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Sunday, December 25, 2011

It's A Merry Christmas After All

The first few days before Christmas I didn't feel well, I had to be absent for work just to let myself recuperate and even if I wanted to go to work, I just couldn't... I mean my body won't allow me.  I thought I was going to spend my Christmas in misery... but  I really thank the Lord that during His birthday, He had given me enough to enjoy the day with my family.  

But Christmas is more for the kids... how I felt their excitement and anticipation for the season.  Especially the opening of the gifts and the goodies and sweets.  How I loved their innocence and the simplicity of their satisfaction... how I loved seeing the joy in their eyes in receiving and opening gifts.  I guess I just miss feeling the same way about Christmas... I missed the child in me. 

We spent our Christmas simply and the karaoke came into action during moments when everything came to a halt... remember we are in Davao and there's no firecrackers or fireworks here... it has been banned for quite a sometime now.  Though it might not be as I remembered before as a child, a Christmas blast where everyone spent lots of bucks for papers filled with black powder that made your eyes blinded with light and made you deaf for a couple of minutes... hahaha.  But hey, good riddance, my wife had never recalled disastrous firecracker related accident in her work since it was banned a couple of years ago.  That's good enough for me... but still, I missed the noise... huhuhu.

Well, after all these, I can't help but feel humbled  of how He has been so generous to my family. I feel so blessed that I have my wife and my two adorable kids., I call them my three Alas(3 Aces). I cannot think  of a more perfect gift than having my three A's with me. I thank Thee for priceless blessings such as them. Happy Birthday dear Jesus!

Part XI – Love Ever After (In Filipino "Tagalog" dialect)

When Damon arrived in the US, the first thing he did was dial Stephanie’s number. Still it was out of coverage area.  Halos hindi nya na mabilang kung ilang beses nyang tinawagan si Stephanie.  Parating unattended ang kanyang telepono. Wala rin sya sa bahay nila or sa Hospital.  He felt stubborn can this woman get.

Damon’s calls were all refused, sa hospital, sa bahay, even her personal number was already changed.  The flowers he sent her were all returned.  Damon couldn’t connect this situation to what transpired that night at Marco Polo Hotel.

He stayed for two weeks to make sure that his brother recovered well from the accident.  Thank God Alfred was able to go home in fair condition.

Now, he has to come up with a plan.  Think Damon. If you can’t talk to her to tell her that you love her and want to marry her and that you are not married like what she’s thinking, then how the f*Ck will she know all that!  When all your calls are refused!  Nag aalburuto nang utak ni Damon.

Then a person popped on his mind... Maybe her best friend can help. After that unfortunate incident with Jamie at Marco Polo, he made a background check.  He found out everything he had to know about him.  He felt guilty for punching Stephanie’s best friend because of jealousy.

Tuason Medical Center, Davao City

Steph was assigned at the emergency room for a twenty for hour shift.  As a surgery doctor, she was the one to receive all vehicular accident patients.

It was a very benign hour when the 911 ambulance echoed and stopped at the emergency room entrance.  A man was brought to the treatment room.

Steph went straight to the treatment room to assess the patient but she was shocked to see who it was.

“Damon?!.. Look at me... Damon!” 
The man wasn’t responding. Panic struck her.  She was a doctor and she shouldn’t feel this way. But this situation is different.  Her memories of him on the hospital bed came back to her.  Oh God help me!.  She felt like she didn’t know what to do first.  There was blood all over his face and chest.

“I need someone to take his vital signs!  Nurse!  Please call Dr.Mendez to assist me, hurry up please”.  She couldn’t control her tears from falling.

“Damon!  Please open your eyes!” She checked for his pupils, thank God it wasn’t dilated.

“Please don’t die... Don’t leave me!  Where is Dr. Mendez?!”  Napasigaw na ito.

Steph was holding his hand... She kissed it, didn’t care about what other staff might think.  She touched his face... he still had a good pulse.  But she still couldn’t tell where his other injuries were except for the head which she is sure of since an elastic bandage was wrapped on it and he was unconscious when he arrived.

“Nurse, his blood pressure?” she wanted to make sure.

“His BP is already 40 palpatory, doc.”

“I’ll start an IV, please prepare Dopamine... and I need a cardiac monitor please. No Damon, wag kang ganyan... sweetheart, it’s me Stephanie, wake up please.” Halos idikit na ni Steph ang mukha nya kay Damon.

“Damon, I love you.  Don’t leave me please.” Napahagulgul na ito.

Nanginginig ang mga kamay ni Stephanie habang naghahanap ng ugat ni Damon for IV access, when Dr. Jake Mendez arrived.

“Steph, let me take over.” Pagkalma ni Dr. Mendez sa kanya.

“No, I don’t want to leave him... Jake, he needs to live, he is my life.” Sabay yakap nito kay Damon habang umiiyak.

Steph froze when Damon wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly.

“I love you more sweetheart” pagkumpirma nito.

“What?” Umangat si Steph at tumingin kay Damon.

Nginitian sya ng pagkatamis-tamis ni Damon. “I love you too sweetheart.”

Natulala si Steph... nag ayos ng tayo at lumabas ng treatment room.  Habang  tumatakbo ito palayo ng emergency room ay sinalubong sya ni Jamie.

“Steph! Wait up!”

“Jamie! Thank God you’re here... I think I’m going crazy.”

“Sshhh... I know, but that’s the only plan we could think para lang umamin ka.”

“We?  What do you mean we?  No, you’re my best friend at nakikonchaba ka sa kanya?  How could you?”

“I wanted to help the two of you Steph, you both deserve to be happy.”

Both stopped talking when the paging system started to talk.  It was Damon on the microphone.

“Stephanie, wherever you are, I want you to know that I love you very much and I want to make it clear that I AM NOT MARRIED... I am a single man who is in deep love with you and want to spend the rest of his life with you...Please marry me Dr. Sephanie Tuazon.

She cried in disbelief of what Damon said.  She hugged Jamie.

“Is it true?”  All along, he wasn’t really married?  But who’s Megan?  And Abbie?”

“Megan is my brother’s wife and Abbie is my niece.  Sagot ni Damon na nasa likuran niya.

Lumingon si Stephanie na umiiyak parin.

“I’ll leave you two to talk” Singit ni Jamie.

“Thank you, Jam.” Nakipagkamay si Damon kay Jam..

Lumapit si Damon sa kanya.  Hinawakan ang mga kamay nya at hinalikan pareho.

“I hate you.” Mahinang bigkas ni Steph habang nakatingin sa kanilang mga kamay.

“I love you” Sagot ni Damon.

“I really hate you.” Inulit ni Steph.

“I love you all the more.” Panay ang halik ni Damon sa kanyang mga kamay.  Sabay luhod sa kanyang harapan.

“Dr. Queen Stephanie Rodriguez Tuason? I promise not to do that again and be a loving husband and father to you and our kids.  I promise to love you and take care of you as long as I live... Will you marry me?” Pagkatapos ay binuksan ni Damon ang isang small black box na naglalaman ng pink diamond in a platinum ring.

Muling pumatak ang mga luha ni Steph at lumuhod rin sa harap ni Damon.
“Like I said, I’m all yours Damon... Yes I will marry you.”

Mahigpit silang nagyakapan.  They stayed like that for minutes.  Thanks to Jamie who made sure na wala munang magagawi sa parteng iyon ng hospital.

On that same day, Damon and Stephanie got married in a small chapel at Tuazon Medical Center.  Saksi ang lahat ng mga kasama nyang doctor at nurses and Stephanie’s Family of course.

Syempre, their grand wedding will follow soon, dahil hindi makakapayag si Senyora Carmella na walang engrandeng kasal na magaganap para sa kanyang unica hija at para makadalo narin ang pamilya ni Damon.

After the grand wedding, they had their honeymoon at a private beach resort in the Carribean..

“I can’t believe I’m Mrs. Stephanie Samuel now.”  She made a sigh while looking at the sunrise.

“I never dreamt for my dream to come true, but you are the living proof of it, come here sweetheart.”

They kissed and hugged while the sun slowly rose.

“I love you Damon.”

“Hhmmm...You are my life sweetheart.  Kaya wag na wag ka nang mawawalang muli, mangako ka, I love you too.”

She giggled. “I Promise.”

And it was love ever after.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hours To Go Before Christmas

There's just a lot of things going on, mom's preparing her all time favorite and masterpiece, macaroni salad. The kids are busy singing  their favorite songs in the videoke! I can't help but be excited as well...
Christmas is just hours away, everybody is busy doing just about anything! busy yet happy, as evidenced by their laughters...
Relaxing... "hanep"...(LOL)
There are carolers from time to time... households are already busy preparing for the grand event, cleaning houses, fixing things and cooking food maybe for the noche buena... some are still on the move, maybe for the last day shoppings or groceries... well, everyone seems to be busy minding their own business right now.

Well, for us... the gifts are all wrapped and placed under our tree... and the kids are already very excited to open them, but we told them they need to wait a few more hours and sleep tonight, so by midnight they'll finally open their Christmas presents... 
... when it comes to the food for the noche buena, they are already cooked or half cooked, just to make it easy to prepare and just to steam it a little bit as the clock strikes 12 midnight... soft drinks are already chilled in the ref... and meats are already tenderized and marinated...
... the house had been cleaned as it is nice to celebrate the season with a pleasant surroundings... good aura... my wife keeps on reminding me not to let the children mess up the room us she's still going to work (bummer, but whats great is, she'll be able to join us to celebrate Christmas...) and I'll be left with the kids (lol)...

Me, though I'm still not yet 100% recovered from being sick which started a few days ago, I'm just glad that I'm well enough to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends.  Considering there are those who sadly can't and more, hardly have any... brought by the recent calamity that hit our country... seems I don't have the slightest reason to complain... rather be thankful of how blessed I am in a lot of ways.

Everything is pretty set, Christmas spirit is everywhere.  I guess, the only thing that's missing are the traditional fireworks since it is banned in our city to avoid  accidents. Well, whether there are fireworks or none, It's still a happy and sweet Christmas for everyone! Cheers! Yahweh bless.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Her Artistic Side

Working with her cupcakes...
My daughter had a week long excitement just to be in the cupcake decoration contest held recently at an establishment here in Davao City.  On the site she and her classmates were delighted by the various cupcake decors, there were chocolate syrup and bits, icings and marshmallows to name a few. They  were supposed to compete with other schools but maybe due to the bad weather that day, it turned out that they would have to challenge each others ability instead.

During the competition proper, the artistic side of my daughter surfaced.  She always had been fascinated in mixing up things and creating accessories like necklaces and bracelets.   She decorated the three cupcakes given to her wonderfully and chose the best one for the competition.

As the program progressed to the announcement of winners, her name wasn't called but I was so proud of her that she acted maturely like being a true sport.  She told me that maybe her work wasn't good enough as that of the winners... yet I told her, that might what the judges saw, but for me there is only one winner and that is her.. and she told me that I can only say that because I'm her father.

Her marvelous creation..
Yah well, maybe I'm biased alright... but I just can't hide how proud I am... knowing she did a great job... gave her best shot... showed her creativity... played it fair and best of all, did it by herself.  My daughter's artistic side.  Yahweh bless.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My PMA Cadet Years (Fourth Class) - Recognition Day

I remembered back in my elementary and high school days... “Recognition Day” was a very pleasant day... and so was this day... only, instead of receiving ribbons for good academic performance... we received a simple but very significant handshake from our upperclassmen... as recognition that we basically surpassed our plebehood and take part of our place as 4th classmen of the cadet corps... expected to perform delegated tasks without or with minimal supervision... and show excellence in the performance of the given tasks as what was expected of a PMA cadet.  Let me just use a metaphor... Recognition or the handshake is like a spark of light from our very dark plebehood days...

September 16, 1995 – we started our day feeling weird and somewhat uneasy... everything seemed so quiet.  We had an unfamiliar morning mess with our upperclassmen... unfamiliar, in a sense that we were no longer doing some of the things we usually do... the SOP’s... the “chinning-in”, the “head-ups”, and no more shouting.  After, we returned to our barracks... and we were no longer told to double time.  And inside barracks... trotting was no longer made; it’s the first time we walked the hallway to our quarters.

And after some finishing touches for the open house... a barracks inspection was made... then we heard the commotion we all were looking forward to... our families finally arrived... just seeing them was enough already for me.  That day, I felt how proud they were seeing me standing tall in my full dress uniform.  And honestly, I felt proud too to myself conquering my plebehood days... until now.

Then came the most anticipated part, the recognition ceremony... the event started as any of our “pass-in-review” parades except that here our upperclassmen separated from the formation... by then we marched and created an octagon formation symbolizing the 8 companies of the cadet corps...

... And came our upperclassmen, it was one of the joyous moments of our cadet life... and almost all of them gave us their handshake that day... even by the those I least expected... except for these 2 extraordinary yearlings who might be thinking they were much better than anyone in the corps (LOL).  Come to think of it, if I’d be the one giving them my handshake... I might also be hesitant... considering their performance as should be mentors... (just kidding, of course I would have had gladly did a handshake  with them, if not, then I’m no different from them).

Then, we spent some quality time with our family.  We toured around some famous places in Baguio City.  Unlike what everyone thinks, even PMA is in Baguio, as most cadets; I didn’t have the privilege to go to those places, if my family haven't visited me... hahaha.  We did have a hectic schedule and if we were given a privilege to go to the city proper, it would be just enough to do our business there.

At the end of the day, I gave all praises and thanks to the One who kept me safe and away from harm... the One whom I talked to when I felt like quitting... and the One who never failed to give me my needed strength and confidence... Yahweh and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Previous Related Post:  Rotting Hell Week and Initiation Day 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Son's Birthday In Gensan

Four years ago, a bouncy little boy was born at 6:09 in the morning of December.  I know since I was awake all day waiting for him outside the delivery room.  We were just glad that he was complete and healthy... and we thanked the Lord for it.  What's more was, it's also the birthday of my mother-in-law, so it's a double celebration. 

This year, we agreed to celebrate his birthday in Gensan with her grandma.  We haven't done that before, since my inlaws just returned from the US to settle here for good after retiring from their work there.  With some of his cousins and my family, we traveled early morning and upon arriving, you can just see the delight in our son's face after he saw the preparation the family had given him... "A Ben 10 birthday party theme".  From the tarpaulin with his face on Ben Tennyson's body (being a avid fan of the cartoon character)  and with mom's face on snow white's body (being a good sport)... to the goodies, stuffs and giveaways... all just wowed him.
The birthday celebrants...

Since we had a double birthday celebration, it was sort of a grand feast (LOL)... there were a lot of guests from both parties.  And as planned, there was a magician who also acted as the program host or emcee.  Who's really worth having, since his magic and sense of humor had entertained both the kids and the kids at heart... all the guests had fun watching him perform his tricks and he even handled the games...  so it was "sulit" (worth every penny).  

The centerpiece, the ever famous "litson" or roasted pig
along with some of our guests.
After the fun and games, a short program was given for my mom-in-law... then we said graces for the food (thank you Lord)... I was really quite hungry already, considering our travel with 4 kids especially when it comes to the taming of the kids (whew).  And since the food was either catered and some are bought, it was already prepared and all we had to do was eat.

The kids, especially our son enjoyed his party... and that's what mattered most. Everything won't be possible and won't be so easy for us, if not for the help of our family in Gensan who took care of what was needed... the goodies, the prices, and the setting up of the house for the celebration... our sincere thanks and gratitude to them.  I thank the Lord for them... and for giving our child a wonderful day and for all the blessings he received for the year that passed by.  May Yahweh continue to bless, protect, and guide him for facing another year of his life.  Happy birthday, son.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy First Movie Theater Experience

I don't really remember my first movie on the wide screen... maybe it was "Superman" which stars the late Christopher Reeve.  My parents told me though that my nickname was from the leading actor's name in the movie they were watching a few days before I was born.  Will that count? (LOL)

But this is something I do know, my son’s first movie... “Happy Feet Two”.  It took a while, since my wife and I were hesitant to bring him to a movie theater.  We were afraid that he might ask us to go out while the movie is going on or worst, even before the movie starts, considering its very dark inside a movie house.  But yesterday, we decided to treat him and his sister and took the risk... and guess what?  He enjoyed the movie... he was quietly watching the movie from the start until it ended... maybe because it has a colorful animation, full of action and sound effects, lovable and fluffy penguin and other fun-to-watch animal characters and exciting music.  He even asked us to watch another round which we would had gladly agreed to if not only it was that late.

I somehow related with the theme of the movie... since it focused on the struggle of a little penguin and a krill in finding their place in this world and of what they were capable of doing and eventually knew what they do best.  For I know, someday, my children would do the same... but for the meantime, we are happy to know that our little boy is confident enough to watch inside a cinema.  He even is asking me right now as to when we are gonna go back to the big TV  (referring to the cinema screen) since ours is very small compared to it (haha)... I thank the Lord for these small but memorable and fulfilling experiences in life.  Yahweh bless.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Avoiding A Christmas Stress

As the holidays are fast approaching, let me just give some suggestions, though these might be common sense but due to our busy and fast lifestyle, we tend to forget and we just need to be reminded... 

Plan Ahead.  Decisions should be way ahead from the holiday.  Know what you're going to prepare for the Noche Buena so you can make a list of ingredients you're going to buy especially those you can store.

Buy within your budget.  You can have a long list of things you want to buy but there's just a limit on what you can actually buy.  Let's face it, our resources are limited and bringing out your credit card won't do you any good... so buy within your means.

Learn to voice out.  Participate in the group decision making, especially in exchanging gifts and other forced contributions.  If you have trouble with your finances, you can always suggest to lower gift limits or amount contributed... if there's a need, then explain.

Don't join the Christmas rush.  There are lots of days to buy the things you need for the holiday season.  Depending on your budget, buy already the things you need most especially the bulky and heavy ones... and those ingredients you can store, so you'll just have to buy the highly perishable goods.

Prioritize.  Distinguish what you need from what you want... except of course if your wallet's that big.  Buying ahead of time affects your daily expenses... and prioritizing what you buy would greatly help.

Have a good storage area.  Make sure that all the things you bought are properly stored.  You might want to inform your household about it... so they can ask permission and you'll know if some of the goods are used ahead so that you can replace them.

Family ties.  Make use of our Filipino customs.  Ask your family or relatives to have a common celebration by which everyone would have their own particular contribution.

Celebrate it simple.  Christmas don't have to be extravagant.  You don't need to overly fill your house with decoration and prepare too much food... make it just enough for you to appreciate it... 

Remember that Christmas comes once every year.  Don't be a "kill joy" and avoid troubles.  Keep your cool and have a spirit of the season.  Be kind to carolers and let your neighbors enjoy themselves.  Also, enjoy but do all things in moderation especially when drinking intoxicating beverages.  

We should not pressure and stress ourselves for Christmas for it defeats the true meaning of it... the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, for whom we are unitedly joined together to celebrate... and that's what matters most. Good luck and Yahweh bless.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My PMA Cadet Years (Fourth Class) - Rotting Hell Week and Initiation Day

September begun with “Baguio Day”. We had no classes since our battalion was included in the parade and we plebes were left to few upperclassmen.  Good start, as you may say, but that was when we needed to be extra careful with our actions for as “Recognition Day” was nearing... endorsements and other misfortunes (as we termed it “kamalasan”) were usually rampant.

Good thing, the academy  had a lot of various activities scheduled in the week until our “Initiation Day”... we still had our academics, Saturday Inspection, sports fest, Sunday services, and meetings with our academy stationed officers.  And still, we were usually asked by our upperclassmen to report to them in athletic uniform every after our classes for another “masi-masi” (series of physical exercises) session... sometimes, even after taps I was visited by upperclassmen... I just couldn’t figure out if they liked me that much that they couldn’t last a day without seeing me or it might be that they wanted me to quit already (LOL).

I also learned that week that a squad mate was resigning and our tactical officer asked me to send her a letter... it’s a blessing in disguise for me, you see, if she resigned then all her mistah will put the blame on me and my squad mates... and I couldn’t let that happen... well, I guess the letter was effective coz she graduated (hehe).

But, not all were obstacles, as I’ve said we were also in our sports fest month... and we had been practicing for weeks for our platoon run to prepare ourselves for an endurance run... and it actually paid off, 11th of September, we started the race as a platoon at Camp John Hay and reached as a platoon at PMA... from 8 companies, we finished 2nd place that day... my very first “minor A” (an athletic recognition).

Well, after the rotting “load and load” (eat til you drop, literally) in the mess hall... the almost endless “masi-masi”... the sleepless nights of reporting to upperclassmen... the extreme trotting, double time, chinning-in and head-ups... all the humiliations and hardships... 

...we came to the finale... hours before “Initiation Day”.  It was 15th of September, and the upperclassmen saved the best for last... it was the day, I hated food so much (sorry Lord)... it’s just that I had never took such amount of food in my life... “load and load” as they limit, I vomited every after meal... no matter how much I tried not to...  and before we knew, we already were asked to change to athletic uniform for another “masi-masi” session... talking about being pushed to the limit... while our upperclassmen were maximizing...

... then a bugle call sounded indicating the initiation proper had arrived.  The weather cooperated with the activity, it was starting to rain when we marched off to Borromeo field... not knowing what to expect but we were already tougher back then, what could be worse than being a plebe.  We started off by running 2 rounds in the field, maybe just to loosen up and calm down our nerves (hehe)... it was followed by an inspirational talk from our commandant and superintendent... then the alma mater song that really made our spirits high.  As the upperclassmen positioned themselves in their designated places, a horn sounded... there and then the task was revealed, we need to go through the 8 companies performing different exercises given to us... from push-ups to squat thrusts... jumping jacks, sit-ups, mountain climbing and so on... we just stopped and transferred to the next company as the horn sounded.  During the course, some upperclassmen especially former squad mates in the summer camp already gave their recognition... And finally reaching our own company upperclassmen as they formed a long line of human tunnel which we had crawled into... and it was done...

... As far as I could remember, no one bogged down... the rain that day really helped us a lot... for me, it’s a way of the Lord showing me His blessings that day...

We then had an evening boodle fight in the mess hall, followed by a long sleepless night of preparation for the following big day...  though exhausted, I remembered I just took a nap for a couple of minutes in the sink, that’s how busy we all were back then... But I’m no longer thinking of rest or what my body felt... I was just proud that I did not only survive the “hell week”... but my whole plebehood days... and was just looking forward for our recognition day... Yahweh bless.

Previous Related Post:  FTX, Chickenpox and Academics

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nationalism Personified

Each and every Filipino knew this hero who fought for his love to our country.  For those “kababayan” (countrymen) who don't know him... shame on you (LOL), even Wikipedia knows him.  I would not be talking about who Gat Andres Bonifacio was or what exactly he did for our country because you can easily google his name in the net.

I was actually struck by the poll in question by local news on TV... Will Andres Bonifacio be proud today of the country he once fought for and even gave his life?  What do you think?

By his bravery and leadership, along with his men of valor, the “katipuneros”(Bonifacio’s group) freed us from our tyrant colonizers... I think, he would be happy to see us as a free country today... but I’m very sure, he would never be glad to see that our government has never changed... it is still run by mostly corrupt officials, who has greed for power and abuses it's country... and who has little or no regard to the Filipino people... the sad part is, they are also Filipinos.

The trace of our colonizers still runs in our government... it was passed and never forgotten.  When someone is elected as government official or holding a position in the country... they always think that they are no longer common people... “alta sociedad”, powerful, untouchable and everyone under his scope is his servant... this is what a foreign colonizer in a position thinks...

... Isn’t it obvious, look at our justice system and compare it with the colonization era... it slightly changed only.  It isn’t fair and justice doesn’t have blindfolds... I don’t expect it to be perfect since it is created by man, but I hope it’s not as biased as it is.  When foreigners colonized us, almost all seats in the government were taken by them.  And even if they did injustice to the people under them or broke any law they created, they were not punished the same way as they did to a common Filipino. So how does it differ from today?  We see government officials guilty of obvious crimes they committed... and just because they hold much power and money... they can escape with technicalities or given much special treatment... that an ordinary Filipino wouldn't get.

Please remember and may you never forget that you, as government officials were put to your position to serve your nation and to do what are best for its welfare and your own countrymen and not to be served as if you are a king or an officer in a foreign land.  You are not running a government of a colonized country, so why are you acting and thinking like one?  Have we forgotten what we were thought in school of nationalism?  It’s not just for the sake of memorizing what it meant and answering in the exam all the question about it... but to know it by heart and to live by it.

Never did I lose hope, I know there are still  “Andres Bonifacios” in our government and our country... fighting and living to what is right and just...  And if everything fails... with our Almighty Father, everything is possible... and everything would be fair.  With the poor’s simplicity of their lives, they easily accept things, there is contentment and happiness... while that of the extravagant life of the rich and powerful even the slightest of downfall is already hard for them, they are never satisfied and lonely... A very simple example of heaven and hell here on earth. Yahweh bless.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nine Long Years Working

I guess I just want to congratulate myself for working and sticking to my job as an auditor in a private company here in Davao.  For the past years, I had lots of ups and downs in my work... had been under 3 department heads... encountered different personalities (some were easy to get along with and some were just difficult and  hard to comprehend)... met people whom you just can't get along with and made my stay a lot more challenging than before (LOL)... but hey, the good thing was I also found good acquaintances and the nicest of friends that back you up and give you these crazy ideas and later tell you, "forget what I said man, not worth doing"... hehe, I guess everyone just wants to stay long enough in their jobs.

I've learned a lot in my work...  
... people with less or no proper education doesn't mean they are not capable of understanding... In fact sometimes its easier to explain to them and let them understand things than those we think are knowledgeable ones.
... there are just those lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time... who are given the opportunity to work for what they are passionate about... good pay... with the right companions... and almost perfect company.
... politics isn't always only in the government...
... some people love to talk about somebody else and find it comforting to find someone in the hot seat... they'll do everything and anything as long as someone is being talked about.
... you just can't trust someone who talks about someone else and do everything just to get a seat... they can make flames by adding fuel to a spark... and they would even kiss their boss' feet (it should had been a**... hehe) if they are asked to do so.
... people in position almost always win... even people you thought should help you tends to lean towards them and amazingly can swallow and twist their tongues when in front of them.  
So, what keeps me going in my job... it's my family.  Whenever I feel tired or sick of my work, I think about them... a lot... and what I feel and think doesn't really matter anymore.  What matters is  that I give them a good life and I get to spend quality time with them.  They are the most special ones in my life, and their welfare is my utmost concern.

I just frequently pray to Yahweh... first, to praise and thank Him for having a job that supports my family (just thinking of the people who don't have any)... to ask Him to protect me and the people I encounter along the way while driving to work... to give me the needed strength in facing the obstacles along my way... to give me enough courage and wisdom to deal with difficult people... and that I may develop this keen judgment  to keep the righteous things I've learned... and forget the wrong deeds I've seen and experienced, so I may not do the same to others.  Yahweh bless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My PMA Cadet Years (Fourth Class) - FTX, Chickenpox And Academics

May 29 to June 5, 1995 – Field Training Exercise (FTX).  The corps jumped off to Fort Magsaysay, where our class had our very first experience of the FTX.  This is actually designed for cadets to give them the opportunity to apply what they learned in the academy during the summer military training and to test their endurance and adaptability in the rugged terrains and under different weather conditions.  More, cadets take part of various activities such as combat simulations (i.e. attack formations, raids, patrols, interrogations, community relations and others) and practical weapon firing.

The part that I enjoyed most was the war games where two battalions would attack the other two battalions.  A gadget was attached to our M16 rifle and we were wearing a special vest where the number of hits can be recorded and counted through a device... on the other hand, when a person is hit, an alarm attached to his vest will be triggered... while the most rotting part was being the sentinel on duty... that after the whole day of activity and everyone was sleeping, I still had to keep my eyes open to guard our camp from a possible enemy attack... “the worst”.

Immediately, after we returned to PMA, I was confined in our Station Hospital (PMASH) for having chickenpox.  I suppose you may say... good for you, at least you’ll have time to take a rest after the FTX... but on the contrary, how I regretted it... Of all the days it could have chosen, why in the time when the upperclassmen will all be going to Manila for the June parade and we, plebes, would be the “kings of barracks”... I was confined for more than 2 weeks in PMASH feeling awful and uneasy because of this blisters all over my body... while my “mistahs” (classmates) were all enjoying the little freedom they had... “Sincerely!!!”

Florendo Hall... where the topmost will be my place for more than 2 years.

Melchor Hall... our academic building.
It was June 22 when I returned to barracks, academics had already started... and I needed to cope up with the lessons and other corps activities.  We particularly had similar subjects as that of other universities and colleges.  Except that we focused more on some combative sports (wrestling, boxing, judo and taekwondo) in our Physical Education subject and our usual military courses.

From here, July and August passed by slowly... how I wished I could have had fast-forwarded it (LOL)... there were a lot of activities that transpired... the corps drills, endorsements during mess, swimming and gymnastics lessons, failures and successes in lesson and unit exams, meaningful Sunday worships, “sluggable” Saturday inspections, sports fest, plebe duties, Alfa’s traditions and practices (the sundial and pomade), mase2x, laxities and endorsements... so again, mase2x and more... and before we knew it... it was already September...

During 1995 sports fest... the green alfans...
Yahweh bless.

Previous Related Post:  Beast Barracks - 2nd Plebe Detail

Friday, November 18, 2011

Will Twilight's Breaking Dawn Break Record Charts?

Almost everyone I know is so eager to watch Twilight's Breaking Dawn that I can't help but think that it might break an all time box office record.  This is the nth time that a co-worker asked me if I'm going to watch the movie's premier. It made me think, why would I risk my life fighting  for premier tickets and swim through an ocean of people when I can comfortably watch it next week?  Unless of course if my wife, which by the way is an avid fan of this saga, asks me to... hehehe.

If I may ask, how did vampires and werewolves, from being dreadful, antagonist, and feared upon, become the lead characters and protagonists in a story.  Maybe these lovely and handsome looking actors are to blame... from Interview With A Vampire's Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas... to the present Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of the clan... not to mention their awesome abilities and powers... no wonder vampires and werewolves today are more related to a superhero than  monsters as what the earlier generations picture them.

So, what to expect?  From what I can remember from my wife relaying to me what she read... the story would probably start where Bella and Edward had to tell Charlie about their plan of getting married.  The wedding will take place, then a honeymoon in a secluded island.  Bella will later discover her pregnancy and the danger it would bring her. There would definitely be an action-packed  confrontation between Jacob and Edward... and the clash between the werewolves and the Cullen Family with Jacob backing them up... all these just to defend Bella and her pregnancy, which the werewolves consider as a threat.  The ending? hhhmmm... Jacob's imprinting with Bella's child, Renesmee, that would be a good  ending... making you look forward to what's next. What do you think? Well, I think we should watch it then... hahaha.

As I have mentioned, my wife is an avid fan of this movie saga... LOL.  She had read all these black books and had been caught with it for quite sometime.  So, there's no question if we are going to watch the movie.  I just hope the movie will bring justice to the book.. coz if it does... I'm more than sure that it would break a movie record... and not the hearts of those who passionately followed this saga... So, just cross your fingers everyone and enjoy the movie with your companions... Yahweh bless.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Thank Yahweh For Keeping Me Alive

I met an accident today, and not only once... but twice.  It was raining hard and the road was very slippery... so my motorcycle slided when the truck I was following applied sudden break.  I had minor burns in my right foot when it came in contact with my muffler... I was so blessed that no vehicle was closely following me and there were people that I easily called for help.  I stayed there for a while since the person asked me to rest and to further evaluate myself if I was okay... So after assessing myself and my motorcycle... I immediately went and continue with my travel home.  But as I was crossing the intersection to Mamay Road, I met another accident... a jeepney hit my motorcycle and for the second time, I fell down.  Knowing that it was just pure accident, and with them just starring at me, I started the conversation and asked the passengers and driver to help me pull my motorcycle up... which they willingly did... I just prayed and prayed that I would safely reach home... since the only thing that kept me going was just my adrenaline moist helmet and eyeglasses was already blocking my view.

Yahweh is just so good to me... that I arrived home safe and sound... and most of all alive to see my family.  I thank Him for my wife tending my injuries... and is now taking good care of me... And I felt so lucky that I have children that gave me strength with their comforting words and warm hugs and kisses of sympathy.  I know, He always has a purpose for everything that happens to our lives... and I again thank, Our Almighty Yahweh for saving me twice again from something worse that might have happened... I am grateful to this blessings... To Him be the glory and His alone.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pacquiao Vs Marquez III - Pacquiao Won By Majority Decision

Manny Pacquiao did it again, gave his country another valuable recognition by defeating Juan Manuel Marquez for the second time.  Marquez knew from the very start, that the only way he could defeat the defending champion was to be the aggressor and he should be able to knockdown Manny in the game.  But through the rest of the game, Manny had always been the one moving forward and was most of the time, the one throwing the first punch... I know it's sad for Marquez fans to see their idol lose the game but I guess having the fact that majority of the judges, 1 draw while the other 2 scored in favor of Manny, should be enough and respected... as it should be the case should the result goes the other way around.

I saw how sad Manny was, when a lot was booing him... he didn't even raised his hands at the end of the game... not because he knew he was going to lose but because he might be thinking that he had given his all... risked everything... but it was not still enough to please the crowd.  Is it just that we expected too much from him, that in every fight he must knock out the opponent or destroy their faces?  People has limitations, and we should know that... Having fought an opponent for a couple of times makes someone somewhat familiar to his moves.  That might be the case here.  It's just sad to hear some people... more even from our very own kababayans, commenting that it should be the other way around... Hey, a Filipino won... risked his life just to fight for our nation's pride... It's really true, you just can't please everyone.

To Manny... it is a great pleasure of having you as our sportsman icon and proud of you being a Filipino.  You had given our country much pride than any other Filipino had... you've put us back in the map... and made us known to the whole world.  You showed great courage and determination in your fights... but  what I admired in you most, is that I always only hear kind words from you... even if it is for your opponent... a perfect sportsman... a perfect gentleman... And you never forget the Lord... that made you a perfect example to all people of all ages.  Whatever they say, it was a game well played and was decided fairly... My sincere thanks for again making our country proud... Congratulations... To Yahweh be the glory.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Part X – Facing The Odds (In Filipino "Tagalog" dialect)

Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City

Stephanie was one of the speakers of the seminar conducted by the Department of Health which was attended by doctors from different regions of the Philippines.  She was wearing a white sleeveless with collar blouse tucked in a red above the knee skirt paired with black high heels.  With her height of 5’6’’, she looked more like a model than a doctor, kaya hindi maiwasang humanga ng bawat lalaking doctor na nakikinig sa kanya.  They couldn’t help but admire her intelligence and looks... Beauty and brains ika nga.  Her topic was about “Caring for the Caregivers”.  She was tasked to tackle on the doctors’ point of view of caring for others without compromising their care for themselves physically and emotionally.

Damon secretly sat on one corner of the ballroom listening to her.  Thanks to his connection and killer smile, madali nyang natuntun if nasaan si Stephanie.  Sinadya nyang hindi sya makita ni Steph dahil ayaw nyang ma distract ito.  Ang talino talaga ng babaing ito...nakakapanliit.  When the seminar ended, ay hindi parin nagpakita si Damon.  He just looked at her in awe.  His mood changed when he noticed that a lot of men gathered around her and offered a hand shake which she accepted with a beautiful smile... Ok that did it...  Aktong lalapit na sana sya ng may biglang bumati at yumakap sa kay Stephanie...  It was a young doctor, Steph looked so happy to see him.  She pulled him to one corner and talked to him without letting go of his hand.  Natigilan si Damon.  Who is she talking to this time?  Her boyfriend again?  Akala nya si Miggs ang boyfriend nito whom isn’t a threat to him dahil alam nyang alam ni Miggs ang pinagdaanan nila ni Stephanie.  But this guy looks like someone really special to her because she is paying so attentively to what he is saying.  She even looks so happy to him.  Well, there’s only one way to find out.  Lumapit si Damon sa dalawa at gumawa ng ingay by clearing his throat na nagdulot ng paglingon ng dalawa.

“Hi, doktora.”

“Damon?  What are you doing here?” She was surprised and hated herself for feeling excited at the same time.

“Can we talk Steph?”

“Ok, you can start talking.”  She still did not let go of the guy’s hand.

“I mean, just the two of us.”  Sinadya nitong tingnan ang pagkakahawak ni Steph sa kamay ng kausap.  It should be his hand she’s holding, not someone else’s.

“Look Damon, Did I tell you not to bother me anymore?  I don’t want to do anything with you anymore... Diba ganun ka rin naman from what Miggs said?” You are a liar Stephanie!  She talked to herself.

“Steph, I really wanna talk to you in private.”

“Ah, Excuse me, but isn’t it obvious enough that she doesn’t wanna talk to you alone?” biglang singit ng katabi ni Steph.

“Who’s this?” Tinuro ni Damon sa inis ang lalaki.

“And who do you think you are, pointing a finger at me?”

Damon’s patience and control gave way... Nilapitan niya ang lalaki at sinuntok ito sa mukha.  Gumanti naman ang lalaki, sapul rin si Damon sa mukha.

“Stop it you two, anu ba!  Nakakahiya kayo!  Damon, please leave!... leave me alone!... I hate you!” Sambit ni Stephanie na may masakit na tingin kay Damon, saka nito tinitigan at hinawakan ang pasa ng kausap.

“Are you ok, Jamie?” concerned na tanong ni Steph.

“Steph?” apologetic na tono ni Damon.

“Go away, Damon.” Seryosong sagot nito habang hinahaplos ang likod ni Jamie.

“I’m sorry about this Jam, are you sure you’re ok?” Tumango lamang si Jamie kay Steph.

Tumahimik na lamang si Damon, tumalikod at lumabas ng function room.  Hindi nya pinansin ang halos lahat ng matang nakatitig sa kanya... He felt numb.

Si Jamie ay matalik na kaibigan ni Stephanie, halos magkapatid rin ang turingan nila sa isa’t isa.  Lingid sa kaalaman ng marami, Jamie is a gay, inamin nya ito kay Steph noong sila ay nasa premed pa lamang.  Nagkahiwalay lamang sila pagkatapos ng board exams upang magresidency.  Jam decided to leave town and applied at Xavier Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City.  They were both so excited to see each other when Damon came.

“Come on, let’s put some ice on your cheek, mabuti nalang at masquerade ang theme ng dinner fellowship natin mamaya, ito naman kase, bat ba kinausap mo pa yung tao?.”

“Eh, sino ba yun? Saying napakagwapo ngunit antipatiko naman, in fairness, mabango sya ha, bakit bay yun galit?”

“That’s Damon, remember? Damon from college?”

“No way! Was that him?... Bakit di mo kami pinakilala, eh hindi sana suntok kundi beso-beso ang unang pag meet namin! Anu ba naman Steph.” Disappointed si Jamie.

“Sira, he’s already married Jamie!”

“Really, why is he here, at bakit mukha syang galit sa akin?..hhhmmm baka nagselos..aray! wag mo namang idiin ng ganyan yang pisngi ko!”

“Sorry...jealous kamo, I don’t think so.”

“Do you still love him?”

“I don’t know... He’s already married Jam, come on , what am I supposed to feel.”

“Simple lang yan, be honest to yourself, nung makita mo sya kanina, did you long to hug him?”

Natahimik si Steph...pumikit.

“Yes.” guilty na pag-amin nito.

“Yes?! Bakit tinarayan mo sya? Akala ko tuloy ginugulo ka nya.”

“I’m scared Jam, I’m scared that if I don’t show anger, I might end up loving him again, tapos anu namang labas ko? Kerida?”

“Well, he wanted to talk to you about something, baka naman nais nyang sabihing ikaw ang gusto nya at hiwalay na sila ng kanyang asawa...hahaha!” Nagliwanag ang mukha ni Jamie.

“Not a chance, nakita ko sila sa States...They were so happy together, so that ain’t gonna happen”.

“Steph, my dear, you try so hard.  You mask your feelings in vain, you...are very obvious sweetheart, so might as well be honest with yourself nalang... Just listen to what he has to say Steph, para matahimik narin sya.”

“I don’t know Jam, baka makalimutan ko nanaman muli ang lahat at kung anu nanaman ang mangyari”

“Mangyari? What do you mean?”

Guilty ang mukha ni Steph na nagpahiwatig kay Jam.

“Oh my!... Don’t tell me... My God!.. In love ka ngang talaga, doktora!..” Napatabon ng isang kamay ni Jam sa kanyang bunganga habang sinasabi ito.

“What am I going to do, Jam?”

“I am not gonna tell you what to do my dear, you know me, iba ako mag-isip.  Do what you think is the right thing to do para wala kang pagsisisihan.”

“Thanks Jam, I missed you so much friend... Mabuti nalang nandito ka, malapit na talaga akong masiraan ng bait.”

Grand Ballroom, Marco Polo Hotel

It was the termination fellowship of the five day seminar conducted by DOH.  They had a masquerade ball to make it more memorable.  Steph was wearing a cream silk gown with small crystal beads.  Her hair was temporarily set in big curls.  She looked like a “demigod”.  Parang si Athena sa Clash of the Titans.  So magical and so feminine.

Should I go to him?... No!... I should go to him.  Yan ang naglalaban sa kanyang isipan habang nakaupo sa isang sulok katabi si Jam.

Jam was looking glamorous himself.  He was wearing a vampire suit.  Parang si Edward Cullen ng “Twilight”.



“Kanina pa kita tinatanong!”

“About what?”

“Bakit kanina pang blanko yang mga mata mo?  Hhmmm...let me guess, you are thinking about him, aren’t you?”

“”No... of course not”

“Yes you are... I know that look my dear”

“No nga... kulit... I’m just bored, that’s all”

“Ok, I have an idea... why don’t you go talk to him.”

“What?... Why would I?”

“Steph, it’s now or never.  If you really don’t want him anymore, go talk to him and put closure to everything that’s happened between the two of you, para dika nagkakaganyan.”

“Like I know where to find him.”

“See... gusto mo nga syang puntahan... o, ayan lakad na dali” sabay abot ni Jam ang isang maliit na papel kung saan may nakasulat na floor and room number.
Tinitigan ito ni Steph.

“You know what, you better hurry, kase papalapit dito si Dr. Suarez, kanina pa tingin ng tingin sa iyo yan... hahaha... ikaw rin... unless type mong mag entertain ng doctor na may malaki ang tyan at halos wala ng buhok... eew”

“What will I tell him, Jam?” Tanong ni Steph na tila natotorpe.

“Andyan na si Mr. Suarez?...” Pakantang sabi ni Jam.

“I love you, Jamie... Will see you later tonight, alright.” Umalis na si Steph.

“Goodluck... mwahmwah.”

Matapos ang ilang hakbang, bumalik si Steph.

“Samahan mo nalang kaya ako.”

“Ahm, I don’t think so, it’s something you have to fix or end on your own. Remember, he wanted to talk to you in private kanina diba?”

Then she sighed... went to the powder room para magre-touch, whispered a short prayer and headed to the 10th floor to Damon’s suite.

It was almost 12 midnight, nanginginig ang mga tuhod nya at kumakabog ang kanyang dibdib matapos nyang pindutin ang doorbell.

“Nang bumukas ang pinto ay nagulat sya sa kanyang nakita.  Damon was only wearing a boxer shorts.  He looked so yummy with his lean body.  Oh my... Bibigay na talaga ang mga tuhod ko.

She couldn’t speak... She just stared at his eyes.  She felt heat flowing from her veins to every part of her body.

Damon was surprised himself.  He almost swore when he saw her... His goddess. She was so enchanting, he felt the need to take her there and then... and so he did.

Damon pulled her and touched her face.  He pulled her waist to his.  Their bodies fit perfectly.  Steph just let him touch her face, her back... then he held her hands without taking his eyes off hers.  Then he bent to kiss her.  He lost control when she opened her mouth to welcome his.  Damon carried her to the bedroom and laid her on his bed and slowly removed her gown.  He took his time... slowly, gently, lovingly touched her and kissed every inch of her.

The moment she saw him at the door wearing only boxers, she totally lost her reason for being there.  She only felt the need to be one with him... For the second time, she let go of her guard and inhibitions and gave herself to Damon.  It was a night made in heaven.  No pretensions, no arguments, just sweet surrender to each other’s arms.  Maybe tomorrow they can talk... Yes, tomorrow can wait.  Tonight, she belonged to him.

It was around 9 a.m. in the morning when Stephanie woke up.  Her body was sore from last night.  He took her and gave herself willingly three times.  There were no words mentioned.

Damon was inside the shower room when his cellphone rang.  She got curious and checked who it was.  On the screen she read “Megan calling”.

When Damon came out, he smiled when he saw her already awake.

“Good morning sweetheart, I ordered breakfast.”

“Your phone rang”

“Who was it?”

“I don’t know, just take a look at it.”

Damon checked his phone. ”Excuse me”.  Paalam nito saka lumabas papuntang terrace.

She felt like she was picking the pieces of her heart one by one as she slowly gathered her clothes.

He didn’t fully close the door to the terrace kaya she was able to hear the conversation.

“Megan, you called?... what?... how? Ok, will fly back there tonight... Calm down, everything’s gonna be fine, where’s Abbie?... Abbie sweetie, papa Damon will be there soon.”

Stephanie couldn’t take the hurt anymore.  She didn’t want to listen to their conversation further.  She was so devastated.  She had to leave right away.  This time, she had to leave Damon, that’s the right thing to do.  She slowly went out and walked straight to the elevator at dumeretso sa isang taxi.  Then her Cellphone rang.

“Steph, where are you, what happened to you last night?” Worried na tanong ni Jamie.

“It over Jamie...Where are you?... I need you please.”

“Calm down Steph, where are you? Pupuntahan kita.”

“I’m heading to my condo at Eon Tower, can you follow me there?”

“Of course, Steph... Shall I bring all your things in your room in the hotel?”

“Yes please, Jam... Use my car, Nasa drawer ang susi. Thanks again Jamie, what will I do without you.”

“It’s ok Steph...Calm down. Cool ka lang ok?”

Damon couldn’t believe that Steph left him again.  He almost shouted at the waiter who brought the food sa inis nya sa sitwasyon.  For the nth time, Stephanie left him again.

He wanted to ran after her but she already left aboard a taxicab according to the guard.  He had no choice but to go back because he had to book a flight back to the US.  His kuya Alfred met an accident and is in a critical condition.  His family needs him right now.  He swore to come back and settle things with Dr. Tuason as soon as possible.

To be continued...

Next: Part XI - Love Ever After

Previous: Part IX - To Love And To Hate