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November 2009

Love, Betrayal, On Growing old & Retirememt

‘The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.’ Samuel Johnson
annamanilaNo, I am not the blogger with a published book. Meet 66 year old Annamanila, who blogs at She used to be the editor of my work when I was a researcher at the UP Institute of Small Scale Industries till 1986 when I got fired by the new director. Twenty years passed me by and one day in 2006, I received a comment from Annamanila because of my Philippine Idol post. I was glad to hear from her. A few weeks elapsed, she announced that she started a blog. I groaned. “Oh no, she will read my blog regularly now” but I learned to shrug my “writing skills’ insecurities” off and taking up the challenge to equip myself to be a better writer.
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When Friends Leave… Let Go!

“The friendship that can cease has never been real.”– Saint Jerome

You would think 50-year olds act maturely in the face of adversity. I am sure most of us can. A recent misunderstanding among old friends (including myself) jolted me. We are talking of years of friendship. It started with a gossip. If there is gossip among friends, clear the air instead of being defensive and ignoring the issue. What’s funny is that they chose to place the scapegoat on the ““informant” which is immaterial because the issue is the malicious gossip. A mere explanation or an apology would have cleared the issue.

The reaction was “anger” . Feelings of anger is normal if it leads to a positive resolution. Instead of talking like two mature individuals, the angry friend including others involved in the gossip removed my friend (let’s call her Alpha) from Facebook including myself. Friends are supposed to exert all efforts to resolve matters, if they were friends to start with.

Consider my other friend, whom I will call Yadda. A similar misunderstanding happened. Sure there were hurt feelings on both sides but Yadda chose to talk it over and over like a broken record until we were both satisfied with the resolution. The friendship is still there.

See the difference?

You cannot say you’ve lost a friend. If a friendship is capable of ending, it is because it never existed.
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Sneak Preview of

Our children are our most cherished possession. In their early years we must make sure they get a healthy start in life – President Gloria Arroyo, SONA 2009

It is 1984 and the Marcos regime is getting shakier as Anti-Marcos rallies are all over the place. This was my conversation with my then boyfriend (now husband)

Me: Do you plan to marry me? if you have no plans, then I am leaving for the United States to be with my sisters and start a new life there.

The Boyfriend (now husband): Yes, I will marry you next year. (of course he got pressured).

I felt like leaving the country then because the peso-dollar exchange rate dropped drastically. I wanted to be with my sisters.

No, this is not a love story.

See, I got married at the time when the political situation was so unstable. Was there a future for me and my husband? When People Power removed the dictatorship, I was ecstatic. I felt the future seemed promising for my children. My sister sent me immigration papers in 1987 and wanted me to move to the USA with my family. I declined. I wanted my children to stay here and work for the future of their country

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Who says Food and Politics don’t mix?

our choices of food determine a lot of things from politics to economy – wendell berry

noemi_cooking1I think most of you know that I have a Food Recipe Blog ( with over 6400 subscribers. I like to keep in touch with my readers so I invite them to add me in my facebook and the Facebook Fan Page for the Pinoy Recipes which has around 3,185 fans.

Everything was fine and dandy until I posted a link Join the Manolo Quezon For Senator a group for people who would like to see Manuel L Quezon III elected as senator on 2010. Of course I know, it is a food fan page but I forgot other facebook members can join. I took for granted that the members were also my readers. It didn’t help that the profile photo of the Facebook Fan page was Leche Flan.

Naturally, I got a few violent reactions

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I Choke on Taglish

I remember my first TV interview.

I was not prepared to talk in Tagalog. First of all, MOMS is an english word so I thought the interview was in English. When I saw the script, I was horrified.

I asked the writer: So I have to reply in Tagalog? I don’t speak Tagalog so well.

It can be Taglish. the production staff said

Taglish is just as worse. So throughout the interview, I struggled for the words, figuring out what the Tagalog word for grief….feelings…etcetera.

Suffice it to say, I had a Take 2.


It was a pain to speak in Taglish. My first language is English (Blame my parents) and spoke Cebuano with my peers. I spoke two languages as a child and never mixed cebuano and English in one sentence. When my daughter was once an active blogger, she received a deluge of criticisms for being more fluent in English. At least she can still speak in Tagalog. Shouldn’t we choose the first language that is best comfortable to communicate?

How come Cebuanos don’t mix Cebuano and English in one sentence? There is no such thing as ““Cebualish”“. People would gush with admiration at how we, Cebuanos didn’t have Cebuano accents whenever we spoke English. The Cebuanos from UP or Ateneo studied from top-notch high schools in Cebu with the same high standards as those of exclusive schools in Manila. So what made the difference? It was only much later that I found out that the taglish originated from the ““yayas”

Yet, I think it is really wrong to speak in Taglish so I forced myself to learn to speak Tagalog. So far so good especially if it is a radio interview since I have a cheat list in front of me and I can concentrate on my train of thoughts.

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