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.