October 2007

Halloween Trick or Treat Tradition

halloween.jpgHalloween Trick or Treat is a tradition that my husband started in our family. As a kid, I never grew up in the Halloween tradition of the Western world but hubby did. Halloween Celebration through the years is a memory that my kids treasure because of the yummy treats and magical costumes. [tag]Halloween[/tag] in the early nineties didn’t reek of commercialized gimmicks from the shopping malls. The kids actually wore scary Halloween costumes. We, the parents contributed to the trick-or-treat-ing activities in our neighborhood.

Yes, happy childhood memories next to Christmas and birthday celebrations. I am not about to stop this tradition just because they are now over twenty years old. The spooky Halloween orange/black decors are up. The pumpkin baskets are displayed on the table. Everything bright and orange-y abounds the house now. And yesterday, I bought a bunch of Halloween candy treats.

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A Childlike Mind

halloween treatsThe girls are now in their twenties and they have their own gimmicks these days. I can’t even schedule a photo shoot for a family portrait because their schedules always conflict with the date. The only occasion for us to be together is when we dine out or shop. Yesterday afternoon was one of those rare moments when they wanted to be with me. I was invited to the “All Treats No Tricks” event of All Flip Flops and Marta’s Cakes at the Bonifacio High Street where we get the chance to ice cookies or cupcakes. The girls thought it was an excellent idea to go to the swanky Bonifacio High Street and hie off to their favorite hangout, The Fully Booked bookstore. (Asides, I think Andres Bonifacio would rise from his grave if he saw his namesake being used for such a ritzy shopping complex. )

halloween treats
My dear husband offered to drive us (thank goodness) and meet up at the Fully Booked after the event. So we were at the tent across All Flip Flops and sat down to work on our cupcakes and cookies. My two lovely daughters sat across me and suddenly memories of their childhood flooded me. Those memories where we often did arts and crafts and even icing the cookies together. Where did the good old days go? As I iced my own cupcake, I know deep inside the girls are brought back to their happy childhood memories. Those were the days when I devoted a lot of my time cooking and baking. Those were the days we would look far and wide for a playground. These memories never die. Our childlike mind always lives in us and it is a good thing.

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California Fires Post Trauma Recovery

california firesThe dark gray clouds was all I remembered that day as a 5 year old girl running around the garden in our old house in Cebu. In the eyes of a child, it was just an ugly dark cloud not knowing that the gas depot was burning a few meters away. I recall the evacuation, scurrying away to the front gate into the safety of my grandma’s car. I didn’t know the gravity of the situation then but I could sense the relief of my parents as we went back to our house. There in the front yard were all our furnitures and stack of boxes. Apparently, my mom stayed behind to pack up some of our stuff and even managed to haul off the furniture. She had the luxury of time to pack up unlike the victims of the Southern California Fires. We were probably lucky because our house didn’t catch fire. Our neighbors lost their homes. We were saved. No one died though.

Losing a home is not just losing a material possession. It’s losing the memories attached to the home. And like any loss, it’s a painful process. There is grief too. Any major event in our lives affects every aspect of our lives. They don’t know what is “out there” or how they’re going to be affected by this change somewhere down the line.

I have a friend who lost her 15 year old daughter in a fire. Unimaginable grief. Inspite of the horror of the tragedy, she chose to rebuild her home in the exact same lot. The loss of a house can easily be rebuilt but the loss of a child is permanent. I am not minimizing the victims who have lost their homes. True, they will face the same grieving process as bereaved parents face but there is hope. There is hope that they can rebuild their lives.

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Pardon on Erap, A Second Chance?

erap.jpgMy first reaction was disappointment at our President when she granted absolute pardon to Erap. What happened to all that government money spent on his trial? By giving Erap that absolute pardon, our president restored all his civil and political rights, which were automatically removed by his conviction of atrocious crimes involving illegally amassing billions of pesos by virtue of his public office. I am not going to talk about the political implications of Erap’s absolute pardon.

I believe everyone should be given a second chance to fix things right. The thing is a deal was worked out in that Erap can keep some, if not most, of the money he got during his years as a so-called public servant. This was openly admitted by Estrada’s lawyers and Malacanang and is reportedly included in the document giving him executive clemency. I feel bad that he gets to keep most of the money . More than $15.5 million in bank accounts believed to be owned by him would remain in effect, Bunye said.

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Best Friends forever

I am in Cebu City right now for an overnight business trip. It feels great to be home. Well, not exactly at my old home. We sold our family home a few years ago because none of the siblings live in Cebu. Home is where the heart is or my hometown, where I spent the first 16 years of my childhood. Part of my agenda entailed a meet up with my grade school best friend, Rowena. It’s been 34 years since we last saw each other. Yes, the last time was at our high school graduation. I’ve never forgotten her though. The problem was I didn’t stay long enough in Cebu to reunite with high school friends whenever I went for my semestral break or vacation. Memories of high school popular cliques and my mediocre school performance made me want to avoid any reunions. But whenever I was in Cebu I often wondered what became of her.

Six months ago, I received a text message from Rowena. I was happy to hear from her, of course. Her reaction surprised me even more “I’m crying that we finally talked to each other”. I was thinking Did we have a fight? is that why we drifted apart?is that why she is crying? My heart remembers the love, the camaderie, the laughter and the innocence we shared as kids. She told me that I often gave her roses and cake for her birthday. Was I that sweet? Did I really sneak out those roses from my mom’s rose garden? Did I “steal” cake from our bake shop just so I had a gift for Rowena? I desperately wanted to remember how I was as a young me.

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Thank You for the Thank You Day Concert

Thank You Day
I had no plans to attend the Thank You Day concert not because I feared a repeat of the Glorietta 2 Explosion but because I felt too old for a live “rock” concert. The last time I attended a concert, my heartbeat was racing like crazy but I’ve been supporting the National Thank You Day since day 1 so I just had to be there. I told  my daughters to go ahead to the concert as I was still busy with a grief support meeting. My meeting ended earlier than usual and fortunately, I was still able to catch up with the Toblerone Press Conference with my two daughters at the Highlands Restaurant together with JM Tuazon, Karla, Anton with Rach and Aidan and Juned, Annalyn with her adorable twins.

Unlike Annalyn, I wasn’t starstruck. I barely knew the bands, celebrities and even the hosts. Sure I knew who Lucky Manzano, Mo Twister, Francis M and Jay-R but the rest? I had to tap on Juned’s shoulder and ask “Who is he/she?”. haha.

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Glorietta 2 Explosion Memories

explosionMy hubby sent me a text message yesterday to get away from the [tag]Glorietta Ayala Malls[/tag]. He knows it’s my favorite mall since it was just a 10 minute drive from our old home in Makati. I texted him back that I was in another mall and not to worry about me. As soon as I reached home, I googled for “[tag]Glorietta 2 Explosion[/tag]” and was surprised at the Google Search Engine Results. I was suddenly taken back in time. Lauren’s May 18, 2000 entry showed up on the first page that there was a Glorietta 2 explosion on May 17, 2000 which injured teenagers mostly since the blast occured near a video arcade:

Glorietta 2 was bombed yesterday ( the third bombing in just a week ) and one of the girls in my batch, Ana May, was there and got hurt. Twelve were injured and mostly teens cos it happened at the Synergy video arcade (the other arcade we go too sometimes). I guess it’s good that me and Stephen aren’t, well, exactly friends cos if we were, we woulda been there like every other Wednesday and I don’t really like the idea of my body parts flying all over the entire mall.

Why Glorietta 2 again? Not that I want other parts of the mall to be blasted away. It just seems so suspicious. I was at the Glorietta 2 entrance just a few weeks ago and remember raising my eyebrows when the security guard didn’t check my bag. He was busy reading the text messages from his cellphone. (Ayala Mall security, remove their cellphones while on duty please)

Anyway, just 3 days after that May 20, 2000 entry, Lauren wrote another one and this time on the SM Megamall Bombing that happened on May 20, 2000 where a janitor was killed.

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Recycled Old-look Home Furniture – Blog Action Day

action_125x125.jpgToday is Blog Action Day. On October 15, bloggers around the web unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. Every blogger will post about the [tag]environment[/tag] in their own way and relating to their own topic. I chose to talk about my recycled old home furniture in our environmentally friendly home. Building an [tag]Environmentally-Friendly[/tag] Home meant discussing big ideas behind even the smallest details.

When my husband and I discussed the theme of our furnishings, we decided on eclectic design so we had a reason to utilize our antique furniture which have been passed on to us by our great grandparents. Butch said “wood adds warmth to a home. How would I know? I am not an interior designer. Butch had been researching for the past year on the look of our new home. I wanted contemporary furniture because well, I wanted something new. We compromised by blending old and new furniture in our cozy home.

carabao_cart.jpgAllow me to show 2 furniture pieces crafted by using old discarded wood for new “old-look” furniture. These pieces of wood were taken from the junk yard. So anyway, let’s start with the this lowly carabao cart used by farmers in the rice fields.

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Photo Hunt – Smelly

shoe cabinetPhoto Hunters theme this week is Smelly. I chose our family’s Shoe Cabinet which is nestled in the far corner of the second floor. Some of the shoes in there are smelly whenever I pass by. It’s one reason I place a deodorizer inside the cabinet. I know when it’s time to replace the deodorizer when I smell the stink again. The solution really is to eliminate the shoe odor from the source. Other than deodorizer, there are other ways of eliminating shoe odors:

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Holy Rosary Podcast

rosary.jpg The blue rosary in the photo belongs to Luijoe. A month before he died, he placed it lovingly on the rear view mirror of my car so mama, you will always be protected. Little did he know that he would be in heaven a month later, watching over me and the rest of the family. The Holy Rosary played an important part in my son’s life. My heart often tugs at the memory of my son chastising me for not saying my regular prayers. One night, he pulled me over to our bed because he wanted to pray the Rosary. This lazy mother begged off saying “I don’t feel like it…it’s too long to pray”. That memory often brings me tears of regret that I wasn’t supportive enough of my son’s staunch faith in the Holy Rosary. I should have just prayed along with Luijoe even if I didn’t feel like it. In the eulogy given by Luijoe’s pre-school teacher, she talks of Luijoe as he prayed the rosary:

One time I assigned him to lead the rosary. He was murmuring. One of his classmates told him to speak louder. So loudly but seriously with a big voice he uttered the prayers. At the end of the rosary, all of his classmates clapped their hands. Then, he shouted innocently,”This is not a program..This is a prayer!”

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