That our hectic summer physically and emotionally drained us is but expected. A lot of not-so-nice things happened during the summer. At first, I wanted to vent here. But on second thought, I realized it was better to be a purveyor of joys and positive thoughts. Tutal, nailabas ko na rin naman. I also believe that work problems are not for the public.
So let’s focus on the positive. There’s always two sides of the coin: if bad things happened, so did good things. And not-so-good-but-funny things. So, let’s begin?
5. Aling Aida
Since our summer is extra busy (plus Yaya Isay gave birth), we had to look for extra manpower, even just for the summer. My tita was able to recruit two middle-aged women. On the day they were supposed to have arrived, we waited in vain. Waley. Apparently, my aunt’s recruits got lost. And since they did not have mobile phones, it was impossible to contact them. A week after, my uncle brought one of them to us. Aling Aida was thin and was in her 60’s. While we knew she may not be able to help much (because of her age), we still took her in. Whatever help she could offer, we were willing to accept to take off some load off our current helpers.
One time I was not that busy, I interviewed her—What happened to her and her companion on the day they were supposed to have arrived. In her Batanguena accent, she narrated.
Although my tita wrote in detail how to travel from their place to ours, Aling Aida and her companion did not follow my tita’s instructions—they followed their neighbor’s. So instead of alighting in Los Banos, they alighted in Calamba City. They asked a tricycle driver to bring them to BRAIN TRAIN. Alam n’yo san sila dinala? Sa riles ng tren. “Train” eh, hehe. And once there, they went to the barangay and asked for “Randy”, just as my tita instructed (supposedly when they arrive at our gate). Ansabe ng brgy captain? “
Sinong Randy? Maraming Randy dito—may Randy na mataba, payat, matangkad, pandak…
At this point, we could not help but burst out laughing. And she was narrating it matter-of-factly. Hahaha!
When they realized their efforts were futile, they just returned to their hometown (Tayabas, Quezon). And with an angry face, Aling Aida said,
At pagdating ko sa bahay, ay aba, pag tanggal ko aking mga gamit ay puro bato ang bag ko! P*tr!s ‘yung pamangkin ko—aba’y akalain mong nilagyan ng bato ang aking bag! Kaya pala ako’y bigat na bigat…e-e!
I and the people around me were torn—we both felt sorry for her, but we could not stop laughing. Hahaha!
But Aling Aida stayed with us for just a month because of health reasons. She did not complain about her workload, but said she felt ill. Before she left, she thanked us profusely, and said that if only she did not feel as though she had high blood, she definitely would have stayed. After she left I learned that her gratitude was truly heartfelt—apparently, her stint with us was the only time she was able to eat properly. Back home, she had to kalkal garbage in search of food. She had children, but none of them wanted to take care of her. It really broke my heart. But I was glad even for a brief time, she was able to sleep in a comfortable bed and was able to eat decent meals more than three times a day.
4. Being a “Manila girl”.
I’ve always been a probinsyana. I was born in a quiet little town of Kabacan in North Cotabato and lived there for 13 years. Then we migrated to Los Banos when my parents pursued their post graduate degrees (and because of the peace and security situation there. Or the lack, thereof). Los Banos, Laguna is a suburb. Kevin Arnold (in The Wonder Years) described a suburb as “a place with all the disadvantages of the city, and none of the advantages of the country, and vice versa”. And somehow, I agree. Don’t get me wrong–I love Los Banos for its mountains and hills and plants and UP (which magnets intellectuals). But it is also notorious for its traffic. With the kind of traffic we regularly experience, one would think we have at least a decent mall. But no, we don’t. If you want to buy new wardrobe and are stubborn in not leaving “eLBi”, then your closet will be all full of just Bench clothes. And a sprinkle of Penshoppe. No more other brands—that’s it. Heck, we do not even have a cinema/movie house here!
When I took the UPCAT more than a decade ago, I remember deliberately ignoring the “UP Diliman” option. It’s not that I was afraid I won’t get into UPD, but it was because my picture of Metro Manila was a place where I can’t breathe. Seriously. Plus the notorious traffic (hiyang-hiya naman daw ang traffic ng Manila sa traffic ng Los Banos…hihihi). And I really hate transferring vehicles when travelling—you know, bus from Point A to B, then jeep from C to D, then lakad, then tricycle from E to F. Golly gee I hate, hate, hate that! I used to say that to enjoy Manila, one has to be filthy rich.
One of the things I hate the most in the Metro. Image lifted from pinoyjourn.wordpress.com
And then I started liking going to Manila. It’s not that I became filthy rich, but because I started to crave for things that are only found there. I realized that I have already memorized the maze that is Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall. I realized that I wanted to watch a movie in 4D and IMAX. I realized that I wanted to try the buffet of Viking’s. I realized that in the long run, MAC makeups were cheaper than the drugstore brands.
Image lifted from www.adeals.ph
Unfortunately, Randy is allergic to traffic. Plus we’re both really bad at directions. So during the rare times we are in the Metro, we are always in a rush, and Randy is always panicking.
But last summer, I thoroughly enjoyed being a Manila girl. I was assigned mostly in Metro Manila, and thank God, we already had a condo! Bonus that our condo is really near two big shopping malls, but is nestled in a “nature-sy” community.
Suffice it to say, I had a blast shopping—whether actually buying or just looking, I was sooo happy to be surrounded by the beautiful things that Metro Manila has to offer a probinsyana like me.
3. Finally, THE STAM.
Remember THIS BLOGPOST? To be honest, I never thought I’d still get to have my first love designer bag. I thought I have moved on. But then my oldest BFF, Charissa Valdez (who celebrates a milestone birthday today!), sent me a link that says the Stam was going to be discontinued, so I better buy one na! I was really shaken by the news, and I realized that truly, first love never dies. So I had to make quick decision.
Then one day in the middle of the hectic summer, IT arrived.
Let us all rise as we welcome what used to be just the bag of my dreams.
Voila!!! Isn’t she lovely? Sigh! Let’s take a closer look to admire her beauty:
Hay, sobrang saya lang. Thank you so much again Charissa Valdez for making this all possible. Mwah mwah mwah!!!
2. I. LOST. WEIGHT. Yehey!!!
I am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I still have a flabby tummy, but still, I can’t believe it! In summer 2013, I barely lost weight despite my busy-ness. I blamed my super hearty appetite, my complacent attitude—I was too confident I would lose a lot of weight (just as I had the past summers), and my metabolism that has become sluggish post-partum.
So what happened now? I guess my 5-day detox helped a lot. I also kinda controlled my appetite (I still ate a lot but unlike last summer wherein I didn’t stop eating until I was already bundat). Aaaand, even though my hyperacidity was hell, it kicked off my weight loss. First, I got scared of foods (because they made my stomach ache like crazy). When that phobia wore off, I was more careful of what I ate. I had more reason to avoid too much chocolates and other sweets, and fatty and salty foods. I just think of the pain and BOOM, I lose some of my craving.
I realized that I really did lose some weight when I was in the fitting room of Hip Culture some days ago. The saleslady showed me their midriff tops and encouraged me to try them on. I hesitated, but the saleslady was persistent.
Before buying anything, I usually take pictures of myself wearing it.
I see the lovehandles and the bulge buuuuuuut, in fairness to me, this photo was taken in the afternoon. Marami nang laman ang chan ko niyan, and I was not sucking my stomach in. I’m just glad that may curves na rin ako kahit papaano. But don’t worry, I did not buy that blouse. Hindi ko keri, at nacacahiya kay Raviv.
1. Love love love from my students.
And last but not the least on this list, my is–choo-dents. I have never, ever dreamed of being a teacher, honestly. Parang ang baduy kasi. But since Randy kinda forced me into it, I had no choice. At first I just taught ordinarily. Then along the way, I was inspired to teach with gusto and zest. And before I knew it, my students just showed me so much love. As in so much love na feeling ko celebrity na ako. And my students this summer were no exception. I search my name on Twitter (suggested by a colleague), and I see my students still think of me and the things I said even when they’re no longer at class.
And the photo-ops! So touching that my students (as in whole section!) would wait for my last class to finish (overtime pa) just so they could have me in their photos.
And then I’d get super sweet and sincere comments pa!
‘Di ba? And then there are several more private messages I get, and more inspiring comments I receive on my evaluation. Sino ba namang hindi mai-inspire na galingan at ayusin ang pagtuturo n’yan? Oh well marami. But definitely not I.
Sooo, if you had chosen to enroll at another review center, definitely your loss for not having met me. Hahaha!
I feel so good focusing on the positive. This mantra is so true:
So everyone, ganito tayo:
With that in mind, baboosh! And like what I always tell my students, “Always think positively. And why should you think positively? A true Brain Train student could answer this.
Tell me what you think!
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