Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Laab You (a.k.a. "Negotiation")

Miguel, with a funny accent: I laab you. Get me milk.
Me: No.
Miguel:  I laab you. Get me milk please.
Me: You already love me.
Miguel: I will laab you more.
Me: Get your own milk.
Miguel: Please please please. I laab you.
Me, sighing: Okay. I'll go down with you.
Miguel, reaching over and handing me a big teddy bear:  Beartolucci will be my ambassador while I watch TV...
Me, laughing: No! You have to go down yourself!
Miguel, losing the accent: Since you're laughing, you're gonna get me the milk, right?
Me: I'm only going to accompany you. 
Miguel:  Aw.
Me: Do you want milk or not?
Miguel:  No....yes.
Me: Let's go.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pillow Talk

While saying goodnight to my son:

Miguel: "5...4...3...2...1.
Ah, silent but deadly."

Monday, March 07, 2011

Costume for the day

Spider costume for tomorrow's Anansi play.

Language Reviewer

Direction: Write a friendly letter. Use the topic "the time when you went to a very exciting place."

Miguel's letter:

February 33, 2011

Dear Chuck Norris,

Hello! Yesterday I went to Chuck Norris Land. Let me tell you about my experience.

First I went to my hotel to check-in. It was the best hotel ever. Then I went to the Roundhouse Roller Coaster which almost made me barf. So I went to the Beard-fisted Cafe to buy some Chuck Cookies. Then lastly I went to my room and slept hoping that Chuck Norris wouldn't find me.

I hope that you can go there someday.

Your friend,


Monday, February 21, 2011


This hit me while I was researching for music pegs:

True currency is not money, but time.

Think about it: money is but a valuation of what people has invested their time in.

When you pay a worker his wages, you pay foe the time he spends on the labor.

For example, I pay my yaya for the time she spends washing my son's clothes, preparing his meals, inspecting his school bag and nagging him to stop watching TV so he can study.

The advertising company pays me to help form strategies, brainstorm, develop copy and boards, supervise shoots and watch over post production (aside from researching music).

My yaya and I both have 24 hours a day, except that my time is exponentially more valued - in monetary terms - by the skills that I've developed over years of schooling, plus the experience of my previous and present jobs.

Applying the principle on objects, a 10x12 canvas costs just over one hundred pesos. But if I paint on it for 3-5 hours, I can produce an artwork that can be sold for probably eight thousand pesos. If Malang paints on it, he can sell it for more than a hundred thousand pesos. The thing is, Malang has spent a lot of time honing his craft, and the time spent marketing it as well - by himself or others - has added to the value of his artwork.

What about objects which are not works of art?

A diamond is an object of great value. Its value is intrinsically attached to its properties - like hardness, clarity, luster. But you have to consider that it also took a great amount of time (and heat and pressure) to create a diamond, about a billion years or so. (No wonder they say that a diamond is forever.) Not to mention the effort spent in acquiring it through digging, drilling, political wrangling and even cutting and polishing.

I know I'm going somewhere with this thought, so bear with me...

Goodbye, myopia

I want to be farsighted, in more ways than one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interactive E-POW

I don't know where he gets his ideas, but I love it!

*POW stands for Problem of the Week. I forget what the E is for. ("Extra?")

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh the difference an hour makes

One hour ago I was getting stressed.

Then my friend asked me to go accompany him for merienda, and told me how his fiancé went all wacko on him. Now he's seriously thinking of calling off the wedding, notwithstanding that they have a child and have been living together for several months.

And now I don't feel like my troubles are so bad after all.

They're probably just...common.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To yaya for not to yaya

That is the question.

Because Miguel's nanny of 8 years (on and off), Yaya Reiza, will be leaving us mid-March. She's become like family to us.

In the years that she's been with us, she's left to get married, asked to come back, and gotten pregnant (by her spouse). So now it really is time to say goodbye. Well, Miguel is ten years old, and he has adjusted to middle school. So now I'm wondering if maybe it's time to say goodbye to having a nanny.

Imagine how much I would save! :P

But then, as if to really present the issue to me, Miguel got sick last night. Just a fever, which will hopefully be gone by today. It just so happens that yaya is on leave today, so I had to stay home and take care of him first. Who would watch over him when he's sick and I have to be at work? Luckily my mom volunteered to check on him throughout the day. But that's only for today (if you know what I mean). Sigh.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Don't let me fool you into thinking I've got it all together. I might act like I do, but I most certainly do not.

Take for example this upcoming Father and Son Night in my son's school. Such a big hullaballo. I've known about it for years, and I always thought that I'd go anyway, be the one of the few women at the campfire (I know a few other single moms in the batch), maybe even knock over a few beers, and show those men how much balls we single moms have got. Or just show up to watch the festivities, then leave with Miguel as soon as it was time for dinner.

But alas, ten days ago we were all advised that moms, other family members, and caregivers will not be allowed to attend the entire affair. So much for my attempt to prove that I am just as good as any man.

I asked Miguel if he would like Ninong to go with him instead - Ninong is, after all, an alumni of the school - but Miguel's reply was swift, as if he'd settled the matter in his mind long ago: "I don't want to go."

What's a woman to do?

Blame the men.

Yes, this is the part where I blame my ex-boyfriend for not being man enough to bond with my son, so that: a) I wouldn't have dumped him; b) we would've been married by now; and c) he'd be going to the Father and Son Night with Miguel.

Well. I've been down this emotional path before. Many times, mind you. And while the impending Father and Son Night merits a visit down memory lane, I won't take long on this stroll.

There was a video that I watched some time ago wherein the speaker mentioned that "blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort." And that's when I realized why I blamed my ex for so long after I ended the relationship - there was pain, and a lot of it. Basically, me realizing the inadequacies in my life (and subsequently, Miguel's) and wanting to fill a male, testosterone void that I cannot fill. There were many reasons for me to get into a serious relationship at that point, and that, apparently, was a major one.

Well, it's been a few years since I wised up and realized - and accepted - that marriage just isn't for everyone. That there's no point in being unhappy in a relationship when you can be happy without one. (And since I never made any wedding vows to anyone, I'm not defaulting on any deal.)

And as for those inadequacies? Embrace them. You can't have it all, you see. And while I still have my idols and idolesses - married couples who put family first and are pretty cool in my book - I'm not hung over about having their picture-perfect lives. Because looking at my son, I know he's happy and that he's turning out pretty well for a ten-year-old, thanks God. And not surprisingly, I'm happy too.

There, I've said my piece. Enough with that walk down memory lane. As for Father and Son Night, if you read my earlier post, you'll see what we'll be doing instead.

Today's Costume for Choral Recitation

It's about the tieeeeeee!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Filing for a leave

There is always a bit of drama going on with me. When you're a single mom, it's guaranteed!

Dear (boss),

Sorry I didn't ask permission personally first regarding the (date) leave. I do remember that email you sent; I just misunderstood because I thought that you were referring to a leave request that was filed after the leave was taken.

On (date of), the Grade 4 batch will be celebrating Father & Son Night, which is the biggest event of the year for the batch. There's been a lot of preparation and to-do about the whole thing, but being a single mom, I can't take part in the activities. I've asked my son if he's like his ninong to attend with him, but he'd really rather not go. Rather than let him feel bad that he's missing out on the whole thing, I've decided to "make it up" to him by taking him out on that day, "father" and son, right after classes while the other boys are pitching tents with their dads.

It really is a long story, and I felt a bit awkward about explaining the whole thing. But since the the event had already been announced, I didn't want to file at the last minute while I was fighting my discomfort. Perhaps writing about it makes it easier for me, and I'm glad that I can explain myself in this way, even if belatedly.

I hope that you don't mind this lapse, and rest assured I will inform you personally before filing in the system. Thank you also for granting my leave request :)

Yours truly,


Monday, February 07, 2011

Chuck Norris Files

Facebook status, February 6, 5:30 PM:

Just now, from Miguel: Did you know that when you misspell "Chuck Norris" in Google, it doesn't correct the spelling? It says, "you have ten seconds to live.

Facebook status, February 7, 8:00 AM:

Last night, at bedtime...

Miguel: Chuck Norris used to work for the FBI.
Me (drowsy): Hnnh.
Miguel: He was their best negotiator.
Me: Yeah?
Miguel: All he had to do was say, "I'm Chuck Norris.

Facebook status, February 7, 8:02 AM:

This morning, over breakfast:

Miguel: One day Chuck Norris was hungry for a banana. He went to an apple tree. There was no banana. He said, "I'm Chuck Norris." And then a banana fell.

(This one was made up by Miguel. Given his track record, I say it's an original.)

This one's going into "Miguelisms"

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Finally, at Forty

I'd like to share this article that I wrote for the Silver Book, which was published for our 25th homecoming last January 3. (High school batch '86, St. Paul College Pasig) You could say that it's my thesis statement.

Finally, at Forty

I know that some of you are in denial about being forty, but to be honest it’s one of the most wonderful ages to be – better even than thirty.

Finally, at forty, I gained a degree of financial independence, confidence and poise. Chalk it all up to experience: By forty, I had studied abroad, cared for a sick parent, borne a child (out of wedlock!), lost my dad to diabetes, changed careers, nursed various bruises, tummy aches and fevers, fell in love, fell out of love, saw my son through the rough-and-tumble world of big school, become a supermom, lost my other dad, and accomplished something in my chosen field. My list grows longer by the day, as undoubtedly does yours.

I know that there are several experiences that are not on my resumĂ© – getting married, starting a business, having multiple kids, building a house, or experiencing the support of a spouse. But neither did I have to live through marital infidelity, an acrimonious separation, loss of a home through floods, or grave personal illness or injury. For that I am thankful as well.

Finally, at forty – through all these happy, sad, funny, trying experiences – I realized that, hey, I am a woman – a strong woman at that – and that I no longer had to take any BS from this world. And that although I am quite capable of dishing out the crap as well, I can choose not to, because the world crooked and evil enough as it is. But more than that, I have learned to accept with grace the portion and the task allotted to me in this life. Being a single working mom is no easy task; but I relish the adventure of it all.

I’ve been rich and poor, loved and abandoned, strong and weak, supported and alone. And finally, twenty-five years after I stepped out of high school with great hesitation, I have found my center.

Finally, at forty, I have laid aside the illusion that my worth is measured by the amount of my material possessions. I have learned that life can change or even disappear in the blink of an eye, and that I had better be prepared for eternity. I have learned that my greatest legacy is not my triumphs in the corporate world, but my child who will carry on the love for God in his heart. I’ve learned that in the end what matters most on this earth is the family that I hold dear. And that if I’m wise, I’ll learn to expand my heart and extend that love to the rest of humanity as well.

I share these lessons with you out of humility, knowing that you have your own stories to tell. And having you with me as I walk through the furnace of life, it is no small comfort knowing who my true friends are. Finally, at forty, I can say that we are sisters for life.

I hope that time has been kind to you as well. And if ever you’re going through a rough patch, remember: Sis, here’s a hand that you can hold on to.

God willing, I will write for you again twenty-five years from now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Science project - with cupholder!

Directions: create a periscope using milk cartons.