Can't wait for the blog to be back online!

I’ve been trying to get things together to move offices while going about my business here as usual.  Tomorrow is the big announcement here at work about the move for me and my boss.  Congratulations are already trickling in but my lips are sealed.  The boss, for her part, seems to be excited to move on.

Meanwhile, I found out last night that the airconditioner in the room has been dripping water from the lower right hand corner of its cavity.  It’s been raining cats and dogs in New York so I don’t know if it was the rain or the airconditioner is just ancient and needs some tweaking or replacing.  Whatever the case may be, I need to tidy up that side of the room and deal with the problem before the next rainpour.  (If you think we get nasty rain in Manila, you should see how the wind makes the rain fall practically horizontally here in New York, and how an umbrella is not an investment but a disposable necessary accessory.)

We’re also trying to figure out childcare arrangements again because we need to book Offie on her trip home and Mom isn’t showing signs of hopping on a plane back soon.. she has a grandchild coming in August and I have a feeling she will wait for the little one to be born before coming back to take care of her precious Angel.  (Mind you, this is the only grandchild she has taken cared of like her own child.  In deference to my sister-in-law, she kept a distance from the care of Audrey, my niece, but grandma and the little girl are tight as can be — it is to be expected considering she is her first grandchild.)  All I know is I miss my mom.. and I’m worried about my sister’s health.  The doctor has requested us to come back for a second appointment as he found some abnormalities in her bloodwork.

I am looking forward to a long weekend — it’s the fourth of July on Monday (Independence Day being a very big deal to the folks here) and Alan and I asked for Tuesday off just to enjoy an extra day being a family.  No, we are not making plans to travel anywhere — just set to enjoy the day and maybe join Jackie and Jeff and their extended family for a barbecue in their home in New Jersey come Sunday.

And yes, time to get the stuff for pasalubong and all ready.  I haven’t really shopped much, but there is a lot I’m sending home, specially for the new baby. =)  (Note to self: get a balikbayan box.)




A Presidential Apology from Macapagal-Arroyo

From The Philippine Star (online edition):

GMA: I’m sorry, it’s me on tape
By Paolo Romero and Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star 06/28/2005

After almost three weeks of mounting pressure to break her silence, President Arroyo admitted last night that it was she who was heard on wiretapped phone conversations and asked the nation for forgiveness for the phone calls.

Mrs. Arroyo, however, denied opposition allegations that she attempted to rig last year’s presidential election. She also rejected calls for her to step down.

“I recognize that making any such call was a lapse in judgment. I am sorry. I also regret taking so long to speak before you on this matter,” a somber-looking Mrs. Arroyo told the nation in a four-minute televised address aired live from Malacañang.

“I also take full responsibility for my actions and to you and to all those good citizens who may have had their faith shaken by these events. I want to assure you that I have redoubled my efforts to serve the nation and earn your trust,” the Chief Executive said.

Mrs. Arroyo did not categorically say in her address that she spoke with Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, whose appointment to the Comelec last year was contested by the political opposition over allegations that he was involved in vote-rigging in the 1995 senatorial elections.

The President said when she made the phone calls, the “outcome had been predicted by every major public opinion poll” and the elections adjudged free and fair by international observers.

“My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not,” she said.

Mrs. Arroyo conceded that the “issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control” and she broke her silence because Filipinos “deserve an explanation from me, because you are the people I was elected to serve.”

She hoped that her admission would enable her to “close this chapter and move on with the business of governing,” saying the controversy could threaten the progress of her administration’s economic recovery efforts.

“Nothing should stand in the way of this work, or the next phase of my reform agenda, which includes new investments in education and social services with our new revenues, and an expansion of our successful anti-corruption and lifestyle checks,” Mrs. Arroyo continued.

“I ask each and every one of you to join hands with me in a show of unity, to help forge one Philippines, where everyone is equal under the law, and where everyone has the opportunity to use their God-given talents to make a better life.”

She pledged to “remain your humble servant” and “fulfill my constitutional oath of office to serve the people to the best of my ability.”

Earlier in the day, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye announced that Mrs. Arroyo would address the nation on an issue of “vital concern,” setting off speculation that she would break her silence on politically explosive allegations that she rigged last year’s election.

The allegations against Mrs. Arroyo center on audio recordings in which a woman who sounds like Mrs. Arroyo is heard discussing with a Commission on Elections official ways to secure a million-vote margin in the May 2004 ballot. The official was believed to be Virgilio Garcillano. He denies speaking with Mrs. Arroyo during the election period.

Bunye earlier said the recordings were altered and even presented to the press two compact discs, claiming one of them was the original and the other was an edited version.

He added the recordings could be part of an opposition-backed plot to oust her by inciting mass public protests. Congress began investigating the recordings last week.

Mrs. Arroyo until yesterday had refused to state whether the voice on the tape is hers and said she would deal with the scandal when political bickering has died down.

Bunye said Mrs. Arroyo reached the decision to break her silence over the weekend after consulting lawyers headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jose Vitug.

“Every lawyer knows the President’s conversations weren’t illegal. There is no crime here. This proves there is nothing more than a lapse in judgment,” he said. “The only value in pursuing this at this point is political embarrassment.”

Bunye expects Arroyo critics to “continue to stroke the controversy for their own personal gain. But for most reasonable people, this issue is now behind us.”

For starters, let me come out clean and state for the record that I’ve never been a fan of La Presidenta.  She ousted a duly elected president, Joseph Ejercito Estrada through people power, and then supposedly won the last presidential elections in the Philippines over a popular movie actor who succumbed to a massive stroke as he tried to proclaim to all that he had been cheated of his chance to lead the Filipino people.

I was not in the country for either election because I had already moved here to New York, but I have always kept close tabs on the goings-on in my native land by reading not only the news articles but the opinion columns of the newspapers I had always regarded as reliably independent. 

There were doubts about the veracity of the tapes but hey, voiceprints, like fingerprints are unique.  They could have denied the truth and claimed that Ate Glow ( a popular comedian/Arroyo impersonator) was the one impersonating the President, but the voice of the other party on the line was another matter.  So there was really no way out but to just bow their heads (and pray for God’s blessing..) and ask the Filipino people to just accept an apology and some excuse.

Sorry won’t cut it.  This Presidency touted itself to be the better alternative because the lady was well-educated, with a pedigree considered by most Filipinos as the equivalent of local royalty.  She was, after all, the daughter of a former President of the republic as well.  With practically her whole family under attack, charges of graft and corruption raining on them for months now, a leave of absence or even a tearful apology will not suffice.

From a public relations point of view, they must’ve thought they scored a coup in doing the unexpected.  After all, no public leader has been so humble as to admit to the Filipino public that they were caught redhanded.  What eats me is how one can apologize and admit to the wrong doing, and then just ask the public in the same breath to just take it in stride and let’s go about our business as if nothing happened.  Is that supposed to be the end of it?

What now, Mrs. President?

Caramel Crazy

Eversince I was a child, I have always loved hints of caramel.. I have never lost my love for caramel, butterscotch or the milder mocca, and I always find myself in search of new varieties.  Upon arriving here in the US, one of the things that struck me was the wide variety of jams, jellies, vinegars, oils, and other condiments mixed up by region or state.  You think that we had our share of kaong, strawberry jam (give me Good Shepherd please!) or ube (from Tamtamco) and the other goodies and pinoy delicacies we all grew up with.. here you have a hundred different pies depending on where you find yourself, and all these other goodies.

But despite the variety, we always had patis, suka and toyo as we knew it.  Whether you bought it in Manila or in Zamboanga, toyo was toyo — and the vinegar only varied in acidity, not really in flavor.  Here you will find rosemary vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc., etc.  So is it with caramel and other such syrups.  With the American propensity to create lavish desserts, one of their delectable sweet treats are toppings and syrups like caramel and hot fudge.

As a lover of creamy caramel, I have always made a point to be on the look out for the non-grocery brands — leading me to scour the shelves of delis and specialty groceries for these luscious treats.  One of my discoveries here in New York is a brand called LA SALAMANDRA, Milk Caramel or Dulce De Leche from Argentina. 

It comes in a tiny bottle and only in one size, not too thick yet not too syrupy.  Perfect for piling onto a banana or a quarter strawberry, or dipping pretzels into.  (Think YANYAN — you’ll get my drift.)  While I love dressing up ice cream, I prefer my caramel to dress other food up — if you get the chance to and see this on your grocery shelf, grab one (it’s a little pricey at $6.99 from Le Gourmet at Tanger in Riverhead, though) and believe me, you’ll find yourself coming back for more!

Typing Blind

So now that we have it all figured out that my sight won’t be up until Friday again, why then, you may ask, am I posting here as if I were typing blind?  The thoughts just keep coming, that’s why.

I have re-tooled my blog header and hope that it now won’t be a 240kb file.  I have also tried very hard to keep my other pictures low res and I house them independently so that I don’t eat up the allocation here on my blog server. 

Alan was worried, I got an e-mail from one of my blog pals, and I was upset it was nowhere to be found.  Alas, it’s a free service so I cannot complain. =(

Looks like rain in New York which perfectly matches my mood.  My Monday started off with a lot of issues swimming through my head.  My sister is not feeling well again and I’m keeping my fingers crossed the results from the doctor’s bloodwork will not be alarming.  It looks like the antacids won’t cut it.  Meanwhile, I just have to keep going..


Bandwidth explained

I wrote site support and got this response:

Dear Pinay,

Bandwidth exceeded doesn’t mean you’re using too much space. Please
don’t delete anything. Here’s a quick explanation.

In any blog, whether it is free or not, you have a space limit as well
as a bandwidth limit. Space limit refers to the number of posts and
images you have. Bandwidth refers to the number of visitors you can
have. The more visitors you have the more bandwidth they use up.
Moreover, the richer your content, the more bandwidth a single user

Image your blog front page has a 240k image and a 10k text. Each time a
user will access your blog, it will use up 250k bandwidth. You have a
250M bandwidth limit, ie a 1000 visit limit.

Your blog will be reactivated July 1st as bandwidth is monthly. In the
meantime, try to keep your content as light as possible to have more
visitors access your blog.

The Blog Hiker

I must say I am impressed and grateful for the prompt response.  I am disappointed, though, that my posts won’t see the net until Friday, July 1.  Fine.. I can wait, and at least I know my blog is still there.. just closetted for the moment. LOL

So okay, I will try and decreased the file size of my header.  (Time to get a new one, anyway..)  Guess it was a tad too big!


ICQ not connecting

When I started getting on the net in 96 (or was it 1995?), one of the things I discovered after e-mail was online chatting.  I got into the WBS chat network through which I met so many others, one of whom introduced me to ICQ.  From the time I registered to this day, I have the same 6 digit Universal Identification Number (UIN) which has caused newer users to think I was mistyping my UIN whenever I gave it as 6 digits only.  (Current UINs are in the 8 or 10 digits if not 12, I believe.)

It helped me to touch base with friends overseas while I was in Manila, and when I got to New York, it was a major avenue for me to reach the folks back home.  It took Fe, my bestfriend, all of four years to discover ICQ and chatting, but we finally got the hang of it sometime last year. 

My company seems to have put up an additional firewall which has been preventing me from connecting this week and that has really been very frustrating for me, not being able to talk to Fe and all.  Eversince we became friends 20 years ago — boy, it has been two decades now! — we have been constantly in touch, burning the phonelines (even if it was a long distance call from Metro Manila to Bacoor, Cavite, writing letters we would hand each other the next time we see each other, and mailing letters to each other.  And that was despite the fact that we saw each other practically every day while in College, and rather regularly once we went to law school and went on our foray through the corporate world.

My homesickness during my first two to three years here were difficult to deal with because she had stopped writing saying it was difficult to write and miss me at the same time.  I think we finally got over it after I went home for a visit in 2002.  She was busy taking care of a sibling but we were able to squeeze in some time to be together.  After that, we were able to communicate once again by sending each other letters the length of notebooks.  (I have one I’m finishing for my sister to take home when she goes back to Manila.)

I have taken great comfort in seeing that window pop up on the lower right hand corner of my screen each morning, mostly close to my noon and her midnight.  No matter how short the conversations online were, they helped me to connect to one of the few people to whom I can bare my heart and soul without abandon.

Not even the java lite version will go through!  Woe is me!!!  *SIGH*  I will find a way around this no matter what — and I will make the connection to Manila again.

Small Steps

At the end of the day as I walk up to our upper level coop unit, I sneak a peak into Angel’s pen and see him look at anticipation at who might be emerging from the staircase as he hears the footsteps climbing up.  And when he finally sees it’s me, except when Elmo has his full attention, he visibly lights up and greets me with a heart melting smile.  That is the highlight of my day, next to actually holding him as he sleeps before I go to la-la land myself.

He is now almost 14 months old.  How time flies indeed!  We continue to childproof the house, and even the once safe dining area which didn’t hold much interest for him then now has to be barricaded with a childproof gate.  He wants to go everywhere and to think we have quite a small apartment as it is!  Our last trip to Macy’s was a little challenging as he wanted to go walk the length and breadth of the store — but with the traffic of people and the countless sharp edged shelves, not to mention the piles of merchandise he could pull and throw around, we had to scoop him up despite his protests.

We see him developing into his own person as he starts to show his moods and how he now grasps the concept of disagreeing with something I would prefer he do.  He already knows the concept of “No” and he even shakes his head from side to side as if to confirm NO means not doing something.  Soon we will hear him saying “No” himself — and then starts the argument between child and parent.

He has two favorite balls which are both colored purple.  He would go around crawling or walking holding one ball in his hand.  His current favorite book has as one of its characters, Tiny, a purple dinosaur.  Of course Barney’s a favorite — though Elmo takes the top spot.

Sometimes I vacillate between showing my displeasure and trying to talk him through a fit — I know he has the brain of a 14-month-old and can comprehend some of the things we talk about to him, and at the same time, we recognize that his world revolves around the dynamics of his little shell.  We all try our very best but there is no black and white in parenthood.  So as he takes those little steps as he is learning to walk, I hold his hand when he needs to but I let go to teach him to walk on his own. 

Even as he babbles as if in serious conversation, I know that his mind is reaching out and trying hard to mimmick the sounds that he hears from the adults around him.  Each day is a small step in seeing the unique person that he is unfold.  Before we know it, we will get from here to there — a little step at a time.


Jaime Cardinal Sin, 76

I grew up a Roman Catholic Christian and went to Catholic schools for three quarters of my academic life.  (Grade and High School at St. Paul College of Quezon City and then for my JD from the Ateneo School of Law.) 

Cardinal Sin, like Pope John Paul II, was always a  huge presence in my life, with the former being the Prince of the Roman Catholic Church and the latter being its head.  Like Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Sin did not think twice about the separation of Church and State and never hesitated to rally his faithful to support the right cause even if it meant blurring the lines between the two.

He was instrumental in bringing down the Marcos regime and has been a big influence in exhorting the Filipino people to be calm and advocate peaceful means in their mass actions. 

In the last few years, he had become less politically active but continued to remain a force behind the Philippines’ hugely Catholic population.  I remember that the last notable news I read about the late Cardinal was how he was heartbroken that he was too sick to fly to Rome to lay the late John Paul II to rest.  Apparently, the two men had developed a friendship after they become friends when they roomed together during the conclave held that elected the late Pope to become the new head of the Catholic faithful.

Now the two are together on the other side.  Peace finally theirs.

From the online edition of THE PHILIPPINE STAR>:

Mourners grieve for influential cardinal that helped topple two presidencies
06/21 5:43:43 PM

MANILA (AFP) – With the death of Cardinal Jaime Sin, the hugely influential Roman Catholic spiritual leader who helped to topple two Philippine presidents, hundreds of mourners began streaming to Manila cathedral at noon to pay their respects to Sin.

The influential cardinal died at the age of 76 of multiple organ failure after a lengthy struggle with kidney problems and diabetes.

President Gloria Arroyo called him a “great liberator” while the early mourners at the cathedral included former president Corazon Aquino.

As the most visible church leader in this mainly Catholic nation of 84 million, Sin played a major role in rallying public support for the popular revolt that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Sin was one of the few vocal critics of military rule after Marcos declared martial law in 1972.

He also helped rally the public for a military-backed, popular uprising that toppled scandal-ridden president Joseph Estrada in 2001.

Marcos and Estrada were replaced respectively by devout Catholics Aquino and incumbent Gloria Arroyo, both of whom enjoyed Sin’s staunch support.

The cardinal retired as archbishop of Manila in 2003 and had largely lived quietly in seclusion in his villa in a Manila suburb. He suffered a heart attack in October.

His body has arrived at Manila Cathedral where it will lie in state.

Aquino, a close friend of Sin, attended a mass for him along with hundreds of clergymen, citizens and schoolchildren.

Arroyo praised Sin as “a great liberator of the Filipino people and a champion of God,” calling him a “blessed man who never failed to unite Filipinos during the most crucial battles against tyranny and evil.”

She recalled that “many times, I was guided by his wisdom and profound love for the poor and oppressed,” citing his role in the downfall of Marcos and Estrada.

Opposition leader and Senator Aquilino Pimentel said that “the nation lost a spiritual leader who helped shape the nation’s political landscape.”

Sin’s private secretary Father Rufino Sescon said the cardinal had been deeply affected by the death in April of his friend Pope John Paul II, possibly leading to a deterioration in his own condition.

“He truly was affected by the loss of our beloved holy father,” Sescon said, recalling that Sin had wanted to attend the pope’s funeral but had been too ill.

In a television interview one of Sin’s brothers, Ramon Sin, remembered him as a man who was “deeply in love with the Philippine people” but was also full of good humour and laughter, even during tense moments.

Secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Monsignor Hernando Coronel, said the organization was “in great mourning at the demise of Cardinal Sin. We feel a deep loss.”

He recalled Sin’s role in toppling Marcos, saing “Cardinal Sin has contributed to the growth and flourishing of the faith and the restoration of freedom and democracy to our nation.”

Jaime Sin’s role as one of the few who would openly criticize Marcos boosted both his popularity and that of the church.

He was an adviser to Aquino after she became president. But when former military chief Fidel Ramos, a Protestant, was elected president in 1992, Sin openly criticised his administration for moves to amend the constitution and to promote birth control.

Although Sin was already ailing when Estrada was elected in 1998, he was a constant critic of Estrada’s mismanagement and led influential clergymen in calling on the president to resign after a corruption scandal in November 2000.

Critics called Sin a “politician-priest,” saying he interfered in political matters in which the church should have kept its distance.

But the cardinal defended his actions, saying in his retirement speech in 2003: “Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of our nation.”

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, who succeeded Sin, said the burial was tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday.

Trying to be Meek

Those who know me personally will tell you that meek is not an adjective they would use to describe me. 

(According to Webster online, Meek is 1. enduring injury with patience and without resentment : MILD 2 : deficient in spirit and courage : SUBMISSIVE 3 : not violent or strong : MODERATE

Okay, I’m trying not to laugh here but definitely not the words to describe me.  But I am trying — impossible as it may seem, I am summoning up the strength to overcome my usually explosive temper and curb my emotional impulsiveness.  So perhaps it is the right word after all.. I am trying.

I’m trying to endure with patience and not be resentful, and more importantly, not to be violent! 

It’s been a relatively easy day, but it’s one of those days when the boss has been easy but the minions of the other big people feel like they are wearing their boss’s shoes.  I throw my weight around, too, when needed, but I have the rank to pull — in the corporate world, I don’t take things personally because as we would say back home, trabaho lang ito, walang personalan. 

I was a rather difficult boss back home — so I know how it is to be on the giving end of the bitchiness.  Maybe that’s why I can take the boss when it’s one of those days when I want to just lock her up in her office and just open the door again when it’s time to go home again.  I was fortunate to be in a relatively safe place close to the uberbosses so I was generally shielded from the nastier of intrigues as we know it in the Filipino office culture.

I made friends with the bosses and was in especially good terms with the small people who were the messengers and the receptionists.  (The messengers in my last two companies before I left for New York were even on my pasalubong list when I went home to Manila in 2002..)  I could be a bitch, but I knew how to be one of the guys. 

Even back then, I already knew to be wary of mixing friendships with professional relationships.  I had my buddies — we would go out after office hours on payday, dance, drink or watch a movie.  But I kept a tight set of friends from outside the corporate world I moved in from 9-5PM as well.  Since I moved to New York, most of my new friends were either friends of Alan’s, or friends from work.  I may be getting picky here, but the friends from work are more like colleagues than they are real friends.  I am close to a few of them but none of those relationships have actually blossomed into real friendships outside the confines of the office.  Not that I expect any to — life here in the US is all about a different set of rules altogether — and the lines are drawn distinctly between work and friendship.  At least that’s the way it seemed to me.

There was a new assistant whom I thought would be different.  As a newcomer supporting one of the VPs reporting to my SVP, I have been very supportive of helping her assimilate herself into the department.  From the start, she got into arguments with the people within her own department and those around her.  She can be rather feisty in a funny sort of way — and is what most of us would refer to as mataray. 

She depended on me to answer her queries about the system in this company and I often went out of my way to accommodate her requests, realizing it takes some time to fully absorb the ins and outs or the protocol here.  We would often chat during lunch and sometimes even take a short ride on the subway together.  She always stressed to me that she didn’t care what the other assistants on the floor thought, for as long as she was tasked to do something she was paid for, even if meant covering for me, she would do it.  And she did it those days I had childcare issues or when I wasn’t feeling well.  It wasn’t out of the generosity of her heart, though, because we all knew that as the assistant to the top boss, I was up in the foodchain and they were below me in the pecking order.  It was part of their job to cover my post if I happened to be out.

There were times when she would even go out of her way to print out materials for my boss even if she knew I had a copy, saying she did so hoping I would do the same for her.  From the very start, I made it clear that I will do that if I had the luxury of time, but as we are often swamped, my focus will always be my boss.  Another assistant who overheard told her that would be nice, but we couldn’t always do that for each other.

Maybe it’s the taray side of her that brought out the taray side of me.  There was a particular week when I couldn’t say yes to the things she was requesting, and I just had to put my foot down because no, I could not accommodate her.  I could see she didn’t like that because she would react whenever I would just refuse the request.  In short, she started giving me attitude.  It came to such a point that I actually asked her what her problem was because I didn’t know how I was supposed to talk to her anymore.  She got back to me and said it was me who was having a difficult week and she understands that  and I wouldn’t even let her finish anything she wanted to say and it was I who was snapping back at her.  It was an arguments with no end in sight so I just backed off.

Since then, she has tried to make peace but things have not been the same.  I can only imagine that just as she badmouthed the people who were getting on her nerves back when she and I were chummy, I must’ve gotten the same kind of flak when things turned sour between us.  That is human nature, I know. 

While I don’t consider it a big loss, I find it sad that things turned out this way.  Now there are times when I try to tell her something and she cuts me off.  A case in point is this casual conversation:

“I don’t know if it was triggered in the system or..” I began, and she says “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” 

I stopped a second and continued “I know you don’t know, that’s why I’m trying to tell you that I don’t know if it was triggered in the system or there was a systems glitch, but my boss shouldn’t be the person approving your requisitions, it should be your boss.  Maybe you ought to have the systems people check that out.” 

I think she realized she cut me short because she suddenly looked all mild- mannered after she let me finish my sentence.

Five years ago in Manila, I would’ve come up with some catty remark and she wouldn’t even know what hit her.  These days, I take it all in stride and just take it as being part of the job.  It just gets to me that for someone whom I thought could be a friend, this lady doesn’t seem to know how to separate work from camaraderie. 

Work is work — as we say, walang personalan.. trabaho lang ito.  Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean I will always go above and beyond to accommodate your requests at work — if I can, I will — if I cannot, you will have to accept my firm no.

So as I said at the start of this post, I’m trying to be meek.  I’m resisting the urge to fight back and make taray — when you have so many other things to do, I’d rather let it all out here in my blog and then as we New Yorkers say, forget about it.




Feedback on Feedback

Here’s Leen-leen’s response to my response:

gee, that was some valuable enlightenment you shared with me. i realized i have so much to learn about blog posting and being “heard” and having one’s presence felt. but i’d like to clarify that i was not really searching for filipino/a blogs. i just wanted to know how one’s blog can be included in the search engines since i see a lot of blog sites when i type “”. then i tried to find a friendly sounding blog site whose owner i hoped would be patient enough to answer my question. and voila! there was your blog which caught my attention since you announced you are a pinay. i am glad i found it, serendipity at its finest! you are an alumna of st. paul too! i wanted to communicate with you soonest. i was just wondering you havent mentioned our alma mater in your response.

i love to write and read and watch my favorite tv shows and movies but i think i havent mastered my time management skills to be able to do all these things. i hope to have the confidence you project in your writings. you seem to have an enviable control of your life. it feels good to know you, even only in cyberspace. i pray for your continued abundant health and happiness and those of your loved ones. – Leen-Leen

My response:  Time management is an alien concept to me, more so now that motherhood has me wishing there were 36 hours in a day!  (More so when blogging takes up a chunk of my time.. but just can’t keep away..)  Confidence — I just speak my mind out.  I do edit myself sometimes but I treat this blog as my personal sounding board, so not that I have a devil-may-care attitude about who gets hit with what I write, but I do speak as frankly as I can. 

If I have given you the impression that I am in control of my life as you had written above, let me just point out that I don’t believe I am — I just go with the flow better than most people.  I guess it’s the spontaneous side of me.  At 39, I’ve come to realize that not everything is within my control.  To paraphrase a well-known prayer– (Lord,) I try to change the things I can change, accept the things I cannot and I pray that early on, I find the wisdom to know the difference. 

I don’t know if it’s age or just the lessons of life which have taught me that rather than try to control things, I would do better to deal and cope with things.  There is much that we can make happen if we put our minds to it, but that is only possible if we are able to pull our resources together and if we can adjust to what is there for the taking.  Like I am in what is supposed to be one of the best cities in the world, yet my heart keeps pulling me back to Manila.  But I have long accepted the fact that this is my world now — and this is where I will raise my son.  I may not have control over what happens to him outside the four walls of my home, but I can prepare him for that as best I can.

Don’t I wish I could spend a month in Paris — but I can only alot 4 days because I cannot bear to be away from my son longer than that, and to stay away longer might mean a major struggle for my Mom who will be left in New York to take care of him.  I have Bill Clinton’s MY LIFE, Queen Noor’s autobiography and at least a half dozen other reads waiting for me on my book shelf– (I never even went beyond chapter 3 or 4 of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell!)  Movies need to be planned — I haven’t even watched the VCD of Mano Po 3 (My Love) which has been collecting dust by the DVD player..

So many things I want to do but just can’t seem to do — but I try not to sweat it.  If it gets done, it gets done.. some things are just beyond my control.