Saturday, July 31, 2004

With Angels Gabriel and Miguel Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Miko's Turn

It's Miko's turn. If you've ever been around kids, you'd know that they
absolutely have to take turns in everything - playing with the new toy,
getting your attention, sitting on your lap - and since I wrote about Luigi a
couple of weeks ago, I'm writing about Miko, my younger nephew, today.

MIko and I had a Kodak moment last Sunday. I could not convince my family to
go to the mall to watch Spiderman 2 with me because it was a rainy day and
everyone felt like staying indoors. I was about to sleep away the afternoon
when my Kuya, Miko's dad, arrived waving a good-quality DVD copy of the movie
I almost failed to see. :)

Miko complained loudly because he was watching Garfield the movie (another
pirated copy, geez, where do these things come from?) for the tenth time when
we took over the DVD player. He was constrained to endure the movie with all
of us. Like any self-respecting five-year old, he refused to take his
afternoon nap and planted himself firmly on my lap, occasionally whispering
to me that he'd rather watch Garfield. Apparently, Miko and his family had
already seen a VCD copy of Spiderman 2 so he wasn't so interested in the
movie anymore.

I was engrossed in the movie though and tried not to pay attention to the
little boy who was purring and stretching like a cat to block my view. I
wanted to e-mail Peter Parker that the First Commandment in doing your
laundry was to separate the colored clothes from the whites! I nodded my
head in agreement to the doctor's most logical line in the movie, that
something as big as Love shouldn't be hidden. I felt for Spiderman as he
seemed to lose his powers.

And then, a scene unfolded, starting with a song. "Raindrops keep fallin on
my head..." I sang along. Miko suddenly sat properly and stared at me,
listening intently at my "" version of the song. Afterwards,
he held my face between his small hands and forced me to repeat the song in
slow motion so he could sing along with me. "It's a beautiful song, Tita
Ella!" I agreed, and told him that it was appropriate as it was raining

"Really?" he asked, jumping to his feet and running barefoot to open the
door and check if I was telling the truth. "It's true, raindrops are
falling, Tita Ella!" We had to restrain him from allowing the raindrops to
fall on his head, though. I was glad for his momentary distraction that
allowed me a full view of the TV screen.

When he returned to the couch, he was determined to learn the song. I was
determined, however, to wait for the hero in Peter Parker to come to his
senses. As soon as the movie ended, Miko got the remote control and searched
for the scene containing his new favorite song. Yes, the pre-schooler knows
how to work the DVD player much better than his grandparents.

His passion didn't end there. He led me by the hand to the piano and asked
me to play it. I played the melody on my right hand, but he wasn't satisfied
and instructed me to study the song so that when he came back next week, I
could play it with BOTH hands.

I had Last Song Syndrome (LSS) long after Miko was in his home last Sunday.
When I checked the lyrics, I confirmed that this was really a bright and
cheery song! Just like Spiderman, Miko and I won't let raindrops get us
down. Cryin's not for me 'coz I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin',
because I'm free. Nothin's worryin' me. :)

Artist: B.J. Thomas Lyrics
Song: Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head Lyrics

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothin' seems to fit
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'

So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won't defeat me
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me


It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me

Thursday, July 15, 2004

So Young

Chasin' the moon, running wild and free; Following through every dream and every need. It didn't matter that we didn't eat. It didn't matter that we didn't sleep. I used to sing along with The Corrs: "Coz we are so young now, we are so young, so young now/ And when tommorow comes, we can do it all again..."

As a child, I only got sick once a year, usually around the rainy season in July. Otherwise I had perfect attendance in school. I used to be able to survive non-stop kuwentuhan during high school sleep-overs, and go straight to 7a.m. class afterwards. Since I hated my Economics subjects in College, I just studied for exams overnight and then took them the next day, running on coffee and Lipovitan. I used to attend all-night parties and "study groups" in law school and still be able to make it to class, sometimes even surprising the professors by being able to recite cases or laws coherently. As a fresh law firm associate, I used to skip meals just to meet deadlines and work straight til midnight running on adrenaline and pressure. And in my early days in Lingkod, I used to go home at 2 a.m. on weekdays, go to work, and still be a nice person to be around with.

My days of irregular eating and sleeping habits seem to be over, though. Not one but three doctors this year have reminded me that what triggers my migraine and vertigo, and what makes me prone to coughs and flu, are the following: coffee (anything with caffein, including tea and softdrinks), chocolates, and cheese. I should also avoid stress. I should also have a regular bedtime and stick to it. I've been drinking coffee since I was eight years old, and have been a night owl for as long as I can remember. I'm guilty of all these because of my lifestyle choices.

Just thinking of the workload I left behind while on sick leave stressed me out already. And I have yet to think of a way to be with Lingkod QC and not stay up late. Of course my family is nagging me about service, that I should give it up. I believe, however, that nothing is impossible with God. I shall not be stubborn, I shall try to substantially comply with the doctor's orders, but I think to give up service altogether is out of the question at this point. For when I am weak, then I am strong. This also means I should start delegating more, and planning for my upcoming turnover of service. :)

Friday, July 09, 2004

Love for a Child

It's Luigi's 7th birthday on July 13. Luigi is my first nephew by my
sibling, so he holds a special place in my heart. Miko, the second, holds
the special place of being the youngest, kasi dalawa lang sila. I'll write
about Miko some other time, for his antics require a book.

A couple of weeks ago I had the bright idea of asking Luigi, during
family dinner, what he would like as a gift for his birthday. He didn't
answer me right away as he concentrated on his fried chicken first. I forgot
about my question as several conversations were going on simultaneously at
the table, typical of our family dinners, until I heard a small voice calling
me from the other end of the table.

"Tita Ella, can I tell you a secret?" asked Luigi over the din of voices
surrounding us. I hadn't finished my ebi tempura yet so I thought I'd ask
him his secret from where I was sitting. I said, "Yes Luigi, what is the
secret? You can tell me now."

Luigi looked at his parents, grandparents, tito and titas, before
returning his gaze at me and saying softly, "Do you have lots of money?"

At this point all conversations came to a halt, and all ears were on the
six-year old as he obviously had something important to say. I tried to keep
a straight face and told him that having lots of money is relative, so he
should tell me what it was for then we'd know if I had enough money.

He said, "Tita Ella, I want something for my birthday but only if you have
lots of money. Because I want a reaalllly expensive toy."

"Hala ka Tita Ella", teased my brother, the precocious boy's dad.
Everyone was laughing now because the little boy had me on the spot!

My curiosity took over and I asked him what, specifically, it was that
he wanted. "It's a Power Rangers set, and daddy said it's expensive, but I
really want it. Please, please Tita Ella? You asked me what gift I wanted.
This is what I want."

I needed help at this point, so I looked at my parents, and then at
Luigi's parents. When I learned how much exactly I needed to raise, I
couldn't help but laugh out loud. I said, "No, Luigi, this Tita does not
have lots of money. Is it ok if I give you another gift instead? Can I give
you a book?"

His eyes started to shine and I knew that his tears were about to
trickle, but I couldn't give in. First of all, I couldn't afford it. And
even if I could, I didn't believe he should get used to getting such
expensive toys. Thank God I couldn't afford it pala. :)

Apparently, I wasn't alone in having such opinion. I discussed it with
the rest of the family, because if we pooled our resources together we could
probably give Luigi that power rangers toy of his dreams. BUT, we know that
he has a roomful of toys already, and this is no exaggeration, for he has
several ninangs and titas all over the world. He would love that toy but
only until the next one comes along, or until Cartoon Network tells him of
the next must-have for kids. We didn't want that for Luigi. He needed
clothes, shoes, and yes, books.

His heart broke when we took turns explaining to him that this time we
couldn't give him his dream toy. My heart broke and part of me wanted to
think of a way to indulge my nephew, but love took over and I knew that we
were doing the right thing.

I think of this and I think how much more God's heart breaks everytime
we cry over some must-have toy that He seems to deny us of. I wonder how
many times my tampos and tantrums hurt my heavenly Father, who must want only
what's best for me. I've asked him lots of times, "You own the universe, why
can't you grant me this teeny request? I've been a good girl! I've been
praying hard for this. Please, God please?"

He gives me food, shelter, clothing, education, job, family, friends,
community, and all the things that I need. Once in a while, He gives in to
my trivial requests. At His perfect time, He showers me with earth-shaking
blessings. When Jesus said that we should be as children, I must have taken
it to heart. :)

May we all learn to rejoice in the love that surrounds us and to always
have an attitude of gratitude. :)