Sunday, December 26, 2004

My brother, Roberto

The first day I started blogging, my big brother was again in the news. Though, it bothered me, I never did touch on his story.
Today, I feel I need to tell something about this big brother of mine.
Others may like him, others may hate him. But is it relevant in the way he was brought up to this world? You may hate or like him, up to you. What's important is that he is a living legacy of my own father, a father who had principles and would fight for these principles to the end.
For a country like ours and the way it has been projected in the international community which is really saddening, to go with the flow is the main thing in order to survive and have food on the table. But not with my brother. Principles count the most even though it may cost everything he worked for.
I salute you big brother.
And for those, who disliked or liked me because of my association with him or with another infamous brother of mine,I respect your decision. But sorry for you,for we in the family respect each others ideals.walang personalan....

Link to my brother's story

Thursday, December 23, 2004

My Christmas Presents

My Christmas presents this year and everyday of the year:

My husband Napoleon for being with me throughout
My firstborn child Kaye, for being inquisitive and witty
My middlechild Emme, for being a focus and determined child
My youngest child Elle, for being loving and responsible
My granddaughters Kyllenne and Darrielle, for the joys of being a grandmom
My son-in-law David, for being a responsible and loving husband to my daughter
You are my precious presents and I gladly accept you even in any package you are in.

#note no photos for my husband, Kaye and David, they are so privy.

Image Hosted by The Image Hosting

Image Hosted by The Image Hosting

Image Hosted by The Image Hosting

Image Hosted by The Image Hosting


*adapted From The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

Once upon a time.... a little Chinese girl tried to make a living by selling light up Christmas items in Orchard Road in Singapore.

It was Christmas Eve and the streets were full of people from all walks of life. From brightly lit malls came the tinkle of laughter and the sound of singing. People were preparing for their own celebrations. But the poor little streetseller sat sadly beside the fountain. Her blue jeans and baby t'shirt did not make her noticeable in the crowd. She had'nt sold any items all day and she was frightened to go home, for her father would certainly be angry. If only she could sell even one item. She approached a young man, but he only said:"buon Natale".

After hesitating for a long time, she approached the girl of her age, and the girl just nodded and said:"joyeux Noel" while handing out a crisp five dollar bill. She was filled with joy for at last she was able to sell . But her father made it clear to her that she needs to sell all 20 pieces.

She approached the group of people coming her way. She showed them the items but only one person bought an item, though all of them greeted her with "feliz Navidad."

Then came a group of Japanese people and she approached them instantly with her Christmas light up items. They nodded happily, paid for 10 pieces and greeted her with "meri kurisumasu".

The little girl still had 10 items to sell and she was so hungry. She got no money to buy any food as her father expected her to give back $100 in all.

She decided to walk farther to HMV so she can dispose the remaining 8 items, when she saw a Filipino family walking towards her. She hesitantly showed them her products. The young mother gladly showed her twin daughters the light up items and the twins gigled merrily. They bought all the remaining items and then greeted her with "MALIGAYANG PASKO!"

The Chinese girl was so amazed of the sound that she asked what it meant in English. When she learnt that it meant MERRY CHRISTMAS, she tried to say it that it sounded so cute. The family then invited the girl to eat Noche Buena in their Woodlands home. Upon seeing all the Christmas decors and the food on the table, the little girl was so filled with amazement and joy . She could not believe that Christmas celebration in other homes were a table full of food. She then enjoyed with them in eating the sumptuous food.

When it was time for her to go home,the little girl told them that she sold to other people and they also greeted her in their languages. But with them, Filipinos, they not only bought her items, they even invited her to eat, and that she will never forget all her life. She then said thank you and repeated MALIGAYANG PASKO.

As it is Christmas time again, it is just an ordinary sight to see a Chinese lady in her own shop speaking in Tagalog saying MALIGAYANG PASKO to everybody.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Excerpts: Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

I was arranging the books of my eldest daughter Kaye which she left behind here in Singapore when I noticed this book, Mother Teresa Missionary of Charity. The book was given to her by her godmother Sr. Doris Fernandez, a Singaporean of Eurasian race. Kaye had her first communion when she was 6 years old and a prep at Assumption Antipolo. After so many years, as we always moved around, it was only in 1998 that she had her Confirmation at the Star of the Sea Church in Yishun. During those times, my 3 daughters and me were active in Legion of Mary and Kaye served as the Vice President of the Junior Praesidium. As both members of the Legion, we were together in visiting the sick at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, attending masses, house visitation (flats) and other activities of the Legion. She is now married and is happy with her own family in Virginia. I missed our times together.
On page 167 of the book is the famous prayer of St Francis of Assissi:

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
That where there is hatred, I may bring love;
That where there is wrong,
I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
That where there is error, I may bring truth;
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
That where there is despair, I may bring hope;
That where there are shadows, I may bring light;
That where there is sadness, joy.
Lord grant that I may seek, rather to comfort, than to be comforted;
To understand than to be understood;
To love than be loved,
For it is by forgetting self that one finds;
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Excerpts: How To Be A Good Wife

(I am on MC today that is why I was able to finished reading the book I borrowed from the National Library here in Woodlands Civic Centre. The book, Just Checking , scenes from the life of an obssessive-compulsive, is written by Emily Colas. It is a nice read and a funny one. I found one of her entry in the book, How to be a good wife, a very amusing piece. Though it can be accepted in a light mood, I could not agree with her compulsive thought of how to be a good one . I may just stick to my philosophy : "just being me". But who knows, I may also try hard not to be a strain . Lucky Napoleon!)

How To Be A Good Wife

Don't be insane, a pain or vain
nor mundane, areane, or plain.
Use your brain
don't complain
no disdain
remain urbane.
Do not go against the grain.
Entertain in your domain.
Explain, sustain, and ascertain
all you find to be germane.
Clean a stain-
prepare for rain-
refrain, abstain, from the profane.
Maintain,obtain, have it pertain-
Tupperware and cellophane.
try hard not to be a strain
pick your guy up at a train.
Wear a chain, eat chow mein, clean with Gain.
don't do cocaine.
Have a nice walk down the lane
run your fingers through his mane
sometimes even snake a drain
never, ever be inane.
make your love so high octane!
that his interest will not wane.

Friday, December 17, 2004

My Favourite Poem : The Raven

(The Raven is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. Since my Lit teacher introduced his works, I became fascinated with the man as I saw my own father in him. True, I read all his works for I tried to relate to my father through him. In Edgar Allan Poe, I could feel the pain, the unexplained pain of longing. I longed for a father who was within my reach but so far away. A father who lived and breathed politics. He died 4 years ago. Four years and still, I long for his love. I know that my father loved me in his own way. I understand that someday, I will come to terms with my longing for his affection.)

The Raven
By Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door
" 'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;-vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.
Then the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"-here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there and nothing more."
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'T is the wind and nothing more!"
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said,"art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what they lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled the ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning-little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the culptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered-not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden more
Of 'Never-nevermore.'"
But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloating o'er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee-by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite-respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh, quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!-prophet still, if bird or devil!-
By that Heaven that bends above us-by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant
Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!-quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted-nevermore!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

How Can I Forget Suzanne?

My youngest, Elle, is in her last sem and she is doing her final year project. As usual, I reminded her to be careful with her hard or soft copy, whatever it is, and hand it over only to her lecturer. "Don't ever trust to hand it to your classmate." She looked at me with irritation and said: "Mom naman, I hear that every time. walang Suzanne dito."

Suzanne, Suzanne. She has been a part of my 3 daughter's tertiary life. Everytime they have projects to be submitted, I always remind them of Suzanne. Suzanne, the girl who stole my case study when I was in college. The lovely Suzanne who told me not to worry for she will give my case study together with hers personally to our professor who happenned to be a priest. The next time I know, I failed my Child Psychology course and Suzanne was nowhere to be found. My professor left for Vatican and just gave me a red mark. The Registrar told me to contact Fr.., for what? In his haste to go overseas, he never even contacted me why I never submitted my case study when in reality, I told and even showed him my rough draft. God, I observed my nephew for six months, gave him projective tests, and wrote my prognosis and analysis on his behavioural patterns, only to be given a red mark. So tell me how can I forget Suzanne?

Nevermind, I still feel I am lucky. You see, I am always with children now. I have every time of my day observing them, loving them and being amazed by the complexity of their nature. Suzanne made me more aware of children, for she pave the way for me to read more about children, for without her gracious act, I would not repeat the

So Suzanne, wherever you are, don't worry, I have forgiven you. But how can I forget you?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


ang aga naman ng tawag ni nanay. 7:15 ng umaga. wahh !! 8:00 ang pasok ko, maawa! maliligo pa ako. sabi ni nanay: anak patay na si FPJ. pakelam ko. what???

I can hear my daughter say: "FPJ?, Mommy corny mo naman!" Corny nga ba? Well, I just want to say something about the man who had been a part of my most afternoons when I was still a Guidance Counselor at Siena College in del Monte, Quezon City. You see during those times, he used to be a sight at FPJ compound which was infront of Siena. The first time, I saw him I said: "what hindi pala gwapo si FPJ. But then as days passed by, I told myself that I was mistaken for FPJ was indeed a very handsome man.His ready smiles made him endearing.

FPJ maybe a good man, but in politics, which is a dirty world as far as I am concerned, he cannot be my choice. Though, I was not able to vote, I could not imagine myself voting for him as President.

Now that he is gone, I will just always remember his smile.
May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Tale of Two Leaders: Gloria and Chris

* from a point of view of a Filipina Hong Kong Resident

I gave up my teaching job in Tuen Mun, New Territories, HK, to manage a Chinese antique gift shop in the Peak as it offered me a better salary. Though, it was a tiring job, I enjoyed it a lot as I was able to meet friends and people from all walks of life and of different nationalities. The Peak in Hong Kong, is a tourist destination with class and as expected it is just common for well known people to be seen there especially during the night hours. Way back in 1997 before the handover, I happenned to meet Gloria and Chris. Let me narrate to you my encounters with them, Gloria, the then VP of the Philippines and Chris Patten, the then Governor of Hong Kong.

It was 9:30 in the evening when 2 men wearing black suits entered the shop. They stopped and talked about the antique chinese sword displayed on the wall. "Ang mahal naman twenty thousand dollars!" They tried to calculate how much it will be in pesos. Then I said: "pwede hong tumawad." They both turned their heads and with amazement said:"Filipina ka?" (obvious ba?) "kala namin Chinese ka!" They then introduced themselves and highlighted that they were there with the Philippine Delegation that included the VP. "Andon sya sa tapat with Mr. A..., tawagin namin, sabihin namin may Filipina dito." As all our shops are glass walled, I looked in front and saw that woman as she was approached by the men in black. God knows, how her reaction was. And to think that she was the VP. In a few minutes, the men came back profusely saying "pasensya na!"
Now, whenever I see her in the newspaper and television, I cringe. How can she manage to shake the hands of the poor? Am I hallucinating?
I don't know, maybe she really is a good leader for her to be elected for the highest position. I cannot say reelected.
But upon contemplation, I can say Gloria, the leader is remarkable. Hurray!

It was 5:00 in the afternoon, when two Chinese men entered the shop. They inspected every corners of the shop, picked up some items, returned them in place, smiled at me, waved goodbye and then left. Puzzled, I just nodded my head in approval. I thought maybe something will happen. After an hour, a parade of men and women in formal clothes passed by. I went to the door in time for me to see the two men who inspected the shop with a beaming Chris Patten. As I smiled too, he stopped and shook my hands, and said: "how are you today?", then continued walking with the rest of the entourage. Oh my God! I felt I was dreaming that time.
Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong, now a very distinguished person in Europe, stopped just to shake hands with an ordinary woman. I could not believe it!

How do we measure the greatness of a leader? Is it because of personal encounters that we make our own judgement of them? Is it on the way they treat ordinary people?
Or is it in the way she/he makes her/his country be respected in the international community?

I am not so sureof my own answers. Help me with my conclusions.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Feliz Cumpleanoz!

I may receive these greetings:

Alles Gute zun Geburtstag!
Buon Compleanno!
joyeux Anniversaire!
Shuvo Jonmodin!
otanjou - bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!
Hau oli la hanau!
Selamat Ulang Tahun!
Selamat Hari Lahir!
qu ni sheng er kuai le
Sun Yat Fai Lok
Feliz Compleanoz!
Happy Birthday!

But this greeting is the one I want to hear/receive the most:

Measurement of Happiness and Success

Every person aims to be happy and be succesful in the world she is in. This aspiration, actually, is a basic need. A need that came about since birth. Yes, even as babies, we respond and interact to meet our basic needs.

The satisfaction of our basic needs depends on our own personality as distinguished by our own individual genes and the environment that provided us with the satisfaction or limitation of our needs. Therefore, the make up of how we interact to the outside world and how we take it, added with how we interpret it, is very very complicated. For an ordinary individual, a particular person's manifested behaviour in any medium of responses may mean a thing or two. But for a person whose self esteem and self confidence is that far which make her a well rounder, a person's reactions or responses are seen in different perspectives, all with a touch of understanding.

Now, how we measure happiness and success? There can be a lot of answers. For me, no matter how happy or successful you are in the perspective you want to accept, it will not always be real happiness, if in your manifested responses, you never give a chance to other people to be happy too. Happiness and success need to be shared.

Share your success and happiness!!! Can I say damn you?? Who the hell you think you are???

Sorry I will not say those words. I have breeding!

Friday, December 10, 2004

A Maid And An Engineer In Singapore

Andy is a 40 something engineer who works for Powergas in Jurong Island, Singapore. He graduated from Mapua in the Philippines and earned his MBA at the De La Salle University.Given his paper qualifications with excellent working experiences combined with good looks, he is every woman's dream. Sadly, his interest lies not on meeting a potential wife but meeting deadlines for his work projects. No matter how his acquaintances and colleagues set him for blind dates, he always let them go home very disappointed and frustrated. There was even a gossip that circulated among friends that he fantasizes not women but men. He just shrugged off his shoulders and even managed with a joke: " I like the Matt Damon type of guy! say mo?"

Mabelle is a 25 year old domestic helper from Pangasinan. Back in the Philippines, she has 4 children with 3 men. The first child was born when she was merely 15 years old. At the age of 18, she got pregnant with another man and stopped schooling to get married. At 20, she gave birth to another child . At 21, she decided to go to Singapore as a domestic helper. After 6 months, her Chinese employer found out that she was pregnant with a Bangladeshi man. She was immediately sent back home. After giving birth, she used her cousin's name to enter Singapore again as a domestic helper. She worked with a British family. After a year and a half, the family decided to pack their bags and asked her to be transferred or look for an employer who will sponsor her remaining 6 months work visa.

At the void deck in Choa Chu Kang, Mabelle was trying to call a friend, when Andy passed by. "Bwisit ubos na!", he heard the girl utterred. He momentarily stopped that she noticed him and said: "mama pahingi naman ng coins oh!"Andy then overheard the girl's problem as she was narrating it to her friend over the phone. Not used to meeting girls of Mabelle's personality and social status, Andy was filled with pity for her. To make the story short, they compromised that Andy will sponsor her in exchange for laundry, cleaning and cooking services that Mabelle will provide. Unfortunately,she was given only a 3 months visa as Andy's employment pass will already expire within 3 months.

Luckily in just a week, with the help of friends, Mabelle was able to find a part time domestic job. Though it is not permitted for a maid to work for a person not her sponsor, she was not afraid as no one will dare make a report. She served Andy like a king showing gratitude for her stay. Andy on the other hand, bought her little things and at times asked her to eat out at the nearby hawker centre.

After 2 months, Andy filed for 2 weeks leave from work. The reason was that he will get married in Manila to a girl whom he got pregnant. Of course, everybody was surprised.They asked to meet the lucky girl. But after 2 weeks, Andy returned to work and pointed that she married out of pity only. The next week, he showed a police report stating that he physically and verbally abused the complainant, his wife.He sadly revealed that the person he married out of pity was a gold digger and a liar. He also added that he cannot sponsor her as a dependant pass holder as per Ministry of Manpower's regulation.This triggerred their violent fights.

Mabelle told friends that if Kris Aquino can file a police report about a domestic quarrel, why could not she. She cried that all she just wanted was a good life. She added that she did her part in the relationship and buying a branded shampoo and conditioner is not a crime.

Andy consulted a lawyer through his mother and then went back to Manila to have a fake marriage in City Hall be declared null and void. How to annul a fake marriage, nobody bothered to know.

Back in Singapore, Andy was allowed only a 14 days social visit pass as his employment pass was not approved for renewal. With this, his company got no choice but to terminate him. On the other hand, Mabelle was forced to go back to Pangasinan and her 4 kids. Her baby inside the tummy? Your guess is as good as mine.

Mabelle and Andy, an ambitious maid and a lonely engineer in Singapore. Wasted lives, wasted opportunities. The reason? I don't know. Maybe life is really what we make it.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Sa Lalawigan Ng Laguna

Sa lalawigan ng Laguna
doon ay nagpantasya.
Na kanyang makikita
lugar na magaganda.
At at tuwina'y makakasama
isang masayang pamilya.

Kaya sa St Paul College of Manila
Nag- aral nagpakadalubhasa
Doon nagtapos ng Sikolohiya
para maabot mas mataas pa
Pangarap na maging doktora
pangako pati sa dakilang ina.

Lumipas ang isang dekada
nagkaroon ng ibang pag asa
Hong Kong China at Singapura
pinalad doon tumira
Kasama sariling pamilya
nabuhay parang mag barkada

Minsan sa lalawigan ng Laguna
binalikan buhay na kay saya
Masarap na hangin ay nadama
pati na mainit na pagsasama
Lahat yan nakamit at nakuha
sa pag balik sa bayang maganda.

Ngayon muling umaasa
Sa paskong ubod ng dakila
Pamilyang matagal di nakita
at inang sa kanya'y lumuluha
Nais na mahagkan muling makasama
Sana ay makauwi bulubunduking Laguna.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi

Laoshi means teacher in Mandarin. Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi are both teachers who came from China to teach Mandarin lessons here in Singapore. They are both pretty, fair skinned, tall and think highly of their originated place.The similarities end there. Friends they may be, they are poles apart.

Sha Laoshi never stops to make me analyze. She is a person in contrast with her own self. She is very authoritative and fierce but I know deep inside, she hides a very low self esteem. She treats the children as if she owns them. She treats them as if they are lowly creatures, wild young animals who know nothing and that she is the only person around who can tame them. Her projected philosophy is that "I am your teacher, my words are to be followed, what for I became your teacher? " The big problem is that her students are merely three year olds. My God, I can feel the pain of every harsh words she inflicted on the children. True, she defies everything I valued about early childhood education and theories of child psychology.
But before you hate her, let me tell you that she is hurting. She came here as a study mama. A study mama is either a mother or a grandmother of a student from China who is allowed by the Ministry of Education to study in government schools here in Singapore.( In Singapore, government schools are highly accredited than private schools) She is then given a visa to stay and work here as long as the child is allowed to stay and study. Therefore, Sha laoshi's chance to work and stay here was due to her son. That is why she served him like a king, for in him lies the bright future for him and the family in China. You see, if the child finished his tertiary here, it will be very very easy for him to take permanent residency.
Sha Laoshi is in emotional pain. She left her family,relatives and husband in China just to be with her jewel son. She endured 3 years of homesickness to be with her precious child, only to be treated like a servant. For a mother, it is really painful and insulting.
As a defense mechanism, she projected a fierce image. An image which I know will be ebbed in many a children's heart. I am saddenned.

Fu Laoshi is a dependant pass holder. Her husband is an employment pass holder. As his wife, she is an automatic dependent, thus the dependant pass. With a letter of consent, she is allowed to work here.
She is very loving to the children and speaks softly. She likes to teach them a lot of Chinese songs and rhymes. She likes to hug the children especially the younger ones. She portrays a happy disposition in life. But beneath that smile, lies a hidden pain. Yes, she too is hurting. She has a husband here, but is with another China woman. For years, she had never seen her only child, a girl of 18, and God knows, she's thinking of her every minute of the day. I just can't imagine her lonely nights in her rented room.
Now, whenever possible, she try to wear sexy clothes. If she's wearing a long skirt, she will fold it very shortly, then will cross her legs, for everybody to see .She pretended as if she did things without malice. It may mean seduction for some, as she stands tall on the young boys sitting on the floor looking up at her. For others, it may mean just nothing.
Whatever it is, I feel saddenned. For a young boy, God forgive,this scenario may trigger sexual pleasures.

Sha Laoshi and Fu Laoshi, they are my friends. They need to know that their actions as teachers make or break a child. Maybe one of these days, I will have the courage to say a thing or two. But how can I? When I myself, may also unconsciously or can be consciously, hurt a child's feelings?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My Favourite Poems: If A Child Lives With

(Written in 1954 by Dorothy Law Nolte for her column "Creative Family Living" in the Torrance (Calif.) Herald.)

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.

If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself
and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place
in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind.

With what is your child living?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Excerpts: The Prophet

(The Prophet is the work of Kahlil Gibran, poet and philosopher. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages, and his drawings and paintings have been exhibited in the great capitals of the world.
The Prophet is Gibran's most magical work, illustrated with his own drawings that are both enchanting and haunting.
This book copy belongs to Siti. Like me, she is fond of reading books in variety of topics. She is a mixed Chinese and Indian Singaporean woman who is a Muslim. She graduated from Leeds in UK and was a former Senior Deputy Head of Family & Civil Division of the Singapore Judiciary. Now, she is in UK. Why she gave up her prestigious job here, I also cannot fathom.
Our relationship is based on white lies. Sad it may sound, still I am thankful to her for this book.Here's the best part of the book most of us like.)

"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
you are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He
bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow
that is stable."

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Si Mr Batjay at si Miss Cat

ayan sabado na naman. as usual i'm home alone. wala na naman si bunso, punta na naman kay Erwina.monday naman start na ng classes niya sa Ngee Ann. Aba 1 sem na lang graduate na si bunso ko. Si pangalawa naman panay ang overtime sa OCBC, dami niya pera sarap humingi, kaso mo kuripot, todo po. si panganay ayun, ginaw na ginaw sa williamsburg with my everdearest apo who are twins.yes, i am lola na. proud ako kasi po whenever I say I am they don't believe me. katawa, mukha daw akong 30. thanks sa shiseido and of course,nasa genes yon. tapos si mr ko laging apura ng powergas, gabi na naman darating. he is my jojit paredes,sa totoo lang mas pogi pa siya kay jojit paredes. miss ko na patawa niya.
kaya eto happy pa rin ako kahit home alone. salamat kay mr batjay and miss cat. gusto ko mga patawa nila.
kaso pag dumating sila at nasa internet ako sabay sabay sigaw, "Mommy nasa internet ka na naman!" wahhhh! hirap pala masigawan. nevermind, natuwa naman ako kay mr batjay and miss cat. sulit po.

Friday, December 03, 2004

My favourite Poems: Annabelle Lee


Author: Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

My Favourite Poems: Desiderata

Max Ehrmann


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Excerpts: Drawing and Painting, Children and Visual Representation

(Dr John Matthews personally gave me this book he authored. He is an Associate Professor at the Division of Performing Arts, School of Arts, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Currently he has an on going research and his subjects are my children in the centre.
Below is an excerpt from the book.)

"From birth, children create a family of strategies with which they investigate objects and surfaces. They gradually begin to reach and grasp, swipe and fan, and in doing so create different effects. As the months pass, they learn to adapt these actions to suit different needs. It is not enough to describe this process in terms of object-mastery alone, because the sequences into which the baby organises her actions form expressive phases. This expressive aspect happens when the baby is on her own but is especially promoted in interpersonal contexts. the baby employs movement in playful exchanges with people, and in order to communicate with them. This means that the baby's actions are invested with a range of emotional values. Movements are given meaning in a joint enterprise of child and adult companion. Recent research has suggested that the baby's gestures are a kind of language upon which other forms of representation, including writing, speech and drawing, are soon based. This language is not an arbitrary system of signs but, along other forms of representation, including drawing, is based upon actions of the body which are already gramatically and semantically articulated- that is, this gestural language already has organisation and meaning. This is the opposite of the conventional wisdom that drawing (and writing and speech) are achieved by training the initially disorganised body into a set or system of arbitrary signs. According to this traditional approach, essentially haphazard natural actions come to attain meaning only when they have been sacrificed or abandoned in favour of a "corrected" sequence.