Archive for  October 2008

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It was another tough day for me.  Teys had to beat her project deadlines.  I had to do both domestic and career work at home.  I had to wash the clothes, cook lunch and clean up.  All this in between preparing a project budget!  I would work on a line item then move on to cleaning under the TV furniture.  I would then work on another line item then cook salmon steaks.  Tough job…but worth it!

My hope is that my kids would remember a true partnership between their Mom and Dad in homemaking.  Men may have problems with domestic work because it may seem un-macho. If, however, we are to base our life with the life of Christ, He called for leaders to be servants.  Thus by being a servant to my home, I end up providing the leadership needed by my family.

To all Dad’s like me…Way to go Mr. Mom!

Coffee Break ver 1.41

A night with best buddies would somehow start with how things were.  I recently was with an old college buddy in a church meeting.  After the spiritual stuff, we started telling others how each of us were.  (He was walking around campus stoned while I was the spooky religious weird guy. ) The discussion somehow would go towards asking about other friends.   In the end, we would somehow have some discussion about future aspirations or frustrations.

There would be some variation on the duration on each of the stages mentioned.  This would really vary with the frequency of contact and the personal dynamic or gender of each participant.   In some recent discussions with a couple close to us, we would tackle more about assessing present realities and opportunities to make a transformational impact to society (DEEP!!! Taga-UP kasi yung babae).

In the end it will definitely be a session with a renewing effect.  The support of friends is really essential to human performance.  I guess that’s what friends are for.

In this day & age, gone are the days of long processes.  The new generation has, at its fingertips, remote controls, instant drinks, ATM cards, and microwave dinners.  Senior citizens are not spared.  Espresso machines are on hand for instant coffee, in sophisticated array.  I used to think this was destructive to the emotional fibre of humans today, because we, somehow, lose the intrinsic value of churning things the good, old-fashioned way.  Happily, there are more benefits than disadvantages.  We are witnessing today, a happy blend of what the old has to offer, with the speed and technology of the new.  Amidst a highly-technological society, there is room to preserve the old, and build upon it, using the new.  It is, in truth, a win-win situation.  We are the better for it.

My kids are 9 & 5 years old.  A boy & a girl, respectively.  I shudder at the thought that, in a few years time, they will enter the proverbial difficult teen years.  Friends talk about perennial communication challenges, streaks of independence, raised eyebrows over their choice of friends, over and above the mundane concerns like chores, allowances, and the search for the right acne treatment.  The list goes on.

Still and all, the rewards of parenting become fuller, richer, and complete as one goes through the full circle of ups & downs.  One sits back, perhaps tired, and yet appreciative of the lives that come to our home folds for a few years.  Later on, only the memories of the true, the good, and the beautiful stay in our hearts.

IIts official. I’m now a legit user to this site.  Teys has been quite engaged in various projects such as those for The Daily Scrapper. So she asked me to write here more often.

Last Sunday, the family went to the office of “Ministries without Borders” in Gen. Trias, Cavite. Having lived in Trece Martires before, we took the Tagaytay route from Sta. Rosa then the Tagaytay-Amadeo road. We thought the place was close to the town proper.  When we couldn’t find the building, we rendezvoused with a friend and followed them through the Tierra Nevada road.

When we got to the mission house, we were pleasantly surprised to find an excellently built facility in the middle of rice fields.  The orientation of the buildings allowed for daylighting without heat coming in.  High ceilings allowed for heat to dissipate in the interior.  The look and feel was minimalist and functional, yet grand in everyway.  As we got to meet our hosts and the other occupants of the house, we find that this organization is predominantly Norwegian. That explains the IKEA-ish feel to the place.

After lunch, we got a tour of the facility.  We went to their maternity clinic which was cleaner than what you typically see in our hospital wards.  We went to the children’s area where they take care of infants, toddlers and young kids referred to by the Social Welfare Dept. Here you find little folks in clean, new crib bedding. It was an emotional experience for us as we  felt the kids respond when we carried them. Our son even carried a baby in his arms while sitting down.

At the end of the day, we had an encouraging experience seeing these foreigners taking care of the poor citizenry of our country.  The organization also works with the Mangyans of Mindoro and with communities in Mindanao.  You can check their website at www.ministrieswithoutbordersphil.com for any involvement opportunties.

Rean

When we got home from our vacation lastweek, we found that our wlan router was having some access activity! So DH works on the router’s set-up to include a WEP key (yep, its an old router using WEP).  While he was at it, he began working on file sharing capabilities between our computers.  Prevously, I was already bugging him to set up capability for me to control my workstation from his laptop.  I didn’t realize I was asking for KVM capabilities.  Anyway, by setting up permissions on my workstation, we were able to access my files from his laptop.  In the process, we discovered picture quality differences when I opened my files in his Ubuntu “Hardy Heron” machine. With this new capability, I can now do some work in the bedroom rather than stay late in our living room.  Thank God for my geek DH!

Two months ago, our car was hit in front of our house. It appears that the guilty party was making a turn but somehow didn’t see our black Optra.  If it had a bright colored car cover, the probability of it being hit may have been lower.  What really irks me is that the perpetuator didn’t own up to his/her responsibility.

Our car was due to be back last Saturday, just as we were coming back from our vacation.  When DH called the shop last Friday, he was told that the door repair didn’t do well so they have to replace the doors.  The latest commitment is for Thursday.  Oh bummer! I just hope the new doors  look good.

coffee break ver. 1.39

I’ll be Teys’ guest blogger today as my dear wife is quite “beat up” by our road trip throughout eastern Panay.  Recently, the news has been filled with the executive clemency given to Claudio Teehankee Jr.  Mr Teehankee was convicted for the murder of Maureen Hultmann and a companion in the early 90’s.   It was a brutal murder when 2 kids who were going home from a party were gunned down by a middle aged man.  One of them survived to tell the tale.  This case  prompted  the restoration of death penalty in the Philippines.

The constitution of our Republic gives the President the authority to give clemency to prisoners.   While she has this legal right, it does not necessarily mean that its exercise would always be morally correct. A key argument for the death penalty can be found in Gen 9 where it states that God requires an accounting for every man’s life shed by another man.  Mr Teehankee morally deserved death but was only given reclusion perpetua.  It is quite insulting to the victim’s family that clemency was given.   Getting a life sentence is like a purchase discount.  Getting a clemency is like robbery!

We do have to consider, however, that the ways of God are much higher than our ways.  While the ancient law of Moses called for the death of adulterers, Jesus prevented the death of an adulterous woman.    In the end, Claudio Teehankee Jr. will be accountable for everything given to him.  If he uses his new freedom to live a life of faith and devotion to God, then he will be favored of God.  We should not forget that we are accountable to God ourselves.  While we are required to hate evil, we are also required not to hate the people who do the evil.  We have to make sure that our attitude is right.

Many people say Jesus’ teaching was softer than that of God’s revelation to Moses.  Is this really true?  Moses said “do not commit adultery”… Jesus said “do not look lustfully”.  Moses said “do not murder”… Jesus said “do not hate”.   The higher standard of Jesus puts us in the same category as Claudio Teehankee Jr.  It just so happened that Mr. Teehankee is perhaps more “honest” than we are?

Is there justice in the Philippines?  There probably is none!  But for justice to be in place, we ourselves have to be just.   Are we fair in our dealings?  Do we condone corruption? We cannot externalize a problem when we are part of it.  What we see are only symptoms of an underlying problem.  There needs to be a radical reformation of the Filipino psyche. We need do go back our ancient concepts of Dangal, Damayan and Bayanihan.  We need to go back to the God of Heaven we worshipped in  our youth. How dare we call ourselves the only “Christian” nation in Asia when we are more corrupt than our neighbors.  Where is the proud and noble race of Lapu-Lapu, Soliman, Kudarat, Bonifacio and Rizal?  Where is the paraiso, these men fought for?  The answers are in our hearts.

REAN

The family has been having a great time in Boracay! The kids would rather swim than eat.  They even forget to do bathroom stuff.  While we were eating at Sea Wind, the resort of DH’s aunt, DD said she needed to go.  How I wished I had diapers in those Ju Ju Be bags.  I had no choice but to clean her up and resume my meal.  DS had similar instances with respect to taking leaks.

I guess swimming in sea or playing in the cool sands for Boracay brings joy to kids of all ages.  Today, DS had the chance to snorkel in a reef off the island with his Dad.  He was reeling with joy for the rest of the day.  Early on, he kept on saying that he wanted to live here.  Who know’s, maybe God will answer his prayer someday.

Days and month’s prior to our going to Boracay, DH would reminisce on his boyhood experiences in the island.  Upon reaching Boracay after 20 years he would say things about how it used to be.  He was sad when he saw the concrete road running in the middle of the island.  He kept looking for the Ati’s forest.  The sight of sprouting houses and buildings, much like Wilmington NC real estate,  intensified his longing for the Boracay of his youth.  Sewer residue under the sand, put grief in his heart. Is this development?  What will Boracay be after another 20 years?

In the 1970’s, Sicogon, Iloilo was the darling of the beach comber. It had a world class resort and was just like Boracay.  The developer, a Marcos crony, defaulted his loan leading to the closure of operations in the island.  DH remembers that people in Boracay were quite determined then to keep the island from being like Sicogon.  They wanted to keep their paradise pristine.  Today, Sicogon is the pristine paradise.     My! How the tables have turned! Where are the Boracaynon’s of old?

Last night, DH and I went swimming in Boracay’s main beach.  I wanted to do some exercise after looking at the young ladies in their bikinis.  Oh my! Is this what 10 years of marriage and two kids can do?  Perhaps I should take weight loss pills.  We then went to the hotel pool to do some more swimming.  I really enjoyed this time being alone with my husband while my kids were watching TV close by. This gave us the chance to recharge and nurture our relationship.  A wonderful time just to be together without worrying about house chores or homeschool.  We so grateful for this wonderful anniversary gift.

 

Today was travel day.  We woke up at 6am ( even though we slept at 4am), dragged our luggage, flew off to Kalibo, Aklan.  We took a Southwest bus headed for Caticlan, Malay.  In Caticlan, we boarded a boat that took us to Boracay.  We finally reached the Boracay Peninsula, a place owned by DH’s aunts and uncle.   After some snacks, DH and I headed for the beach. Hurray!!!

I was captivated by three things.  First was that the horizon, the island and the mainland  forming a circle making the world look “flat”.  Second was an unusual pinkish halo surrounding the crescent moon.  Finally the dusk skyline dotted by sails. I’m finally in  what probably is the best “swim beach” in the world. Thank you Lord for bringing us to Boracay!

Perhaps your thinking of a baywatch scene.  Lots of people facing the Pacific.  Ladies wearing 2 piece swimwear 1 size smaller. Guys lifting weights after their daily dose of prohormones. PCH behind you…No!  Not some beach in Southern CA!  I’m talking about one of the best swim beaches in the world…Boracay! Where the you have soothing calcium sands below your feet instead of hot silicon.  Where you have a gradual increase in depth from the shoreline.  Its like swimming in a swimming pool that extends for miles.  Wow! What a treat for our wedding anniversary!