Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shake yer groove thing

Dancing king

What can I say? It was a really great wedding. Miguel dutifully fulfilled his role as ringbearer, and at the reception afterward, he finally learned to dance.

No thanks to me, that is.

The minute I left the dance floor, he took on the 2 flower girls, who were much better dancers - and not to mention, teachers. He started copying their moves, and by the time I got back, Miguel was dancing with everybody else!

Dancing king

The drinks were flowing, the music was great, and all our loved ones were present. My cousin Lina (a.k.a. "disco queen") admitted that her entire table was tipsy even before dinner began. Me? I didn't need a single drink to get me on the floor. I didn't even care that I couldn't dance to save myself.

Good thing that I had a more-than-willing dance partner :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Zzz Day

Last night Miguel went to sleep on his own.

Big deal, you might say. But for me it really is a big deal. I'm looking to move him into his new room by the end of the year at the latest. My sister's old room is almost empty now, thanks to my brother's housecleaning due to the upcoming wedding.

But I digress.

Last night I came home from work just as he was trying to sleep. After a kiss and a hug, he asked me if I would read him a story before having my dinner. I agreed, on the condition that he go to sleep after one chapter (we're reading book 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia now).

At the end of the chapter, I called the nanny to keep him company in the room, but he said, "Why don't I go to sleep on my own?" The suggestion made me do cartwheels in my mind. Acting very calmly, I tucked him into bed, turned out the light, left the door half-open as he requested, and went downstairs to have dinner.

Ten minutes later as I'm eating my fish and veggies I hear tiny footsteps on the second floor landing and a sweet voice: "Mom-my!" Getting up from my meal to meet him, Miguel tells me that it's too dark in the room. Take two. I go back to the bedroom, turn on a lamp, tuck him in, close the door, and go back to my meal.

After another ten mintues I pass through Miguel's future room, into our connecting bathroom. I can hear him playing in my bedroom. He hears me puttering around the bathroom and opens the door, quickly shutting it the moment he sees me. I decide to go check him out. He is lying on my bed, saying that it's too bright and that he can't sleep. I decide to turn off the lamp and turn on an insect-trapping lamp that's dim enough to serve as a night light. He asks if he can sleep on my bed, and I say sure. I tuck him in a third time.

Five minutes later, as I'm about to take a bath, I hear only silence in my room. Finally.

After my bath I enter my room to see a cute bundle on my bed, surrounded by pillows. I smile. I'm gonna miss it when he's in his own room, but I'm thrilled at the thought of his independence. One day he's not even gonna want to hang around me. Well hope not. I enjoy being on his pedestal, and I kinda hope it'll last forever.

I decide to wait a few minutes before I move him to his own bed.

Won't be long now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hereeeeee's Cable

Two Saturdays ago I told Miguel everything I had learned about Venom - that he was a symbiote (a fancy word for "parasite"), that he was an alien, and that he had possessed Spiderman at one time. Guess what? He got scared. He didn't want to hear any more about Venom and insisted that he be Cable instead.

So four days before the office Halloween party I pushed the panic button and made plans for a quick Cable costume. Helloooo glue gun.

To those not in the know, Cable has a robotic left arm. I was supposed to paint some cables on a stocking for Miguel's arm, but since he didn't want me to paint his gun as well, we decided to forego the silver parts. As for the platinum white hair, he didn't want any powder in his hair. The scar on the face? Good grief, if I was gonna skip the silver arm and gun, why bother? It was getting to be too much for me to deal with.

Well I got a lot of good reviews for the costume. The good news is that a lot of people recognized that he was one of the X-men. The bad news is they all though that it was Cyclops. As in, "where's his visor?" Oh well. I can't have it all can I. Especially in four days' notice while I have to atend a shoot.

And did you know that Cable is the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey? See the family resemblance?

Next year he has to decide on his costume by September.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


My son wants to be Venom. At least for a day. This Halloween.

That's what you get from playing a lot of PS2. His favorite game is Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I know that it's a very old game, but he's acquired such a proficiency for it. And besides it was the only game we could play for the longest time when the left toggle button on both controllers were busted.

He's been deciding about his Halloween costume since last year - that's how excited he is about scaring people. And it seems to him that Venom's look would be the scariest.

So I've been checking up on Venom today, and this is what I've found:
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Of course the hardest part is recreating the face. I was ready to put my UP College of Fine Arts skills to the test. I warned Miguel that he would have to wear a mask to get the tongue right, but he said, "why not a hat?" I thought to myself, "Aw, shucks. So much for the papier mache."

Oh well. The whole circus is for the kids anyway so a hat it will be.

As for the body, I found a solution when I saw this image on the net:
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All right! So now I'm excited. With 2 weeks to go I'll have just enough time. I still haven't figured out the hat, but I'm sure Miguel and I could work something out.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My 2 favorite boys

The first picture was taken during Mike's birthday brunch; the second last Sunday after a trip to the arcade.

I can't resist taking a picture of the banana split. Miguel insists on sharing it with his tito.
He thinks that it's more fun to have a contest as to who can eat most of the bananas. Guess who won.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

I haven't signed my name in 6 years

My aunt needed a wedding gift and wanted to know if I had any paintings left over from my old series. Not wanting to turn her down, I suggested that I make her a new one.

So after 3 almost-sleepless nights (not consecutive, thank God!) I'm done and quite tired but happy that I'm painting.

Some compositions are a piece of cake, but this one was a bit more complicated than my previous one. I remember sitting there in the middle of the night thinking how I was gonna mix pink and green without getting things muddy and still convey volume. Pardon me, I can't help it. Sometimes I just miss the shop talk.

In the end, when I finally got the effect that I wanted, I got that "hey, I did it" feeling all over again. I remembered what I told myself every day I was in art school: "The more I know, the more I realize that I don't know." No, that wasn't a tongue-twister. Trust me it makes sense. And do forgive my rambling on; my brain has been reduced to slush after only 3 hours' sleep.

Mom saw me through the process - she of the late nights at the computer. At half past 5 she passed by my room to see how I was doing. I mentioned that I was hungry and she got me some hopia on a tissue because my hands were stained with paint and linseed oil. Now who else can you count on to give you hopia at 5 AM? I thank God every day for the mom that I have.

I told my mom that I was planning to sign my name on the back since the painting was relatively small. She disagreed. "Of course you should sign it," she said. It got me thinking. I'm sure that my aunt would want her friend to know that I had done it. And after all, I've signed and sold scores of paintings.

So I chose a spot and mixed my color. And that's when I realized - I hadn't signed my name in a painting for 6 years! My last show was in November 1999. After so many years, I'd forgotten why I kept such tiny, fine-haired brushes! I thought they were just for irises in tiny portraits, or for baby's breath stems. Gee, it's been a long time.

Do pardon me; I really am so tired. Just wanted to share the good news. In spite of the late nights, painting does make me happy. I just have to figure out a better way to do it. Maybe I should stick to a smaller sized canvas. Or just use pastels. Whatever. I'm glad.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kitchen insanity

Last Saturday I decided to cook for my family and friends. Just 2 dishes, since I really don't cook: our famous carbonara, and Lemon Chicken Caper, a recipe from my officemate.

Here's what I learned from the whole experience.

1. Women who can cook a delicious meal and still look good are goddesses.
How do they do it? I only had to cook 2 dishes, but I had help from my mom, my sis, and our kitchen helper. And don't forget other details like the salad, garlic bread, serving dishes, and ice.

2. Never cook a first-time dish for a big group.
It looks easy enough when you read the recipe - but it's a different story when you're doing it from beginning to end. First-time dishes are fine for a regular day, but you don't need the pressure when you have to entertain guests as well. Thank God that these people are all family to me.

3. Stick to the recipe.
Improvising is okay, but not for first-time recipes. Save the fine-tuning for later. No matter how much of a hurry you're in, resist the temptation to pour in the whole bottle of capers when the recipe calls for only 4 tablespoons. :D

4. Have mom in the kitchen.
Or someone like her, to build your confidence. Though she isn't a cook, my mom's always supportive, never puts anyone down and always helps out. I'm a lucky gal ain't I?

5. Taste the salad dressing first.
I just grabbed the first bottle I saw, assuming that it was the one my mom told me about. By the time I sat down to eat most of the guests had finished their salad - too late! My apologies to the unsuspecting victims, myself included.

6. Have at least one back-up.
One sure-fire dish that you didn't cook yourself. Grill Queen to the rescue!

7. Prepare post-meal snacks and/or activities.
Some love coffee; others like nuts. For us, Doritos and and Playstation 2 did the trick. Not to mention chocolate truffles (including take-home) for Gai.

But what I learned most was that my family loves me. Because my sister fussed over the carbonara. Because my mom stuck it out in the kitchen with me. Because nobody complained about the sub-standard salad dressing. (Fie Craving's Ceasar's salad dressing!) And because they ate everything that I served.

I didn't get a rave review that day but the fact that all that carbonara was wiped out the following day convinced me that it wasn't bad at all. In fact, it was quite good.

Well. Practice makes perfect. But I promise myself that I'll take up a cooking class someday. Fiiind.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Okay, so I was posting a new entry to this blog but then my officemate Mondo came in with a tray full of cold cuts and cheese - his birthday treat.

L-R: Lala a.k.a. Babes, Joaqui, Sonny a.k.a. Buboy, Ace a.k.a. H_ _ K _ E , the birthday boy, Bernice, and moi

Judith offered a bottle of cabernet suavignon and would you believe that after only 2 glasses (I mean, mugs) I already have a buzz. Suffice it to say that as far as I am concerned the workweek is done (at least until this happy-happy-joy-joy feeling wears off).

Long live MOnDo! Cheers!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The BWIs

I get together with my high school friends maybe six times a year. We used to be a bigger group, but as one after the other married or moved abroad, our group was whittled down to four.

We call ourselves the BWI, short for BWIset. In Tagalog, "bwiset" means to be ticked off. The meaning of those 3 letters changes according to our disposition. Various interpretations are: Beautiful Women In a Set, Bitchy Women In a Set, Bodacious Women In a Set. I forget the other meanings but they can get weird, depending on what we had for dinner.

My friends meet up a lot, but I don't always join them for various reasons. I know they don't always invite me out since I'm not always available, but it's no skin off me because I know that they're my friends.

Anyway, yesterday was Marmie's birthday so we had an impromptu night out. They're pretty much ladies of leisure, so they can easily meet up on a weekday afternoon at a moment's notice. So as my 3 girlfriends gorged on sinigang and crispy pata at Gerry's Grill, I rushed from Makati to meet them. When I finally joined them at Eastwood they were doing some late-night shopping. We all headed to Jack's Loft for dessert.

After salivating over the cake display, they made their orders while I dug into some pasta pomodoro, courtesy of Gai. The arrival of their chocolate and cheese cakes were greeted with the usual squeals of joy. But as they started eating the inevitable comments started coming in - the cake was too dry, there was too much gelatin in the cheesecake, yadda yadda yadda.

At the end of our meal (my first, their second) Gai remarked how we never learn; we just keep going back to Jack's Loft even if the food isn't good.

I couldn't help thinking about that. Habits die hard. But there is some comfort in things that don't change. Marmie hamming it up for the cam. Lisa dispersing her opinions on this and that. Gai bringing us up to speed on her lovelife. And always, always...the rest of us talking about anyone who isn't there. Beware the trips to the bathroom! :)

We wear each other like second skin. But it's like a favorite jacket you can put on and take off at will. Sometimes we are and sometimes we're not. Our lives touch and then go off in their separate directions. But our shared experiences, like the sun's gravity, always pull us back into our well-worn orbits, towards each other.

I could feel bad when I don't get to join them for a trip out of town, but I don't. As a working mom I've already defined my role and my priorities, and I've never looked back ever since Miguel was born. That, I must say, was when I grew up. And I'm still growing.

But what I like about them is that even though my life is different now, they never let me feel like I have changed. Once a BWI, always a BWI.

I just know that next year we'll find ourselves at Jack's Loft again, wondering why we never learn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Yesterday I was slumped on Miguel's bed, looking glum while he played nearby.

Me: I'm sorry Miguel, I don't feel so good right now.
Miguel: Why?
Me, thinking fast: Because I had a misunderstanding with my friend and it's bothering me.
Miguel: What's a misunderstanding?
Me: It's when you don't understand each other.

He comes over and kisses me. I smile.

Me: Aw, are you trying to cheer me up? (He nods) Thank you Miguel.

I go back to my thoughts. Miguel glances at me, gets a pad of paper from the drawer and asks if he can use it. Sure, I say. A few minutes later he comes to me with a drawing.

Me: What is it?
Miguel: It's a happy ship.

Sure enough instead of the usual jolly roger, there's a smiling face on the flag atop the mast. (jpeg to follow) I smile again and give him a hug. Then he starts writing some gibberish on the pad. He fills it up.

Miguel, handing me the pad: Read it.
Me: What does it say? (I try to hand it back) Tell me.
Miguel: No, you tell me. Just whatever you want it to say.

A bit flustered, I start.

Me: "Mommy, do not feel so sad. I am always here with you."
Miguel: Yes, yes!
Me, smiling: "I love you very much."
Miguel: That's right.
Me, grinning: "You are more beautiful than beautiful."
Miguel: Yes.
Me: "And... (getting ready to grab him) let's play wrestling!"
Miguel: Wrong!
Me: Huh?
Miguel: "Let's eat dinner!"
Me, laughing: Okay!

(For Monday, July 18, 2005, 11:12 AM)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Today I am a pig

At eleven Ellen texts us an invite to Amici, the Italian restaurant in Don Bosco Makati. So many people have been raving about the pizza and gelato in this resto run by Italian priests, but I never got the chance to go. I was never sure if it would be open for dinner since it's located in a school. Well Ellen's treating us to lunch, so we say...go!

We enter the quaint restaurant whose main door is located along Pasay Road, and the scent of baked bread and tomato sauce greets us. Mmmmm! I like this already. It seems that we are standing in what could have been an outdoor cafe area, except that the traffic at the Skyway entrance has forced the priests to enclose this space with glass windows and subdued skylights. Nice. Very Italianni's.

Most of us order pasta while 2 of our companions go for sinigang and lechon kawali on the other side of the restaurant. It seems that before Amici's was built, the site was a cafeteria. Walking to the rear you will find a glass case with the familiar stainless steel pans filled with pinakbet and rellenong bangus for those who hanker for Pinoy fare. It is noon and we easily find a table, but in a matter of minutes the place is bustling as the lunch crowd packs in - office workers, families, ladies who lunch, school kids with their folks, and several elderly, white-haired European gentlemen whom I presume to be Don Bosco priests.

Ellen orders Lasagne al Forno; Peachy chooses Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti; and I opt for Ravioli ai 4 Formaggi - home made ravioli with mixed Italian cheeses sauce. Yum! When the entrees arrive the aroma of cheese wafts up from my plate. Hungrily we all tuck in and I am instantly sated by the cheese-stuffed ravioli smothered with thick white sauce.

A pan of Sicilian pizza comes in as well and we try not to look like gluttons as each one timidly reaches out for an anchovy-laden slice. (Remember, one slice only! Ladies should not be so obvious when they're acting like pigs.)

To be honest the pasta was filling but not spectacular. The bread would have been good on its own but I could not even taste the garlic on the overly-generous dab of DariCreme. And at around P170 per plate it isn't really that cheap. The pizza? I've only tasted one, so I'll reserve judgement for that.

But the gelato was to die for.

The seven of us chose a scoop apiece. And being Filipino, we all shared flavors: dark chocolate, hazelnut, chocolate with nuts, mint chip, pistacchio, dark chocolate (again), and orange. All excellent, especially the dark chocolate. Oh - but I didn't like the orange, which is not a favorite flavor, but Peachy seemed in ecstasy about it anyway.

So now I have a new craving - gelato on a hot afternoon! I will look to my fellow chocolate fiends Alice and Weng to satisfy this new addiction. You guys should taste it out if you haven't tried it yet. It's open from Mondays to Saturdays, 10AM - 9PM. So there.

I'm soooo stuffed.

How do you say oink in Italian?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"You are invited to view an album"

So I open my email and see that I have another Yahoo!Photos invitation from my shutter-happy friends. Yipee, more pictures! I don't go to all of my friends' gimmicks, but who doesn't enjoy receiving photos? To be honest they meet up so often it's impossible for me to keep up. It's as if they were all joined at the hip - all 20-plus of them. But I knew that Gueli and I were present at my friend's garage sale-cum-ukay-ukay, also known as a "garukay." So I click on the link, and out of the 29 photos, Miguel has just this one close-up with his Tita Binky.


So now it's forever etched in their memories...and yours.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Today I am a painter

My officemate noticed my entry to the office painting contest and asked me to make him a small painting. Gladly, I obliged.

The weird thing is that these days, the only way that I can paint is if Miguel's asleep.

Flashback: one Saturday afternoon two years ago, when I was attempting to complete a portrait assignment for an artist's group. Miguel wakes up from his nap in the other room and is upset that I'm not around. I hear his footsteps going all over the house. The studio door is closed. "No, don't find me just yet," I say to myself.
Miguel, bursting into the studio: Mommy, what are you doing?
Me: I'm painting.
He watches silently. I breathe a sigh of relief and keep painting.
Miguel: Stop that, it's panget! (ugly)
I guess that after the novelty wore off (in all of 3 minutes) he realized that I wouldn't stop painting soon.
I planned to work over 2 nights. I spent Sunday night prepping the canvas and doing my sketch. Monday night I planned to paint.
So I set my alarm for midnight before putting Miguel to sleep. A few hours later, after some struggle with the alarm, I got up at 2 am and started painting in the bathroom-cum-studio. It was a long time since I had painted, and I was really getting into the colors. But after an hour I heard a thud - tugudug!
I checked up on Miguel and saw that he was lying perpendicular to his bed, in danger of falling off. "Miguel," I said, "don't fall off." I adjusted his position, but by then he was awake so I decided to turn out the bathroom lights and lie down on my bed until he fell asleep. I listened in the darkness for about 30 minutes until he had stopped fidgeting. Then I got up, walked to the bathroom, closed the door, turned on the lights, and continued painting.
I was getting lost again in the artwork when I heard some footsteps outside the bathroom door. Ayayay! I couldn't let him see the painting now; it would just get him curious and I didn't want to have to answer questions until 6 am. I stood up immediately and blocked the view to my "studio" as I held the door ajar. Miguel stood there in his sando and jammies. "Mommy, why are you taking so long?" "Just cleaning up," I said as I turned out the light and led him back to his bed.
This time it seemed to take forever as he tossed and turned on his bed. I was itching to get back to my painting; I didn't want to finish it another day because I knew that I had to give it time to dry. When all seemed still I decided to use my cell phone light to check if Miguel was indeed asleep. I silently reached out for my phone, pressed the button and cast the light on my son - only to discover that he was staring right back at me. Darn! I quickly put out the light and resigned myself to a long wait.
It was 5 am by the time that Miguel was truly asleep. I got back to my "studio" and painted away for 2 more hours. I was almost done but had to clean up because I had to wake up Miguel, get him dressed, have him eat breakfast, and bring him to school. I must say that I cleaned up so fast and so well that nobody would know that I'd been painting - even the smell was absent.
During the drive back home from his school I was feeling so sleepy that I decided to crash on my bed rather than eat breakfast. My sis woke me up almost 2 hours later asking if I was going to work. Not in this mental state, I thought to myself. Finally I hauled my ass off the bed, realizing that I had to finish the painting before Miguel got back from school.
In about an hour I was done.
In all my years of painting this is the first time that I actually lost sleep because of a work in progress. I know that it sounds silly, sneaking off from my son to paint in the middle of the night, as if I was doing prohibited drugs. But I must say that I did enjoy painting again. When the office painting contest (which I didn't win, shame, shame, shame - but anyway you can't always win, can you?) was held, I realized that making 8x10 artworks was doable for somebody in my situation. I could even have an exhibit in 9 months. As long as Miguel stays asleep, that is :)

I love it

that he gave them for no other reason than that they were my favorite color :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Scene: Dining room. Miguel approaches my bro as he eats his dinner. My mom and my future sis-in-law look on.

Miguel, like he's up to no good: Mommy, stand here behind Ninong.
(As if Dennis doesn't hear. I oblige anyway, standing behind him with my index finger at the ready.)

Miguel, giggling: Ninong, close your eyes.
(Ninong closes his eyes.)

Miguel, singing a bit out of tune: Eng, eng eng eng eng eng eng eng...eng eng eng eng eng eng eng.
(Ninong starts to laugh; the ancient song brings back childhood memories.)

Miguel: Mommy, touch Ninong now!

Me: Miguel, he's not supposed to know.

Miguel, to Ninong: Ninong, close your eyes! Eng, eng eng eng eng eng eng eng...eng eng eng eng eng eng eng.

(We're all suppressing our laughter as Miguel grabs my arm so that I brush my finger on Ninong's shoulder.)

Miguel, squealing: Who touched you?

Ninong: YOU!

Miguel, collaspsing with laughter: No, it was mommy!
(My bro grabs him and hugs him.)

Epilogue: Miguel does the same Eng Eng Game to Essie and Lola, each time a helpless bundle of giggles. And you know what? NOBODY guesses that it was ME poking them in the back! What are the chances?

Disclaimer: Post might be incomprehensible if you are not a Sulit. For a free demo, see my son. Batteries not included.

Monday, June 27, 2005

This is how we play

If you weren't a parent you'd think that my son gets the most preposterous ideas. But honestly, last Saturday when he motioned towards my bed and said, "let's make a tent," who was I to say no? Shame on me as an artist if I say that it can't be done. And shame on me as a mom if I say that I' m too lazy. Therefore:

1 can of ribbons + Miguel's blanket + assorted plush toys =


Take note of the joey on top, but don't ask me what it's there for. In the bottom picture there's a can in front of him containing a paper with orange markings. That's the "campfire." We've already roasted and eaten Bugs Bunny - plus 4 beetles.

That's the nice thing about kids - you just don't know what to expect.

The next day, I left him playing with Ninang while I transferred files on the computer. 30 minutes later my sister calls me to "come quick!" because

title title

My sister looked even funnier with 6 cards stuck on her face. They were playing "higher, higher," where you and an opponent each stick a card on your forehead and guess which of you has the higher card. Well it became a card-sticking contest. His face was so oily know what I mean. I was kind enough to spare my sis from the cam :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Chasing time

(Drama queen takes center stage)

This morning I was late for work.

This morning I was late for work because my 5-year-old had a crying spell.

What was supposed to be an uneventful morning with me heading off to work on time turned out to be a lecture session on how to take care of your toys. The nanny told me that my sis got mad at him the previous day because he had destroyed the Gundams that she had bought him just 2 weekends ago.

He loves robots! He already had 3 Gundams, but as a reward for making it to yellow belt, 2 weekends ago my sis took him out and bought him 2 more. She bought and assembled them. Afterwards I even took out my super glue and secured the non-movable parts, just to make sure that they won't get lost. But he has this way of playing with action figures that result in lost and broken limbs. And despite my warnings not to roughouse with his toys, that's exactly what he did
. I looked inside the toy box this morning and found what could be the robot equivalent of the aftermath of a terrorist attack - broken sockets, severed joints - all beyond repair.

"No Gundams for one year!" I declared. At which he burst into tears.

Then the long lecture about nobody wanting to give him toys if he doesn't take care of them. I stole a glance at his Zoids, which have seen some injury but have thankfully survived after a session with my super glue. There is hope yet. At least if his Zoids survive, he might have more of those until the Gundam moratorium ends.

The crying didn't end for quite a while; in fact he was hyperventilating as I took him into my arms. I assured him - and he knows - that Ninang and I still love him, but he has to learn to take care of his toys before we give him even more.


And when I woke up this morning I thought that everything was just fine.

So why is this a piece about time? Because I don't know what goes on with him when I'm at work, or otherwise out. If the nanny didn't tell me I'd be clueless. Then my mind leaps forward and I wonder what would happen to him when he goes to big school next year. Would he tell me what happened during his day? Would I be there when he needed me? All this growing up and letting go is starting to worry me.

It's just that I'm realizing - for a long time now in fact - how our roads are diverging, be it ever so slowly. I tell my friends, we are like "one becoming two." Before I used to carry him in my womb wherever I went. Then out he popped into this world, but I was always at his side. Then came part-time work, then full-time work, then my office relocated, then he started attending preschool. And there are still more paths to tread, for him and for me.

Don't get me wrong; I realize that all these changes are necessary. It's part of our growing up - he as a child and me as a mom. And I do feel proud as I watch him walk away from me and into the classroom whenever I bring him to school.

But our bond is there, and it's strong. We share so many habits, so many mannerisms, so many experiences. We're connected in so many ways that sometimes I don't know where he begins and I end. But thankfully he's different from me - funny, playful, uninhibited - and don't forget all that testosterone.

I just love him so much it makes me sad that I can't share in some of the things that he goes through. Sometimes I just feel like I'm chasing time, trying to squeeze in everything I'd like to or have to do. Have to. Like to. Have to. Like to.

Two diverging paths. One becoming two.

Yeah, guess who's the one having a crying spell now.

P.S. This is so Robert Frost

Friday, June 17, 2005

Just in case you forget what it is

My genius of a son got stung by the spelling bee one day and grabbed his magnetic letters. He tried putting them on our wooden cabinet, but to no avail. "Where do I put them?" he asked. "On the ref," I said. Hence....



Unfortunately there are not many other smooth metal surfaces in our house, or else I would have a smattering of labels on this post. So I wonder, if he had spelled out D-O-G, would it make the ref a dog? As in, "Miguel, please close the door of the dog!" or "I put your juice in the dog." On the other hand, what if the dog had a smooth metal surface, and the ref was covered with fur? He'd have a field day with that one. Maybe I'm starting to sound absurd, but I'm sure this is the sort of thing that he'd enjoy.

Friday, June 10, 2005


No, that's not a greeting. That's the shout of a yellow-belter.

Yes, Miguel is a "yellow belt" now! He informed me about it last Friday, and I knew then Ninang had gotten the word from Teacher Gina. He took the promotion test last May 29, along with 2,000 other students it seems. We were very confident, and Teacher Gina was so encouraging. He practiced his routine at home several times a day, with or without any prompting. Though he started taking taekwondo classes in July 2004, it was only during summer that the serious training kicked in - 3 times a week for 2 months.

It gave him a lot of self-esteem, especially since mommy, ninang, ninong and lola were always praising him every time he did a routine. Well, forget about the axe kick he did on mommy's face one night as she was about to go out on a date - it was an accident, sorta, and he didn't get away with it anyway.

So here are the pictures from the promotion test taken by the proud stage mommy. What can I say - kids really look cute in uniform :)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Monsterpiece theater

Bedtime conversation:
MIGUEL, WITH DRAMATIC FLAIR: Once there was a prince and princess who lived in a castle full of monsters. Monsters in the closet! Ghosts under the bed! Bats in the school bus! Vampires coming out of the toilet! Then pirates and robbers attacked them.

ME: And then? Who won?

MIGUEL: The pirates and robbers and monsters and ghosts and bats and vampires.

ME: Aw, Migueli, you ought to end it better. I like the way it starts, but I don't think that people are going like a story where the prince and princess lose.

MIGUEL: Then the fairies came and attacked the monsters and ghosts and bats and vampires. The end.

The end indeed.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Action figure as art

Let me tell you about Miguel's latest art attack.

One night he comes into the bedroom with a bond-sized piece of cardboard.

"What are you doing?" I ask.
"I'm going to make an art attack."

He asks for the tape and colored glue.

"Where's Spiderman?" he adds.
"But hon, if you put him on the art attack you won't get to play
with him anymore!"

He rummages in the drawer for Spiderman anyway. Then he starts taping the action figure to a bond paper mounted on the cardboard. It looks like Spiderman is being strapped onto a gurney and is about to receive a lethal injection. I comment that it looks like a medieval torture device, like one used in the Inquisition. Should I be worried?

He starts singing a theme to himself. As if life were a movie, and he's just providing the soundtrack. He does this a lot when he plays, and more often than not the tune comes from our national anthem. No kidding.

After opening all the caps of the glue bottles, I decide to go for my shower, just as I planned. When I come out about 20 minutes later Spiderman is covered with tape and glue, with matching glue and marker drawings in the background - not to mention on Miguel's shirt. Thus ends Spiderman's long and colorful career as an action figure.

The following day the art attack is proudly displayed on our inside bedroom door:

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If you look closely you will see a red marker drawing of someone "attacking" Spiderman on his left. So whaddya think- should I be worried?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The rose

Upon the prodding of my not-so-new seatmate Ace, I will tell you about the rose. (Sige na nga! Gusto ko na kasi mag-blog eh!)

Yesterday morning I came in and there was a red rose on my desk, with an anonymous note. Terse, succinct, anonymous. (Two months ago, I got a similar note that read "Hi!" - with smiley, but no rose - taped to my conputer.) I first suspected that it was a joke by Ronan, who came in earlier than me. When I asked him to 'fess up he said, "Ibibili ko na lang ng mineral water kasi ubos na tubig namin sa bahay no!" Taruz! My second suspect was Omie, who's capable of playing a joke on me as well. But Ronan pointed out that she was on leave for the past 2 days.

So. We have a rose. And 2 anonymous notes. In the afternoon the kids - that's what I call the new batch of employees, mostly new grads - got wind of it and had fun speculating. At one point I even said that I planted it myself - hehe. But Ace took the initiative to investigate whodunit. Wala lang, intrigero kasi sya. He suspected one of the practicumers, so showing exhibit A, asked pointblank if he gave it to me. At first he denied it, but on second thought said, "Pwede na rin!" Riiiight. Don't worry poNg, I know you didn't give it. Doesn't matter anyway.

So that's it.

Told Mike about it through text, and he responded, "that wasn't me hon." Of course I knew it wasn't him - that's not his style :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Introducing...the bed

Yesterday I got Miguel his first bed. Well technically I just had Dennis's old trundle bed transferred from the "pink" room. It all started Sunday, when during his supposed naptime I told Miguel that he would have to get his own bed soon. I suggested that since he didn't have his own room yet, we could probably put in a separate bed for him, next to mine. To this he replied, "I want my own bed now!" I was pleased to hear him say that, but since we were all set to swim after the nap I promised to move in the bed that evening. But the day was quite busy, so at bedtime, around 10 pm, he still didn't have his own bed. And he reminded me, "Why didn't you keep your promise?" Oooh.

So the next morning, after I had sent him off to taekwondo class, I announced to my mum and bro that I was transferring the trundle bed to my room. "That's temporary, right?" my brother asked. "Of course," I said. I'd rather give him a decent bed in his own room, but that's not up to me at the moment. To be honest I jumped at the opportunity to get him his own bed. He does love me with a passion and I love him to pieces, but sometimes I pause to ask myself if our affection goes too far. No malice intended but I do suspect that he's already on his way to discovering his sexuality.

Questions about the marriage vs. family bed will come up in the future and I want to head them off as early as now. I moved out of my parents' bed in grade school and since then I've always believed that kids ought to have beds, and rooms, of their own. Besides, too many smells in one mattress or one pillow always bothered me. And while Miguel always smells nice at bedtime - well, I'll always accept him even if he doesn't smell so "fresh" - I do want him to learn to stand (or sleep) on his own.

It didn't take long for me to take out the 6-foot-long writing desk from my room. After a bit of sweeping Aida and Flor rolled in the trundle bed. Got rid of the rocking chair too. It was a vestige of his babyhood, but I kept it for so long because it was so comfortable to sit in while we talked. Did a bit of rearranging and then surveyed the room. Two beds. No more side table. No more lamp. No more rocking chair. Looks good. I was going to be an hour late for work but I think it was well worth it. I couldn't break my promise a second time, could I?

When I got home my sister had rearranged Miguel's bed so that the head was against my bed and one side against the wall. I was pleased to learn that he had already used it for his nap; he was so excited to be a big boy. That night we slept in our respective beds, but in the darkness he asked me to hold his hand while he drifted off to sleep. I was only too happy to reach my hand over the edge of my bed to do so. In fact he fell asleep much faster than he would if he had been beside me.

My baby's growing up so fast.

P.S. At around 3 am I woke up to a cluttering thud that I can only describe as "TUGUDUGDUG!" Miguel fell off his bed, got back on, and as I lay beside him, fell asleep. Then I went back to my bed, a smile on my face.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

We're linked!

Hello all!

It's been a very busy 2 months, and yes I've been neglectful. But a post from May regarding her new site finally brought me back to my blog. While I was browsing through it I finally found out how to add a link, so now I'm sharing it with you. Just click on the link at right.

Now you can click your way to my friends' accounts at Livejournal, and find some great posts. May, I included your new site, but made an error in the URL until I get your permission to post this link. Happy browsing, everyone!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Almost married

TV bride

Ha ha! Don't get excited just yet. No this isn't my wedding but a commercial shoot - my almost-15-minutes-of-fame as the bride. "Almost" because I was exposed for barely a second, and even so I was just a shadow in the background. By the way, the bridesmaid is Wengderwoman, a.k.a. Weng, my officemate and fellow talent. Oh least I enjoyed the dressing up part.

With that I'd like to welcome the Santiagos to my blog. I posted this one for you - it's been a while since I posted pictures, and I did promise that I had some on this site. Happy reading and viewing, guys!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Moving experience

Check it out at inhale, exhale: just press # 6

Yep! My sister finally moved into her own room - after more than 2 decades of sharing a bed with my mom. Last week I saw a strange sight - my mom sleeping alone in her room, the TV off. I thought that my sis was having a late night out, but then it dawned on me - she's in her new room! WhhOW!

Okay so forgive me for going overboard, but for the longest time the joke in our house was that my sis's bedroom was just a storage place, so cluttered that you couldn't even sit on the bed. Heck, you couldn't even see it. Come to think of it, you still can't see it - for now. But at least her new bed in her new room really functions as one.

I used to share that room with my cousin Lina who moved in in the 70's. She came from Surigao and was in Manila to take up 7th grade, then high school. I must have been in 2nd grade at the time. I remember I was just so glad to move out of my mom's room and have a bed of my own. And I just adored Lina! I always looked up to her as my surrogate mother, because she always made me drink milk and take Clusivol syrup at night to fatten me up, to no avail.

My memories of that room were of Andy Gibb, Nancy Drew, stuffed toys, disco music, and of course Lina, who gave me a crash course in girly ways. I watched her try on dresses, tested her shampoos, assessed her red heels, observed her putting on eyeshadow. She was the one who watched out for my menarche and taught me how to use a sanitary pad. I still remember her first crush - his name was Chris Fautts - and how she couldn't sleep the night before her prom because she was so excited about her date with him.

Her mom came into town a lot, and they would take me along on their shopping sprees, buying the same shoe style in 3 different colors. And Tita Nep always treated me to 3M Pizza at Metrobank Arcade - a tradition, as it were.

Much, much later that room became my painting studio, and the balcony served as my private garden. Of course I had to pack away my easel when guests came into town. But I always enjoyed it when they admired my plants.
I remember one summer in the late 90's when Lina and Tita Nep came for some business, which meant that they were going to Divisoria to buy stocks for Lina's store in Surigao - shopping again! Anyway I had an abundance of plumbago, in the plant box and in pots, and they were blooming like crazy all at the same time. The balcony was a riot of blue plumbago with touches of yellow margaritas. Tita Nep couldn't help but admire them, and I suspect she kept the balcony door open not just for the sunlight, but for the fantastic sight.

So many memories about that room. Can't help it, we've lived in this house for almost 30 years now.

Today it's my sister's room. I like the way the sunlight comes in through the windows in the early morning. The room is bright and airy, and I hope it doesn't get cluttered up so it can stay that way (attention barbiegirl!) Gueli has even parked his toys there, and enjoys playing blocks on the mat, or tic-tac-toe on the bed. We're making more memories even as I write.

Just the other day he woke up early, ran to my sis's room, clambered up the bed and said "wake up little rosebud." Then he kissed her. I know that she loved it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Emergency instructions

Last Sunday I was paying for medicines and what-not in Watson's. I had instructed the nanny to get a pack of tissue, and as she came back with the item she asked, "Where's Miguel?" My heart skipped a beat, but then I realized that there was no way for him to leave the store unnoticed since I was near the entrance. After a quick scan around the store, we saw a flash of red - his shirt - running between the aisles, and nanny went to fetch him.

As he came back to me I squatted at his level and asked him what he would do if he lost me or nanny in the store. He said he didn't know, so I laid down a few ground rules.

1. Don't leave the store.
2. Look for a saleslady or guard.
3. Tell them that you've lost your mom and give them your name.
(He's already memorized his name, address, and phone number.)
4. Give your mommy's name and describe her.

"Can you describe your mom?" I asked him. He gave a naughty smile: "Peeling face." NOOOOO! That won't do. (Maybe sometime I'll tell you all about that glycolic peel I went through last week.) I paused for a while, decided on a spiel then drilled him. After about 10 minutes he got it down pat.

Me: Describe your mom. How tall is she?
Miguel: Five foot two. Plus heels!
Me: How much does she weigh?
Miguel: 110 pounds. (Really, I'm only 107)
Me: How long is her hair?
Miguel: Shoulder length.
Me: What color?
Miguel: Dark, and straight.
(And the clincher...)
Me: Looks like?
Miguel: Rita Avila!

That ought to do the trick.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Overheard last night:

Miguel: Ninang, have you ever seen nothing?
Ninang: No.
Miguel: Close your eyes. (Ninang complies) What do you see?
Ninang: Nothing.
Miguel: HaHAhAhaHAHahA! :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Don't believe in Santa Claus

On December 23, Miguel asked me to accompany him to the living room because he wanted to show me something. He got on the sofa and pointed at a quilted pillow with an image of Santa (yes, we have one of those).

Miguel, jabbing at the pillow: Don't believe at this thing.
Me: What do you mean?
Miguel: Don't believe in Santa Claus!
Me: Why?
Miguel: Because there's no...there's no such thing as a Santa Claus.
Me: So who gives all those gifts?
Miguel: Other people aside from Santa Claus!
Me: So you don't mind if you do not get a gift from Santa this year?
Miguel: Then I'll just get a gift from other people aside from this one. (points at pilow)
Me: You don't want to get a gift from Santa?
Miguel: I never saw what Santa Claus looks like.
Me: So you don't mind if you don't get a gift from Santa? That's okay with you?
Miguel: It's okay I'll just get a gift from other people besides Santa.
Me: Okay.

I caught it all on mpeg, so this is pretty much verbatim. I'm still amazed that he came to this conclusion on his own at the age of 4. And what's more, it doesn't bother him at all. So this year he didn't get a gift from Santa. And you know what, it is so okay.