Not a Baby Anymore

JS Prom Photos, 4th year HS and 3rd year HS.

As she whines about her recent JS Prom photo, I cannot help recall the times when she was just but a small kid who likes to complain. Even when she was still very young, about four to five, she has that strong character of articulating what she feels.

I will never tire of appreciating how she had grown to be – assertive, strong-willed to the point of being stubborn, independent, and always tries to be on top of everything she does.

And sometimes I am afraid. Afraid for her – of being hurt, of being rejected, of being crossed, and of being treated with indifference, I get so petrified that sometimes I overdo the role as a mother.

She is not a baby anymore. A budding young woman with many dreams, she aspires to get a nice job someday and to bring Papsie to the US. And guess what she wants to spend her first earnings for? A dog. Yes, a dog to which her grandmother rebuked by telling her to buy a house first before the dog.

Not a Baby Anymore

JS Prom Photos, 4th year HS and 3rd year HS.

As she whines about her recent JS Prom photo, I cannot help recall the times when she was just but a small kid who likes to complain. Even when she was still very young, about four to five, she has that strong character of articulating what she feels.

I will never tire of appreciating how she had grown to be – assertive, strong-willed to the point of being stubborn, independent, and always tries to be on top of everything she does.

And sometimes I am afraid. Afraid for her – of being hurt, of being rejected, of being crossed, and of being treated with indifference, I get so petrified that sometimes I overdo the role as a mother.

She is not a baby anymore. A budding young woman with many dreams, she aspires to get a nice job someday and to bring Papsie to the US. And guess what she wants to spend her first earnings for? A dog. Yes, a dog to which her grandmother rebuked by telling her to buy a house first before the dog.

Tampo

Noong isang araw, nagtampo na ako sa ‘yo. Ngayon nagtatampo na naman.Me dahilan ba ako na magtampo? Sa palagay ko, meron naman.

Ang unang tampo ko: Gutum na gutom ako pagdating sa office noong isang araw. Pagdating sa kantina, wala akong nagustuhang pagkain. Bigla ko tuloy naisip na kung ipinaghahanda mo ako ng almusal, wala sigurong problema. Mabibilang ko kasi ang mga sandali na ipinaghahanda mo ako ng almusal. E, bakit nga ba ganun? Naisip ko marahil alam mong di ako kumakain nang maaga. Naisip ko rin, alam mong kaya ko kasing gumawa ng paraan sa mga simpleng bagay na ito. Simple nga lang pala ito.

Ang sumunod na tampo: Kahapon, Sabado, halos buong araw akong naglaba. Ngayon ay Linggo, nagbabanlaw pa rin. Ako pa rin ang maghuhugas ng plato kasi kakahiya naman sa dalaginding ko na pinaghugas mo ng katakot-takot na hugasin kaninang umaga. Ang iskedyul niya ay ngayong gabi sana. Inako ko na ang iskedyul niya ngayon. Kaya lang nang hilingin ko sa iyo na imisin ang mesang pinagkainan ipinasa mo na naman sa ating anak. Sobra talaga akong nainis kasi buong araw kang nasa labas para magmahjong o magmiron sa mahjong. Papasok ka lang para magluto ng ulam. Simpleng hiling hindi mo mapagbigyan. Pakiramdam ko e wala kang kagana-gana pag nasa loob ng bahay. At ke sigla-sigla naman pag kasama mo ang iyong mga barkada. At bakit parang di ko naririnig ang reklamo mong masakit na mga kasu-kasuuan pag nasa labas ka? Hindi simple ito kaya di na ako nakapagpigil sa pagsasalita.

Lilipas din naman ang mga tampong ito.

Tampo

Noong isang araw, nagtampo na ako sa ‘yo. Ngayon nagtatampo na naman.Me dahilan ba ako na magtampo? Sa palagay ko, meron naman.

Ang unang tampo ko: Gutum na gutom ako pagdating sa office noong isang araw. Pagdating sa kantina, wala akong nagustuhang pagkain. Bigla ko tuloy naisip na kung ipinaghahanda mo ako ng almusal, wala sigurong problema. Mabibilang ko kasi ang mga sandali na ipinaghahanda mo ako ng almusal. E, bakit nga ba ganun? Naisip ko marahil alam mong di ako kumakain nang maaga. Naisip ko rin, alam mong kaya ko kasing gumawa ng paraan sa mga simpleng bagay na ito. Simple nga lang pala ito.

Ang sumunod na tampo: Kahapon, Sabado, halos buong araw akong naglaba. Ngayon ay Linggo, nagbabanlaw pa rin. Ako pa rin ang maghuhugas ng plato kasi kakahiya naman sa dalaginding ko na pinaghugas mo ng katakot-takot na hugasin kaninang umaga. Ang iskedyul niya ay ngayong gabi sana. Inako ko na ang iskedyul niya ngayon. Kaya lang nang hilingin ko sa iyo na imisin ang mesang pinagkainan ipinasa mo na naman sa ating anak. Sobra talaga akong nainis kasi buong araw kang nasa labas para magmahjong o magmiron sa mahjong. Papasok ka lang para magluto ng ulam. Simpleng hiling hindi mo mapagbigyan. Pakiramdam ko e wala kang kagana-gana pag nasa loob ng bahay. At ke sigla-sigla naman pag kasama mo ang iyong mga barkada. At bakit parang di ko naririnig ang reklamo mong masakit na mga kasu-kasuuan pag nasa labas ka? Hindi simple ito kaya di na ako nakapagpigil sa pagsasalita.

Lilipas din naman ang mga tampong ito.

Mga Pagbabago

Kakatuwa talaga ang mga pagbabago sa bunso ko. Isa sa napansin ko ay ang mga kinakain niya. Hindi kasi siya kumakain ng gulay. Pero ngayon, kumakain na siya kahit di man ganoon karami. At flattered ako kasi karamihan ng kinakain niyang pagkain na may lahok na gulay e luto ko.Isa rin sa pagbabago niya e ang hindi na pagsimangot pag sunud-sunod ang utos ng kanyang lola.

Meron pa rin palang isa, kumakain na siya ng ‘normal’ na lunch pag nasa school: kanin at ulam. Hinto na muna raw ang kanyang pag-iipon. Gusto raw niya ulit kumain ng lunch na kanin at ulam. Siguro kung noon pa niya ginagawa ito, ang taba na niya lalo. Sana huwag mawili at baka lalong tumaba.

Mga Pagbabago

Kakatuwa talaga ang mga pagbabago sa bunso ko. Isa sa napansin ko ay ang mga kinakain niya. Hindi kasi siya kumakain ng gulay. Pero ngayon, kumakain na siya kahit di man ganoon karami. At flattered ako kasi karamihan ng kinakain niyang pagkain na may lahok na gulay e luto ko.Isa rin sa pagbabago niya e ang hindi na pagsimangot pag sunud-sunod ang utos ng kanyang lola.

Meron pa rin palang isa, kumakain na siya ng ‘normal’ na lunch pag nasa school: kanin at ulam. Hinto na muna raw ang kanyang pag-iipon. Gusto raw niya ulit kumain ng lunch na kanin at ulam. Siguro kung noon pa niya ginagawa ito, ang taba na niya lalo. Sana huwag mawili at baka lalong tumaba.

Reminiscence

artwork by Norma Marquez Orozco / work title / 02.Woman walking

Like Will, I like songs that are sad but beautiful. Most of these, for me, are acoustic songs that do not need electronic amplification. I remember one time, as I heard this from my daughter’s collections; I was drawn to a song of Moonstar 88, a local band in the Philippines, that sing songs dramatically and applicably. You will notice that some parts are repeated often making it easier for the listeners to remember them easily. And hey, acoustic songs are those remarkably called folk songs.

I’m Sorry
Moonstar88
I’m on my way
With my roses and box full of sweets
I had it all, memorized the lines in my head
Thinking I’d be winning your smile
Once again

heeey…
But when I saw you
I realized how I am ashamed of myself
My mouth has failed to say the things
I just can’t express
Afraid to say things I might regret

heeey…
Chorus:
What is there to do when
I did something wrong
I didn’t mean to hurt you but it took so long
To say I’m sorry I’m sorry

Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
I’m sorry

Repeat Chorus
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t
Say you won’t
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Reminiscence

artwork by Norma Marquez Orozco / work title / 02.Woman walking

Like Will, I like songs that are sad but beautiful. Most of these, for me, are acoustic songs that do not need electronic amplification. I remember one time, as I heard this from my daughter’s collections; I was drawn to a song of Moonstar 88, a local band in the Philippines, that sing songs dramatically and applicably. You will notice that some parts are repeated often making it easier for the listeners to remember them easily. And hey, acoustic songs are those remarkably called folk songs.

I’m Sorry
Moonstar88
I’m on my way
With my roses and box full of sweets
I had it all, memorized the lines in my head
Thinking I’d be winning your smile
Once again

heeey…
But when I saw you
I realized how I am ashamed of myself
My mouth has failed to say the things
I just can’t express
Afraid to say things I might regret

heeey…
Chorus:
What is there to do when
I did something wrong
I didn’t mean to hurt you but it took so long
To say I’m sorry I’m sorry

Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
I’m sorry

Repeat Chorus
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t
Say you won’t
Say you won’t ever leave me down
Say you won’t ever leave me down
I’m sorry
I’m sorry

Reminiscence

artwork by Norma Marquez Orozco / work title / 02.Woman walking

Like Will, I like songs that are sad but beautiful. Most of these, for me, are acoustic songs that do not need electronic amplification. I remember one time, as I heard this from my daughter’s collections; I was drawn to a song of Moonstar 88, a local band in the Philippines, that sing songs dramatically and applicably. You will notice that some parts are repeated often making it easier for the listeners to remember them easily. And hey, acoustic songs are those remarkably called folk songs.

I’m Sorry

Moonstar88

I’m on my way

With my roses and box full of sweets

I had it all, memorized the lines in my head

Thinking I’d be winning your smile

Once again

heeey…

But when I saw you

I realized how I am ashamed of myself

My mouth has failed to say the things

I just can’t express

Afraid to say things I might regret

heeey…

Chorus:

What is there to do when

I did something wrong

I didn’t mean to hurt you but it took so long

To say I’m sorry I’m sorry

Say you won’t ever leave me down

Say you won’t ever leave me down

Say you won’t ever leave me down

I’m sorry

Repeat Chorus

Say you won’t ever leave me down

Say you won’t

Say you won’t

Say you won’t ever leave me down

Say you won’t ever leave me down

I’m sorry

I’m sorry

The Love of a Father

On the way to work, inside the car, as Papsie and I were talking about things, he mentioned that Kay’s special friend asks for a car as graduation gift. I cried a big “What? A car?!?” And as confirmation, Papsie nodded adding that they can afford it because the parents’ business is doing well.

I could not welcome the idea. A car for a gift is too swell for me – and to be given to my children as a gift. Even if I had zillions of money, it would not cross my mind giving that kind of a gift to teens.

Papsie disagreed and told me that if he is wealthy enough, he would give that kind of a gift, too, agreeing to the idea. If he can afford, according to him to give expensive gifts, he would do it. “But not that expensive. I think it is not right to make things so easy for the kids to acquire,” I argued.

I continued justifying my belief that it would not teach a young adult the value of working for something they want or working for a goal. In my mind, which I dismissed to verbalize, what would such gift recompense? Is it because the young adult was able to graduate (even with honors)? Isn’t that part of the package? To finish school and the diploma is the gift? For me, a posh gift is unnecessary. Giving in to capriciousness will only weaken the values that we, parents, wanted our children to learn.

But not for Papsie. He will do and give EVERYTHING for his beloved ones. It is such regret for him not being able to do something about it. He feels sorry that he could not in any way do something that grand. He emphasized, too, in retaliation to what I murmured that there are a lot of kids not having so much and is living to only what is at hand, “It is not our problem if others cannot do it, or if they cannot afford doing it. It is not our fault.”

I resigned with a sigh and then thought, “If I am really, really rich, will I give in to my kids’ gratuitous wishes?”

The Love of a Father

On the way to work, inside the car, as Papsie and I were talking about things, he mentioned that Kay’s special friend asks for a car as graduation gift. I cried a big “What? A car?!?” And as confirmation, Papsie nodded adding that they can afford it because the parents’ business is doing well.

I could not welcome the idea. A car for a gift is too swell for me – and to be given to my children as a gift. Even if I had zillions of money, it would not cross my mind giving that kind of a gift to teens.

Papsie disagreed and told me that if he is wealthy enough, he would give that kind of a gift, too, agreeing to the idea. If he can afford, according to him to give expensive gifts, he would do it. “But not that expensive. I think it is not right to make things so easy for the kids to acquire,” I argued.

I continued justifying my belief that it would not teach a young adult the value of working for something they want or working for a goal. In my mind, which I dismissed to verbalize, what would such gift recompense? Is it because the young adult was able to graduate (even with honors)? Isn’t that part of the package? To finish school and the diploma is the gift? For me, a posh gift is unnecessary. Giving in to capriciousness will only weaken the values that we, parents, wanted our children to learn.

But not for Papsie. He will do and give EVERYTHING for his beloved ones. It is such regret for him not being able to do something about it. He feels sorry that he could not in any way do something that grand. He emphasized, too, in retaliation to what I murmured that there are a lot of kids not having so much and is living to only what is at hand, “It is not our problem if others cannot do it, or if they cannot afford doing it. It is not our fault.”

I resigned with a sigh and then thought, “If I am really, really rich, will I give in to my kids’ gratuitous wishes?”

The Love of a Father

On the way to work, inside the car, as Papsie and I were talking about things, he mentioned that Kay’s special friend asks for a car as graduation gift. I cried a big “What? A car?!?” And as confirmation, Papsie nodded adding that they can afford it because the parents’ business is doing well.

I could not welcome the idea. A car for a gift is too swell for me – and to be given to my children as a gift. Even if I had zillions of money, it would not cross my mind giving that kind of a gift to teens.

Papsie disagreed and told me that if he is wealthy enough, he would give that kind of a gift, too, agreeing to the idea. If he can afford, according to him to give expensive gifts, he would do it. “But not that expensive. I think it is not right to make things so easy for the kids to acquire,” I argued.

I continued justifying my belief that it would not teach a young adult the value of working for something they want or working for a goal. In my mind, which I dismissed to verbalize, what would such gift recompense? Is it because the young adult was able to graduate (even with honors)? Isn’t that part of the package? To finish school and the diploma is the gift? For me, a posh gift is unnecessary. Giving in to capriciousness will only weaken the values that we, parents, wanted our children to learn.

But not for Papsie. He will do and give EVERYTHING for his beloved ones. It is such regret for him not being able to do something about it. He feels sorry that he could not in any way do something that grand. He emphasized, too, in retaliation to what I murmured that there are a lot of kids not having so much and is living to only what is at hand, “It is not our problem if others cannot do it, or if they cannot afford doing it. It is not our fault.”

I resigned with a sigh and then thought, “If I am really, really rich, will I give in to my kids’ gratuitous wishes?”

Stark Reality

The JS Prom last February 15 was held at the Manila Hotel. Last year when Kay was a junior, this is also where the JS prom was set out. But unlike last year, we opted to stay until the event was over. Well, we are on our goal to minimize expenses, and that includes gasoline expenses.

Papsie and I hiked along the bay area near the hotel. It was not a surprise to me seeing lovers in almost every nook but the increased number of vagabonds in the area added to my already disappointed impression of my own country. Even sacks (which can be used to be placed on the stone seats or the grasses) were sold to how much I don’t know. Peddlers also increased in number, and even dirty, and barefooted little children wandered aimlessly along the area. We were approached by a boy who introduced himself as a high school student. He talked good but was not able to persuade us to buy religious small pictures which are, according to him, from a church project to help indigent students in their schooling.

Back to the hotel, the crowd at the lobby diminished. My eyes roamed and saw a number of Koreans arriving. For a time, I was caught by the noise of the group which was not even comprehensible. They looked friendly and though Papsie wanted to befriend them, I discouraged him because it was not possible. The language barrier will not make his experience enjoyable and I was really apprehensive how he could not restrain himself from giggling.

At the far end of the lobby in front of the area where the musicians stay, my eyes caught a glimpse of a woman, who appeared to me at first as a child cuddled by her father but came out to be a woman seated on the lap of a big American. Across, another woman, very thin and pale, was with them. It was then I realized that the woman on the lap had thick, permed and highlighted hair and wore low-waisted pants exposing the bony buttocks. When they stood up to go somewhere, I noticed that she was just half the height of the American (probably 6’1”). She was also thin like the other woman but with upper bumpers that jiggled when she walked. She is neither pretty nor sophisticated.

My eyes again caught a pair – another American, which is smaller in height, and a Filipina, which appeared tall to me because she was of the same height with the American. They looked sweethearts to me. Holding hands, they kissed once in a while. Then the first American with the two Filipinas came and greeted the couple. Then it made me wonder if that tall Filipina is also one of those two. But she seemed to be different because of her simplicity – no excessive make up, no frills, nothing to tell that she is a hooker. She was clad in maong jeans and a blouse topped by a dark blue petite green blazer.

Hours passed, and at about past 10 PM, I noticed a group of girls in their teens, with ages that of Kay’s (15-16), who took their seats on the big cushioned sofa. They were dressed simply; almost everybody was in maong and white shirts. Only one had a maong jacket and the prettiest among the group. They don’t appear confident but looked rather timid. Then I thought perhaps they were waiting for their friends from the JS prom. Minutes later, I saw them talking to a group of Koreans their ages older, or probably more. One of them who seemed to be the pimp (it was only then I noticed she’s not a teenager) talked to one of the Koreans. I can’t believe that I was witnessing something like that – young girls being bargained to foreigners – or how young girls appeared to be being sold. Then one by one each Korean had partners.

Though I know that prostitution proliferates in commercial establishments like hotels, it is like a bombshell to be faced with such stark reality. I may be over-reacting but it somehow caused gloom within me. The girls were very young and it was so heartbreaking that it seemed an ordinary scene in an elegant hotel such as Manila hotel.

The music overwhelmed the feeling of sadness and anger at the same time with the truth laid bare and pointing a finger to everybody – the flesh trade which victims are becoming younger as generations pass.

Stark Reality

The JS Prom last February 15 was held at the Manila Hotel. Last year when Kay was a junior, this is also where the JS prom was set out. But unlike last year, we opted to stay until the event was over. Well, we are on our goal to minimize expenses, and that includes gasoline expenses.

Papsie and I hiked along the bay area near the hotel. It was not a surprise to me seeing lovers in almost every nook but the increased number of vagabonds in the area added to my already disappointed impression of my own country. Even sacks (which can be used to be placed on the stone seats or the grasses) were sold to how much I don’t know. Peddlers also increased in number, and even dirty, and barefooted little children wandered aimlessly along the area. We were approached by a boy who introduced himself as a high school student. He talked good but was not able to persuade us to buy religious small pictures which are, according to him, from a church project to help indigent students in their schooling.

Back to the hotel, the crowd at the lobby diminished. My eyes roamed and saw a number of Koreans arriving. For a time, I was caught by the noise of the group which was not even comprehensible. They looked friendly and though Papsie wanted to befriend them, I discouraged him because it was not possible. The language barrier will not make his experience enjoyable and I was really apprehensive how he could not restrain himself from giggling.

At the far end of the lobby in front of the area where the musicians stay, my eyes caught a glimpse of a woman, who appeared to me at first as a child cuddled by her father but came out to be a woman seated on the lap of a big American. Across, another woman, very thin and pale, was with them. It was then I realized that the woman on the lap had thick, permed and highlighted hair and wore low-waisted pants exposing the bony buttocks. When they stood up to go somewhere, I noticed that she was just half the height of the American (probably 6’1”). She was also thin like the other woman but with upper bumpers that jiggled when she walked. She is neither pretty nor sophisticated.

My eyes again caught a pair – another American, which is smaller in height, and a Filipina, which appeared tall to me because she was of the same height with the American. They looked sweethearts to me. Holding hands, they kissed once in a while. Then the first American with the two Filipinas came and greeted the couple. Then it made me wonder if that tall Filipina is also one of those two. But she seemed to be different because of her simplicity – no excessive make up, no frills, nothing to tell that she is a hooker. She was clad in maong jeans and a blouse topped by a dark blue petite green blazer.

Hours passed, and at about past 10 PM, I noticed a group of girls in their teens, with ages that of Kay’s (15-16), who took their seats on the big cushioned sofa. They were dressed simply; almost everybody was in maong and white shirts. Only one had a maong jacket and the prettiest among the group. They don’t appear confident but looked rather timid. Then I thought perhaps they were waiting for their friends from the JS prom. Minutes later, I saw them talking to a group of Koreans their ages older, or probably more. One of them who seemed to be the pimp (it was only then I noticed she’s not a teenager) talked to one of the Koreans. I can’t believe that I was witnessing something like that – young girls being bargained to foreigners – or how young girls appeared to be being sold. Then one by one each Korean had partners.

Though I know that prostitution proliferates in commercial establishments like hotels, it is like a bombshell to be faced with such stark reality. I may be over-reacting but it somehow caused gloom within me. The girls were very young and it was so heartbreaking that it seemed an ordinary scene in an elegant hotel such as Manila hotel.

The music overwhelmed the feeling of sadness and anger at the same time with the truth laid bare and pointing a finger to everybody – the flesh trade which victims are becoming younger as generations pass.

Stark Reality

The JS Prom last February 15 was held at the Manila Hotel. Last year when Kay was a junior, this is also where the JS prom was set out. But unlike last year, we opted to stay until the event was over. Well, we are on our goal to minimize expenses, and that includes gasoline expenses.Papsie and I hiked along the bay area near the hotel. It was not a surprise to me seeing lovers in almost every nook but the increased number of vagabonds in the area added to my already disappointed impression of my own country. Even sacks (which can be used to be placed on the stone seats or the grasses) were sold to how much I don’t know. Peddlers also increased in number, and even dirty, and barefooted little children wandered aimlessly along the area. We were approached by a boy who introduced himself as a high school student. He talked good but was not able to persuade us to buy religious small pictures which are, according to him, from a church project to help indigent students in their schooling.

Back to the hotel, the crowd at the lobby diminished. My eyes roamed and saw a number of Koreans arriving. For a time, I was caught by the noise of the group which was not even comprehensible. They looked friendly and though Papsie wanted to befriend them, I discouraged him because it was not possible. The language barrier will not make his experience enjoyable and I was really apprehensive how he could not restrain himself from giggling.

At the far end of the lobby in front of the area where the musicians stay, my eyes caught a glimpse of a woman, who appeared to me at first as a child cuddled by her father but came out to be a woman seated on the lap of a big American. Across, another woman, very thin and pale, was with them. It was then I realized that the woman on the lap had thick, permed and highlighted hair and wore low-waisted pants exposing the bony buttocks. When they stood up to go somewhere, I noticed that she was just half the height of the American (probably 6’1”). She was also thin like the other woman but with upper bumpers that jiggled when she walked. She is neither pretty nor sophisticated.

My eyes again caught a pair – another American, which is smaller in height, and a Filipina, which appeared tall to me because she was of the same height with the American. They looked sweethearts to me. Holding hands, they kissed once in a while. Then the first American with the two Filipinas came and greeted the couple. Then it made me wonder if that tall Filipina is also one of those two. But she seemed to be different because of her simplicity – no excessive make up, no frills, nothing to tell that she is a hooker. She was clad in maong jeans and a blouse topped by a dark blue petite green blazer.

Hours passed, and at about past 10 PM, I noticed a group of girls in their teens, with ages that of Kay’s (15-16), who took their seats on the big cushioned sofa. They were dressed simply; almost everybody was in maong and white shirts. Only one had a maong jacket and the prettiest among the group. They don’t appear confident but looked rather timid. Then I thought perhaps they were waiting for their friends from the JS prom. Minutes later, I saw them talking to a group of Koreans their ages older, or probably more. One of them who seemed to be the pimp (it was only then I noticed she’s not a teenager) talked to one of the Koreans. I can’t believe that I was witnessing something like that – young girls being bargained to foreigners – or how young girls appeared to be being sold. Then one by one each Korean had partners.

Though I know that prostitution proliferates in commercial establishments like hotels, it is like a bombshell to be faced with such stark reality. I may be over-reacting but it somehow caused gloom within me. The girls were very young and it was so heartbreaking that it seemed an ordinary scene in an elegant hotel such as Manila hotel.

The music overwhelmed the feeling of sadness and anger at the same time with the truth laid bare and pointing a finger to everybody – the flesh trade which victims are becoming younger as generations pass.