Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Facts

Got this from Leah:

Here are the rules:
1. Each blogger must post these rules.
2. Each blogger starts with ten random facts/habits about themselves.
3. Bloggers that are tagged need to write ten facts about themselves. You need to choose ten people to tag and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and also to read your blog.

10 Random facts/habits about me.
  1. When faced with a choice between going out or staying home on a free day, I'd choose staying home.
  2. I am so not into household chores. I would go crazy if I didn't have to work but have to stay at home doing household chores. (This makes me admire SAHMs all the more, coz it's hard work!) I am glad that I live in the Philippines where household help is easy to come by.
  3. I drive because I have to. But if somebody else is with me, I would rather just be a passenger.
  4. I am not much of a shopping person. Which makes me different from a lot of women.
  5. I love to read. But lately I do not have the time to do so anymore.
  6. I am a late bloomer -- had my first (and only) boyfriend at 29, got married at 34 and had my first kid at 35.
  7. I love my job. My lifelong ambition is to be a doctor and I am one. I just wish people know that we don't really make as much as they think we do.
  8. I speak fluent Mandarin, though with a Chinese-Filipino accent. People from Taiwan think I'm from the mainland and people from China mainland think I'm from Taiwan whenever I speak :D.
  9. I love the chicken feet in dimsum!
  10. I don't eat sardines. I don't know why -- they just turn me off.
Now I'm supposed to tag 10 people.....Hmmm, let's see -- Maver, Dowadee, Abie, Jan, Jenny, Pheng, Lissa, Arpi, Claire, Cherry :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Simulated Military Games

A friend of mine is very much into airsoft games. I once accompanied him to a store selling gear for this sport. I was surprised that there is actually a complete line of clothing, gear and boots, much like the real 511 Tactical gear used by military men, aside from the airsoft guns that there in the store. It seems that the airsoft enthusiasts really take their sport seriously, like actual military operations. My friend says that you can actually get hurt in these games if you were not careful, although, of course, there is no danger to life.

This actually looks like a good way for men (and women too) to let off their secret military aspirations and aggressiveness without actually becoming involved in real wars.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not The Same Race? So What?!

Race - it's what we're born into, and we pretty much have nothing to do with being born that way. It doesn't make you better or worse than anybody else.

While the specter of racism is not really something that we expect to go away soon, physically hurting somebody else with the "reason" that he/she does not belong is something that is NOT acceptable at all. Let me share to you the incident that the daughter of an internet buddy experienced in her school bus, of all places!

I share the mother's pain. It is so scary for parents to realize that there are a lot of things that we cannot protect our children from. I salute the mother for taking the first step towards making people aware of the evil that arises out of racism.

I hope her daughter will get over this incident with no lingering trauma but with a life lesson that sometimes, life isn't fair but we do need to stand up for who we are and not let others put us down.

For those boys who think that it's "cool" to taunt, to jeer, and ultimately, to physically hurt somebody else just because she is not "one of you"...I hope you get what you deserve. I grieve for your parents. If I were your parents, I would be ashamed of kids like you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Christmas Wish List

I have to admit I got a little stumped. All my wishes nowadays are big ticket items which I hope my husband and I want to save up for, like a house :). I don't suppose you can list THAT on a Christmas gift list! (hey, maybe I have a fairy grandmother who will read this and grant me my wish!)

So here is my Christmas wish list...

  1. CASH - To be perfectly honest, there is never a time that we don't need a little bit of extra money -- to pay the bills, to pay Ethan's tuition, to pay for my CS delivery this coming June 2009, to pay for my clinic rental, for investment purposes, and to save up for our future dream house.
  2. A scanner - We still have tons of old pictures from the pre-digital camera days. Sadly, some of the old negatives were misplaced or lost. It would be nice if we could scan them as digital files before they deteriorate with time. Pictures are so memorable and so irreplaceable. I think it's a little expensive, though...
  3. Transition tubes or Belly Belt - I still have some maternity pants from my first pregnancy, but of course I would like to stretch my wardrobe to include the pants I was using before I got pregnant, mainly because they look better. It's good that many blouses that are trendy nowadays can be used as maternity blouses because of their cut, but pants are another matter entirely. It's too expensive (and I'm too frugal...) to buy a whole new set of clothes that will just last me a few months.
  4. Pocketbooks - I've stopped buying books for quite a while already. Because of budget issues and storage issues. But I still love them. Love Sidney Sheldon, Judith MacNaught, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, John Grisham, and a whole lot more!
There isn't really a lot. I may add to this if I find something I really, really like and MUST have. But let me add, it's really the thought that counts, so I'm grateful for any gift...either for me or for my family :)
This is for my mommy in the Pinaybloggers Christmas Gift Exchange, but, hey, if you're not my mommy, don't let me stop you from giving me something. Hahahahaha!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Farewell, Msgr. Tchou

For older graduates of Saint Jude Catholic School, the memory of Fr. Charles Tchou is forever linked with the memories of school.

When we were in SJCS, Fr. Tchou was feared by most of the students. He was the school's chief disciplinarian and is known for giving out the dreaded conduct C* or in extreme cases, conduct D. Thankfully, I was mostly a rule follower and never considered cheating, or breaking school property, or being disrespectful to teachers, or bringing in smut, which is the case with the most publicized cases of conduct C's being given out to erring students. He was also known to give instant crew cuts, his version, to boys who sport hair longer than was prescribed. I would venture to say that a lot of students, budding teenagers and tweens alike, who are in the first throes of rebelling against set rules, really hated the way that they were "limited" by the rules.

While some never outgrew their distaste for what they feel was a trampling of their right to self expression, more of us grew up realizing that there was a lot of value in what the school taught us. The school, and especially Fr. Tchou, taught us that there were reasons for rules, and you were supposed to abide by these rules. The rules exempt no one. Everyone was covered by rules and everyone should follow them. If you didn't, there would be consequences that you should be man (or woman) enough to accept.

If I think about it, the rules in school aren't really much different from the rules at home. It all boils down to love and respect for the other members of the family (or of the school) and respect for oneself.

If one stops to think about it, that should apply to everybody as well. I am shocked that the people in the highest places, the people who should know about the laws of the land, are ignorant, or blissfully ignore the law in order to benefit themselves and their families. When they get caught, they just spend their time looking for palusots. Which should not have been the case.

Fr. Tchou was not always the stern disciplinarian. He can actually joke with us. I remember one time he saw me and my brothers waiting for our ride home. I was quite a thin girl and my younger brothers were much chubbier. He chuckled and said that my brothers must have always snatched away my share of the food, leaving nothing to me. I remember chuckling a bit at that.

I graduated High School in 1987. I don't think I ever saw Fr. Tchou again after that. He was given another assignment about 3 years after I graduated from High School and was never reassigned again to SJCS. He was promoted to Monsignor a few years back. Our batch visited him in November 2004. Unfortunately, I was not able to go because I was on my honeymoon then.

About a week ago, he got hospitalized at Cardinal Santos. Before I could decide whether or not to go visit him, he suddenly passed away. He was 84. I can no longer go to the wake because I am pregnant and Chinese custom do not allow pregnant women from attending wakes.

I was informed that one of his last wishes was that his wake be held at SJCS, where he had contributed the best years of his life. I felt it was only fitting to do so. I was told that a lot of alumni went to pay their final respects. Ironically, most of the school's students and present faculty no longer know him, as he has been away from SJCS for 19 years. Although he has been away for so long, it was obvious that there was where his heart belongs.

For the man who was very instrumental in making most of us know the true meaning of "discipline", "rules" and who has the gumption to actually carry out the needed punishments, farewell. I will always remember you as an important figure of my growing up years.
N.B. Conduct C: There is a grading system for conduct in SJCS. It supposedly gauges your behavior during the quarter and ranges from A to D. Conduct A is very rare -- I've never known anybody who's gotten more than A-. Conduct D is also quite rare. Conduct C puts you under probation, and keeps you from getting the choice positions in school like president, editor-in-chief or whatnot. 2 Conduct C's in the same year gets you expelled. 1 Conduct D is enough to expel you. At least these are what I remembered.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Prom Thoughts

I remember my high school JS prom, although for the wrong reasons. At that time, it was not the elaborate affair that it is today. It was held at the mess hall of my school. There was no airconditioning. My "date" was someone assigned to me by the teachers and the flowers were also provided by the school. The first time I attended, during my junior year, my "date" stood me up. I don't know if he was there, but I sure didn't see him. The second time was a little bit better, since my "date" and I got to talk. I don't know if it mattered, but the first "date" I had was a handsome boy. I wonder if he thought he was too good for a plain, quiet girl like me. The second "date" I had was more down-to-earth, and although we didn't have any of those romantic "dates", it was pretty nice having someone to talk to, actually give you the flowers and dance with you, so, all in all, it was a pleasant evening.

Since my parents were old school and didn't have proms during their time, they didn't really understand what it was all about. The prom is an American concept adopted by Philippine schools, so the oldies don't really know much about it. The requirement of the school regarding attire didn't really help at all. It stated semi-formal, and you know how broad that term is. It's nowhere like the glamorous affairs shown in the American teen movies that were popular at that time. My prom dresses were actually yellow cotton blouse and skirt sets, both times, although with a different design. The balloon skirt was quite the in thing at that time, so I guess I fitted in with the times. My mom and I just pulled out something from my existing wardrobe. The boys were in long sleeved polo shirts some with ties. Some were even in shirt sleeves. The other girls' "prom dresses" didn't really deviate much from mine, but some designs were more glamorous. Only the Miss Alumni was wearing a gown. Her escort is wearing a suit. But since the place was warm, I do not think that they were comfortable at all. I did my makeup myself, and I do not think that I looked great at all. My classmates had salon sessions, but I thought they looked over made up for 15 or 16 year old girls.

If I had a daughter and she will be attending her prom, I would know better and outfit her with something more glamorous and something that would stand out in her memory for a long time. Nowadays, the prom has become like a sort of coming out party for a lot of teens, as not everyone can afford a format debut. Barring a wedding, it's also one of the few times that they get to really dress up. I'd choose one of the not-so-revealing outfits in prom dresses Clarisse, maybe the white strapless gown that still looks quite innocent. Well, I do not have a daughter yet, so I do not know if that will come to fruition, but then, it's nice to dream, is it not?

In the meantime, I'm having fun looking at the prom dresses 2009. I'm a bit on the conservative side though, so I don't think I'd be picking any of the low cut, cleavage bearing dresses, or any of the almost bareback dresses or thigh bearing dresses featured in the collection of prom dresses Jovani for 2009. I mean, they're still teenagers, and here in the Philippines, being a junior or senior means that you're only 15 or 16. I just think they are more appropriate for girls who are a bit older and more mature. I'd imagine that the officials in my school will be having a fit if they saw any of us wearing one of those. But then, it's also a conservative Catholic school, so I may just be a bit conservative.