Tag Archive: ima


Mommies’ Day 2011

Been a mom for two years now and I say that all of this hype, all of this celebration, all of these greetings are not too much to celebrate the travails and happiness of being a mother. After all, it just happens once a year yet the job of a mother is 24/7. So to focus on this day in just one person is not really too much. Or am I just being biased? 😉

Let me shout out some respect to all the mothers in the world who endure the everyday plight of being a mother. To carry a baby inside your womb is already a huge thing…and to pull off the job of raising that baby into the best possible person she/he can be is a lifetime obligation. It persists even after your baby grows old into someone who you no longer recognize. It lasts until that person builds his/her own family. It lasts until the day you surrender your soul to God. Motherhood is simply like that. No time-outs. No resignation.

So I half expected it when I found out that I was becoming a mommy myself that I cried. I asked myself if I was ready, if I can do it. Not that I did not want the pregnancy. Oh no. It was the best thing that God allowed my body to have. During my entire pregnancy, I was amazed by the everyday developments of the little thing inside me. I thanked God everyday that He gave me that gift. I was just anxious if I truly deserved it and if I can do good to this little thing.

Although I know I sometimes fail, hubby commends me for doing a good job. I guess the fact that I am breastfeeding up to now is plus factor for me. But aside from this, I know I am not a perfect mother. I try my best everyday to be a good mom to Ira. I try to be there when she needs me, although sometimes they get in the way of my own needs. I try to take care of her in the best way I can. I try to pick up the good nurturing ways of other mothers I know or heard of, and try to discard the bad ways I have seen or heard of. It is an everyday struggle, but I still try, nonetheless.

Today, I requested hubby if we can just stay at home. I wouldn’t want to eat out and squeeze into full-packed malls. Much to his digress, he doesn’t have a choice but to give in to my request. He said I have until midnight to be spoiled. I looove this day. 🙂

I also just want to thank my own mother — my Ima. Whatever I am today is because you are my mom. I know the struggles that comes with being a mom to Ira. So I can imagine your own struggles to raise the four of us — with our own individuality. Being your only daughter was both difficult and easy at the same time. Difficult because I had to live up to your expectations yet easy because I had no other girl to contend with in the family. I know I am a strong person know because I have seen various kinds of strength in you. I am the mother that I am now because of these strengths. I have seen your ups and downs as our mother. And I will forever be sorry for the times that I answered back and for the times that I frowned or made face to whatever you wanted me to do or say. I pray that God will bless you with more years to be happy — the way you want to be. This is the first mothers’ day that we are miles apart. And I miss you.

There are days that we both detest each others’ guts, being the strong women that we are. But you know this fact…I am and will always be your only daughter. In the same vein that you are the only mother in my life. And I will choose you to be my mom even if I would have to live through my life again.

I may be living a different life now from yours. I may seem so far away from you now because of the distance but I hope you know this — there are days that I want to run only to you. That your mere presence pacifies me. That your cooking is cure to my soul. That I miss our bickering. That I will always look to the days when I would sleep beside you like a baby while you read pocket books till you fall asleep. Like most heroes — I look up to your good side and forget about your indiscretions. Because as no mother is perfect, you are the mother God has perfectly chosen for me to have. And I love you, warts and all.

And to all mothers out there — Filipinos and otherwise…Happy Mothers’ Day to you. May God bless us with the strength we need to fulfill this lifetime obligation.

And to the person I owe this day to — My Ira…thank you my dear for allowing me to be the mom I am to you. Sorry for sometimes failing on being your mom. Sorry that sometimes I feel like running out of the door though you know I would never do that. You are the reason that mommy wakes up to every morning with delight…because I know you are right beside me. And to my hubby — thanks for being my partner in crime. I will not be half the mother that I am if you are not the kind of father that you are. Love you and Ira so much.

Thank you God for making me a mom. And please be with me always so that I can be the mother I ought to be. 🙂

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It has been nineteen years. Yes. Nineteen Long Years. My father hasn’t been home that long and finally, he is coming home.

My Tatay, as all of us siblings call him, has lived and worked for the last nineteen years in New Jersey. We survived such time and distance apart with the help of phone calls, letters, text messages, and just recently, Yahoo Messenger and Skype. He enjoyed the latter immensely as he was able to see us everyday, as if we were just an hour apart. He was able to see Ira grow from the day she was born until the day she learned how to walk.

Prior to his decision to work in the U.S., Tatay has worked in Saudi since I can’t remember when. All I know is I grew up with my Ima only around, waiting for remittances of Tatay and waiting for his yearly vacations. My Ima often recalls that time when I went hiding upon seeing my Tatay because I got scared of his mustache. To put it plainly, I grew up with an absentee father.

But I don’t think my father and I lost the line as far as love and respect are concerned. I admit that in the start, I was just elated by the fact that my Tatay would send U.S. goodies to us and that we were able to have everything we wanted. After studying in a public school, Ima finally allowed us to study in private schools. Back in high school, my classmates would notice my signature backpacks and other things. Even at a young age, I always knew that he was there so we can get all the things we wanted and needed.

When I went into college, that’s when I realized all the sacrifices he was doing. He gave us all we wanted and more. But he never complained. He gave me a bashful 18th birthday celebration because he said I was his only girl. He used to call me his Beautiful Ampang (the latter being my nickname at home). When I graduated from college, he was so delighted, he almost gave me the world. Of course that is exaggeration, but that is how my dad loves me.

Imagine his delight when I entered into law school. He felt very proud for every unit I earned in law school. When I wanted to be a working student, he strongly opposed because he wanted me to concentrate with my studies. My Tatay was right all along.

He was overly supportive when I took the Bar Exams. He made sure I have everything I needed. I was able to choose a hotel nearer La Salle although it was more pricey than the hotel my other classmates stayed in. He gladly paid for the food all the four Sundays of Bar for all my org-mates in Law School with my Mom’s cooking.

I know he must have been saddened when I broke the news to him that I was getting married. After all, I was his baby and it was hard for him to accept that someone else is taking me away. But being the understanding father that he is, he gave me his blessing.

When I had Ira, I felt that he loved her more than he loves me. Friends say its because Ira is mine thats why he loves her that much. After years of giving up on sending us packages, he sent boxes for Ira’s goodies. The packages contained unbelievably too many things for Ira. The clothes he bought her could even last until she reaches five years old. He would refuse to miss a night of Skype with Ira and I to the point of Ira knowing him through the webcam.

On the eve of my hubby’s birthday weeks ago, he called me up on the phone. That seldom happens because we do Skype every night. I felt his voice was different and asked if he was sick. He said he probably ate too much pork and feels numbness in his feet that he has to go to the doctor. I prodded him to make sure that he goes and asked him to update me about it.

It turned out it was a mild stroke for my Tatay. My uncle and other relatives would update me but I never really knew his status until I saw him. Since he can’t stay on his own yet, he had to stay with my ever-kind Uncle Medel. When he first saw me, my Tatay cried like there was no tomorrow. It was like when a child got lost in the park and he saw his mother. We were both crying and my heart melted away with his pain.

I didn’t sleep that night. My mind was racing with thoughts on how to get him there and how to take care of him. I just cried myself and wallowed myself in the helplessness of not being able to help the one man who was always there for me.

Before he had a stroke, hubby and I were already making plans for the future. Because Tatay wanted to spend time with us before such plans happen, he abruptly decided to go home. Just this Saturday, he called and informed us that he will be arriving on June 2.

My heart raced with glee with such news, coupled with the fact that we have to fix a lot of things around the house so we can accommodate his physical restraints.

We had to buy a sofa bed because he will temporary stay downstairs. We are also on the hunt for a good bed in his room once he is able to walk up the stairs. We are also looking for ways on how to install an AC unit in the living room, especially with the heat!

All in all, I am just glad that he is coming home. I hope I will be able to repay all his love for us by being able to take care of him now that he needs us.

I pray that he gets better soon also so that we can roam around the city to show him other places.

This is definitely going to be one of the best birthdays for the both of us and we will surely celebrate it with love and happiness! Thank you God! 🙂

Holy week last year, I was in my third trimester already and did not want to travel far. Hence, hubby and I just stayed at home and watched DVDs. We just went Bisita Iglesia on Good Friday and enjoyed the silence of our home the rest of the week.

Today is much different. We have a tumbling little darling at home who endlessly blabbers and demands attention most of the time that make me doubt if I will be able to rest. It would probably be a luxury for me this long weekend to be able to use the internet without a frantic yelling from Ira. Add that to the fact that her Ate is not so reliable as the previous one.

I am happy though that Ryan expressed his intentions to do Bisita Iglesia again this Friday, except that Zsa -Zsa doesn’t seem cooperative these days. All in all, I just want us to rest and I just want Ryan to be able to catch up on his review  for his upcoming LOMA exam this May. Ate Kriselle’s sudden disappearance has caused a lot of frenzy in our lives that many things suffered setbacks. We are at the point of recovering from these setbacks right now and I am hoping this Holy Week can be a good start.

My Ima is probably wallowing about the fact that I am reluctant to go home to Pampanga because of Ryan’s review. My dear husband did not really ask it from me, but I took it upon myself to decide to stay at home for his review. Maybe we can make it up with Ima next time. Maybe next year we can come with a better plan for Holy Week for the entire family. Ira will be a little bigger and we can bring her almost anywhere.

This week though is meant to be for quiet time. It is meant to be for praying, for assessing our values and for praising God for all the blessings we have despite our being sinners. I am not a pious person and I hardly qualify as an upright one. But I try my best to work on the relationships I have with the people around me.

Right now, I am just quietly raising my thoughts to God and am infinitely asking for forgiveness for all my iniquities. I pray that I can be a better daughter to Him and be a better human being for everyone else. I pray that I can truly inculcate in me the lessons of this Holy Week and imbibe it not just today but for the rest of the year, or of my life. I pray for everyday guidance because my life is not just about me anymore, but it is also about another little person whom I have brought out into this world. 🙂

For all of us, I hope we can all just pray intently and renew our values. For those who have chosen to spend the week out of town, may it be in a beach or in a pilgrim, I pray for their safety and I hope that this week’s lessons be with them wherever they go. I hope we can all take this opportunity to just be calm and be quiet and forget about the hassles of this world. For several days, we get to take a leave from work and be with our loved ones. That in itself a big blessing from God.

Have a truly holy week everyone! May we all be continually blessed by God. 🙂

Holy Week

I am currently in a limbo. My dear Ira has no Yaya and we have to go to work. After New Year, her Ate Kriselle has been AWOL and has been giving me headaches. Let me spare you the story as to how she did it for it will take a long one.

Kriselle’s mother worked for my Ima in Pampanga until my berserked Ima fired her. Now she doesn’t want me to take back crazy Kriselle. I understand Ima’s point. After nearly 29 years, I have come to understand my mom’s idiosyncrasies. We are both each other’s best and worst friend. She has been the one who hired all my housemaids before, and some unfortunately left citing her as the reason :(. She has exerted too many efforts into finding me the best maid there is, to no avail. When I was still single, she found me a girl named Car-car, who worked for me more than 2 years. Car-car is the best that I’ve had so far. Ima is my agent when it comes to nannies. But when she doesn’t like the nanny anymore, even though I still like to keep her, she gets annoyingly mad and in the end, she gets her way.

But right now, I have very limited choices. My hubby and I did not come from an affluent family. We did not inherit a house to live in, a business to manage and monies to spend. As we are just starting new, we are at the point of acquiring things and paying for them. We are both lucky to have jobs that pay fine. Combined together, our income is just enough for our daily expenses and some luxuries. That being said, I cannot  afford at the moment to be a stay-at-home-mom. Oh how I wish I could!

Even when I was single, I used to hire a house helper. It was more of convenience for me. I needed someone who will look after the house everyday. I needed someone who will wash and iron my clothes. Don’t get me wrong. I know how to do ALL household chores. Its just a perk I have gotten used to. After all, I felt I was entitled to lay around the house whenever I wanted to. It was some sort of reward for working all day long.

I have lost count of how many housemaids I have had in the past. As to Ira’s nanny, I think she has had five already in just 7months of her life. Count out the two months that I did not hire one after giving birth. So on the average, its like one nanny every month. Neighbors think we are some mean people who would boss around the house that’s why these maids leave as soon as they receive their first paycheck. Oh, come on now, they oughta know better than that!

Even if there is a maid in the house, in the past and even now, its either my brother Jme or I who works in the kitchen. I clean Ira’s feeding bottles as soon as I get home. Hubby prepares her milk and clothes and other things every morning while I take a bath. I personally wash Ira’s little clothes. For me, nothing beats the feeling of personally taking care of my family’s needs. Even the maids notice that I work around the house more than other wives, considering that I have a full time work.

As I called up home just now, Ate Kriselle is already there. Hubby and I intend to talk to her seriously. As in, serious adult talk. She said she is willing to go down her knees just for us to take her back. She assured me that she’s willing to be jailed if she leaves again (as if!). I am keeping my fingers crossed that I made the right decision. As I’m typing down my blog, my heart is fervently praying to God that things be better this time. Ira needs someone with her and Kriselle has proven to be good for her. Had it not been for Ira, I wouldn’t need a maid. It would mean less expenses for us.

This is what I told Ima in our last text exchange when she said that she was talking to a new replacement but I opted to take back Kriselle and that I was taking Kriselle’s side:

“Ur reason is jst the same as ate nida’s. Pareho nyo lang gs2 protektahan mga anak nyo. U know dat I understand u and I appreciate all ur efforts in finding us a gud maid. Pero kung may mhanap ka ngyn, jst like crisel and other maids b4, wlang kasiguruhan na tatagalan kami. C crisel ngyn alam ko na ang topak, easier to cure. Kung magkaron ng bago, tuturuan ko na nman tpos di ko alam likaw ng bituka, mangangapa na nman ako. Hndi ko cla dinadamayan, anak ko lang ang iniisip ko. I am putting aside all my emotions and anger and giving Ira wat I can.” (pardon the text spelling, quoted verbatim here.)

Right now, most of my decisions are not about me anymore. It is either about Ira or the family as a whole. I am sure in time Ima will understand.

UPDATE: Ate Kriselle seems okay after a week. But my Ima is still annoyingly angry at me.

Why the name? Well, she was initially lent to us by my ever so kind maternal Uncle (now Uncle-Ninong after my wedding) before hubby and I got married. We were waiting for the time to return it, when I figured I’d call her Zsa-Zsa, because of the song Hiram. (I know, I know, its corny! :P)

Talks between my Tatay and Uncle Medel were on-going if he was going to sell it na lang since it was really up for sale anyway. (Note: Uncle and Tatay are both in the U.S…the reason why van was up for sale) After several weeks, (or was it months?!?) it was decided Zsa-Zsa will be ours. The factors considered were the overhauling we had on Zsa-Zsa and the seemingly unending stress brought about by the succeeding repairs.

In reality, she has been with us for more than a year now. We used her when we moved from Manila to Mandaluyong (yes, by heavens’ frugal name, we did not hire a truck!). Hubby and Kuya Jme insisted that the van can take all our things, one stuff at a time. After getting tired with driving, hubby realized hiring a truck would have been a better option. (oh men, really!) She has been to Lubao, Pampanga (Ima’s hometown) several times already and she can readily take the whole family in, my brothers and their families included! She has been the companion of the family for the business venture. Hubby and I use her to get to and from work everyday. We use her during Sundays when we go to the church and mall. She has been very reliable when I was hospitalized and when I was to give birth to Ira.

there's zsa-zsa parked outside the villa we stayed in at fontana. she was too big for the car port so we asked her to stay outside. plus, she was the one often used to go to and from the pool and the basketball court.

Really, she has become part of the family. Of course we dream of getting a shiny new car soon, but I never once thought of abandoning her. But of course, like any aging vehicle, I would have to accept one day that she cannot stay with us forever.

Recently, we had to change the aircon compressor, and whadya guess? The price of the compressor was skyrocketing! But we had to do it lest Ira sweat herself crazily each time she rides Zsa Zsa.

Around September of 2009, as hubby and I were on our way to work (coz we work for the same company, yey! Read: More Time Together), we were hit by a JMK bus, the one plowing the Baclaran-Ayala route. After a quick demand letter from moi, the bus operator cooperated with the fixing of Zsa-Zsa. Until now though, we haven’t got the cheque yet.

After coping up with the monetary effects of changing the compressor, we had to change brake pads and the rotary. We noticed that the strange sound was gone and she was up and running again like nothing happened to her. We used her for our trips to Pampanga for the recent Christmas and New Year and there seemed to be no problem.

Our Ninang Baby and family are visiting from the U.S. and they have needed several times the services of our good ole’ Zsa-Zsa. She has been very considerate with them until she broke down last night. Story in my next post. I am still stunned as to what to do next with her.

I love Zsa-Zsa to pieces although I may have said bad things to her in the past when I felt she was makulit with the aircon. As a mom, I feel like she is my daughter. And as she is badly sick right now, I am praying that she gets well soon. I can do  away with the commute for the meantime as we live nearby, for as long as Zsa-Zsa gets better.

Now my problem is just the money to use for the fixing. No overhauling needed, please! *fingers crossed.

Yay.

learning to write

i have been writing since i was in high school. believe it or not, i have been paid by classmates to write for them love letters or poems. i had no proper training except for journalism during elementary for barely a year. looking back, i wish i had taken proper trainings. maybe then i would have written better, won contests more, and became a professional writer.

my mom said she always sort of knew that i will become a lawyer. in retrospect, she swayed (or brainwashed?) me that this is what i really want to become. she detested all other ideas for courses i wanted to take and made me take up A.B. Political Science as my pre-law. it was political science or accountancy…i opted for the lesser evil (in terms of math subjects). 🙂

after graduating high school, i did not immediately scout for universities. i did not know back then that as early as october prior to graduation, classmates have been taking aptitude tests everywhere. i was limited to UST, because it is just beneath the street where we used to live in sampaloc. i took the exam for journalism for my 1st choice, psychology for my 2nd, and music for my 3rd.

unfortunately, the school said i did not make it for my first two choices. sigh. i realize now that no school should say that on a fifteen year old girl. you may be ruining a dream and you may be psychologically dredging her confidence as a person. i do not, and will forever refuse to accept that i did not pass the exams for these courses. i can remember vividly that they said that i had low scores for science and math. my question now is so what? what’s science and math got to do with journalism anyway? to this day, i do not understand. they could have just told me the ugly truth–that the quota for these courses have been filled up already and that they just allowed me to take the exam for my money’s worth.

i went ahead with the idea of conservatory of music. i told myself i will just shift courses when i get into the university. it appears that there is another exam for the course (which came with a separate fee, of course), so i took it. i chose my major as voice, for i do not know how to play any instrument. i was totally thrown when they announced after that there will still be an “audition” in order to categorize your musical inclinations. i thought, uh-oh. but i decided against it when they said that this “audition” comes with a fee again. i said, okay, that’s it! enough of this non-sense. i went home to my mom feeling ridiculed all along. i realized i never saw myself as a singer, or any of that sort. i have always dreamed of it, but never really was into it.

so i went to feu, the school where my mom got her bachelor of laws degree. it was already may of 1997 when i took the entrance exam for mass communications. i got in and was thrilled to realize that i do not have to be an out-of-school youth after all.

come enrollment time, i was told that the uniform for mass com students was a culottes. the child in me refused the idea, and my best buddy chubby who accompanied me in enrolling persuaded me to just enroll for PolSci since we are both taking up law afterwards. so, after very little contemplation, i took up PolSci. i do not regret such decision, but the mature person in me now is wishing that i should have taken up accountancy instead. i would have learned math anyway. i would have been a CPA lawyer now. i would be earning more now, and i would have had more choices for work. however, i know that breezing up college prepared me for the difficult law course. my brains were not as bruised as my cum laude classmates.

sometimes though, i wish i had taken up journalism. maybe i would be writing better now. maybe i am a correspondent for a newspaper now. maybe i would be more eloquent and will have a flair for words. but then again, i would not be the person i am now, right?

my mom always said that i have a way with words. she always said that i write better than my classmates. she became my professor on my last year in college, and she said she should know. she always said that i would have been a better student have i studied more. in the bar exams, she said that she had no doubts that i can make it to the top had i read and studied more. she always encouraged me in ways that only she knows.

i may have inherited my writing skills from her, but i still wish that i have gone through proper trainings. maybe then i would be using different words now, and i would have been writing with so much ease.

barely a month ago, my ima (as the whole family and lots of friends call her) or my mother, chided me with a simple request of having her 61st birthday celebrated somewhere other than our place in pampanga. she suggested a weekend getaway somewhere since her birthday will fall on a long weekend. i gave in instantly since she didnt get to celebrate her 60th bday last year due to her mother’s demise. our initial choice was somewhere in laguna, but it was pricey and far from pampanga. then came canyon cove, still pricey and far. we needed a house, not just a room like in canyon cove.

the living room and a view of the kitchen/dining area of the villa we stayed in. you can also see the veranda where we grilled bbq and where our dog stayed. the space was enough for the whole family!

so came the fontana idea. the villa will be perfect for the size of our family. we just needed someone who can get the cheaper rates. atty. vic gladly helped me out to get the reservations and her sister obligingly helped me through the checking-in process. (lots of thanks!)

early this year, PGMA announced that november 27-28 are special non-working holidays for the muslim festival. without much surprise though, she changed her mind and recalled her earlier proclamation. so as not to ruin our plans, ryan and i just filed for leave from work.

sadly, my kuya jme couldn’t join us coz of work and coz of a long overdue issue of bringing her girl along.

days before the 27th, which is my ima’s actual birthday, i had series of hearings out-of-town. unfortunately, this prevented me from suitably preparing for our weekend getaway. as a ratpack, i hated this so much! argh!

so on the 26th, i packed and packed as much as i could, in ways that will not show that we are off for a month’s vacation. is it my fault then that i have a 6-month old baby who needed sterilizer? who needed feeding  bottles and all the stuff that comes with it? hah!

we left home at about 10:30 AM, with me cussing under my breath, coz ate freli is not home to help me with the chores and all the preparations.

we arrived in lubao, pampanga (technically, my hometown) at around 12PM just in time for lunch. we immediately greeted the birthday girl and kissed her. i knew instantly that by mere presence, we made her happy. she then started babbling with eat this, eat that. shouted at everyone in the household for rice, for water, for viands, etc. she was always like that. she has a spunk that everyone would love –and/or hate at the same time.

after eating, and after my brothers and ryan decided to play counter-strike at the family-owned computer shop, we left for fontana. we arrived there around 3pm and after settling our things in the villa, we immediately ate pansit canton and empanada for snacks. when ira felt sleepy, ima thought she can lull her to sleep by doing her old trick of putting the baby on top of a pillow and racking her feet. no-oh! not with ira. when i tried it on her, she just laughed and laughed. that’s what she did with ima too.

it was a fun-filled weekend for the entire family. the kids immensely enjoyed swimming and running in and outside the villa. ira, for one, cried at the wave pool and slept through her bathing suit. ima had almost everything prepared, from siling labuyo to marinated pork belly. she played with my little ira, with my baby immediately learning the 1-2-3 solid trick her lola ima taught her. we enjoyed eating ima’s good ole’ cooking. we all loved, oh except for ate freli and ate sarah, the free centralized aircon we had for three days. i sulked in the warm bath day in and day out.


ira's first plunge into the water...she doesnt quite like it though. 🙂

there was no regret that we went ahead with the plan, despite budget constraints. i know that ima felt, and still feels happy with her birthday celebration. i can imagine her talking to friends, bragging that her kids planned this for her birthday.

the whole family except for ima...ira is busy with something else

i stayed in the jacuzzi for hours, just letting the pressure of the water massage my over-fatigued human body. i closed my eyes and froze the moment in my mind…i prayed to God that good things like those will keep coming to my family. i thanked and praised Him for every bit of blessings i have, and thanked Him more for those to come.

kuya kenji was splashing some water on ira's face. she seemed to be okay with it as long as i was holdng her..:)

that weekend may have meant a lot to my ima, but it meant more to me, as it not only rested my tired body, it fed my famished soul.