Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When Kids Are Sick

When I was a child and I got sick, my mom used to make a nightlong vigil at my bedside, checking my temperature every now and then, and giving me sponge bath when my temperature would rise.

Now I have kids of my own. My husband and I discovered how much toll a sick kid can wreak on his/her parents. After a bout of illness, the child is not the only one who loses weight, even his parents look like they have consumed weight loss pills as there is a noticeable loss of weight.

I realize that while my husband and I are both doctors and in theory know what to do when our kids get sick, when it occurs, we're simply dad and mom -- in the league of worried parents the world over, jumping at every little cough.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Technology Brings Families Virtually Together

For example, my grandfathers both came to the Philippines to earn money while their families were still in China. All communications were by mail, whether personal mail or sending money. Of course, that takes time so for the times in between letters, there was virtually no news of your loved one, what he's doing, if he's healthy, if he's eating well, etc.

When my father had to go the USA to work, there was already the telephone and we could communicate via long distance. But since long distance calls are expensive, these are short and often reserved either for special occasions or for emergencies. But at least, my dad was just a (long distance) phone call away.

Now, there are cellphones and computers. You can text for much much cheaper than before. Long distance rates are going down. If you want it cheaper, and even "see" your loved one, you can chat via your laptop computer with your webcam on, and carry on a conversation with your loved one. It still does not replace being together, but at least you get to "see" and talk to each other in real time. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taller Than Parents?

While we Asians are generally shorter than Caucasians, we do notice that kids nowadays seem to be taller than the previous generation. Is it because of the food nowadays? See, I have a brother who's 6 feet tall. He's a good 4 inches taller than my dad. He took tien chi, a Chinese herb that's supposed to increase height (I wonder how it would far against the best HGH releasers), but then so did my other brother who ended up the same height as my dad. So, what made the difference? Frankly, we're not quite sure. Me? I'm the same height

Will our children be tall? If they're gonna get their height from us, no. But if the trend of being taller than their parents continue, they just might be.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Still On Vacations...

I just realized that our family could also enjoy Vegas vacations! I remember that we first went to Las Vegas back in 1991, then later with my mom in 1998 (after a convention in New Orleans, but that's another story). Of course, Las Vegas is known best for legalized gambling, thus a lot of people go there to try their luck in getting rich as quick as possible.

But Las Vegas also has these wonderful hotels. You can actually watch some great "shows" for free. I especially loved the show on Treasure Island (there are 2 versions) and the water dance at the Bellagio. Even walking through the hotels is a fun experience in itself. I know there are more hotels now, each with its own unique attraction.

And of course, there are the shows! Las Vegas would not be Las Vegas without the girly shows, but there are actually family-friendly and kid-friendly show like the magic by David Copperfield which we watched way back in 1991 (don't know if anybody remembers him, but he used to be so famous).

I'm sure I'd have fun again here. Also, it's not so far away from Los Angeles, where we can find Disneyland, Universal Studios and those other theme parks that children and children-at-heart would love to return to again and again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


While on the subject of family vacations, I came across a website for cheap panama city vacations. I wonder if I could get my family to go with me? One thing is for sure...none of my family members have ever been there before! I mean, different family members have gone to the more popular destinations around Asia (like China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore), North America (particularly USA and Canada) and Europe, but I've never heard of any of us going to Panama yet. If it won't really make a dent in our budget, why not? :) It would make a different experience from what we're used to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Family Vacations

It has been such a long time since we have gone on a family vacation. When we were small, it was usually a trip to the beach. I remember when the whole family on my Dad's side would all go. My Angkong and Ama (grandpa and grandma) and all my uncles and my aunt on that side plus us, of course. Ama would cook her kiam pong (rice with pork, chicken, dried shrimps, mushrooms), we would bring pork strips to barbecue.

When we were older, we started having trips abroad. We've gone to China and Hong Kong with our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins, visiting our great grandmother in her village. It was very rural and quite inconvenient for us city dwellers, but hey, it's really something different, and I got to see my great grandmother.

Dad and Mom also brought us to smaller trips with just the five of us, to Hong Kong, the US and even just short trips around the country -- beaches, Baguio, the usual.

I've love to have trips with my own family too, when the time and the budget permits. I'd love to go to Europe, because of its beauty, its history & culture and because I've never been there! I mean, I'd love to have a new travel experience with my husband and kids. Maybe go to the USA again, on the East Coast this time (last time it was on the West Coast), or go down to Mexico. With kids in tow, it would probably be more convenient if we get an all-in-one vacation so that we don't need to worry about where to stay, where to eat and what to do. I'm afraid I like my luxury, so the new resorts like those under Karisma Hotels appeal to me because they provide almost everything one needs for a family vacation. Now, if we can only find the time and the budget for it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tsinoys = Businessmen

People usually associate Chinese immigrants as negosyante (businessmen or traders). That's because many Chinese who came over to seek their fortunes are from poor families from farming communities who may not have college education, have limited command of English and Tagalog, and do not have the know-how for more technical work. Also, during the post-war period, there was little work to be found, so they are forced to be enterprising, as families back home in China were counting on their financial support.

It is only in the later years that we find more and more Tsinoys and Tsinays in the health and professional fields, mainly second, third or forth generation Tsinoys/Tsinays with better command of Tagalog and English than their parents and grandparents. Sadly, however, with the downspiraling of the economy, we find less of highly trained individuals in their chosen fields but instead being forced to be employed in fields that they may not be trained for or interested in. This is not limited to Tsinoys and Tsinays, though, but to the population as a whole. The good news is that with the boom of the call center services in the recent years, there have been a rise in demand in call center agents. However, whether or not this trend will be continuing in the next few years will have to be seen. More and more, Tsinoys and Tsinays are returning to what their grandparents and parents have been doing and excelling at -- being business people and entrepreneurs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Ke Tseng

Every Chinese bride brings along her ke tseng to her husband's home on the day of her marriage. It has evolved through the years, but usually this consists of practical items plus some symbolic items which are thought to be wishes for a son soon after the marriage. Although my then-fiance (now husband) is not Chinese, my mother still practiced this, although she just gave the basic stuff -- beddings, small sin-na (special baskets) of candies, a pair of lanterns (to wish for a son), icons of wealth, health and long life, some new clothes for me, a pair of vases with artificial flowers and a set of Samsonite luggage.

This is usually an opportunity for the parents of the bride to display their wealth and love for their daughter.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Great Skin

Chinese women are renowned for their fair, clear, porcelain like skin. My late maternal grandmother's skin was still very nice even when she was already in her eighties. She didn't have a lot of lines and she could pass for someone in her late fifties. She applied some sort of day cream everyday and another at night. She developed that habit early in life. I never did that, but maybe I should. I'm nearing middle age and although I'm not really vain, I'd like to "grow old gracefully". :)