Tuesday, November 25, 2008

i wish i were british

the 2008 american music awards honored annie lennox with their version of the lifetime achievement award. before she received the crystal pyramid from justine timberlake, whom the host called the most attractive man in america or some other thing hard for people of my demographic category to swallow, she sang Why.

its the kind of song people like but do not admit to liking. like depeche mode's Somebody, for example. though its a notch better than saying you are fond of air supply, its much less cooler than knowing the lyrics of an obscure british band song from the 80s, like... wait. i don't know the lyrics to any obscure british band song.

so annie lennox sang why accompanying herself on the piano, effortlessly proving herself deserving of the award. HOWEVER, she sang the song without the extended wailing of the title, the part where you go "whaaa-aaa-aa-aa-ay?". it was disconcerting and a bit annoying.

yen: why didn't she say the why lines?

husband: huh?

he didn't even notice and must have thought it was a new song, so different sounding as it was. don't get me wrong, i loved her performance. it was just that you would get irritated too if they removed the haunting ambient sounds at the start Somebody.

of course they gave her a standing ovation. but what really confirmed her idol status for me was that during her acceptance speech, the first thing she mentioned was her gratitude to her eurhythmics partner dave stewart. george michael never ever mentions that other wham guy, andrew ridgeley. and, still in her acceptance speech, she admitted to being 53. madonna never ever mentions her age.

to have that unusual voice, to be such an electrifying performer, and to have the confidence to admit to being old, and acknowledge that other people helped you. this is an ungrammatical sentence but i want to keep it that way.

i like her first picture up top but this picture below is how i best remember her. she was a chic androgynous dresser. i love her clothes much, much more than, say, pussycat dolls' (during the rare times that they remember to put on clothes). i think british celebrities outdo americans in the dress department. that's probably why madonna and gwynneth live in london now.

annie lennox reminds me a little julie andrews and sinead o connor. they have a lot in common: the close cropped hair, the provenance (scotland, england, ireland respectively), the stage presence, the otherworldly voice.

annie may be a little less sweet than dame andrews perhaps

and a little less belligerent than sinead

but she really does make me wish i were british.

Friday, November 21, 2008

agua vida

before the time of water refilling stations in the city, people drank water from the tap. at least my family did. and most people we know did. and since there were nine of us in the family, that made for a huge circle of friends relying on zamboanga city water district.

its different now. people have diarrhea when they drink from the tap. it could be because their stomachs got used to filtered water, or, horrors, it could be that the water from the utility is dirtier now. or it could be both.

we used to buy bottled water only for baby gabriel, and everybody else drank tap water filtered with this un-reassuring made in china device with bits of ground charcoal inside that you append to your faucet's spout. we got it, what, three years ago. the instruction said to replace the device once the charcoal grains turn white. this was probably an unintentional exaggeration brought about by the manufacturers limitations in english technical writing, but still, i have stopped believeing it'll ever lighten maybe eight months after purchase. today, the charcoal's as black as ever.

why i never bother replacing it? because it worked. i haven't had our water tested for potability at city health in pettit barracks (only a few bucks, someone said), but the family's never had a rash of diarrhea that could be blamed on the water. the last time we had an epidemic, no one doubted it was brought on by my experimental sauteed fish roe.

for the past month however, everyone in the family has been drinking bottled water. we got sort of carried away by talks in the neighborhood that the reason why our water was different lately (i have to admit, the post shower feeling is more slimy than fresh now) because our supply came from a deep well. maybe as opposed to a fresh mountain spring.

we now consume 25 gallons a week, which translates in pesos to 600 a month. when i realized the cost last night, i almost gagged on my water. our water district bill never exceeds 150. but my mother would say that's only because our clothes are washed at her place, and she would be right. but still. 600. that's 7,200 a year. that's two 21" inch color tv from the korean surplus store.

Friday, November 14, 2008

they chose jollibee

architect-conservationist-columnist agusto villalon apparently is happy with conservation efforts in the city.

i dunno. it may be that things have changed. i still remember the dismay i felt when told that they (i don't know who exactly) were taking down Broad Building, the old multi-storied edifice beside shopper's plaza, facing the sunken garden. at the time that they leveled it, the place looked like it didn't really want to go on existing anyway, but i think resuscitating it was still within the realm of possibility.

talking of sunken garden, they did fix that, but then they fenced it and gated it and people can't really go in. its a virtual secret garden. so secret many people not of my generation (read: younger than me) don't know it exists.

my favorite old building in zamboanga is BPI on Valderoza Street.

The picture of BPI here, taken from the online database of Heritage Conservation Society, does not really do it justice. But this one below, of Plaza Manila Building, right across City Hall and fronting the Rizal Monument, is a good photograph.

Both still exist. The other old and beautiful commercial building in this area, BPI Family Bank, is now.........Jollibee.

this photo was taken and posted by marseilles on igougo

when bpi family bank closed operation in zamboanga, ateneo tried to acquire this building with the intention of converting it into an art gallery cum museum. though ateneo now has a kick-ass gallery within its la purisima campus, this downtown location would have made it more accessible to the public. such an ideal location not just for accessibility but for the atmosphere. upon exiting the building, you will see, from left to right, city hall, rizal monument, the AE Colleges (it looks old, art decoish; and btw, it's now Universidad de Zamboanga - a very olde worlde name, don't you think?), then finally, plaza pershing.

but they chose to put a fastfood there instead. i wonder who made that decision. because it sure sucked.

except for this part, downtown zamboanga does not look pretty. the old buildings look run down. the new buildings can be divided into two categories: blah and boring or hideous and horrible.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the great escape

sigh. it's happened again.

the problem with overly optimistic people like me is that...we are overly optimistic.

this was my reading list on October 20, 2008, on the cusp of a languorous semestral break (or so my insane mind envisioned).

now, it's november 10, 2008, the first day of the second semester and i managed to read only one of the five. i am about 50 pages shy of ending another but i have not had the chance to even just hold the book for two days now because i have been pre-occupied with preparing my three syllabi.

the one i did manage to finish is the one second from the top, Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke. I read it because we have her other, more popular, book at home, Inkheart. Igraine the Brave is the most juvenile book in the bunch. yes i know, the reading list is made up entirely of juvenile books, but this one is so juvenile, i feel such a delinquent reading it.

how juvenile? it's my daughter jana's first attempt at reading novels. jana's seven. i read my first novel at grade four, at around 10. (johanna sypri's heidi). but i am not out celebrating yet. note that i said "attempt". jana has stalled at chapter eight. she reads with the aid of a cardboard -- used as bookmarker and as guide to keep her eyes on the line she is currently reading.

credit for nudging jana into reading the book goes to rashdi, the true owners of the books up top and a surprisingly patient mentor. he defined terms for her and helped her understand concepts. the book is, after all, a magical story set in medieval europe.

the one i should be finishing soon is yet another harry potter clone. i don't know where my sister got this advanced copy of the tapesty: the second seige. the first page says that it is not meant to be sold, that it was meant to be an advanced copy for, i don't know, critiques? proofreaders? it's paperbound with a glossy cover. however, there are no illustrations in the inside pages yet, just blank pages that says "ArtTK".
some parts of the book are exciting and interesting. some parts are incredulous.

rashdi finished all five in almost as many days. he recommends peter and the starcatchers which he says explains how the creatures in the peter pan story got to be in neverland (michael jackson invited them?), is non-committal about bridge to terebithia, and disparages endymion spring for being so boring. and because -- don't say i didn't warn you -- i am optimistic i have made for myself another reading list. but this time, it's shorter: two gossip girl books.

because the fantasy books above were not escapist enough.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

8th in 2008

i didn't realize i was having the seven-year itch until it ended on october 28, 2008.

in fact, i didn't even realize the day was significant until husband told me the reason he came home that day from manila was in honor of our wedding anniversary. our 8th! in 2008!

when i say our marriage is a work in progress, i mean it literally. it IS work. But there is progress.

i am proud of us.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

cebu pacific, mahiya naman kayo sa sarili nyo

i am in manila but i should be in dumaguete. i am so angry at cebu pacific that i am frothing in the mouth. but i can't write a post looking like a werewolf because i am in an internet cafe in makati near my sister's place, a cafe teeming with call center agents with nice skin and shiny (rebonded ) hair. zamboanga girl has standards.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the gall of a proud mother

what isidro floreta has going for him, in terms of this blog, is that he is a great, great artist.

what anna dulcinea delgado has going for her, in terms of this blog, is that she is my daughter.

so if i do an entry on her paintings right after i do an entry on floreta, the virtual equivalent of hanging her art alongside floreta's, who's to tell me no? this is my blog.

the four on the upper shelves in an arc are hers. when this picture was taken, they were still wet. i had left her with her lola that day, armed with pots of watercolor, two dozen scratch papers, and cheap-o brushes (Ps 45/set from golden bell). these four, she said, were her best. the two on the lower shelves are someone else's. you can guess all you want, i am not telling.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I need 15k to get one of these

around five years ago, my former boss made me design, yet again, the university's official christmas card. the official card is what gets sent by office heads to the school's friends, aka sponsors.

in christmases prior to that year, the school had some stude
nt or other make a line drawing of, invariably, the belen (pinoy for nativity scene). my former boss was partial to belens. it had to be a line drawing because we just risographed the cards. yes, that's right, risographed. the donor who gave the school seven used office folders and the donor who gave seven million pesos both got a risographed christmas card, ink streaks and all. you would have to agree that it was a very democratic system.

(about the used folders, someone really d
id this, promise. i know because aside from designing cards, my former work entailed keeping records of donations. but the folders were made in USA, so maybe the donor felt they were of greater value than brand new pinoy-made office supplies.)

so that card of five years ago prompted the dawn of the post-line drawing movement in christmas cards in ateneo de zamboanga university. i cannot recall anymore what the choices were, if there were any, but we decided on using isidro floreta's painting of Our Lady o
f Fort Pilar as cover design.

maybe we thought of it because that painting loomed over us in the president's office. it was among the first few in the university's growing collection of art by local artists. by the time that we used if for the card, it must have been with the school for five years or so. but i am not too sure about this.

that painting is now part of floreta's on-going solo exhibit at Ateneo's Gallery of the Peninsula and Archipelago (GPA), Level Eye. The new paintings are predominantly zamboanga-themed, done in sepia. There is a series of watercolors of a bird house

this birdhouse could be set anywhere in the world, but other than that, the paintings were zamboanga: city hall

and, uh, erbie fabian

don't look at me, i don't know what this is all about either.

there was one on fort pilar but the picture i have, in my opinion, does not do the painting justice, so you'll just have to do without.

on display were the paintings floreta donated to Ateneo, including the one used for that pioneering card, but everytime i click add image, nothing happens. so maybe blogger limits the number of photos i can upload. i don't know. i wish i could add two more photos, one of a girl who looks so sweet and innocent and another of an old woman which reminds me of an old masters painting. not that i know a lot about that but just take my word for it. or not.

the photos were taken and generously shared with me by eunice kanindot of the fabulous GPA. tricia, the other hero of the gallery, wasn't there when i visited, unfortunately. we always end up talking not just about the art on exhibit but about other things just as juicy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

recycling the junk

the laptop got reformatted yesterday.

a week with the hand-me-down laptop made me realize why my sister decided to hand it down to me. it sucked. sony vaio issupposed to be good -- though this particular model got less than stellar reviews in all the review sites that matter (naks).

my requirements from these things are stupidly simple. take the cellphone. if it can call and text, i am happy. if this laptap had the applications i needed to carry out my chores (word, powerpoint, excel), an internet browser (mozilla firefox please), and enough storage space for a pack rat's digital documents, then i will be content.

i am a very low maintenance digital chick.

but this laptop, as i have already said before but take pleasure in saying it again, sucked. small windows kept popping up with every other keyboard tap telling me that there was no windows disk inserted, that ofoto something could not be found, that i needed to buy a new pair of stacked- heel sandals, beige, size 8.

it crawled instead of ran. frequently, it chose to stand still.

these peculiarities manifest itself with gusto after i use the husband's flash disk or the cd drive.

at my wit's end (a pretty long journey, if you ask me), i sought the help of the family's tech guru, frederick de leon. you would bring your laptop to frederick too, if you were lucky enough to be his friend. this is how he said it: "yen, if this were mine, i'd reformat it" then proceeded to tell me the risks that entailed - which were minimal, in his opinion. didn't i tell you he was smart? he knows how to present stuff.

and now, the laptop, it's good as new.

it's still heavy. chopping, not reformatting, could be the solution to that.

i am so happy that i will do a shameless plug. kiko has a business renting his computer projector (for weddings, birthdays, convention, etc.). his number is (0906) 205-3009.

Friday, October 24, 2008

waiting in vain

i will be in dumaguete on november 2 to 6 for a seminar at silliman university. i have passed by this place many times, to and from zamboanga by boat, but never to stay for longer than a few hours stopover.

i have heard many things about their boulevard, always in comparison to our cawa-cawa on r.t. lim boulevard. how ours is so dirty in comparison. do you ever notice how zamboanga's anything seems to be always dirtier than other city's? just recently, i heard someone declare pagadian's bus terminal is better than ours. and should i talk about our main public market? maybe not. that feels like a rant fit for a blog entry of its own. or even seven million entries.

my workshop starts on the 3rd yet but because of our domestic flight schedules, designed with the sole purpose of vexing travelers, i have to be there on the 2nd. i go zamboanga-manila-dumaguete because cebu pacific does not see a need to maintain direct flights between cebu and dumaguete. i have five hours to kill at the manila airport (i arrive around 9 and the plane for dumaguete leaves at almost 3). can anyone suggest anything i can do during that time that does not involve leaving the airport? my sense of time and direction dissipates in manila. has a lot to the with the traffic, i'm sure. so i'd really prefer to stay at the airport, or, if i have to leave the terminal, then only go somewhere that is a walk away. I wonder if there are internet cafes at the airport? i have a laptop now, yes, but it's seven million kilos and i have not yet bought the thingy that will wifi enable it. this laptop is new to me, but in the greater scheme of things, it's old.

i could read, i have a lot of books on reserve for this sem break, entry on that coming up, but i have to make allowances for my epically short attention span. i need to prepare roughly three categories of diversion.

reading is a given. an internet would be good, if there are internet places around. a third cannot be eating because i am the kind of person who sees eating not as a stand-alone activity, but rather one always done in conjunction with another activity. (meals at home? they're time to re-connect with the rest of the family. it's only incidental that we eat at the same time, to me at least, because to my husband, the opposite is true. i know he thinks i talk too much at the table but he doesn't say it to spare my feelings -- and spare himself from a drama.) so i can do the eating while reading, or while surfing the net. maybe i should just bring the HEAVY laptop and watch movies.

or prepare next sem's syllabus. NOT.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


the laptop's here. it's a sony vaio. an old model but who's complaining? not i, lord.

it's a hand-me-down from my younger sister girlie. she's got loads of money and buys only branded. so, lucky me.

my tech guru of a friend sherwin columbres installed adobe indesign, photoshop, and illustrator, as well as adobe premiere and audition. Yey! for some weird reason, my sister used microsoft works, so i had microsoft office installed.

little sister also had about a dozen photo editing/managing programs installed. i wonder what that was all about. needless to say, i zapped 95% of them this morning.

my problem is that i need to get a pc card to get wireless internet connection. sherwin says that'll cost me 900 to 1,000 pesos. he said i should go to pctopia on nuñez (at the back of ateneo) instead of octagon or elsewhere because its cheaper there.

i'm lucky to have a sister who gives me her old computers. maybe a couple years -- hopefully less -- down the line, i'll upgrade to what she is mangling now, an imac. i know, i'm pathetic.

and lucky also to have someone patient and smart like sherwin to help me sort out this new old junk. if, one of these days, sherwin finally yells at me after i ask him one of my stupid questions, i would laugh and ask him what took him so long.

busy bee on camins

our new helper has terrible kitchen skills. terrible. one time we came home hungry to a dinner of pork chops floating in gray-green water alongside exactly fifteen pieces of monggo beans, another time to a dish of brown pebbles that turned out to be pork adobo.

so husband and i, for our patience and fortitude during these early stages of a reign of terror in our tiny kitchen, rewarded ourselves with saturday lunch at busy bee on camins.

to have a helper who cooks like mamu montaño does would be the ultimate luxury. we had a meal that made up and more for two weeks worth of mutant dishes. we had pork sinigang, pork patatim, bamboo shoots with gata, and ampalaya salad. everything tasted just as it should. the sinigang was malapot, courtesy of violet gabi (not ube!). the guilt of finishing the papatim was assuaged by the crunchy ampalaya in a sugar-vinegar dressing. i had a slight problem with the dabong (bamboo shoots). they were a bit bitter and tough, but tolerable.

i've been going to busy bee since high school. fate decided to make my life harder by hoisting one of mamu's daughters on me. if you know marsha, you'd know what i mean. but it has always been for the arroz caldo (they claim that it is the best in town and i have not heard nor tasted a true counter claim). their fresh lumpia is popular too but i am not a big fan of fresh lumpia so my opinion on this is only slightly better than worthless.

their lunches i discovered only fairly recently. marsha is not big on libre, you see. but now that i know their meals, i am hooked. i am addicted. their prices are not cheap. in fact, your bill can be shocking especially if you consider that the line-up was all lutong bahay. but you have to sort of experience a meal there to understand the price. the place is shabby and tries valiantly to be chic. it's warm because the ceiling is low and the windows are narrow and screened to boot. it is tiny: 6 tables and 19 chairs fighting for survival in a space roughly 5 by 2.5 meters. the floor is rickety. but it's clean, the owners are warm, the plates are thick and elegant stoneware/ironware ceramics (no plastic plates nor duralex in this carenderia!), there is presentation: the ampalaya salad rested on a cabbage leaf cradled in a small white bowl with straight sides, and the food, as i said, is excellent.

if it weren't, there would not be people waiting by the counter during lunch break for a table to be vacated. marsha, bless her soul, deigned to have pity on a "friend" and advised me to go either at 11am or at 1pm or risk eating in unpeace.

we finished lunch - clean plates! - and sat quiet for a while, contemplating our luck at scoring such a lunch while our children at home suffered through another burnt-rice and bizarre dish combo meal.

if we're keeping cheche (as we hope to) , busy bee just might turn out to become a tradition.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


i googled zamboanga girl this morning. i know, its a vain habit i should not admit to because it is supposed to be uncool, but hello, i also look myself in the mirror EACH AND EVERY TIME there is a mirror or any reflective surface in which i can check myself out, including my cellphone's pathetically gunky ersatz chrome cover. i have no issues with my vanity. i've come to grips with it when i was still in pre-school, standing in front of the clothes drawer, choosing a shirt to go with my brown shorts and the upcoming activity -- running around downstairs, what else, because the dark blue sando i had on just would not do.

this blog is sixth and seventh (don't ask me why there are two entries. i don't know these things). the fifth was about a zamboanga girl who was raped. the eight was about another zamboanga girl who was raped.

this is bad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

his shallow mom

mother: i am eagerly awaiting the next balikbayan box because something very, very important to me is in it. three guesses.

son: magazines.

mother: no.

son: shoes.

mother: no.

son: laptop.


you have to check out Splat

the best news magazine online is Splat so you have to check it out.

reason #1: the force behind it is an all-woman crew of brave and talented college sophomores who, collectively, have an online publishing experience of...zero.

reason #2: it's called Splat. who but the most creative, most fearless, most innovative journalists, budding or otherwise, would call their publication Splat?

reason #3: the stories in the maiden issue.

you can read about it in the Ateneo website and in Zamboanga Today (thank you frencie carreon. and thanks to whoever posted it online for you. he/she must love us so much he/she posted it thrice). It was also in yesterday's Daily Zamboanga Times paper edition (thank you sir roy). and thanks david santos for bringing your abs-cbn crew to cover the launch. i am sure the enormity of what they were doing hit the students hard when they saw your team come in the door.

thanks a gazillion to the many people who supported the class. the Splat people will pounce on me for using a cliche but what the h, i am their teacher, so i will say it anyway: you know who you are.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

when i grow up

our last class for the semester ended up becoming a session on aspirations.

here's fervently hoping they will all realize their dreams:

the entrepreneurs:
christine querubin - owner of a graphic design boutique
francel de leon - owner of multimedia services group
jobee barredo - glossy magazine magnate and first filipino international author
jenica lim - owner of an international advertising agency

the politicos:
josh aguilo - senator of the republic of the philippines
karen barba - ambassador of the philippines to france

the journalist:
rianne miranda - correspondent for an international wire agency

the novelist:
maila madrigalejo - a bestselling author

the PR mavens:
lala santiago - but she wants to be a stewardess first

i have to go ask hazel reyes which of the many things she mentioned she would really like to be. she was pretty definite about her choices.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

child wonders

being the good mother that i want to be, i thought long and hard about weekend self-improvement classes for jana and rashdi.

jana can do either piano or singing. husband insists the six year old can sing. piano is a bit iffy because we do not have a piano at home, after all. ballet would do her physical gracelessness
some good too. rashdi can resume the judo lessons he lost interest in when he was grade six. or, as my sister girlie, whose funds are on the line for these lessons, suggests, he can start taekwondo.

after the thinking is the asking around. frustratingly but unsurprisingly, no one knows of any weekend classes of the kind i am thinking of here in Zamboanga.

don't even start looking for cooking, painting, pottery-making, crocheting, macrame-ing classes.

i had grade school and high school classmates who went to Zamsulu Marketing on Veterans Avenue on weekend for classes on piano and drums and guitar. now zamsulu is no more. in its place is a tile center. never mind if kids in zamboanga are talent-less, at least they bathe in stylish tiles.

Many schools, Ateneo included, do offer such lessons, but only during the summer. let a professional teach you how to sing during summer, practice it in your karaoke the rest of the year. or better yet, just forget about it. no wonder no child wonder ever came out of zamboanga. i bet mozart practiced on the piano more than two months in a year.

not to say that my kids aren't child wonders because they are. oh yes, they are.

a milestone for this blog

today i added my shelfari widget to this blog. that's one giant step for Zamboanga Girl, one tiny step the rest of the online world took maybe ten years ago.

for those who breath books, shelfari's for you.

now, if i can only figure how to get a flickr widget, i can go home for the day. to contemplate whether or no i should link my 43things here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


a dinosaur with spines down its back is "tunoksaurus". one with a swelling at the top of its head, "bukolsaurus". a blue one with impossibly spindly tail and neck i baptized "niwangsaurus". the red one is now "pulasaurus". the other one i conveniently called a "coronasaurus", even though, strictly speaking, the feature from which the name was culled is more like queen elizabeth's neck ruffles than a tiara of any kind. the other one was a no-brainer, everybody knows a tyranosaurus when they see one.

five years from now, if we're both lucky, diego will stop believing everything i say.

Angel Mila

to her, the best time to text us we're out of milk is when baby is drinking the last bottle made with powder scraped off the bottom of the can and five o'clock is still five hours away. and the best time to tell us we're out of diapers is after the baby wet half a dozen of his kuya's briefs, two bedsheets, and seven hundred quilts.

she broke three quarters of my best - and only - set of drinking glasses. she was complicit in the destruction of three of diego's shoes. she taught the baby to shriek "mumu!" at the sight of the acacia tree at night. she told my daughter she was dark and curly, beauty concepts jana is allergic to. jana regularly asks her why she is fat when she is not yet married. rashdi regularly asks her where she placed his things this time. she has no respect for the dewey decimal system i imposed on our tiny-tiny collection of books. neither will she deign to acknowledge the subtle distinctions between megabocks and lego, wantonly shoving members of both sets into the tattered and swollen winnie the pooh bag.

to create the pristine work table that my heart desires, she sweeps everything into the gaping mouth of an already crammed drawer.

she deliberately peels off the top layers of her skin with caustic chemicals and is thus useless for monitoring kids at the beach. she has a knack for picking out, amidst a pile of mostly 100% cotton, the shirt with the most number of synthetic fiber for my babies to wear on a hot sunday afternoon. she wears pajama-like pants the whole day, despite my mother's loud protestations.

the hole in our otherwise pristine bedroom window screen was deviced by husband in his efforts to retrieve the keys she saw fit to lend to the baby. credit for the two big holes on the bathroom door however goes only to her. what else could she do, she shyly asks, but hack the plyboard to pieces because the knobs wouldn't work and baby was quite vocal in letting the entire neighborhood know he was done taking a bath?

four years of taking care of her who took great care of my babies. now i have to let her go because she's having a baby of her own. yaya mila, we miss you so.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the other blogs: Sunday, February 05, 2006

dead hair rashdi: ouch! what was that all about!?
mama: that dead hair was sticking out.
rashdi: THAT didn't feel like dead hair!!!

From the other blogs: Sunday, October 09, 2005

ending perfectly good emails with "forward this to ten people you care for the most and you will be rewarded with the luckiest day you ever had tomorrow".

about four of the ten people i love the most do not have email.

From the other blogs: Monday, October 03, 2005

aristhemedes lamarck d.c. cruz. grade 3. why burden a child with this name? i grew up fighting "monabelle". my feelings of intense hate for my name has not gone away. maybe a little diminished. but there still and very strong.
when i first went to school as a tag-along to my way-too-mature-for-her-age older sister maita, i did not know that my name was the letters M,O,N,A,B,E,L,L and E i wrote on the first line of my pad paper in school. when asked, i always say my name was yenyen. it was not even my official nickname of moonyeen, a derivation of my legal first name, but simply yenyen, invented by lisping siblings who couldn't pronounce the fancy red-indianish moonyeen. during that first year in school, i, auguring of things to come, got bored with the normal and decided to put a bar connecting the two "l"s. and when the teacher, mrs. odilao, asked who her new student named Monabehe was, i only vaguely thought that it was probably me she was referring to and that i shouldn't have tampered with the symbols because they apparently stand for something to others.

when i was old enough to do so, i remember questioning my mother and father about their judgement in choosing a label for me. instead of feeling special in being the only child among seven to be so blessed as to be baptized with the cleverest combination of their names, ramon and annabella, i felt like the singled out ugly duckling, so hated and unloved that i was condemned to a life lived with the eternal burden a terrible name.

i hated being introduced to others. i blame my name now for my shyness and underachiving in high school and college. monabelle did not match my idea of who i was. in my mind, i was this vibrant, cool and intelligent chick, everything opposite what "monabelle" called to mind.

it has been over a decade since i have been introduced to others as monabelle. in a previous career, my official byline was yenyen. and it has been yenyen since then. my email, my calling card, everything almost except my ATM card.

googling monabelle will produce an old lady in ohio and a gift shop in UK and the most wonderful of all, the one which might make me love my name finally, is this theory that leonardo da vinci painted monabelle, not monalisa.
i am grateful to the kabalarians for putting into words the effect my name had, is having on my life.

Although the name Monabelle creates executive ambitions, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the reproductive organs, heart, lungs and bronchial area.

The name of
Monabelle has made you rather reserved and, at times, secretive about your personal affairs. As a result, people find it difficult to understand you and you suffer through loneliness. You are interested in understanding life along scientific, religious, and philosophical lines. Also, you derive much enjoyment from reading and from being out in nature. At times, you find it easier to express your thoughts in writing, rather than verbally. You are astute regarding the value of money, have good business judgment, and can drive a hard bargain if such is required. This name has not allowed you to express fully the softer, more spontaneous qualities of your nature because of its practical business attributes.

From the other blogs: Thursday,, September 29, 2005

at 3:24 each afternoon, unless i get lucky, i have to stop being idle at the office and start working for my family. i briskly walk the 150 meters to my daughter's kindergarten school, evading the pricking afternoon sun. then i wait with other mothers, fathers, yayas, lolas and others to whom the task of bringing snotty kids home is assigned. surprisingly, however, i look forward to doing it. seeing jana's happy face emerge from her classroom is unexplainable bliss. seeing the face light up when she sees her mother waiting for her is even more than that. the happiness of motherhood for me is condensed into the smile of each of my three children when they see me, after having been absent from their lives for a week, or, in the case of playing peekaboo with diego these days, after 3 seconds.

jana's face would shoot sunshine and her feet would skip, not walk, when she sees me by the gates. then she would run shouting "mama ko yan!". this week, this routine was even made more special two times. on tuesday, she came out of her room, holding on to teacher jessica's hands, with her pink lunchbag unzipped and worn as a hat, with a pink dot stamped one each on her forehead, cheeks and on her nose, right between her eyes. removing the lunchbag did not help but only revealed the sorriest attempt at a bo derek cornrows 'do. i sent her to school the following day wearing a conservative headband pushing all hair off her face. taking after her nomal-is-boring parents, she refashioned it during class into something a flower power girl from the 60s would be proud to wear to woodstock, the band worn horizontally across her head, covering her eyebrows, and her fine , wavy hair falling in an unkempt fashion to her back.

dresses do not escape her fashion experimentation. last night she tried on five party dresses to wear to yaya mila's ice cream eating session. party at the drop of a hat indeed. i never study my outfit the way she does. she looks at all angles the way i should but, as i said not very long time ago, never do. she sways and shimmies in front of the mirror. she smiles. she covers all angles. she did not get this from me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Exactly two years

following the guidelines of an agreement with myself, i have just posted an entry from one of my old blogs (may they realize they will soon rest in peace).

its a post written by an obviously excited me, jumping up and down at the thought of leaving for the states in a year's time.

a conversation between the me now and the me then would probably go like this:

me now: hello! what are you doing here? 2008's almost up and you're nowhere near stamford.

me then: so?

me now: so you still live a hand to mouth existence.

me then: i have my vogue...

me now: there is that.

From the other blogs: Monday, September 26, 2005 #2

the great delgado migration to the states will take place november 2006 or thereabouts. a year later than hoped. i have been going on and on about how terrible it is to subject myself and my family to this limbo of being not really here anymore in zamboanga but neither being really in stamford yet.

ate evelyn, my cousin's wife who is our agent, said that maita and i will be flying out late october, early november of this year, but not outside the country but only to manila for a video conference interview with the stamford hospital system, together with their other applicants. maita insists that our absolutely no-fail method of acing tests (interviews included) will shoot us to the top 2 positions. like our dad, if only 50% will be accepted, we'll belong to the upper 50% percentile. if only 20%, then we'd be there too. if only 1%, that would be the two of us.

once they think we're cute, they'll give us a written job offer, which, if we will sign, will catalyze the petition process with the US Immigration Services. a process which takes 9 to 12 months. thus the november 2006 leaving date.

which brings me back to the question, should i or should i not accept the offer to be chair of the mass communications department?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From the other blogs: Monday, September 26, 2005

status report

jana the non-stop-in-the-car talker: "two ang name ni kuya, rashdi ramon. two ang name pud ni papa."
papa the cool and stoic driver: "no. papa only has one name."
jana tnsitc talker: "no. lola said two ang name ni papa: ariel, papa."


mama: it looks like you will stay in ferndale one more year. we will have another jacket made for you.
rashdi: no! i want to graduate in ateneo!
mama: huh?
rashdi: i am bored with having no internet in ferndale. you have to pay Ps 20 to use the computers there after classes.
mama: if we hooked up at home, would you stay at ferndale?
rashdi: yeeeeeeeessssssss...


tufty hair: neh!
mama and papa: you want bread and peanut butter baby?
tufty hair with two giant upper front teeth: NEH!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Consolidation is so exciting

this is my fourth attempt at blogging. i so want this to be the last and the only.

so, starting tomorrow, i am going to upload one entry a day from my three other blogs into here.

it will take a lot to stay true to my self-imposed one-old-entry-a-day rule but i will really, really give it my bestest because i feel my old blogs petered out because of poor self-discipline. there. i said it. i have poor self-discipline.

then i am going to link my multiply, my shelfari, my flickr, and my 43things accounts here. i will be ONE!

i will not be linking my friendster -- because i do not have one!

Because to me it's torture to endure

i hate the morning sun.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What in heaven's name is bondadoso?

Two taps on the forehead with his extended forefinger. Then two thumps on the sternum. This was followed by a pointing in the general direction of his left shoulder. This is my three-year-old Diego's version of the signing of the cross.

We went to the ten o'clock mass in Sta. Maria for a change. Change here being an ambitious word, considering that the pattern is only worth three weeks.

I like the early masses better because there are less babies. Diego, to his credit, was very poised, but it's cruel to expect kids to maintain social grace for more than an hour. To outwit a meltdown, we marched him to the altar for holy communion, came down to give an apologetic and rapid thanksgiving, then exited to the playground outside the side door. We humbly received the final blessing seated in the metal swing.

There are more big people in the ten o'clock too. And the organist was late. i recognized the singer from college. He used to be a seminarian. Bong something. He gave a high school friend The Count of Monte Cristo. Seminarians were popular with girls when I was in high school and college. He was seated near the organist (but sang a capella for the first thirty minutes, see reason above) and throughout the course of the mass, he stoically sang despite the regular visits three little kids paid him. His presumably. An ex-seminarian with three kids. Now you know not to trust a priest-wannabe who gifts you with The Count of Monte Cristo. If he'd gifted me with Calvin and Hobbes, I'd have married him myself. But I wasn't the kind of girl seminarians liked. In college, I thought one of them had the hots for me. I found out later he only desired one thing from my person -- answers to our zoology lecture final exam. To be given to him on a newsprint platter DURING the exam.

i liked that the classics-gifting ex-seminarian father of three chose to sing familiar songs. my mother and i share a dislike for masses where the choir monopolizes heaven's attention. i propose that heaven is pleased by earnestness, not quality singing. and that Jesus and all the saints like people to talk directly to them, not through a choir.

I saw a child with a red baloon in church. Going home, we saw a baloon vendor amongs the kakanin stalls across the road from the church grounds. Go for the puto sold in one of middle stalls. It's the one with five putos to a pack sold for PHP 20. It's bigger than the usual ones, less white, and very hot when we bought it. The smaller putos of PHP 10 per pack, the ones with flat, rather than erupted, tops taste like dry and cold clumpy rice.

In his homily, the priest gave a quite accessible explanation of the difference between being just and being generous and why you need to be both. He talked mostly in chavacano, using some never-heard of words. now i need to look up bondadoso.