Tuesday, June 27, 2006

sunday revelations

for more than week, my 11-year old daughter arianna was eagerly awaiting the showing of the disney movie "high school musicale". she even made sure that we did not have any family activity planned that sunday night so she will not miss it on tv.

i overheard my husband ask her "why, what's that movie all about?"
and she said "it's about this athlete boy and this intellectual girl and how they audition for the school musicale."
i but in, "i bet it's a love story."
she smiles excitedly, "yes."
to that, i see my husband shake his head,
and could hear his mental "tsk...tsk...oh no..."

i watched the movie with her and watched her watch it giddy with excitement. it was the usual boy meets girl teenage movie. wholesome and exciting in a puppylove sort of way. my 4 year-old son roque was also in the room, watching and playing at the same time. i didn't think he was paying attention to the movie, until it came to the part when the boy waits to meet the girl in his special hideaway place.
i was tucking in roque then, when he mutters a matter of factly, "that boy's in love."
i could not believe my ears, "what did you say?"
he repeats emphatically, "I SAID, that boy is IN LOVE!"
"how do you know?"
he says, "mom, there's the girl, you know!"
as he exasperatedly covers his face with his blanket,
i could hear his mental "duh, mom!!"

boy oh boy, what revelations i got that night. first, that arianna is slowly getting into that interesting stage. and second, that roque seems to understand something about that stage already.

and third, i don't think i'm quite ready for that yet.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

doing ok

a month ago, i received a text message from my friend anna, inviting me to a fundraising event for pilar, her good friend and someone i knew from my college days. she has colon cancer, stage III. she was our age, happily married and had three young children. i called anna to verify and ask how pilar was. she said pilar was "doing ok" after her surgery and several cycles of chemotherapy.
what is "doing ok"? the term is relative. it may mean that one has accepted the situation, is resigned to it. or it may mean that one is merely physically getting by. it may also mean that one is expectedly just a little bit depressed but not severely so to the brink of insanity.
the hair-raising story was that almost a year ago, they had another friend who was diagnosed to have malignant melanoma. it was pilar who was adamant at helping out their friend by organizing a fundraising event for her. she even said then, "she really needs our support and we'll never know it might happen to any of us." and yes, as if she had some premonition, it happened to her.
we were not close to pilar at all. we were not even sure whether she still remembers us or not. but my husband and i went to the fundraising event just the same. it turned out to be a party. there was a live band and the place was packed. it was a gathering of people we knew from way back when whom we have not seen for ages. it was fun catching up on each other. and there was pilar of course. she looked good. really good. radiant. strong. obviously overwhelmed with everything that night. there was an honoring of sorts. a lot of hugging and kissing. more than the money which was raised, it was the emotional, psychological, and spiritual upliftment which made this event worthwhile. being there meant offering a gift of hope and strength. being there allowed us to experience the hope and strength of pilar. the money became secondary, maybe even incidental. people were clearly having a good time. and so was pilar.
as we bid her goodbye that night, she was surprised to see us there. yes, she remembered us after a split-second of thinking back through twenty years. i whisper "we'll pray for you." and she says with all sincerity, "thanks so much. i really just lift it all up to Him."
i know it is possible. "doing ok" also means one is truly alright, uplifted emotionally despite the situation, by drawing strength from the support and love of people around. filled spiritually by the promise of salvation.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

crater lake








Crater Lake, Mount Pinatubo

Saturday, June 17, 2006

hidden mickeys

had a blast with the kids spotting the hidden mickeys.
can you spot all 11 of them?

Lantau Island, HK

Friday, June 09, 2006

bye old trusty

i kinda got a kick out of not being totally reached by cellphone. with my old trusty cellphone, i could text. and i could receive text. but i could not get calls. i could not hear who was calling me. and that lasted for a hilarious two months.

for some warped reason, i was not bothered by it. in fact, i loved the flexibility and the liberty it provided me. sort of like having a perfect reason not to talk to someone you don't really feel like talking to. but without feeling guilty. or not giving in to the usual urge of calling someone for something not really that important or urgent. fine! fine! i admit there were times it got frustrating when i really had to make a call and i couldn't. and i imagine it was just as bad for those who tried to reach me. well, well, despite that, it was still pretty much a liberating experience. and it was fun in a twisted sort of way while it lasted.

my birthday was coming up in 3 weeks and i thought it would be good time to replace my 5-year old trusty. but my husband was probably as frustrated as the rest and couldn't wait a day longer. so yes! last night, he surprised me with a new one. he knew i wanted a very simple cellphone. no camera with it. no infrared. no internet access. no other fancy accessories or applications. in short, something that can text and call, and receive texts and calls. and that's exactly what he got for me. i'm happy with it for many reasons.

it's so light and small and compact. it's no-nonsense and sturdy. its touchpads are nice and soft to my fingertips. it even doubles as a flashlight as a bonus feature which is quite useful. and guess what? it's even burglar-proof. it's too cheap for anyone to want to steal it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

the way to the top

Exerpt from Butch Jimenez, Jr's Commencement Address
at the Silliman University 2006

You may ask, "How may I serve the country?" One way is actually quite simple. I will give it to you in one word. If you are great, if you are smart, if you are the best, then, please STAY. Just stay in the country. You would have actually done a great service to our country just by staying.

But if you can't stay, or don't want to stay, that's fine. If you want to make it out there in the world, that's a-ok with me. But I want to ask two things of you.

First, go out there and show the whole world how great the FIlipino is. No matter what field you are in, prove to the world how special we Filipinos truly are.

Second, don't just plan to COME back. Plan to GIVE back to your country. If you do that, if every Filipino out there in the world -- and there are millions of us already -- proves to everybody how great the Filipino is, and not only plans to come back, but actually plans to give back to this country, then in less than one generation, we will be an even greater nation.

I will end with what I told the UP students in 2003. You must be asking yourselves, "How do I reach my dreams?" or "How far can I go?" I told them this. In the last 42 years of my life, I have realized one thing: "There is no destination beyond the reach of those who walk with God."

So when you go out there in the world, take God's hand and walk with Him. Because when you do, whatever destination it is you are hoping to reach, if God walks with you and takes you through, there will be no destination beyond your reach.

To the graduating class of 2006, I will meet you at the top, and nowhere else!

Monday, June 05, 2006

from this day on, hopefully

finally, finally, finally! i mustered enough will power to go back to gym. last time i set foot there was when i crammed my training for our mount kinabalu climb. that was exactly one year and one month ago. i have been wanting to go back but there have been just so many reasons not to. excuses, i mean. too hectic a schedule in the mornings. too early to leave the house. too much hospital work to do. too many patients to round.

i actually did not pre-plan to go back to gym today. i did not even have my gym bag ready the night before. but as soon as i woke up, i just felt the urge to do so. it was pretty weird. i headed straight to the bathroom for my morning ritual and changed not to hospital work clothes but gym clothes! my husband was still half asleep, and didn't even notice i did. otherwise, he would have wondered if he woke up on a wednesday (my semi-off personal day) instead of busy, busy monday. i felt proud of myself. i figured half the battle was won after getting dressed and being on my way to the gym.

i was late for the 7:30 am step/hi-lo class. my classmates were 15 minutes into the session already and building up speed. i decided not to join them. i felt i needed practice after being away for so long. i'd probably get my legs entangled trying to catch up with the then fast-paced routine, and worse, fall flat on my face. i decided to get on the rowing machine and people-watch as i sweated it out. the former 80's ramp model, some young working girls, a few fulltime housewives living charmed lives, a couple of matrons in body-hugging garb... those were my former classmates. it was incredible to watch the same people, directed by still the same teacher, sieg, and still aerobicizing religiously with gusto to the same music. talk about staying power. i gotta hand it to them all!

one of them approached me wide-eyed, astonished,
"doktora, wow, you're back!"

i smiled back at her, "oo nga, finally."
"what happened to you?" she asked.
and just to see her eyes widen all the more, i was tempted to retort,
"nanganak lang naman ako."
and then silently to myself, "mwa-ha-ha!!"

it was fun today. i almost forgot just how an early morning gym workout energized me before starting my work day. giving me an extra oomph, and bounce in my stride as i walked to the hospital from the gym. hopefully, tomorrow again. and the next day after that. and the next...