Tag Archives: family

Motorbike Ban on Philippine Highways?

Ban? What ban? That would be the day…just for the sake of some wishful thinking: Lawmakers seek motorbike ban on highways (Thursday, January 3, 2008 )

Two lawmakers have filed a bill at the House of Representatives seeking to ban motorcycles on main thoroughfares and national highways.

Can you imagine how many oppositions they’re going to have? Just among my brother-in-law and his bike-riding friends who have their own organization: Samahan ng mga Amang Walang Pakinabang (Useless Father’s Club). Why?

  • If you have children under the age of 18, you should be home helping them with homework.
  • On weekends, you should be home with your family and not with your buddies polluting the highways…worse, making your wife believe that you’re working overtime.
  • Considering that you can’t even afford a P5M insurance…well, if you have a job that is only enough for the upkeep of your motorcycle–I guess, nothing could be lost.
  • I could rant and rave like a raging lunatic, but this is a facet in the selfish man’s life that would never change unless something drastic happen–loss of limb or life.

I just hope they’re not going to be their children’s role model. Though, sad to say, this is a very enticing lifestyle from the teen-agers perspective. However, even families ride together–not just husband and wife, sometimes with 2 children between them.

Citing a World Health Organization report, Santiago said in many Asian countries including the Philippines, road accidents are usually caused by motorcycles….“Nearly 1.2 million persons die of road traffic accidents every year, 40 percent of which are under 25 years old,” he said…..”young motorcyclists make up a significant percentage of injuries and fatalities among road users in many Asian countries”.

I don’t believe on statistics alone. Numbers may not be everything…but my eyes had seen enough. My niece’s driver landed in the hospital, luckily, just a few days and a few thousand pesos to fix the bike–more than any savings he made–if he ever did. How many more like him? We can only guess!

Among the accident reports cited by WHO, speeding, non-use of helmets, risk-taking behavior and drunk driving were contributing factors to the rising trend of traffic accidents, he added….Teodoro said an Asian Development Bank report on road safety in the Philippines showed that motorcyclists were the “second most at risk” of being killed or injured in a road accident.

Many times that we had been on the road there, we have seen quite a few minor accidents. There was even one couple that skidded behind us one rainy night. I could only gasp, and luckily the traffic was awfully slow… almost to a halt; otherwise, the bus following them would have run them over. Still, a few unlucky ones like my brother-in-law’s friend didn’t expect to meet their end. Motorcycles are fun, convenient, but dangerous and are getting to be a continuing hazard on the road as their number continues to grow.

Records from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority showed that motorcycles have the highest fatality accident rate with 122 motorcycles or 23.6 percent of the total fatal accidents. – Delon Porcalla

If you visit the website www.motorcyclephilippines.com , you will find more information from the serious to humorous. One picture I love was that of the dog backriding…and without helmet [or any harness], enjoying the ride in perfect balance. At least the human had one…I mean the helmet!

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

 

 

Motorcycles in the Philippines, a Blessing?

Let me count the ways motorcycles could be a blessing [primarily] in the Philippines, but I guess the first 3 would have a universal appeal. I’ll try to give ‘the thing’ some poetic justice first by looking past the tiny monsters that they are on the road.

  • With the soaring prices of gas, having one is a great money saver.
  • Need I mention the Metro Manila traffic?–an indisputable time saver.
  • Sure…it’s a convenient way of moving around in the highways and byways of life.
  • Then there are 101 reasons each motorcycle buff could concoct for some lame justification.
  • Bottom line, it’s personal gratification.

Exactly…that’s just how I personally feel about this miniature monster. Driving next to it in the wonderful roads of Orange County is no better than driving next to a humongous truck. Imagine that in the congested roads of the Philippines! I’m no mathematician but I can give you the square of hatred [=scorn] for the motorcycle, even the square root [=death]…somebody is going to kill me for this emotional statement. But…hey, I’m entitled to my opinion–as much as anyone is–on having it on the road.

It is personal…when my brother-in-law acquired one [whatever inventive reasons he could give], the repugnance became my battle. I have seen enough accidents on the road while on vacation, just in the vicinity of Fairview, Quezon City. Not to mention his dead motorcycle buddy (bless his soul) hit by the bus while we were still there. If he’s not the father of my nephews and the wife of my sister, I wouldn’t care.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

The Wonderful ‘Sound of AGING’ Gracefully

Who had not heard of the legendary Sound of Music? I confess I have not watched the complete story [like any other movies]–it’s just me. However, I’ve heard of this supercalifragilisticexpealidocious* woman enough to include her in my personal list of awesome people. My friend who got this one from her [awesome-in-her-80s?] Aunt Marg forwarded this profoundly-compelling-to-share email:

 

Julie Andrews Turns 69–To commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan ‘s Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.

One of the musical numbers she performed was ‘My Favorite Things’ from the legendary movie ‘Sound Of Music’.   Here are the lyrics she used: > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > (Sing It!  – if you sing it, it’s especially hysterical!!! ) Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and hand-rails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things. Cadillacs and cataracts ,and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,    These are a few of my favorite things. When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,   No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,  And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things. When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > (Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews’ clever wit and humor with others who would appreciate it.

 

I did sing a few lines that my faltering unmusical mind somehow remebered, still…it brought home some humor to my morning. This brings back to a nagging question as to who finds all the stuff floating in emails, and how do they travel from the very original source? Etc…etc…etc! I heard of the blogger that snuck in her (?) recorder and got Obama in the bloggy [helluva] news. Oh…well, this must be from another blogger I should say–Thank You!

 

Again…is there an AARP in the Philippines? Are there AARP members in the Philippines? Thanks to AARP for making it happen I guess…esp. to the brilliant Ms. Andrews. Brilliant! Come to think of it…did Oprah’s rating go down by 13%? What do I care anyway…I really should declutter my aging mind, too.

 

I hope I’m spelling *super… properly! Why do I need to install whatever plugin to use the spell checker here? I’m really developing a bad case of plugin-phobia. Another irritating thing in this new dashboard is using the tags…still have to type individually again (pain, pain, pan, pin…in). I knoooww there’s a quicker way, but I sure can’t unravel it yet…simpler to GRIPE, and more griping–such a gripping gripe! OK…I don’t go to forums; my ‘DSL’ level is making me think I don’t understand English. Maybe, I’ll wait for another serendipity moment.

 

 

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Loving Those Young Coconuts

It’s been known that a coconut palm is an indesputable tree of life (?), but my husband loves it for some simple pleasures it provides. It all started when our family friend who has the tree at his sister’s house got curious as to how a foreigner would like it. Since he had some ready for picking, he went to climb it himself. They have the dwarf version so it wasn’t so bad. Proud as he was of that beautiful bunch fresh from his tree, he handed two to my husband to see what he would do with them.

This green coconuts are soft and could be eaten in several ways.

The juice had been saved; they’re ready for anyone to scoop them.

My husband’s turn to figure out what to do with his share. Yeahhh!

Nothing better than drinkin’ it str*t–hmm, straight from the nut.

Coconut trees thrive in tropical places, which means we can find these incredible trees in abundance in the Philippines–beach, mountains, or valleys. I’m counting the days when we go on vacation in June. I should have booked our tickets in March [but I’d been so consumed by blogging] and now I’m hoping that our agent would find cheaper ones than what I found at the internet today.

Here are a few coconut shots from the beach of Boracay when my sister’s family went there in October. My niece got one of those heavily discounted tickets during the rainy months. You just have to know how to dodge the storms–just kidding–pray that there wouldn’t be showers and thunderstorms while you’re on board the plane, I guess. Be brave and Boracay beach will not disappoint you.

The beach still seems welcoming; discounted ticket is worth braving the storm.

Did the storm run the poor boat aground? It’s simply high tide…isn’t that so?

Now…it’s really bad. The storm is here and it’s starting to really sink that ship.

Nah…they had a wonderful time, and maybe one day, I will take my own pictures of the coconuts. Too bad…when I was growing up in Negros, I didn’t have the chance to take pictures to contrast the inland coconuts, and some of them were even in the middle of sugarcane plantations. Those were the days I did not even realize how our lives were enriched by the coconut trees planted by my grandfather’s parents. I just knew they were my gradfather’s pride…and our family’s joy in many ways.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Password to Modern Civilization

Oh…civilization, what thoust bring to the world? Paper trails of human foibles, for isn’t it a folly to want all the [un]necessary trappings of life? Even the trappings of success are really just traps that keep one from enjoying the basic necessities of living life to the fullest. How many things does one need to survive? …to love? …to hope? …to whatever? Whatever! Teen-agers discovered how to sum up life all in one word. Why can’t we?

What’s in your desk drawer? …in your filing cabinet? …in your computer? Hhmm–‘to do’ lists, bills, records, etc…. Oh, you are organized! In this modern civilization of this day and age, daily headaches would consist of soaring gas prices, doubling effect on groceries, and the rest of you can go on from there. Then it gets harder month-to-month: car payments (Volvo? Mercedes? Lexus?), house mortgage (Beverly Hills? Newport Beach?)–the ultimate [American] dream. What about your cell phone? What else did you say you have…ipod, blueberry, wii, xbox? I won’t dare go on, or my ignorance might betray me.

Life in a filing cabinet…this is just the beginning of modern civilization. Lucky are those computer savvy nomads [or not] with the password at their fingertips. For the uncivilized ones like me…even my husband, what is life like? The password curse is back! I finally convinced him to continue being Mr. Drumblogger (grudgingly, he seemed to be willing; let’s just say I cast that persuasive woman’s spell for now). Ohhh…now, we need the password. That was November then…sure we have some kind of record printed. Somewhere. Hhmmm…I thought it was in this filing cabinet. Do I have to hunt it amongst this ebay receipts? Five months ago, I remembered putting 1 computer stuff file folder right in front of all the other ones for accessibility purposes. Look what 5 months can do! Let’s backtrack…what was your ebay password then? How about your computer password? Nope! Some would know the rest of the story.

I start feeliiiing it in veins…patience, I envoke. Now, let’s try the easy way out–hit that forget-your-password button. See…it’s being sent to your email. Check your email–ooops, not in the Yahoo one; not in the Hotmail, either…then what now? Did you make a Gmail one for the blog? Yeaaaaaaah…that was 5 months ago, too. Which means–with the temporarily misplaced records–the reason why we’re having this problem in the first place. OK…another moment in time lost! I guess I’ll have to wait for another serendipity moment on this one.

Civilization goes with information explosion…always a mind-numbing experience, at least to me. Technology moves at a rapid speed; I can’t comprehend how some humans could make it so…indeed, ‘humans are still smarter than computers’ remains my contention. It’s just the rest of humanity that is sometimes left behind. I am left behind…or should I include my husband? This business of existence is really taking a toll on our retirable minds. This is when computer is better [not smarter] at remembering things. 

I can only dream of what my life was in the Philippines. As a carefree uncivilized kid in one remote farm in the Philippines half a century ago, I had nature as my playground. I didn’t have to go any farther for playmates; I had my siblings and cousins. For some reason, everyone was somehow related to one another: first cousins, second cousins, third or maybe even fourth. Toys? Aaahh…you mean those leaves and twigs and branches and even trees to climb for fruits when you get hungry? Nature has endless possibilities…no need to worry about lead in products, that translates to testing kits…to lawsuits and what nots. The records we kept were in our hearts! The only password we needed was LOVE4EVER…hard to forget–even when the memory starts to fade.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

 

Love from the Heart, Life from the Hearth

You have to love the Philippines to come back and retire there; you have to love life to be in front of the hearth without complaint. I don’t know why someone would search for ‘kitchen in the Philippines’ but it reminded me of the ‘dapog’ [hearth] we have while growing up in the remote farm of Hacienda Estrellas [I think it’s Spanish, meaning ‘farm of stars’] but it was really named after the sugarcane plantation owner’s last name of Estrellas.

However, let’s go back to that kitchen a long time ago. Oh, I wish I had the picture of that hearth as it was the essence of our family’s simple existence. Numerous poignant stories of growing up revolved around there. [Another blog later maybe or when I learn to do the links]. I should probably mention…there was no electricity and running water. Unless you have gone camping, you probably won’t understand that kind of survival. Don’t get me wrong, it was the time dearest to my heart. Maybe one day, I’ll recreate our place in my dream village.

The hearth inside the house is a luxury in the farm. That’s how I look at it now, considering that most farmers and laborers have a Nipa Hut just enough to give the family a roof over their heads…that when the night comes, they would find shelter from whatever lurks in the darkness of the night. They usually cook outside [lucky to have a make-shift cover to protect the hearth from rain].

If you can visualize 3 rocks arranged in a triangle, that’s the basic of the hearth. These rocks elevate the pot and allow the chopped pieces of wood to be positioned underneath the pot. This is just the preliminary activity; the actual cooking has not begun yet. If the luxury of an old newspaper wrap is not available, you just have to be resourceful to find your fire starter from nature as wood will not catch fire like the way the stove’s pilot light would start your cooking. It’s a lot of blowing, which is probably a good lung exercise. It could be a lot of crying too–from the smoke…or maybe from the hard work. Nobody questions…it’s a chore to be done.

I actually came across a few of the different pictures of bathrooms that one of the Lonely Planet pioneers took in his travels, and I think that was pretty interesting. You reeeally wouldn’t want me to post the Philippine ones, but that’s an idea someday when I travel to the bundoks [Tagalog origin of boondocks]. I’ll try to see what I can find on these kitchens though. I think I have one blurry picture from 50 years ago when they were cooking outside during some celebration [not digital…scanning???]. This must have been the reason why Filipinos have traditionally want a ‘dirty kitchen’ in their houses. Did you say why would someone want a dirty kitchen? Believe me, we cook a lottttt of things that could make our kitchen dirty. I’ll show you some when I get to it.

For now, I have the ready pictures of — what can be better than Fairrr[h]view kitchens. I was ambitious at first and I thought I’ll have the small stove/oven combination in the furnished unit. My sister was practically aghast at the idea, but she went along with one trial. After a year without any takers, it was transferred downstairs when we finally did my own kitchen.

      grn rm

 This is the kitchen [fan-only unit] with the ‘dirty kitchen’/laundry area. 

    

Our A/C unit kitchen–same layout in all other units, just different colors.

This kitchen [from the window] shows the location of the cooking area.

The second floor 1st unit has an extended area intended for family gatherings.

This family hub is still at its finishing stage; now it’s the hubbub of activity.

This picture has no bottom cupboard yet, same style as the one above the sink.

My sister wanted to finish the kitchen downstairs so she transferred the stove.

 The cupboards were done by one of the workers with doors bought from SM.

 

This island needs bar stools but I’m too cheap…maybe my worker can make one.

Still with miniature fridge…and on the other side of the door is the dirty kitchen.

 The dirty kitchen…still clean–no plans for dirty cooking yet.

    

My favorite nook–adjacent to the dirty kitchen/our bedroom extension.

Our bedroom is connected to my favorite little nook…a secret access just for me.

From the hearth…to the heart of Fairview, or should it be from the heart to the hearths of Fairview apartments. Where are we? Stuck here in California in an old house [that I equally love] but hard to maintain for just the two of us–again! Even my husband misses my family as much as I do…especially the bigger kids that keep him company. I can’t blame the guy for wanting to retire before retirement.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Survivor Philippines, Reality

Survivor reality show may be one of the successful shows on TV [even without me watching it]…but I’m still stuck in time with Matlock and Perry Mason. I’m not big on reality shows…can’t stand drama and clashes on TV. There’s so much of that in real life. If I want to watch real survivors, I can do that when we’re vacationing in the Philippines. I just have to stand from the balcony of our house, and I will see the reality of existence. That’s one reason I have no cable TV here in California; that saving alone goes a long way to help one family’s survival in the Philippines. [DSL though is another matter; I’ll go hungry for this internet connection. It helps save my sanity!]

pan-de-sal vendor

Early morning you’ll wake-up to the call of the pandesal (bread) vendor. Just what you need for your coffee.

Vegetables come to your house...just have to wait.

Vegetables come to your house…you just have to wait at your doorstep.

Want some fish with your vegetable…that too can come to your house?

 tricycle vendor

 Snack time in the afternoon, maybe in the morning too.

working--cement mixing

This is cement mixing…with audience–also waiting for something to collect?

road work

Nawasa (water connection repairs) before roadwork.

Why then am I wasting my breath on TV Survivor? I googled it–still fascinated–Survivor: Micronesia; Survivor is even going to China??? In one of our little talks today, my husband mentioned Turtle Bay Resort is going out of business [?], and it’s up for sale as condos. Nice retirement…facing the ocean, only for $250,000. ONLY??? Well, again, this is Hawaii. And he threw in…it seems Survivor films their TV episodes there, not that we care. Not that we can afford it either, just wishful thinking. I tried googling it anyway [life with google]… after 3 pages, that’s the end of it.

I’ve seen a bit of Turtle Island, Fiji, and more Turtle Islands in other parts of the world [didn’t go into them anymore]. However, I didn’t see the turtle island that my joker friend was saying we have in the Philippines. Of the many uninhabited islands we have there, we can afford to have snake island too, and whatever animals we fancy to have their islands. After all we have only about 1,700 islands humankind can really visit–not all of the 7,107 (maybe 1 more during low tide)–isn’t that enough islands for every animalkind?

If you’re interested in that retirement condos in Turtle Bay Resort [?], Hawaii, have fun with Mr. Google as your guide. It’s not really in my line of interest…I’m already sunk in that apartment of ours in the Philippines. Now I’m reminded: Taxes, taxes, and more taxes, and tax time is almost over. I’m one reality survivor in the Philippines. [sigh!]

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I’m coming back to this post to let you know: There Really Is Turtle Island in the Philippines! Check this out– http://philecotourism.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/my-turtle-island-birthday-prayer/  –it’s by a volunteer and the group of dental students. I’ll check it out further. Serendipity is creeping up in my blogs!

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

I Must Be Getting Crazy!

I can’t help but post one more time. Like the internet bum that I am, I have no idea how I got to [WP] Matt’s recent post “New Dashboard Design & March Wrap-Up”…this explains my new dashboard layout. Thank goodness, I wasn’t the culprit. I’m getting this phobia that everything I touch turns ‘kapowww’! Lost!

When I started my comment, I thought I was the first one…only to find out when I hit Submit, I was #41 I guess (41 Responses…). Whoaaa! I wasn’t the only one lost. A few even said the change happened in the middle of their posting–pretty historic to me. The others said they love it; I won’t be able to tell the difference as I’m barely scratching the surface. I can’t really say it’s diamond!

Amazed as I was, I left a follow-up comment (still awaiting moderation)–which further amazed me when I saw not 41 responses anymore above but (81 Responses…)! Let me go back there and amuse myself more this time. This is getting to be my life, huh?

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Dancing with the Stars: Cheryl Bautista Burke

I didn’t mean to write about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ again, but Cheryl on the TV morning news teaching teenagers to do ‘the moves’ caught my attention. Then, I thought…that’s nice! [I’m a frustrated dancer, so DS is one of the very few shows I’d like to watch on TV.] Then I remembered my Filipino friend once mentioned [the 1st time she won] that she’s partly Filipina. I didn’t think much of it then, but now I thought…something related to the Philippines.

My friend is right! Wiki: …of Filipino & Irish descent. Bautista is Filipino last name [Spanish origin]. She grew up in Atherton, CA. –Hey! There’s an Atherton School next to my house in the Philippines.– It’s in Wiki too that she had helped a couple of schools with their fund raising. Whoever is Matthews Lawrence, my husband is Lawrence Matthew. Coincidentally, today she’s having the Grand Opening of her ballroom dance studio: Cheryl Burke Dance, San Francisco. Google brought me to her website: www.strictlycheryl.com 

I’m on the “google stage” at this point of being a DSL learner [Digital is my Second Language]. Everything amazes me from my WP dashboard (which seems to look different today) to whatever I find in Google World–[sigh] if only I could upload my ideas here by saying, “Beam me up, Scotty!” If I’m not quoting this right, I can always use the ESL excuse [English is my Second Language]. Hay, naku…tama na (in short, enough is enough)! At the end of my Google session, I’m so bogged down by the information from the technical to the human aspects of what’s out there. Indeed, what a tangled web enough to choke even an old woman’s innocence! [wink, lol]

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

 

Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars is over and it’s 10:04 by my stove time, but www.flyhotel.net doesn’t have my newer post yet. Let’s wait until I’m done with this post. Dancing with the Stars had made my surveillance less painful but now it’s over…hmmm..etc. etc.–it’s almost 10:30pm–not there yet.

Barbara Walters with that doctor on healthy eating habits stuff is not going to keep me awake longer. What now? I’m tired wandering in his (?) site. Like I said in my previous comment today, I don’t see the ads anymore. Then I cliked the ‘about’ page and it’s still the WordPress sample with ‘Hotel’ Categories (615)–yes, that many–and his archive just started this February…just about when I restarted after Christmas [Feb.24]. I’m really getting tired checking almost every 10 minutes now. I’ll check again when I wake up tomorrow. I guess it could have been more than an hour as I wasn’t checking it constantly. Just too bad I won’t see the actual time when it will come up in his site.

I guess the 7-hr time difference between my stat posting record and my actual ‘stove’ time is the DST here that changed earlier and the GMT that WP is using. Now I won’t have any idea where his time is coming from but it’s now 11:24 about 2hrs and 20 mins since my posting. It’s just baffling to this simple mind of mine!

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Whooaa…wait-a-minute–let me edit 2 more just came in [11:36 here]–his top entry ‘Teacher’ [showing 4/1 at 11:06] (interesting list of—), the other one ‘Place to Stay in Thailand’ [showing 4/1@ 10:23]. Time to say good night!

Thanks ‘mmagpale’ for the brilliant idea:  Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com