A Tuesday that feels like a Saturday

This is the penultimate night of my 5-day weekend.  While I am staying home tomorrow, I will be working from home part of the day to save on a day off.  Alan will be going to work so it’ll just be Angel and me.

I managed to vacuum beneath our queen bed and get the storage space straightened out.  I promised Alan I would assemble the computer table we bought in IKEA yesterday while I am home, and he will hopefully start working from there this week.

Did I mention I’m the handyman in this house?  Or as I would often tease Alan, his “all around”.

Craft Report: My Forgotten Knitting Project

With work and childcare issues getting the better of me, it wasn’t until last night that I finally picked up the katya yarn scarf I’ve been doing in oversized stitches.  And yes, I’m finally done with the yarn.  Right now I’m trying to decide how I’m going to do the white yarn portion.  All I know is that I intended to put the white at the two ends and use it as the tassle as well.

Hopefully before September is out I can start knitting the scarves I intend to give out as gifts this Christmas.  I saw some hand knitted scarves at Kenneth Cole in Franklin Mills in Pennsylvania over the weekend, and while they were priced atrociously, they were definitely doable even for a novice knitter like me.  They were done in different colors but the only effect was to doing dropped stitches (I am not sure that is the term), purling an extra loop so that the stitch when done is actually longer than the usual.  Maybe I’ll do that with this first knitting scarf.

With the weather beginning to turn chillier and more rains coming, my scarves from Paris have been very useful in keeping myself warm in the office.  It’s just that I only have one on standby there, and I sure can use scarves that would be the same color as what I was wearing.

Getting there, getting there..

It's just that time again

I know I’m not supposed to be bitching and complaining but it’s my second day and I haven’t felt like this in a long while.  (Primarily because nursing on a regular basis gave my hormones an excuse to give me a sabbatical.. ha!)  So I can’t wait to go home but my legs are aching and I’m not so sure they will be able to carry my weight up the three flights of stairs to the local train.  So maybe I’ll stick to two flights and take the easy way home, via the express bus.  Forget about the additional $3!  Besides, I want to catch up on some writing.

It has been a long day and the only break I got was that my boss was travelling to another office in Connecticut.  So I guess it’s time to turn in.  Fortunately, I was too busy to bother with anyone else, so I had a pretty good day despite the fact that I am absolutely tired at this point.  Not even the sun outside can perk me up but I can’t wait to get home to my boys ASAP!

Midnight Saturday Post

My little boy is sleeping beside me so I am actually typing in the dark, not seeing the keyboard, just playing it by ear.  But hey, I’m posting.. =)

It has been a challenging day with the boy but we had a good week the previous week (posts coming in my Motherhood,etc. blog — just haven’t had the chance to write really.. haven’t retooled the photos either, but I promised myself I would do something before the weekend is out.   We are already planning our next vacation so I need to get that done ASAP.

Meanwhile, I’m down to my last 10mg of bandwidth and I have 10 days to go.. sigh..

Hating Kapatid

Since my elder brother passed away at birth, I have been the eldest or “kaka” to my sister and younger brother, and then my youngest brother when he came into our lives that fateful day 20 years ago.  (Goodness, has it been that long?)  As Ate, I have always been proud of the fact that despite the distinct individuality of each of us in the family, we grew up very close.  We do have our ideosyncracies, like my sister will not use the same spoon I have used but will not think twice about borrowing my toothbrush if we were out and she forgot hers. 

We slept in the same room until we hit our teens when my brother got his own room — finally.  We have private nicknames for each other which has a story behind each monicker.  (I am Aloha because I love Pizza Hut’s Hawaiian Delight, my sister is Suzy because she kept breaking keys — from the car keys to our front door keys, and my brother is Kenny because there was a young boy in a movie whose name was Kenny who, according to Suzy looked like my brother.. the youngest, Nikky seems to have been spared — for now..)

If we were in dire straights, we wouldn’t think twice of running to the other for help.  And although times back home are tough, my siblings don’t ask for my assistance unless it was as a last resort.  No matter how we would bicker and argue, or how we disagree with the other’s views, we have always maintained a closeness that allows us to speak freely from the heart when needed, and joke about even the most personal things.  We are always part of the tight circle were our little joys and big successes are shared as a family.

So when I receive a text message asking for assistance, I try my best to help as best I can — although my efforts often fall short of my own desire to help. I may be 10,000 miles away, but I feel as though I am there with them in Manila, still their Ate.

I always find myself looking for things to share with them — either to send door-to-door with the occasional balikbayan box or the faster courriered packages I send when there’s something to celebrate.  I miss my siblings and sometimes regret that Angel will not know how it is to have that kind of a family.  I just try to find comfort in the thought that as an only child, he would be more generous and giving to his cousins who will be his sisters and brothers, be they here on this side of the world or back home in Manila.  I definitely will teach him all about hating kapatid and what that truly means.



A Long Friday

People were surprised to see me in the office — why did I bother to come in on a Friday when I was off the whole week?  I needed to do some catching up and my boss was back from a short business trip to Latin America.  I hate being swamped Mondays — and fortunately, she’s going to one of our offices in Connecticut on Monday, so it shouldn’t be that tough a day. 

Because I was away for most of the week, there were naturally more things to do although I had good back up.  One of my boss’s many other assistants who came before me has joined our team and is indeed a reliable back up — forget that she and my boss work well together only when they don’t work directly for each other.  I knew my boss was relieved I was back as well — nice to know she missed me even if only because of work.

All of us are sporting a slight tan at home.  My son, like me, doesn’t tan much — or maybe it was the Mustela.  (A small stick of which cost Alan $10 which caused him to raise a fuss about it because it was practically a mini deodorant stick! — I am not complaining, though, because the two times I’ve used it on Angel, there was no allergic reaction even if I applied it directly to his face, and it did the job — the boy has a tan but did not burn.)

We’re still all refreshed from the short stay in Williamburg, Virginia.  This early Alan and I are already vowing to come back next year and stay longer — if only so we can explore Colonial Williamsburg next time.  (The first time, we went to Busch Gardens, and this time, we did Busch and then Water Country USA.)  Forget that it’s an 8 hour drive each way.  We had it down pat, taking a mini cooler with refreshments in the car so we could minimize the stops for soda or water, bringing our portable DVD player to keep Angel entertained, and having things packed systematically so we knew where everything was.

After 5 years, we also no longer feel like beating each other up over Map Quest as he drives and I navigate.  (No more missed turns, exits, and sudden swerves.. there’s a rhythm to it that we can both dance to.)

So what if it’s just a Saturday-Sunday break again?  We are heading off to another long weekend next week.  The boss is off all week and I’m taking 3 days off.. maybe it’ll be a second trip to Sesame Place this time. =)


Five years

I’m counting the minutes to midnight until it is the 19th of August again.. Alan and I will be celebrating 5 years of being married — wow.. while others can boast of 10, 25, 30, in this day and age when marraige to most people is just a piece of paper, I feel that Alan and I have accomplished a lot in terms of keeping our relationship strong.

I’m still in love with this guy I wake up to each morning, and while there are times when I feel like bopping him in the head as I am sure he feels like wanting to lock me up in the closet to keep things quiet in the house, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else… kasi love ko bubu ko.

Phew! That was quite an exercise..

I must say I had to pause quite a number of times to compose my thoughts and to find the right word as I attempted to write in the native tongue.  Phew! 

I am mighty proud of what I’ve written because although certain portions felt like I could have written it better if my Tagalog writing was not that rusty, I actually composed a whole blog post in formal Tagalog.  (Forget that it took me the whole day to write it!)


If you don’t understand what the title of this post reads, then forget about reading the rest of the entry which will be in Tagalog. 

Matagal ko ng gustong mag-umpisa na magsulat sa wikang sariling atin ngunit madalas akong maubusan ng “Tagalog” at naiiwang nakabitin sa wikang Ingles sa aking isipan ang nais kong sabihin.  Heto na naman ako at nagsisikap na makasulat sa wikang Pilipino.. kahit pa medyo mapurol na ang aking pananagalog, (kahit pa ginagamit namin itong wikang pang-araw-araw sa aming tahanan, lalo pa’t nais kong lumaki ang aking anak na nagsasalita at nakakaintindi ng wikang Tagalog), siguro naman maisusulat ko ang niloloob ko dala ng aking galit.

Dito sa New York, matatagpuan mo na yata ang lahat ng klase ng kasarinlan — mapa-Asyano, Europeano, Intsik, Itim or Puti.  Hindi ka makakaramdam ng panliliit na kasama ka sa minorya, sapagkat lahat ng uri ay matatagpuan mo sa lahat ng sulok ng ciudad na ito.  Hindi gaya sa ibang lugar kung saan nangyari na na napasyal kami ni Alan, at laking pagkagulat namin na kami lang ang Asyanong mamamataan mo sa paligid.  Nangyari na ito ng bumisita kami sa bayan ng mga Amish sa Pennsylvania.   Pumasok kami sa isang maliit na bario na nagbibigay ng mga “tours,” (ayan na, naubusan na.. LOL) at kami lang ang hindi puti.  Taas noo naman kaming nagsabing taga-New York kami ng tanungin kung saang lupalop galing ang halos dalawampung taong nakisali.

Bakit nga ba ako nagsusulat sa Tagalog?  Nais ko kasing talakayin ang isang medyo maselang bagay na ayokong pagmulan ng sangdamukal na mungkahi mula sa mga tatamaan.  (Sabi nga nila, bato-bato sa langit, tamaa’y huwag magalit —  at kung isusulat ko ito sa wikang Ingles, maraming tatamaan.. aray!)

Aaminin ko, maski ako, merong matatawag na bias tungkol sa ilang bagay.  Isa na rito ang pananaw ko na mahirap makatrabaho ang mga itim.  Hindi ko sila nilalahat — meron din namang mga itim na talaga namang hahangaan mo sa tindig, talino, kabaitan at angking kakayanan sa iba’t-ibang larangan ng kultura.  Hindi ba’t sila ang nangunguna sa larangan ng musika — at kahit pa nitong mga nakaraang taon pa lamang sila nabigyan ng parangal sa larangang ng pelikula, matagal ng humahakot ng milyones sa takilya ang kanilang mga obra.

Dito sa aking pinagtatrabahuan, maraming itim akong nakakasalamuha.  Kapansin-pansin na sa grado ng Amo ko, (isang SVP), mabibilang mo ang itim.  Karamihan sa kanila ay nasa baitang ko, ngunit nasa mas mababang grado.  Bilang isang sekretarya, madalas kong makahalubilo ang mga ito, kasama na ang iba pang mga sekretarya na iba-iba ang kasarinlan.  Doon sa dating grupo na pinangunahan ng amo ko hanggang malipat kami ng departamento, may anim na sekretary na mas mababa ang ranggo kesa akin, at tatlo sa kanila ay itim.

Sa isang banda, masarap katrabaho ang mga itim dahil sila yung mga babagsak sa kategoryang tinatawag nating mga “kenkoy” at masayahin.  Bihira sa kanila ang pormal, at kahit pa matatawag nating magaslaw minsan ang kanilang asta, karamihan sa kanila ay likas na masayahin. 

Ang reklamo ko sa kanila ay ang kanilang ugali pagdating sa trabaho.  Dala marahil ng ilang taong pang-aapi sa kanila dito sa kanilang lupang sinilangan, at ang halos dalawang siglong pagkaka-alipin sa kanila ng mga puti, marami silang hinanakit at himutok sa buhay na magpahanggang ngayon ay dala-dala nila at pinapasan.  Lagi silang “feeling api.”

Palaban sila kung palaban.  Minsan, may pagka siga.  Sinasabi ng ilan na ang dahilan ng kanilang katigasan ay ang kanilang hinampo tungkol sa pagiging api.

Merong isang bagong salta na noong umpisa pa lamang ay naging mabait naman ang pakikitungo sa akin.  Dahil karamihan ng tanong niya tungkol sa trabaho ay nasasagot ko, maamo siyang makitungo sa akin at totoo namang ultimo spelling tinanong pa sa akin.  Maganda naman ang pakitungo niya, kaya’t ganoon din ako.  At hindi naman ako maramot sa trabaho — kung mas alam ko ang isang bagay, hindi ako nagdadalawang-isip tumulong.

Minsan hindi ko naman sinasadya at nagkataon lang, lahat ng hinihingi niya, hindi ko mapagbigyan.  At mula pa noon, ang pananaw ko sa trabaho, walang personalan — kung hindi, hindi.  Kahit pa kaibigan kita, kung hindi namin maibibigay ang hinihingi mo, tapatan kong sasabihin sa yo.  Ayun pala, pakiramdam niya, wala akong ginawa kung hindi ang barahin siya.  Doon nagsimulang magkalamat ang akala ko’y aming pagkakaibigan.

Unti-unti ko ring napansin na hindi lamang siya sa akin nag-umpisang maging mabagsik, kundi sa iba na nakakarinig ng kanyang asta.  At tulad ng dati, hindi ko naman pinersonal.  Ang sa ganang akin, kung ganyan ang pakikitungo mo, wala akong problema basta’t huwag mo akong aargabyaduhin.  Hindi ko naman iniyakan ang aming pagiging magkatrabaho imbes na magkaibigan.  Tanggap ko na mahirap makahanap ng totoong kaibigan, lalo na sa trabaho kung saan kadalasan, ang kabaitan ay pagiging madiplomasya lamang at kinakailangan sa isang kumpanya gaya ng pinagtatrabahuan ko.

Ang Amo ng sekretaryang ito ay dating tauhan ng Amo ko.  Mula noong nalipat kami, hindi na rin sila mag-amo.  Mayroong mga e-mail na bumabagsak pa rin sa amin kahit pa hindi na kami nasa sa isang departamento.  Simple lang naman ang ginawa ko — ipinadala ko sa Amo niya at sa kanya ang ilang ulit ng bumabagsak na ulat upang iparating lang naman sa kanila na hanggang ngayon, pumupunta pa rin sa Amo ko yon.  Malay ko ba na ipagpapanting ng tenga ni Itim ang pagkakasali ko sa Amo niya sa sulat ko. Akala niya yata, gusto ko siyang ipahamak.   Ang sa akin lamang, kailangang malaman nilang nangyayari pa rin ito, dahil may isang buwan na mula ng lumipat kami at hindi na normal na nakatatanggap pa rin kami ng mga ulat tungkol sa departamento nila.

Habang mainit ang ulo niyang nagrerenda siya sa telepono, tiim-bagang kong pinakinggan at ipinaliwanag sa kanya na kung naiirita ang gusto kong tono, hindi ko sana isinulat ng napakamalunay ang pahiwatig ko.  At tinawagan pa niya ako kung kailan nagmamadali ako dahil inaayos ko ang papeles ng amo ko pauwi, at kahit pa nagmamadli akong ibaba ang telepono, pilit pa rin niyang iginigiit na patapusin ko daw siya.  Kaya’t kahit gusto ko ng ibagsak ang telepono at tapusin ang dapat tapusin, hinayaan ko siyang magsalita.  Matapos kong magpaliwanag, humingi siya ng paumanhin ngunit sabi ko, hindi ko kailangan ng paumanhin niya dahil wala naman akong intensyong ipahamak siya sa Amo niya, atbp.

Nakakalungkot isipin na ganito ang nangyari sa amin, gayong maaari namang pag-usapan ng mahinahon ang lahat.  Imbes na magkaintindihan kami, inuuna niya ang galit.  Ngayon tuloy, deadma siya sa akin.