Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Filipinos are the most patient, most resilient and will take crap more than the next person. I am too. (When it's on my non-hormonal day or when I'm asleep.) I've mentioned before that this lady attendant at the gym has been the constant source of my aggravation, and today is another day to put up with her crap.  The sauna isn't on, because? "I didn't turn it on yet, so it won't get too hot."

Ok. Breath in. And try not to breath out fire, I tell myself. When my blood pressure rises, it floods my brain with vile and the only way to contain it so it won't contaminate another person, is to not open my mouth. I gathered the strength to walk to the massage belt and let it grind my muffin top, and wait for my curdling blood to cool off. I walked over to the treadmill and walked 7 minutes before I could not stand the boredom anymore and went back to talk to this pesky attendant. I explained to  her why it's called a sauna and why it is supposed to be hot and why it's good for your body. Why do you think Hippocrates, the father of medicine said: "Give me the power to create a fever, and I shall heal all diseases." Her eyes were twitching as I was explaining this to her and by the time I was done, I felt like the most pompous, spoiled complainer. And I hate that.

But then I thought: well, as long as I am in this mood of complaining, I might as well complain about the music. "Can you change the pipe in music to a Katy Perry cd?" "Who's Katy Perry?" Omg.  Seriously?  I could easily extend grace for her ignorance of the benefit of the sauna, but not knowing the ex-wife of Russell Brand? Omg, that's grievous. "Do you know Russell Brand?" Eye twitching. "No." This time, it's not only a grievous sin, it's unforgivable if you don't know Russell my Brand.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December is the only time of the year where people explain their finances to other people: This year we're not doing anything for Christmas, Because.......(fill in the blanks) And the only time of the year when people apologize---for giving at all. "I wanted to buy you that cashmere sweater, but my budget can only afford this cheese log from the dollar store, which I hope you'll eat by new year's eve."

But why? Anytime of the year we don't tell our co-workers or friends that we're denying ourselves and have been eating canned pork and beans  3x a day or that we have been visiting the church food pantry more times than the weekly church service. Why? it's the pressure of the season. It's the pressure to act happy and jolly. And generous. I say rubbish. Go hang yourself and leave me alone.

In the US, when someone greets me and say "Merry Christmas" (at least back when saying Christmas didn't get you in trouble.) they mean just that....have a Merry Christmas.  But here in the Philippines, when someone greets me the joy of Christmas, it's always followed by: What's my gift?
And since this is my second Christmas in a row here in the Philippines, I've learned what to say when someone asks, 'what's my gift.' I'd say : "Same as last year." "But you didn't give any last year." Then that's what I mean....nada.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid, but stealing and or cheating was never my default setting. So how come this new generation sees nothing wrong about deception?

The gym I go to has a daily rate of $7.50 and this is my preferred way to go, considering that I'm never consistent with anything. But this week they have a promotional offer of 100 dollars for 3 months, with a restriction that you can use the facility everyday but only in the morning. No problem, I am a morning person. So this morning I showed up with my 4000 pesos in cash. In cash, because I was told they don't take credit or debit cards. In America, this would be a simple transaction; you pay, you get a receipt. But not here in Cebu. The lady who took my money told me in a hushed tone that I can use the facility for more than 3 months. Oh yeah? "Yes, but I can't give you a receipt, but don't worry because I am always the receptionist in the morning."

Some people may have liked this idea of a bargain, but not me. "What if you get hit by a jeepney tomorrow and you die and I show up here and whoever replaces you, asks for proof of membership from me, what then?" "No, that won't happen." What won't happen, you dying or another receptionist asking me for proof?

I should be happy for being offered a bargain, but is that really something I can live with? Of course not. I insisted for a receipt and it took over an hour for her to produce it. As the tourism promoters of the Philippines like to say: It's more fun in the Philippines. That's because in the Philippines, everything is for sale; kidney, lungs and or your soul.


I dream to be able to do this in my farm.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I finally had enough inactivity and I finally am feeling it on my body, so  today, I went back to the gym and just the mere act of going felt like I've already accomplished a lot today. I have not been back there since I arrived from Dallas so it surprised me to see that they have the a/c cut off and just had the door open, wide enough for air to get in....and all the dusts and fumes from the jeepneys and tricycles outside. I didn't know what to think of the arresting humidity. But 10 minutes on the treadmill, my body heat tempered the environments humidity. I guess it's ok. I tell myself.

I asked the reception girl why the change--is it due to clients request or is it due to budget constraint? "Budget. Boss said we have to conserve energy." Ok. Fair enough. I'll try to live with it because I don't really have a choice unless I go to another gym where I have to take a taxi. While this one is just a stone's throw away from me and has sauna in it.

When I go to the gym, the  only machine I will use is the treadmill. I walk in it for not more than 30 minutes and that's really good when I can even last that long. I get bored after 5 minutes, but I have to do it so my joints won't stick together. I do it for my health, period. But I love the sauna, so any gym with a sauna almost always can get me to join. Today, I was more adventurous. I used the massage belt; you know, the kind that wraps around your waist and you push this button to make it shake and grind.  I'm almost convinced that it has the "power to melt down the fat" on my sides, otherwise known as "muffin top." I felt exhilarated from that massaging and gyrating sensation.  Until the reception girl sidled up to me and asked if I was coming back tomorrow morning.  "I don't know. Why?" "Because I have something to give you." When a Filipino tells me that they have something to give me, I get apprehensive and weary. "What are you going to give me?" "An envelope for Christmas, ma'am." You see why I can't really tell you wholeheartedly that I love it here in Cebu?

Friday, December 14, 2012

We had our Christmas lunch yesterday with the street kids. When you take the time to listen to this kids, you'd see why Jesus came at all, and died for us, so we can live. And live "abundantly." This is Bebing. He roams the street but goes home to his brother once in a while. He sells drugs to the street kids. It's his birthday this week, so I made him brownies with icing and called it a birthday cake. I told him it was all his to freely give away. It made him feel useful and powerful. I told him selling drugs will kill children and that's not the kind of power he wants. He said he understands.
We had spaghetti, rice and fried chicken. And we listened to the word of God in the Bible.
This is Arnold. He, like the rest dumpster dive, begs and or steal. Then he play dress up. I said how can you live on the street and be gay? I guess it adds color to an otherwise dab under the bridge life. When he's not dressed as a female, he looks so sad and unhappy pushing the cart load of plastic and scrap metals.
I have one boy left at the farm because he broke his leg and barely able to stand up. But here's what I have in the city now. Yesterday at the party.
Remember them before? Here's Santino and Jack, high as a kite from sniffing rugby a year ago.
And Jordan when I first got him 9 years ago. He is now my peasant, my slave and... he prefers to be called my "PA".
And then there's Kevin and Junjun of 5 months ago.
They are the real vagabonds. My heroes. And Jesus is our Hero because without Him, I would have killed all of them and tell God they died.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

John McAfee, the software guru and millionaire is headlining on several major newspapers. The guy invented McAfee and several years later, sold it for several millions. He left Silicon Valley and chose to live a life of wanderlust and isolation. And he's branded an "eccentric", "bonkers" and "crazy". Because the man knows what he wants in life? "I have more money than I can spend in a million lifetime" he said.

He moved to Belize. And he has dogs, lots of dogs which makes a lot of noise which caused him arguments with his neighbors. Then one neighbor turned up dead. Then John turned up in Guatemala, illegally. He ran for fear of his life. Rumors say he killed the neighbor. I don't think so.

You see, this is why I've often said that to the utmost I admire people who can walk away from something big, something familiar and special. John knew to do that. I just hope he'll find his way, back to my life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Testing, testing

This new computer is pissing me off big time. I have finally figured out how to upload pictures but then when I minimize the window it erases everything. Anyway, let me try again.

These are pics I took of the boys 2 days ago.
I want to grow whatever I can so I saved the seeds of the avocado I ate and here they are, ready to make a tree of themselves.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I'm a tech moron, I've always admitted that, but I will eventually learn my way around a gadget given enough time. But this new computer I got with a Windows 8 operating system, is the worst I've yet to learn in the world of computers. I've been learning my way around it for 2 days now and I still could not find the part where it shows you the control panel and all the programs. And the part that really ticks me off ? I could not find a key or button to click to read the card in order to see my pictures.

Naturally, I'm frustrated to say the least. But hey, it could be worse. I tell myself this. But it's not working. I'm being self-serving, of course. As I write this, I have 2 friends whose husbands are very sick to where my girl friends have become slaves to the situation. And all I can focus is my computer problem? Ok, I will try to refocus and not get caught up in this path of me, me, me. I will start by ending this struggle with Windows 8 and going to sleep. NOW.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My cat doesn't do anything; he doesn't work, he doesn't rub my back or take me on vacations. All he does is make my heart pitter-patter with giddiness. When other pet owners talk about their pets who  have died or are sick and dying, I could not imagine myself going through that. I tell myself I would never get another pet if and when the time comes that my Winn will leave me. But then again, isn't that the same as saying I will never fall in love again?

We don't choose who we love and when we fall in love. And what kind of life is it anyway without love and losses? So I tell myself one more time that when I fall in love, I will love (him) like how I love my cat. Assuming of course, he, like my cat makes me  giddy.