Saturday, December 25, 2010


Today is December 25, 2010, Christmas Day. Christmas is the birthday of Jesus the Christ, a man and a God, who many believe, saves mankind from sin, death, inferno, devil, and other shits that are bad for the body, mind, and soul. Jesus is a good man and God. Greet Him when you see Him. Happy Birthday Jesus.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Paco's Birthday Trip

Paco twirled around Manila on his 2nd Birthday last November 29, 2010. The night before Paco's big day, Andres and Ponso already decided for Paco that they will have a big Jollibee meal for breakfast. So be it so early morning, we went to the Philippines' number one fastfood chain and ate burgers and pancakes and rice and hot chocolate and eggs and styrofoam cups and plates and plastic utensils. We prayed for our health and the ozone layer before the repast. Then they played and played and even Paco was running inside some big colorful pipes while we waited for him to poop as a signal to go home.

We then left Andres and Ponso at their grandparent's house and went to Trinoma to check on nothing in particular but just to go around with Paco. We just walked and looked at the people while Paco slept missing his chance to look at, well, ah, people. Thelma tried Cinnabon's cinnamon and it was good relative to its fucking expensive price. Paco also tried it when he woke up and ate heartily.

Then we went back to Lolo and Lola's house and had a simple party with a really good cake and vanilla ice cream to cap off Paco's 2nd birthday.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am not a cool father to Andres, Ponso, and Paco lately. I shout and easily gets irritated even from their small whims that does not deserve a big time heart breaking negative reaction. I am sad. I do not know what to do. Even Thelma hate my guts lately, and for the past 10 years, everytime I come home late after some philosophical and political discussions,normally over bottles of beers, or Gin Premium, (where one time with Adrian Donald, I learned the meaning of phenomenology and shit but began to forget after two tall bottles of pure, unadulterated crazy freakout Ginebra gin), without informing her.

Sigh. I am broken. She shouted at me one time for going home the morning and telling me to shape up and telling me that I do stupid things by writing stupid things in my stupid fucked up blog and that it is not the real thing and that it is all for show and that the real thing is what is happening in the fucking house in the fucking real time and that I am immature. I told her: "Then write your own fucking blog!"


Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ang mga bata

tula ni Jose F. Lacaba

Sa daigdig ng hari at higante,
Ang mga bata
Ay hindi nakikita.
Maliit pa sila sa duwende.
Wala silang mukha.
Nagkakataon na nakatingin ka sa malayo,
Walang kakurap-kurap,
Kapag sila ang iyong kaharap.

Pahintulutan mong mabulabog ang iyong ulirat.
Sa labas ng madilim na salamin ng malamig mong kotse,
Kumakatok ang mga musmos na kamao
Ibaling paminsan-minsan ang iyong mga mata
Sa hawak nilang kuwintas ng sampagita
O bungkos ng swipsteyks.
Pansinin paminsan-minsan ang mga nakalahad na palad.

Sa kanayunan, sa gitna ng hindi matapos-tapos na pakikidigma
Ng hari sa pulubi,
Ang mga bata
Ay nakikipagtaguan sa tingga,
Nakikipagpatintero sa punglo,
Nakikipaghabulan sa anino ng higanteng tutubi
Na bumubuga ng apoy.

Sa siyudad ay umiiling ang iyong diwa.
Maraming mandurugas sa siyudad:
Kinakasangkapan nila
ang mga bata,
sinasamantala nila ang iyong awa.
Lumang tugtugin na iyan, totoy.
Bumenta na iyan, ineng.

Pero hindi ka nakakasiguro.
Maaaring may ginaw sa loob ng butuhing dibdib.
Maaaring may hapdi sa nangangasim na sikmura.
Maaari. Maaaring wala.
Maaaring ipinahid lang ang dungis sa mukha.
Maaaring arte lang ang hapis sa mata.
Maaari. Maaaring hindi.
Pahintulutan mong mabulabog ang iyong ulirat
Paminsan-minsan. Paminsan-minsa’y tumingin
Sa labas na madilim na salamin ng malamig mong kotse.
Hindi ka bulag, at walang tagabulag
ang mga bata.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Andres is one of the official Sungka player of his class for the intramural games. He tediously practice his strategy and tactics with his Tita Hana to hone skills and mettle in facing his opponents. First game was played against a non-threat with his opponent's freaking stage mother on the sides. Andres handily won the first game but the stupid stage mother rearranged the shells for the sungka which should not be the case. There is certain leverage when a player wins the first game that I cannot explain properly. Anyway, that loss of advantage rattled Andres and affected his focus thus losing his first game due to some stupid stage mother. But in the spirit of camaraderie, his Tita Hana did not pursue a protest. He went home feeling good though knowing that there are indeed stupid adults in this world who wants to mess a pure, honest, scientific game of Sungka.

Andres’ second game was a breeze as he even instructed his opponent the basics of the game. He actually instructed his opponent to have a chance of beating him. But he said it is all for fair play. I agreed with him and am waiting for his third game pitting him against a veteran Sungka player who competed in some national competition or shit. I am a bit nervous but excited at the same time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I tried installing a feedjit in this blog but it was pathetic seeing a lot of traffic going on in its livefeed then finding out that it was actually just me all along.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Andres the Revolutionary

Andres loves to read and discuss history. He always watch History channel and ask questions about Hitler, Stalin, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, WWII, EDSA and the US-MArcos Dictatorship. Everytime he ask questions on these topics, especially during dinner, the table becomes my stage and the stories, my heartfelt lines like what I did during the 1980s discussion groups (dgs)on the fundamental problems plaguing the country with coed students in my best effort straight Filipino makata but consciously pa-cute style trying to sound and look intellectual like the late Lean Alejandro or Nat Santiago of the League of Filipino Students (LFS)(Is Nat still with the LFS?).

One time, Andres started rattling about the injustice why only rich people can enjoy the vista of San Mateo, Rizal when I told him about Timberland Countryclub. His heart fell when he saw the badjao children begging beside the Manila Bay seawall then he angrily pointed at the Manila Yacht Club with its high railings and wave breakers and asked why not everyone can use the space while it occupies some part of the bay. I felt proud hearing him speak that way and at the back of my mind, wonder if he can be someone who can be part of the growing movement of people who wants to change Philippine society for the better. One time, he asked for the symbol of the former USSR and I excitedly explained to him the hammer and the sickle representing the workers and the peasants united to establish a more humane society. Then we focused on why the Philippine society is such that the rich gets richer and the poor getting poorer.

We then discussed the different classes in Philippine society, who the enemies of the people are, and how the proletariat, the peasants, and other progressive classes and sectors can free the country from foreign domination, Landlordism and backward agricultural system and relations, and the systemic graft and corruption in the government. Andres at 9 years old understand that it is US policies that keeps our country abnormal and our people poor and not his American cousins who sends him Hotwheels and toys and most of his branded clothing apparel.

With his wild imagination, it is interesting that he always include the marginalized in his plans, in his dreams, and storylines. He even wrote a comic strip reminding me of class struggle, between the rich and the poor, which, the rich eventually won due to their high powered weapons. I think we should next discuss the idea of Sama-samang pagkilos, mass base building, and the protracted peoples war.

But in the meantime, his favorite song right now is Travis McCoy's "Billionaire" featuring Bruno Mars.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nanay was a rolling stone

I put my hands down to Thelma for being so level-headed castigating me for over the top reactions whenever Paco and Ponso would do their shit in the evening pogoing on the bed or just plain shouting their lungs out for being so happy at night when they are supposed to be putting themselves to sleep. I already asked for Ponso and Paco's understanding and forgiveness for my freak out reactions and I guess they accepted it wholeheartedly.

"There is a way of proceeding in keeping the bedroom calm," said Thelma in a half smile, sagely, mindful buddhist manner. "Make Paco comfortable by cleaning him up then give him his precious milk bottle, turn off the lights, and lie down beside him." And so it was that the Way seemed to be working for her. When Ponso ran inside the bathroom for his turn to clean-up and produce some racket splashing water all over and playing soap, she calmly called Ponso's attention to keep his noise down paying attention to her calm tone and demeanor in reminding him. Then Ponso ran outside and asked for his milk then ran inside then started jumping on the bed while Paco and Thelma were trying to reach sleepyland through her way of proceeding. Ponso and his "i-do-not-hear-anything-i just-want-to-do-my-thing-before-bedtime" shit went on with his show and got the semi-zombie Paco jump into action and started rolling in bed, shouting, and spraying his half-filled milkbottle.

No amount of Thelma's meditation and the way of calm can challenge the Pogo. She rolled out of the bed freaking out and searched her phone to call the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and find out if there is an existing law against corporal punishment. I was watching TV with Andres and reminded her that there is no CWC 24 hr. Hotline and that she better try Bantay Bata 168 or 166 whatever for her inquiries. Her rolling reminded me of the groove roll of papa was a rolling stone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Evening Mayhem

For the past two weeks, Ponso and Paco always get into my nerves every night for doing the Pogo on the bed. Paco normally would be in bed drinking milk by 8:00 pm then Ponso will run inside the room and will dare Paco to jump up and down the bed shouting gleefully like in a peyote induced state. They only stop when I bring Ponso out of the room and Paco recovers his calm and continues to lull himself to sleep. It is bedroom anarchy bordering on madness. They do not fucking listen. I beg, shout, then helplessly just watch the two of them bounce up and down. Its tiring all right that while I remind myself that they are only young once, I also think of the bed springs that get altered because of their pogo jumping, and the mayhem that transpire every evening. The evening scenes remind me of this Madness song Baggy Trousers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Alternadad : Neal Pollack

I Never thought Neal Pollack writes shit about parenting after reading Never Mind the Pollacks. It was a hell of a read stumbling dazed across decades of rock and roll from Elvis to Joan Baez to Bob Dylan to Sex Pistols to Iggy Pop before he became Iggy Pop to Lou Reed before Velvet Underground to REM's Stipes to Kurt Cobain with Neal Pollack at the center of the rock and roll universe. And I was freaked thinking it was a real honest to goodness rock and roll book until realizing that I am taking the piss for actually believing everything as gospel truth, until learning that it is, actually, the gospel truth.

Neal Pollack's character was sincerely crazy and moribund that added more to the glitz and glam of being with the rock stars as a self professed rock critic. The book was fast and vicious without any soft spot for any change of heart shitiness and ended without any remorse for whatever happened or transpired in his life. It is rock and roll, it is.

I cannot wait to check out his book Alternadad and his take on parenting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ponso is 4 years old!

Its been more than three months since Ponso celebrated his 4th birthday last June 1, 2010 at the Coconut House in Quezon Memorial Circle with his close friends and relatives but I only got to post this just now because I just got the digital camera we borrowed during his birthday because ours was busted and I am again not content to blog a story without a picture, again.

The coconut-themed party (just so because the venue promotes coconut as the greatest next to Muhammad Ali) was great fun as the children ate their coconut-inspired food (i.e. integrating coconut ingredients in whatever food they serve) and ran outside with their hand-held wind toy that spins when they run.

It was great exercise running after Paco who ran after his brothers and cousins outside sliding, swinging and jumping in the playground. Ponso said he had fun.

Friday, September 24, 2010

spider fights

Okey, Beyblades has been the rage in our home for the past months with Andres, Ponso, and Paco having their respective spinning tops battling in the green arena bought in Divisoria. An original will cost you a mean 600 pesos (which Andres got as a gift from his grandparents and Tita Hana) or 40 bucks, almost the same looking tops, from the magical Divisoria, depending on your take on IPR laws. I have to admit that I enjoy watching their battles and how they learn the value of sportsmanship. But just last week, as I walk along Commonwealth Avenue, I saw a group of boys huddling and bargaining for something. Then it dawned on me, Spiders! Shit, my memories came back when I would bring my matchbox spider house in school and ask for a spider fight in our school football field.

So I was like god to the sellers and the little boys as I bought 10 pieces of these spiders, excluding the matchbox houses, and shelled out freaking 40 mean bucks! Thats a lot of fucking money. I rushed home and excitedly showed the boys my latest acquisitions. I was not dissapointed seeing their eyes light up and jumped up and down, up and down shouting to the high heavens for a spider fight. Even Paco was wildly grabbing the stick arena hoping to crush the tiny fighting spiders with his bare hands.

The spiders from Masbate are priced from P2.00 - P10.00 depending on the size, the weight, and the ass width. I felt like a big time spender wasting my hard earned cash on these web shooting fat-assed spiders. For P50.00, you are in for culture, tradition, and fast-paced web wielding butt kicking action.

Ponso felt brave letting the spider walk all over him. Paco wants to crush them, and Andres thinks they are like Beyblades. I cannot wait for our next Spider Fight session.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Fair Blast

September 19, 2010 was the last day of the Philippine International Books Fair at the SMX and we arrived just in the nick of time just before it closed its doors to the public. Andres, Ponso, and Paco did not lose time losing themselves in the crowd. Their Tita Hana went with Paco while I stuck with Andres and Ponso. Being around books gives that vibrant feeling of being surrounded with knowledge. It was interesting to see people with different interests bumping into each other to get to their preferred bookstalls. I got a five peso children’s book. So cheap, and is written in Tamil. But the pictures will suffice. For five pesos, the price of two sticks of Marlboro cigarettes bought from a takatak boy, you get a full color Tamil script book. Where can you get a five heaping cheap peso book written in Tamil?

(Clockwise from top: Ambeth Ocampo, Andres, Paco, Ponso)

We also got the chance to see Prof. Ambeth Ocampo, the noted historian and newspaper columnist, at Anvil's booth for his book signing. He gladly obliged when I requested him to pose for a picture with Andres and Ponso. Then I saw Paco streaking towards them and so politely asked Ambeth Ocampo again for another photo shoot. I guess the two boys still don’t know the impact of this picture for their posterity as Paco wiggled his way out of the frame while Ponso stared out in the distance.

It’s always a blast (head blast for the migraine, my nuts blasted for running after the boys, voice blasted for calling out their names) going to the annual bookfair with three boys running amuck in the exhibit area.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Among God's Servants

(picture taken 2010)

There was an activity at the UST and Paco was loitering inside a room when he chanced upon two priests who, we came to know, happens to be a Bishop and the other, the Spokesman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Most Rev. Joel Z. Baylon, DD and Msgr. Pedro Quitorio gamely posed with Paco after playing with him. May they rub their goodness and selfless service to the people on Paco. Amen.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Knights of the Altar

It has been his lifelong dream to be one of the Knights of the Altar (KoA). Andres tried to be a part of it last year but was turned down due to his grade level and being a non-communicant. After his First Communion, he planned and plotted, prayed day and night, to become one. His dream came into fruition when he was chosen to be a KoA member in Grade 3 and had his investiture last September 5, 2010 at the Big Chapel of Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong City.

Rev. Fr. Dranz Nolasco, SDB, DBTC Grade School Pastoral Affairs Head, said that 97% of Salesian Priests and Brothers in the Philippines started as a KoA in their early years. Uh-oh.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quoting Aga

While Im still at it, that is, in Philippine showbusiness mode, I came across an article while reading those free tabloids in the train about the former matinee idol and award winning actor Aga Muhlach.

AGA Muhlach explains why he said no to the noontime show slot once held by Willie Revillame. “It has been offered to me. I don’t think I can handle that. I can wake up early, but to do it every day would be too draining. It’s like your entire life would revolve around that show. I wouldn’t want to sacrifice my time for my wife and kids.

Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 28, 2010

Very admirable trait from a famous actor.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Heart Robin-Mariel

Last Saturday, while inside a hotel room looking after Paco, I saw a snippet of entertainment news showing Robin Padilla stating his love for Mariel Rodriguez. It gave me that light feeling of becoming a fan for their love team. No shit. I am officially a Robin – Mariel tandem fan (after surfing the net to check out their history like former wowowee clips and that fateful Robin statement). Robin gave her a ring and she showed it and wore it on public television.

So I patiently waited for Sunday for all the showbiz shit to air on tv and excited to check the latest and complete story behind my favorite love team. So there was Boy Abunda on late afternoon with KC and Charlene and that Robin-Mariel interview. So Mariel interviewed Robin why he gave her a ring (a stupid question, but it somehow fitted in the whole context of their love team, or is it for real?) Then Paco started speaking in tongues. First slowly and quietly then becoming louder until it reached fever pitch with matching jerky body language as I carry him, just in time when the essentials of the interview was unraveling and Robin coyly saying that he loves Mariel in public. Fucking all I understood, or saw before the scene closed was Mariel crying beautifully while Robin hands her a tissue, or a napkin, or a toilet paper. Shit.


Andres was left alone in the house for a good twenty minutes while Thelma went out for some errands and I picked up Ponso and Paco at their grandparents’ house. We all arrived together seeing Andres sitting in front of the television, all alone. 4-year old Ponso asked him, “Manong, sino kasama mo, si God?” (Manong, who are you with, God?)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Coast to coast

A typhoon hit Manila in the late evening that caused a midweek holiday due to widespread blackout that we maximized to the hilt.

We hit the metro coast to coast checking out the huge waves at the Manila Bay walking beside the seawall and enjoyed the sea water drenching our clothes. The strong wind blowing from the open seas cleared out our lungs and gave us that refreshing beach-y feeling in the middle of Metro Manila. There were amateur photographers waiting for Andres and Ponso’s reactions to the waves for that perfect shot making me smile. We ate junk food while in the area.

From the seawalls, we went to Silahis Arts Gallery in Intramuros. It is a curio shop of sort with books and paintings and sculptures and shit. It is one of our favorite stores in Intramuros because it is like a museum. There are huge Maranao drums, reprints of old Manila pictures, a painting of HR Ocampo worth P250,000, and collector item books for 35 pesos per piece. Outside the shop is the Ilustrado Restaurant with its wide garden where Andres, Ponso, and Paco ran and explored its nooks and crannies.

We then went to Robinsons’ Otis for our grocery while the boys rode arcade rides then a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant before heading home. There was still no electric power when we arrived so we again hopped in the car and headed to UP for another outdoor trip. Andres and Ponso ran around the UP Oval with their Tita Hana while Thelma and I with the sleeping Paco searched for a BBQ stall published in the newspaper as a must taste in UP. Yes, we found it with a long line of people from all walks of life trying that must taste meat and innards on a stick.

We bought two of each kind and it did not meet our expectation. I guess it’s just a UP thing. I’ve heard of people romanticizing even the fish and squid balls inside the UP Campus proclaiming to high heavens that it is the best shit in the world, or maybe, it’s just a UP thing.

Then we checked out Ayala Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue. It looked Techno alright with big techno looking light balls encircling the techno fountain and with lights, different colored lights exploding. Even the typical Kebab tasted techno. We enjoyed it just the same as every new experience should always be appreciated.

After that Technohub experience, we went home in techno-less fashion with darkness still enveloping our neighborhood. Andres said that the stars are clearer without the electric lamp posts.

Friday, July 2, 2010

June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010. Inauguration Day of Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines. It was a good holiday with all of us going to the wet market to buy good sirloin beef for a beefsteak lunch then to Jollibee for some junk food bingeing in the morning. A couple of hot chocolate splatter, running around the restaurant, some normal stuff for Paco, Andres, and Ponso to dirty up themselves. We even planned to ride the train to Divisoria but the 9:51 am trip was cancelled as it was a holiday. So we just proceeded to a community supermarket to hang out and check out books and the arcade and the grocery and shit.

We were home just in time to watch Kris Aquino’s brother take his oath and it was 11:35 when Ponso decided to take a dump that took him some 10 minutes before calling out for a wash out. It was 11:50 and I was wiping Ponso’s sorry ass as Noynoy Aquino raised his right hand pledging his commitment to serve the Filipino people. The oath was finished in a flash as Ponso’s poop flushed down the toilet.

Was it merely a coincidence or a portent of things to come?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Video Star Andres

Andres with his fellow Junior Museum Guides of the Jorge Vargas Museum in a promotional video for the Junior Museum Guide Workshop.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Message in a (milk) Bottle

I just had my fake IPOD in working condition again. As I cleaned Ponso and Paco’s milk bottles while looking after Paco as he takes his bath, Matisyahu’s Message in a Bottle version played and it made me stop and ponder the meaning of cleaning milk bottles regularly for the past 10 years.

I always look at it as a mundane chore that nobody will do but me, like a dead end, no choice predicament that in times of weariness; make me curse life in general. It is sad. Then it struck me, there are millions of people out there in this earth doing the same thing. I smiled, then started scrubbing again as the newly bathed Paco ran towards the compost pot and dug it like a miner who struck oil. So much for the message, but the dirty milk bottles remains.

Serious Train Hobos

We did it! Andres, Ponso and I hit the PNR railways from end to end. We hopped on the 9:15 am train in Espana Station toward Alabang then rode again all the way to Tutuban. We reached Alabang around 10:00 am then arrived at Tutuban at 11:00 am. It was educational as Andres brought his map and we checked where the train passed. Train was cool in spite of the sweltering heat outside. We enjoyed the view, the urban decay as we listened to Nobody Nobody but You by the Wonder Girls for like 10x during the duration of the train trip.

We had our packed food (Luncheon Meat and Eggs courtesy of Thelma) and ate it at the Tutuban PNR Canteen as we sipped our refreshing cool Coke as a treat for our historic trip. We even went to 168 but did not buy anything. We just looked at the Chinese merchants and imagined we are in Beijing.

Ponso suggested that we bring Paco along in our next trip. His recommendation was noted by the group.

Fridays are for Climbing

Every Friday, Hana would bring Andres and Ponso to Power-up for their weekly climb. Last time, we drove with Paco and it was plain fun seeing Paco enjoy the place running around with his brothers notwithstanding the oven-like heat inside the gym. Andres did his usual traverse routine while Ponso did his usual routine of consistently bugging the climbers doing bouldering with his questions and antics.

Going home was challenging as the three boys sat in the backseat while I drove. Ponso was like the energizer bunny tumbling inside the car and it was a good thing Andres handled Paco responsibly well. Halfway home, Paco was already asleep sitting down at the back with Andres while Ponso whined not having a milk bottle at hand. The drive home was a success. It can be done after all.

Bowling in the Summertime

Andres and Ponso are becoming bowling addicts. They have played twice in a span of one week and are still raring to throw away hard earned precious pesos for 10 frames of, as Ponso would say it, “Great FUN!” First time, they played five games using a six pound bowling ball in a bumper bowling lane that gives them the joy of not throwing the ball into the gutter. They throw the ball ala Jason Belmonte, a Pro bowler from Australia who we watch on ESPN deliver a two handed mean hook that is indeed impressive, mainly due to his very unorthodox style.

We brought drinks to lessen our expenses but bowling centers now do not allow it. It must be the economic crunch seeping into the bowling business that made them instill that shitty policy. How can one limit a person to bring water inside a sport arena? Sports = drink plenty of water. Them capitalist shits! May they rot in hell! But it did not affect Andres and Ponso’s energy to throw those mean spares and strikes. Andres is already haggling if he can spend his hard earned money from his recent birthday to splurge on his bowling games.

We all went home happy and, well, dehydrated.

Of Jeepney Rides and Golf Fairways

Andres and Ponso always look forward to hang out in their cousin Hallel’s place to play Nintendo Wii (some TV video game) and PSP. It is from these games that they became familiar with Golf and Bowling. They came to learn golf terms like bunker, driver, putter, and other golf shits that I do not even give a damn.

We recently went to a Manila mall by commute to meet up with Thelma who has a bowling tournament herself at Paeng’s Midtown Bowl. On the way, we passed by Intramuros Golf Course and while I haggled with the jeepney driver if he can give us a discount due to our lack of spare coins, Ponso suddenly jumped and shouted “there’s the bunker! How come it has no sand? It is near the green! I want to play Golf! Golf! I have a putter and a driver at home! Let us play Tatay! (They are, by the way, plastic toy golf clubs bought in Divisoria).” It was very ironic as I plead a one peso discount while Ponso was shouting golf terms sounding like a rich brat who wants his cake and eat it too. Andres was covering his face while asking Ponso to shut up while I tried my best to calm him down and ignore his shouts.

Summer 2010 Weekday Schedule

This is the normal routine when we do not have anything planned in the morning.

6:00 - Wake up

6:30 - Try to cook breakfast (that is if Thelma would request it, if not, then nada)

7:00 - Smile back at Paco as he run out from the bedroom smiling after his sleep

7:30 - Play with Paco, change his diaper, feed him milk

8:00 - Greet Andres as he wakes up and ask his breakfast request (normally, there is none, so I cook     hotdog and prepare his milk)

9:00 - Greet Ponso a good morning as he wakes up

9:15 - Prepare Ponso’s milk

10:00 - Prepare Paco’s Bath as Andres and Ponso watches TV or play computer games

10:30 - Do cleaning chores (laundry, wash dishes, milk bottles) as I watch Paco bathe

11:30 - Ponso and Andres takes over the bath place while Paco prepares to sleep

12:00 - Shouts at Andres and Ponso to keep quiet while they play while bathing as Paco sleeps

1:00 - Eats lunch with Andres and Ponso and try to listen attentively and animatedly as they discuss Ben Ten  and Mario Party Game

2:00 - Ignore Andres and Ponso as they demand that we go somewhere in the afternoon while I try to lie down beside the sleeping Paco.

2:15 - Prepare Paco’s milk while Ponso and Andres fight over TV programs.

2:30 - I do not remember anymore and I just go through the motion of chores and shouts and threats and hugs and kisses and laughs with Andres, Ponso and Paco while praying that I survive until Thelma arrives home or we go pick her up at school.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Pizza Birthday!

Pizza never fails to make Andres’ heart flutter. He can eat it everyday for the rest of his life. So for his 9th birthday last April 24, 2010, it was a pizza party with his cousins at Lola Sylvia’s place. A huge pizza the size of the moon served as the food centerpiece that elicited delight and smile from guests.

Andres stressed that he does not want any sissy party games so there never was, but a “Pabitin” courtesy of Tita Margarita was set-up for the children to enjoy. And enjoy they did as they ran around and played endlessly devouring their pizzas and pasta and chicken and coke.

It was a pizza perfect party for Andres. He said he was very happy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Trainspotting

It’s the Holy Week and it sure was holy for Andres, Ponso, and I as a Trinity who crisscrossed the metropolis via the rail tracks.

Holy Tuesday afternoon, we walked along the rail tracks as Andres and Ponso tried to imitate train sound and movements while discussing the possible reasons for the animal carcasses scattered along the tracks. We then hopped on the 3:15 pm Philippine National Railway (PNR) train from Espana Station and took a short trip to Tutuban Divisoria to check what it has to offer after displacing tens of thousands of families for the sake of “development”. We paid 10 pesos each for the ride and saw chopped, literally chopped houses to give way to the 30 meter distance requirement set by the PNR for “train modernization” purposes. It was efficient, cool, and comfortable for the commuters and I guess the comprador big bourgeoisies and their bureaucrat capitalist cohorts are grinning from ear to ear after kicking the urban poor communities along the rail tracks to speed up the uneven trade from the pier to different parts of the country. Anyway, before I start ranting about the export oriented, import dependent nature of the Philippine economy that contributes to the chronic crisis due to its semi-colonial and semi-feudal set-up, I have to admit that we actually enjoyed that short trip and even hanged out at the PNR station while drinking Coke looking at the old train pictures and even checked out the old steam trains on display.

While we were at it, we went around Tutuban to check out China made toys and got Ponso a pair of plastic golf clubs. We moved with the Divisoria crowd and rode a jeep home. It was tiring but we already have plans for our next train trip going south.

Holy Wednesday, we checked out Recto Avenue for some computer game CDs then ate at a burger joint before riding the LRT 1 train along Rizal Avenue up to Balintawak Station. It was a breeze as we speed right through the newly built terminal that would connect LRT 1 to MRT 3 along EDSA. It was crazy as Ponso raved on the big Chinese cemetery mausoleums between R. Papa and Abad Santos stations while a mother beside us was freaking while she held her young son having a seizure. Andres was quiet all the while observing the LRT goings on. While Ponso, well, he rattled on and on with his loud voice about the cemetery and the mausoleums while someone was having a seizure.

We then walked all the way to Balintawak Market and took a “barumbadong bus” all the way to the MRT station, then hopped on the train again to Shaw Station. There we picked up Paco at the Gymboree in Shangri-la Plaza with Tita Hana after bumming around for sometime looking at art works and listened to an art consultant discuss the joy of having a Manny Baldemor painting.

It was crazy commuting with Paco and Ponso as we struggled inside the FX taxi while Ponso slept and Paco fidgeted in the tight taxi space. Good thing Andres went with Hana to the climbing gym. Thelma and I even have to travel to pick up Andres and even got a hard time fixing a fucking flat tire. But it was still definitely a good day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sport climbing

Ponso trying to do a Chris Sharma move at the Power Up gym climbing wall.

Andres starting his traverse across the climbing wall.

Pictures taken on March 5, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

floating reality

It must be the lifestyle adjustment.

I am a bit floating with the coming summer vacation just around the corner. And it is a bit scary, I have to admit. I am not used to the joys of life’s responsibilities that requires more of my time for others. Dealing with the three boys, for one, and doing mundane daily chores that I do not want to treat as a burden, but as life as it is.

I am a bit floating walking restlessly in the streets trying to regain back my former carefree life even for a fleeting moment (and I am sitting here in a bar I frequent years back when I was not minding responsibilities and shit). I am not even sad, just floating restlessly.

I do not question the responsibilities that go hand in hand with parenting and the joys and the pains that go with this reality. It’s the present situation and reality and how I should accept and face it that I am questioning, I think.

Friday, February 26, 2010

U2esque Head to Toes

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rotating Infection

It was a lethargic week for us as we fell prey to the deadly unseen killers that float around us waiting for that instance when one gets his body defenses down. It is the Rotavirus.

Seen under the microscope, it is wheel-like in appearance, thus the name 'rota.'

It first infected Paco when he started to vomit after every feeding time and was followed by watery diarrhea. It was a fucking messy sickness as he pooped and barfed everywhere in the house. While Paco was recovering (hoping that it would be gone in two days), Ponso went down with the same infection as he barfed all around the area then just lied down and stared at the distance, dehydration setting in. He then continued barfing then watery diarrhea that made him wear diapers again to prevent him from soiling himself.

Ponso looked pitiful as he lay there in bed for three days not eating anything, just staring in space waiting for the virus to leave his body. It was only on the fourth day that he was relatively back to his own self  jumping and shouting and starting to irritate me again, but only after losing weight.  Paco still has his barfing fits but he is back to his old young self walking and causing havoc around the house.

It was then my turn when I experienced stomach spasm, then that watery diarrhea, then a slight fever. Its the third day and I still have the aftershocks. shesh. Good thing the two boys are recovering well.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Unedited version (including the typos) of Andres' first work of poetry.


Andres Gabriel S. Maraña

Addition is like a book
you can lern about it

Addition is like a Teacher
she can tech you about it

Addition is esay
but for others are not

Addition is like a friend
that you'l never forget

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rockabilly Three

Picture taken January 16, 2010 in an office somewhere inside the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

At Home

It is only now that I am able to face the computer again and recollect my thoughts after three days of hanging out with the boys as my father lingered in the hospital due to some sickness that somehow turned my ran over daily routine into a life learning experience.

Staying at Home

Two whole days being with Ponso and Paco (Andres is in school) changed my way of appreciating people who give their full time taking care of children. Ponso and Paco are hurricanes as they run around trying to pick on everything anytime anywhere inside the house, except when they were asleep. Paco would have his morning nap at around 10:00 a.m. and Ponso would play Plants vs Zombies from 10:30 to 12:00 nn.

Then we eat whatever is available in the house then watch cartoons on television. They take a warm bath at 2:00 pm then sleep until 5:00 pm. Then they do their staple wrecking ways as I just sit and wonder what is happening outside the world, then realizing and smiling that being with them is actually the world, nothing else, at that precise moment. Ponso was sick for the past four days and had to take antibiotics. There was a time he gave me a hard time that merited Paco to sneak inside the bathroom and stir the toilet bowl water with his left hand impishly smiling as I ran shouting invectives at the world while I grab him for a thorough hand scrubbing, then seeing Ponso barfing in the living room because of too much running in circles after drinking the medicine and milk. Shit. It’s a sid vicious cycle of cleaning, puking, swearing (by me), and actually, laughing at what’s going on, observing myself and the two boys as we go through a day in a life.

Swearing the swear word

Ponso does the pogo whenever he is on top of the bed and I was about to shout to prevent him from doing the pogo when I heard him saying some words repeatedly like a machine gun pop and it sounded so much like the fucking Filipino swear word. I have to stop swearing in front of the children. I have to control myself even if they are spilling shit all over the place, or when Paco is slowly sneaking on Ponso ready to strike with his heavy milk can or small matchbox cars, whatever is available, to cause pain and reaction from his older brother. Fuck it, I quit right this moment.

More than Empathy

Seeing Ponso in a weak moment and not in his usual composure melted my heart. I can safely say that most, if not all fathers and mothers in this world, would rather get sick and carry the burden rather than their sons or daughters. Ponso can sure always give me the piss with his shitty crazy ways but him seeing all weak and vulnerable due to some viral infection made me real sad and helpless even with those antibiotic dosages. Children do not deserve to get sick, they just have to get tired and sleep because of heavy playing, and not sleep due to sickness.

Hugs and Kisses

They may be small crazy boys but they really do need hugs and kisses. They love it. They might punch or kick out of a hug but it is just for show. It was fun telling Ponso to watch Paco as he dance to an MTV and correcting me that his baby brother was actually dodging, and not dancing. It’s a boxing move he learned from Wii while doing it as he punches in the air. That wit surely deserves a hug and a kiss.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Plants vs Zombies part 2

Ponso made me laugh out loud yesterday as we rolled through the grocery aisle checking out real food for our week's food supply. He was sitting in the grocery cart calmly when he started to freak out and shouted "there's jalapeno! Jalapeno!" And I said "what the..." then laughed remembering jalapeno's fire power to blaze them marching zombies to oblivion. Then he pointed out Garlic! then squash! while shouting out their names like it was him who has the sole patent right to name these vegetables (who are prime operators in the plant vs zombies wars.)

Next he was on a lookout for "Cherrybombs" but there was no fresh cherries so we checked out the aisle and found bottled maraschino cherries. Cherry bombs!

He was however unconvinced that it was shrooms I was holding due to its texture and dried, pathetic look. So we prowled again and saw mushrooms, mushroom picture in a can. There were no wall-nuts but the local peanut variety readily made up his complete cast to defeat his zombies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

plants vs zombies

It was Ponso who first raised the level of zombie appreciation in our home when he got hooked in the computer game Plants vs. Zombies in Thelma’s office one time. He has this focused fixation to defeat the zombies using different plants that could either spit peas, explode like landmines, and do other tricks to beat the shit out of the zombies who are hell bent to eat your brains out.

The zombies look adorable and whimsically cute as they try to eat you while you plan your lay-out in your garden or backyard or roof (depending on your level) to fortify your defenses and collect suns and coins for bonuses and purchases of equipments for zombie extermination.

We also watched Zombieland and had a few laughs and fun seeing the walking dead invite humans to join their posse by goring their mortal brains off.

It was when we got a copy of the computer game that zombie love reached a new high in our home with Andres and Ponso making them stars in their story world with an all star cast of zombies as defined and described by the computer game. They know the different types of zombies by heart and embrace the different zombie capabilities and strengths like their own. Ponso would shout “Michael Jackson!” whenever the dancing zombie would come out and raise its back-up dancers from the abyss of limbo. Andres is motivated to finish his school assignments earlier to get that chance to bludgeon the zombie imps and reach the dreaded Dr. Zomboss who, I think, is the overlord of the zombie world. They imitate the zombie walk and how the plants blow their pea missiles.

I am at level 4 of 6 at the moment and is still struggling to get the right combination of plant purchases for that balanced defense needed to stay in the game. We cheer each other as we blow zombies to damnation while Thelma tends the backyard hoping that the praying and water plants survive the projected el niño phenomenon that will hit the country starting this summer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

- Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, January 2, 2010

bloodied but unbowed

It was a full day as we prepared to attend a party in the late afternoon with the three boys in tow. They had the whole of morning and lunch to do their stuff at home wrecking and putting things in disarray. But Ponso went a bit far as he doubled his effort to cause chaos in the different spots of our humble home in the guise of “clean fun.”

The three boys did not sleep the whole time that might have caused that extra surge of their energy like a battery before it dies out or a bulb before it poof its way into oblivion. Anyway, there they were, three little bastards running around doing their own rowdy antics and we have to prepare for the party. Ponso, as stated earlier, was already showing signs of restlessness not listening to orders. Hell do I campaign for a law against corporal punishment but my experiences with the boys sure gives me second thoughts on my stand on the issue. He was reprimanded and was asked to stand in the corner. To no avail, he was then dealt differently with a gentler approach of just asking him to sit on their inflatable red elephant and watch the telly with Andres.

Five minutes and he was a goner sleeping with his Invictus-like posture of a “bloodied but unbowed” red elephant conqueror slumped dignified in front of Spongebob Squarepants trying to put one over Patrick Starr.