personal

Happy New Year And What’s Up?

Overdue.
But let me get through this.
This is my new year.
Another year to spend.

 

There was no New Year’s eve dinner for us. Nothing fancy menu or the special menu we curate for the celebration. We only shared our normal dinner to get by. I am unhappy to make out of something in the kitchen with no electricity and if ever I pulled through cooking something it would have been spoiled the next day. Again, no electricity, no refrigerator. All I want, I can speak for all of us, was some cold salad and a nice dessert. It could be a no-bake mango graham cake or leche flan.

It was because of a storm hitting us last Christmas evening that we were in this state of calamity. Even our Christmas dinner menu didn’t happen. I decided not to anymore because our house would be quite rowdy with our furniture and fixtures made sure that it will be water proof.

 

I woke up early last New Year’s day. It was a Sunday so I attended mass at six-thirty in the morning. This day was planned out long before it came. For three years in a row now, I have been participating on our high school class outreach program. We prepare food packs, school supplies, medicines and some gifts for children. They are located in our mountain barangay so we need to clear our schedule to share time with them even for a few hours. Reaching them is a risk and sacrifice at the same time. With vehicles on hand, traveling is not for the faint hearted. Road trip up to the mountain is either an adventure or really a gut wrenching experience especially when you have the fear of heights. I am so up with the former so it is a joy for me always to see an unobstructed view of the plains of our hometown. It is something breath-taking. When you are at the top it usually feels like that. Your presence seems small but grateful that you are a part of this beauty of vastness.

Our class decided to prepare grocery packs for this year’s outreach program. With the imminent effect of the storm, people just want the basic needs. We packed rice, canned goods, noodles and soap and detergent. We also gave medicines and gift packs to the children.

After attending the mass, that’s the time I coordinated with our class president for 2016 in organizing the repacking of the goods to come up with 100 pieces of grocery packs. We coordinated to distribute these packs to 100 families instead of limiting it to children being fed and entertained. We all agreed on this after all we gathered enough fund.

I spent the morning with the rest of my classmates volunteering in repacking the goods. Some were weighing the rice and while others were putting the rest of the canned meats and noodles. I organized them like an assembly line and making sure that nothing will be missed or left out. We packed and finished until lunch time. We shared a warm meal that is everyone’s favorite-pork blood stew with innards and taro-over a heaping serving of white rice.

In the afternoon we were caught in a slight road bump when the time came that we need to go there soon because the grocery packs were already at the site and the families are waiting for us too. The bump was we do not have a bigger car to fit in all thirteen of us that volunteered to distribute and spend time with the families. Soon enough we were able to contact a van and off we go.

 

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A lot of families came in to see us together with their children in tow. The sky was still gray and looming with rain. We grouped them in the middle of a basketball court with the mountain range and dilapidated classrooms as our background. The wind was chilly and it started to drizzle when we started giving the packs to each family. As we reached the half of our distribution rain came falling down pushed by wind sideward. Mothers opened their umbrellas shielding their kids from being wet. We told them to seek cover and we will just call them. But none of them went off, they stood in line waiting for their names to be called. The rain was relenting. It was a crazy kind of weather.

Smiles of joy and gratitude painted that moment and our presence together with our fellow townsfolk through our collective unselfish gesture was a great way to start the year .

 

 

 

So this was how my New Year started. Happy New Year to me and to you. Take care always.

 

 

So What’s Your Story

 

Wake me up when September ends.

 

Maybe I was enjoying too much of my slumber last month. I was reading for some inspiration on what to really write here. It is apparent that my participation with the weekly photo challenge have thinned out. I don’t know. Maybe I just got tired looking on my archive of photos that might adhere to the weekly theme. But I still check every week’s theme and read randomly of entries that draws my attention maybe to its title, photo or the blog name itself. I will soon join the bandwagon again. I am checking a lot of photography accounts and websites too. I am willing the time now to keep me inspired always.

 

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I have a couple of links of articles in my Facebook’s Saved page that I have not opened or better yet read. The number of those saved links appear to be less than 5 this past week. But honestly, it gets annoying when Facebook pushes one or two of those links on your Newsfeed to remind you that you have 3 unopened links including the one they tagged on the notification. So I try to open the Saved page for the sake of clearing out the counter and blindsiding Facebook that I have opened those links but not really. I let it stew there just in time when I am ready to reading it.

 

Reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is still on going. It is my night cap sometimes. It is sitting by the side of my bed below my brother’s study lamp. It’s been like what, almost 4 months now that I am reading this book. Not that it is boring or uninteresting. It is just how I want to enjoy this book. I am already on half of it. So I am close to finishing. Again, I still have more books waiting for me neatly tucked on the shelf that I forgot to dust off last Sunday when I made some tidying up of the living room all the way to the kitchen. I got lazy to saving it from dust when I realized that I completely overlooked that spot, my own spot on that shelf as I was already putting back the washcloth, the mop and the broom.

 

Every morning since the start of the second week of September I try to sweep the floor and wipe clean our dinner table to get ready for my godson. I agreed to become his tutor while I am still not tied to my future work and he too still studying here before leaving for Vietnam. His mom, my bestfriend turned twin sister offered me this because they really want him to cope up with his schooling and be better. I was up for it soon as they asked me. But I was kind of having the hunch that they might consider me when I visited them after his mom asked me for a favor to help him with his homework and I spent time with him and his baby sister too. I was able to win him and let him finish his lunch while throwing some fit to his nanny. I am fond of him so it was easy for me. I can take it and their son too is comfortable and close to me as well. And it has been a month now that Zak and I are creating memories of him getting better at his study habits and some life lessons I may impart on a whim or when he is lazily caught up with a boring bug. Not a real kind of bug but when he feels bored and not an ounce of energy excites him to continue with our study time. A lot of questions coming from a 5 year old kid just blows my mind on an early time of day. Gladly, I can easily buzz her mom if I need help explaining things. Explaining it to a more simple state or what he can digest. All the while I have been able to pass some of his questions with me answering him, “I don’t know.” I would like to think that when he hears me say that he will not ask of it anymore. But he is smarter than he looks. I am cutting him some slacks because he is just a kid. Being his godfather and being able to spend time with him now, I want him to have that time not thinking of things or sort of. I just want him to know too that I am here to support and help.

 

So what’s your story? 

 

 

Just Have To Cut It Off

 

Maybe being still is how you turn your attention from the logistics of your own trajectory to the passage of all the other beings and their shadows.”  

— The Art of Arrival: Rebecca Solnit on Travel and Friendship

 
wp-1473007565624.jpegAugust came by past me. Same with July. My train of thoughts even stalled somewhere I don’t know. So this intro line of this post sucks. I’m sorry. This, as I have read from all the tips and pointers coming from WordPress’ The Daily Post on writing and blogging. Not that I discount theirs but respectfully, this is me trying to compose something. With the aid of some music from Spotify piping in stimulating my brain cells that might just lead me to a more sensible flow and a relaxed tone that my readers would want to continue reading. Because getting across matters to me more so I reread my past posts often. Dragging that we are our own’s worst critic but it is not all the time that critical. Just for the sake of joy of reading past thoughts that might lead to a new post.

 

 

My bestfriend-twin sis popped me a message one time telling me that her blog is boring, followed by our signature hahaha — true form in words instead of an emoji that most likely could be easily clicked on a digital keypad. But we stay true to this form of communication long before we ever thought of having our own smartphones to this day. I replied, our blog is crazy boring. I added that I might delete it(this). I seconded that I have been thinking shortly of really doing it but no plans just yet. She continued that it is just a phase. It is a waste and just leave it alone — my blog. All of these rapid fire of exchanges have some in between and at the end, again, our hahaha. Crazy as it sounds, we past that moment. That was just our walking-to-get-some-air kind of talk. A sign or kind of thinking that one of us might not notice otherwise in telling ourselves to keep pushing, in this matter, our blogging experience. Our stories, our lives matter. We may not have a ton of followers, or our stats doesn’t even spike traffic in thousands of views but we are here to keep it. To immortalize our mundane thoughts, lifestyles and all other experiences that will continuously remind us of writing something personal. That that something is what is real and important to us.

 

 

When my mother was admitted in the hospital for her hypertension few months ago, one of the check-up procedure is her EKG or ECG. This to record and check the electrical activity of a patient’s heart. So low voltage of electricity will be passed to the body through electrodes. Now I sound like Wikipedia. Fast forward, for this test to happen on my mother she is required to remove any metal, jewelry or electronic devices away from her body. That day she is only wearing her wedding ring. The nurse asked her to remove it. She budge as if to remove it but I know she wouldn’t be able to. It was stuck to her finger. I have heard her say couple of times that she can’t removed it. There was an instance she accidentally removed it but it was long before our father left us. And decided to put it right back in. She added that the last time she was tested it hadn’t been removed. I was quiet. The nurse insisted that it should be removed. She told mother to ease the removal with soap. Mama told her it is just not easy. It is really stuck. With an ounce of annoyance now floating inside the room, she told the nurse that she might have to let it cut off of her finger. Nurse replied in a soft tone with a feeling of regret and sentiment, “Don’t. It is your wedding ring.” Mama and I looked at each other. Knowing she might talked over the nurse’s remark, I continued standing there. Quiet. So as to let know not to. It felt like there was a lump in my throat. But I let it past me in seconds. The nurse went outside to ask someone at the nurses station. She went back and did the test without Mama taking her ring off of her finger. That same ring that is now ironic and mere jewelry for me.

 

Roots

Before finishing my college degree, I have had some pit stops along the race. Two semesters, a total of one school year that I chose to let go and pass. It was a sound decision I made to ease some financial stretch for the family. My elder brother was due to graduate of his degree in one year after I started my college. We both attended the same university.

I didn’t take a leave of absence at my university. I didn’t even notify my business course department. Freshman as I was, the innocence of running aground with my course department leave past me. New friends, new environment was a battle ground for me. None of my high school classmates more so friends decided to study at the university much take the same business course.

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The first semester that I stopped was the second half of my freshman year. I told Mother that I am taking the back seat to give way to our elder brother. The expenses were evident and instant so it would be difficult to sustain our every day living as students if both of us were attending.

I was seventeen years old. I thought of working part-time and still attend college even for a limited units of subjects. Mother discounted the idea of it. She iterated that I might not finish my degree and my tendencies to never come back home. I knew of her saying this again when I stopped for one semester during my junior year. Discoursing my thoughts with her to consider and change her saying no went up one time.

Still it was a no for her. After hearing her stern, calm voice I let my wings down. I was thinking what really made her to say no. After, I thought maybe it has something to do with me saying once while in an emotionally vulnerable state that, “I don’t want to stay in this house, in this place anymore.

This house, this place I was referring to is our home, our hometown. The home, the hometown where we grew up and continue to live until today.

Detaching and separating myself from this place sometimes pass the back of my mind up to this day. But I just can’t. Mama fuels, inspires our dreams. Mama is home.