January 28, 2008

Sorsogon Sunsets

One of the (many) things I love about Sorsogon is the sunset. It's amazing the way the setting sun bathes the sky--and the sea--in a variety of colors. From the palest pinks to the breath-taking reds. From powdery blues to fiery oranges. Basking in the after-five glow, I am glad that I am where I am: home.

January 27, 2008


Picture a hardened policeman struggling with the typewriter keys--and the words--and you are sure to get a dose of comedy. True, the circumstances may be no laughing matter, but the way they are translated on paper can be an endless source of amusement.

This, taken from the police blotter, really had me rolling:

Case: Kasunduan

Kami Person # 1, may sapat na gulang, representative ng _____ Bus Lines, at Person # 2, may sapat na gulang, drayber, ay nagkasundo na ang nawalang pustiso ng ikalawang panig sa aksidente ay papalitan ng ___ Bus Lines at ako ay hindi na magsasampa ng kaso laban sa drayber at kumpanya. At ang unang panig ay nangangako na papalitan ang nasabing pustiso.

The English version?

Case: Confrontation (accidentally bumped from behind by ___ Bus Lines who at that time he was trying to overtake to said vehicle he was hit the rear bumber that causing the damage of vehicle)

At around 10:20 p.m. Person 1 and Person 2 confronted in this office and both parties agreed that the repair of the artificial teeth (pustiso) 3 pcs amounting to 2,400.00 will shoulder by the ___ Bus Lines as soon as possible due to that the artificial teeth is needed daily.

January 25, 2008

Toy Story

My daughter doesn't like "normal" toys. Either that, or she loves to tinker with stuff that are technically not toys.

She'd much rather raid the kitchen shelves for the wire whisk, the ice cream scoop and the microwaveable plastics than play with those dainty teasets. She hoards fast-food spoons and forks and straws and pretends they are towers, or princesses, or frogs, or whatever she fancies them to be.

She has also consistently challenged my no-obviously-unsafe-toys policy. The other day, I came home to find her asleep, cradling this really cheap doll. Top Model Barbie, it seems, has lost out to Sharpay the Doll. And to Baby Sharpay, who, in her past life, was a remote control.

January 23, 2008

Caught in the Middle

For the longest time, I thought that being in the middle is safest position in the universe. Boring, perhaps, if you like weaving in and out of two extremes. But safe nonetheless. And convenient.

Now I'm not so sure. Two women I know are engaged in a tug-o-war, the winner of which might just bag the guy. The "war" has reached pathetic proportions, what with catfights and unpleasant encounters and gossip galore.

And where I am through all the high drama? Hopelessly caught in the middle. Stuck, actually. In their war, the two are forcing everyone to take sides. As if theirs is the only story unfolding this very minute. I cannot--and will not--budge, and I have told them that a million times.

Still, it gets awfully irritating, especially when I have the (mis)fortune of working with the two of them. Now I realize that being in the middle can get pretty uncomfortable, too.

January 15, 2008

And You Learn...

Where I work, January is a crazy, crazy time. It's when we're supposed to plan, to set goals, to strategize. It's when we're expected to review, to rethink, to redefine. In short, it's when we take on roles as magicians, rocket scientists and statisticians. Whew!

I should be blogging. Instead the OC in me is wrapped up in the annual procurement plan. I should be going to the Valik Varsi thingy. Instead, I am glossing over photographs and memories and friendships of 20 years ago while nursing a bad back.

I forgo the usual post and the V reunion and post this instead, which pretty much sums up my mood of the moment:

And You Learn
Veronica A. Shoffstall

After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean possession
and company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build roads today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.

After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant
your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn...

January 9, 2008


There's this old woman who goes by our quiet streets every day with her basketful of kakanin. She calls out in the softest voice, and you have to really listen hard to hear her. Day in and day out, she weaves through the neighborhood, always smiling. Always pleasant. By the time she passes by our house, her basket is almost always empty.

There's this other old woman who goes by the office and who goes about begging. Make that demanding. She is constantly complaining, moaning about how she has no family, carping about every ache and pain. And when somebody gives her something, she doesn't even say thank you. She is dour. And she almost ends up with nothing, except with an even darker disposition.

In life, as in everything else, it's all a matter of attitude. And attitude is always a matter of choice.

January 8, 2008


The kid lost out to her nanny's textmate. Yaya J, feeling perhaps that there is much more excitement in a lovelife than in running after a terrible two, left five days ago. I didn't hold her back. Sigh. After all, there are some things that a 17-year-old should learn on her own.

Pending the arrival of the new yaya, I am the hands-down substitute. Which means no work (what joy!!!), limited online hours and an endless stock of patience, patience and energy.

The five days, of course, have been a breeze. The kid has been highly entertaining, and I have none of the pressures of the workplace (thank God for "sleep" mode, and the fact that the new office has no phone lines, yet). But any hopes of turning Stay-at-Home Mom will remain just that: hope.

Five days later, I have bad posture, a pair of Salonpas plastered on the lower back, a tub of Biofreeze on the ready and I am in danger of being a mefenamic-acid-popping Momma.

The spirit may be (more than) willing. But, alas, the back is weak.

January 5, 2008

Yaktot Strikes Again

A cousin used to call me Yaktot. I won't try to explain how I got the "tot" part of the nickname, but the "yak" is due largely to my propensity for crying. Oh how I would cry at the slightest fall, or at the faintest hint of childish oppression! Or at hair that wouldn't curl the way I wanted it to. A few jeers from my sisters and my Molave Street friends, and I would run home crying.

Probably because I'd shed a tad too many tears, I stopped being Yaktot in college. I'd cry every now and then--out of anger perhaps, or out of frustration. But rarely out of sadness, or loss. I was heartbroken when a younger cousin died, but I didn't cry the way most people do at funerals. I was realy, really sad when it was time to leave the Varsi people, but I don't remember crying during the farewell bonfire in Baguio. Heck, I didn't even cry at love stories gone awry!

And then, without warning, the tears came back. At a friend's wedding this morning, I just felt the need to activate my tear ducts. There I was, outside the reception hall, waiting for the trail of pictorials to end, when IT hit me. Maybe it's the picture of happiness, or the promise of enduring love. Or maybe it's the way the wedding singer sang Misty.

Whatever it is, I am grateful for the tears. It made me feel so alive. So very part of it all.

January 4, 2008

Ah, the Inefficiency!

I am generally a very patient person. Too patient, in fact. Or so my friends say. I can wait for my turn, I can wait for the light to go green, I can weather long, snaking queues. But I can't, for the life of me, tolerate inefficiency. I can wait, wait and wait for as long as I get results.

And so off I was this morning to this particular office with every intention of getting results. I had been told to come back on the first working day of January. Since it's already the third, I figured I'd be out of there in no time.

Wrong. The first person I approached--the head of office on whose desk I saw my office's documents last year--gave me a blank stare and pointed me elsewhere. He continued to chomp on his Skyflakes.

The person "elsewhere" riffled through a tattered logbook then pointed me somewhere else. Four tables and four equally blank stares later, they told me that perhaps it's still with this other office, who showed me proof that the darn thing was received by the first office on December 5!

Miss Tattered Logbook leafed through the pages once again, as if the documents would materialize right before her, sensing that I wasn't being Miss Congeniality anymore. By then, I had already wasted two hours. I went back to the chief, who had the nerve to tell me that he couldn't possibly keep track of all the documents flowing in and out of his territory.

Thirty minutes after my dour exit, a staff from that office showed up with the document. It was, she said, on the chief's desk all along. True enough, it still had a hint of Skyflakes sticking on it.

Talk about "gross" inefficiency!

January 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 5: To Do, To Be, To Have

Thirteen Things about ANNA

I just love the newness of every new year. I love blank planners, clean slates, new calendars, new possibilities. I welcome discoveries new and old, and I just can't resist making plans--although, for most of the year, I'm not really the "planning" sort. In any case, here's what I hope to do, to be and to have in 2008:

1.... Put the planner to good use. Which means making sure that the entries go past February.

2. Keep tabs on the budget. And save, save, save.

3. Go through the entire MIMS. This way, I wouldn't look so out of it when somebody complains of a headache and the only thing I can volunteer is, "uh, amoxicillin?"

4. Unsubscribe to stuff that keep piling up and crowding my inbox. Stuff that usually end in the trash, anyway. And while we're at it, I might as well declutter.

5. Keep the home fires burning. Literally. Since we got married, the hubby has claimed the kitchen as his territory, guarding it the way crime scene investigators do. I should cross the police line once in a while and do more than just bake.

6. Get that KitchenAid Artisan in Majestic Yellow!

7. Read more and write (and blog) more often.

8. Learn to drive. Either that, or learn something new.

9. Find a new nanny. One who isn't that gaga over textmates, texting and soaps.

10. Scrapbook.

11. Shed off those flabs. Naturally. Without making Vicki Belo even richer.

12. Try to be a little more tolerant of Kristy Fermin, Big Brother and those hams masquerading as politicians.

13. Enjoy the kid's "clinginess." In a few months, she'll be in pre-school. Her world will not revolve around just me anymore.

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