Monday, October 17, 2005

rise and shine!

back during my schooling days, when i was much younger, my friends and i had these myths about our teachers. we were told that teachers went home late (around 7 p.m.) and were in bed by 8 or 9 p.m. since they had to be in school early the next day. rumor also had it that teachers slept with their feet up against the wall, to return the circulation of blood to their legs from standing on them all day. in other words, "they had no life."

when i got to college, i found this not be unnecessarily true. i once had a professor who came in late for class one day, hair disheveled and unkempt. he gave the class a free cut that day on account that he was still hungover from the night before. not the best example, but it showed me that you can be a teacher AND have a life!

being the night owl that i've always been, the biggest struggle i've always had with being a teacher is the "waking up early" part. far be it from me to complain when my colleagues are up before sunrise, just to commute to get to school on time.

recently, i've been finding myself awake way before the sun is up. it's the only time i get to use the computer since mine conked out a few months ago. but i realize now that what wakes me from my slumber is the dedication i have for my job and the kids that depend on me. it has become more than a job; teaching has become my service.

yes, i've become a "teacher." that having been said, i'm proud to be up early. God has blessed me, enough to have "a life" and yet be of service to Him and His. but let me be the first to tell you, I DO NOT SLEEP WITH MY LEGS UP AGAINST THE WALL!

Monday, October 03, 2005

a place called "sanctuary"

"time stops at the sanctuary." that's what the owner said and she was right!

such a place exists, on a small island in caliraya lake, home to exotic animals and it's weekend owners, peter and esti wallace. the place is beyond words. the common area is very eclectic yet tastefully done. giant masks made into doors, large baubles, totem poles, and carvings infuse to exude a sense of home. the guest cottages are very welcoming, each with a view of the lake and comfort rooms that are really "comfort rooms" (although the glass panels can make you feel a little self-conscious). it's easy to forget where you are... and what you came there for.

and let's not forget the food! i haven't had such a perfect meal in such a long time. we were served sinigang, fried liempo, greeen mangoes with bagoong and crispy shrimps, with buko juice as beverage, and capped with karioka and mint tea for dessert. everything was so tasty; just enough to whet but not overwhelm. and this is homecooking, mind you! we almost forgot that we were there to visit their campsite for next year's youth camp! (the campsite was a great one too, by the way.)

i hope camp gets to be held there next year.

Friday, September 30, 2005

miguel "gets smart"

once every semester, the preschool children are assessed on their developmental skills. it's a one-to-one visit with the teacher so there are no regular classes on those days. miguel had his yesterday.

when i got home yesterday...

ninang: how was your assessment?
miguel: fine.
ninang: who else was there?
miguel: toni.
ninang: who else?
ninang: anyone else?
miguel: (pauses and smiles mischievously) yes! spongebob!
har! har! har!

Monday, September 26, 2005

loyalty pays

who doesn't like freebies? for someone who does not win at raffles, getting freebies is especially sweet. and for what, keeping the same mobile number for 11 years? sus! kadali!

what did my loyalty actually get me? P15,500 worth of either bill credit, handset discount, or G-cash. i opted for the last since i only had 5 minutes to decide (pressure!). i'm not fully familiar what to actually do with G-cash. they say i can pay for my pizza (shakey's) and burger (jollibee) plus some school & office stuff from national. they also say that i can cash in my wallet for actual moolah! mwahahaha! not bad for all those years of texting!

the benefits may not be as "hot" as winning an iPod (i'm still weighing if the m&m cd case tops this - haay, babaw...), but these days, you don't get to pick up P15,500 from off the street. so i AM thankful. bow.

back from the dead

celebrating my quasi-resurrection from oblivion... partially due to the proddings (and naggings) of mama aly.

where've i been? you may ask. on the sidelines, mainly. my PC got "fried" (along with some other household gadgets -- including the doobell) during a thunderstorm more than a month ago. since then, i've been an inginual (in tagalog, "singit") to whenever my mom isn't hawking the computer. today, i was especially lucky; she wasn't home when i got here.

so much the sad story. much has happened and much will be detailed - albeit belatedly. in the meantime, on with the show!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

mind play... wala lang

got this from my officemate

count the black dots :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

looking good

while in UP, teacher carol asked me if yolando was my father. of course, he was (i gush whenever i say i'm his daughter; i was a "daddy's girl")! when another teacher asked the significance of the name, teacher carol replied, "only one of the best doctors in the country!" hear, hear!

i stumbled on my dad's resume on my mom's dressing room table one morning. it read like an award citation! all his accomplishments on 3 (?) sheets of paper... president of this, chairman of that, medical director of this, awardee for that... teaching posts, positions in both local and international organizations...

i gotta admit, even in death, dad looks good! damn! what a brilliant, brilliant man!

man, i miss him!

fear and an answered prayer

procrastination paved its way for me not to take my comprehensive exam for my MA this august. turns out that my true copy of grades won't be ready for another 2 weeks and the deadline is... tomorrow! hahaha! will take it in february next year and will still finish in time without penalty.

it's an answered prayer (yes, i prayed about this.). i went to UP with all intention to apply for the exams. my college's registrar sealed my fate.

truth be told, i'm not psyched up for this exam... yet. c'mon? five questions in 2 days to summarize everything you learned in 5 years? you gotta admit, THAT is scary (especially when you feel you really learned diddly-squat... moreso when you haven't read a single word from your notes of 5 years!).

after UP, i went home and did the unimagineable... i read my notes in FLCD 201. ooooh! sometimes, i impress myself. hahaha!

Friday, July 08, 2005

from the desk of...

like any other person in the workforce, i always look forward to fridays, especially friday afternoons. it's a day when you can feel proud of the work you've done the days before and guiltlessly repay yourself with a nap as you lounge on the bed. friday also happens to be "playstation day."

a i lay in bed, playing a game of solitaire on my palm, in marches a newly-bathed miguel:

miguel (demanding): ninang, you have to play playstation with me!

ninang: i'm sorry, i never got the memo.

miguel: what's a memo?

ninang: it's a piece of paper with instructions for the day.

without another word, miguel then turns around and runs out of the room. minutes later he comes back with this:
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he wrote this all by himself! the only help he asked from yaya was the date today. i easily recognized the format of his memo; it's how we write our board messages in school. kudos to teacher mitch and ashley!

after a hearty laugh, a hug, and a kiss, i then happily proceed to whoop his ass in marvel vs. capcom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

yoda, i am

the teacher factor, it must be. just call me "master!" mwahahaha!

wala lang.

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

it's called "kleenex"

i got to spend last saturday night with some (younger) friends. somehow, the topic of our conversation got to mucous. true to the subject's nature, the topic "stuck" with us for a greater part of the evening (and more than i cared for) despite a car ride and change of venue.

shrills aside, i must say that the conversation had it's entertaining moments. i was particularly amused by how mike narrated and demonstrated to us how many times he can blow his nose into his hanky. a clean one, thank God! apparently, it can accommodate 16 "blows." i think jali can do more. me, i just use tissue. gesundheit! :)

Monday, June 06, 2005

not exactly a million bucks...

other than a good night at the mah-jong table or a good game of badminton, i never win anything... especially in raffles. i used to win in the annual Christmas office party raffles, but that's because we were assured of winning at least 1 major prize each. still, i never got the washing machine or the mini ref or the trip to cebu. instead, i won the toaster oven, the knife set, the habachi grill and the slow cooker. hmm... makes my winnings sound more and more like "luto!" hahaha! one year, i won cash... all of P1,000 (a big amount back then) which was just enough to cover the expenses on the costumes my group spent for our little number. my sis has better luck in those things. two years ago, she won a dvd player. cool!

so you could imagine that i was very pleasantly surprised when i received a package this past weekend. a couple of months back, i was in the grocery with miguel and i bought a pack of m&m's. they had that promo running then where you text in these sticker numbers to a cellphone account. i thought, "heck, i have nothing to lose and chocolate to eat!" i forget what was at stake. some mini ipods, i think.

what did i win? a really cute m&m cd case and a mini m&m mini radio (something i can use in school). i'll have to take a photo for you to see it (babaw!). i may have not won a million bucks, but with my luck (or lack of it) and my love for m&ms, i sure felt like a winner!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

music to my ears

yesterday, a man said six words that were music to my ears: "no need for a root canal."

phew! what a relief!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

what makes you happy?

i took miguel with me one night on one of my errands. i forget how we got to the topic but at one point, i remember asking him, "what makes you happy, miguel?"

his reply: "playing lego... building blocks... loving ninang!"

AWWW! i made it to the top three! isn't he the sweetest?

knowing that you are loved will make anyone happy. me pa? i'm a very easy person to please (read as "mababaw"). herewith is a short list of my simple joys:
  1. "playing" with kids young and old
  2. good food and even better conversation
  3. receiving shiny P5 coins
  4. finding P100 in my jeans pocket (actually, kahit P20, masaya na ako)
  5. being with my cousin aly anywhere from her house to divisoria
  6. my nephews and nieces
  7. receiving "lubong" from someone else's grocery run
  8. vanilla milkshakes
  9. plain m&m's - not from the fridge, mind you
  10. receiving handwritten letters and thank you notes
  11. a cold beer after a dive (aaaaaah!)
  12. a cold beer (period.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

alphabet for 2

ever notice that you hardly see a plate number with the letter "i" on it? you'll have a hard time finding one with either the letter q or o in it, too!

this i know because last week, while on our way to school, miguel asked for his usual dose of road games. the task was to complete the letters of the alphabet by spotting them on license plates.
we were stuck on i for the longest time until luckily, i spotted a special plate with the word "filipina" on it! we gave up on the o and q.

of course, miguel got upset that we couldn't find plates with the letters i, o and q. but he had a solution. "ninang, i want that when i grow up, you buy me a car. then i can ask for a license plate with the letters i, o and q on it. then we could complete the alphabet!"

Monday, May 02, 2005

post-jya camp

my back still hurts from being close to mother nature; my face and arms got a nice tan (too bad my legs can't say the same); my right knee is starting to bug me again. and yet despite these aches and pains, i am happy.

the past weekend had a lot of firsts for me. my first ligaya camp, my first all-girls "delegation," my first time to bait a hook with a live earthworm, my first time to catch a fish, my first time to gut, clean, and cook the fish i caught.

got to play pantitero after sooooo many years, if only to prove that we girls are better at it. i also got to say "thank you" to God in a way i haven't in quite a long time. He is truly AMAZING!

and there's a song stuck in my head... "dip, dip, di-ri-ri-rip, dip, di-ri-ri-rip, dip, di-ri-ri-rip..." haaay...

why go camping?

just got back yesterday from a camping weekend in tayabas, quezon with 80+ kids from ligaya ng panginoon. for 4 days and 3 nights, we prayed, played, sang, ate, sweated, fished, and bonfired. we also slept in tents.

i understand how housing some 80+ kids plus adults in tents would be the most practical solution. it is, after all, a camp. we had the campsite all to ourselves thursday. by friday, we shared the campsite with another group that stayed overnight. they had some activities too. a second group joined us at the campsite on saturday. their main activity, it seemed to me, was drinking.

why anyone would leave the comforts of home in this sweltering heat to go "quasi-camping" (graceland has airconditioned apartelles, restaurants and sports facilities) is beyond me. parang nonsense. maybe they truly enjoy sleeping on hard surfaces, in which case, they could have also done on the floors of their homes.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

what's the rush, miguel?

yesterday, from nowhere, miguel insisted on having his own bed. so yaya and aida rolled in my brother's old pull-out bed, vacuumed it, and dressed it with linen. miguel had his nap there in the afternoon... quite quickly, too, which was amazing!

it was somewhat strange seeing him on his own bed. all of a sudden, he seemed so grown-up. couldn't help but hear strains of fiddler on the roof's "sunrise, sunset" in my head.

this morning, over breakfast, i commended miguel on his big feat. he replied, "i want to be a big boy fast so i can go to disneyland!"

no wonder.

Friday, April 08, 2005

sweet tooth

had been wanting to post this for the longest time.

cashed in on my reward for being pink for 2 weeks. so now, i give you... THE COLOSSAL! ta-daaaaaah! good as a stand alone; better when shared; best when it's free! now THAT is the sweet taste of victory.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005


be warned; i am about to gloat.

went to school to turn over some school stuff when my boss greeted me with a very cheerful, "congratulations!" huh?

the children took an international standardized test at the start of the school year, and again 2 weeks ago. turns out that the posttest grades for english, the subject i taught, improved remarkably! some of the kids even got the highest score of 110! even the kids with "problems" soared! at the very least, they were progressing towards standard.

sigh... the news truly made my day. after all the hard work, stress, and the tears (literally!), my kids pulled through. this is not only justice; i know that it is God's reward for doing the work He's tasked me to do. to Him be all the praise!

Saturday, March 26, 2005


spent a good part of yesterday morning playing with miguel. i wanted to move on to other things (like go back to sleep); miguel planned otherwise.

miguel: ninang, let's play!
ninang: oh, miguel, ninang's tired.
miguel: why?
ninang: ninang's old already.
miguel: you're not THAT old; you're just old enough to be a ninang!
ninang: why, how old should ninangs be?
miguel: eight!

and that is one more reason why i love this child!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

not a problem!

got an invite to a children's party last week. it's set for today. anyway, last week, i asked miguel if he wanted to be my "props" to the party, and he agreed. he got all revved up about it, thinking of a gift for the celebrant, manu.

later in the day, i realized that there was a conflict in the schedule. the party was on the same day as miguel's moving-up ceremony.

ninang: miguel, i have a problem.
miguel: what?
ninang: you can't go with me to manu's party because that's your moving-up day. you might get too tired to perform.
miguel: that's not a problem. a problem is when you ride a plane and the palne's going to crash!
hear! hear! : )

Thursday, March 03, 2005

face to face with goofy

this one's especially for teacher fofem.

there hardly is a dull moment when you work with kids... especially when one of the students is as unconventional, non-conforming, innovative, and as entertaining as isak (pictured below). i saw him as i left the faculty room last week. i thought he was wearing a headband with dog ears. only moments later did i realize that he was actually wearing his socks on his ears! the socks came fresh off his feet, after an entire day in school, not that he seemed to mind.

a good friend once told me that intelligent people never get bored. safe to say that that'll never happen to isak. this is one bright kid!

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woof! woof!

Saturday, February 26, 2005


i've always liked watches; they're one of my fettishes. watches, hands, and wallets. it's one of the first things i notice in a person. when i watch tv or a movie, i always notice the actors' watches (forget the frontal nudity; did you see his watch?!).

i keep a number of them also, each with a story to tell. i still have to attain my dream watch though... a 2-toned, square-faced, santos cartier (gold screws, please) - just like my dad's. i would've wanted to keep his for myself also if only... but that's another blog.

my first watch was a mickey mouse watch where mickey's arms were the watch's hands. it's gone now but i'm always in the market for another one, but only if the gloves are yellow. my second watch, i still have. it was given to me when i was around 9-years old, so i guess it's kinda like an antique already, hahaha!. it's a silver, metal, tiny, round-faced, seiko timepiece, a gift from my dad. thankfully, the bracelet still fits around my wrist. i decided to have it fixed ("restored" is the more appropriate term, i think) yesterday. thought it would just be a battery thing. guess what... it's de-susi! gosh! it IS an antique! sometimes, it pays to be a packrat, i guess. can't wait to get it back!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

dare to be pink

a pink person, i definitely am not. it's just... too girly for my taste. only very recently did i venture into wearing pink, only because i had no choice as it was our school uniform. some people actually said that i look good in pink. yeah? well, i'm not about ready to change my wardrobe, let alone use it on my cellphone. which brings me to...

the other day, amy and len were tinkering with my (somewhat) new cellphone. then they return it to me with a new wallpaper - a lion with hearts around it, kasi valentine daw - and new color scheme... PINK! ew. it makes sending and reading text a painful endeavor! they're daring me to keep the settings for two loooooooong weeks, in exchange for a treat: old spaghetti house's cookie collosal. hmm...

shet. ang cheap ko. hahaha!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

secret garden

one of the "features" of my new room is that it opens up to a veranda and a mini box garden where, among others, we've been growing basil and oregano for my cooking necessities. the place has potential for a "gimmick area" by adding lighting, a banig, big pillows... must do something about the view though.

i'm no green thumb but i am, kahit papaano, a nature lover. i like plants that are ALIVE. so it was to my dismay that when i opened the door to the veranda this afternoon, it was the sight of parched dying plants that greeted me! i mean, it's bad enough that one of the plants is a funky, slightly tacky, red, pussy-willow-ish / feather duster type. what more a DYING, funky, slightly tacky, red, pussy-willow-ish / feather duster type?!

i tried to water the plants with the use a tabo, but it was evident - and more physically economical - that i needed a hose.
i asked the helper in charge of that duty to help (duh) hoist the hose from the ground floor. as if embarrassed, she volunteered to water the plants herself. when i asked her when she last watered the plants, she replied that it had been almost 2 weeks! ugh! siya kaya ang hindi ko painumin ng dalawang linggo! grrr! AKO NA LANG ANG MAGDIDILIG NGAYON.

as i watered them, i couldn't help notice the plants gently swaying with the breeze, as if dancing a "thank you" dance. they're on a respirator for now. will update you on their situation. haay...

Friday, February 11, 2005


maria is now a blogger! welcome to blogspot, teacher fofem! : )

so happy that you can join us. i can't wait to read your thoughts! it'll be like old times.. sorta. miss you tons!

tic-tac-toe champ

meet my sometimes roomate, migueli. i taught him how to play tic-tac-toe and now he can actually beat me... even when i'm not trying to make him win.

that's him, in my room, on my lola' s bed, with the ladybug-and-flowers tic-tac-toe set amy gave me 2 Christmases ago. that's coco (the bear) behind him.

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meet "the champ"

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

tama ba naman yan?!

was browsing through my tutee's handouts when i chanced upon her filipino talasalitaan list for the 4th quarter.

one of the entries was "ISMOLIN," defined as something like "mababang pagtingin sa tao o bagay..." or something to that effect.

i wonder how soon the words "ispelengin" and "PK" will follow suit?

Monday, February 07, 2005

i think i can! i think i can!

i have never, in my entire academic career, failed nor have dropped any subject... at least on purpose (the only time i was asked to fill out a load revision form was when our class was dissolved, due to a lack of students). in my MA studies, the temptation to drop has always been there. in my first semester in UP, i remember that it took me about a month before i finally found my bearings and had the confidence to think, "hindi! kaya ko 'to!" it's been a breeze since. so it's funny how, in the last semester of my MA studies, i sense the temptation to drop one of my last 2 subjects. and the call is strong this time!

it's not like me to be a quitter and i know that i can do the work the subject requires. but not now, when the sem is shorter and i have 3 subjects to teach and make daily lesson plans for! even more heartbreaking is that of all the subjects i've taken in the past 2 years, THIS is what i think an MA subject should be like. i have a very good, and as others might put it, "tough" teacher. i know. she was my very first prof in this course. i like her. probably one of the very few teachers that i respect in the program.

so... as in the past, i prayed. and i prayed. and i prayed.

God answered me today. among other things, my teacher announced that we will no longer have final exams. WOOHOO! that, and she approved my topic for a seminar with an enthusiastic, "why not?!" so things are looking brighter. looks like this can be a "can do" job. wish me luck!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

just press # 6

another excerpt from my genogram...

Mi casa es su casa

Big as it is, our home was opened to and shared with many relatives. For a time, two of my Lola’s sisters (spinsters) lived (and died) in our house. They moved into what was then my sister's and my room, the Pink Room (#2 on the intercom). Cousins from the province (Surigao) “boarded” with us while they pursued their secondary and / or college degrees. We even had a nun stay with us for a while. She was an old college friend of my parents back in their days in U.P. Before her, another cousin and her friend stayed in the same room (#4 on the intercom).

All these “guests” staying with us made us “move” from one room to another. At a certain point, the house got so crowded that I found myself without a bed. It was then that my Mom suggested that I sleep in the Master Bedroom. This was back when I was in Grade 6. I have never moved since.

okay. truth be told, i've had my own room probably since 2nd year high school. do i sleep in it? no. i've always considered it my "holding room." the only residents in that room are my clothes and my things... especially on the bed (which i only remember sleeping on once when my mom and i argued).

having a guest for interchange changed things. needless to say, there was absolutely no way that she was going to sleep in the master's bedroom. i started to resurrect the green room for her to stay in with the added incentive that it would eventually be mine... it also gave me good a chance to put all those episodes of "queer eye for the straight guy" i've watched to good use.

but what's a room if you don't sleep in it? the night before our thai guest came, migueli, my syster, and i christened the new room (and mattress) by sleeping in (and on) it. but since our guest departed, a cousin has spent 2 separate nights in it - uh oh! was history about to repeat itself? so i started moving in my stuff, albeit ever so slowly. it started with my craft stuff - my "toys" - then my bookcase, then the "antique-ish" study table that was always out in the hallway. my clothes made the move last week, so now i really had to shower and change in the "yellow-green room" as migueli would call it (three walls are yellow; the 4th wall is an accent wall in green).

thursday night, i spent my first night in MY ROOM...and overslept! it's a work in progress still... i have yet to find a place for all the stuff that remains on the bed in the other room (there's always the bed in the yellow-green room. it's a bigger queen size too! hahaha!), my 400+ CDs, and a place to put my shoes. i hope to get all that stuff transferred before migueli moves in there... hopefully before he gets to high school. hahaha!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

half-tank refill

had my long overdue one-to-one with my boss last friday. it's usually bi-annual thing, but i guess we both got caught up with the drills of work. to give you an idea of how hectic our lives are, when we see each other in school in the morning, instead of the usual, "hi," she greets me with "kamusta ka na, teach?" to which i usually reply with a deep sigh. last friday, over lunch, she posed the question again. in response, all i could say was, "tired."

in the past year, it seems that i've run out of gas. i don't think that i was built to write 3 daily lesson plans and teach 3 different subjects... and wait til you meet my kids! it can burn you up pretty quickly. it actually makes me excited to not teach next schoolyear and just review for my MA comprehensives.

earlier tonight, i was de-cluttering the files on my computer when i stumbled on the following piece. it's an assignment i turned in for an MA class a couple of years ago for a video we viewed one Saturday morning.

I never thought, that at age 34, I would be back in school again. I always thought that my Bachelor’s Degree was enough education for me. Perhaps, if I had a teacher such as Mr. Doud, my attitude would be a lot different.

The film, “Molder of Dreams,” recounts Mr. Doud’s achievements as an educator. Perhaps greater than his winning the National Teacher Award and the opportunity to meet the President of the United States, Mr. Doud’s greatest achievements would be the very lives of his students that he has been able to affect by personally knowing them - beyond grades and papers.

“Lives are more important than lessons.” His life as a student is a testimony of this. He related how, in his youth, he always considered himself to be a nobody until his third grade teacher paid him notice as a somebody – not as a trouble student or an underachiever, but a person with a life and a story to tell.

I remember how, in the film, the class knew – and cared to know - very little about Scott until Mr. Doud prompted him to tell his story. All people want to be valued, whether they say so or not.

As a preschool teacher, this could not be any truer. I have seen how young children clamor for attention in as many fashions as I have students. I have one in particular that easily caught the class’ attention, a 5-year old girl with cerebral palsy. For the first few weeks of class, some of the children treated her differently; others were even cruel. I invited her mother to speak to the class one morning to tell the children how her daughter was just like them, how she was different from them, and how they can all help her in class. That small exercise made waves of differences in how the children have since related to her.

It was the loving thing to do. Mr. Doud tries to see Christ in each of his students; I became a teacher because of my great love for Christ and for children. As a teacher, I have been given a great opportunity to be able to mold a child, a person, a life. As a Christian and a Catholic, I try as much as I can to do this lovingly – shaping their young hearts and minds for Jesus.
that girl is still in our school, now in grade 1. she still "wobbles" when she walks (she wears braces on both legs), but she hugs with the strength of a bear whenever she sees me. she hugs as if i were the next best thing to santa claus! and though i may not be in a race for "teacher of the year," i count her as one of my achievements.

re-reading the piece convicted me of my weariness. beyond the paper work and the deadlines, it's the lives that teachers touch that count. i've found my groove again. mondays aren't so bad anymore... but fridays still do look better :)

pressure me, why don't you?

my best friend calls me this morning to give me feedback on her daughter's PTC -- i've been tutoring her since the 2nd quarter. she passed all her subjects! YIPEE!!


she's in critical shape. if, at the end of the schoolyear, her general average passes with one failing grade, she repeats the level; 2 failing grades, she needs to transfer to another school. AND SHE'S ONLY IN GRADE 3!!! the clincher: according to my best friend, "repeating is not an option."

i can only do so much.

Monday, January 24, 2005

bizarre encounter

procrastinated on attending mass and ended up going the 8:15 mass at sanctuario de san jose last night. it felt as if i was having an sfc flashback.
i must have seen 4 or 5 former chaptermates during the mass. a polite nod would have more than sufficed. right after mass though, a hand touched my shoulder from behind and whom should i see? miguelito! another chaptermate who just so happened to be my godson! NYAAAAH! had he approached me to ask for a Christmas gift? (he's working already, by the way -- my first godchild in the workforce!) he also happened to mention that his birthday (his 31st -- or was it 32nd?) was coming up soon -- as in this week. in fairness, i did manage to remember THAT much. thankfully, no! hahaha! it was just to say hi and to catch up... him, me plus two others.

it's literally been ages since i last saw him -- i stopped giving him gifts once graduated from college. one Christmas, it was HE who sent me a gift! -- and boy, has he grown! he's huge! somehow, the name didn't seem to suit the built.

i always find comfort in being able to talk freely about community and my faith with those who "understand." since "reuniting" in sfc, i've always related to him as a sister in the faith. but once the conversation turned to family talk, he was miguelito all over again. haay... something's just don't seem to change. tonight, miguelito, my prayers are yours. have faith. His plan is perfect.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


checked out my Christian name for our lesson in my religion class tomorrow. how tragic!

my saint namesake was a beautiful woman who was locked up in a tower by her own father. when he discovered that she had converted to Christianity, he got furious and was ordered to kill her. she escaped but was caught, dragged by her hair back home, then beheaded by her father... upon which time, he was immediately struck by lightning and died. fire from heaven. sweet revenge. she also died a virgin. shet.

she's also asociated with st. nicholas or as a gift-bringer, in her own right. she must've been a ninang also. did i mention she was beautiful? hahaha!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

living up to my name?

as an assignment for our community assembly in Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, we were asked to find the meaning of our names. in biblical times, a person's name was viewed as an equivalent to the person himself. it "defined" who you were; your character, reputation, worth, will and ownership. fair warning for parents-to-be.
i challenged that i was mostly called "ninang."

well, guess what... turns out that "leslie" means "from the garden of holly" or "pool by the garden." my Christian name, which will be unmentioned for now, means "unique, mysterious, and rare." summing it up, mama aly reasons that that explained my playful, kid side. a place (or person) you run to get away and be refreshed (coincidentally, we DO have a pool!). holly, you associate with Christmas -- where ninangs' roles come into play a lot (was i made for Christmas then?). the "unique, mysterious, and rare" part just means na "kakaiba ako!" hahaha!

so i guess, i do live up to my name! add on my surname... now that's a tough call my clan has to live up to, but we do beautifully, if you ask me. all part of God's perfect plan. nothing truly happens by accident. "called by name" now has a new, more endearing meaning to me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

lessons learned from interchange

long before i became a teacher, i knew that you should never stop learning. after having gone through 3 weeks of interchange, i did get to take home valuable lessons.
  1. know your religion and defend it with faith. religion teacher or not, i literally had a lot of explaining to do to my thai visitor. "what's Christmas all about? why hear mass every Sunday? who is the Virgin Mary? what's with all the stars?..." knowing the answers to all the questions i credit not only to a good catholic education, but to my conviction to my faith. honestly, without faith, if you take one step back and hear the questions yourself, you may ask yourself, "why DO i do all this stuff?!" blind obedience? more than knowing the textbook answers, as cheezy as it sounds, you have to be able to answer from the heart.
  2. love the local language... and speak it! knowing filipino -- be it as a first or second language -- is always a plus, whether it be to talk in front of the foreigners, ask for directions, get a discount, and even to negotiate to get into the baguio country club to get raisin bread. yes, speaking the local language can literally get you places. it is not uncool to be able to speak in filipino and i salute the thais (and my kids) just for trying! i've also learned never to speak above the person you're speaking with... in any language.
  3. plan your interchange and stick to the plan. eat your heart out, jiro! hahaha! enough said.
  4. my brother's not so bad after all. for someone who said that having a guest stay for 3 weeks would be a "bother," he sure didn't show it! he volunteered to show my guest PGH and medical city -- for what reasons, i don't know. duh. he planned our trip to my dad's hometown, drove us there, and even treated us to dinner. he went all out taking us to see kitchie nadal and drink to our livers' content -- of course, it DID help that he was one of the owners of the bar. he had filipino dishes especially cooked for sunisa and even tagged along on our trip to greenbelt on her last free night, even footing the bill for tavern and bizu.
  5. i love my kids! i loved them then in thailand; i love them now. can't imagine going through the program with a different set. will miss sleeping with them -- hahaha! i love their parents, too! hahaha!

Monday, January 10, 2005

over and done with

i'm a "list" person. not the "top 10" sorta type; i'm more of the "to do" type. it keeps me organized and on top of things in my crazy, active, hectic world. it gives you a sense of accomplishment whenever you've ticked off an item. me, being a visual person, seeing those little check marks on my palm pilot makes me grin -- let's remember however, that that's not the reason to have lists, okay?

and there lies the reason why i haven't been able to blog -- it's been so long that i even forgot my username. in the past 2 months, i have:
  • orchestrated my first communion class' recollection
  • laid out the first communion missallette -- thrice!
  • designed the first communion certificates
  • recorded the first communion songs
  • duplicated first communion songs on cassettes
  • wrote an article for the school newsletter
  • made 3rd quater exams for my religion 5 and 6 class for a kid leaving for india for cisv
  • organized the first school mass in cradle
  • cooked putanesca for a faculty fellowship
  • orchestrated the first communion mass
  • resurrected the guest room for interchange guset -- new paint, new mattress, new shelves, new ceiling fan, new table, new lamp
  • changed toilet fixtures -- 2 showers and 1 toilet
  • designed the fund-raising logo for the school
  • shopped for 24+ godchildren for Christmas (+ gift wrapping)
  • organized the interchange program and budgets with the moms
  • created an interchange scrapbook overnight
  • laid-out high school batch directory for the homecoming
  • composed texts for trophies, certificates and radio spiels for the homecoming
  • personally went after batchmates at their offices with an info sheet
  • collected and disbursed funds for the homecoming
  • purchased what seems to be the last DVD compilation of The Godfather for freddie, my monito
  • attended my annual Christmas dinner with little, frankie and tina -- plus sandy, my thai guest
  • drove for a school visit in antipolo, rizal
  • traveled to paete, laguna with dennis, sandy (phils.), sandy (thailand), and miguel
  • tutored my best friend's daughter for 3rd quarter exams -- she passed all save for filipino!
  • helped make 100 luminaries for a wedding with amy
  • organized new year's media noche with my sister, sandy
  • conducted the interchange, going everywhere from the tiangge, to antipolo, enchanted kingdom, alabang, and baguio
  • survived the meningo-whatever-virus in baguio
  • stood as a godmother (again) at a confirmation
  • made a prayer rock for my new godson
  • attended my high school class' 20th anniversary homecoming

all these, over and above work and school. it wasn't a very fun thing to do, mind you -- well, not all of it. shopping's always fun :)

as i take a look at the list, do i feel accomplished? yes, but more than that, i feel tired. and it's only the 2nd week of the new year. sigh.

i realize that the list is a list of things to do for others... not for myself. i don't think that i've even read a book this year! sadness. perhaps the only thing i've done for myself is cut my hair, and that was only 3 days ago. must start a list of my own. i already know 2 items i can put down: (1) learn to ask for help and (2) say "no." i can almost hear mama aly heave a sigh of relief.