Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Another good read that I bumped upon while surfing is the best presentation on the search of a "parent". If it had been advertised this way, I don't believe any of my league would have applied for the most thankless "job" as described.


Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

  • Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
  • Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
  • Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
  • Travel expenses not reimbursed.
  • Extensive courier duties also required.

  • The rest of your life.
  • Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs money.
  • Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
  • Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 100 kph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
  • Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
  • Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
  • Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
  • Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
  • Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
  • Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
  • Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
  • Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

  • None.
  • Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

  • None required unfortunately.
  • On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

  • Get this! You pay them!
  • Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
  • A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
  • When you die, you give them whatever is left.
  • The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


The above details could be a little head shaking. But then again, with the kind of family that I have, much with my wife as my lifetime partner, scrolling on the details of the requirements and expectations to get the job can easily be confirmed as either "done", or "in process". Living with the fact that I have a good partner raising our family, being inspired would top the hardships and obstacles, if we even have to look back at the challenges of parenting that way.

And how can I be so blind and hypocrite not to appreciate how my very own mother
raised me? There may not be applicable parenting methods as to how Mommy had reared me when I was young, and I submit that I have to adjust according to the prevailing flow now. But the basic laws and principles must still be the same. So reference wise, I was not zero-based at all.

Of course there may never be perfect parents in the sense that they can not evaluate their own performance and give themselves a good grade. That would be playing bias. (But if that may give some their breather, well, heck why not?). They can only rate their parenting when they can at least get a sounding night sleep - because the failure or success of each child can not even be entirely defined as the reflection of parenting as more external factors would be contributory to what their children shall become.
Between trust and confidence, the former should be the product of good guidance, while the latter manifests an applied one. It is crystal clear that being a parent is but a role which is entirely different from the person, i.e.: "Let's talk man to man, not father to son.". There are situations which are best dealt being a parent, or would work better the other way. But just by the fact that you have a great parenting reference would boost your confidence to rear the correct way. And then it is easier to at least foresee things with a brighter perspective.

To my wife, all I can say is: "Thank you for standing by your spoiled brat hubby. Rest assured, I may be as what I am, but I have no any plan to be a failure in our journey."

To my Mom: "I thank you for being happy of what I am. It is you who made me take upon life a lot easier. I shall always be grateful, Ma. I love you."

And to our three well baked angels: "You are our strength. Keep inspiring us..!"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Being an OFW: Is It Indeed Heroic?

As I was surfing one day, I happen to stumble on a pretty interesting scribe, at least for me. I have no idea whether it is still in its original form, but as I made a pass on it, admittedly, I got struck. It may not be relevant to me as a whole, but I can truly say that most of it would apply to each of my league. Read on...


Hindi mayaman ang OFW - We have this notion na 'pag OFW o nasa abroad ay mayaman na. Hindi totoo yun. A regular OFW might earn from P50K - P300K per month depende sa lokasyon. Yung mga taga-Saudi or US siguro ay mas malaki ang sweldo, but to say that they're rich is a fallacy (Amen!).

Malaki ang pangangailangan kaya karamihan ay nag-a-abroad. Maraming bunganga ang kailangang pakainin kaya umaalis ang mga pipol sa Pilipinas. Madalas, 3/4 o kalahati ng sweldo ay napupunta sa tuition ng anak at gastusin ng pamilya.

Mahirap maging OFW - Kailangan magtipid hangga't kaya. Oo, masarap ang pagkain sa abroad pero madalas na paksiw o adobo at itlog lang ang tinitira para makaipon. Pagdating ng kinsenas o katapusan, ang unang tinitingnan eh ang conversion ng peso sa dollar o rial o euro. Mas okay na magtiis sa konti kaysa gutumin ang pamilya. Kapag umuuwi, kailangang may baon kahit konti kasi maraming kamag-anak ang sumusundo sa airport o naghihintay sa probinsya. Alam mo naman 'pag Pinoy, yung tsismis na OFW ka eh surely attracts a lot of folks, friends and relatives.

Kapag hindi mo nabigyan ng pasalubong eh magtatampo na yun at sisiraan ka na. Well, hindi naman lahat pero I'm sure sa mga OFW eh may mga pangyayaring ganun. Magtatrabaho ka sa bansang iba ang tingin sa mga Pinoy. Malamang marami ang naka-experience ng gulang o discrimination to their various workplaces. Sige lang, tiis lang, iniiyak na lang kasi kawawa naman pamilya 'pag umuwi.

Besides, wala ka naman talagang maasahang trabaho sa Pilipinas ngayon. Mahal ang bigas, ang gatas, ang sardinas, ang upa sa apartment. Tiis lang kahit maraming kupal sa trabaho, kahit may sakit at walang nag-aalaga, kahit hindi masarap ang tsibog, kahit pangit ang working conditions, kahit delikado, kahit mahirap. Kapag nakapagpadala ka na, okay na, tawag na agad sa pamilya; "Hello! kumusta na kayo?". At ang kadalasan namang maririnig sa kanila ay; "Ikaw diyan, kumusta ka naman? Magi-ingat ka lagi ha...". Okay na sana yun kahit papaano, kaso panay yun at yun din lang ang paulit-ulit na sinasabi. Actually, laging expected mo na yun. Kabisado mo na nga.

Hindi bato ang OFW - Tao rin ang OFW, hindi money o cash machine. Napapagod rin, nalulungkot (madalas), nagkakasakit, nag-iisip at nagugutom. Kailangan din ang suporta, kundi man physically, emotionally o spiritually man lang.

Tumatanda rin ang OFW - Sa mga nakausap at nakita ko, marami ang panot at kalbo na. Most of them have signs and symptoms of hypertension, coronary artery disease and arthritis. Yet, they continue to work thinking about the family they left behind. Marami ang nasa abroad, 20-30 years na, pero wala pa ring ipon. Kahit anong pagpapakahirap, sablay pa rin. Masakit pa kung olats (talo) rin ang sinusuportahang pamilya - ang anak kundi adik, nabuntis; ang asawa naman may kabit. Naalala ko tuloy ang sikat na kanta dati, "NAPAKASAKIT KUYA EDDIE!"

Bayani ang OFW - Totoo yun! Ngayon ko lang na na-realize na bayani ang OFW sa maraming bagay. Hindi bayani na tulad ni Nora Aunor o Flor Contemplacion. Bayani in the truest sense of the word. Hindi katulad ni Rizal o Bonifacio. Mas higit pa dun, mas maraming giyera at gulo ang pinapasok ng OFW para lang mabuhay. Mas maraming pulitika ang kailangang suungin para lang tumagal sa trabaho lalo na't kupal ang mga kasama sa trabaho. Mas mahaba ang pasensya kaysa sa mga ordinaryong kongresista o senador sa Pilipinas dahil sa takot na mawalan ng sweldo.

Matindi ang OFW - Matindi ang pinoy. Matindi pa sa daga, o cockroaches which survived the cataclysmic evolution. Maraming sakripisyo pero walang makitang tangible solutions or consequences.

Malas ng OFW, swerte ng pulitiko - Hindi umuupo ang OFW para magbigay ng autograph o interbyuhin ng media (unless nakidnap!). Madalas nasa sidelines lang ang OFW. Kapag umaalis, malungkot and on the verge of tears. Kapag dumadating, swerte 'pag may sundo (madalas meron). Kapag naubos na ang ipon, wala ng kamag-anak. Ang karamihan itutulak pa pabalik.

Sana sikat ang OFW para may boses sa Kamara. Ang swerte ng mga politiko nakaupo sila at ginagastusan ng pera ng Filipino. Hindi nga sila naiinitan o napapaso ng langis, o napagagalitan ng amo, o kumakain ng paksiw para makatipid, o nakatira sa compound with conditions less than favorable, o nakikisama sa ibang lahi para mabuhay. Ang swerte, sobrang swerte nila.

Matatag ang OFW - Matatag ang OFW, mas matatag pa sa sundalo o kung ano pang grupo na alam nyo. Magaling sa reverse psychology, negotiations at counter-attacks. Tatagal ba ang OFW? Tatagal pa kasi hindi pa natin alam kailan magbabago ang Pilipinas. Kailan nga kaya? O may tsansa pa ba?

Masarap isipin na kasama mo ang pamilya mo araw-araw. Nakikita mo ang mga anak mong lumalaki at naaalagaan ng maayos. Masarap kumain ng sitaw, ng bagoong, lechon, inihaw na isda, taba ng talangka. Masarap manood ng pelikulang Pinoy, luma man o bago. Iba pa rin ang pakiramdam kung kilala mo ang kapitbahay mo. Iba pa rin sa Pilipinas, iba pa rin kapag Pinoy ang kasama mo (except 'pag kupal at utak-talangka), iba pa rin 'pag nagkukwento ka at naiintindihan ng iba ang sinasabi mo. Iba pa rin ang tunog ng "Mahal kita!", "Payakap naman kay Papa.", "Ambantot ng utot mo, anak!", " Inday, anong ulam natin? Mag-ihaw ka ng talong ha!". Iba pa rin talaga. Ibang iba. 'Taragis, nakaka-miss, super! Kaso wala e...

Pero sige lang, tiis lang. Pasasaan ba't darating din ang pag-asa...

At some point I have to pause and ask myself; "Who could have asked me to be an OFW?. Didn't I have a better choice?". And as I try to get back to reality, yes indeed there were lots of choices, and options, and preferences, and alternatives. But deciphering deeper, my decision was a no-brainer. I can choose to stay and just be patient and resourceful and make do of whatever there is back home. But then it would mean that I am limiting what I can do. I would be violating my capabilities. And I would be defeating my own wisdom. I did not have kids and just watch them grow. I have always wanted a happy family. If we can not be happy altogether, then at least it would be just me.

Whether I 'sacrifice' or not, I know I shall be judged. And since I can not accept dimunitivity as dignity, and as long as I am still grateful of the fruits of my decisions, I know that if I don't see the reward until I breath my last, my whole journey would still all be mine - in peace.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Simple Rules... While Inching To Freedom

I have seen this long before on a broadsheet, and I guess it may lighten up my worries a bit. It is called the "Eight Simple Rules On Dating Teenage Daughters", and it goes like:

  1. Use your hands in my daughter and you’ll lose them later
  2. You make her cry, I make you cry
  3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health
  4. Bring her home late, there’s no next date
  5. Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.
  6. No complaining while waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil
  7. If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun
  8. Dates must be in public places. You want romance? Read a book.

Quite funny to read for the others, but I shall keep these as my guideline, I guess.

The truth to the matter is; our eldest daughter has just turned fourteen. And in a matter of time, it is inevitable that another better man shall take care of her. Not as much as I do, but maybe just as how I take care of her Mom. In as much when I took my wife away from the care of her parents, I surrender that it shall be the same case to our daughter. Damn..! We haven't even extensively enjoyed cuddling her! And I am more than jealous to think that another set of caring hands shall embrace her tiny frame soon. Well, that's just the defined cycle to all daughters, I must say so. But to be honest with myself, I wish I will be ready for that when the time comes. I've seen movies when parents would cry while giving their daughter away, much to the fathers. But in the end, no one can ever overturn destiny.

So that this early, I hope that our daughter can see the good things that we had instilled; that we would expect her to try to only look for the good traits as her minimum requirement for her guy. So that when she welcomes her guy into her life, she could still move as if she is home - because we shall alway wish the best for her. I know I was not a totally great father to her, but I'm sure I shall always be the perfect one. Likewise to her Mom. We are pretty sure that we made a good job in raising her for what she will be. But as her loving father, I have always wanted to write her a letter, and so here it goes:

My Dearest Janina,

I recognize the fact that you are fast growing now my dearly beloved. I can still imagine you as a young little girl riding on my back without the fear of falling, because you know how much Papa would keep you safe. But I can't carry you the same way now. You've suddenly become quite heavy for my aching frame.

Your child memories would still play on my thoughts when I have to send you to school and you would give me a pressing kiss on the lips as you walk away. But we can not do that now. It would look awkward much when your peers are waiting.

How lucky you are that me and Mama would always think of ways to make you happy as you always are. And when you smile back, you gratify us. That our love is all yours with fullest hopes that it shall lead you good. And that whatever you shall be, we will always be in oversight for the better you.

But how unlucky you are too that I have to leave you to look after your future. What a bargain against our quality time that I have to be miles away and out of sight. That I can not laugh with you on your happy moments, nor cry with you on the dull ones. It pains me to note that while you are at your prime to be molded of what you will become, I can not be of any help, except for my thoughts that are always wrapped with your being.

Yes my child, my precious one. You are so lucky for being unlucky... because you and what is best for you, are my only agenda. I love you my pretty girl, and you don't need to love me back. Everything that I do for you - is all but my wisdom.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Just Walking Away... For A While

It’s been about ten months since my last write-up. I have always wanted to, but there was no worthy subject. Emotions were still high. Lull was highly called for. Guess I now feel more emotionally stable. I have moved on. As well that a lot of turn-arounds have gotten in the way. Situations have changed so quickly.

I have quit my old job of twelve years to become an overseas worker. Why? Pretty same as my late father’s motivation when he made a decision. Not for a greener pasture though because my old job paid me well. The pay difference that I get from my present job is not that hefty. But it helps to expedite tabled accomplishments to some extent. Some frustrations were considerably a factor. I just love my family that much, that I have chosen to be away for a few cents.

I joined a company who is run by an old acquaintance. Firstly, I was easily lured by the friendship. Another, accorded perks as compared to other potential overseas employers were just irresistible. I can fly home every quarter and visit my family for ten days, all expense paid, inclusive of my vacation. Among others, I can only spend so much money while on the job. Food and shelter are luxuriously provided. And various forms of recreation on the side too, with a few beers included.

But what really made me decide is; the future of my kids. I am not trying to be a perfect father, but I submit to the fact that being a responsible and good provider is my most inspiration. I must have gotten it from my late father. He wasn’t a perfect one either, but was tailored fit to the family that he built.

Now, I am on my sixth month being away. Not literally because I have already went back home almost every month. That’s why I can almost treat my present job as another exercise to my functions from my old job. I was always on the run then, thus it’s almost the same.

I am now more inspired with my present job because I have gotten my dreadful ambition to lead a team. It wasn’t so challenging after all. My fifteen years of experience made it so easy for me. I just realized that I was almost overripe for the job already. It waited too long. But now that it is in my hand, I must not complain anymore. I had always subscribed to my belief on good karma. You do well, you end well.

I just hope it will get me better and better. For my kids. And for my family. Of course, my great wife included. It must be quite terrible for her to be looking after the kids alone. I can only commend her for putting up with me always.

But of course, I could never discount the prayers of my ever loving Mom. I can never thank her enough for raising me as what I am right now. I shall always attribute that to her, no matter what.

And so lastly, I must tell myself… “Good luck, kiddo..!” But why not? I guess I just need lots of that from now on.