Saturday, July 07, 2007

i'm still here

and yet i feel like i've been gone for years.

it was my way of coping, i realized. i just wanted to go away for a while and breathe.
because i was drowning.
or falling.
or both.

i needed to be by myself, pick up some pieces, and move on.

i had residual feelings of abandonment. is there even a medical/psychological term for that?

now that the air has cleared, i recognize what i went through. there were so many things going on then that i couldn't think straight, you know?

last march, all my co-teachers (save for the school owners, of course) resigned. all of them. they put up their own school, apparently. when we had our year-end evaluation, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. i couldn't believe i had to say goodbye to them, after four years of growing together in our profession.

last april, my very close friend and partner-in-crime, tet, finally migrated to florida. she waited for this to happen for years so i knew it was inevitable. but when she got the go signal, everything happened so fast, even our last time together. we didn't even have a proper goodbye because i had to go to my masters class.

last may, my mom flew to Singapore to work there. until when? we don't even know. i'm pretty sure it'll be for more than a year. then, my youngest sister, gelli, packed her bags and moved in a dorm. she's a college freshman in DLSU. my other sister, tonet? she was transferred by her company to Laguna. since then, the only time i see both of them is during weekends.

before my class and work started in june, my lolo (grandfather) died from a stroke. i was at his bedside during his last day. papa didn't want to bring him to the hospital anymore because he didn't want lolo to suffer from too much medical procedures. after the stroke, it was apparent that he was ready to leave us. he died peacefully.

while i was driving home today, it hit me. so many people dear to me left for one reason or another, in a span of three months.

life goes on, i know. and i have to stop grieving and take that crucial step to living again.


i'm still working on my action research paper. hopefully, the director will approve my topic for implementation and oral defense. if all goes well, i'll be graduating. master in early childhood education. sounds good.

every weekend, i make it a point to go out with friends. there's just something about my recent experience that makes me want to reconnect with the people around me, you know? fortunately, the summer movies have been fantastic! i've watched Shooter and Spiderman 3 with rica, Fantastic 4 part 2 and Transformers with noah. and i'm meeting rica again and another college friend, melinda, this coming weekend to catch another flick (harry potter 5!).

i just attended a wedding recently. my high school friend, tintin, tied the knot with her old friend, buddy. congratulations!

of course, i have my "me time." i still enjoy my company, thank God.

i'm still working on jumpstarting my photography again. i still need to feel inspired but the wedding gave me that needed nudge. hopefully my creative juices will start flowing in no time.

those several months have been a tumultuous roller coaster ride but now i'm coasting smoothly.

i wasn't gone after all.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


That’s what this is. A welcome break from my characteristically chaotic life, which (unfortunately) will come back to haunt me in about two weeks or so. My prior activities have unconsciously forced me into hibernation. Well, that and the fact that I don’t have work (and moolah) this summer.

Normally, I’d spend the summer break at the beach nursing a tan and snorkling. Now the only thing I’m nursing is a hang-over from oversleeping. Amusing, I know. But I’ve come to terms with my decision to basically torture myself from boredom until I’m raring to go back to work and start implementing my action research paper. So far it’s been fun. A friend of mine was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle all the downtime but I assured her that it’ll be over in a few days and I’ll be back to my perfectionist, workaholic self. I’m really not looking forward to all the things I have to do come June, which is why I’m making the most of my break.

So now I’m lulling my summer days and nights away with guilty pleasures like organizing DVD marathons, eating Milo (yes, eating it), and sleeping until I sport a white beard long enough for the Guinness. Yeah, yeah, I’ve become an enthusiastic couch potato. (And it’s a bad thing because…??) At least I get to watch movies with Rica and have dinner with friends once in a while.

The weird thing about going on a hiatus is that I’ve involuntarily took a break from photography and blogging as well. It’s been a while since I last posted, commented, and browsed in Flickr. My right brain has shut me out for quite some time and have yet to recuperate. Maybe once I get into the rhythm of things my fingers will begin clicking away. It’s weird that I feel most creative when I am busy and stressed out of my mind. I don’t even want to know why. That’s just how I am.

As of today, I have 12 more days of complete and utter tranquility and then it’s back to the real world. Fantastic.

Monday, February 05, 2007


P (gushing): Teacher, I want to go to B's house all the time!

the weekly home visits are going extremely well, much to our delight. i am tempted to share all our photos but i can't (unless i want my arse bludgeoned into the next millenium).

two years ago, i started a journal of my favorite quotes of my students. i realize that i forgot about it this year because i've been busy with a lot of things outside of school. well, since most of my current kids are more articulate and expressive now, i think it's about time i start the 2007 journal.

some of my favorite entries were the ones of my student two years ago...

I was reading a Sesame Street story.
Me (showing them a picture of the characters riding a school bus): Friends, where do you think they're going?
Chino (grinning): To Megamall. (a popular shopping mall near our school)

Chino (showing me the different miniature furniture in the Dramatics Area): This one is for Mama. This one is for Papa. And this one is for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Chino (while drawing): My monster is dead!
Me (smiling): Why is he dead?
Chino: Because he went to the supermarket.
[somehow i'm afraid to ask his mom what happened the last time they went to the supermarket...]

ok, so it might have been hilarious then but what makes it priceless for me is the fact that he was about 2.8 years old when we had those conversations. :)

more of these funny quotes here and here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

sneak peek

during our first home visit

ay caramba! has it been two weeks since my last post?!?

well, i've been a busy bee, what with the year-end requirements in my Toddler class, my last term in my graduate class, and all my extra-curricular activities. i'm right smack in the middle of Time Management 101 (with a little Stress Management on the side.)

this month, our Toddler class began our weekly home visits. every Thursday/Friday, the whole class visits their classmate at home. the kids are already establishing friendships and this weekly routine is a fantastic way to strengthen the bond. :)

other news...
last year, a friend of mine kept badgering me about copyrighting my photos. personally, i don't like seeing text on my pictures but with all the unauthorized copying and posting of photos online , i realized that it's time to be more careful. then yesterday, i read this discussion in the FPC group and sesame ellis' post. that's it. i'm copyrighting from now on!

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Goal Keeper

re-reading the book that started it all

i suck at new year's resolutions, i really do.

which is why i scrapped them several years ago and decided to make my life goals instead. they don't have to be accomplished within the year, perfect for a procrastinator like me. hehe.

now that we just ushered in 2007, i revisited my life goals to check my progress. so far, i've done a few:
1. pursue teaching children
2. learn how to drive
3. buy my own digital camera
4. take up photography
5. join a photo group
6. volunteer in a non-profit organization
7. learn a musical instrument (i'm kinda cheating with this one because i stopped for a long least i tried ^_^)
8. go back to the gym (*cough*cough*)

last week, my cellgroup leader, flor, gave us homework for monday. make a list of our goals for this year. hmmm...most of the ones in my life list are long-term and not that feasible this year (except for the first two items below). so i had to think of more feasible goals...

1. graduate from my Masters program this april
finally, after (bleep!) years, i am at my last term in my graduate studies. whoopee! well, that's one thing then there's also that part about actually passing my last two courses...but i'm doing my best and i know i will graduate! or die trying! (let's all cross our fingers and toes and hope for the best, shall we?)

2. learn a new language
i'm learning sign language! after my activities with Talking Hands, i was motivated to learn sign. peebs, the master at sign language in TH, is holding another class. we're still waiting for 7 more interested people. hopefully we can start this month.

3. teach preschool in a nearby big school
ok, i'm saying it to the universe. i'm eyeing the big school just 10 minutes away from where i live. i can't mention the name of the school (yet). i know my bosses don't visit my blog but i'm just too paranoid. haha.

4. drink at least 2L of water daily
since i'm already working out (*cough*cough*), i just need to be more vigilant in my daily agua intake. as of now i feel i'm drinking about 1.5L each day. just one more 500mL mineral water bottle to go!

5. be more open to new possibilities (esp. in my personal life. ehem.)
haay...i'm swallowing my pride (it's an ongoing process) and vowing to be more flexible. let's see how far i can go. hehe. (i can almost see my cellgroupmates cheering)

i'm nearing another crossroad in my life and i just want to broadcast my plans just so you guys will remind me if i'm stalling. or distracted.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

tis the season to be jolly...with TH!

in case you're thinking that you're in the wrong blog, you're not. i've just made major changes, that's all.

anyways, on to my final Christmas post.

last August, i finally fulfilled my life goal of volunteering in a foundation. i signed up for
Hands on Manila three years ago but i never really pursued any of the many organizations under them. last year, i got off my lazy bum and chose a foundation where i can really serve.

as i pored over the long list of organizations connected to HOM, i spotted
Talking Hands. basically, TH is a group of volunteers that meet with Hearing Impaired (HI), deaf, and mute people once a month and provide them activities, mostly arts and crafts, that they can use as a form of livelihood. i liked the idea and the fact that the venue (Pasig) is the closest to where i live (Taytay). perfect!

about 4 months ago, i attended my first TH activity. i expected a few children in the group but when i saw the people trickling in, i realized that TH was bigger than i expected. there were about 40+ people consisting of teenagers and adults, with no children in sight. there were less than 20 volunteers, majority of whom have already taken sign language classes. i told tina, the head of TH, that i didn't know any sign save for i love you (thanks to Sheryll Cruz, haha!) and beautiful. she said it was alright and we can still communicate through actions. she was right! i had fun helping my group make bracelets using crystals, beads, and nylon string. when they had a question, they used their hands and mouthed the words to me so i could get it. one amazing thing about this group is that all of them understand English more than Tagalog. and there i was writing down my instructions to them on a piece of paper - in the local dialect. i realized that there really aren't any Tagalog signs (except for a few, uh, graphic words that i can't even post.)

so, to make a long story short, i decided to be a regular TH volunteer.

i attended my very first Talking Hands Christmas Party on the evening of December 23 at the Immaculate Concepcion church in Pasig (where we usually meet every month.) it was a potluck event. most of the volunteers already prepared food so i offered to bring drinks and some prizes for the games, which were organized by sisters, gilda and lira.

preparing the prizes for the raffle

a lot of the guests came (i think they were around 50!) and they definitely put us to shame with their prepared dance numbers and skits.

our special guests

the exciting dance numbers

we had two games. we gathered four couples for the first game. the guys wore a necklace made of marshmallows while the girls ate these treats without using their hands. the game was a blast and, in no time, the whole room was filled with applause and stomping as the audience cheered for the pairs. the winning couple did a fantastic job!

look at them go!

the winning pair!

our last game was a relay. each member of the group (there were 2) ran to a chair while holding their balloon, popped the balloon, then got the piece of paper inside. each paper had a word from a song title and the group who forms the title of the song first wins the game. unfortunately, some of the balloons got switched and the groups ended up with duplicate words. to the delight of the two groups, we just made both of the winners. :D

the two groups for the balloon relay

kim and lira preparing the balloons while the groups are being prepped

in between the games and performances, we held a raffle. two of the volunteers were generous to provide the prizes - packs of toiletries and goodies from Wyeth. we made sure that everybody took home a goody bag from the raffle.

raffle, batch 1

raffle, batch 2

raffle, batch 3

last batch

the highlight of the event was the dinner! i couldn't believe the amount of food that was served. the volunteers from the church brought tons and tons of pancit, kananin, barbeque, bread, and lumpia. some of the TH guys brought sandwiches, donuts, and desserts. everybody definitely came home happy and stuffed. :)

look at all the food!

kudos to the food committee!

to the Talking Hands guys, congratulations on a very successful party! and here's to more parties and activities to come! :D

our guests were all smiles

the beautiful volunteers of Talking Hands :D

happy new year, everybody!