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Friday, May 24, 2013

My PMA Cadet Years (Yearling) - Combative Subjects

March 1997

Although, there were cadets lucky enough to encounter advance math subject like Calculus in their college years, I was one of those who considered it as a "combative subject"... to describe it, let's just say that my brains seems like having a wrestling match with it.

Back then, I just finished battling and eventually won my fight against Differential Calculus, and immediately I faced a new opponent named Integral Calculus.  And in order to continue my cadetship, I needed to survive the subject.  Since the subject was just somewhat the opposite or reversal in computation of the previous one, it became a little easy for me (still hard but at least I already had a background).  Been passing the lesson and unit examinations.

The Sunday privileges really helped in coping up with the pressure.  I would usually go to my foster parents to enjoy the company of my siblings.  Watching movies or just roaming around their place... eased up the pressure of academics and gave me the opportunity to breath some fresh air... ha ha ha.  Though sometimes we also had free times from academics during the weekdays, but as cadets, we also had other duties to perform (i.e. guard details, drills and exercises, household chores, looking after our underclass, etc.).  So there's no other perfect place to relax but home.

11- Clash of the Classes.  It was a yearly event where classes compete with each other in games.  That year, the classes of 1997 (1st class), 1998 (2nd class), 1999 (our class), and 2000 (4th class) had a friendly competition.  Sort of a remembrance to the graduating class, for the last time playing with them as cadets, for the following days, they would already be busy with the drills for the graduation ceremony and back to back orientations as soon to be young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  By the way, our class finished 3rd... some say, "vault files"... I say, everything's fair and square, it's just a coincidence.

Spectating the games...
12 to15-  Overall, it was a good week for me.  I had my 2 major A patched at De Leon's (our local tailoring shop inside PMA); I received genuine handmade paper mails from friends (internet based mails were not yet that rampant during my stay); I was visited by friends from Manila (cadets seldom have one); and excused from Saturday inspection and parade (for academic purposes).  It was indeed then a good week for me.

16-  Graduation of Kalasag-Lahi Class of '97- As a trivia: It was their class where female cadets were first accepted in PMA.  They served as our squad leaders when we entered the academy.  And their time as cadets came to an end as they pave way to their military career.  As a cadet tradition called "dunking", all underclassmen met them after their graduation and we carried them towards the fountain near the sundial of the PMA headquarters.  Tossing them in the pool was our way of greeting them our congratulations and bidding our good luck as new officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

A typical 2nd class cadet dress coat...
18 to 26-  Wrestling with Integral Calculus.  We had a series of match up, lesson and unit examinations... and eventually the finals.  Good thing I successfully defended my title as cadet  (ha ha ha).  I won.  I had my chevrons moved from my elbow to my shoulders... additional stripes in my uniform... and insignia from yellow to red.  Finally done with my yearling years and into my cow years (3rd year or 2nd class).

Also, within the days, we had our 2nd classmen re-barracks in the barrio for the preparation of the incoming "plebe detail".  The Navy-Airforce group were the first ones handling the plebes (newcomers), as the Army group (which consist, more or less, half of our class) were on their orientation/training course.

27 to 30-  But before anything else, I had my well-deserved vacation.  Here's how it was spend:  Scrammed from Baguio in the 27th at 1900H; reached Manila the following day at 0100H and slept at a mistah's (classmate) house, then, went to our province and stayed overnight at my grandparent's house; after meeting my "mga kababata" (childhood friends), on the 29th I returned to Manila to travel back to Baguio and stayed with my foster parents until the following day... which was Easter Sunday, by the way.

31-  Back to barracks.  As I arrived, we had another re-rooming, as needed.  It was easier though than transferring our stuffs from barracks to barracks.  All the hassle for that moment, in our final preparation for the coming of Class 2001.

Recent Related Post: Surviving Academics

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Lolo's Last Few Days

Ever since my lolo came out of the hospital after his hip operation, he was bedridden.  Though the doctor advised his children that recovery would be possible if they assist or support our grandpa to move, sit and eventually walk, it had been not that easy.  Lolo is already in his 80's.  His bones were already very fragile and we don't know his body's tolerance to pain anymore.  All we heard was when he's being turned (especially to the portion operated), he would hold his breath and as if he would faint.

Although he was being taken care of by his family, he was not frequently turned or moved.  And so, my lolo suffered severe bedsores.  I can't imagine how painful it was to have those since he barely talks already at those times.  But his moans during the times when his wounds were being treated, would suffice as answer to my question.  If only there was something we could do to lessen the pain, but I guess there's nothing more we could possibly do.

In the past few weeks, he no longer had an appetite for any food, he would just have a few sip of milk.  We talked to him about eating and recovery, but no one forced food to him, since we saw how hard he tried.  Our lolo was already very weak, he can't barely move nor speak.  We definitely knew his body was deteriorating fast.  Hospitalization, yes the idea came to us and to his immediate family.  But we heard from his children that lolo didn't want it anymore.  He also wouldn't bear it anymore.  Damned if you do... damned if you don't.

If I would die of old age, I would not also want to be in an ICU room, connected to a life supporting apparatus, receiving all those bitter medicine and along with people I don't personally know.  My lolo, the night before his last day, were surrounded by his family, grandchildren and friends.  Each one insuring and comforting him that everything will be alright.  There was always someone holding his hands and praying for him, asking him to pray with us.

It was passed the hour of three on a Saturday afternoon when we received a call from my brother, requesting my wife to check on lolo.  He was no longer responding when we got there... no more pulse.  Our lolo rested peacefully in the day of our Lord, 18th of this month.  We will surely miss him a lot, but just thinking that he is beside his wife, our lola, right now and with our Heavenly Father, our sorrow lessens and we found it in our hearts to let go.  Rest in peace, our dearest lolo, we love you... Yahweh bless.


Monday, May 13, 2013

And Everything Went Well

Wifey loved their moist cake so much...
My day started very early today, about 12:30 a.m. as I shared hot beverages and moist cake with the 2 moms I have in the moment, my wife and mom.  Coming from a night shift and with the election being afterwards in the morning, we celebrated Mother's day short but sweet.  I just couldn't let the day pass by without giving due appreciation to the mothers who risk their lives just to have us in the world today.

Election day came.  We got to our voting precinct just minutes before lunch time.  We had our meals before going so my wife and I won't have trouble with hypoglycemia (LOL!!!).  We chose such time since not a lot of people wants to vote at noon and most of the voters would be having lunch at that time.  And so it was, there were not much people there, though there was still a line of about 20 people in our cluster, but that's very bearable.  We just waited for 15 minutes or less, then filled up my ballot for less than a minute, I guess (since I already had my list with me).  Our votes were accepted and registered by the designated PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machine... and were done.  We just want to thank the Lord that we finished swiftly as hearing a lot of voting related problems nationwide.

I vote!!!
My brother was asking who's complaining about their inked finger? LOL!

At the end of the day, I find it kind of fulfilling doing my obligation to our country, that is for that moment, to vote.  And although, a lot of candidates which I voted for were still not in the top 12 until now (though I'm still crossing my fingers), I still have faith that whatever happens and who ever will become our next leaders, the Lord has reason for everything.  I just pray that He guides them, that in everything they do, they think of the greater good and not of that of one's self or the benefit of a few.  To Yahweh be the glory always.

Voted and hoping for the best...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In Choosing The Right Candidate

As the Philippine general election for congress and municipal/city officials is about to come, this May 13, 2013 to be more exact.  I'm currently having a hard time thinking whom to vote for both national and local positions.  It really isn't easy to look for people who we can entrust our nation to.  I personally don't see a lot of option with those who are running right now.  But still, it's our duty to vote for our country.  And besides not all countries are given the same freedom in choosing for their leaders.  Many people had died and willing to die just so to have such freedom... let's not put it to waste.

Here are some criteria which I made up to serve as basis to pick up my candidates:
  • Those who stand alone.  It's okay to have supporters (legal ones) or to belong to a group or party and help each other, got no problem with them... but for those who uses the popularity of their parents or relatives in their campaign, I'm thinking otherwise.  Some candidates even have posters whose image of their popular family member or relative are much bigger than them, that I find it misleading.  I would choose the candidates because of their first name and not their surname.  Just simply saying, prove your worth first.
  • Based on experience.  Having said "candidates proving their worth", means that they had previously experienced serving as a government official, especially for those running in the key positions such as senators, congressmen, governors and mayors.  Newbies should start first serving the people as vice(s) or in other lower positions in the government and create a reputation for their names first by gaining needed exposure and experience and doing good on their jobs.   Let me put it this way, I wouldn't let someone drive a car with my family inside, if he doesn't know how to drive. 
  • With good reputation.  There were those politicians whose names were tagged with controversies, graft and corruption, immorality, those who previously used illegal means or cheated their way to a seat in the government and even those who haven't done anything during their terms... those who served themselves first and not the people... very unbecoming of a public servant, definitely not voting for them.  There are even candidates that can't or just won't follow simple regulations in campaigning, more doing illegal activities like vote buying, using threat or cheat just to insure they win.  What more will they do if they are already in the position?

  • A person with strong faith and conviction.  They say, vote for those who's already rich for they won't need to steal money anymore.  While some say, choose someone who's from the masses, for he knew and felt how hard it is to have less, and thus will have sympathy to the people.  But history would tell, it doesn't follow.  Many of those who doesn't need money became abusive with their position and power and many of those who have less became rich because of their position and power.  But a person with strong faith will fear to commit sin before our Lord.  There's no amount of riches or power that would destroy his relationship with Him. 
I haven't seen anybody from those who are running in this election passing all the criteria I made, might be too good to be true, especially to what is politics as of today.  But if there are those having even one of the above mentioned traits, without a doubt, I'm voting for them.  Our nation is yet to find leaders with  convictions to do what is right for the greater good, those who do not tolerate dirty politics and not afraid to confront and influence those who do otherwise.

I fervently hope that all Filipinos would vote wisely now, that we won't choose to give our votes in exchange for some money or personal advantage.  Let us think, not of ourselves, but that of others and our future generation.  It might be a wishful thinking and too good to be true, that's why I'm praying that He guides us all, that we may choose and elect the right people to lead our government.  Yahweh bless. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What A May Day

Back to the days of sleepless nights again...  My son's biological clock changed again, he started it yesterday with my mom.  Maybe because he slept a lot during daytime and at night, a few hours before bedtime.  We wanted to return his normal time of sleep but it wasn't that easy to keep him awake.  Any parent can't bear keeping a very sleepy child awake.  Unless you're really that kind who can afford to make the rest of the baby's night uncomfortable and ruined with non stop crying.  More, ruining a baby's sleep would also affect his development.  So I was left with no choice but to stay awake for him.

It's 4:00 in the morning when our baby was finally asleep.  Good thing today's a holiday in our country (No work!!!).   It's Labor Day, coincidentally, it's also our village's foundation day and  my son's 6th month.  And though I was looking forward to join the fun run organized for our village's homeowners, I chose to sleep, since I also needed some.  So I did sleep with my son and then my wife joined us when she got home from a night shift work.  So tired, that I woke up passed lunchtime.

At night, we attended the coronation of my daughter as first runner up in the pageant.  She looked stunning and very beautiful in her red gown that I can't help but notice that our girl is already a young lady.  She handled herself confidently in front all audiences and we, her family, were just proud of her.

It was a long day and it definitely ended well... that is if we speak about our foundation day celebration.  But for me and my wife, our son just woke up from a long evening sleep.  So once again good luck to both of us, looking forward to another sleepless day.  And what's more is that, tomorrow's no longer a holiday.  Just thinking positive now, there are a lot of things to be thankful about for the day and I will always be grateful for my kids, so bring it on.  All for His glory... Yahweh bless.