29 May 2005
The past week was wonderful... and busy.
I had to work from 8 o'clock in the morning up to 6 o'clock in the evening for the past two weeks. I love and enjoy teaching, but teaching every single hour of the day (from 9am-6pm) with just 5 minutes interval per session can be tough. Especially when you're working with a group of students with different levels of proficiency in English. Add the fact that you're doing this online (through the Net). Sometimes, there are sessions where some of the students are almost as good as native speakers already, some intermediate, some just beginning and some can barely speak English. You have to always be up your toes and make sure nobody feels left out or nobody manipulates and/or dominates the whole session. You have to make sure nobody gets bored or loses interest. You have to make sure that each of the students understands everything. And, you also have to make sure not to rub them the wrong way and always keep in mind that you're dealing with people with a different culture, so you can't throw jokes just like that. You always have to be on guard about what you say. Hay! But, it's all good, really. :) Pretty challenging at times, but good - really good. :)
Soccer is it!
The week was made considerably better and nicer when, at mid-week, Liverpool became European Champions when they won in the UEFA Champions League Finals against AC Milan. I love both teams, but I was rooting for Liverpool. While watching the game (from 2:45 to 5:00 a.m. on the 26th), I cried, laughed, cried and laughed again. At the end of the game, just like every hooligan in the stadium, I was in tears. There were only two of us, in a room full of screaming soccer fans, rooting for Liverpool. I was quietly singing "You will never walk aloooone..." along with the hooligans! Our Turkish dorm-mate said, "You will walk alone! Hahaha!" I so wanted to yell back, "And, you will never walk, dammit!" But, I kept quiet. And, as soon as Dudek blocked Shevchenko's kick, I clapped my hands and loudly said, "Who's gonna walk alone now? Hahaha!" It was a great game. And, I looove soccer more. :)
The week was capped by nights-out with very good friends. Friday night, I watched "Star Wars Episode 3" for the second time. I was with Bok,
I am exhausted, but really happy and relaxed. I feel very peaceful right now. Life is good. God is great! :)
Dean, happy birthday! You will forever be... sikat! Mwah! I love you, bro! :)
20 May 2005
All my life, I have been an animal person. I've always loved animals. Freaky as it may sound, I can even touch the friendlier house mice/rats and give them some pats. I remember when I was in high school, at one of the very few times that we didn't have a cat at home, we had rats. They were weird because they were not scared of us. When we passed by them, they just continued doing their thing and minding their own business. My sister, I remember, would freak out and all. As for me, I tried befriending the rats. And, it came to a point when I could actually sit near a rat and run my fingers through its soft-furred body. The only thing I never liked about them were their tails, especially very long ones! Those very weird tails, weird in a negative/bad way! But, despite that, I could still play with rats. Now, I still can but I don't because I've found out how dirty they can get!
I've had cats, dogs, goats, fish, chickens, ducks, and geese for pets. I'd even, sometimes, feed ants by putting sugar in random places where I knew they would pass on their way home from work, I used to imagine. I just love animals - any kind of animal. Being around animals makes me feel peaceful and relaxed. :)
The animal person that I am, I never really liked plants. Neither did I hate them. I just never looked at them the way some people I know did. My Mommy Rosie, my dad's first wife and mother of my older siblings, loves plants and probably has the greenest of green thumbs in the world. She would tell me about caring for plants and all, but I just never got interested. As soon as I get to the garden, I'd immediately look for some insects to observe and forget about the plants. Mommy Rosie found that really funny and she'd always leave me to my world. Plants were something I never really noticed or paid attention to.
But, right now, I'm taking care of two plants. One is owned by a friend of mine who had to go home for the summer vacation. The other one was owned by my former roommate. I'd water them regularly and, sometimes, even try talking to them. I'm, so far, doing great with my friend's plant. As for my former roommate's, some of the leaves have withered. I've tried trimming and all. Wanting it to stay alive has become a sort of an obsession for me. I never thought I could ever be like this about a plant. It looks okay now and I hope it stays okay. I so want to consult Mommy Rosie right now, but I'd have to go back home to Mindanao to be able to do that. I just hope that the green speck in my thumb, however tiny it is, would be enough to make my new "pet" stay alive and "kicking."
Now, let me just find my dear Queen Catie and sweet Pretty Twona. I sure hope that's not jealousy I smell, my beloved (smuggled) cats! :)
19 May 2005
I've been really busy with work. One of our co-teachers accidentally broke her arm, so we have to substitute for her. It has been quite exhausting so that as soon as I get back to the dorm after dinner everyday, I'd just wash up and get immediately in bed and doze off. When I do get to my PC and surf the net, I just check the latest soccer news, read some of my regular reads and then I'd decide to turn the PC off and just hit the sack... again!
The weekend was supposed to be my rest time, but my mom came for a visit (all the way from Mindanao), so I went around with her and my aunt. We had such a great time together. And then, of course, my Kuya A also came to Manila for an interview and, so, we also got together. The guy's actually one of my favorite people in the world. It was so nice seeing him again and hanging out with him again after four years! We just laughed and laughed the whole time we were together. Oh, I miss the old days. And, it was also fun to see my two very good, super "POWERS" friends finally meet. :)
As I'm not really in the mood to write right now, let me just share these new quizzes I found and enjoyed answering. :)
Your Political Profile
Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern
What Your Dreams Mean...
Your dreams seem to show that you're a very well adjusted and happy person.
Overall, you are very content in your life.
You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.
You secretly want to hide your dreams from your waking mind.
08 May 2005
Today is a very special day for we celebrate the women to whom we owe our lives. We celebrate our mothers! :) I don't really know how and where the idea of having a Mother's Day started, but I really like the idea. Sure, it has become another grand day for the capitalists and all, but, it's still the day that honors the most important women in our lives!
I feel so proud and lucky to be my mom's daughter. She's the kind of mom that transforms the world into an ocean of colorful and golden rainbows. In the book of my life, pages upon pages are filled with beautiful stories, great thoughts and pink dreams because of her mere existence and presence. Her love for us, her children, is so unconditional and so true it makes me cry and smile at the same time. She may drive me nuts at times; that makes our bond stronger. I can go on and on about my mom, but words are just not enough to capture how I feel about her.
Today, I would also like to honor my two grandmothers for to them I owe the wonderful persons that are my parents and the love that only grandmothers can give. When I was little, I remember calling my maternal grandmother "Ina a Maito" (Small Mother) and my paternal grandmother "Ina a Mala" (Big Mother).
Ina a Maito died when I was only four years old, but I can still remember her clearly. She was the sweetest soul ever. Memories of her are some of the fondest I have in my life. It was from her that I got my love for animals/pets. She would always adopt stray cats. And, we had goats, chickens and dogs. It was from her that I learned how animals also have feelings and need to be treated nicely. I will always remember how she told me that I was a princess, like all other little girls, and that I owned all the birds in the world. She would always tell me that whenever I saw a flock of birds flying together, that meant they were saying "I love you" to me. Up to this day, whenever I see a flock of birds flying together, I still say "I love you, too." And, I know that somewhere Ina a Maito is smiling. :)
Ina a Mala is the only living "direct" grandparent that I have today. She is in her late 80s. She's the most lovable woman you could ever meet. Whenever I see her, I'd always feel the urge to give her the biggest bear hug in the world. She's the perfect example of a "Miss Prim and Proper" or "Miss Good Manners and Etiquette"! It was really from her that I got my love for "the written word". Whenever she came for a visit, she would always have with her some paperbacks (about a dozen) and she'd devour them like there was no tomorrow. When I was in Grade School, I would always tell myself that I wanted to be just like that. I wished I could read as fast as she could and I loved lying next to her reading my own books while she read hers. I learned a lot just observing her. I'm still wishing I could be more like her. :)
I'd like to share an article I wrote about her some two years ago.
A Real Life Superwoman*
“Behind every man’s success is a woman.” This is one cliché so famous and so true. “Behind a man’s failure is a woman.” Well…
These are but two of so many sayings on women’s power, or what is in this age known as “GIRL POWER!” Whether it be mentally, intellectually, and even physically, what a man can do, a woman can do. And even better!
There is one woman who exemplified such power. At a time when not many people knew and understood that women could think for themselves, and at a society, such as hers, where women were just confined in the home to do domestic chores while men did all the important things, decision-making, and talking.
To people from different or other races, this woman is probably unknown. But, to her people, she is one unforgettable lady. Nothing much has been written about her but she absolutely deserves to be written about or at least featured.
She lived in a time when western education was frowned upon, especially by her people. They thought that if their children went to school, the poor young souls were bound to forget their roots and faith. She lived in such a society that was so conservative. During her childhood, a boy was lucky to go to school. And as for girls, well that’s another story. A girl in her community would not even be allowed to touch the schoolhouse with a ten-foot pole. But she was just different from others. Young as she was, her being extraordinarily strong-willed was quite evident.
Despite the older people’s warnings, she really wanted to go to school and learn the wonders of the sciences, languages, numbers, history, and others. She wanted to explore the wonderful world of literature. Her determination in her quest for knowledge made her sneak out of the house and go with her mentor who, by that time, saw great potential in the young girl. This started her education.
Being always one of the top students of her class made her want to strive all the more. And yes, she did strive more and in no time finished high school. Seeing that nothing could stop their headstrong daughter from getting the education she wanted, her parents allowed her to go to Manila for college. By then, younger girls were beginning to be allowed by their parents to enter school.
She went to the Philippine Normal College (now the Philippine Normal University) and took up Bachelor of Education. Again proving her merits, she would always end up winning awards and prizes that ranged from being one of the top students to being the “girl with the tidiest bed” in the dormitory. Not surprisingly, she finished her degree and went home triumphantly. Thus, she became the very first female among her people to ever complete or finish college and obtain a degree.
Many of her people then were convinced that it was, after all, all right to send their children to school, even girls for that matter. It was all right to be educated the western way, thus, producing many a great and powerful women in later years.
This woman started it all. At a time when only male children were given the opportunity to do things such as go to school among others, she went out of her way to make a difference. She showed her people that a woman could make it and even do well.
In a society made up mostly of close-minded people and dominated by men, this extraordinary woman showed courage, strength and made plain the woman’s determination. She showed what “GIRL POWER” really was!
She brought her education home and shared it with her people. She became a well-loved teacher, a respected superintendent. She led a great and very active life. With all her children educated, successful and happy, she now enjoys a retired life at 87 years old. This woman I am so proud to call “Ina” or grandmother. The woman I am so proud to be named after. Ditma Onayan – Macarambon, that’s her name. The pioneer and the pride of Maranao women. Our very own Superwoman!
*published in the
06 May 2005
I've been quite busy the past days as I've come back to work after being on-leave since last year.
I just cannot let this day pass without thanking
Ala, doumo arigatou gozaimashita! :)