Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Forgiveness

Dear Kids, an over-glorified, failed economist once said that "the history of the world is the history of class struggle."

That's bull.

The history of the world is the history of PERSONAL struggles: Bush vs. Saddam, Aquino vs. Marcos, etc. These personal conflicts tend to involve the people around the main protagonists. When they spiral out of control, there will be murders (which go by another name: WAR). If you really think about it, all wars had petty beginnings. Heck, the Trojan war could have been averted had Agammemnon laid off drinking too much so that he could become a great lay to Helen instead.

All wars start with HATE. Brothers and sisters are not immune to this.

After we flew our kites last December 27, Your Lola Letty received a text message from her relatives informing her that her Older Sister (Your Lola Rita) passed away. Since your Mom is still recuperating from her stay at the Hospital, I decided to make the trip to Hondagua with her for the wake. Sabine and Sage came along.

Your Lola Rita got involved in a personal dispute with her other Sister (not your Lola Letty.) They didn't talk for a long time. This was only broken when her sister visited her when she was practically in her deathbed a few months before she died. They talked as if nothing bitter happened between them. Hatred, Anger, Pettiness were forgotten.

During the wake, we stayed only for one night and I insisted on going back the following day since your Mom and Tristan still need us back home. The following morning, before leaving, I found out that Lola Rita's Brother-in-law was coming to accompany his wife (the sister Your Lola Rita just made up with a few months back). I was worried that years of pent up emotions might explode violently between blood relatives (hey, afterall, the Palestinian Intefadah is in the news again. Isn't it just a dispute between Palestinian and Israeli Brothers?). I had to stay to help stop the bloodshed.

I was there when the sons of your Lola Rita embraced their estranged Uncle. I saw former enemies, grown men, shedding tears, asking each other for forgiveness. The scene was too much for me-- The concept of "Forgiveness" is also foreign to me. I excused myself and went to the dining table where your Lola and Ninang Di were watching the scene from a distance. To disguise the redness in my eyes I deliberately chewed on a flaming red siling labuyo. Then I eyed those two on the dining table as they watched the intimate scene. It dawned on me that Your Lola and Ninang have been teaching me, since last Christmas eve, that forgiveness is always possible. As if both of them are telling me that I should learn to forgive that one person who has been responsible for my all consuming rage this year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

College of the Immaculate Conception Alumni Homecoming

Sorry Y'all, I can't come. But Noel will be there and Ate is the PRO. Hope you all have fun!




Look at this photograph
Every time I do it makes me laugh
how did our eyes get so red?
And what the hell is on Joey’s head?

This is where I grew up
I think the present owner fixed it up
I never knew we ever went without
The second floor is hard for sneakin’ out

This is where I went to school
Most of the time had better things to do
Criminal record says I broke in twice
I must’ve done it half a dozen times

I wonder if it’s too late
Should I go back and try to graduate?
Life’s better now than it was back then
If I was them, I wouldn’t let me in
Oh oh oh
Oh god I, I

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Goodbye

Remember the old arcade
Blew every dollar that we ever made
The cops see us hanging out
They said somebody went and burned it down

We used to listen to the radio
And sing along with every song we know
We said someday we’d find out how it feels
To sing to more than just the steering wheel

Kim's the first girl I kissed
I was so nervous that I nearly missed
She’s had a couple of kids since then
I haven’t seen her since God knows when
Oh oh oh
Oh god I, I

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on the bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

I miss that town
I miss the faces
You can't erase
You can't replace it
I miss it now
I can't believe it
So hard to stay
Too hard to leave it

If I could relive those days
I know the one thing that would never change

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It's hard to say it
Time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye

Look at this photograph
Every time I do it makes me laugh
Every time I do it makes me...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Kite Flying Days (December 26-27)









Dear God

for a man who ages ago used to spend his christmases unhappy, unloved, alone, you made this Christ mas very special. It's a gift. An undeserved gift. Thank you for remaining faithful to me though I haven't been faithful in keeping the religious faith through out my life.

Thank you very much!



Merci beaucoup, Mon Dieu! tres beaucoup!

The ATEs




Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Tristan



These are some of my wishes for you and your sisters:

May you be surrounded by overwhelming love all your life...
May you have every gift, especially length of years...

Tristan, May you see the breathtaking beauty in every woman's eyes.
and may you find the one who will keep you in her heart... as you
keep her safe in your arms, never let yourself hurt her.

Friday, December 19, 2008

WELCOME! TRISTAN IMMANUEL

DECEMBER 15, 2008 (3:50 P.M.)


"Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I closed my eyes, begin to pray.
Then tears of joy stream down my face.
With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything.
With arms wide open
With arms wide open
Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath,
I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life.
With arms wide open,
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
Now everything has changed
I'll show you love
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open
I'll show you everything
...oh yeah
With arms wide open
..wide open..."


--With Arms Wide Open by Creed

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bella Swan

Dear Tristan, I read a quarter of the book "Twilight" while Ate Sage and I were in powerbooks. I also skipped some pages and ended up halfway through it.

While reading I couldn't help but have this mental image of Ms. Swan.

A few months back, while meeting with Grand Dy's Accountant, this petite beauty passed by wearing a modest gown and a beautiful smile (she smiled at everyone.) I smiled back when she looked my way.
I thought she looked familiar (probably a men's magazine model or a TV personality).

Then I found in my inbox this picture from a friend with incurable juvenile predilections. I immediately recognized her.

The photo on the left did not do her any justice-- so did the other accompanying, compromising pictures. My guess is they were taken by an ex-boyfriend and was spread around to get back at her for dumping him. Her Ex, or whoever spread this around, makes me want to wish that there is indeed a hell as described in Dante, or Jessica Zafra's book so that he could spend eternity looking at the naked picture of his extremely deficient package plastered on every wall, Billboard, including PC wall papers, being gawked at and ridiculed by every one in hades and beyond.

No girl deserves to be treated that way. She has a very angelic face that it just feels so wrong to know that sometime, somewhere, she made a mistake and that she has to live with the pain forever.

I guess thinking of her as Bella while reading that book was my way of making things right for her in my own humble way. Because every girl deserves to be treated the way Edward (the protagonist) worships Bella in that book.



Lyrics | Linkin Park - Leave Out All The Rest lyrics

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pacquiao: Against All Odds

"And you coming back to me
is against all odds
it's the chance I've got to take..."

Dear Kids, Who would have thought that he'd win the fight convincingly? Not me. I actually prayed that he won't get hurt too much. I figured Oscar can only lose if the businessman part of his brain clicks and he takes a fall to set up a rematch with a bigger purse. I must have over-prayed too much (I'm kidding).

I watched the fight on the silver screen with Dad and your Ninong Noey. I cautioned them not to get their hopes too high. Dad even said that we could be watching Manny's funeral. I figured, "what the heck, it's gonna be my first time to watch a fight with a crowd so I shouldn't let this opportunity pass."

While in the queue for a ticket, I noticed that everything in the cinema complex makes your testosterone level pump higher. The deodorant sponsors of the fight brought in skimpilly clad models distributing their products. Because of the macho atmosphere I felt like spoiling for a fight too when the burly guy in the snack counter asked for a smaller bill from me and made a snide remark that made my grip on the soda can really, really tight. I guess he noticed my grip and imagined it colliding with his face. so he just shut up and gave me my change which he counted carefully as he averted my murderous stare.

There are so many things going against Manny Pacquiao. I'll let the experts elaborate. He came into the fight as an underdog. That status didn't last long. Especially when we noticed Oscar closely talking to Pacquiao's gloves-- and nodding in agreement to whatever it is telling him. That was just the first round.

By the 7th round, when Manny caught the golden boy in the corner several times, I was already shouting "No mas, No mas!" in a vain attempt to stop the bloodbath (In the other welterweight title bout of my youth, I remember Roberto Duran shouting those same words when he decided to prematurely end his fight with Sugar Ray Leonard after getting out-classed for several rounds).

Nobody thought Pacquiao would win. Right after the match, I overheard the chick beside me and her boylet ruing the fact that they did not bet any money on Manny. And while making the beeline for the john, some guy was cheerfully talking with somebody on his phone telling him that he lost a thousand bucks because he placed his bet on Dela Hoya. That he was grinning from ear to ear was a clear sign that Manny's win made his being a stupid gambler forgiveable.

When the fight was over, Dela Hoya looked even uglier than king kong Manny. I couldn't help but say "Nice Job, Manny." It's one win for the Ugly Men of the world like me (and the ones reading this blog. umamin ka na Snglguy) against the Good looking golden boys who always get the girls. As I've said in the beginning of this entry, the place was full of Testosterone pumping decorations, but the organizers forgot one detail that was clearly, inappropriately present. When I looked up the ceiling I saw posters of the movie "Twilight" festooned all around the area-- It's A movie featuring a fictional character that will make the girls of all generations swoon. A character that no mortal guy could possibly compete against. Maybe Manny should forget about welterweight champion Hatton and concentrate instead on rearranging the face of that guy who played the lead character in Twilight: Edward Cullen.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sweet Science


Dear Tristan, Today could be your Birthday, Son. But just in case You decide to choose a date later than Pearl Harbor day, your Mom and I will be spending the day watching the fight between Dela Hoya and Pacquiao.

Just in case Dela Hoya decides to give it his best, I just pray that Pacquiao doesn’t get a career ending injury. Because it’s obvious that Pacquiao can not possibly win without Oscar taking a fall or selling out the fight. Dela Hoya is a shrewd businessman. A rematch can earn them even bigger purses.

But I don’t think Oscar is cheap. He will be a handful. And Pacquiao is in for the fight of his life.

And despite of the fact that he is destined to lose, I will be cheering for him just like all the other suckers out there. Because he will be facing overwhelming odds. But after this fight, I’ll be rooting for Pacquiao's next opponents.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Connected

Dear Sabine, while Sadie and I were surfing YouTube for Chris Daughtry songs, you begged to listen to the Disney Song "Connected" from the Diamond Castle Movie. When the list of videos popped out, I was surprised when you didn't choose the ones with the cartoon characters on it but instead you pointed at the one with Katherine McPhee.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Windsurfing Moves

video

Dear Sabine, Yesterday, we went to the grocery. I noticed you hanging on to the side of the cart since you are too big to sit on the slot for toddlers. your daredevil moves reminded me of windsurfers.

video





Since it's December 1 today,  I made an attempt this morning to look like santa claus. I ended up looking like Hemingway instead.


video

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Any Given Sunday

"Rain falling down
Ooh, it seems like it could last for years
Drowning me down
Drowning in a sea of tears
And little did I know
That someone set my soul... free!"
-- TRUE FAITH

Dear Tristan, There's this movie called Any Given Sunday that starred Pacino as a PRO Football Coach. His byline was "Any given sunday, you either win or lose. But can you win or lose like a man?"

Son, I know what he means. But of all the lessons I could possibly teach you while growing up, that is one of the things that you have to learn on your own. Because the truth is, there have been sundays when I lost like a boy --not like a man. Someday too, there will be sundays when you will lose like a boy. But whether it's a ballgame, or a game of political chess, or in the matters of the heart, even when they defeat the boy in us, they can not break the man within who has the strength of someone with True Faith.

Even in defeat, even in tears, when you lose like a man with True Faith, you set your soul free so that next ballgame, next sunday, you can win... not just as a man

...but as a hero.

Sports Unlimited

Dear Sage, we treated your Tita Sweet to dinner tonight at the new AMICI's in the Atrium of Megamall. She planed in from the red state of Kentucky and missed Thanksgiving because she had to go home here. her Dad, Lolo Ben, passed away almost a month ago.

She bought you three littlest pet dogs housed in a pollypocket like carrier.

When we got home, just before going to bed, I found you guys watching Sports Unlimited. It was quite Odd because I haven't seen you interested in watching sports before. But your Mom told me you didn't object when she switched to that channel.

I sat with you for a while. Hoping to get you interested in sports I commented that the featured sport that night was amazing (it was a frisbee competition that had rules similar to football). Sage, you frowned at my comment. You said "Dad, catching frisbees is what dogs do."

smartass.

Anyway, the Island of Coron was featured in that program too. The shots were breathtakingly beautiful. It reminded Ayheen and moi of El Nido (where we spent our honeymoon.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Morning, November 28, 2008, was Sabine's Trade Fair in School. Sage asked her to buy something from the fair since she couldn't come with us. Sabine bought her colored pens and bubble toy maker.

Dad wasn't able to come too but we ate lunch with him. Thank You Lord for the gift of Health. and so much more!

anyway, I think yesterday was the last thursday of November in the continental US. It was thanksgiving. Belated Happy Thanksgiving to YOU All!

with the election of Obama as US president, Americans have something special to thank the Lord for. Obama is a Cool Change, compared to the clueless prick who presently occupies the whitehouse.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Grade 3 Family Day 2008

Dear Sage, yesterday, November 22, was your Grade 3 family day. This year's theme was Broadway. Your class, 3 Diamante, danced and acted the music from my favorite musical, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

last week, while listening to the songs, Your Ate Janine asked me how the play ended. I told her Christine got to live happily ever after. then she asked me what happened to Eric, the Opera Ghost. I said when he chose to let Christine go he chose to be sad and in agony forever. You guys asked if that's what love is. Frankly, I do not know.

What I do know is Eric, the Phantom of the Opera, could never hurt Christine. He'd rather have her as a memory that will keep his wound open rather than to have her near and suffer with him.

Eric lived forever in legend and Christine became the source of inspiration for many stories and songs.

I remember one Rock Song, by Meatloaf... "I'd do anything for Love." In the end of the song, the girl playing the part of a modern day Christine said that the time will come when he will hurt her, that he will forget, that he will move on.

Of all the things the Phantom of the Opera is capable of doing, hurting Christine is the only thing he wouldn't do. Because HE SIMPLY CAN'T. He can't hurt her. He can't forget. He will not move on.

Christine wasn't able to save Eric's soul...
But she sure was able to give it back to him.


Girl:
Will you raise me up?
Will you help me down?
Will you get me right out if this Godforsaken town?
Will you make it all a little less cold?

Boy:
I can do that!
I can do that!

Girl:
Will you hold me sacred?
Will you hold me tight?
Can you colorize my life I'm so sick of black and white?
Can you make it all a little less old?

Boy:
I can do that!
I can do that!

Girl:
Will you make me some magic
With your own two hands?
Can you build an emerald city with these grains of sand?
Can you give me something I can take home?

Boy:
I can do that!
I can do that!

Girl:
Will you cater to every fantasy I got?
Will ya hose me down with holy water--if I get to hot--?
Will ya take me to places I've never known?

Boy:
I can do that!
I can do that!

Girl:
After a while you'll forget everything
It was a brief interlude
And a midsummer night's fling
And you'll see that it's time to move on

Boy:
I WON'T DO THAT...

From the song "I'd Do Anything For Love"


Anyway, after the Program we ate out. It was the first time in 5 Family Days that Lolo Nonong wasn't with us. He usually treat us to lunch. He had to rest at home so after eating we went to him and your cousins Kitkat and Boing.

And By The Way, I lent the mask of the Phantom that hangs in our car to your classmate who played the part of Eric. It gave the part more credibility.


Crazy News with Janine, Sage and K

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear God

Most people die or become vegetables when they suffer from hemorrhagic stroke. Dad (Sage's Lolo) had one. The only deficit he has is a slight slurring of speech and very subtle fine movement control of his left leg.

Thank YOU po, for letting heaven wait, Dear God! Please let it wait longer... and wait... and wait some more. Amen.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

it's Sunday again



... most people listen to gospel music during sundays. and they meditate on it.

I don't.

I just listen to Rock. I don't meditate on it. But there's something humbling about the agony and the pain behind the songs. Maybe that's why GOD in his wisdom just let me be while I listen to those worldly songs during the Lord's day. Pain humbles us all... but it can't break the best of us.

Heaven can wait
And a band of angels wrapped up in my heart
Will take me through the lonely night
Through the cold of the day
And I know
I know
Heaven can wait
And all the gods come down here just to sing for me
And the melodys gonna make me fly



Without pain




Without fear

Give me all of your dreams
And let me go along on your way
Give me all of your prayers to sing
And Ill turn the night into the skylight of day
I got a taste of paradise
Im never gonna let it slip away
I got a taste of paradise
Its all I really need to make me stay --
Just like a child again

Heaven can wait
And all I got is time until the end of time
I wont look back
I wont look back
Let the altars shine

And I know that Ive been released
But I dont know to where
And nobodys gonna tell me know
And I dont really care
No no no
I got a taste of paradise
Thats all I really need to make me stay
I got a taste of paradise
If I had it any sooner you know
You know I never would have run away from my home

Heaven can wait
And all I got is time until the end of time
I wont look back
I wont look back
Let the altars shine

Heaven can wait
Heaven can wait
I wont look back
I wont look back
Let the altars shine
Let the altars shine

Saturday, November 08, 2008

TK on KT

Dear Kids, I used to read Reader's Digest, that right-wing magazinelet (I really don't know how to call it). I knew then that the ideology behind it was crap. But I love the fact that they condense the essence of large books into a few pages so that it would be easier and faster to read novels. I read from Reader's Digest the story of Kunta Kinte. He was an african kidnapped by slave traders and sold to an american family of the deep south. I remember details of the story like how he and other kidnapped africans danced and chanted african words while in shackles as they "entertained" their kidnappers.

"Tuobob Fa"

Roughly translated, it means "Screw You". Those old, white supremacist men actually thought the africans put up a great show... (they were Losers then like they are now.)

Kunta Kinte was the ancestor of the book's author, Alex Hailey. We can say that KunTa was the ancestor of ALL African Americans. Which now includes their newly elected president.

Barak first appeared on this blog as a vocabulary lesson. I tried to tell you kids the difference between "Chutzpah" (balls) and "Hubris".

That was way back in February 11, 2007

I talked about him in 7 other posts. Click here.

Actually, right after he won Iowa in the primaries, I congratulated him by posting a message in the left upper corner of this blog. Unfortunately, unlike regular posts that can be retrieved later on, side posts like my message to him can not be restored once deleted.

I think it said "Congratulations Brother! But let's face it... You Can't Win!" or something to that effect.

There are only a few times in our lives when we are thankful that we are wrong: When we tell cancer patients that they can't be cured and when we tell Kunta Kinte's sons that they live in the hopelessly bleak America of Republicans like Joseph McCarthy, Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon and David Duke (the grand wizard of Ku Klux Klan).

TO THE GALVEZ CLAN IN THE DEEP BLUE STATE OF NEW YORK: YOU DID GOOD IN TAKING BACK AMERICA FROM THESE REPUBLICANS AND GIVING IT BACK TO THE JOHN F. KENNEDYs, MARTIN LUTHER KINGs, AND OBAMAs.

Kunta Kinte's sons are now officially First Class Citizens of the United States. African Americans must take heed of the warning from a great Asian nationalist whose descendants have yet to capture the white house. TO paraphrase, he asked "What good is Freedom if the slaves of today are the tyrants of tomorrow?"

It is a question that must live on forever even after the sons and daughters of Rizal have earned the right to the oval office.

On the night of the elections '08, when the crowd of latinos, asians, African Americans outside the white house was celebrating the outcome, they sang in chorus this song popularized by SOUL MEN (Blacks):

"Na na na na,
na na na na,
hey hey hey,
goodbye."

It's a song for George W. Bush. (His ancestors used to be second class citizens of America too. When the British Gentry ruled the then 13 colonies,they thumbed their noses at Bush's Great Grand Daddies for being uncouth, uncultured, unwashed. ) George W. Bush, the man who gave the world Abu Ghraib, Gitmo's Camp Xray, and countless orphaned children in Iraq. He also gave America a Trillion Dollar deficit after inheriting roughly the same amount of SURPLUS MONEY from his predecessor. More tragically, his policies resulted in thousands of American armed service men coming home in flag- draped caskets... JUST LIKE DURING THEIR DEFEAT IN VIETNAM.

His alcohol addled brain may need help to translate what the song means. it means this, Mr. Lameduck President:

"TUOBOB FA!"

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November 3... Happy Birthday Mom!

"Sorry, I never told you, all I wanted to say.
Now it's too late to hold you. '
Cause you've flown away, so far away."- One Sweet Day

Mom, I've lost count. I'm not sure how old you would've been today.

Happy Birthday!

I hope I could see you smile when you see Sage, Sabine and Sadie playing together with Myka, Dominic, Justine, Kitkat and Boing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trick Or Treat '08












MARXMD

the republican party is not the party of Joe the plumber. It is the party of

Joe McCarthy.

Joe McCain, Please remember that you were a prisoner who had the honor of being tortured by vietcongs in hanoi hilton. So Stop taking any advice from your people who, by your definition of what enemies of freedom are, should be locked up in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.

Your advisers, sir, have no shame, no code and no honor. Because of them, a war hero like you will be BLACK LISTED by history... Just like Joseph McCarthy.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sabine's Early Birthday Celebration

Sabine's 5th Birthday is on October 30. But last week, October 21, she celebrated it with her classmates. Then this weekend we ate out, Sage and Sabine watched HSM3 while Sadie watched me bowl. Then we bummed around the mall and did our grocery.

Sabine Ayn, I heard you read the sign "MovieTime" before you watched the HSM3 movie... And the sign "Tom's World" outside Robinson's Galleria building facing the church. Soon you'll be reading 'Em signs like a PRO.








Sunday, October 19, 2008

CAMP ROCK!



Dear Sadie, Everytime you get inside the car, you always ask me, "Dad, put go hom..." What you mean is you want to listen to Chris Daughtry's "Home"

and when you say "put talk to me" you want us to listen to his other song "Used To Be"

This afternoon while updating your blog, I read what I wrote last July 29. It's about how the joys outweigh the pain most of the time for me. Well with you guys around, like this afternoon, I really don't need rock music to put a smile on my face.

You three ROCK!

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures



To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan
WELCOME!