Wednesday, 23 February 2005


Posted by Hello

This morning, we woke up with the world blanketed in white. Zak exclaimed, "Oh dear, dear, dear!" when he saw the cars covered in snow. It was the first time I've seen the sky feeling the same way as the earth: cold, dull, white, expansive, but romantic. No wonder England has Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Shakespeare, to name but a few. Who wouldn't be poetic in this variable weather? Just yesterday, I soaked up the sun on my way to work, a bit disappointed that the much-hyped snow would still be in Siberia. But then this morning's surprise brought on vivid images from scenes of While You Were Sleeping. From our window, I watched the people on the streets walking about like it was usual for them to trudge on snow every morning, to feel the snowflakes in their faces, to see their breath. It was magic. But in the same vein, I thought of Surigao and how hot I must have been if I was there at this hour. But then again, Wordsworth's To a Snowdrop resounds rather optimistically- "Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring..."
But no, not yet! I am enjoying this winter time, bisan nakalimot na ko nan baho nan ako huyas. It doesn't sound healthy, but I had almost three decades of the sun to myself I want to enjoy every minute of this season.

Saturday, 19 February 2005

Do I look really that bad

...and scary or is it something else?

I've just transferred to another department in the company where I've been working since last year. Apart from my new part-time job which I like very much, this new (to me) department is a bit odd. For one, there are three managers and I haven't met any of them although I know who they are. I don't know which of the three is my line manager as their functions are the same. They just have different office hours and I can't figure out who is in when I am on. Confusing. I managed to find my way around the job by instinct and through bits of querries from colleagues who apparently just decided to just think of themselves as their own bosses. When I mentioned that I haven't signed a contract yet since I transferred to this new department, somebody helpfully remarked that I shouldn't worry as I would see the contract within a year, knowing how the managers do their job rather efficiently.

Since I start work in the afternoons, it's always unnerving to walk in, fresh and energetic, to see tired eyes which can barely glance at my direction. Or is it just their sense of foreboding when they see me? I don't know them yet, except their first names, but it feels strange to be new and different. They've seen me around for quite a while before I started working with them and I might have sat with them during our Christmas Party, I can't remember, but honestly, to be spoken to in a rather slow manner like I'm deaf or can't understand English is bizzare and a bit irritating.

At the staff canteen, I sometimes sit with the United Nations, that is, with colleagues from different countries: one is Dutch, there is also the chatty Portuguese who can speak 5 languages, an African, and a Cypriot. I don't know if the UN share the same sentiments because we didn't discuss this but speaking for myself, it's quite nice and spooky when treated REALLY nicely, with utter respect, by my colleagues. This is something I want to investigate at work. Was there ever a racist incident in this company? Do these people in this particular department suffer from agoraphobia, or better yet, asianophobia? Are they just very careful because they don't know how to deal with an Asian woman like me? Do I look that harsh to them that they're worried I would explode in their presence? Do I look like a walking time-bomb or just a stupid bore?

One time, after working late in the afternoon, I was in the backroom putting on my coat when a senior staff walked in. She didn't see me but somebody else in the room did. She asked, "Is everybody gone? Where's that one from China?"
The other colleague replied, "You mean Z? She's still here. Are you from China Z?" I said, "I don't even look Chinese!"

The senior staff was visibly embarra
ssed that she apologized to the mirror. "Oh, sorry about that." I didn't expect her to apologize to me but to talk about me like I haven't worked with them for quite a time and hearing a remark like that from a senior staff herself really miffed me. I didn't say anything after that. I left the building very upset and told K about it. The next day, this rude senior staff was soooo nice to me, then she asked if I could take charge of a section in the department.

Thursday, 17 February 2005

Caught Again

When the engagement (or was it just announcement of an impending marriage) of Prince Charles and Camilla was all over the news, it set me thinking.
So I asked my intelligent, news-hooked husband. Do you think there is someone in Britain who doesn't know Prince Charles?

K: Charles who?

Monday, 14 February 2005

Breastfeeding Zak

Uy, haman si Ue?

A reply to ACE's question (and more) which I forgot to answer:

I breastfed zak for 18 months. I know, grabe gajud. We planned to stop giving him my milk after he turned 1 but it was very difficult on my part. I found it too stressful to get up in the night just to make his milk. I was then working full-time at the finance office of a local college where K is now lecturing part-time. Going back home during my lunch break just to breastfeed him was not as difficult as getting up in the middle of the night to warm his bottled milk. However, we slowly introduced to him full cow's milk hence the shift from my milk to a cow's (what a horrible thought!) wasn't a shock for him.

I can't count how many times my breasts pop out during plane, boat and train travels. I remember when we were on board Cokaliong from Cebu to Surigao, I breastfed zak in one of the tourist cots. We both fell asleep and I didn't realize that I was baring the full splendor of Zak's nutrition for all to see, and there was this man who unashamedly stared at it like it was some iced candy on sale! But then, even if you're facing a hundred voyeurs or worse, the strictest nun from Rome, you just couldn't care anymore. The benefit is worth all the public embarrassment.

There is no word to describe the bond made in the process of breastfeeding. Now that zak is 2, he knows when and how to express his affection fairly well. When he wakes up in the morning, he caresses my hair, kisses my face and asks, "Cuddle mummy?" When I open my arms to cuddle him, he says british style, "Aaahh!".

Zak is calm and relaxed, although there are some hyper moments which is normal for his age. He is not sickly, thank God, and has good eating patterns. His height and weight are between 50th and 75th percentile which is excellent. We're not giving him supplements or any sort of vitamins as he doesn't need it. We just make sure we give him healthy food, with lots of greens naturally. K has a fantastic way of giving him veges. He uses the food processor to hide the real color of the vegetable (like broccoli) and to even the texture. Zak loves carrots though, which is a plus. Most of his vegetables are boiled--no salt, nothing extra.

Another good thing which I like and appreciate very much is that Zak has fantastic Nana and Grandad who prepare his favourite food and desserts. He naturally eats well when he is with them. His Nana has reliable home-made cakes, muffins-- everything from zak's recipe book.
The most amazing thing is that my breasts have gone flat. I said amazing because they used to be bulging out with milk and it was horrible. Now I can just go around the house without bra on, but with erect nipples to show off! Haha.

And by the way, those kids in the photo have all been breastfed, I think.

Sunday, 13 February 2005

Signs of the Times

I saw this sign posted inside M&S foods:



Posted by Hello Seen at the entrance to Critch tower.

Saturday, 12 February 2005

Breakfast in Bed

We usually have breakfast in bed in weekends or when we're both off-work during weekdays. Zak loves it so much. When it's K's turn to prepare the breakfast, I stay in bed shouting to K what I prefer to eat: Can I have fried rice please? With fried jijing, tsokolate, and pandesal? Thanks! K would shout as well, OK! Coming! Then zak props up the pillows in bed, sits comfortably and takes his usual porridge and juice or water while I get my soggy weetabix with bananas floating all over it, a cup of coffee and warmed croissants.
So much for shouting jijing.

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Way Lingaw

K is very busy downstairs watching football. I heared it's between England and Holland. I've just been from work, tired and in a daze. Although the kitchen is a bit clean, the bedrooms aren't. K asked me instead to check his powerpoint presentation for his lecture tomorrow AND look after zak who is just very hyper after a big dinner, 3 banana and chocolate muffins, and a huge bottle of milk (i'm surprised he's not tired). And so zak did the cleaning himself by

THROWING EVERYTHING-- books, toys, clothes, cds, tapes, DOWN THE STAIRS.

Brilliant. I haven't seen for a long time the carpet in the computer room.

And now zak's in our bedroom. I wonder what the room is going to look like when the bed's gone. I'm sure K would have to sleep downstairs. He wouldn't be able to go through the stairs. The bed would be in the way.

Monday, 7 February 2005


Posted by Hello He-lllooo?

We were still dozing in bed this morning when the phone rang twice. Zak was playing on the floor with his Postman Pat van and realizing that we didn't move a muscle, he cupped his ear with his hand pretending to hold a phone. Under our duvets, we heard this from Zak:

Who shah sjhehfshll la?
Why she sjdhorhe foie?
(shouting) OKAY!
(more loudly) OKAY!
Tek-ke! (take care!)

I looked at K and noticed tears in his eyes...

Ing-ana baja kagana ma-tatay sanan ma-nanay.

"You've only worn it once"

Posted by Hello

It was our wedding anniversary a few days ago. We planned to go out for dinner and I asked K what he thought I should wear. Without hesitation, he suggested, "How about your wedding dress?"

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

what makes the world go round

Father and son moment. The two lovely men in my life.
At Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Rose Beach


I wonder if people still frequent this nice and clean beach. I wonder if beach huts still accommodate lechon baboy. I wonder if some people still dig in the nearby sand, very close to the nipa hut, to make fire kay mag-sugba nan isda sanan nukos.

I wonder if some Surigaonons still bring their home karaoke/sound system to host beach bayle for free, even if it irks some folks na tag sabaan kinta.

I wonder if kids, like Lian (above) and their figure-conscious mothers still swim fully-clothed, with rubber shoes on, for fear of biting sea-urchins. I know these mothers are figure-conscious, not because they want to remain sexy and anorexic, but because of their embarrassing stretch marks and flabs which they blame on their pregnancies all the while forgetting the fact that they comfortably swallow five helpings of banana que and chicharon a day, not to mention attending all weekly parties ranging from a neighbor's friend's birthday, to a house-blessing of a former student who married a foreigner and eventually built a rather big house, to a distant-relative's wedding anniversary, and to a final novena for a husband's colleague who used to live in the same street as their former housemaid.

Endless parties! No wonder it took me two years to trim down and get into a size 10 jeans (waist 29 for those who buy jeans at Surigao Penshoppe) with a bit of sacrifice: no big meal during the day.

I wonder if i can edit my figure at Photoshoppe instead.

(Please forgive the ramblings of this Surigaonon. She just gets incoherent when she thinks of Kinilaw and Sinugba.)

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