Monday, August 23, 2010

What ifs? (My sincerest sympathy and condolences to the people affected by the August 23, 2010 hostage in Manila, Philippines)

I am so saddened by what happened to the Philippines yesterday. Lives have been wasted just because of some unmagnified case of a mere man asking for a fair judgment or re-opening of his case. Frustration can really bring out the worst in people. A lot of issues have triggered for this man to commit a hostage and kill people that I hope he didn't really intend to kill. I feel sorry for the Hong Kong/Chinese Nationals who died and their family who will live with this tragedy. It is be very unfair for all these tourists to experience such tragedy when all they wanted was to have a vacation. I feel remorse for what could have been done that as such this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

I feel a sense of pity being a Filipino being abroad. I grew up being aware of the hardships and issues that thrives in the Philippines. I feel guilty that somehow that I left the country to have a better life. I felt that somehow my promise to make Philippines a better nation is somewhat all been forgotten. I love the Philippines, there is no question to that. I have always been hopeful but somehow sometimes you get tired of trying and hoping. And the worst of it all is that sometimes you just feel hopeless. I don't want to be considered as a Filipino who escaped her country.

At one point in my life, a man who was pursuing me asked me if I would ever leave the Philippines. With high nose, I said that I wouldn't. I will serve by country until my last breath. He said I will retract what I said. At that point, I thought he was wrong but now I am reconsidering that I guess he would have been right after all. I was doing public service until I graduated college serving the students and drafting some policies and programs in my economics class on how to improve the Philippines. I saw what hard life really is. I have examined how imperfect and corrupted my country has been. I was aware of that and was energetic to make a change. The Philippines has a chance. We can still redeem our country. I am ever hopeful. But somehow when the opportunity came for us to migrate, everything changed even my perspective. I suddenly saw the bad things about the Philippines - corruption, inefficient and ineffective system, crab mentality, pollution, and colonial mentality. Suddenly, the nationalistic person in me just died or more or less diminished.

There are lessons to be learned from this tragedy. This is not the first time that one person was ignored of his right to finalization or fair trial. This wasn't the first time lives got wasted because of some ineffective SOP. This wasn't the first time that lives are wasted. I hope this is the last. I am having my high hopes up.

One mistake can create a big impact. This man just wanted a fair trial or at least his open be re-opened. I am not being biased and saying that what he did was right. He was wrong on involving those tourists with his issues and killing some of them. He still killed people. He still endangered lives of people. He did wrong. But I want to emphasize is what happened before that. What could have been done to prevent that tragedy – the what ifs. He just wanted to be heard. How can he be heard when the people who should hear him out has closed their ears already after just one suspected mistake of his and judged him without even considering the accomplishments and services he have given the Philippine National Police (PNP). Sometimes life can really be unfair. I feel pity. He just wanted answers. He was asking for answers. But he never got them. When he got the answers, which he has been waiting for months, form the Office of the Ombudsman regarding his motion, it was just too late. It can be surprising how small unrecognized frustrations can lead to tragic harmful effects.

The world has seen what happened. Most of the people criticize how the PNP and SWAT handled the situation. They say that their SOP was a failure. PNP and SWAT could have saved more lives if they really knew what they were doing. The tragedy is over but the impact lives not just from to the people who died and to their the family but also of the survivors, the Philippine and Chinese Nations, people who was aware of the situation, and the family of the hostage taker, P/INSP Rolando Mendoza.

I hope justice will be served to everyone. This means not only to the people who died including P/INSP Rolando Mendoza but also to the survivors. I hope those who are responsible why this occurred shall be scrutinized. I admire Pres. Aquino's statement, though given late, that from this tragedy lessons are learned and improvements should be made in the system especially in the Philippine National Police (regarding equipments and training). Added is that he ordered that P/INSP Mendoza's case will be reopened to be studied. Philippine Government should learn from this and really do something about it. Changes can take a long time but as long as there is something done, the wait will be worth the while. I just hope that isn't just any tragedy that will fade as the days go by. This shouldn't be forgotten. Though different scenario, I hope this will not be like the stories of Tara Santilices or Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohnic whose lives were lost for nonsense reasons and their cases were still unresolved. I am sure that I won't forget this.

I am a Filipino and will always be a Filipino. I will never give up on the Philippines. Someday somehow I will do more that what I did before for my country. I have never forsaken you my beloved Philippines. I vow to return to you my motherland. I shall improve myself and bring the best in me when I return.

A lot of what ifs fill my mind. But the reality is lives were lost. And I hope lessons will be learned. Correct that, lessons should be learned, changes should be made, and improvements should be imposed. But with all of these, I pray for everyone who is going through pain and misery with this tragedy. I hope they overcome this. Believe me when I say that is hard to say to a person who has just a love one. My sincerest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones from this tragedy.

For more information about the August 23, 2010 hostage in Manila Philippines, see:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

whatever is lost maybe found.

I was trying to look for my ever reliable jogging(yoga) pants. I know I did leave it in this house before I met up with Cj and moved into another house (Dr. Gulshan). I was making the not having the jogging pants an excuse for not working out. But accidentally as I was looking for a different stuff in the closet, It just popped out. yahoo! My exercising clothes are complete again.

As Cj and I was about to end our conversation on skype for the night, I blurted out something that sparked a little argument. It was about me asking him to call or text me in the morning. But instead of the question appearing as simple as that. I asked it him like this: "Eclipson does it, why don't you?" It would have been better if I asked it without having to use Eclipson to make him jealous or to get something out of him. I have learned my lesson. We did settle everything. I just don't want to get bored with us. Thank you Cj, I love you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cj: You are now officially an American!

I am the type of person who gets a little frustrated with things that doesn't look presentable especially when I am trying to please. I wanted to earn some extra cash. I have a printer that I bought for $20 when Cj and I went to a yard sale. The market selling price for it is around $200. I just want to earn a minimum of $150 for it then I am happy.

We just moved to the other Padder's house. The printer that I was selling is in this house. Finally, I was able to take pictures of the printer that I was selling. Because of the added information about the printer, I wanted to edit my listing on ebay. I thought that putting a new description and pictures will overlap the old but instead the new description became a continuation. The advertisement became a disaster which is very lengthy and unappealing. Being an OC, I panicked a little bit. Cj was online comforting me and bidding a little bit for my printer. He made things easier for me to bear. Because I cannot edit my old listing anymore the way I want it, I asked for some online assistance from ebay. I was queued for around 30 minutes the first time and 50 minutes the second time, good thing Cj was there to make time run fast.

So I was suggested to end the bid and star a new. Both which I did, I improved my listing and shortened by bidding period.Yes, the problem got solved. I did have my peace of mind. I hope I get to get a profit of at $150. I wish! :) Having some stress can give some adrenaline rush which I sometimes enjoy.

I got my salary for today. Finally!!! I get to pay off what I owe and have some money saved! Because I got my salary, I contacted Kuya Ben to pay my debt to him. At the same time, he brought my mails. He brought a lot of mail most of which made me suprised and happy. I got 10 mails from State of Maryland Department of Budget and Management regarding some applications that I applied for in the last few weeks. I never it went it through but it did. Because most of the replies tell me that I am qualified, I hope I will be interviewed and will be accepted for a job. Aside from those, I got my credit card and library card. When I told this to Cj that I finally have a credit card, he blurted out: "You are officially an American!"

Please bid on my Canon Pixma iP1500 Photo Printer. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

the power nap did it!

I was deleting some pages on my Facebook profile because I have been getting a lot of friend request from unknown and creepy people. As I was looking at my pages, I saw the page entitle "In Memorian: Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc.

I had to google the feature of the love story of Alex and Nika on the documentary show Storyline and I found Alexis and Nika: A love story. The article which the love story was derived from the column of Alexis on Rogue Magazine which was entitled The Letter I Would Love To Read To You In Person.

As I watch the videos and read articles linked to their love story, I was starting to check on my relationship at the same time asking myself if I have the same passion to what I want to do as what they have. Questions that makes me wonder if what I am doing right now are getting me closer to what I do or pushing me away.

I slept around 4 am. Before I went to sleep I had a little window shopping online style. I really wanted to buy some stuff but I realized it is to impractical at the moment.

So I went to sleep... and I dozed off...

I woke up at around 8 AM because Dr. Gulshan was preparing her breakfast. She gave me $40 bucks for doing her nails yesterday. She was really nice.

I was getting cranky as Mooj (the woman I am taking care of) is getting confused and anxious. A big factor to my irritability is the fact that I didn't have much sleep. But a power nap of an hour solved everything.

We moved back to Dr. Feroz house. On our way, I had an interesting conversation with Ms. Tasleem regarding Dr. Gulshan. She was a martyr. She proved that marriage should work. She and her husband had a time in their life that they were living in the same house but aren't talking. That is harsh. That is why sometimes I cannot understand fix marriage and stuff. They were Muslims. She stayed they worked it somehow. Her husband as most people say is rude and hard to deal with. But she really did make it work for the sake of the family.

Oh well, the more I am seeing that it is hard to find a life partner. But if you found someone worth and rightfully for you then I believe the relationship will work. You should just find someone who values the relationship and doesn't overpower you in the relationship.

I am sleepy, good night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

getting matched while doing manicure

I believe are things are getting better in my life. I am having peace. Things will not be easy because I have a lot more to accomplish. But at this time, I am reminding myself of what I have and what I want to accomplish.

Starting out is very hard for me because I am starting out from nothing. Literally, nothing. I didn't have money out of college and here I am saving some for myself and my family. I was able to bury my mom without debt and provide the needs for my brother and father. And even buy my dad's medicine. Little financial accomplishments can be a struggle but very rewarding knowing that every peso or dollar spent is utilized well.

On this lazy sunday, I was giving Dr. Gulshan a manicure and pedicure as she requested. She liked how I did my nails and asked if I can give her a manicure and pedicure. I didn't hesitate. She has always been nice to me all the time, no questions asked.

I was doing nails as a hobby. I believe I do great manicure and pedicure. It was a skill I have learned as I practiced with my own nails and so as my mom's. I have learned doing nails because I don't want my nails 'murdered' by manicurist. And also to save some money. Back in college being so cheap and keen on my vanity, I prefer doing my nails by myself.

So as I was doing Dr. Gulshan's nails, She mentioned Emerson Chang. Emerson Chang is the guy that the Padders have been trying to match me with. Emerson Chang is from Laurel, Maryland. He is a Physician Assistant at Padder Health Services. They were trying to match me with him because: 1) he is Asian like me, 2) he is Christian (not sure if Catholic), 3) he is nice (like me as they say) 4) he is already known by the family, and 5) he is smart and might be a good match to me.

I was surprised when Dr. Gulshan asked me the permission to build me up to him. I guess they are being serious about hooking me up with him. I didn't really respond to what she said. I did change the topic a little bit by asking if there were admitted lesbians/gays in Islam. I don't know if she got the answer she was hoping for.

I talked to Cj about it. Of course, he didn't approve of anything in relation to any other man dating me. He asked me if I entertained the idea, I said no. And to be honest, Chang is not my type. He might be smart, nice and all; I might seem biased but I don't really see myself dating him. I might consider the idea of being friends with him but not more than it. I know that love is still a floating term for Cj and I but I care more than enough for him as he is to me to even consider dating someone new.

I am Catholic! :)

I went to St. Louis Catholic Church on Clarksville Pike, Clarksville Maryland yesterday for the anticipated mass at 5:30 PM. It was about 5 minutes by drive from Dr. Gulshan's House.

Before I went to church, Cj and I are talking about confession. I have always wanted to do it. There are a lot of things that have been stopping me. There are just excuses or demons I didn't want to overcome. But I have decided to go through with the confession even though I was a little scared and ashamed. Doing confession isn't just for Cj or to fix my relationship with God but to have have peace with myself and to God. So I googled how to do the confession and found out about it in the Catechism of Pope Pius X. From the Catechism, there is a written step by step to how to do confession. And so I took down the notes and brought it with me to church.

Because I wasn't sure how the confession will happen. I had to phone in the church on what time is confession. I was suggested that before the 4 o'clock mass there was will be confession. At that moment, the 4 o'clock mass was too late for me. So i just took the risk for the 5:30 mass and will just go there early as I can.

St. Louis Catholic Church is so pretty . It is a parish church so it is bigger than the St. Paul Chapel that Cj and I went to when he was here.

I did confession even though I don't know how. I remember that the last time I did it is when I had my first communion.

I confessed what I had to confess in one plain sentence. The Father blessed me and I had to do 3 Our Fathers for it. Even though I was a little teary-eyed after, it was a success and I never felt better.

There was a little adjustment for me regarding the songs and prayers. The songs were really different and the prayers are a little longer than those I had grown up to know.

Father's sermon really made me teary-eyed. It felt like Father was talking to me and checking up on me. It felt that he was reaching out for me. I have believed that I have surrendered myself to God and that he will take care of me. But that thinking isn't enough. Here is how I understood yesterday's sermon:

What is our faith? What do you believe in? Faith is happens when you are expecting a new thing either in career, job or whatever. But how much faith are you giving in this expectation? When you faith have in these expectations and when you didn't accomplish them; your faith will crumble. Do you have faith in God? Do you trust God? From the scripture that happened to Abraham, God proved his worthiness. He proved that he can be trusted. That faith with him will never ever make someone miserable and crumble in their knees. And so as goes to having faith in God, with Him, there is more absolute value because he is everlasting. But when you have faith in what you want, expect that they can fail you. God will never fail you.
He has proved his trustworthiness.. so have faith in him and surrender yourself to him...

Have trust. I have to believe and remind myself that God is with me. I might be alone right now and having tremendous hardships, I know He is with me. He will never forsake me.

After listening to the sermon, I have realized that God has always watched over me. It seemed like he intended me to mass yesterday with the right message for me. Also, even though Mama is gone, God gave me someone who is taking well care of me now. Someone who is helping be closer to God. Someone who is better than I expected and wanted. He gave me Cj.

It felt so good being home. It has been a while since I felt this peace. I know things wouldn't be easy but I know that I will never be alone like what God promised.

After the mass, I talked to Cj about what happened. I told him that I somewhat forgot to mention in my confession about going to another church... but he said that wasn't a sin. I guess it wasn't after all.

Around 8 in the evening, Cj and I did skype. I guess the peace and glow showed in my face and aura after going to the mass.

I was alone when I went to church but I know God and Mama is in presence. I was teary-eyed. It has been a while since I went to a Catholic Church. I felt home again. I came out better than I was when I came in.

I am Catholic. :)

* I wasn't able to take pictures but I promise myself that next time I will. Cj and I will go to St. Louis Parish when he goes back here in Maryland to visit me again.