Poverty At The Edge

I know the times are difficult but I didn’t realize till this year that my family had been severely affected…  Why, cousin Merlie closed her preschool in the middle of the school year, and cousin Manny had been waiting for his salary since Halloween… and I had constantly been sharing whatever spaghetti pack and pan de sal with them whenever I have extra. Yesterday though, when I was buying a couple of canned goods, bread and eggs for  cousin  Manny, I realized I didn’t even have coffee in my own kitchen, and my COACH wallet is close to bankruptcy. Sigh! And the tolling of the bells, or rather the blasting of the firework, or both,  for the New Year, are well within 24 hours! Double sigh! I should be going gaga over 12 round fruits on my counter table before midnight. That is the only way I could have a bountiful 12 months, according to the Chinese… either that or I  keep the PhP 850 intact in the deep recesses of my wallet and hope that the amount quadruples at the berth of the new dawn….

By the way, the COACH wallet was a gift from Laarni, my bff.  Grrr!, did you guys think I could afford that? Hmmpf! But Laarns, thanks so much, people do think I am Richie Rich whenever I bring out my wallet to pay something. Feeling good, I act the part.

And now I am reaping the fruits of my pretenses. Triple sigh! But well, it was good while it lasted!

Poverty is under control anyway. It is just because of the books costing too much. And President Noy ruling on that education budget cut!  Had the stipend arrived on time, we wouldn’t be poor! But we have to buy the books! The reaction papers are due when class opens first week of the New Year.

So blast the firework tonight, buddies, I gotta keep my mind off my stomach. And my daughters got their minds on the books. Drat! I think I am the only one with the quizzical brows! For all I care, my cousins are thanking the Lord for 2010. And here I am, mumbling and ranting….

Gosh, I gotta go, have to find ways to multiply my blessings, like how the rabbits multiply….

Hey Tsinos, I don’t believe in your animal calendar but there’s no harm in allowing the rabbits run my way….

Here’s to my being prosperous in 2011! Watch me!

In My Diary 29 December 2010

God is so good to my family. Despite the gloomy situation of the world, life has been all right. Blessings continue to pour and we are not as impoverished as millions of others who go hungry and are homeless.

My Aunt Bay showered a few hundred pesos to the young people, so they can buy the books and shirts they need for school. Malou and Bong opened their home for our Christmas feast. Although we only have the basic on the dinner table compared to the Christmases of the past, everyone was so happy because there is nothing in this world like family.

Our Audrey is very impish now and would ask for her gifts. She would like to have cash, ha ha! And Julia is bewitched by our Adam. She wouldn’t hold any other hand but Adam’s. Hay!

Tish is practicing piano. Jean in drawing again

Called mommy up this morning. They had a wonderful Christmas celebration despite the rain. Another typhoon is going their way in a few hours. Pray they stay dry and safe.

The Day the Innocents Died

So the story was told long ago, that after the birth of the Saviour, three wise men or magi from the East, followed the North Star, in search of a Babe born in a manger and Who, as foretold by the prophets and pronounced by the angels, would be Christ the Lord. But as it was, the three wise men asked their way around and sought audience with a heinous king called Herod. Enraged upon the thought that someone was greater than him, he made a notion to be advised of the whereabouts of the Child-God so he could pay his own homage, too.

But the angels of the Lord, guided the three wise men after their visit to the Holy Babe, and the three magi passed another track on their way back.

Soon enough, Herod realized that the magi had went on another course to avoid him. His anger turned into wrath and thus ordered the killing of all the children under two years old.  By this time though, the angels had prodded Joseph, the foster father of the newborn Saviour to bring his family out of Bethlehem and into Egypt, where the family would be safe.

And the massacre of the innocents was carried on, fresh red  blood covering the nation as wailing and whining and shock defined what grief and disbelief meant.


We commemorate the deaths of the innocent children every 28th of December,  three days after Christmas day, and a day or two after the feast of the Holy Family. As most of the time we forget the true meaning of Christmas, and perhaps don’t even care to celebrate the feast of the Family, so do we most often do not even know what Innocent’s Day is supposed to be. In the recent times though, this feast had been slowly gaining media cum consumerism mileage, and has taken on an entire new interpretation. Alas! it had become the second April Fools Day, and someone from the church even said that it is all right to put pranks and administer healthy jokes to clueless souls! WHAT?  I think I have to hear that advice again! I think I’ll go nuts!

But if anyone cares, the Feast of the Innocents is all about remembering that tragic moment when the lives of innocent children were curtailed because of one man’s egomania. And this took place at Christmastime.  Actually, a similar massacre had already happened once before in the History of Salvation. In the beginning, when the Israelites were being persecuted in Egypt, Moses was born. The Pharaoh, threatened by oracle that the savior had been born to free the slaves out of Egypt, ordered what had been recorded in hieroglyphics as the very first infanticide.

Thus, our Lord Jesus was also called the new Moses.  But the new Moses did not just lead the people out of slavery, our Jesus redeemed us from sin.

So why should we trivialize such an important day?

I rest my case!

A Man with No Credentials!

Today is Christmas day!  Fr. Jerry Orbos asks us to reflect on the life of Jesus, our Lord.

Jesus was a tiny Babe born in a manger, and was wrapped in swaddling clothes.

He grew up with a peasant for a mother and a carpenter for a foster father.

He had no educational record, no bachelor’s degree, no master’s degree, nor PhD.

And yet, when He was thirty, He awed the people with His stories and His parables.

He had no office to manage His ministry, and neither had He written a book,

and yet He was deemed to die on the cross…

and at His crucifixion, He was stripped off the only earthly possessions He had, the garments He wore!

And yet today we celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, the Christ, a Man with no credentials

and yet touched the world.

Glory be to God!


What a Gift Before Christmas!

‘Twas two days before Christmas

When all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a mouse….

And my Tish came down the stairs

Excited but scared

NMAT results had been posted

And she had to know hers…

So she turned on the laptop

And logged in at the site

And shrieked her lung out

At the score she received!

99 percentile

Was top merit

To get to a med school

And be a doctor that she wanted.

What a gift before Christmas

And all through the house

Just a prayer of thanks

For passing this exam!


NMAT stands for National Medical Admission Test

… and needless to say I am a proud and happy ma!

In My Diary 23 December 2010

My whole body, especially my right arm, is aching now. I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning my old Antipolo home with Jean and Hajji. The job is not done yet and we shall have to finish it this morning. But my house looks habitable now. Sigh! What a task before Christmas!

Christmas is just around the corner!

It’s four days  before Christmas. Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo had made believers stay late at night for the 9 pm mass or wake up early morning for the 4 am mass, the time the rooster calls its cock-a-doodle-doo. The smell of bibingka and puto bumbong is in the air. For what is Simbang Gabi without these tasty Christmas food. Hmmm, yummy!

The carolers are out, too, straining their voices under the cold December nights. The houses are made merry by the glittering lights. And in my home, the candies and chocolates are ready for giving.

I am still cleaning the closets. Part of Christmas actually is fixing the home, making it habitable and presentable, in case family and friends come to visit. I still have to make that trip to the grocery for my noche buena feast. And since we plan to go out on Christmas day, I’d probably concoct some potato salad, make  tuna or chicken sandwiches, and slice that old fashioned cheese called queso de bola. Pan de sal and hot chocolate or coffee will complete that Christmas Eve dinner. Unlike the Christmases of my youth, my daughters and I just have each other while awaiting the birth of the Babe Jesus in the manger.

Nevertheless, the mood is always festive when kith and kin see each other. We still exchange aguinaldo. Interesting though, the children would rather receive money than gifts. They prefer now to buy their own needs. Oh well!

… and justice for all!

The recent release of the perpetrators of the crime for the Vizconde massacre case sent a chilling effect on my entire body that created  subsequent goosebumps.  I heard first the anguished whining of Lauro Vizconde on the radio.  He was the husband and father of those three females who were mercilessly stabbed dead by drug addicts, rich and brats,  whose sole purpose was to release their libido by raping the beauteous teener whose got her eyes  on someone else. And I automatically went down on my knees, begged God to make a sense out of this mind-boggling turn of events, pleaded the Almighty to have mercy on us whose lives we live all for His greater glory, and to have criminals reigning amidst us would be tantamount to cursing our very existence.  Why? Because we abide by that truth that there is justice for all.

The Supreme Court reversed the previous decision of the lower court because the prosecutors were not able to prove the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The basis for this decision that was made nineteen and a half years after the crime was carried on in a posh subdivision in Paranaque was that the witness, a fellow drug addict who was with the gang that night of June 30, 1991, was not credible enough. Pardon me? And the motion by which the Supreme Court acted on this now was because the semen specimen was missing. Ain’t this even more puzzling? Who would believe that it was missing, not unless by act of man was it deliberately disposed.

What was missing in this case was the justice for all part.

CIEM’s Sweeney Todd had it!

Sour grapes! The taste is disgusting but here I go again….

UP College of Engineering staged Indakan 2010 last night, a battle of the various college organizations’ prowess on the dance floor. It was the first time I watched the show, and I was informed the motif for this year’s competition was Broadway. More or less, I was coming in fresh, not particularly interested about the different orgs albeit I had to admit my niece belongs to CIEM or Circle of Industrial Engineering Majors.

But I couldn’t have been prejudiced, all the other orgs, including KEM and IE Club, the first and second place winners respectively, didn’t come at par with CIEM’s dance interpretation of the musical Sweeney Todd. The judges deemed it controversial to snub a performance most creative and artistic, the degree of difficulty of the dance steps of which was enough to merit top award. Why?, Sweeney Todd was the only org that showed artistry, all the others employing hip-hop ala Glee or High School Musical. Only Sweeney Todd was Broadway!, and thereby the only one that complied to the motif.

But my sour grapes was largely due to one female judge who lambasted CIEM with insensible comments like “I simply didn’t like it.” Bull, she shouldn’t have been a judge. She condescended one group’s attempt to raise the Indakan competition to a higher level. Good thing there were other judges who saw and recognized true dancing, for dancing was not just cheap tricks to wow the crowd.

Oh well, I do like grapes, sour or not!

Talk Tales!

Guess what? I have managed to make my sister Grace talk about her guarded secrets! Ha ha! And that is without even trying….

But I couldn’t divulge it here… because she told me to keep them forever secrets…. Sigh!

Here’s a clue though….

I was talking tales about a hyperactive girl called Joni who, at 17, became a paraplegic because she broke her neck after diving into the waters and hitting a rock beneath…

and about a young ballet dancer who also was confined to a wheelchair  after an accident but went on to get a degrree @ Harvard with highest honors…

These, and many more stories, while waiting for Tami at McDo last night. She arrived dead tired at half past midnight.

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