Saturday, December 02, 2006

Presenting - Mommy Sandy!

Early this week Miguel got up from his breakfast for no apparent reason and went into a monologue at the foot of the dining table.

Let's talk about Mommy Sandy!

(Assuming a booming announcer's voice:)

Mommy Sandy: Talking to her undies.
Mommy Sandy: Always brushing her teeth after breakfast.
Mommy Sandy: Thinks that she is an animal.
Mommy Sandy: Being chased by the police at night.
Mommy Sandy: Forgetting to pass by the bank.


So according to him I am an obbssessive-compulsive animalistic nighttime fugitive with Alzheimer's who talks to her undies. Don't ask me where he got it from. And no, I don't talk to my undies.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"I'll tell you in song!"

Bedtime is the final frontier of your child's day, your last chance to find out the most significant thing that happened to him in the last 24 hours. In the midst of all the cuddling and kissing and good-nights, he is wont to reveal to you his deepest darkest secrets. I always use it as a time to find out what's really going on in his life. A lot of times Miguel tells me things that reveal something about his character, his wants, or his anxieties. But sometimes he just makes me laugh.

Well last Thursday I wanted to find out how he felt about riding the bus, or more specifically, why he only threw up in the mornings. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: Miguel, do you like riding the bus?
Miguel: No. I mean, I don't know.
Me: Do you like it better in the morning, or the afternoon?
Miguel: I like it better in the afternoon.
Me: Why?
Miguel: I don't know.
Me: I'm trying to find out why you throw up only in the morning and not in the afternoon.
Miguel, suddenly piping up: I'll tell you in song!
(Starts singing, to a tune that sounds suspiciously like "The Yellow Submarine")

In the morning, the bus is stinky
It smells like a pinky
Mrs. Binky!

In the afternoon, it's very fu-un
Games games games
Games games games

I couldn't stop laughing. Like I always tell him, I'm glad that he has a sense of humor. I totally believe him that his nausea is triggered by smell, because he's always been consistent about that. The smell could be an accumulation of the boys' sweat (eww) or the exhaust from the tail pipe, but certainly it's the full stomach that allows this to happen in the mornings.

I also suspect that afternoons are more fun for him because it's just the Prep and Grade 1 kids who ride home with him - a smaller, more homogenized group that is bent on play.

'Course, it could also be that he's unconsciously trying to get my attention. In any case, I'm just glad to know that he's a really happy boy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Faster than a speeding bullet

Guess who flew in for Halloween. Superman was "it" this year. No amount of persuasion could convince him to change his mind because "Superman is Enoch's favorite." Enoch is as close as you can get to a friend among his busmates.

I would have preferred a home-made costume (see last year's outfit), but since the folks at Binondo are already much better at making Superman costumes, off I went to the mall and bought a set. I was so proud that I had the official outfit, endorsed by the Justice League and Cartoon Network. When I presented this to Miguel, he took one look and said, "I need a red brief."

But of course! A quick trip to the tiangge and I had Superman's brief - or rather, panty - to which I sewed on the requisite yellow belt and buckle. A brief with a buckle. Now that's what I call...anyway.

Had to create the red boots too, and sewed on the cape - both of which satisfied my need for a home-made component to this costume. And to complete the transformation, we put a cowlick on his forehead.

He was the most authentic Superman in the village Halloween party (all 7 of them, excluding the Supergirls!) but of course that's me talking. He was upset that he didn't win a prize, and I had to explain that there are just too many Supermans every year. Well, now he's looking for a prize-winning costume for next year. And I say, go for gold! :)


And a happy United Nations Day to you too.

This is Miguel's costume for Guyana, lovingly made by mom just 2 days before the UN "assembly." Not bad, I must say (a little self-patronizing here). Felt cloth is always a heaven-send when it comes to these requirements. Sword not included :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Take a breath

Adults (that's me) can be so neurotic. What seems so complicated and convoluted to us is actually quite simple to a child's eyes. Maybe I'm just reading too much meaning into motives and social contexts.

I'm glad I survived these last 2 weeks. Marlon was right - maybe I'm the one who needs a psychologist, not my child.

Just taking a breath before I go under again.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Storm Chronicles

(Annotations added October 10)

That clump of bamboo is as old as the house - about 30 years. "Mommy, you should see this!" Miguel said. "I wish I was here to see it fall." Well not long after he said that we were having lunch (without electricity) and our makeshift china cabinet came crashing down. That's because it was placed against a floor-to-ceiling screen window with wooden grilles. Who'd ever think that the wind could blow it down.

I was saddened about the broken antiques. Not because of their value, but because I honestly feel that they are a part of our heritage. Granted most of these came from China, but then you have to consider that they travelled hundreds of miles to get to our shores. I felt bad that these vessels survived hundreds of years and they finally came to an end in our home. See, these are the things that convince me that I'm a nerd.

At the time I thought that only dad and I were the only ones who appreciated the value of these things. Gee, maybe dad was a nerd too - a sort of cultural nerd. Anyway the other night I was talking to Fr. Tito Caluag about the incident and he expressed the same sadness that I did over the broken shards. I felt validated by his reaction. I'm not so strange after all. Most of my family members shrugged off the breakage. It's true that we still have a lot of other antiques and they do tend to occupy space and gather dust. But I really do see a historical and cultural value in them. Sigh. Only dad would understand. Well at least Fr. Caluag does too.

As it got darker Leslie and Miguel resorted to odd games to distract us from the fact that there was no electricity. Hence the impromptu costumes, and much later - flashlight games. The piggy bank and candle shot is from my room.

Monday, September 25, 2006


As you may or may not know, parents are not allowed into the grade school during classes. But on the pretext of being head of the decorations committee for Miguel's class salu-salo, I got to go in for an ocular visit.

Rare photo opportunity like this must not be wasted.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Late post I know. Eight days late to be exact. But it was a really great day for me - didn't go to work, then surprised Miguel by picking him up from school.

The pic was taken at Dulcinea, which is Miguel's favorite restaurant because of the churros. Mom and Les joined us there for lunch.

Afterward, we went to Timezone to play his latest obssession, Soulcalibur. Little tyke ended up going home with a few prizes. Seemed like it was his birthday.

Had to do a quick change after that and get ready for my dinner date. All in all a good day :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Joke of the day

Coming back from lunch, I find a bouquet of on my desk. Supposedly from my Anonymous Secret Admirer Mr. "F"

Anonymous Secret Admirer Mr. "F"? Har har! Anonymous na, secret pa!

I must say, I really got a good laugh out of that one. The carnations are almost dried out, for crying out loud. I accosted Ome and Omie but they swear they have nothing to do with it.

Of course they had a field day poking fun at me and our colleague F.

If Ome and Omie didn't do it, then it must be Ace. Just the other day he joked about F giving me an old bouquet of Mondo's. Next time Ace, please make sure that the flowers are fresher. At least it wouldn't be obvious that they're recycled.

Monday, August 07, 2006

We're singing you might as well sing along too. It's Miguel's new piano piece:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
which the morning stars began;
Love divine is reigning o’er us,
binding all within its span.
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
in the triumph song of life.

He's already memorized the piece and can play it very well too. And he sings the song at the piano, at the dining table, in the car, while brushing his teeth, and before going to bed at night. Isn't that cute? It's been going on for more than 2 weeks now.

You gotta hear it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Goal for the day


Classes were called off for the second day in a row due to bad weather. Miguel's quarterly exams start the following day but by 9:30AM he's already reviewed all his lessons and done his piano drills. Nothing left for him to do the rest of the day.

Me, about to leave for work (ha! late!) : Miguel, I think that you should have a goal for today.

Miguel, playing while watching TV: What?

Me: I know! Why don't we ask Lola (Grandma) to teach you the rest of your piano piece? After all, you were supposed to have piano lessons today.

Miguel, self-importantly: I already have goals.

Me: Like what?

Miguel: Watch TV.

Me: That's not a goal! Okay, that's it...your goal for the day is to learn the rest of your piano piece.

Miguel: I don't want to learn the rest of my piano piece.

Me: I'll give you 5 extra minutes of Playstation time if you learn it.

Miguel, turning away: No thank you, I don't need 5 extra minutes.

Me: But if you don't learn it you'll lose 5 minutes.

Miguel, suddenly running toward Lola: Lola, can you teach me the rest of my piano piece?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How to make a strawberry-flavored cake

Cute, isn't it?
That's what you get when you watch too much of Dexter's Lab and

In his words:

You get a cannon, then take out the bullets, then replace them with strawberries.

Now that's what I call a recipe for world peace.

Just to enlighten you, the cannon at left shoots icing; the one on top shoots sugar; the one at right shoots strawberries; and the one at bottom shoots butter. The finished product comes out at the lower left corner. He was conscientious enough to draw two legs for the machine to stand. And of course don't forget the remote control!

He even drew instructions on how to set up the machine:

On my birthday, he wants me to make a strawberry-flavored cake using this diagram. Piece of cake, huh?

It rains, I sneeze

So it takes an allergy at 2AM for me to blog.

It's not unusual for me to wake up early in the morning just because I feel cold - even in the summer. What's worse is when I wake up feeling cold,and then I sneeze.

Once that happens, it's goodbye peaceful sleep.

To the fortunate, oblivious ones, it poured this morning - as in typhoon-grade downpour, the kind that makes you wonder where in the city it's flooded right now and whether classes will be suspended.

Checking at my cellphone, I saw a message from my co-parent that came in at midnight: classes suspended according to the news. Yahoo!

That means I don't have to get up early, my son doesn't have to get up early, he won't get caught in the rain, and more importantly - he has a chance to recover from his month-long cough.

We've been to the pediatrician 3 times in the past 3 weeks. My son was getting frustrated that his cough hadn't gone away. Since he had no fever and it's persisted for so long, the doctor suspects that it's brought about by allergy. Another possibiliy is primary complex, so we took an x-ray to help us find out.

And he had to prescribe stronger medication this time. He was even apologetic about it - I can see that he's not too keen about giving prescribing antibiotics and other such medicines.

So unlike Miguel's other pedia, who always brought out the big guns at the slightest symptoms. By age 3 my son was no stranger to corticosteroids; he was even taking puffs from a babyhaler. We were at her clinic once a month, without fail. That's why I left her.

When I switched doctors Miguel's visits were limited to maybe 3 a year. And I like Tito Doctor's less aggressive approach. That's why I'm still sticking to him.

During yesterday's visit, I frustratedly asked him why Miguel's cough won't go away, and he pointedly told me, "because it runs in your family." Well I am exhibit A right now, with my inflamed sinus and post-nasal drip brought about by a 2AM downpour.

I'm trying to comfort myself with green tea right since there's no Claritin in the house. It seems to be working. But more than that, my son is sleeping soundly. His medication seems to be working too.

Fingers crossed, please. And prayers.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Art attack weekend

Thanks to Neil Buchanan for the snake activity. Thanks to Ninang Aly and her Fun Factory book for the pull-down puppet activity.


Thursday, July 06, 2006


Miguel hit the jackpot this weekend: 2 Superman movies, trips to Powerstation and Egg, coming-home gifts from my bro and his wife, plus his latest object of fascination - a chess set that he coaxed out of my sister-in-law G.

While we were eating a post-movie merienda he took his tita's hand, ostensibly to show her the baby grand piano that was playing on its own. Then I saw them heading for the arcade and the toy store, and I knew that my beloved sis-in-law was about to be hijacked. Or rather, held up.

They were in the toy store by the time I caught up with them, and sure enough, G had asked him to choose a toy. Well, she did miss his birthday so it was a kind of belated gift. He pointed excitedly at wooden box that had sported a chess board. I suggested that he get the classic "barrel of monkeys" instead. But he liked the box because it read "5 games in one." In other words, he wanted something for 2 or more people.

G gladly bought the set, which contained pieces for chess, backgammon, checkers, dominoes, and pick-up sticks. He was so excited that the moment we got home we played a game. Surprisingly, he was quite good for a first timer. And not surprisingly, I made a lot of mistakes. Much like my billiard and bowling games, I'm lousy at chess. But I discovered that it's so much nicer when you're playing just for fun.

I won in the end; it was probably the first time that I've ever won. But it was a good game. I've never really had an interest in chess before, but with Miguel's new fascination for it, I'm already looking forward to the next game.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Mr. Potatohead as you've never seen him before

Here, tucked inside Miguel's latest art Mr. Potatohead.

I really like it.

I know that my brother would be appalled if he sees this, it being so girly.

You can blame me for that, because most of the stuff is mine. And I was the one who gave Miguel the violet paper. He asked me for colored paper, and that was the only unused sheet that I could find.

The round box came from a craft project I made in one of Mama Aly's children's parties, and some of the beads came from a broken bracelet of mine. That's why everything looks so girly. And that's why I like it.

The earthworm, of course, is his.

But honestly, as an artist, I find it quite good. It's an example of unbridled creativity, and I totally support it. Except that I don't know if anybody will pay money to buy it off him.

Actually, you could call it a collaboration, because I was the one who wrapped and taped the potato, "so that you can see the shape," as he instructed. And I was also the glue gun operator.

The sweetest thing is that Miguel made it for Ninang, who just left for camp Friday night. He made it for her because he will miss her. Awww. Too bad she won't get to see it for 21 days.

I reminded him that since he has to keep it intact, he cannot play with Mr. Potatohead until she comes back. His response: "Grr. I knew that I should have put holes in it."


Die, varmints!

Okay, so I've been waking up around 2AM or 4AM for the past 4 days. And guess who's responsible? No, not my wisecracking, hyperactive, super inquisitive, ADD-suspect son. But scores of tiny, sneaky, stubborn, insiduous, stinging ants! In my bed!

What did they think I was, a midnight snack?

Lately ants have been invading strange parts of our home, like my mother's bathroom and the computer table. They must know something that we don't.

My guess is that they invaded my bed because I sorted Miguel's pre-school artworks there a few days ago. I suspect that among all those drawings, stained glass windows, mosaics and mixed media, there must have been some sugar. For the record, I do not eat in my room...and neither do I store snacks there.

I thought that vacuuming the mattress would do the trick, but apparently not. They may be tiny, but their bites really do sting! By the 4th night I had had it with the rude awakenings. So instead of brushing them off my bed or crushing the nasty biters between my fingers, I decided to be more methodical in my extermination.

No, I did not burn the mattress. I just got pieces of scotch tape and stuck them in between. A bit labor-intensive, but sure to get the job done.

By now you're starting to worry if I have a sick mind. But if you ask me it's more humane than what I did to that cockroach in my bathroom when I was in college. Never again! Besides, it would ruin the marble tile.

Now I've got a tiny collage of scotch-taped ants on my bedside table. I'm thinking of posting them on my headboard, just as a warning to other intrepid ants. Kind of like Vlad Dracula impaling victims in the front of his castle.

You can run, but you can't hide!


Saturday, July 01, 2006


Woke up at 2AM, and as I sometimes do when I wake up in the middle of the night, I started to fix my room.

My first target was a clear book filled with a hodgepodge of stuff, namely Miguel's piano pieces and bits of my portfolio. It's about time that I organized it, since he practices piano every day. I keep forgeting to buy another clear book, so we'll have to share this one a bit longer.

Going through through my partial portfolio, I noticed that I had included a short story and a children's poem. Those were from the days that I wrote for children's educational TV. I looked at them side-by-side with my print ads, and then I realized: my short stories are way better than my print ads.

Not to say that I haven't had any ads that I'm proud of. They're all decent, some are cute, and a few I really like. Just a few. But the stories - now those I really enjoyed writing.

It takes a little blood and sweat too to create a story. But sometimes you can call it "sweet sweat." You don't mind the effort. Other times you work too hard that the story becomes "tired" and you have to throw it out. And then there are times when the work is effortless; when you crank out a good piece - or a good painting - in just 30 minutes. But that's rare, I must point out.

By "good" I mean "good enough for me." Keep in mind that your friends are a different set of critics, you colleagues another, the publishers yet another, and the general public still another.

Gosh, when I think about it I have so much output - in terms of paintings and writings as well. At the time you make them they are all okay, but when you look at them after a few years your opinion changes. Except for the ones that you're really proud of.

But what matters I guess is that you're satisfied at the time that you produce it.

Gee, I talk too much. Gotta get back to bed.


Friday, June 30, 2006


All right, all right. Saw the bus operator this morning. She's okay. I'll stop calling her crazy.

Erase erase erase.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Rock 'n roll

As my son discovered, it ain't so grand missing a day of school.

Good thing that I was able to sleep in all morning while he was in school, because when he got home, he had a lot of assignments: review this, answer that, and prepare for the quiz tomorrow. Not to mention that he had to go to his piano lesson. We were on a tight schedule just to get everything done.

Poor kid had to answer the worksheets that he missed, plus I insisted that he answer his textbook as well. Turns out he had to do 10 pages just for his Reading subject. Towards the end of his review session, he was already getting tired. I had give him a breather, so guess what we did instead? We reviewed Math, his favorite subject. AAAAAUUGGGHHH! That's how tight we were for time.

He said it so well, "I knew that being absent wouldn't be a good thing."

Now we know. Beware the Friday quiz.

Anyway, when he finally reviewed all his lessons, I said, "congratulations, you're finished!" And with that he let out a big sigh of relief and plopped on his bed. I'm not kidding; in that moment he looked 3 to 5 years older. He was mentally tired. And I was emotionally drained too - from nagging him to finish his worksheets in time.

We zoned out on his bed, and after a while he stood up to get his musical instruments. He grabbed his harmonica and gave me his drum. I was just as stressed out, so we tooted and banged and made a whole lot of noise. "Follow my beat!" he said. The neighbors might have found it weird, but I didn't care; we just had to get rid of this stress, both mother and son. Besides, it was still early.

We kept changing instruments: xylophone, tambourine, maraccas. At one point I even made a louder ruckus just to get some release. My son did good, and I'm gonna let him make some noise!

After about 30 minutes we were ready to wind down.

What a relief.

Don't be surprised if we have another concert.


Looking for home

(For Wednesday, June 28, 2006)

So there I was in Miguel's old pre-school waiting for him to finish his piano lesson. He bounced back to health today and was well enough to go to school, but I was still recovering from the flu. Meanwhile, his nanny came down with something much worse, so I took it upon myself to accompany him to the 1-hour lesson. It was low-stress anyway, and I had a driver.

While we were there we saw so many friendly faces: his friends, his ex-teachers, co-teachers, and even parents of ex-classmates. People greeting you and your son by name, asking how you are. It was so comfortable, so much like home. That's the benefit of going to a small school.

I was wondering, when am I going to feel that way in Ateneo? Who knows, maybe it'll happen. Maybe I'll find some semblance of "family." Maybe in that guard who's always there when I see him off, or the guidance counselor who escorted my tearful son to his classroom during the first week of class. Maybe that co-parent with whom I swapped contact numbers with during PTC day or maybe even that crazy bus operator.

I'm just looking forward to feeling that way there.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Get well soon

I come home from work with a bouquet and Miguel asks, "what's it for?" I smile and say, "it's because I'm sick." Then he pipes up, "but I'm sick too!" I laugh and tell him that the flowers are for both of us.

Yeah, we got the bug.

Later at bedtime he catches me taking a cellphone snapshot of the bouquet. "Why are you taking a picture of the flowers?" he asks. "So I can remember them," I say. "I want a picture with the flowers too," he says. So, voila!

Well, a little confession here. I always take a snapshot of the flowers Mike gives me. And like I said, it's because I want to remember them.

I so love flowers! Wouldn't you guess by the many arrangements I've painted already? And I know my mom loves them too; I'm like her. Well come to think of it, it's a rare woman that doesn't like them.

I'm of the belief that it's better to give flowers to people while they're alive to appreciate them. As long as I get them during my lifetime I won't mind a simple flower-free funeral. Maybe I'll put out a sign, "in lieu of flowers...."

Anyway, I'm just glad that I've got a guy who loves giving them as much as I love receiving them.


Monday, June 26, 2006


Exam week is one month away and I'm already thinking of making a reviewer.

Nerd! Nerd! Nerd!

I have a good friend whose son is a consistent honor student in Ateneo and I remember him telling me that whenever it was exam week, his wife would take 3 days off her extremely high pressure work (she was an accounts head in advertising) just to review their son.

Man, I don't know if I'm ready to do that. Talk about commitment. But then of course my friend's wife comes from a family of consistent honor students. Her son has good genes. Good study habits are probably transmitted through their DNA.

I was also a bit scared - is that what it takes to get through Ateneo? It's not uncommon to hear of Ateneo kids spending their afternoons with tutors. But I - I just want my kid to have a life after school.

A couple of years back I consulted with another friend, who taught at the Ateneo Grade School for several years. She now holds tutorials in her home in Katipunan. She told me that the only reason that parents send their kids to her for lessons is because they don't have the time to review them after school.


Doesn't that sound just like me. I'd be happy if I could just get home in time for dinner. (Cue in guilty thoughts. Fade in video of Miguel waving his finger at me and saying, "Follow my will let me play everyday." Nice try, bud.)

The good news is that my OC son seems to have good study habits. After settling down at home and eating lunch, he will automatically do his assignments before going off to play or watch TV. Thank God for that. And thank God that I read Queena Lee and Maribel Dionisio's article about good study habits when it was published in the Inquirer several years ago.

Now I understand why his teacher makes him review the work sheets almost every day.

And to think that he's only in Prep.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

So that's how ganglion cysts disappear

Yesterday as I was in the shower I hit the cyst in my wrist against the wall - OUCH! - that gave me a dull ache for a few hours.

This morning instead of a shiny, bulbous protrusion I have a wider, flatter bump where it used to be. Maybe the impact ruptured the sheath and the liquid's dispersing into my hand.

I just hope that it doesn't recur.


Explaining the silence

(For Friday, June 23, 2006)

If you noticed I've been skipping a few posts.

Over the past few days I've had to deal with a silly - correction, wacko - school bus operator who had me confused with a different client.

I will spare you the petty details.

But suffice it to say that the incident was so annoying that I actually witnessed my mother lose her patience at the woman. She actually got mad. But in a very dignified way. See, she's human after all :)

And for that, the incident will always stand out in my mind.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I finally put my son on the bus this morning! No tears, no trouble.

The kids made a fuss over him the minute he got in. Maybe because they're used to seeing him only during dismissal time, when he rides with them without a hitch. As the bus drove away, Miguel turned and blew me a kiss.

I even called the bus driver afterwards, and he assured me that Miguel was okay during the ride.

My secret: I told him that if he makes a fuss on the way to school, he doesn't get to watch TV for the rest of the day PLUS he loses 5 minutes from his weekend Playstation time. But if he goes to school without any trouble, he gets to watch TV and gets 5 extra minutes playing video games this weekend.

I've been doing this for the past few days while I was bringing him to school myself. So far the technique seems to work.

And it's amazing what I was able to accomplish in the 2 hours before I headed off to work: cleaned my drawers and one closet. Who knows, maybe one day I might even muster the energy to paint :)


Monday, June 19, 2006


As my sister the teacher says, parent-teacher conferences are a way of giving teachers a break. Well we parents know how to take a break too. After meeting Miguel's teacher for the PTC, I took the rest of the morning off...helloooo spa!

I haven't had a full-body massage in months! It was so good to just lie down and have someone kneading my muscles. It's probably the only time I don't mind being treated like a piece of meat.

Soothing music, the soft hum of airconditioning, the smell of eucalyptus, clean sheets against your skin, and expert hands skillfully rubbing the stress away. Sigh.

It would've been great to take the whole day off, but I have to make judicious use of my vacation leaves. Besides, I already committed to a couple of meetings today. Work is work.

But man, play is way okay too!


Saturday, June 17, 2006


Went to see my friend May's art exhibit today, with Miguel in tow. The gallery at UP CFA (College of Fine Arts) was part of a long itinerary, which included: a trip to Ateneo to familiarize him with the routes to his classroom; a heavy merienda (snack) at Jollibee; a trip to Claret so he can see what other schools are like; a quick pass at Kamuning Elementary School; and a haircut at the barber's. I kid you not - we did all that in 4 1/2 hours.

But I digress.

I was very excited for May, who is finally having her first one-woman show. Her canvases range in size from small to gigantic. The way I see it, her works are mainly about shape, since she used mainly square formats with round aluminum washers as major elements. Then of course there is texture, with overly-generous strokes of acrylic and the addition of mixed media. She also chose a dominant color for each artwork, which, along with the circle-square balance, help unify each piece.

Hey, this is just my opinion, okay?

My favorite is a work called "Body," the invitation piece, which my friend bought. It's a very strong (red) piece that can hold a wall on its own. I especially like the swath of different materials, like a palette of textures, across the midsection.

Miguel's favorite art piece is called "Meteor Shower," which as it turns out was acquired by another friend. It's another favorite of mine too. I must say that my son shows good taste.

By the way, here's an extreme close-up of one painting that he took so that, as he said, "you can put it on your blog."

It was nice dropping by the CFA after all these years. I saw a few "kids" in front of the padlocked studios, with their trademark CFA attitude. Driving up I could tell that they were sizing me up, and knew right away that I used to be from the college. You bet your ass.

Haay. It's so good to know that you've been around.


Friday, June 16, 2006

I hereby declare

that being Superwoman is humanly impossible. As I wake up in a stupor at my desk (talk about a powernap) I ask myself, "what was I thinking?"

It is physically impossible for me to bring my son to school every day then go to work in Makati. I'm sure it's even worse if I try to take the train everyday, because that would mean taking a 20-minute walk across four city blocks and man would I be exhausted!

Waking up at 430AM is no joke with my schedule. Even if I limit my social life to weekend nights, I still end up sleeping late because I have a launch event to attend (morale support for the brand) or a 10PM on-line meeting (yes, it happened last week).

Not to mention minor emergencies like Miguel's school bag breaking down yesterday, so that last night I had to go to the mall (after the aforementioned launch) and buy him a kick-ass stroller bag, the kind with a lifetime warranty.

And speaking of weekends, I don't always have the weekend off. Last weekend was spent in Hawaii, Pixar, and the Power Rangers. The one before that was spent on Miguel's birthday, his recital, and his first-day-of-school preparations (see the June 5 entry)

My body's been screaming for sleep for days.

Come to think of it, I'm not new to sleep deprivation. No mom is, I'm sure. Some years back I asked Gai if i could crash in her house anytime, even for 2 hours of rest. I believe that her offer still stands. For the record, I've used her house only once. Another time I showed up at my uncle's house after a shoot and slept for a couple of hours before I walked home.

It was important that I sleep in someone else's house because if I tried to nap in my house, Miguel would somehow find me and my beauty rest would be interrupted.

Back then I just needed to catch some sleep because of work. Today the combination of big-school responsibility and work is bearing down on my waking moments like a big, heavy metal helmet.

Man, I'm putting him on that bus next week.

I seriously need a break.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

For the record

Here's a list of Miguel's favorite foods.

1. strawberry
2. chicken joy
3. chocolate
4. french fries
5. pan de sal with butter and jam
6. fruit shake (mango banana)
7. piyaya
8. iced tea
9. churros

and don't forget his his thosandth favorite:

1000. peanuts

This list was developed as we drove home from church last weekend; it was a successful atempt to distract him and get his mind off something. So successful that even I don't remember what we were talking about before this.

Oh well.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The fruit of our labors

Lazy post I know it is, but considering that I had to get up at 4AM today I make no apologies.

Yes, you can add this to my "magpakatotoo ka" list of photos. I look really harrassed here. (These days, I always look harrassed.) But guess who felt like a million bucks?

Totally worth it.

Would I do it again? Hmm. Let me think about it.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A message from my cerebral cortex

don'tworryi'llbeokaywe'llbeokaywilljusthavetomakeafewmoresacri ficesoverthecomingweekswe'lladjustwe'lladjustwe'lladjust


Monday, June 12, 2006

It may be bad acting

...but the Power Rangers are BIG.

On Sunday, as we ate a late lunch, Miguel and I saw it on TV: meet the Power Rangers at Shangri-La Mall. "Oh, cool!" we thought. We junked the idea of going for his haircut and casually invited Ninang along. "It'll only take a while," I said. Big mistake.

We braved an afternoon thunderstorm just to get Shang, and when we arrived, we were engulfed by quite another storm. It was called "Dino Thunder." It made fools of kids and parents alike, who waited in line for hours just to get a photo onstage with the Power Rangers.

Four hours later my sis was one credit card swipe poorer, my son was one toy richer, and I was one tired but wiser mommy. Yes we got the coveted photo, but I can't post it for bragging rights just yet 'cause I forgot to bring the camera for downloading.

Well, there's a first time for everything.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happy birthday

Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 71 today.

When he passed away almost 6 years ago it was difficult to believe that he was gone. I remember thinking to myself, "so this is what Jesus's disciples must have felt when he died." It was just...unbelievable. In spite of his chronic illness, he made a lasting impression as someone so powerful, so successful, so charming, so funny. You thought that he could do anything, even charm the consul into giving you a US visa.

I think that during the time that he was so ill, we always chose to remember him as strong. Chronic sickness has a way of doing that to you. When there's no way out, sometimes all you have left are the memories. And of course we prefer the good ones to the bad.

Today I try to imagine what he would be like if he were alive, but I can't. My life doesn't resemble what it did back when he was still around. My son has grown up since, and so have I.

Maybe he would be like my uncle, his brother. Two seniors slowing down in the twilight of their lives surrounded by a gaggle of growing grandchildren. Isn't that a comforting thought.

He would've made a great grandpa.


Saturday, June 10, 2006


So there was my son, frolicking with little girls in the blue-tiled kiddie pools of the swanky Rockwell Club. As early as now he's chasing girls. Well, only because he wants to splash water and play around with them. I imagine it's going to be the same deal 15 years from now.

We were there for our neighbor's 7th birthday party, and what a bash it was! In harmony with the Hawaiian theme, they had straw hats, plastic leis, colored sunglasses...and of course little girls in bikinis :)

It really is amazing to see these kids grow up together. Back when I was still working part-time, I used to take Miguel for a walk around the neighborhood at 5PM. Chasey's house was one of our stops and we'd stop to talk or play. Other times we'd meet at the park. Much later on Ninang would bring him over there for indoor play time. Now he and Chase are going to big school.

As another parent and I sat watching the kids, we commented how girls socialized much earlier than boys. Chasey has a best friend already, and we watched the 2 girls whisper and hold hands and run away from my son. And still my son would chase them. And try to kiss them too, sometimes.

Oh no.

I imagine it's going to be the same deal 15 years from now.


Friday, June 09, 2006


He sent a birthday greeting through a friend.

And that's how I found out that I'm still angry.

That's all.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

"I don't want to go to Ateneo"

Me: Why?
Miguel: Because they have so many rules.
Me: Like what?
Miguel: You must put your books on the left side, and your envelope on the right side.
Me: Well that makes sense Miguel: so that when you need your book, you know that it is always on the left side. You do not even have to look. And you also know that the envelope is always on the right side. What else?
Miguel: You have to put down the handle of your bag and put it under your table.
Me: Well, I guess so that it does not block the lane so that people can pass.
Miguel: And I don't like to walk on the blue line!

(There are blue lines painted on the corridors for prep kids to follow when they walk. I know, I know. Talk about overkill. But I just told him that you need them to keep order because it's such a big school and there are so many kids.)


Me: Do you think that Ateneo is OC?
Miguel: Yes.
Me: Do you know somebody who is OC?
Miguel, suppressing a smile: Me?
Me: Who else?
Miguel, laughing: You!
Me, laughing: See...
Miguel, quickly snapping out of it: But I still don't want to go to Ateneo!

This conversation happened at around 4:45AM, he waking up earlier than expected. I got home past his bedtime last night and we didn't get to discuss this except briefly through the phone. Imagine, I joined him on his bed for a few moments after he woke up, and not long after he said, "there's something I have to tell you."

Anyway I had already cancelled the bus service for that morning; I brought him to school myself. I still have to find out later how the day turned out for him.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Big school blues

I never realized how having a son in Ateneo could take over my entire life. Can you imagine what it does for his?

For example, I've been waking up no later than 5AM for the past 3 days. And I've been going to sleep not earlier than 1AM. That's because I've had to cover, label, bookmark, laminate, and pack all his things in preparation for the first few days. And to think that I already did advance preparations over the summer.

Glad to say that everything has been accomplished. Today he was required to bring EVERYTHING to school - for the teacher's inspection, I suppose. I think that I passed with flying colors.

Now I call home every morning to ask how his class was, and to find out what his assignments are. Being the mom of an Ateneo student requires commitment. As my cousin says, you need to be OC to make it in this school. That goes for both parent and student. And considering that Miguel is a third generation OC, well, I guess that you could say that he's pedigreed :)

All that aside, he seems to be adjusting well to big school.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Quickie post 3

(For Sunday, June 4, 2006)

The night before his first day, I stayed up until 2AM labeling absolutely everything that he would bring to school. No, it's not just me; the teacher actually asked us to label every pencil and Crayola.

But you won't believe it - the next morning my mom actually found a couple of things that I forgot to label! Nobody beats my mom when it comes to being OC :)


Quickie post 2

(For Saturday, June 3, 2006)

Another photo with Teacher Ems! Isn't she preeetty? When I finally met her during the first recital I understood why my son likes taking piano lessons.

But kidding aside, Miguel really enjoys studying with Teacher Ems. She's very good with children and I can see that she really has passion about what she does. There was a time last year when she missed several sessions due to stress, but I'm so glad that my mom convinced me to keep Miguel in the program.

The summer recital was a cozier one, with less participants and a smaller venue. Miguel played 2 pieces, the same ones that he performed at his lolo's (grandfather's) 75th birthday.

The first thing that he asked me at the end of the recital, after he got his medal, was "can I continue taking piano lessons?" Yes, my son...absolutely! :)


Quickie post 1

(For Friday, June 2, 2006)

Thank God for photos! I'll do a post a day for a hundred days, no matter if I'm late.

We had a nice party with the cousins, Chloe and Chino, Chasey, and Arianna and Roque. So I guess that all my kiddie guests could be considered Miguel's cousins. We had swimming, balloons, cake, games, and lots and lots of chips. And oh yeah, the food. We were constantly grazing until dinnertime.

Note to self: next time get a party host.

Miguel told all of us his birthday wish: "I wish I could spend more time with mommy!"

I didn't know if I should feel flattered or embarrassed. Nevertheless, my sister was right: I think he's gonna get his wish.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Whirlwind weekend

This is an apology of sorts.

Ateneo orientation and Miguel's birthday, Friday. Miguel's piano recital, Saturday. Last-minute preparations, Sunday. First day of classes, Monday.

All I'm dreaming about is going to the spa. But I still gotta go to work.

Maybe someday.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Chocolate love

(For Wednesday, May 31, 2006)

Last night on the way home from my uncle's 75th birthday celebration, I glanced at the back seat and saw Miguel seated beside my mom, tired and quiet but happy.

Me: Did you enjoy yourself at the party?
Miguel: Yes.
Me: What part did you like best?

In the dark I could hear his smile.

Miguel: The chocolate fountain. One day I want to have a real chocolate fountain.
Me: But Miguel, that was a real chocolate fountain.
Miguel: I want a bigger one.

Mom and I laugh. I didn't mention that his shirt had chocolate drippings less than 5 minutes into the appetizers.

Miguel: When I go to sleep I'm going to dream of chocolate marshmallows.

Sweet dreams, Miguel.


Lucky day!

Guess what, I just won 2 tickets to the new IMAX theater in SM Mall of Asia. All right! And to think that 2 posts ago I wrote that I wanted to watch Superman on that screen.

Funny 'cause it happened while I was driving to work today. And to think that a) I don't always drive to work; and b) I took the extra car today because of coding. My own car, if you didn't know, has a busted radio.

And to top it off, I was able to win the radio contest - thanks to Jam 88.3! - while driving on EDSA and not getting caught by the MMDA, haha! The technique: put the phone on your lap and but keep the radio on real low so you can hear your cue. Fortunately I had pulled over at a side street off Ayala Avenue by the time I had to go on air.

Anyway, Miguel and I are gonna have a real treat :)


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bee happy

(For Tuesday, May 30, 2006)

I gotta hand it to Jollibee...they know what kids want. And they know what parents are willing to shell out. Granted, they didn't invent the kiddie meal phenomenon, but they are milking it to the hilt here.

Yesterday I was with a 4-year old girl. As she was eating a to-die-for chocolate cupcake with thick, rich icing on it, I asked her what her favorite food in the world is. Her answer: fried chicken and rice. Instinctively, asked, "Does it have to come with a toy?" She nodded "yes" enthusiastically.

In a recent seminar that I attended, I learned that kids in very poor families look at Jollibee as their Toy Kingdom (the local version of Toys 'R Us) and proudly display their prized Kiddie Meal toys at home.

I must admit that I do find Jollibee's Chicken Joy quite delicious; so much that I don't mind finishing up after Miguel when we order a kiddie meal. It's one of the few dishes that he eats with gusto. At least I know that he likes the food and the toy.

So here's a photo of the Wolverine Disc Launcher that I bought at the Jollibee drive-through late last night. Because I promised my son that I would get it.

My officemate who's a bigtime action figure collector (think Toy Kingdom collectibles) pointed out that McDonald's makes better toys than Jollibee. And you know what? He's right. Some of the Jollibee stuff turned out to be duds, quality-wise. It has to do mostly with misaligned parts and poor connecting joints. But 80% of the time you'll find me driving over to Jollibee. Because my son asks for it.

Now that's what I call successful marketing.


Monday, May 29, 2006


Here are the 3 things that Gueli is excited about:

1. His birthday ("I can't wait for it!")
2. Getting 2 more Jolly kiddie meals so that he can complete his X-Men Shuttle collection
3. Completing all the craft projects in an activity book that we found

Here are the 3 things that I'm excited about:
1. Gueli getting his room
2. Me fixing my room
3. Superman movie in the IMAX theater :)

(Does having my car fixed count as well?)


Over the weekend

(For Sunday, May 28, 2006)

Here's the boy playing with mosaic tiles. Excellent toy. Helps hone his "Math wizard" skills. He wanted to do every design on the box, then have me take a picture of each work.

This is also the first time that I'm publishing a picture of him in glasses.


Moving out

(For Saturday, May 27, 2006)

Today Aida altered the curtains for Miguel's room. I told him, "Hey, after the curtains are in place, all we have to do is move in your bed." His response: "Let's move it in today!"


I didn't realize that he was so ready for this. So I left instructions for our househelp to move in the bed while we went to watch a movie with the beau. One movie, several video games, two cream puffs, and 2 kiddie meals later, Miguel and I went to see his room - finally complete. After his bath I found him playing contentedly in his new room.

I guess that having the toys transfer ahead of him made him eager to cross over. Or maybe it really is about time.

By bedtime, I knew for sure that he really liked his new room. He got my extra blanket and asked me to help him make a "tent."

As we agreed beforehand, I stayed with him until he fell asleep. We kept a nightlight on in his room, and we kept the doors of the adjoining bathroom open.

As I lay down alone at last in my roomier bedroom, I couldn't help but feel a tad poignant. It was so quiet. I realized that I coudn't hear him snoring softly any more. Neither can I hear him toss and turn in the middle of the night. But my boy's growing up.

And for that, I'm proud.


Friday, May 26, 2006


Thanks to the people who've been reading my blog. Do visit again! :)


Yesterday I was blow-drying my hair and then I saw it: a white strand. That's the second in as many days. An occasional strand once in a blue moon is okay. But now it's quite possible that there might be more. It's hard for me to conceive of myself as having white hair.

I remember that when we were kids we used to pull out my mom's white strands and get 10 cents for each piece. Nowadays mom has a hairdresser visit once a month for her henna hair treatment. It's a natural-looking dye which makes her hair appear as if it has highlights. I wonder, will I be doing the same thing 30 years from now?

In my head I think that I am still young but that white strand begs to differ.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Riding on the Metro

I've been taking the train for over a year now, and lately when I get down to the station, I hear this song in my head:

I remember searching for the perfect words
I was hoping you might change your mind
I remember a soldier sleeping next to me
Riding on the Metro

It's from The Metro by Berlin. This song is SOO eighties.

Anyway, the Inquirer reported a couple of weeks back that MRT ridership is at an all-time high. Not surprising, considering the rising cost of fuel. I still remember when gas cost P19 per liter; this week it just breached the P40 mark. Looks like it wants to catch up with the Peso-Dollar rate.

I always dress down when I have to take the train, which is practically every day. Exceptions will be when I have a client presentation or a date. In most of those instances I just bring the car since I plan to wear heels. But I just couldn't bring myself to "dress up" when I take the train. Tanks and sleeveless shirts are a no-no for me there.

After more than 10 years of driving myself around, I'm glad to say that I adjusted to commuting pretty well. At first I missed having my privacy every morning. But in time I learned to "shut off" the other commuters and became capable of accessing my deepest thoughts while navigating my way to work. Taking the train became automatic, in much the same way that I can drive on "auto-pilot."

While I did miss the freedom to go anywhere with my own set of wheels, I just reminded myself that I had to take the train day in and day out while I was in art school in New York.

Now that's a happy memory. It was the first time that I was away from my family for an extended period of time, and I really loved what I was doing then. I loved New York, and I loved the independence of going out into the city on your own. Imagine, you can just go anywhere and nobody would know where you are.

Well, glad to say that I was I good girl back then. I didn't go off into the bad side of town and didn't take too many excursions except to museums, art galleries, and the occasional Japanese restaurant. I was mindful of the fact that every art class cost XX dollars, so I wanted to make the most of the investment. Plus I really wanted to learn.

There were so many characters I encountered at the NY subway:

  • the street musician singing Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" to a guitar accompaniment:

    Laughing like children, living like lovers
    Rolling like thunder under the covers
    And I guess that's why they call it the blues;

  • the occasional black guy who solicited money on board, or should I say, intimidated riders into giving it;

  • the Asian lady who made up her face professionally while seated on the train;
  • and not to mention the man showed me his hairy tummy on the outdoor train platform - he said that he was a stripper and that they called him the "Wolfman." He got embarrassed when he realized that I wasn't interested in seeing his carpet.
Anyway, riding the MRT really gives me a slice of life. And yes, I am well aware that I am part of that pie. A couple of months back I remember seeing a young man in folded-back longsleeves and slicked-back hair during the morning trip. "Oh," I thought to myself, "a metrosexual on the metro." He stood out at the time, but then more and more upscale-looking people have been getting on the train that it isn't so unusual anymore. I imagine that I must have stuck out like a sore thumb in the beginning too.

Anyway, the metro is one thing that I'm glad for in this city.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ever heard of Bo

...Sanchez? His writings have been circulating in the emails for years, and some time ago I came across another priceless one.

It was about being "emotionally present" to your family. You really ought to read the whole article. But I liked the part where he said that you should praise your kids seven times a day. Glad to say that it's something that I do, from simple things like "you're so cute," "I like the way you're sitting" (with feet of the chair), or "I like it that you say please and thank you." And I do tell him that I love him several times a day.

Come to think of it, it's easy to be sweet with kids. With them, we dispense the hugs freely and unabashedly. It's with the adults that we seem to have a problem.

I think that most of us grew up with parents who were not very expressive. I may be wrong, but that's what I reckon from the conversations I've had with colleagues and friends.

Like my Chinese producer whose mother always said at mealtimes, "Eat costs P400 per kilo!" She grew up resenting her mom's habit of putting a price on the food that they were served. Until she read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club and realized that this was her mom's way of saying that she was giving them the very best.

Between my mom and pop, mom is the more reserved. Dad was not the kind to express his feelings with words, but he certainly was affectionate - at least with the girls. It's something that my sis and I have inherited in great amounts. But you can imagine my frustration with mom, who was so careful not to pass judgment on anyone that she even forgot to praise her kids.

No, I don't take it against her; I love my mom totally. Even if she didn't want our heads to grow big with praise, at least she never said anything bad to us. No name-calling, no accusations...ever. Even when I was really out of line.

It's just that after reading Bo's article about praising your kids seven times a day, I figured I ought to do the same with my mom. Heck, you ought to do it with everyone. It's just that it's a bit awkward when you're breaking in an adult onto new habits. But I don't mind. Like I said, I love her to pieces.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I ought to go through that Artist's Way book once again. Sometimes, when I sit down to write a post, I don't know what to say. Weird thing is, it's not for a lack of subject matter. I have hundreds of things in my mind; it's just that not all of them are rated GP.

When I started this blog I did it as a creative outlet since what I write for work is pretty much limited. It was cathartic at first, and I eagerly pounded away whatever so-called deep thoughts or musings I had at the time. I obviously enjoy wearing my heart on my sleeve as far as this parenting thing is concerned.

I still feel good about writing about these singular adventures of mine, but really there is so much that goes on that I'd like to tell but can't or won't - for reasons of privacy, security, or just to stick to my theme.

I remember, when I was painting, how I always said that it takes guts to put yourself - your true self - on the canvas. A lot of us are afraid to be rejected. Same goes for blogging.


Thank God I have a theme. Ha ha!

But going back to the Julia Cameron book, I remember that there were a lot of ideas there that helped get you started on whatever you had to do. It's like I have a to-do list that's unfinished until now. That's kind of how I feel at the moment.


Monday, May 22, 2006


(For Sunday, May 21, 2006)

It's late and I'm short by one post. So here's another quickie: Miguel reunited with his teddy bear. It's the most adorable thing, and I upon my suggestion my mom got it for him 4 Christmases ago. So why "reunited?" Well when he was a toddler he kept on getting colds and rashes, so my then pediatrician had me allergy-proof my son's environment.

That meant restricting certain foods, keeping a food diary, removing the bedside curtains, and banishing Beartrolucci and all other stuffed toys. He also took prophylactic antihistamines until age 4.

Thankfully he outgrew the rashes and has adjusted to previously allergenic foods like chicken, egg, and chocolate. Then a few months back he requested for Beartolucci, so here they are, together again.

It was kinda cute last week when Miguel wanted to play cards with me just as I was about to take a shower. I told him to find somebody else to play with first. So he propped Beartolucci on some pillows on his bed, dealt out the cards, and they played a game. I wanted to take a picture but I was busy in the john :)

Well, you should've seen it.


Tied the knot

(For Saturday, May 20, 2006)

My friend Jayel got hitched last Saturday. Every little detail was planned - the choral music, first marital kiss, photo-ops during the cocktails, video presentations, and table names instead of numbers. He's always been very passionate when it came to his work, and more so when it came to Michal, the love of his life.

Right now they're in honeymoon bliss somewhere in Rome. What can I say, the guy doesn't compromise on his dreams. I really should write more about the wedding some time, but for now let me just say that it was beautiful. I'll just leave you with this snapshot of the flower arrangement at the reception.


Energy Liger is in the room

I've been moving furniture into Miguel's room over the weekend, and it's starting to take shape. Every now and then I asked Miguel to look at the room and tell me what he thinks. Yesterday he said, "Mommy, the more you move things, the less fun it becomes" - referring to my room. I told him, "Miguel, we're transferring the fun from my room to yours."

So late last night I moved more of his toys to the new room, ever-conscious that I was moving out the "fun." Surveying my more spacious room, I have to half-admit that he was right. The robots and action figures are gone, transplanted to a new shelf in his room. That includes Energy Liger, his most prized Zoid, the one that I positively forbid him to break (although it has sustained a few minor damages.)

So now, instead of toys, some of my favorite framed pictures are now displayed on my buffet table. (I don't know what else to call it; it's the same kind of cabinets-and-drawers set that you'd find in a dining room. I had it custom made just so I can display photos on top of it.)

I do feel a bit sad about that. Didn't I write before that he's such a part of me that sometimes I don't know where he begins and where I end?

But move on we must. I'm just as excited to see him grow up and create his own identity and do things on his own. Like this morning when I told him that I found the perfect place to put his clothes hamper - beside the bathroom door. "No," he said, "I want it here between the 2 cabinets."

He ran back into my room, and came back with his personal clothes hamper, dumping it in the place he assigned for it on the other side of the room. Well, who am I to argue - it is his room after all.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Darndest things

Check out the sidebar for the Miguelisms :)

3 women

Yesterday while I was crossing the street I saw a woman carrying a baby. She was beautiful. Mature, but beautiful.

Not alta-sociedad or even sosyal beautiful. She didn't even dress rich, so the safest I could say was that she was probably better off than most. She had shoulder-length hair in loose curls and highlights. Her face was beautiful, but aged by wrinkles around the eyes and sagging jowls. She even wore a bit of make-up. But what struck me most was that she was carrying a baby - a girl, probably a year old.

She walked with a purpose and carried the child in a protective way, as if to say, "this is mine and you can't take it away from me." It made me think that she was the mother of the child.

But as she walked towards me and I got to appreciate her age, I noticed the younger woman beside her and to her rear: twenty-ish, fair-skinned, and simply but neatly dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. She was looking down, watching her step as she followed the older woman.

So I thought, maybe I'm looking at three generations of women here: dominant grandma, docile daughter-in-law, and doted-upon grandchild.

In a moment they were past me. Funny how so short a glimpse can give you ideas about other people's lives.

But honestly, there was something in the way that she carried the child.

I love watching people with their kids. You should try it sometime. People can be oblivious of the general public when they're with young children. Much like lovers behave when they're in Paris. Lots of private moments there.

As I like to say, I love the way we love our kids.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Making space

Well, Miguel's room has been painted and cleaned. Yesterday I left instructions for our household staff to install the curtain rods and move in some of his shelves.

When I entered my room last night, I was amazed - and relieved - to see that it was roomier than before. It's like...Waaaaaah! I can see the wall! I can see the window! It's only now that I realized that my room is so full of furniture (mine and his) that there is absolutely no wall space left.

When your room is so cluttered, your mind gets the same way too. Actually I'll be glad to have my room look like it belongs to an adult again. I'm eager to bring out all those great photos, although I wouldn't mind having a Zoid here and there. I'm making a conscious effort to create some "breathing space" in both our rooms. Looks like I'm in for more housecleaning over the weekend.


New pages

Pardon me for the non-posts for the past 2 days, but I've been tinkering with some code. HTML is a lot like Wordstar, if you're old enough to remember what that is. You just type a code before and after a command.

Anyway, I've made some additions to my sidebar and selected my favorite posts. Feel free to tell me which ones you liked. And being obssessive-compulsive, I've listed my archives by title. Maybe sometime I can post my old artworks (and hopefully some new ones) on the net. Happy browsing!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Obviously I have a lot of time on my hands. So take a look at my new Favorites page, courtesy of Yahoo! Geocities. Just be warned that it's a work in progress; as of now it only has 2 selections.

Did it by copying my Blogger template then doing trial and error. Always wanted to understand this HTML stuff.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I've had this picture for a while. It's from graduation day at Gueli's swimming class. When I first saw it I was amazed at how much he looks like me.

What does it do to a parent to have her child look like her? Does it make her love the child more? Love herself more?

Funny thing is that the moment he was born, I thought he looked like his dad. Maybe all these years with just me has made him more like me.

But as early as now, I already tell him, "You are not your mommy. And you are not your daddy. You are Miguel."

Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking we're just like our parents. Well maybe that's not so bad since there are things about them that I admire. But there's some good in knowing that you're different and accepting yourself as so.

Or maybe I'm getting ahead of this identity crisis thing.


Monday, May 15, 2006


You could say that Miguel's having a love-hate relationship with his glasses.

Before going to church he wanted to take them off because "no one might recognize me." Then on the road he was amazed that he could see more signs while wearing them. He likes to take them off while eating. But he needs to wear them while watching TV. And then again sometimes he doesn't want to.

I have to remind him to wear them constantly so that he could see better and hopefully have his vision corrected. Like I said before, his grade is higher than mine - but only slightly. Weird thing about my eyes is that one is nearsighted and the other farsighted.

At least, even without my contacts, my right eye can make up for the blurred vision on my left eye. But all I had to do was cover one eye to see how blurred the world appears to Miguel without his glasses.

But what I like most was what he said, unprompted, while we were driving home from church: "Thank you mommy for getting me glasses. Everything looks bigger now."

Honey, I just wish that I had done this sooner.