nightmare to implement. After all, the resources required to follow and monitor a child's progress is immense. And he may not always have his parents or the community's support (heck, he may not have parents for that matter).

One thing I realized and have to get used to is that restorative justice doesn't aim to take away more from the victim and his family. It's just that it hopes jail will be a last resort rather than the first option. And offenders will be made to make amends somehow.


Filipinos actually have great laws! I just hope we're good at implementation however.

Bye Little Sis

12:27 PM Sunday, July 05, 2009

Racked with sobs, my sis said a very tearful goodbye to my sleeping son very early this morning. And I spent till 1 AM trying to burn pictures on a DVD for her to take (it didn't occur to me to just save the damned lot in a thumb drive and copy it in her laptop). I was too sleepy and sneezy to cry (plus, it looked like she was crying for hours already).

She told me THANK YOU for everything.

And she even went to our cousin's room to tell her goodbye too, to think that cousin didn't even have the grace to help her pack, join us for dinner last night, and get up to say goodbye to her. (And i'll stop now because this post is not about my menopausal cousin) But then again, my sister has always had the grace to forgive and not dwell on conflicts.

The plan is for her is to stay and work her a$$ off in the US for at least two years before going back to visit the country. A great thing that should help her miss the Philippines less is that her BF is leaving for the Middle East in August. At least she can console herself that both of them will be living in foreign shores. Hopefully, distance won't be a hindrance for their love to continue to grow. And I really hope she will be lucky and persevering enough to build a good life for herself abroad (amidst our crazy relatives).

I will miss her.

But I think this is really the final straw for me to also move on with my present life, along with my family. I've been tiede to this same neighborhood for years, now I can really leave it knowing that nothing else is worth staying here for. No more baby sister to watch over and guide and bond with.