If it is true that necessity is the mother of all inventions then my Birthday wish is the cradle of a brave new Philippines.
You may think that there is scant hope for the Philippines as she is bedevilled with surmounting social and environment troubles.
Not so if my Birthday wish is embraced by a tumultuous reformation.
How it Began
It found its origins when there was a recent outbreak of that dreadful Measles in several places in the Philippines. Anti-Measles Vaccine is given free to all. Did I understand it is given free?
Now that is something that only happens in that country when there is a mudslide or an earthquake or floods or a volcano explosion or typhoon for hapless victims.
Is that the only freebie? Are there any other freebies in the Philippines of which I know not?
Maybe there are if one considers these goings-on:
1. Free sex that Pinoys trick young girls into obliging their horny needs.
2. Free babies as a result of Number 1.
Let there be Freelipines
Rubbish you say?
You would not when you consider that all these freebies will end Graft, robbery, poverty and many more crimes.
Freelipines gives her citizens the unparalleled distinction of receiving:
Free medical and hospitalization
Free dental and eye care
Free movies and entertainment
Free energy and water supply
Free home and personal gadgets
Just to mention a few and to win your undivided vote and support for the planned reformation of what will become FREELIPINES.
Who pays for the free supply???
I knew you would ask this question.
We shall leave that to the newly elected President and his Congress to figure that out.
I always find the celebration of birthdays as wonderful opportunities to let a person know what his life and work has meant to me. Thus, this birthday tribute for Windy.
For the 7 years that I have known Windy, there was never a dull moment. Either we were bantering, discussing, or arguing, he’d always say he wins any argument and I don’t have a chance of winning AT ALL. It has always been a losing battle with him although there were times I felt that I have been a runaway winner. LOL! But since it’s his birthday- again- I am giving it to him being the brilliant Windy that he is. When I refused to argue, he’d say that I am the most diplomatic blogger around. LOL! So, you must have understood by now that indeed, there is never a dull moment with Windy.
It seems only yesterday that I’ve known this man and there was no turning back since then. It has been an open book how I have admired him as a person; being the generous, compassionate and brilliant man that he is. He is the kind of person who’d be willing to do the extra mile for you.
Over the years, Windy had been there not only as my blog mechanic and blog Co-Author; but more than all, he has been a real good friend to me. Our friendship went beyond the realms of blogging. As a matter of fact, he was even one of the Principal Sponsors (Ninong) of my brother at his wedding. Truth be told, no matter how much we fight on every trivial and minute issues, Windy will always be a special man.
Last night, he expressed to me his disappointment. Blogging has become pathetic and has ultimately reached its end. Gone were the days when bloggers come by a blog to express their appreciation and support to either the blogger or the blogpost by way of comments. That’s how I made lots of blogpals after all- by way of interacting through comments. He told me it’s pointless to blog into space infinity; that even if I work doubly hard for my blog’s traffic and rankings, the heydays of blogging has bottomed out. Bloggers have become addicted to Instant Messaging and social media which is less time consuming and more convenient. Hence, the need to read a lengthy blogpost has became a mundane and mediocre task.
I want to prove him wrong. I want to make him see that even with the social media mileage, there are still bloggers like him and like me who passionately blogs our heart out and is willing to show support to fellow bloggers even when we are not bound by any rules.
I would hate for it to let Windy dissipate into thin air all because blogging had lost its height and glory. I believe he still has so much to give. He can’t waste his writing prowess just like that. I have lured him too many times in the past to come back to blog even when he already had given up blogging. We both know that blogging comes to him naturally and he does it amazingly- the Windy way!
It has been such a huge honor to sit in circle with you sharing a lot of beautiful, joyful, and hilarious blogging moments. I will always be in extreme gratitude for all the wisdom that you have shared at Lainy’s Musings, and I must say that you’re like no other. You have given me, and the countless others, the keys to a long-lost and vast universe of unlimited creativity, vision, and healing that opens the heart of the soul. Your unbridled articles are enriching, stimulating, empowering, thought-provoking, and at many times touched the big Filipino ego BUT I personally find it admirable and remarkable for you have a genuine and unique way of speaking your unbiased thoughts unfavourably and fearlessly.
Thank you for a lifetime of friendship shared with you. Stay happy, young and vibrant. I wish you all the strength, energy and vigour that you need to keep you going and sustain the making of “Baby Caroline.”
Cheers and may the Force be always with you!
I initially wanted to publish this tribute by virtue of a video presentation with Windy’s favorite song PLAY ME as a musical background. I fell short of my preparations because of the time zone difference. I deemed it best to publish all photos I have of Windy and the captions were either his publication or mine talking about how exceptional he is as a blogger and as a person.
Once again here are additional reflections on issues that I observed during my recent 49 days Visa in the Philippines. Obviously it may not be the case throughout the Country but it gave me additional insights.
Generally, the neighbors are willing to come forward to render assistance for whatever seems a bother. Like on the day I returned with two plywood sheets 8 feet by 4 feet on the cabin top of the tricycle, young able guys came out from seemingly nowhere and carried them for me to the house.
We had servings of food from whoever was celebrating a birthday. It is a nice gesture and though I found the food inedible, it is the thought that matters.
I found that Filipinos renege on their word. It makes me wonder whether they agree on something just to appear agreeable and polite to foreigners but in their hearts they feel otherwise.
Often I hear it said, “I am shy”. In my mind and depending on the situation I find that contradictory. How can one say, “I am shy” when making a request that I refuse but offer another solution when in the first instance the guy was not shy at all by begging for money???
The Media serves trash in most of their programs.
TV shows cannot be without a Gay actor/presenter in it. Radio deejays talks cock and some of their conversations are not for the ears of minors. Filipino songs are drab as they lack composition creativity. Singers scream and not sing. Music accompaniment is loud and harsh and drowns the singer’s vocals.
Corruption reeks in every aspect of life there. Even though the rate of inflation is reported as 3.9 percent in March this year, in reality corruption makes inflation very much larger.
Consumer prices are not controlled for essential goods.
Respected Malls and Supermarkets sell local products at imported branded product price. Forget imported products.
Despite the propaganda from President Benigno Aquino that the Philippine Economy has mended and is continually improving (due to his oh so astute leadership), the basic truth is that the Philippine Peso is stagnant at near 45 Peso to 1 USD. The purchasing power of the Peso has not improved.
The lack of transparency, poverty, abuse, insolvent corruption and inordinate displacement of incalculable amount of public funds continue to drive the Philippines towards becoming a failed State.
This was excluded in my earlier and last Post, “Come Closer, Come Closer and Listen” just below this Post and now instead of having made my work easier I have to do it twice.
Why the title “What Did The Fox Say?”
Firstly, it is the most stupidly funny song composition.
Secondly, I am getting out-foxed.
There is an ironic resemblance about what did the fox say because it connects to why it appears so hard for me to father a baby with Joy.
Like it is sung in the song of the same title…
What does the fox say?
What the fox say?
What the fox say?
What the fox say?
And we all know that…
But theres one sound
That no one knows
What does the fox say?
You lost me
I know you lost me now. You’re just not smart enough to make the connections.
I went ning nings, pa pa pows, hatee hatee ho’s with Joy. And you can add all the positions I am still physically capable at my age and yet there is no sign of conception but the dreaded day of the month for all womankind. Her best friend visits her and paints her red for failure.
What is the problem?
Like in the song, it is a deep and dark secret. An ancient mystery known only to women with a fickle menstrual cycle.
The secret of the fox
Somewhere deep in the woods
I know youre hiding
What is your sound?
Will we ever know?
Will always be a mystery
What do you say?
Now, how do I shoot a moving Ovulation target?
Due to my dilemma, the Philippine Immigration White Card will have to add one more reason for incoming travellers such as me in the Purpose of Visit column.
It has been almost two months since I was away in the Philippines.
Lainy asked me to update what on earth I was doing there for that length of time.
I could aptly borrow from Lulu’s lyrics with adaptation to describe what on earth I did.
My ? went
Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang
When Joy is near
Boom bang-a-bang, boom bang-a-bang
Loud over here
Pounding away, pounding away
Okay, I will save you the boring narration of my plane flight and airport and taxi. I found my way on my own by taxi to the rented house and I was not cheated by the taxi driver.
During the long stay, I managed to complete all the things that I wanted to do at the rented house.
I built a divan for the spring mattress, a base for the refrigerator, shelves on the wall and a foldable table for the laptop out of plywood and timber. I installed electrical fittings and an advanced water filter system at the kitchen washbasin. I cooked meals everyday and the neighbors almost suffered from diarrhea.
(No that was a joke) They loved my Malaysian dishes and became more friendly to get more. I told them not to be greedy.
The shop owners, the Sari-Sari owners and the market vendors were so happy to see me back again.
I met a cute three month old baby girl and her parents who live in the same compound. Her name is Covely. For a moment I thought how stupid that they failed in their Spelling B and did not name her Lovely. I gave 200 Pesos so generously to Covely and then feared that their whole Barangay would line up their wives holding their babies at the front of my house the following day!
Well, after having done the divan for the spring mattress, I realized from live tests that it needed more timber support or my pounding would land Joy and me falling through the divan’s woodwork onto the floor. LOL!
Spent many anxious nights reading all there was on the Internet about the missing Malaysian Airline jetplane MH370 that up till now is still unrecovered.
In between housework, cooking and wondering if my return plane would suffer the same fate as MH370, I also did the laundry by hand and remained mostly at home.
There was a tragic robbery cum murder in the first week I was there. So it was not advisable to be out of the house unless to answer a real need.
About the robbery…a snatch thief whipped out this handgun and fired at a middle aged Australian when the latter grappled with this shoulder bag from being snatched. The Aussie was reportedly a Church Minister and he held only his Bible in his shoulder bag. He died valiantly for a book! I mean he died stupidly for a Bible. He was fatally shot in the face right below his eye and in his chest.
Helpless bystanders looked on in disbelief at the crime and the murderer rode away on his motorbike. The food seller warned me to be careful because I look like a rich man when I dress up and walk on the roads. I told him I am not afraid because I carry a live King Cobra inside my pants.
I went to look at a new housing estate being developed somewhere off Cavite. I liked the quality of the house materials and design but I did not like the location. So the matter of acquiring a rent to own house for Joy is shelved till I find something better.
I bought her birthday cake at Goldilocks and sang the Birthday Song for Joy on April 4th. She said I have such a lovely voice. Roll over Justin Bieber.
All in all, it was a good time, learning more about life in the Philippines. I lost 18 kilograms in body weight and my Credit Card too!
I am back at home now and I shall return to the Philippines as soon as possible.
I can’t believe that the first quarter of the year is all behind us now. How time flies so quick!
It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions from my neck of the woods but life goes on.
For the past couple of weeks, I felt “homesick.” I missed my family and I wanted to go back to my home country. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe most emigrant, if not all, go through that. It was never a walk in the park especially for myself who had never experienced being away from my family ever- except for a span of one year when I tried to live solo in a rented apartment in the Philippines all Because the Baby is Now A Lady. That was an entirely different thing because I still live in the same city where I was born and bred; everything was still within my comfort zone.
While chatting with my pretty mother on Facebook last night, she had me well up with tears!
My Pretty Mama’s message
In the English vernacular, it says:
“Take Care, Te. Just always think that eventhough we’re so far away from you, we love and miss you so much… Scott, please take care of Lainy. Thanx.”
No words can ever express how much I miss the Philippines especially my family. My anguished soul longs for the love and comfort of family especially that of my own mother. It’s very, very hard to be far away from them but I am coping well. I thank God for He blessed me with a fantastic husband! He made it so much easier for me to cope.
Just so you know, my family and I hardly had any time to speak at each other because they also have their own lives and my Pretty Mama is VERYYYY busy!!! Facebook comes in very handy to us because when she gets the time to take a peak when it’s close to breaktime at work, she gets rather sneaky and logs in at FB and sends me a message; or when she’s not too deadbeat from work, she could check in again at home. This rarely happens though because she goes to Church most nights to perform her duties. We could go on Skype and do video chat if she doesn’t have any schedules for the weekend and ONLY if she had my brothers around at home to manipulate Skype. When she has all the time in the world to talk, that’s the time we are in bed. Blame it on the Timezone difference! I wanted to phone her last night but she can’t talk because she was at work. I can only roll my eyes! It’s sometimes frustrating. We ended up chatting at Facebook. Facebook has become the perfect medium for me and my family to connect at ANY given time; all for FREE!
On another end of the token, I received this bunch of gorgeous flowers today from my family here in Sydney.
Gorgeous flowers from my MIL and my Prince
It brought a smile to my face, spark to my eyes and it definitely melted my heart. It was a very sweet and loving gesture that made me feel so special. It’s not even my birthday!
The flowers was my MIL’s idea as she was aware what I was going through. She only wanted to see me happy again. I was in my lowest low. I didn’t even wanna face myself in the mirror; I don’t wanna fix myself like I used to and my blogging mojo was totally gone- nil, nada, lost! All I wanted to do was cry a river. Needless to say, I feel and look so ugly!
“No family is perfect… we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family…The love will always be there~ Unknown”.
But everything happens for a reason. It is in my lowest low when I learned who my real friends were and the realization that family will always be family no matter what. During the toughest times, it is still my family who will pick me up and help me face the world again with my chin up. I am very blessed to have a loving family. They have been my anchor of strength! Despite all the challenges, we will weather all kinds of storms by God’s loving grace and will even be stronger as we face the future.
Amidst all these, God’s boundless mercy and grace has always been with me. There is no shadow of a doubt that His unfailing love and faithfulness is perfect! He has incessantly guarded my heart and continuously engulfed me with His love. I will pull through this. We never ceased praying for strength and courage. It’s true that I am emotionally distraught but I can feel Him. He is giving me enough strength to cope; and next to Him is my family who is always ready to give me tight hugs each time.
God has been so good all the time; all the time God is good!
Feb 15 was an awaited event for the members of our Church worldwide. It was the day the Worldwide Walk was launched on different parts of the world at various timezones. We saved the date with excitement and joy. Even when my Prince and I were both feeling under the weather with the nasty bouts of colds and coughs, we still geared ourselves up for the event.
The commemorative T-shirts and the waiver
The weather was not very cooperative. It was raining cats and dogs on our way to the event until it began. The participants came all prepared with their umbrellas and so were we.
Majestic Sydney Opera House
Photo oop with one of the brethren- he did the flower arrangement in our wedding at Church
The approximately 1.5-km walk kicked off at the Hicksons Road Reserve. The walk commenced at 10 am with the following routes: Hicksons Road Reserve, The Rocks going to the Circular Quay around Sydney Opera House and back.
At Circular Quay
… And the walk officially commenced!
It felt like we weren’t doing the walk at all because we were having too much fun seeing quite a number of families- from the parents down to their kids enjoying the event. Moreover, the walk was held right at the very heart of the city where you can see a lot of people. People or crowd watching was definitely even more fun! Hahaha!
Some brethren doing a TV interview (GEMNET)
There were one couple who stopped me and my Prince from our tracks and asked to which country was the fundraising for. We told them it was for the Haiyan typhoon victims in the Philippines that was recently hit by the strongest typhoon on earth.
Our wristbands for the Guinness World Record Official Attempt
The wrist bands were placed here for counting by the Guinness World Records panel of adjudicators
My husband while walking through the Sydney Opera House
My Prince and I at the Finish Line
Happy faces after the walk with the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the background
We felt truly happy to have taken part in this charitable event. Not only were we able to help with our registration fee of $35/ participant, but this event was massive in itself. It was able to set two big Guinness World Records- the Largest Charity Walk in a Single Venue and the Largest Charity Walk in Multiple Venues respectively. The Guinness Adjudicator officially declared the participants as “Officially Amazing.” It was an honor not only for an indigenous Church that emerged in a Third World Country but also for the entire nation as well. We just proved to the world that even when we are poor, we are capable of doing something big for our fellow Filipinos and be counted as one.
Exactly a month after the Worldwide Walk event, a resettlement community was launched in Leyte. The funds collected from the walkathon was utilized for this housing project with initial beneficiaries of 1,000 families. Livelihood programs were also initiated to help the victims rebuild their lives. This resettlement program was considered a model community by the Local Government for all other organizations to emulate and for replication purposes.
Photo not mine
On a different note, it is inexplicably disheartening that some Filipinos has got the nerve to bash the Worldwide Walk participants in social media and attacked the Church for holding such a massive undertaking.
We stretched our hand to help people in need; a lot of them yelled at us and said:
“Get the hell out of our way because we have work to do, places to go, and your deed is blocking our way, wasting our precious time.”
So sickening and despicably familiar, isn’t it?
How I wish I could have just told each one of the participants to shrug their shoulders off and simply back off when all hell breaks loose. We can’t always please the crowd. We don’t even have to try. As it is, we can save someone’s life and still get stoned for doing so. But at least, we know in our hearts we have the honest motives in the world. We can look them up straight in the eye and say with conviction that what we did was the right thing regardless what negative feedback we get. Good thing I have this little blog of mine for me to vent out my angst. Ha! Ha! Ha!
As a participant of this charitable endeavor, I felt happy that the money went to the beneficiaries and it didn’t go to unscrupulous handlers. It is for a fact that the Philippines had received tons of help in the form of cash and in kind. I understand that rehabilitation can not be done overnight. Yet, a lot of victims are still awaiting to be assisted. They need more than just packed relief goods. They need long-term solution for them to be able to get back on their feet and start their lives anew.
It does not take much for a business to be damaged by an online review from a disgruntled patron. Some businesses will ignore the bad review, and others will make an attempt to engage the reviewer in order to rectify the situation. There are other businesses that are combative in their addressing the situation, which only further exacerbates it and starts an all-out war on their social media sites. A good way to deal with bad reviews is to engage the customer in a true exchange in order to determine the exact nature of the problem and what can be done to correct it. This all should be done in a public forum where others can see the exchange.
Some negative comments from customers may have nothing to do with the business, and those should be given the same attention that would be given to fixable problems. Some people get very irate because an order is not in their hands when they feel it should have arrived. While some of this can be rectified by changing delivery carriers, often there are circumstances that have nothing to do with the business.
During the 2013 Christmas season, the amount of missing packages and arrival delays were enough to cause the hardiest online vendor to grit their teeth. Between the weather being terrible across the United States and the cutbacks at the United Postal Service, there certainly were delays that were out of the control of the business. People were expecting to have gifts to give, and some of the bigger retailers promised expedited shipping services and even one-day delivery. Obviously, those retailers could not honor the promise. Those retailers took many hits in their customer service department.
Those businesses were lucky that they had a customer service department to field those complaints. That meant they had a chance to acknowledge the problem, offer solutions and provide assurances that the problem would never arise again. Too many smaller businesses had no idea that they were the subject of blog columns, Facebook complaints or other community grumblings. A business that subscribes to an online reputation alert will know when there are complaints coming their way. They have a better chance of heading them off, and they can stop a media disaster before it happens. It is always better to be on top of a problem before it escalates into a media storm. It is difficult to repair that type of damage done to a business.