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I tried taking this on line typing test to see kung gaano pa rin ako kabilis magtype. The result is 77 words per minute, with 1 error.

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The fact na 59 na ako pero mabilis pa rin akong magtype means di pa ako inaatake ng arthritis at sharp pa rin ang reflexes ko.

I have got a lot to be thankful ke Tatay. Summer vacation pa rin ng Grade IV, pagkatapos na pagbawalan ako ng aking Tatay na magtinda ng tubig, ako ay inutusan niya na mag-aral magtype sa Telegraph Office na aking Ninong Sixto. Touch typing ang pinaaral niya sa akin 9 to 11am tapos ulit ng 4 to 6pm.

Sa harapan ng bahay naman ay basketball court at silbi na ring palaruan ng Barangay at maiimagine ninyo ang tukso sa aking murang isipan ng paglalaro. Habang nagdidribble at nagsoshoot ang aking mga kalaro at paminsan minsan akong inaaya sa Telegraph Office ako naman ay masama ang loob na type ng type.

Image result for boy learning to type in a manual typewriter

May kondisyon si Tatay, kailangang maperfect ko ang isang lesson, iyong walang mali bago ako payagang makapaglaro. Noong una, nagdaramdam ako, kaya sa pagpipilit ko na maging perfect ay lalo akong nagkakamali.

Later on I learned to control myself. Pinagbubuti ko ang pag-aaral ko, hanggang ang isang lesson ay natatapos ko ng walang mali sa loob ng isang oras. After that, nakakapaglaro na ako.

Lessons learned: Patience, Perseverance, Attention to Details, Focus on Perfection and Self-Discipline

Salamat kay Tatay. Isang napakahalagang kaalaman ang itinuro niya sa akin na hanggang ngayon ay nagdadala ng mataas na performance ko sa anumang trabaho at pagaaral na aking ginawa.

—000—

“Your friends all want to go out and play
They’ve got no homework, they’re free for the day
You’re just about ready to head out the door
But then you think about it
Just a little bit more”- David Woodward

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VENERATING HOTDOG, NOODLES AND ITLOG (HOTNOODLOG)

“Meryenda tayo Sir after ng game ha! Birthday ko.” Sabi sa akin ng isa kong kaibigan while playing basketball. Pinagsaluhan naming ang inihanda niyang pansit, nilagang itlog at tinapay. Kapansin pansin ang pansit niya ay instant noodles na hinaluan ng hotdog. “Pasensiya na Sir, iyan lang ang kaya natin para magcelebrate.”

Inisip ko na hindi lang siya ang pinoy dito sa Saudi na nabubuhay sa Hotdog, Noodles.at Itlog. Move over Adobo at Kanin or Tapsilog, tinalo na kayo ng Hotnoodlog. Dalawa ang dahilan kung bakit naging Hotnoodlog ang OFW food sa gitnang silangan.

Una ay madali itong iluto. Sa kaabalahan sa trabaho, hirap na dinaranas sa gitna ng init o lamig, sa inis na nararanasan sa mga Boss at kasamahang ibang lahi, pagod at gutom na darating sa tirahan ay Hotnoodlog ang mabilis na makakasapat sa gutom. Kung kakain sa labas, puro mamantika at mahal ang presyo ng iyong makakain.

Mura at madaling makabusog. Wala pang 5 riyals ay may pagkain ka na. Ngunit, ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit Hotnoodlog ang madalas na pagkain ay ang pagsisikap ng isang OFW na makatipid at may maipandagdag sa ipapadala sa kanyang mahal sa buhay sa Pilipinas para sa:

  1. Birthday celebration ng mga mahal sa buhay
  2. Pambili ng gamot para sa me sakit
  3. Pangtuition ng anak
  4. Panggastos sa fiesta, pasko o bagong taon
  5. Pambili ng mga gamit sa eskuwela
  6. Pambili ng gadgets na hinihiling ng anak
  7. Panggastos sa field trip, excursion o pamamasyal sa mall

At marami pa na tinatamasang kaginwahan (isama na natin ang layaw) ng mga mahal sa buhay, bunga ng sakripisyo ng isang OFW.

Hanggang kailan sila kakain ng Hotnoodlog? Hanggang kailan sila patuloy na magbibigay? Hanggang kailan sila mananabik sa sinigang, pinakbet, crispy pata, ginataang langka, atbpa.

Habang buhay ang pag-asa. Pag-asa na isang araw ay matatapos ang kanilang sakripisyo at makakauwi na for good para makapiling ang pamilya.

Sa Hotdog, Itlog at Noodles may pag-asa. 

—000—

“For you, he’s the best he can be / Oh, child don’t you know? / Your daddy love come with a lifetime guarantee” – Sade

ANG AMA: NOON AT NGAYON

Mabilis talagang lumipas ang panahon. Kasabay ng paglipas ay ang pagbabago ng mga sitwasyon, kaugalian, at ang istilo ng pagiging ama. Ilan sa mga pagbabagong ito ay nakakatawang nakasaad sa ibaba:

Noon: Kapag ang ama ay nakapagpatayo ng simpleng bahay, siya ay mahusay na ama.
Ngayon: Para matawag na mahusay na ama dapat ay makapagpatayo siya ng bahay, na may swimming pool, may 2 kotse, may malaking garahe, may malawak na hardin. At bahay bakasyunan pa lang iyan.

Noon: Tinuturuan ng tatay ang anak na magbasketball, magbaseball, magswimming, magChess.
Ngayon: Tinuturuan ng mga anak ang tatay  kung paano maglaro ng Clash of Clan, ng Baldur’s Gate, Badland o kahit na Candy Crush.

Noon: Bibilhan ng tatay ng baril-barilan ang anak at ito ay umaapaw na sa tuwa.
Ngayon: Bibilhan ng tatay laruang tig P10,000 ang anak, at sasagot ang anak ng “Nasaan ang aking X-Box?”

Noon: Hinihintay ng mga anak ang ama galing trabaho para sabay-sabay maghapunan.
Ngayon: Hihinintay ng ama ang mga anak para maghapunan. Si Boyet ay nasa kabarkada, si Nora ay nasa party, si Gerry ay nasa gym. At ang bunso ay sasabihin, “may sinaing na riyan Pa, ang ulam ay nasa ref.. bahala na kayong mag-init.. mauna ka na po at nanunuod pa kami ni Nanay ng Pangako sa Iyo”

Noon: PInapangko ng tatay ang anak para makapanuod ng husto ng palabas.
Ngayon: Itinutulak ng anak ang wheelchair ng ama papuntang salas para makapanood ng show sa TV.

Noon: Hindi pinapatikim ang anak ng alak hanggat hindi ito nakakatapos ng pagaaral.
Ngayon: Hindi nag-aaral ang anak hanggat hindi nakakatapos mag-inom.

Noon: Pawisan ang ama pagtulong sa pagluluto ng handa sa birthday ng anak.
Ngayon: Pawisan ang ama pagdukot ng pagbabayad sa restawrang pinagdausan ng birthday ng anak.

–000–

“Where do I find the words to say?. How do I teach him?. What do we play?Bit by bit, I’ve realized. That’s when I need them,. That’s when I need my father’s eyes.”  – Eric Clapton

NANAY MADE ME STRONG

I sincerely believe Nanay wanted me to do anything the best I can do and she always tried to give me the sense of confidence I should muster in myself.  She wanted me to be independent, to be strong, for that made her also strong.

In my younger days, I was so dependent on her, on everything I did, everything I decided and planned. She had embedded in me the attitude of perseverance and patience, while from Tatay the attitude of doing everything the right way… morally and spiritually whilst keeping forgiveness in my heart..

Nanay left us after a couple of months Tatay died in 1979, showing up after a year in our University with problem in her eyes. I was on scholarships plus doing some odd jobs that time, so I got savings to have her treated and stayed with me for a few months until she was totally healed. By mid-December, she told me we’ll spend Christmas in my sister’s house in Rizal and she got to be there early. I promised I will follow her there.

She never did. She was gone. All that’s left is a question. Why?

I tried looking for her, but she’s gone like a wisp of air. After 18 years, she just appeared in my sister’s home. Even if the place had changed a lot, she managed to get there, sick. half paralyzed. I took her and  had her treated, recovering through the patient watch and care of my family.

I could see the connection in everything that had happened to me. I could see the role my mother had played in making me stand on my own.. in making me strong. Had she not left us, I would not be this kind of person now. I would not have studied harder, worked harder, dreamed larger.

The attitude has  changed from “we missed Nanay because she’s gone and we were orphans who tried to survive in deep and vast ocean” to “Nanay missed us all those years that she was alone, she’s living out a lonely life to teach us how to be strong.”

It’s not too late for any of us.  We just have to embrace an understanding that life may be very different from anything we’ve ever heard of. Think about the disciples who followed Jesus into a whole new way of thinking and seeing their world?  They came to an understanding, and they had to step out into a new direction, no matter what the consequences might be.

Other people may judge my mother too quickly for what happened to us. Judgment are theirs, I have my mother. And I love her so much. And I am thankful to God for giving my mother another birthday.. and lots more to come.

This is for you Nanay:

I say a little prayer for you Nanay
to thank the Lord above
for blessing me with a lifetime
of your unselfish love.

I thanked God for the caring
you’ve shown me through the years,
for the bond of life we enjoyed
in time of laughter and of tears.

My sincerest thank to you Nanay
for all you’ve done for me
and I thank God for giving me
the best mother there could be!

—000—

“You showed me. When I was young just how to grow. You showed me. Everything that I should know. You showed me. Just how to walk without your hands. Cuz mom you always were. The perfect fan.” – The Backstreet Boyz

NATUTUTO RIN TAYO SA MGA BATA

I always spend quality time with my sons. Quality time means, memorable precious time that will be in their memories as they grow and will be related to their own children. Mga ala-ala ng kanilang kabataan na uulit uliting ikuwento sa kanilang magiging mga anak.

Katulad rin ng aking buhay, marami akong mga magagandang ala-ala ng pagsasamahan naming ng aking ama na inuulit ulit kong ikuwento sa aking mga anak. To the point that sometimes they exclaimed, “pa, nakuwento mo na iyan nung ako ay 7, 9, 12 at 18 years old.

And there are moments ng pagsasamahan ng magkapatid na tayo mismo ang makakaalala at hindi maiwasang mapangiti o minsan ay malungkot. Those days when fun is endless, when caring is bottomless, when love is the binder.

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It is not only the children who learn from their parents, but the parents themselves learn as the children grow. In my own experience, I learned a lot from them:

  1. My children taught me the real meaning of patience. Iyong kakulitan at minsan ay kapilyuhan at talagang susubukan ang iyong pagtitimpi.
  2. I learned that to get them interested na matuto, kailangan pag me aayusin ako sa bahay ay kasama sila. Tagaabot ng martilyo, ng screwdriver, tagasuot sa ilalim.. at me kasamang tuksuhan, pahiran ng grasa sa mukha, tilamsikan ng pawis which made the job more entertaining and exciting.
  3. Natutuhan ko na kapag malapit lang ang pupuntahan, mas maganda ang maglakad. Marami kayong mapapagkuwentuhan habang naglalakad. May kasama pang kantiyawan kapag mabagal ang isa o hinihingal na agad kahit malapit pa lang ang nalalakad.
  4. Ang isa pa ay iyong dapat ay nakakaadapt ako sa mga gusto nilang laro. Lalo na kung involved ang technology. Pero may isang pangyayari na labis ang kasiyahan namin sa paglalaro. Kami ay nagcamping sa Makiling, doon kami natulog sa tent buong maganak, at noong gabi ay naglaro kami ng patintero with other kids at magulang na nagkacamping din.
  5. Higit sa lahat, natuto akong magprepare ng mga kakanin at street foods tulad ng kikiam, fish ball, etc dahil sa kagustuhan ko na sariling preparation para malinis ang pagkain.

This way they learn to appreciate life through their parents. Madalas ko rin silang dinadala sa Smokey Mountain that time, sa mga lugar na may mga street children to make them appreciate their blessings kumpara sa ibang bata. This promote humility at pang-unawa sa iba.

Sabi nga ni Joe J. Christensen “Memory is the one Garden of Eden out of which one need never be cast.’ Good memories are real blessings. Memories with your children are the utmost blessings.

–000—

“Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you’ll know by.” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

MOTHER MEANS PEACE

Ang Mother’s Day ay isang mahalagang araw sa loob ng isang taon  upang bigyang halaga at pagpupugay ang mga Nanay sa lahat ng panig ng mundo. Sa pagdaan ng panahon, naging most commercialized na holiday ito katulad ng Pasko. Ang modernong paggunita ay nangangahulugan ng Flowers, Cards, Shopping, Dinner, Pasyal o treat sa isang salon, spa o resort.  These maybe good signs ng pagmamahal; a day to devote one’s mind and body to let our mother know that her life’s work of raising and seeing that we are always in good condition are appreciated.

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Ngayong araw ng mga Nanay, ibigay natin sa lahat bilang pagkilala ang diwa ng pagmamahal at kapayapaan. Hindi lang ang ating buhay ang utang natin sa ating Nanay, siya rin ang unang nagturo sa atin ng pagmamahal at pagkalinga sa kapayapaan. Hindi lang siya ang ating naging unang guro, siya rin ang nagturo sa atin ng paggalang at pagmamahal sa kapuwa at sa ating Diyos.

Dinadakila ang mga Nanay sa buong mundo sa araw na ito.  Anuman ang kulay, lahi, lengguwahe….. lahat ng Nanay ay naghahangad ng kapayapaan para sa kanilang mga anak.

Ibigay natin ang kapayapaan na ninanais ng mga Nanay. At least for today, iwasan ang hidwaan, huwag magbigay ng sama ng loob kaninuman, alisin ang galit sa dibdib, magbigay. Ito ang magsisimula ng mga darating na panahon ng katiwasayan.

At higit sa lahat, magpatawad.

Nanay, sa iyo ang puso, damdamin at isipan ay may kapayapaan.

—000—
“He got here red and wrinkled scared and cryin’. Then she took him up and held him to her breast. And he sure was glad to get what mama offered. Then he went to sleep and put his fears to rest/ It didn’t seem to matter what he needed. He could always count on mama to supply. And regardless of the sleep she might be losin’. He always found a twinkle in her eye.” – Glenn Campbell

THERE’S A FAMILY WHEREVER YOU GO

Upon arrival sa Baler, we went to the Tourist Assistance Center and asked for pamphlets and seek advises in enjoying the town. We got a map of the town and off we went to Sabang for accommodation hunting. Fully booked lahat ng puntahan naming, costing so much per night for a 4 – bed accommodation. Anim kami kaya alangan ang 1 bedroom.

Me nakita kaming beach house kasya ang 8 persons in a room kaya lang room at bathroom lang for a high cost again. Kapresyo na ng high profile na hotel sa other side of the beach.

My son advised me to go back to town and retrace our search base sa map. I told him look for Jen and Jam which was highly recommended in several blogs.

He advised me to proceed on the road to the left of the munisipyo and we came to an accommodation but again it was fully booked. I then prayed na ay makuha na kami, kasi parang puno na lahat e.

Iyong boy manning the gate of the accommodation asked us to follow him, meron daw sa dulo.

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We came to the accommodation and were introduced to the lady owner. She told us that nakabook na raw iyon for Saturday, I replied that we will leave Saturday morning.

She showed us a room na kompleto ang facilities, with TV pa and good for 8 persons. Sakto.

Sinabi niya ang price sa amin, and when I asked for half the price noong nasa beach pumayag silang mag-asawa.

The transient house was a blessing. Annabel and Sherwin were gentle and warm hosts. They even advised us on how to get around the place, enjoy to the fullest and sent guides, trainors and even maggagawa ng suman with the best price.

Remarkable hospitality. Feels home talaga.

Laki ng pasasalamat ko kay Lord for giving us time to enjoy the place and for giving Annabel and Sherwin sa amin.

New friends. New family.

—000–

‘There’s no earthly way of knowing. Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re going. Or which way the wind is blowing
Is it raining? Is a hurricane a-blowing? Thanks to a family out there. Who lend us shelter and kept us together.” – Marilyn Manson