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 :)