February 29, 2008

At Last

After two weeks, the sun finally shone. And it's a good thing, too, because bucketfuls of Downy can never take the place of clothes sun-dried to a crisp.

For more than ten days, we were really rained out. And while I do love the rain, I don't quite like it when there's just too much of it. Heavy rains reminds me of my university days and the hassle of wading through the germ-infested waters of Espana. And of the horrendous EDSA traffic. And of dangers--real and imagined--lurking behind dark, rain-drenched street corners.

My present-day rainy-day paranioa has nothing to do with Freddie Krueger imaginings and the dangers of leptospirosis. It is now very real: mosquitoes, a sick child, clothes smelling like a damp mattress, the fiery chili bush losing its spice.

But today, the sun shone. And in my mind I am Katrina and the Waves: I am walking on sunshine.

February 24, 2008

Party of Two

Two days and two weeks ago, we had it down pat: the invitations, the menu, the give-aways. Gianna, the soon-to-be-terrible three, wanted a party at home, with her 7th Road friends. And since the kid is not really that big on parties,we agreed: home, it would be.

But the universe obviously had other plans. The day after what happened to be a really wet Valentine, Gianna's cousin, Sam, had a bad case of gastroenteritis. It was viral, the pedia said: something you can get from the air.

Because Gianna rarely gets sick, we thought the virus won't bite. The day before the big day, however, she started puking and pooing. To cut an otherwise smelly story short, the party for 30 went poof. Instead, it became a party of two, since Sam was only a room away.

For what it's worth, it was a fun, scrapbook-worthy "party" just the same. Which only goes to show that life doesn't always happen as planned. Was it John Lennon who said "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"?

February 17, 2008

Not Quite Political

The state of the nation does not interest me. Make that the political state of the nation. I so dislike it when politicians deliver verbose speeches, when TV stations make superstars out of ordinary bureaucrats turned star witnesses. I don't like it one bit when lawmakers try so hard to put sense into otherwise senseless rhetorics.

In other words, I don't like what it happening in the corridors of power ... again.

Not when there are more important things to do. Like plant trees. Or humor the children. Or stop global warming. Or fight AIDS. Or save the tamaraw from extinction.

As it is, precious hours are wasted on circuitous questions that only serve to muddle and befuddle. I am not even sure if the askers of questions really want answers, or if they just want to hear themselves ask.

I don't know about you, but three "people power" revolutions--and countless coup attempts in between--have left me politically jaded. As I sit through the recent hullabaloo, I feel like an audience in one of those Sunday showbiz shows: lost in a show of hams.

Come to think of it, today's politics is becoming increasingly so much like show business: entertaining at times, but so very, very far-fetched. So not of this world.

February 10, 2008

A Love for Books

I had one of life's most wonderful surprises when I was eight. I can no longer recall if it was Christmas, or Valentine's Day, or my birthday. Or if there was any occasion at all. All I remember is Ma taking me to the spare bedroom and pointing me toward the cabinet.

There, inside, was a wide, magical world waiting for me. No, it wasn't the 20-volume blue-and-white Grollier's Encyclopedia. It was too "grown-up" for me. Instead, it was the row of books that went along with it: a colorful set that introduced me to the wonderful world of fables and stories and fairy tales.

From Through Golden Windows' pages sprang colorful characters: Riki Tiki Tavi, Lottie, Chin Ling the Chinese Cricket, Little Black Sambo. Before the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew and eventually, the dreamy boys and girls of Sweet Dreams, they were my bedside companions.

The books, of course, are but musty memories now. But they are still well-loved because they served their purpose: they inculcated in me a great love for reading and the printed word. A love that I wish to pass on to my daughter.

Last Christmas, my sister gave me a copy of 100 Books for Girls to Grow On. It has summaries of books ranging from a 25-minute read to those that have over 400 pages. There are discussion questions as well, notes about the authors, recommended readings and suggested activities to get a feel of the book.

Some of the books are familiar: Eleanore Estes' The Hundred Dresses, S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The rest I look forward to reading with Gianna. In time, I hope the scent of a book will also trigger in her wonderful memories of reading and of unforgettable stories.

February 3, 2008


One of my goals is to get organized. Unlike two of my sisters, whose spaces spell Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living, I am a certified packrat. I have this tendency to collect, amass and hoard. Minimalism, I know, has high eye appeal, but my shelves can never remain "minimal" for long. They almost always get invaded by stuff.

(My built-in clutter magnet, is, I believe the product of genes. Dad and Ma--whose early growing-up years were spent hiding from the Japanese--cannot let things go to waste. They built a two-story bodega on our Molave Street home to accommodate books, long-playing albums and 45s, 60s furniture, tools, broken appliances, construction surplus, even a mannequin. They held on to the GE fridge bought in 1970for almost 25 years. And only because the thing--which had gone from white to yellow--had turned into a power-consuming monster.)

In any case, because I am starting to feel hemmed in by my things, I declared this to be a decluttering weekend. First I tackled my "creativity" cabinet. From among the piles of scrapbooking supplies I found "dear diary" entries, idea files, yellowing lists of projects not (yet) started or not (yet) realized. There were 78 pencils harking to my Sanrio days; cards and letters that were not sent; forgotten pictures. The home-office desk drawers and a three-level shelf yielded other "museum" pieces: letters from 20, 30 years ago, raffle tickets, a tinful of State of Mind candles, handmade cards from the hubby, clippings, recipes, receipts.

To the trash went the manuals that outlived their subjects, articles that I know I'd find on the net, calendars and planners from the '90s, magazines and inkless pens. Things I'm iffy about went into the not-sure pile. If I don't use them in six months, off they'd go.

As for the rest, I'll let them be. The cabinets and shelves are not as messy anymore. There's more than enough room. For now.