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Friday, October 28, 2011

MomGyver and Little Cleopatra

One of the skills I never thought I would acquire is the ability to do arts and crafts. Since I was a child, I was never good in Art and the most creative I have ever been was when I put a ruffled skirt over my head and pretended I have long hair. During my school years, the highest grade I ever got in school projects was 85. I struggled in our Home Economics class, barely passed sewing and burned by finger with a glue gun.

But now that I am a mother of three and with a grade-schooler, I find myself 'creating' all sorts of stuff quite often. In fact, over the last 3 years since Eone started schooling, I've made head dresses, various costumes and outfits made of whatnots. I've also learned balloon decorating for my son's first birthday, whipped up e-cards and invitations for their birthdays and many more!

I sometimes look at my work, almost saying in disbelief, "Really? I did this?". In fact, I did say that just now when I inspected Eone's costume for their school's Trashion Show. Their school, in celebration of United Nations' Day and in support for saving mother Earth, came up with this fashion show event where pre-schoolers will model costumes of their chosen country. The costume must be made of recycled materials hence the title.

So I made Eone something to make her look like Cleopatra as she wants to represent Egypt.

I made paper beads from pages of our telephone directory and sewed them on her old swimsuit top. I thought it's going to be pretty easy but I found myself rolling strips of paper in the middle of the night and sewing even while having dinner.

Even if I want to, I just wouldn't be able to finish a skirt made of paper beads so I decided to just make her wear one of my shawls as wrap around skirt. Modern Egypt nalang! For her accessories, I simply twisted copper wires I bought from the hardware and adorned them with old beads I've been keeping in an old jar for many years.

Look at the finished product!

The best consolation was watching my baby confidently walk around the stage, proudly modelling her MomGyver's work.

My Most Awaited Love Letter

I've been waiting for the time to come when my kids have learned to read and write. I've been looking forward to receiving hand-made Mother's Day card or letters from them, especially Eone now that she's already in school.

That momentous day actually have come. I am proud that at age 5, my little girl can now read and write both in Filipino and English, sometimes slow but still it's a great progress.

Last week, she was asking me to help her craft a flag of China for her United Nations Day in school. I told her I want to rest first and we'll do it later. She was unhappy about my procrastination and her 'maldita' side emerged. I kept ignoring her and to my relief, she stopped pestering me.

Few moments later, she handed me a pink folded art paper. Between the folds was a bond paper. She said, "I have a letter for you, Mommy". I got excited and opened immediately.

loosely translated: Mom & Dad, I am getting out of this house!

Should I laugh or cry? Actually, I did the latter (but my mom said I shouldn't). Isn't she sweet, wanting to leave me and her dad a letter before running away? Haha!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Quiel and Our Itchy Feet

We trooped to Clarkfield, Pampanga last weekend, just after typhoon Quiel left the country with Bulacan and Pampanga submerged into flood water. It was still gloomy with some shots of sunshine here and there, but our itchy feet prevailed.

Like most of our out of town weekend trips, this one was unplanned. We were attending Sunday mass and The Hubby asked what's the activity for the day. I casually said I want to go to Clark and check the duty free malls for Aveeno lotions (yeah, I go that far for a lotion!). To my surprise, The Hubby said we'll go and soon after we dressed the kids, we were traversing NLEX on our way to Pampanga.

We passed through Candaba Viaduct, a 5-kilometer bridge over the Candaba swamps and considered one of the longest bridges in the Philippines. We often refer to the bridge as Itlog-Ebun bridge because it starts in Pulilan, Bulacan where egg is called itlog and ends in Pampanga where egg is referred to as ebun (bird) - you start your journey with an egg and arrive with a bird.

Candaba was one of the flooded towns in Pampanga, and here's what we saw as we passed by the viaduct...

It's something I hate to see, especially I have friends who live in Bulacan. It also reminds me of typhoon Ondoy which also submerged a lot of areas in Metro Manila and Rizal in flood water.

Anyway, we reached Clarkfield after lunch. We went for a short walk inside Mimosa Estate, looking for a place to eat. The Hubby wants to eat at Red Crab but when we got there, we learned it won't be open until 6pm.

My little boy - happy and eager to walk around

seems like we're the only one here...

So we settled at Cafe Mesa, just beside Red Crab. It's the only resto open at that time. We've tried this resto 3 years ago, and more than the food we like the garden better.

My girl posing by the entrance...

We ordered mainly sandwiches and pasta - simple food, a bit expensive at Cafe Mesa but the serving is hefty and the food is actually delish.

We went to El Kabayo after eating in the hope that the kids can go horseback riding. Unfortunately, it started to rain as soon as we parked so despite Eone's plea (and tears), we headed to the duty free shops earlier than expected.

Early means more time to browse. More time means more shopping. Ayayay!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Writing is my Right Thing

A lot of friends and relatives have asked me why do I blog and where do I get all the things I write about. Honestly, I don't know. But what I am sure of is that I like love to write. Although I know I am not as good as a Jessica Zafra or a Kahlil Gibran, writing is something I truly enjoy and happy to do.

I could not remember when it all began but I know it was through a diary, yes like a Dear Diary, which I started when I was 12 and kept writing my daily thoughts 'til I was in my 20s, before blogging became popular. Aside from that my love for writing was enhanced when my Dad started working overseas and we had to write him letters. Back then there was no internet yet, and the telephone is the only other means to communicate aside from snail mail.

a Sept 15, 2003 entry in my old diary...

Every week my mom would ask my sisters and I to write a letter to my Dad, detailing how our week went and our activities in school. And write we did, with zest and eagerness (because we don’t want to do a voicemail - recording our voices on tape. We felt silly talking in front of a cassette recorder).

After a year or so of writing to my Dad, our whole family was granted a resident visa to Jeddah and off we went. Our letter writing didn't stop there as we now had to write letters to our relatives back home and also to select friends we left behind. I also had a semi-boyfriend then whose letters I replied once or twice.

Who didn't know that Saudi doesn't have any theaters and clubs and that TV shows are monitored and go through rigid censorship? Even cartoons are being censored. Without any decent channel to watch, my sisters and I turned to reading which I believe started our love affair with books and eventually expanded our vocabulary. We read all sorts of novels we had access to; those left behind by expats who resigned were taken to a huge gym and billiard hall of the condo building. That's how mainly we spent our days in Jeddah (aside from shopping and watching New Kids on the Block concerts in betamax).

When I went to college, I 'unintentionally' joined the college publication (The Thomasian Engineer or TE). It was my best friend who wanted to join and I accompanied her to the 'qualifying exams' where aspirants are made to write various articles and essays on the spot. One staffer asked me to take it too since I was already there. I did and topped the test. My bff didn't make it.

Anyway, the college paper served as my practice field in writing (and eventually blogging) although aside from writing for the paper, I love the people I worked with more than anything in school back then. The best thing that happened to me in joining TE was the friends for life that I gained. I wouldn't have survived the 5 grueling years of engineering if not for them. I think that's worthy of a separate blog.

While writing for the college paper, our advisers often told us that joining TE was more than just writing but a preparation for us when we join the 'real world'. I never understood what they meant until I graduated and started working as Methods Analyst for a bank. Aside from the fact that my job involved studying systems and procedures, I also had to write them. Jeez, and that was a lot of writing.

My next jobs all came with having to write procedures, training materials, or quality and productivity reports. And even though internet is now available and access to free essays and documents is as easy as brushing my teeth, I am proud to say I didn't need to resort to that. And thank God I was never one of those supervisors who issue memos and their subordinates laugh at their grammar and sentence construction.

Currently, my role at work doesn't necessitate for me to write at length except for dramatic emails when I had to argue my point across. So I blog. I blog about what I see, what I hear, what makes me happy, irate and sad. I write about my kids and their antics. I jot down the food that I eat, places I visit, people I meet. It's a great way to document what and where I am now. I love writing and with blogging (and my old diaries) I am certain nobody else needs to write my biography.
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