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

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.