Buhay Tabs

14 July 2013HALF-CENTURY MARK
 
The date was October 23, 2012, a Tuesday. It was a day after I hit my half-century mark. It’s kinda memorable, in a way.
 
That morning, I just came home from duty, when Bayaw & Uncle Sali came by the house to borrow my steel ladder. Nauwi ang usapan sa Sorento ko. Kinumusta nila. Nasabi ko na I brought it to the dealer (Kia) for the annual maintenance. I complained about 1 tire na laging naglo-low pressure. It turned out na me pako.. which is located on the “side wall” daw, & is not repairable. I need to buy new tire daw. Whoa!?!   Ni hindi pa nga manipis ang tires ko, bili na ng bago? Sabi pa sa written report na binigay sa akin: “refused repair”. Ugok sila!
 
Bayaw & Uncle Sali offered to accompany me to a tire repair shop malapit sa kanila. Run by Hispanics. Very honest. Tinanggal ang pako at pinastahan ang tire. Cost: $10. Ayos! 
Bandang hapon @ about 4:50, sinundo ko si Maricor sa train station. Galing sya sa NY. Pagbalik sa LAX, nag-train to Union Stn then to San Bernardino Stn. Paghatid ko sa kanya sa bahay, I went out again. I had to do some errands & some “emergency” shopping…
I have a co-worker who will go for a medical leave.. parang me ipapa-opera ata.. looks like rehab will be very long & there’s a chance na hindi na makabalik sa work. So someone was collecting cash or gift items na ibibigay. Deadline na sa Friday. Today is my last chance to shop (off ako today) kasi duty ulit ako bukas & the next day…
Kakatuwa… malapit na nga pla ang Halloween. Saan man ako lumingon, me nakikita akong mga princesses, demonyo, batman, aswang… mga batang naka-costumes! Meron pang bata na after sinukat ang costume, hindi na hinubad… diretso na sila sa cashier pra bayaran… you can say that the cashier scanned the kid.. *:D big grin
Naisip ko tuloy, what if tamaan ako ng topak at lumabas din ako na naka-costume, say naka-tutu???    I call that “second childhood”. Naku! Mejo maliit lang na community itong iniikutan ko… malaki ang chance na me makakakilala sa akin.
Pero ok lang siguro… in the spirit of the season…
Nahahawa na rin ang mga department stores dito sa ugaling Pinoy. Sa Pinas, pagpasok ng -ber months, marami na ang Christmas decor na binibenta. Dito sa States, dati-rati pag October, puro Halloween stuff lang ang pinagbibili.. Bah, nowadays, kapansin-pansin na this month pa lang, combination ng Halloween & Christmas stuff ang makikita. Habang maririnig ang Christmas songs, in-between e halakhak ng demonyo or awooo ang maririnig… 
Nakakatuwang mag-ikot sa different stores. kaya lang since short ako sa oras, I need to shop fast, pagabi na kasi. Finally, nakabili na ako ng regalo, pauwi na sana ako when I realized na wala pla akong gift bag. Pasok ako sa next store, Target.
After finding what I wanted to buy, pumila na ako pra magbayad. Buti na lang at ugali ko na ilabas ang wallet ko just before reaching the cashier. Naku! Nawawala ang wallet ko! Dali-dali kong binalik yung gift bag sa istante. Tapos hinalukay ko ulit ang handbag ko, searching for my wallet. Wala talaga!
I called up my sister, Pombs. I told her about my predicament. Ipinasa ang phone ke Bayaw.. (Yan talaga ang advantage ng me asawang dependable.. pag me trouble, me papasahan ka ng phone.. hehehe, joke lang… Sa katulad kong singol, nililipat na lang ang phone from 1 ear to the other ear, hoping that in the interim e makakaisip kung anong dapat gawin..  )
Anyhow, Bayaw advised me to report it to the sikyo, then call up my credit card companies to cancel my cards.
So, I talked to the guard. He said that the people here are good & honest. He is certain that if found, someone might give it to the Lost & Found section. He accompanied me to the Guest Services counter to submit the report. He also gave me the Redlands PD number pra daw ireport ko din dun. Then he said they might have to review the store’s camera.
He also advised me to retrace my steps baka daw naiwan dun sa isang tindahan na pinanggalingan ko, or sa sasakyan ko.
Pombs called me up again informing me that Bayaw & Uncle Sali will go to Target. While waiting for them, I went to my car. Hinalughog ko. Voila! Andun nga ang wallet ko (not much cash but it contains my credit cards & licenses). Nahulog from my bag! Whew, what a huge relief!
I called up Pombs again pra hindi na tumuloy sina Bayaw & Uncle Sali na puntahan pa ako sa Target. As a parting advice, she told me to photocopy all my credit cards & licenses (for personal file). Actually alam ko na ang advice na yan, pero di ko lang pinapansin.. Well, after this “near loss”, I eventually did.
Binalikan ko din yung sikyo. Told him everything’s ok & thanked him for his assistance.
While driving home, naisip ko tuloy, what if naka-costume ako   when this happened? Ano kaya ang iisipin nung sikyo? Yikes, kakahiya!
Hay naku! Ulyanin na si ako.
Pag-uwi sa bahay, nagkakwentuhan kami ni Maricor… about her lakad sa NY.. about my “almost lost but never was” experience…
Then Maricor asked, “Kelan ba talaga ang birthday mo?”
Kasi, sila ni Jong (Galapate) e bumati sa akin nung 20. Sagot ko sa kanila, “Thanks sa advance greetings.”
Cor said, per her yahoo reminder, sa 20 daw birthday ko. Tinawagan nya si Jacky, sabi ni J, 28 daw ang nasa listahan nya.. (kaya pla hanggang ngayon di pa bumabati si J, kasi hindi pa 28..) Kungsabagay, malapit-lapit na yan (either 20 or 28) sa actual date ng bday ko..
Meron akong isang friend, sa month ang sipyat.. bumabati sya sa ibang buwan. Aguy! Pero naka-jackpot sya this year.. “mejo” tumama ang greetings.. I said “mejo” kasi di ko sure kung alam ba talaga nya yung actual date or naka-chamba lang.. Nagtext sya Oct 22 (sa US), pero sa Pinas Oct 23 na… Pero, ok lang.. as the gasgas na saying goes “it’s the thought that counts..”

   Anyway, hanep din ang intro sa buhay ko pagtungtong ko ng singkwenta…   Ang mga litrato: 0004 — Ziplining with my nephew, Omar at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato 0706 — At the ferry boat terminal going to Camiguin. Something caught my eye.. 🙂 0778 — Camiguin Island with Kuya Mike, Ate Perla & Omar 0879 — Steering the ferry boat. Saan kaya kami mapadpad…? *:)) laughing 0948 — Chocolate Hills, Bohol 0038, 0073 — Hinagdanan Cave, Bohol 0135 — T’boli costume, Lake Sebu 3617, 3644 — Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Canada 3313 — Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada 2194 — Lake Louise, Alberta. Lake na nagiging ice pag winter. 0070 — Yumuyugyog na Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada 0191 — Summerhill Pyramid winery, Kelowna, Canada 5136 — Gondola ride (parang ski lift) to the summit of Rocky Mountains in Lake Louise, Canada. Umulan. Resulta: mga basang sisiw (or inahin?) 🙂 0807 — Malayo ang tingin… nagmumuni… the day after the storms… Camiguin Is.

DSC_0004 - Copy0004 — Ziplining with my nephew, Omar at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
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June 18, 2013 Tuesday
(I know I’ve been away from my writing days for more than 2 years now.. I miss my “kwelessays” or kwelang essays, too. Here’s one for now..)
Kings River Expeditions
Recently, I visited my classmate Marleen who lives in Clovis, California. I had a very exciting week with her family (June 7 to 12). Every day, they brought me to a different place: Forestiere Undergound Gardens, Millerton Lake (nag-jet ski kami), Yosemite National Park, Wild Water Adventure (water park), and Kings River Expeditions (river rafting).
 
When Marleen first brought the idea of rafting (sometime in April this year), I told her I was apprehensive because I don’t know how to swim “properly”… (well, I can do a “dog paddle” Baby  : playing baby is on abdomen and white background ). She said, “ok lang. By June, mejo mababa na ng water level, hindi na malakas ang rapids.”After winter, pag nagstart na mag-melt ang snow sa kabundukan, jan malakas ang agos ng ilog..
 
When she emailed me the Acknowledgement of Risk na pipirmahan ko, I had mixed emotions: excited as well as natakot … Then I thought, “Mmmm… Marleen will bring her 2 kids. I’m sure she will not put her kids in danger.” Naisip ko, “ Hey, kung kaya nila, kaya ko din!”
 
Yun pla mas malaki ang mga anak ni Marleen sa akin! :-P!!!
 
The base camp of KRE is at the Twin Pines Camp, 60 miles east of Fresno, CA. The road going there passes thru wide areas of “bukid”, and a  small community called Piedra (small pero merong silang isang building ng library!!! O, anong say mo? A library in the middle of nowhere? Cool!) After that, a long winding road along the side of the mountains. On the left is the side of the mountain. On the right is “bangin”, sa baba nito is the beautiful Pine Flat Lake. Marunong din ang gumawa ng daan. They made sure that on the way to the camp, the bangin is on the right side of the driver. Usually, umaga ang byahe ng tao papunta dun. Gising ang diwa. Mas safe ang driving conditions. In contrast, pagabi or gabi na uuwi ang mga nag-day trip lang, yung hindi nag-camping dun, tulad namin. Mejo pagod at antok na ang driver. Dapat lang na along the side of the bundok dumadaan yung traveller, to minimize the chance of falling off the cliff.. Makes sense, di ba?
 
There are several resorts along the way. At one point, naligaw pa kami. We made a wrong turn & we were just surprised to find ourselves heading to a lakeside with boats. Ops, we backtracked our way, and stopped at a lone gasoline station. Tamang-tama, there was an elderly man who just came out of the small store (where the gas station is), enjoying an ice cream bar. Marleen asked for directions. Mabait naman yung tao. He led us to the area. Hindi sya maka-drive ng mabilis kasi he waited for us, as we drove after him. Sabi ni Marleen, kawawa naman yung matanda. Imbes na magpapahangin pa yung tao while eating his ice cream, e mukhang napabilis ang kain nya sa ice cream nya pra lang kami matulungan..
 
At the base camp, there was a short orientation on what to do. Whoa! Kinabahan ako. Pero andun na rin lang, e di, sige! Tuloy! Pero todo-todo ang dasal ko : sana walang mahulog sa amin, sana walang aksidente, sana enjoy kami..
 
After lunch, we were all loaded up in 2 buses. From the camp, we went further up the mountains, on rough dusty roads until we reached the starting point.
 
According to their flyer, ” The Kings River is rated a Class III on the Western Scale, which is perfect for both first time and veteran rafters. Each day, we raft a 10 mile stretch of river with over 30 named rapids.”
Wow! Sounds awesome!
I enjoyed myself tremendously, thanks to Marleen… Some of us were a bit disappointed because we were expecting a more rigorous & rough ride from start to finish but this wasn’t so. For the most part, malumanay ang flow ng river & many times we were just idling by, waiting for the photographer & videographer to go downstream ahead of us, to get into position to shoot the photos/videos. But for me, for a first-timer, ok lang ang experience na ito. Because we went there at the end of the rafting season (last day is on June 21), at this time e mahina na yung rapids and so we didn’t fall off the boat. So, I was not traumatized, physically & psychologically..  Parang gusto ko pang umulit… mmmm.. .. 
Anyway, just watch the video using the link below. Just click it or copy-paste on your Google search box. If you like it, kahit hindi ako ang gumawa ng video (binili ko ito ), just “like” it on my youtube page:
 

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0004 — Ziplining with my nephew, Omar at Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
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 09.18.2010 Saturday  TIGAS-DILA   Meron akong natanggap na email (many moons ago) na nagsasabing ang pinakamalakas na muscles daw sa katawan e yung nasa dila… ows? Ewan… di ko na pinagsayangan ng panahon i-research (nakalimutan ko na ang Anatomy ko). Pero ang alam ko, nahirapan ang matigas kong dila sa “pakikipag-usap” sa sasakyan ko…     Ganito kasi yun. Me bluetooth ang sasakyan ko. Maganda ito kasi it supports safe driving. Without touching my phone, I can now talk with someone over the phone while I’m inside the car. My hands remain on the steering wheel 100% (unless of course kung maglakas-loob akong alisin ang kamay ko sa manibela habang tumatakbo ang sasakyan, mag-eksperimento baga, mag- a la Knight Rider…)   Ang nag-program or nag-set up sa una kong phone e ibang tao. E nagbago na ako ng phone kasi tapos na ang contract ko dun sa nauna. So kelangan kong i-set up ang bagong CP ko para maka-connect sa bluetooth ng sasakyan. Kla ko madali lang for me… aynaku! Maling akala…   First, I wanted to remove/delete the first phone. I followed the instructions on the car’s manual.   Me: Set up Car: Say Pair phone, Select phone, Delete phone, Change priority, Bluetooth off Me: Delete phone Car: Pardon? Ano kaya ang mali sa sinabi ko? Baka mahina ang pagkakasabi ko. Ok, ulitin ko nga at mejo malakas ng konti ang boses. Me: Delete phone Car: Pardon? Haynaku! Di ko pa rin na-gets kung anong problema. Pero inulit ko na lang ang request ko. Me: Delete phone Car: Cancel.   Nakow! Sa ikatlong beses, nag-give up ang car sa akin. Kinansel ang “usapan” namin. Kungbaga e binabaan ako ng telepono… ayayaay!   Buti na lang at merong alternate way to do it. Dun sa nauna kong ginawa, I used the voice recognition method. Pero dahil di kami nagkaintindihan ng “kausap” ko, heto, try again pero manual operation na. Hayun, pindot-pindot na lang sa kaukulang keys dun sa audio system.  O, di natapos ka din!   Hindi nakuha sa Santong Usapan, e di kinuha sa Santong Pindutan.   O, hayan, masaya na ako. Natanggal ko na yung lumang phone. At yung bago naman e madali lang i-set up. Mas nadalian ako sa steps ng pag-pair ng phone sa bluetooth kesa sa pag-delete. Weeks later, I needed to call my Bayaw. I was in the car at that time. I pressed the “call” button on the steering wheel.   Car: Say by number or by name Me: By name Car: Name please (Aba! polite sya! ) Me: Tony Under my Bayaw’s name are 2 numbers, the home phone & his cellphone number. Car: Say home phone or mobile Me: Mobile Car: Pardon? Naku! Naku! Nakooooooo! Heto na naman po kami!     Me: Mobile Car: Pardon?   Arrrrghhh! Ano kaya ang mali sa pag-pronounce ko? E sa tantya ko, parang ginaya ko naman yung pagkakabigkas nung boses sa car sa salitang “mobile”.. God knows I really tried to imitate it. So, heto, take 3:   Me: Mobile Car: Cancel. Anak ng tipaklong! Na-cancel na naman ulit ako! Lintek! Ala na talagang pag-asa itong dila ko.   Kungsabagay, dito sa car ko, pati pangalan o apelyido ng mga contacts ko, iniiba ang pronunciation. Pag me tatawagan kasi ako, after masabi ko ang pangalan, uulitin nya then iko-confirm ko bago nya ito ida-dial.   Halimbawa:   After I press the call button on the steering wheel…   Car: Say by phone number or by name Me: By name Car: name please… Me: Marjorie Sunga Car: Marjorie Sung-ga. Say yes to proceed, go back or cancel   Gusto ko na sanang sabihing “wrong pronunciation”, e kaso lang mapuputol ang tawag ko… kaya nag-yes na lang ako.. Car: Dialing … (tapos maririnig yung “too-too-too-too-toot-toot…” habang dina-dial nito yung numero)   Yung pangalan ni Mayette Quiambao, ginawa ba namang Mi-yet Ku-yam-bao. Sorry my prens, kung na-murder ang mga pangalan nyo.   Bihira akong gumamit ng phone while inside the vehicle kaya di ko pa naririnig kung paano nito ipo-pronounce yung mga Pinoy names ng mga contacts ko.. Kakatuwa siguro..   Mabalik nga pala ako dun sa kaso ng tawag ko ke Bayaw. Dahil nahirapan ako sa pagsasabi ng “mobile”, ang ginawa ko na lang e pinaghiwalay ko sa phone directory ko ang phone number sa bahay at yung cellphone number. Yung CP, under Tony. Yung home number, nilagay ko ang apelyido nya. O hayan, wala na akong magiging problema jan. Sabi dun sa cartoon show na napanood ko (Tom & Jerry, my favorite): “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Pero dito sa kaso ko, “If you can’t beat the voice recognition system, separate your contacts’ numbers” (as in… pinaghiwalay ang mga numero at binigyan ng kanya-kanyang pangalan…)   Ang sabi nila: Walang matigas na tinapay sa mainit na kape… Ang sabi ko naman: Walang binatbat ang matigas na dila ni Tabs, sa umiinit na “pag-uusap” nila ng sasakyan nya (kung saan e lagi syang naka-cancel…  ) *** X5   One morning, pauwi na ako from work (I work the night shift). Nasa parking structure na ako, papunta sa kung saan ko naalaalang i-park ang sasakyan ko the night before. Ang sasakyan ko e me remote keyless entry na feature.   Usually bago ko pa marating yung sasakyan ko, pinipindot ko na ang “unlock button” sa susi nito. As a response, the vehicle’s hazard lights will blink & therefore mako-confirm ko kung jan ba talaga ako nag-park. Minsan kasi nakakalimutan ko kung saan ako nag-park lalo na kung di ko nakukuha lagi yung favorite spot ko. On one particular morning, passing by rows of parked vehicles, from afar e nasisilip ko na ang kalahati sa puwitan ng isang white SUV na natatakpan ng isa pang mas malaking black SUV. Pero pag-pindot ko ng remote, di ito umilaw. Sa isip ko baka mahina ang pindot ko or padaplis lang sa remote, so I clicked it again. Wala pa rin. Nung malapit na ako, saka lang tumambang sa akin ang model ng sasakyan: X5. Ay! Kaya pala di nagre-respond. Di ko naman pala sasakyan yan. BMW pala yan. (Sabi ko sa sarili ko: “Asa ka pa, Tabs! Mangarap ka na lang! BMW yan no!” as in Butas is My Wallet)… Hehehe   So I continued to walk on & clicked my remote again. Hayun, about 5 vehicles away, me umilaw. Heto! Heto ang akin! Kia Sorento LX lang ang sasakyan ko… the most basic model.. walang sunroof, walang GPS, walang TV, 3rd row not installed kasi me extra bayad pla yun.. pero para sa akin BMW din — “Basta Merong Wheels”…   Pero sa totoo lang, pwede ko pa ring tawagin ang Sorentita ko na “X5” kasi pag tiningnan ko ang car plate ko: 6MVX625 —- me X at 5.. o, di vah  
Blessed Are The…..
 Tanong: Anong pagkakaiba ng Bulag, Duling at Burlesque Queen?

Sagot: Bulag – walang kita, Duling – doble kita, Burlesque Queen – lahat kita. Mga ‘Igan, ang paksang tatalakayin ko ngayon ay iikot sa usaping yan (except for the last item… it is outside my league na.. hehehe…) **** More than 15 years ago (ang tanda ko na pla!), naging active ako sa DOH Prevention of Blindness Program. Kasama ako sa Oplan Sagip-Mata Team ng DOH XII na kinatatampukan ng ilang doctors at nurses. The team visited many far-flung areas to conduct free ophthalmic surgeries. Marami kaming experiences na mahirap makalimutan, lalong-lalo na yung mga nakakaaliw.. One memorable place was Arakan Valley, North Cotabato. As expected, basta far-flung community, chances are hindi na inaabutan ng grasya ng gobyerno. Mahirap tahakin ang kalsada… maalikabok, mabato, malubak at tunay na rough road. The trip was long and arduous passing several mountains. Maraming palayan at maisan ang makikita along the way. Ang exciting na bahagi ng trip e yung nasa gilid ng bundok, paakyat at paikot. Sa side ng bundok, makikita ang tubig na walang humpay na umaagos na parang gripong napabayaan. Minsan, ang mga nag-o-overheat na sasakyan, humihinto dun at dun kumukuha ng tubig na ibinubuhos sa umuusok na radiator. Sa opposite side ng daan, pag hindi careful at alisto ang driver, mapapamadali ang meeting mo sa Maylikha…  Nervous Bangin kasi ang nasa kabila.. Di namin kabisado ang lugar. “Pers taymers” kami doon. Kaya every time na papalapit kami sa populated areas, tinatanong namin ang driver, “Nong, eto na ba?” Buti pasensyoso ang driver, “Hindi pa. Malayo pa po.” Hindi lang siguro maibulalas nung driver ang tunay nyang saloobin: “ Ang kulit naman ng mga ito! Sabi na ngang malayo pa, tanong pa rin ng tanong..” After several times of asking, tumigil din kami eventually sa katatanong. Laking pasalamat siguro nung driver at di na kami makulit. Kanya-kanyang kwentuhan na lang kami para aliwin ang sarili namin sa mahabang byahe. Hanggang sa dumating kami sa isang lugar kung saan tatawid kami sa isang sapa (stream )about 6 meters wide. At that time, the wooden bridge was not passable. Naghihintay ng (mailap na) pondo para mapaayos. So, ang mga sasakyan e sa sapa mismo tumatawid. Mabuti na lang at despite the rain, hindi pa ito bumabaha, mahina pa ang agos ng tubig at saka low-tide. Habang dahan-dahang tumatawid ang van namin, gumegewang-gewang ito at ang ilan sa amin e nagpigil-hininga.. Pagdating sa dulo, hinga! Hinga ng malalim! Hay salamat! Siguro kung mejo malapad-lapad pa yung sapa, baka by the time na nakatawid kami, cyanotic na at magkaka-cerebral hypoxia na kami! Anyway, that was the last hurdle of that harrowing trip. Little did we know that that stream experience was the first thing to greet & welcome us. Ilang minuto lang, dumating na kami sa hospital. Magtatanghali na yata nang makarating kami dun. Puno na ng pasyente ang harap ng 1-story hospital. It’s the first time a surgical mission was held there. E paano naman pupuntahan ng mga medical-surgical missions e super layo sa sibilisasyon at hirap pa sa daan! Anyway, after lunch, we went to work right away. Una, nag-clinic muna kami. We examined & screened patients. All surgical cases (cataracts, squints, glaucoma, pterygium etc) were admitted. Prior to our trip, the Chief of Hospital was given a list of O.R. supplies to be prepared. So we were confident that the O.R. will be ready for us. After an early dinner, we all trooped to the prepared O.R., which we were told has never been used before. One of the most unusual things that caught our attention was the mayo table covered with layers of white “Good Morning” towels! Ganitong-ganito yung nakasabit sa leeg or nakalagay sa ulo ng Pinoy jeepney drivers, pampunas ng pawis.. Tinanong namin bakit ganun. Sabi nung nurse, “Sorry po Ma’am, kasi nung binigay namin ang listahan sa supplies officer, yan ang hinanda nya. First time kasing gamitin ang O.R.. Di kabisado nung CSR officer kung anong “towel” ang ginagamit sa O.R.” Ay, oo nga naman! Pero, in fairness to the person in-charge, the towels were all brand new & sterilized. Much, much better than the “sterilized” newspapers I encountered in some “Operation Tuli” that I have attended. Ok, scrubbing time. Ops! Me sorpresa ulit na nag-abang sa amin. The brushes that were prepared were brand new, yes and sterilized, yes BUT were made of brown wood with black bristles… guess what they were…. pampakintab ng sapatos! Yehey!!! They were SHOE BRUSHES!!!!! Inangkupo!    Ang aming mala-porselang balat, parang balat ng kabayo! Aray! Past midnight na natapos ang marathon surgeries. If I remember correctly, sa tabi ng hospital, me isang building as the doctor’s quarters. Dun kami pinatulog. Pagdungaw ko sa bintana, about 1-2 meters away, napaligiran kmi ng matataas (yup, mas mataas pa sa akin!) at namumungang mais!!!! Wow! Ang tataba. Mukhang masarap! Sa awa ng Diyos, maganda naman ang resulta ng mga surgeries. Kinabukasan, we checked up the post-op patients. As we removed the eye patches one by one, we were gifted by bright sincere smiles. It’s like a series of flowers blooming one after the other as gloomy or blank faces turn into happy glowing faces!!! Ahay, nakakataba talaga ng puso! Many of the patients have been in the dark literally due to cataracts but this was their first time to be seen by ophthalmologists. Masyado silang malayo sa city where the specialists are. Kaya naman ang gaganda ng mga ngiti nila post-op kasi nakakakita na silang muli. But best of all, pinuntahan na sila sa lugar nila, libre pa.   Me isang pasyente na di namin makalimutan. He was a big guy who sat quietly with bowed head, both eyes patched and hands clasped on his lap. Mula pa sa pagkabata, me inferiority complex sya. Duling kasi sya. He underwent squint surgery. Pagtanggal namin ng eyepads nya, we handed him a mirror. Grabe, kahit maga at namumula at mahapdi pa ang mga mata nya, he gave us probably his first ever genuine smile in a long, long time. Now, he can look at anyone with straight eyes, literally & figuratively!    O, di ba? Biro pa nya sa Chief of Hospital, “Doc, ako dili na libat, ikaw ki-ang lang gihapon.”  (“Doc, I don’t have squint anymore, while you still walk with a limp.”) Maloko din ang pasyenteng ito. Di nya alam na without the efforts of the Chief, walang makakapasyal na surgical team dun para ideretso ang ling-du nya.. Anyway, joke lang naman yun.. The MD walks with a limp kasi nagka-polio sya as a kid. Anyway, nung maibigay na namin ang home meds & instructions, unti-unting nagsiuwian ang mga pasyente. Pero si Mr. Ex-Duling e nandun pa rin. Me confidence na sa sarili. He went around talking to people. Akala mo tuloy nangangampanya… hehehe.. Lahat ng makausap nya, sinasabihan nya na hindi na sya “libat” kundi “guapo” na sya. “Pwidi na ko mag-asawa”, he added.  Wakka Wakka Nung bandang hapon, on our way back home to Cotabato, nadaanan namin si Mr. Guapo Na, proudly mounted on his horse (his means of transportation).. Gandang-ganda ang ngiti nya as he waved us goodbye.. Naalaala ko tuloy yung kasabihan na dati e applicable ke Mr. Ex-Duling Ngayon-Guapo-Na kaya lang after the surgery, di na pwede sa kanya. Ganito yun: Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they can see God twice….”                                      

 DV 5: Ang Sinigang na Bangus na Naging Hotdog

On our last night at Death Valley, we looked at the pictures on the laptop of Maricor. We were so excited that we didn’t save it first. We just inserted the SD card & viewed the pictures. Enjoy na enjoy kami sa mga pictures namin. As usual, pinakamaganda ang mga kinuha ni Cor. Artistic kungbaga. Me balance between subject & background. Steady pa ang kamay nya kaya klaro ang shots, aside of course from the fact that she is familiar with her camera. Maganda din ang pictures na kuha ni Jackie lalung-lalo na kasi madaling gamitin yung camera nya. Aim-shoot lang. Auto-focus. Kahit mabilisan ang pag-shoot, ayos pa rin ang kinalalabasan. Yung mga kuha ko naman…. aaaah, parang yung dating kwento ko sa “Orlando series”: bomalabs, off-center, out of focus..Teethy Hirap kasi akong kumuha ng pictures. I have to remove first my shades to put on my reading glasses (mataas-taas na rin, +2.25D!!!). Then pag ako naman ang poporma sa harap ng camera, syempre, tanggal ang reading glasses (kung maalaala ko) to put back my shades. Hassle… cumbersome…. ( … ganda ng excuse ko no?) Ang una naming tiningnan e yung sa SD card ni Jackie. There were 3 files corresponding to the dates the pictures were taken. After viewing 1 file, I moved the cursor so I can close the file to go to the next. Ops! Biglang nawala yung pictures! Pag-open ng list of files/folders, dalawang files na lang ito. Patay!     Mukhang aksidente kong nabura yung mga pictures! Pero sa totoo lang, di ko maremember kung anong napindot ko. Hindi na namin itinuloy tingnan yung ibang pictures at baka ma-disgrasya pa. We immediately removed the SD card.   Chineck ni Cor ang laman ng laptop nya. Isa-isang binutingting ang mga files nya pati sa recycle bin. Wala dun ang mga pictures. Nasan kaya napunta yun? Nilagay ni Jackie ang SD card back to her camera. She tried to look for the pictures but didn’t see them. But when she checked the space remaining for additional pictures, halos puno pa rin ang SD card nya. So, the pictures are still there but we couldn’t find them.   The 3 of us are well-versed in our respective lines of work. But when it comes to technology including computers & cameras, marami pa kaming di naiintindihan. And this is one of them. It seems that the pictures are still in the card, but we couldn’t open them.   I felt so guilty that it was my hand that “lost” the pictures. Isip-isip ko lang: NAPAKALAYOOOOO pa naman ng Charcoal Kilns kung saan gandang-ganda kami sa mga pictures namin, lalo ng yung tig-iisa-isa naming pasilyo-silhouette pa na shots (kanya-kanyang style ng pose kami). At PAANO na yung mga pictures namin sa mejo malayo-layo ding Scotty’s Castle & the ghost town of Ryolite? Yung picture sa Devil’s Golf Course (wide expanse of rock salt with jagged spires, so incredibly serrated that “only the devil could play golf on such rough links”)? Di ko na ba makikita yung pose namin sa Artist Palette (multi-colored hills)? Meron pa kaming kuha ng aming footprints in the sand dunes…   Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!! Biro ni Cor: “Baka ibig sabihin nyan e babalik pa tayo in the future..”   Jackie: “Sa palagay ko di nawala ang pictures. Di bale na. Bukas pag-uwi natin, hanap tayo ng photo center at ipahanap natin yung file.”   Tabs: “Yeah, punta tayo sa Staples. Malapit dun sa Costco.”   (I’m sure yung iba sa inyo na nagbabasa nito e nahulaan nyo na kung anong nangyari, at this point of the story, pero kaming tatlo e “in the dark” pa.)   The next day, we got back to Loma Linda I think at past 2 pm na. Gutom na kami. We decided to eat  a late lunch at Costco para after that e diretso na kami sa katabing Staples… kelangan na matapos namin agad yung problema sa missing pictures before the day ends. Uuwi pa si Jackie sa Panorama (49 miles away). Our lunch? Yung favorite food namin sa Costco: hotdog (beef) with soda. Masarap. Nakakabusog at higit sa lahat, mura lang.   Nung nasa Death Valley pa kami, Jackie said that when we get back to CA, we should eat “real food”… hehehe, as if di real yung kinakain namin… What she really meant was matinong pagkain compared to our baon na noodles & boiled eggs & sandwich & delata… So, we promised ourselves that we are going to treat ourselves. I suggested eating at a Pinoy resto. Miss ko na ang isda lalo na yung sinigang na bangus!   YAN ang original na plano namin… yum yum na PINOY FOOD…. na nauwi sa HOTDOG na lang. Sorry na lang tiyan, at this point e mas importante sa amin yung issue of missing super valuable pictures. Pagdating sa Staples, initially di rin makita nung salesperson yung hinahanap namin. Mejo aanga-anga din ng konti. Eventually, na-open nya. As some of you have guessed, pumasok nga sa ibang folder… which we didn’t detect because we removed the SD card right away from the computer for fear of “losing” more files… We didn’t look at the other files while in DV. Sabi ko naman sa inyo, magaling kami sa respective fields namin, pero pagdating sa technology, bagito pa kami.. (Actually me tawag jan sa nangyari sa amin, pero syempre di ko na sasabihin… starts with letter “K”… as in “Kagandahan”? Ngieh!   )   Anyway, para di naman nasayang yung effort nung salesperson sa pag-locate ng pictures namin, nagpakopya na lang kami sa CD. Itinuro namin from what file to what file ang kopyahin. While waiting, umikot-ikot muna sa tindahan. Hmmmm, mejo natagalan yata sa pagkokopya.. sige lang, ikot-ikot lang… But the danger of this “ikot-ikot” e napapabili ng kung anu-ano ng wala sa oras at plano… tsk tsk tsk…   Pag-uwi namin sa bahay, tiningnan yung CD. Nalintikan! Kinopya LAHAT ng pictures sa camera ni Jackie! Almost 1000 pictures! Kasama pati yung personal files nya, pati lakad nya sa Canada etc etc. Ay ambot na lang! Kaya pala natagalan yung ale sa pangongopya..   Pero ok lang. Ganyan talaga ang buhay. Everyday we learn something…. We learn that there are many more things to learn..  Wakka Wakka   Ang mahalaga e di nawala yung pictures… Di nasayang yung mga poses namin… sa Zabriskie Point (hiningal din kami sa pag-akyat ng hill na ito). Di ko kelangan umakyat muli sa Mosaic Canyon pra magpalitrato ulit… Di na madadagdagan ang gasgas sa camera nina Jackie at Cor… (Kawawa ang camera nila. There were times na malakas ang hangin, natutumba ang tripod, kaya me kuha ang camera na either langit or lupa, depende kung paano bumagsak…)   Well, looking at the positive side, siguro magpasalamat na lang ako with these slips & misses, because they make the trip more memorable… (ang tawag dito: “rationalization”… hehehe)   Ah….nadagdagan na naman ang buhay ko ng isang kabanata na mahirap makalimutan…. at meron na naman akong naikwento…

Attachment(s) from Matabai Lim

10 of 19 Photo(s) (View all Photos)

04.02.2010 Friday

 

Trip to Mars

Minsan sa buhay ko, naging astronaut ako… totoo ito… peksman! “Nakapagpalipad” ako ng rocketship papuntang Mars. Kelan? E, di nung pumunta kami sa Epcot sa Florida last December 2009.

Isa sa mga attractions dun e yung “Mission: SPACE”. According to the guide/map: “Tap into your inner astronaut as you blast into space without leaving the earth. Join the Orange Team for an intense journey or the Green Team for a milder mission. ”

Nung mabasa ko ito, I said: “WOW! Mukhang exciting ito ah!” Pero sa totoo lang, wala akong kamalaymalay kung anong ride ito. Ah, bahala na…

First requirement: Courage to face the unknown. Nung una, parang alanganin pa sina Lito at Mayette na subukan ito. Pero ako, desidido na pasukin ito. My attitude: bahala na! Sugooood!  

The guide says: “Minimum height 44”/112cm. Expectant mothers should not ride.” Pasado ako sa minimum height requirement. Di rin ako expectant mother. Second & third requirements: Met!

At the entrance of the building, there were 2 guys handing out Green & Orange passes/cards (about 3” x 6”). Lito & Mayette chose green & were directed to the line for the green cardholders. When it was my turn to ask for my card, I asked for orange. Tinitigan ako nung guy, whose right hand held the green cards & the left hand had the orange ones. Parang natulala or ewan. Di makapaniwala. Yung malalaki kong kasama, nasa green line. Yung kuting, gusto sa orange. He had this look that says: “Sigurado ka bang kaya mo ito?” este…English-speaking pala sya: “Are you sure you can do it?”

Well, bago sya makaangal at bago magbago ang isip ko, I pulled 1 orange card from his hand at mabilis akong tumalilis papasok sa entrance ng orange line.

Siguro sa isip-isip nung guy: “It’s ok. I might just see that little girl again in a few minutes to exchange her card.”

Pagpasok ko, mahaba ang pila sa green. Di ko makita ang dulo. Therefore, di ko rin nakita sina Mayette at Lito. Ang mga nakapila e magpapamilya, parents with their kids who met the height requirement.

In contrast, maiksi lang ang pila sa orange. Most of those in line were young people & mostly guys. I asked myself: “tama kaya ang pinili ko?” Bago ako makaatras e umusod ang pila sabay submit ng card dun sa nakabantay sa pila.

Dun sa next step, kungbaga eto ang pre-departure area. I think there were 5 lines with 4 people in each line. At this point, mejo mahirap nang umatras although every step of the way, while waiting in line for our turn, we were always given a chance to back out. There was a TV above us where a guy welcomed us “the crew”, gave a little intro about the experience, as well as warned us that “this ride is not for the fainthearted” & that we can inform the guides nearby if we want to back out.

Bahala na. No retreat, no surrender si Tabs…

Maya’t-maya pinatuloy naman kmi sa next stage ng hintayan. This time, tatapat kami sa door ng isang unit (di ko alam anong tawag dito, but I’ll just refer to it as the “cockpit”). There were 4 spots per door, meaning 4 people can “ride” at a time per cockpit. Kinakabahan na ako pero ayaw ko namang umatras. Combination of pride (ayaw mapahiya) & curiosity (ano kayang klaseng ride ito?). No guts, no glory di ba?

Ang grouping e base sa kung ilan ang magkakasamang family or friends. “Solo flight” ako dahil sina Mayette at Lito e andun sa green line. At that time, walang magpamilyang grupo na 3 members lang. Meron lang father & son team. Sa kanila ako isinama as a 3rd member. They stood at spots 1 & 2, respectively, to my left. To my right was the 4th spot, which was empty.

At the side of the door, there’s a TV-like screen about 12 x 10 inches. A spotlight shone over me (a la Star Trek) & on the screen came the face of actor Gary Sinise (of the TV show CSI: NY), who was supposed to be in the headquarters or home base. He gave us instructions. He told me I’m assigned as the Pilot & described what my role was. Nagtinginan kami ng mga katabi ko. Puti ang mag-ama, matatangkad kaya nakatingala ako sa kanila.

Me: “Wow! I’m the Pilot.”

Boy (about 15 years old): “You’re sure you can do it?”

(Hayan na naman yung “walang tiwala-look”)

Me: “Why, you want to trade places?”

Di namin napansin, natapos na pala si Sinise sa part ko, pero wala kaming narinig sa instructions nya kasi nag-usap-usap nga kami. Before the kid can reply to me, the spotlight shone on him & Sinise just informed him he’s the Commander.

Boy: “I’m the Commander? Cool. I’m ok with that.”

Hayun, nakuntento ang kumag sa assignment nya. Mas mataas pa pala ang rank nya sa akin. Feel good na sya.

The Dad was assigned as Engineer. Ok din daw sa kanya kasi engineer naman daw sya sa tunay na buhay. The 4th spot was supposed to be the Navigator. Empty. Di ko kasama si Magellan eh.

After that 2- minute briefing, pinapasok na kami sa “cockpit”. We took our seats & put on the U-shaped safety bar which hugs us on both our sides & on the lap. In front of each of us is a set-up much like a cockpit with a glass window & different buttons & switches. Wow! Awesome as well as overwhelming for the uninitiated like me. Yung mga kasama ko, excited. Parang nasa gaming arcade lang sila.

Back in 2000, during my very first trip to the US, nasubukan ko na ang sumakay sa isang ride na kungwari e trip to the outer space. It was actually a roller coaster ride within a very dark place simulating outer space (with stars & other heavenly bodies as the only source of very minimal light). I was expecting this could be similar to that… a series of forward, twisting, rapid turn, slow climb, sudden drop, and even backward (paatras at pababa) movements. Bahala na, nakaya ko ito dati, kakayanin ko ito ulit.

Carpe diem.

While my mind was preparing myself for that forward movement at the start, I heard “…5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1…. LAUNCH!” And all of a sudden I felt the LIFT, mabilis na mabilis na paakyat! Pagtingin ko sa screen sa harap ko (yung supposedly the cockpit’s window), I saw the land, then the sea then the earth as a whole, then nasa clouds na kami! Oh my God! Super mabilis ang VERTICAL ASCEND ng ride!

Aaaaaaahhhhh! Sabay-sabay kaming sumigaw!

Anak ng tipaklong! Rocketship pala ang isa-simulate ng ride na ito. Hindi pla ito roller coaster! Pero masaya! We didn’t know what to expect! Sigaw lang ng sigaw habang pumapaimbulog kami sa kalangitan.

Mejo nakakalula kaya bago ako mahilo at masuka, I closed my eyes for a few seconds then kept my left eye closed & squinted my right. Pasilip-silip sa screen kung nasaan na kmi naglalakbay.

Me mga scenarios na kung saan we had to do something (kuno) per our role. Me voice na nagbibigay ng commands. Di ko namalayan kung anong sinabi sa akin as the pilot. Naghanap na lang ako ng switch para sa “auto-pilot” or “cruise control”. Kaso lang wala eh.  Laughing 2 .. Yung dalawa kong kasamahan, yung mag-ama, kung anu-ano ang ginagalaw sa harap nila na mga buttons/switches.

Maya’t-maya, nakikipagpatintero na kami sa mga kometa. So we had to execute maneuvers (kuno) to avoid them. Kanya-kanya kaming instructions na supposedly e sinusunod namin by pushing buttons. Pag tinamaan ng comet at me nasira, yung engineer ang tatawagan..

Nung una, naisip ko, all the while since the launch, my hands held tightly at the safety bar on each side of my torso. Hindi ako nakikinig dun sa voice commands. Wala akong pinipindot sa mga buttons sa harap ko. But despite that, tuloy-tuloy man din ang course na tinatahak ng rocketship.

Then, nung maisipan ko nang gayahin yung mga katabi ko na kung anu-anong pinipindot, pag-stretch ko ng arm ko… NAKOW!!!! Maiksiiiii……………….. ang arm ko!!!! I could barely reach the panel of switches! Patay kang bata ka! I looked at my side, the seat of the “Navigator” was empty. Then, it dawned on me (quite late in the process), that we don’t really have to participate or do anything for the ride to proceed. Oo nga naman.. ayayaaay!

Di ko napansin kung nadaanan ba namin ang buwan o hindi. Basta, maiksi lang yung ride. Sa palagay ko, mga 2-minutes lang yun, at the most. Finally, we “safely” landed in the station in Mars. (Sa Mars ba kami pumunta? Ewan… )

Anong hitsura ng Mars? Bah, ewan ko! Papikit-pikit kasi ako eh.. (anong klaseng piloto ito?  )… e kung hindi ako pipikit-pikit, baka magsabog ako ng lagim dun… ilalabas ko pinang-almusal ko… yikes!

*****

(Matagal ko nang sinimulang isulat ito pero di ko matapos-tapos… Finally, malo-launch na rin today! Happy reading!)

1 of 1 Photo(s)
 

02.02.2010 Martis (Binisaya :p)

Sa pasyalan, syempre me picture-taking. Sa picture-taking, some people take shots of the beautiful sights around them. Some take pictures of parts of a show (even if just before the show, it is announced that “no taking of pictures is allowed”. Hmmm… tigas-ulo or… di siguro nakakaintindi ng simple English.. hehehe). Most of the time, people take pictures of themselves to document that they have been to the place. Halimbawa, if you go to SeaWorld, dapat magpapa-picture ka with Shamu, the symbol of SeaWorld. But I also admit that there are people who visit a place, sa hinabahaba ng travel, e walang pakialam kung anong kalalabasan ng picture. In my trip to the National Arches, there was a Chinese family na nag-request minsan sa amin na kunan silang magpamilya ng picture. Jackie tried to let them (Dad, Mom & son) pose where there was a good view of the majestic rock formations behind them. Bah, sabi nung tatay, “never mind… never mind. Just take picture”.   Ngieh! E wala namang view sa likod nila! Imagine, they traveled all the way from China & the Dad didn’t care at all of the outcome of the picture? E kung ganun na lang, buti pa sa bahay na lang sila nagpa-picture no? Hay, ambot na lang!!! (For those who are not familiar: “ambot” is the Bisaya word for “ewan” ) Anyway, let’s continue the story… Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has 4 theme parks na magkakatabi. Due to limited time, we just chose 2 parks to visit: Animal Kingdom & Epcot. We skipped Magic Kingdom & Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The day we visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, it was a chilly, gloomy day with slight rain showers. But that didn’t dampen our spirits. Sabi ni Jackie, maganda daw talaga itong lugar. Besides, kung di kami lalabas, e ang makikita ko lang sa Orlando e yung lake dun sa tabi ng resort namin. Nakow! Pumunta pa ako sa malayong lugar, e kung lake lang ang makikita ko, meron naman dito sa malapit sa amin ah! So, para di naman sayang ang trip namin, tuloy ang lakwatsa.. rain or shine. This place is a combination of a zoo & a theme park. According to their website: “Home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species and sprawling across 500 acres of lush landscape, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is the largest animal-themed park in the world” The centerpiece of Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life, a man-made tree, 14-story (145-foot tall) & 50-foot wide. Carved into its bark (its entire trunk) is a “swirling tapestry of 325 animals”. Beneath it or in its “root system” is a theater where they show an 8-minute 3D movie about a bug’s life. Needless to say, pag “centerpiece”, chances are pagpasok mo pa lang e kitang-kita na sya. So, sa bungad pa lang ng park, di magkamayaw ang mga tao sa kaka-posing. Yun pala, as you go nearer & around it, marami palang angles ito na mas magandang pagposingan for picture-taking. Ayayaay! And to think na dun sa bungad e maghihintay ka pa kung kelan matapos mag-pose ang ibang tao, para ikaw naman ang magpa-picture na walang sagabal sa view mo. Tsk tsk tsk…   After namin mapanood yung It’s Tough to be a Bug na 3D multimedia show “under” the tree, paglabas namin, I saw this vantage spot where one can get a good picture of the tree at a closer range. Tabs: “Mayette, pakikuha mo naman ako ng picture dito.” Mayette: “O, sige, ready..1-2-3.. smile…” Tabs: “Patingin. Patingin..” (I reviewed the picture)…. Waaaaah!!! Maganda ang pagkakakuha………………………………..ng tree! Sentrong-sentro. Gandaaaaa! Sentro din ang kuha sa akin. Pero dun sa baba ng frame. Ulo lang. Yes, ulo lang. Pag pina-develop into hard copy, maka-crop ito at noo na lang ang matitira. Pagkaganda pa mandin ng smile ko, mapuputol lang din naman pala.   Nag-posing at nag-smile pa ako no? Tapos di naman makikita sa ipapadevelop na picture. Ang appropriate caption dun e: “Oy, Tabs, tabi jan.. yung tree of life ang kinukunan ng picture, hindi ikaw.” Habang naglalakad kami, I tried to find answers on why is it that if take their pictures, either whole body or at least half-body ang kuha ko sa kanila, with enough space to include the view in the same frame… In contrast, pag ako naman ang kinukunan ng picture, maraming beses na shoulder to head or just the head (hanggang chin) lang ang nakukuha… Actually, madali lang ang sagot sa tanong ko: I am vertically challenged & my prens are a lot taller than me. Plus hirap sila mag-bend to get my picture.. On another day, we visited Epcot theme park. Now, THIS is a place one should NOT MISS visiting. It’s worth all the money & effort you sink in it. (Masakit lang sa bulsa kung iisa lang ang financier, say for a family of 3 or more.. entrance fee of $84.14 + tax each person… eew!!! Beri fainpul.. My suggestion is to go to these places on a NON-PEAK season, para masulit nyo ang pera nyo… madami kayong mapuntahan sa loob kasi wala masyadong pila. If you go there on peak times like summer, you will be spending 1 to 1.5 hours each time you line up to get to see the different shows, attractions & rides. Parang nagbayad ka lang para pumila.. aray!) Dito naman, ang napansin ko lang e everytime I take Mayette & Lito’s picture, walang tao sa paligid. Maluwag. It’s as if people disappear.. Or kung meron man, konting hintay lang, the view is clear agad. Walay samok. In contrast, pag ako na ang naka-pose, tamang-tama, nagsidatingan ang sandamukal, sandamakmak, sangkatutak na tao!!!! Of course in-exaggerate ko na ito.  Rolly 2 Pero sa totoo lang, ewan ko ba kung bakit ganun ang “swerte” ko… kung kelan time ko na magpa-picture, biglang me “exodus” ng mga tao. Ayayaaaay!!!  Disappointed 2 Me kuha si Mayette sa akin na feeling ko parang extra lang ako sa picture. Salimpusa. Nasa isang tabi ako, wala ako sa sentro, tapos about 7 other people are in the frame.. Lito: “Sige Tabs, tumayo ka na jan. Haharangan ko yung mga tao para di muna sila makadaan habang nagpapa-picture ka.” HA HA HA!!! HA HA HA!!! Mayette: “Ok lang yan. Just goes to show na andito ka nga. Kasama ibang turista.” Ako naman, on the other hand, nagmayabang ke Mayette. Sabi ko: “Ateng, tingnan mo itong kuha ko sa inyo o. Ganito dapat. Walang ibang tao sa paligid. Either whole body or at least half-body ang kuha. Klaro ang mukha. Not too small…. not too far pag whole body ang shot.” Pag-uwi namin sa hotel, tiningnan namin sa laptop yung mga pictures. Hagalpakan kami dun sa mga pictures ko na ulo lang ang nakuha sa akin. Pagdating naman sa mga pictures nina Mayette/Lito na kuha ko, ay Diyos ko! Nawala ang ipinagyabang ko. Proportion-wise, okay nga kuha ko. Kaya lang, maraming malabo ang shots. One reason kung bakit maraming pictures sina Mayette at Lito na walang ibang tao sa tabi is because as soon as the view is clear of people, minamadali ko ang kuha, tapos hindi ko nare-realize na sa pagmamadali e unsteady pala ang kamay ko. Hayun, bomalabs. Hay nakow! Bagsak kami sa photography class! *Ang Pagkukusina ng mga Eksperto*

NOONG ARAW:
11.16.2009 Monday
Ilang araw na ring puro delata ang kinakain namin ni Cor. Pag ako ang nagbukas, sya ang kumakain sa kalahati. (Day shift sya, night shift ako.. Nakatira sa iisang bubong, pro bihirang magkita). Kung ako naman ang naunang magbukas, sya ang nagtatapos..
Then 1 day, I decided to take a time out from “kang guds”. Nagluto ako.
Nung nilabas ko ang manok galing sa ref, ang plano kong ihanda e Chicken Curry. Habang nasa microwave ang manok para ma-defrost at nag-i-slice ako ng s-b-l (sibuyas-bawang-luya), nag-iba ang recipe..
Naalaala ko kasi, many weeks ago, nagluto ako ng Chicken Curry. Pero, in the end, ako din lang ang kumain. Ilang araw ko ding pinagtyagaang ubusin.. whew! So naisip ko baka wala ulit kakain nito kundi ako lang… scratch the idea na lang..
So, ang Chicken Curry e nag-metamorphose into Arrozcaldo. Mas mabilis ihanda. Wala ng patatas na babalatan at hihiwain. Nakapagluto na ako nito nung araw. Pero bara-bara lang. Today, I decided to make a “guided” meal. Kungbaga sa lakad e naka-“mapquest” or GPS.  So, kinonsulta ko si Google… since nakahanda na yung ingredients ko before I looked up the recipe, di ko masyado nasundan yung suggested way to do it.. mejo na-modify konti..
Habang nagluluto, dinadasalan ko na rin na sana di maimpatso si Cor na kakain din nito.. sana magustuhan din ng taste buds at tiyan nya…
Malapit nang maluto yung arrozcaldo nung dumating si Cor from work.
Cor: “Tabs, dagdagan natin ng boiled eggs”.
Tabs: “Sige..”
Cor: “Ano man, ilagay natin jan sa niluluto mo or i-boil natin separately?”
Tabs: “Malapit na itong maluto. I-boil na lang natin sa separate na kaldero tapos ihalo lang natin later pag naluto at nabalatan na”.
Cor: (pumunta sa ref pra kumuha ng eggs) “Ilan ang ilalagay natin, 4 or 6?”
Tabs: “Ah, siguro tatlong araw nating uubusin ito… 6 na lang”
Sa totoo lang, as I am writing this & looking back, hindi ko makita ang logic or connection ng “6 eggs” in relation to “consuming the food in 3 days between 2 people”… Oh Jeez Siguro iniisip ko na 3 meals a day each kami, 1 egg each meal.. Ah, basta, mabilisang usapan at decision-making lang ang nangyari, ayos na! Laugh
After ma-settle ang issue kung ilan ang itlog na ilalagay, next na concern e kung kelan ilalagay ang itlog sa kaldero, kung kumukulo na ang tubig or from the start, malamig pa ang tubig. Sabi ko, pag mainit na ang tubig…
So, nung nagsisimula nang kumulo ang tubig, isa-isa kong nilagay ang itlog.
Tabs: “Ay Cor, nabasag yung ibang itlog!”
Cor: “Merong technique kasi sa paglagay ng itlog.. pero di ko rin alam.. pero hayaan mo na, ok lang yan..”
(The next day, naikwento ni Maricor sa isang kasamahan nya sa work yung nangyari sa amin. Kaya pala basag yung itlog kasi dapat nilalagay yung itlog sa kaldero from the start, habang malamig pa ang tubig..)
Minutes went by, di ko nga lang maalaala kung ilan….
Tabs: “Naluto na kaya itong itlog?”
Cor: (tiningnan ang kalderong naglalaman ng itlog… tapos tumingin sa akin…) “Ahhh…  Naku! Nagtanungan pa ang dalawang di marunong magluto… “
Nagtawanan na lang kami…  Laughing 2
Cor: “Pag nalaman ni Mommy ito, sasabihin na naman nya, paano na ako kung mag-asawa e kahit pagluluto ng boiled itlog e di alam… sagot ko sa kanya noon, kaya nga naging professional ako pra me hanapbuhay.. kakain na lang sa labas or bumili na lang ng cooked food..”
(Parang naririnig ko na ang mga comments nyo: itlog lang di alam lutuin? Inang ko poooo!
)
 
NOWADAYS…..
03.01.2010 Monday
For the past several weeks, inilabas na ni Cor ang kanyang mahiwagang alalay.. ang magic crock-pot (slow cooker). Nakow! Ayos na ayos! Simpleng-simple lang, ke manok or beef or beef ribs ang lutuin. Ilagay ang LAHAT ng recados. Siguraduhing nakalublob ang karne sa tubig para di matuyuan. Takpan. I-switch ang crackpot. Iwan. Matulog, sumayaw, mag-babad sa internet, manood ng cine or whatever ang gustong gawin ng “nagluluto”, pwede. Basta’t walang brown-out, in about 5 (maybe 8?) hours at least, buhay na kami. Pero sa totoo lang, hanggang ngayon kinikilala pa lang ni Cor ang kanyang alalay… di pa nya gamay kung ilang oras ba talaga ang kelangan bago makaluto ang karne..
Pero ang mahalaga: me nachichibog kami bukod sa “kang guds”…
At kung nagsawa na sa kang guds at luto sa crock-pot, nanjan ang walang kamatayang Ono Hawaiian family meals for $28+ inclusive of tax (pero sa totoo lang nagsasawa na ako kasi kada me tipon-tipon sa bahay namin (the latest was Jan 27, 2010), madalas ganyan na ganyan ang ino-order kasi MURA (lalo na pag me discount coupons na napapadpad sa mailbox namin… ahay)… tapos, pag nagkikita pa kami ng kapatid ko, another dose of Ono H again (Feb 9 & 23)…. ahaaay ulit…
 

01.25.2010 Lundi (French for Monday)
 
Malapit na matapos ang series na ito.. heto na ang pang-apat… I think I still have 1 more then baka mag-sign off muna ako for a while… nauubusan na ako ng “bala” (kwento)…
12.12.2009 Saturday  SeaWorld Orlando Nag-aberya ang tiyan ni Jackie since last night kaya tatlo na lang kmi nina Lito at Mayette ang lumabas. Di pa nakapag-SeaWorld yung dalawa dun sa San Diego, California (the very first SeaWorld which opened in 1964) kaya sa SeaWorld Orlando, Florida (opened in 1973) kami pumunta today. It is just about 2 miles from the resort where we are staying. Finally, the weather cooperated. Beautiful, in fact. No rain. No scorching sun. There were some clouds.. cool ang hangin… Very similar ang palabas sa dalawang SeaWorld. Pati yung mga animals nila, magkapareho ng hitsura… (Syempre no!    The last time I went to SeaWorld in San Diego was sometime in 2007 I think. The script & the routines at that time were the same as when I first visited it in 2000. I’m not sure if they have updated their shows recently. There are minor differences. Here in Orlando, the Blue Horizons dolphin show not only showcases stunts of dolphins with their trainers but also includes soaring birdsstunt actors (lavishly costumed aerialists) na pa-swing-swing, pa-bitin-bitin, at pa-sirko-sirko while attached to a high swing that springs up & down (parang nagba-bungee jumping). Meron din pa-dive-dive from a very high platform. Ahahaaay!  Pinagod ko pa ang utak ko sa kakaisip kung paano i-describe e anjan lang naman pla sa Youtube. Now you can watch it for free because somebody posted their recordings of the show…at mejo recent pa, as in September 2009 lang. Try nyo na lang ito i-copy-paste sa address bar.. hope it works.. kung di naman successful, e di kayo na lang ang mag-research nyan sa Youtube..  Bouncy 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glfArW1geeU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE4ze3vhefs Pasalamat na lang tayo at me Youtube na libre. Libre nood. Libre pamasahe. No more entrance fees. No parking fees. No lines. No sunburn. No need to spend for sunblocks.. soooo many items na FREEEEEE!!!!   Maganda pala pumunta dito pag December. There is an additional live entertainment show appropriate to the season: the Winter Wonderland on Ice, an ice skating performance with colored fountains at the background. It’s just amazing, how they can move around smoothly & gracefully in a “small” stage.. Napapa-“ah” at napapa-“oh” kami everytime the male partner swings the female partner around & around holding her by her feet with her face ALMOST sweeping the ice floor… feeling ko talaga masusubsob yung mukha nung female skater.. what a great balance & control.. Ang galing-galing talaga! Both Sea World locations have the comical sea lion & otter show. San Diego’s SeaWorld has the Clyde & Seamore’s Risky Rescue while Orlando has the Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island show. They have updated their script in Orlando. The pirate uses GPS now, for Global Pirate System. And at one point, when he had to exit, he said: “Got to go. I need to update my Facebook”. Siguro, sa susunod, pa-twitter-twitter na yan.. Konti pala ang mga turista tuwing Disyembre. Maluwag sa loob ng theme park. Wala or maiksi ang pila sa bawat palabas. Natapos naming puntahan halos lahat ng lugar except the high rides. Ayaw ng dalawa kong kasama ng kahit anong ride, because of health concerns, kahit na dun sa roller coaster na mababa lang. So sa bandang huli e humiwalay ako sa kanila. I was by myself pra sumakay-sakay. Di rin malakas ang loob ko sa mataas at pabali-baliktad na roller coaster kaya dun na lang ako nakisawsaw sa kiddie rides (dun sa pwede din ang adults). Height limit: at least 42 inches. Uy! Pwede si Tabs! Me isang tatay (puti) na me dalawang chikiting. Yung Nanay e nasa baba, me small baby pa kasi. Yung tatay ang katabi ng little girl nya (about 2 years old). Yung little boy (maybe 3 years old) e walang kasama sa upuan. So I volunteered to sit beside him. Tutal mag-isa lang naman ako. Hayun, dalawa na kaming “bata” na magkatabi. Pag-start ng ride, although mabagal at di naman ganun ka-steep, ang lakas ng hawak ng bata sa shirt ko. All throughout the ride, he held tightly on my shirt. Buti na lang at di napunit ang shirt ko kundi e mapa-emergency purchase ako ng Sea World shirt. Aguy! Wala sa budget yun! Or pwede ko rin singilin ang tatay… Di ko napansin kung namutla yung bata or ok lang sya. Pano, maputi naman talaga sya in the first place. Anyway, hinawakan ko naman ang balikat nya during the ride. Pero paghimpil na paghimpil ng ride, frantic but softly syang nagsabi: “Let me out! Let me out!” E di ko naman sya mapatayo agad kasi naka-lock pa yung lap-guard sa amin. So I just calmly told him as I patted his shoulder: “Yes, we will be out as soon as this thing gets released, ok?” Kawawang bata. Pero yung younger sister nya e parang wala lang. Mas malakas ang loob. Or maybe because the girl was with Dad while the boy was with a stranger… Wala syang tiwala ke “Nay”… Ok..
 

01.19.2010 Martes
 
Heto na yung part 3 ng Orlando Series na nasingitan pansamantala ng New Year kwento ko..
 
For my new contacts that I have recently added to my list of “suki” for my emails, if you are interested to receive “back issues”, you may write to me to request for them.. habang libre pa  ito… (Hanep! Me pa-back issue- back issue pa si Tabs o! )
OS 3: December 10, 2009 Day 1 Jackie’s time share is at the Westgate Lakes Resort, Orlando, Florida. After checking in at the front desk, we drove through a gate until we reached our destination : building #19. It was about 2:30am when we finally entered our rooms. Dahil madaling-araw na kami nakarating, super pagod pa, we just made a cursory look at the place (but we were amazed just the same) & went to bed right away. Buti na lang at hetong si Lito e maagang nagising. He woke us up at 9 am so we could catch the FREE (such a beautiful word) Continental breakfast. The resort gives free breakfast on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Tamang-tama, Thursday morning ngayon. The breakfast is by the poolside, near the main office. From our building, we had to drive there for our sustenance. Makulimlim ang langit. It’s going to rain, says the weatherman. Pagdating namin dun, heto na naman ang panibagong dilemma.. (hadlang sa aming mga plano sa buhay..?  Big Smile) hindi namin ma-decipher kung paano namin mabuksan yung steel gate papasok sa pool. We couldn’t find a slot for our keys.. no knobs to turn.. and nobody inside can directly see us to open the gate for us.. Mabuti na lang, after a few minutes e me mga guests na lumabas. Hay salamat! Makakain na rin kami at last!!!  Way Too Happy So, paano binuksan ang gate? Simple lang. Just unhook something from the top part.. na kung alam lang namin e madali lang for us kasi abot naman ni Lito… pero kung ako lang, kelangan ko pang akyatin yung gate to open it…. (I’ll probably need to sue the resort for discrimination against vertically challenged people, eh?  Brows ) Choices for breakfast: croissants, small muffin, Danish pastry (heto ba yung tawag sa sweetened tinapay?), cereals, oatmeal packs, milk, coffee, tea, juice. All the seats by the poolside were already taken. Kaya dun na lang kami naupo sa bar-like table (with HIGH chairs) near the serving area. Ok lang. Malapit sa “refill” station. Me TV to watch news. And most of all, since the bar has a roof, when it drizzled, we didn’t have to transfer to avoid getting wet. Towards the end of breakfast, I glanced at Mayette’s plate, which still has an extra muffin, Danish pastry & croissant. Jokingly, she said: “Sinobrahan ko na ang kinuha ko, para me pang-lunch na rin… just in case.” Oo nga no! E di nagpa-simple na naman si Tabs na pumila ulit at kumuha ng 2 extra muffins. Yun lang kinuha ko kasi maliit. Pwedeng ibulsa at di obvious.  Rolly 3 Nung palabas na kami, saka lang namin na-discover yung smaller gate na laging open, dun sa bandang likod.. Ay! Naghirap pa kmi dun sa first gate (main)… meron palang ibang access… nagmukha pa kaming tanga earlier… when we were inspecting the gate..  Indifference Despite the gloomy weather, we still prepared to go out & explore the place. Since the first half of the day is gone, we didn’t want to visit any theme park. Sayang ang bayad, di rin namin matatapos pasyalan lahat ng attractions. Lugi. Mahal pa mandin ang entrance ticket. So we just decided to visit Downtown Disney. We were ready to go out by 1 pm. But there was a heavy downpour! While waiting at the elevator, I said: “Me payong ako.” Mayette: “Tabs, kaibigan mo ako.” Lito: “Tabs, ako ang me susi (ng sasakyan).” Tabs: “Sige, sa inyo na lang ang payong ko…”  Cool Pagbaba namin, lalo pang lumakas ang ulan. My umbrella is small, yung triple-fold na kasya ilagay sa handbag… tamang-tama lang sa akin. But in this rain, kahit na mag-isa lang ako under it, head & shoulders (tunog shampoo.. hehehe...) ko lang ang hindi mababasa.  Rainy E kung dalawang tao pa ang mag-share, hatid-sundo papunta sa sasakyan… nakow! Useless. Another concern we had was the wiper of the van we rented. Di ba dalawa ang speed ng wiper: slow & fast? Well, dito sa van na ito, it has (1) slow and (2) not so slow.   Duh Sa totoo lang, pag malakas ang ulan, kalbaryo i-drive ang van na ito. Yung second speed nya, m-a-b-a-g-a-l pa rin!!!    Annoyed And Disappointed Result? ATRAAAAS!!! Bumalik na lang kami sa room. At nag-picture-picture na lang kami… Napatingin kami sa mesa. Andun yung mga muffin na dala ni Mayette. Tama talaga si Mayette, the Maagap. Ngayon, sya lang ang me pang-lunch at pang-dinner pa… kung nagkataon na di na kami lalabas dahil sa lakas ng ulan. But actually, if worse comes to worst, the resort has a “Marketplace” between buildings 1500 & 1600, their in-house small grocery store. So hindi pa rin kami magugutuman. Still alive! Still alive! Still aliiiive… tararan.. tararan.. tararan..   After an hour, the rain stopped. PTL! (Praise The Lord!  Bow Down ) Nakalabas din kami. We headed for Downtown Disney (DD). Pero sorry na lang sya, it didn’t really earn from us. Wala kaming pinamili eh. Mahal! Inside the Disney store, dun sa magagandang hats, e nag-pose lang kami for picture-taking. Di rin kami tumagal dun. Umalis din kami agad after naikot at nakita namin lahat ng parts nito. We haven’t eaten lunch. In short gutom kami. But we didn’t want to eat in DD. Not much choice. Mahal pa. There’s a McDo there but we have just had McDo food yesterday (lunch in John Wayne airport!). Gusto naming kumain sa Pinoy resto (miss na namin ang fishda, like sinigang na bangus… mmmmm) or Chinese resto if we can’t find a Pinoy one. Lito consulted his celfon (it has internet access) for directions. He found one in Colonial Road. We entered the complete info in the GPS. We diligently followed Magellan’s instructions. As we were cruising along Buena Vista Drive, we read out loud the street names & landmarks & karatola that we passed by… Epcot Center Drive, Boardwalk, World Drive, Coronado Springs, etc etc (I forgot them already)… Maya-maya, sabi ng GPS, in 100 feet make a right turn. “O, turn right daw.” “Right turn??? E, wala namang Colonial Road ah!” “Tsaka, wala namang commercial building jan. Puro puno lang.” So di namin sinunod si Magellan. We drove on straight ahead. Maya-maya, the GPS told us to turn back. Whaaat?  Shocked Nalampasan na namin?! But the problem is there’s no place to make an immediate U-turn.. dire-diretso lang ang kalsada. So tuloy-tuloy ang pag-drive. Bah, feeling ko malayo-layo na rin ang narating namin.. Being new & unfamiliar to the place, baka ‘kako lalabas na kami ng Orlando ah… ngieh! Shock 2 And Magellan kept on badgering us to turn back. After a while, hay salamat, we saw a junction with traffic light where we were able to make a safe u-turn. On the way back, we again read all the streets & landmarks, as a review, just in case we missed out “Colonial Road”.. For Mayette, she noticed that “Boardwalk” again. That’s the first pass. On the second pass, same thing happened. Even with 4 pairs of eyes, we didn’t see what we were looking for. There was no Colonial Road, no commercial structure or building there where Magellan wanted us to turn. There were rows of trees & occasional buildings, but nothing like a Pinoy resto at all. So we didn’t follow Magellan. Again, “lumampas” kami, at pinabalik na naman. Crazy 1 “E kung sundin kaya natin si Magellan?” “Sige, try ulit natin. Isang ikot pa. Basta me gasolina pa tayo, pwede pa mag-eksperimento.” We made a 3rd try. This time we obeyed Magellan. It made us turn right on Coronado Springs Resort. Sabi namin, “ah baka jan sa loob, makikita din natin ang colonial road”. So we went into the resort. Pag park pa lang namin, duda na kami na we found the right place. Sa isip-isip namin, me Pinoy resto sa loob ng resort? Outside the building, we read something like “Convention Center”. Ah, baka naman me iba’t-ibang kainan sa loob, kasi “convention center” daw o.. Ows, talaga??  Huh? 2 Mukhang bomalabs. We explored the building. Wala. No Pinoy resto inside. We asked around. Nobody knows. Wala din kaming nakitang any kabayan dun.. We were in the wrong place. Rolling Eyes Ok, that’s it! Tama na. Tama na yang “search for that elusive Pinoy resto”. Sa California na lang tayo maghanap ng fishda. Gutooom na kami. Mid-afternoon na. We headed back to the direction of the Westgate Resort (northward). Earlier kasi, me nadaanan kami na commercial area na me kainan. Dun na lang kami maghahanap ng “gastric station”. On the way back, Mayette exclaimed: “O, ayan na naman ang Boardwalk. Anim na beses ko na yan nabasa ah!” Three trips, back & forth equals 6 nga. Sabi ko: “Ok lang yan Mayette. Sa susunod, pwede ka ng maging tour guide.. Kabisado mo na kung saan ang Boardwalk.”  (Naalaala ko tuloy yung kwento about 2 friends… nag-out of town trip. Sa kakadaldal, nagkamali sila ng exit. Napadpad sa “kabukiran”. Sabi nung isa, “Don’t worry, makikita din natin yung tamang daan. Meantime, look at the brighter side, enjoy the scenery.” Sabi naman nung isa: “Anong ‘brighter’ side, e madilim na sa paligid, at andito pa rin tayo sa road to nowhere?” Ngieh!  ) Anyway, later on that night, we went to Walmart. There, Lito saw a Pinoy Walmart employee. He asked about the Pinoy resto. Meron nga dun sa Colonial Road. And he gave the directions. Nakow! Hetong si Magellan talaga o! Niligaw kami. It kept on leading us southwards. E nasa northern part ng Orlando pala yung hinahanap namin! Siguro galit si Magellan sa salitang “Colonial” kaya pilit nya kaming pinapupunta sa “Coronado”. Or di marunong ng correct spelling..? Or napag-iwanan na sya ng panahon, lumang mapa ang gamit nya…? Hmmmm… bakit kaya?  GPS – Gulong-gulo Paikot-ikot System. Yan ang definition ng GPS for Magellan. Hay naku! Talagang ipapagulpi ko na ito ke Lapulapu!!     C’est la vie! C’est la vie! (If I remember my French correctly, this means, “This is life”) **** Picture of the Cast sa story: Lito & Mayette – couple. Syempre yan yung magkatabi. Alangan sisingit ako sa gitna nila no?. Ako- yan yung maganda. (Ok, I hear some protest… sige na nga… yan yung maliit…. na maganda…hehehe.. ayaw paawat) Jackie – yung hindi si Lito, Mayette at ako, syempre sya si Jackie. Di ba, ganyan sa exams na multiple choice, rule of elimination?

Attachment(s) from Matabai Lim 1 of 1 Photo(s)

 
 
 

 
 
01.11.2010 Monday
Hi Ebriwan!
I'm back
The topic for today is about some of the highlights of our very first ever & most likely the last visit to Knott’s Berry Farm….
PONY EXPRESS. Buti na lang at kasama si Jackie. Otherwise, mag-isa na naman akong sasakay-sakay sa mga rides. Kami lang ang mejo malakas ang loob na isugal ang katawan at buhay namin.  Teethy . There are several rollercoaster rides in KBF. The Pony Express is the lowest in the adults section.
Wala masyadong tao, therefore wala ring pila. In this ride, the seats are in the form of pairs of horses. Syempre magkatabi kami ni Jackie. The surprise of the ride is not on the ups & downs or turns. Wala nun. Ang surpresa e sa paghinto nito. Sabi nung bata sa likod namin: “That’s it?” Oo nga, “Yun lang?” Masyadong maiksi ang ride. Sa tantya ko, mga 30 seconds lang. Feeling ko, bumubwelo pa ako sa piiiiinakamalakas kong sigaw e naudlot naman kasi “we have arrived” na pala. Tipo bang..”Aahh….” tapos biglang naputol ang sigaw ko….. tapos na ang ride e. Bitin.  Disappointed 2
Kaya yung bata sa likod namin ni Jackie, ilang beses na umulit. Tutal wala namang pila.  Rolly 2
MYSTERY LODGE. According to the map & guide: “This mystical, multi-sensory & one of a kind Native North American entertainment attraction will leave you charmed, entranced & amazed.” Sa totoo lang, pumasok kmi dito na walang ka-aydi-idea kung anong mangyayari. Mystery talaga! We were ushered into this big room, open space in the middle, with a single row of a long bench along the wall on both sides of the door. Siguro ang kasya umupo dun e mga 30 people lang. The rest of us sat on the floor. In front of us is a facade of a lodge made of lumber, kinda like a log cabin. Parang harap ng bahay na nakasara at wlang pinto o bintana. Parang dingding lang nung lodge. Akala ko nga, parang stage sya na magbubukas later on for the presentation. On the wall of the room (in front of us) “surrounding the lodge” kuno are paintings of kunwari forest. There were multiple stage lights above us on the ceiling.

While sitting on the floor, I thought: “Naku, pag matangkad or malaki yung tao na uupo sa harap ko, tyak ulo or likod na lang ang makikita ko. Ahay! Kung kalbo sya, I will identify what type of baldness he has: runway, island, helipad… etc”   Bald Is Beautiful After a short welcome message from the “moderator” (di ko alam anong tawag sa role nya, hehehe), lights went out & a voice over is heard. It narrates the story of a certain North American tribe, in a voice na nagkukwento na parang nakakatakot. Then, there was thunder & lightning flashes  Thunder & creepy sounds of nature associated with the darkness of night… After 2-3 minutes, the voice still kept on talking & what I thought was a stage didn’t move at all. So I thought: “Siguro kaya mystery lodge ang tawag dito e kasi habang nagkukwento yung narrator, bahala ka na mag-imagine ng scenario na sinasabi nya. Mystery nga! My mind eventually strayed. Di ko na narinig yung narration. My mind started to think of what I will write. yes Tumatakbo na ang kwento sa utak ko.. Maya-maya, lights went on, people stood up & a big door opened & we were ushered into another room. Ah, introduction lang pla yung narinig namin!  Hysterical Mga 5 minutes din siguro yun. In the room where the actual show was, there were bleachers. Ayos! Di na maba-block ang view ko. My impression is that the presentation we watched was a hologram. There was a stage in front with what I think is a glass wall that served as its “curtain” or “divider” separating us from the presenter. An old man with a cane suddenly appeared & started a monologue, describing the history, ways of life, culture etc of a certain Native American (di ko maintindihan kung anong tribe yun). It’s basically a production of visual effects (highly technical) pero nakakamangha din. The story-teller (pati parang me bird din) appears & disappears kaya ang tingin ko talaga e hologram projection ito. Kaya lang at the end of the presentation, while the old man disappeared, naiwan naman sa stage yung tungkod nya… (at least that’s how it looked… di kaya illusion lang yun?) Anyway, kaya ako pumasok sa theme park e hindi para mag-isip kundi mag-relax. So di ko na kinalkal pa ang isip ko kung ano o paano talaga yung nangyari.. Goodbye Mystery Lodge! Next….! BUMP CAR. Ang dakilang kodaker e di na sumakay. Natalie told us to drive towards her para ma-picture-an kami. Dahil hindi kami camera-shy, Natalie didn’t really need to tell us that. Kami pa?! Cor & I paired, I drove. Jackie & Mayette were together, Mayette on the wheels.. Super madami ang cars. Heavy traffic. Mahirap mag-maneuver. But we were able to manage to make several turns & we made sure we were facing & were near Natalie’s visual axis. In other words, ilang beses din kaming na-picture-an. Woohoo! There was one guy who was not so lucky. His car stopped & wouldn’t move. Pinatulak pa sa amin. Kaya lang sira talaga yung napili nyang car. It didn’t budge. E ako naman, kesa ubusin ko yung katiting na panahon (ewan ko kung na-2 minutes man lang kami) sa pagtutulak, after several tries, iniwan ko na lang sya. Kahit na ang idea of the ride is to “bump” another car, pero iba naman ang pagtutulak ng non-moving car. Walang excitement noh! Sorry man, try again. Anyway, the line is not long.

RIPTIDE Ride (I-google nyo na lang kung di nyo alam ano ito). Isa ito sa mga available rides. Ako lang ang naglakas-loob na sumakay. Paglapit ko sa upuan, there were 5 other kids already seated. Maraming bakante. I chose a seat about 3 seats away from them.
On the outer edge of the seat, in the middle is an arch-like thing about 4 inches high which will be between the legs & in front of the crotch. This will prevent the rider to slide forward (para di mahulog) when that thing swings & turns upside down.
So, I turned my back to slide my butt on the seat. Nakow! Mataas na yung seat level, dinagdagan pa nung arch. Aguy! Nakatingkayad na ako, nakatabingi na, meaning 1 leg raised & 1 leg na naka-tiptoe, di pa rin abot ng wetpu ko. Patay kang bata ka! Sumasangga sa arch!OopsUh-uh!
Now, I faced the seat, standing about a foot away, studying my options. Mmmm. Paano kaya ako MAKA-AKYAT? Yup! Ang tanong ko is not just simply “how can I sit” but “how can I CLIMB to get seated“.Holy Moly (Ayaw kasing sumurender eh. Pwede namang umatras di ba? Ayaw eh! Pursigido talagang sumakay!  Brows )
Di ba ang toddler pag umaakyat, paharap sa inaakyatan? Ganyan ang ginawa ko. A combination of these two maneuvers (minus the subsub op cors.)  HAHAHA!  
Jan sa upuan, there’s a U-shaped bar that one pulls from the top, down to the lap, the vertical part of the bar on both sides of the torso, which effectively locks the rider to the seat. (I hope nai-imagine nyo.) So, facing the seat, I reached up (really UP UP THERE, mataas din kasi yung bar), grabbed whatever part of it that I can grab, pulled myself up, ipinatong ko ang tuhod ko, one after the other, then adjusted my position & eventually turned around & seated myself properly. Yeah BabyI did it! I did it! Haaaal-leluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah!  Raise The Roof 1 Sa totoo lang di ko na ma-recall exactly how I did it. The 5 teens were busy talking to each other. They didn’t mind me. Happy ako kasi walang nakakita sa akin. Or so I thought….
Nung maayos na ang upo ko, I pulled down the safety/protective bar & locked the straps. Then contentedly, pa-dangle-dangle or pa-swing-swing ako ng paa ko while waiting for the ride to begin. Maya-maya, sa left corner ng mata ko, saka ko lang napansin yung operator na kanina pa pala nakaupo dun sa control tower nya from afar… Hiyaaaaang-hiya ako!!!!!! Cover Up Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!! So when the guy came down to check if we put on the safety bar with straps properly, di ako makatingin sa kanya ng diretso. Secret
Anyway, nakaraos din sa ride. Ang next problem ko e paano bumaba. Di ko rin maalaala kung tumalon ako or what. Basta nakababa din ako na intact pa naman ang katawan ko. Thank God Pride ko lang ang nagasgas. Haynaku, jahe talaga!Bag Head
In retrospect, pinagpala pa rin talaga ako ng Diyos. I was assigned a seat facing a wall & not the one facing the people. Kung nagkataon, mas kahiya-hiya ako doing my maneuvers IN FRONT of ONLOOKERS including Maricor & Natalie & Jackie & Mayette, all waiting with their CAMERAS!!!! Tapos, ipo-post nila sa Facebook. PATAY!!!!  Falling Off Chair Laughing
I won’t ride a Riptide again. Not because di ko kaya ang ride. Kaya ko noh!! Ang di ko kaya e yung madaling makaupo. I needed to be LIFTED! Maybe I should buy a pair of shoes with spring. Toing! toing! toing!   Bouncy 8
(Sa totoo lang, habang sinusulat ko ito, tawang-tawa din ako sa sarili ko… crazy me!)   Laughing 1

Meron pang ibang kwento… pero tama na. Baka mamatay kayo sa kakatawa e ma-charge pa ako ng homicide. Masakit na rin ang tiyan ko sa kakatawa. LOL

 12.28.2009 Lunes na muli…

Ok, mga masugid kong mambabasa, heto na po ang Chapter 2. Sorry kung mabagal ang dating ng mga sumusunod na kabanata. Nag-“holiday mode” na rin ang utak ko.. plus ke daming emails na dapat sagutin na di ko pa nga naasikaso.. kung me susunod pa dito, e next year na… 🙂 Eniwes,  Happy New Year sa inyong lahat! ****** 12.10.2009 Thursday Touchdown at Orlando airport at 11:55pm. As scheduled. Hindi pala busy ang airport na ito pag midnight. Walang katao-tao dun sa terminal na pinasukan namin. Then nagmadali kaming sumakay sa shuttle bus papunta sa isa na namang terminal for the baggage claim. Dito, me iilang tao. Sa gitna ng building e me pagkalaki-laking Christmas tree. Naisip namin, siguro matagal pa dumating yung baggages namin, hala sige magpa-picture muna tayo. Lalo pa’t walang ibang tao. Walay samok sa view. Meron din doon na wall na me naka-advertise ng Walt Disney World resort. Tinabihan si Mickey Mouse at nagpa-picture din. Kaya lang by this time, me ka-kompetensya na kaming mag-ina. Samok. Sira view namin. Since di na kami makahintay na umalis sila, pa-side view na lang ang kuha namin. Basta di lang sila masali sa picture namin, no! By the time na matapos kami sa pa-picture-picture namin, wala na kaming nakita sa mga nakasama namin sa plane. Wala na yung sinusundan naming magugulo pero masasayang grupo ng cheering team (several female teenagers together with their coaches, about a dozen of them) na magpe-perform sa Florida. So, sinundan na lang namin yung arrows directing people to the baggage claim. Akala namin malapit lang. Bah, bababa pa pala kami sa mahaaaaaabang escalators (2 sets pa!). Pagdating namin dun sa area, less than 10 katao na lang kaming naghahanap ng bagahe namin. Ang alam namin e malamig at maulan sa paroroonan namin. So multi-layered ang suot namin. Paglabas sa airport, Inang ko po! Parang Pinas: humid at mainit. Walang kahangin-hangin (pwera yung hangin na galing sa wankata natin. I mean dighay or burp ba… kayo naman kung anu-ano ang nasa isip..  Bouncy 4 ) Haynaku! Sobra ang suot. Tanggal ng sweater/jacket! Tumuloy kami sa pagkukunan namin ng rerentahang sasakyan (Payless Car Rental). Ford Focus lang ang nireserba ni Lito. Pero pagdating dun, nagpa-upgrade kami. We got a Chrysler Town & Country van. After all the paper work & payment were done, the van was brought to where we waited: near the “side walk” (at the back) of the building/office. We loaded all our baggage at the back at isa-isang pumwesto sa upuan. Syempre si Lito ang designated driver, Mayette sa front passenger seat at kmi ni Jackie sa back row. Me 2 seats sa middle row na di pa naka-set up (not upright). Pinabayaan lang namin ni Jackie sa original na position: “nakayuko” (well, actually folded on itself). Heto na ang masayang kwento…. Lito: Asan ang susi? Kami: Ayan o! (nasa dashboard) Lito: Asan ang susian? Obviously, di namin kabisado ang sasakyan na ito. Mula sa susian & everything else.. (patay kang bata ka! ) anyway, let us continue the story… Iba ang hitsura ng susi nito (not the traditional look of a key) & therefore iba din ang hitsura ng sasaksakan nito. Also, the key slot is not on the usual na nakasanayan namin, yung dun sa tabi ng manibela. Walang kahit anong butas dun. Ah basta, na-recognize din namin eventually. Nasa harap pala. Pati pang-kambyo (yung stick), nasa harap din. Lito revved the van at kung anu-anong switches ang pinindot. Nag-on yung mga ilaw sa loob. I suggested that Lito familiarize himself first with the features of the vehicle like wipers, headlights, etc. Nagdi-drizzle at that time. At that time, the van was standing along the way, nakaharang kami sa dadaanan ng mga sasakyan. So I suggested to Lito to park it properly bago nya aralin ang mga important features nito. While Lito was acquainting himself with the van, Jackie programmed her Magellan GPS. After a while, ok, ready to go na kami.. Past 1 am na at di pa namin alam kung gaano kalayo yung hotel. We have to get moving. Fasten your seatbelts & relax… ops! One more thing to do: di pa naka-off yung ilaw sa loob ng van (yung nasa roof sa gitna ng van at yung nasa tabi ng rearview mirror sa harap). Naku! Paano ba ito? Ininspeksyon ang mga ilaw. Walang switch na makita. Pinindot-pindot, tinusok-tusok, kinapa-kapa baka sakaling me sensor na pag na-touch e mamamatay yung ilaw. Aba’y wala! (Kulang na lang na experimentuhan ko e mag-clap.. parang yung kagamitan na me naka-attach na clapper to shut it off.  Purple Smiles ) Hala, di naman pwedeng buong trip namin papunta sa hotel e nakailaw yung loob ng sasakyan at naka-expose ang mga beauty namin in its full glory. Jackie/Tabs: “Lito, paano mo ba ito pinailaw?” Lito: “Ewan ko.” Ahaaaaay!!!! Patay kang bata ka! Anyway, maya’t-maya, namatay ang ilaw. Tabs (excited): “O, patay na. Patay na! Pano mo ginawa? Lito: “Heto pala ang switch sa harap ko.” Hindi pa nakuntento si Tabs, pina-switch on-switch off, para siguradong yung nga. Tamang-tama, naalaala ko tuloy yung Christmas song: “Kay ganda ng Krismas tri, Ang ilaw ay patay-sindi..” Presents Under The Tree Hay salamat! Pwede na kaming umalis sa parking lot ng rental car para makatuloy na sa hotel. Kaso lang, right from the start, hetong inaasahan naming si Magellan, e mukhang disoriented. Aba e walang sinasabi kung anong direction ang susunod. Buti na lang at kumuha si Lito ng directions from the rental guy. Aside from that, meron pa kaming isang set of directions from the hotel personnel. When we were still in John Wayne airport (Santa Ana, CA), Jackie called up the hotel & asked for directions. She wrote it on a tissue paper (got it from McDo sa airport) which was entrusted to me for safekeeping. Now, it’s time to locate that super mega important tissue paper. Naku! Di ko maalaala kung saan ko tinago. I checked the pockets of my pants, my jacket, laptop bag, backpack & shoulder bag. Nakita rin finally! Whew! Dami kasing potential storage areas eh! From the rental guy: First move: make a right then left on…. (di ko na maalaala ang name ng street) Lito drove out of the parking lot (in a clock-wise direction) from the back of the building & we are now in front of the building. Lito stopped the car & verified the direction: “make a right first?” Three pairs of eyes surveyed the area (Mayet, Jackie, Tabs) while Lito waited for instructions Teka, teka.. sandali lang… Mejo madilim ang lugar at baguhan kami dun. Di namin makitang mabuti yung main road kung asan relative to where we were. Off ang aming sense of direction. Mmmmm…  Ponder … if we turn right, parang babalik yata kami sa pinanggalingan namin, dun sa kung saan kami naka-park. Andito pa kami sa loob ng rental area ah… Whoa!!! Protesta si Matabai. Shock “Hindi! Mag-left ka muna para makalabas tayo dito. Yung “make a right” e pag labas na natin dito.” Ok! Tama ang ginawa namin! After some distance & turns, finally, nasa freeway na kami. Si Lito, every now & then nagtatanong kung anong next move, left ba or right para alam nya kung saan pumwesto.. kung sa fast or sa slow lane. Apat ang GPS nya: 3 Girl Power Systems, 1 Magellan GPS na boses babae din.. Mayette held a map (parang nakuha yata ni Lito sa rental guy), Jackie held the dumb navigator, Tabs has the very important tissue paper from McDo.. Because we were not familiar with the road, mejo mabagal ang pagpapatakbo ni Lito. Para mabasa namin yung names ng mga dinadaanan naming kalsada. Mabuti na lang at early morning na namin tinatahak ang freeway. At di ito busy. For the most part of our drive along that way, we were alone. Lito: “Swarts, nasa — (Lito said the name of the road, di ko lang maremember kung ano) na ba tayo? (Swarts ang tawagan nina Mayette at Lito. Short for sweetheart. I wonder, kung galit kaya si Mayette ke Lito, anong tawag nya sa kanya? Binubuo kaya nya ang pangalan ni Lito, as in “Pablito” or worse “Pablito Leodegario!” ? Naalaala ko tuloy ang late Ina ko. When I was young e ganito: pag ayos ang situation :”Bai”.. Pag binuo nya “Matabai” or “Tabai”… nakow! Lagot na! Kurog na!  Nervous )

 

Walang sagot from Swarts-Mayette. She was looking HARD at the small map. Lito repeated his question. Mayette: “E hindi ko maintindihan itong mapa! Di ko makita kung saan tayo ngayon.” Ang Mapa, Bow! Ang mapa, magaling na kaibigan ito Pag nakita mo agad ang hinahanap mo Pero kahit anong tagal ang titig mo dito Hanggang sa mabutas sa talas ng titig mo Kung wala ang reference point mo Di mo ma-pinpoint ang “You Are Here” nito Todo pa rin ang ligaw mo… In other words, walang silbi ito… Ang Mapa, Bow! E si Magellan? Walang imik at that time. (E kung ipapatay ko kaya ito ke Lapulapu? Rolly 1 ) Anyway, me kasabihan tayo: “Sa hinabahaba ng prosesyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy.” Well, sa kwento namin, ibahin ko lang: “Sa hinabahaba ng trip, pasasaan ba’t makakarating din!” And indeed, at past 2 am, WE HAVE ARRIVED at the hotel!

12.21.2009 Monday
Uy, mag-a-attempt daw si Tabs gumawa ng Orlando Series (OS) o! I’ll try to chronicle some of the highlights of my recent trip to Orlando, Florida.. Sige nga! Kaya ko kayang panindigan yan?
Bahala na. Let’s see.
Here’s my opening salvo… the “Alpha-Omega” of the trip.

12.09.2009 Wednesday Post-duty ako. Dali-dali akong nag-goli at nagbihis kasi susunduin ako ni Lito by 8:30am. Ngayon ang alis namin pa-Florida. Ako’y pinagpala kasi me mababait at mapagmahal akong mga kaibigan. One of them is the couple Lito & Mayette. Lito volunteered to fetch me from my place para dun na lang ako sa apartment nila maghintay before kami mag-proceed sa airport. Mas malapit sa kanila yung John Wayne airport kesa sa akin. 8:45am. Lito called me. Nasa harap na daw sya ng bahay namin. Paglabas ko sa driveway namin, di ko makita ang beige na Rav4 nila.   At the side street was a white pick-up truck with a trailer. Sigurado kong hindi kanila yun. Yan yung service truck nung Hispanic na regular na naglilinis sa garden ng kapitbahay namin (parang every 2 or 3 weeks yata). Across the street naman e me beige na pick-up truck. I said to myself: nag-iba na kaya sila ng sasakyan na di ko lang alam? I called up Lito. Two houses away, I saw him answering my call: “Andito ako sa harap ng bahay nyo.” Whaaaat? Nung napaharap sya sa direction ko, kinawayan ko sya sabay sabi ko on the phone, “Yoohoo, nasa ibang bahay ka. Dito ang bahay namin.”  Waving Dun si Lito kumatok sa bahay na identical sa tinitirhan ko. Buti at walang nagbukas sa kanya. Siguro magugulat sya na nag-iba na pala ako ng housemates. Kung di itim e Hispanic ang nakatira dun.. Si Pablito ay nalito Nung sunduin nya ako Sya ay kumatok sa pinto Ng kapitbahay ko. Nung 2006, nangyari din sa akin ito Pero saka ko na lang ito ikwento Because that’s another crazy story sa buhay ko…  Phew (seems like my life is full of craziness, eh? pero masaya! Bouncy 4 ) 12.14.2009 Monday Trip back home. Very foggy. Buti na lang at inagahan namin ang pag-check out sa resort. So we had more than enough time to return the rental car without being late for our trip. The first leg of the trip was from Orlando, Florida to Houston, Texas. The plane left a little bit late. As we were nearing our destination, we were told by the pilot that we were detouring a little bit because of bad weather.. That added about 20 minutes of flying time. By the time we finally got off the plane, we had only 30 minutes left instead of 1 hour to report to the next plane. There was somebody from Continental Airlines who directed us to the next terminal (E22) where we were supposed to proceed. “Go straight ahead all the way to the end, then turn right”, she said. Josko! I squinted at inestima ko ang distansya ng sinabi nyang “straight ahead..” Mukhang malayo-layo ah! Tapos me “turn right” pa. E gaano naman kaya kalayo yung “turn right” na yan? I Don't Know Ayayaay! Naalaala ko tuloy yung kwentong probinsya na pag nagtanong ka ng layo ng isang lugar, sasabihin sa iyo, “Ay jan lang, sa kabilang bundok”… yun pala e sa likod ng bundok na itinuro e several bundoks pa pala ang tatahakin mo.. walastik!  Hmm With 30 minutes left for boarding to the next plane na di ko alam kung gaano kalayo from where we where, hala sige, start the walkathon! Halong brisk-walking at semi-takbo ang ginawa namin.   Ops, sorry. Mali ang picture na yan. Matagal makarating sa paroroonan ang lakad na yan.  Teethy Plano ni Mayette na dumaan pa sana sa duty free store. E wala ng time. Ako naman, every time na me madaanan kaming Duty Free store, lalo ko pang itinuturo ke Mayette:  “Mayette, hayan na yung Duty Free o!” Sabay tawa. “Siguro, sabi ni Lord, keep your money daw, kaya di ka na nya binigyan ng chance na pumasok jan.” Tuloy-tuloy ang brisk-walking.   Masakit sa binti kasi di nakasanayan. Si Jackie e parang naka-1 1/5-inch heel leather shoes pa mandin. E 1 – 9. Ay, di pa yan. Malayo pa. Sa susunod pang kanto. Hurry Up Finally, we have reached the end of that “straight ahead”. Whew! Now, it’s “turn right”. But before we turned right, I noticed another Duty Free located at the corner. I “dutifully” pointed it out again to Mayette. Syempre, tawanan ulit. About 50 feet away from terminal E22, I noticed that there weren’t any people, no lines. Just the Continental staff at the counter. Nakow! Baka naka-board na silang lahat at kami na lang ang hinihintay! Biliiiis!   As we were approaching E22, I glanced outside the glass wall & noticed that there was no plane at the tube. Whoa!!! Don’t tell me nakaalis na ang plane!! Holy Moly No way, highway! ( expression ko lang yan). Nagtanong kmi sa counter. Good news: We were not left behind by our plane. The plane has not arrived yet. Bad news: The plane has not ACTUALLY LEFT YET from its origin! There will be a delay in our flight. Our ETD was moved from 3pm to 5:20pm. Diyos ko! Nagmadali pa kmi. Sumakit pa legs ko sa semi-takbo. Yun pala e wala naman pala kaming pinagmamadalian. Biniro ko ulit si Mayette. “O, Mayette, me oras ka na pumasok sa Duty Free”. Sabi ni Mayette: “Oo nga, pero as far as I know e para sa mga international flyers lang yan.” Ah ganun pala yun. As you enter the premises, sa bungad pa lang e chini-check na nila kung ang boarding pass mo e pang-international or pang-domestic flight. Para di ka na magsayang ng oras sa katitingin ng pabili nila e di ka naman pla pwedeng bumili. Hala sige, sa inyo na lang yaaaaan!

12.17.2009 Thursday
I went to the Philippine Embassy in LA yesterday. Based on the experiences of the people I have talked to, matagal daw ang transaction dito. Disorganized ang opisinang ito. Mabagal. Walang sistema. Me patext-text pa.. Typical  Philippine office. Parang nasa Pinas ka daw talaga.
I have 2 transactions scheduled: (1) magpa-authenticate ng SPA for my Kuya Mus who is in the Philippines and (2) mag-renew ng passport.
I braced myself for a long exhausting day. I came from work that day. Walang tulog. Umuwi at nagbihis lang and then off to LA. Buti na lang at day-off ng Kuya Kuts ko kaya naipag-drive nya ako dun.
I already prepared all the necessary documents. Naka-photocopy na ang anumang kelangan i-photocopy. Application form was filled up except for the thumb print kasi wala akong stamp pad. Pero ok lang. Meron naman daw dun sa office sabi ni Ian.
Sa mga requirements, isa lang ang di ko dala. Passport picture. Two weeks ago, nagpa-passport picture ako sa Costco. Mura lang (2 copies for $4.99) compared jan sa tabi ng Stater Bros or dun sa WalMart (2 copies for $13). Kaso lang, nung binasa ko ang specifications ng embassy, me bago na pala silang patakaran about it. The background is a specific type of blue color. Sabi ni Ian, meron naman daw dun sa tabi ng consular office. So I decided na dun na lang ako magpa-litrato. Ayaw kong magkamali.
The consular office is at the 5th floor of the building. About 25 feet before one reaches the door of the office, you can’t miss this very small room bustling with people: nagpapa-picture at nagpapa-photocopy ng documents. Very busy & lucrative business! WOW!!!
Kung pumunta ka dun na ang suot mo e walang collar, meron silang standby topcoat na pwede mong isuot for picture-taking. Di ko alam kung ano na amoy nun, at kung pinapalitan ba nila at all once in a while. I wonder, ilan na kaya ang mga taong nakasuot nun & therefore pare-pareho sila ng “damit” sa picture nila?
Pero ready naman ako. I read the requirements before going there so didn’t need to wear it. At saka di ko rin talaga magagamit yun kasi masyado syang malaki for me.
Pangit din ang kalalabasan sa picture. Parang yung batang isinuot nya ang damit ng parents nya.
Then nagbayad na ako. Pagbigay sa akin nung ale ng sukli ko, sabi nya: “Nay, heto na po yung sukli nyo.”
“Nay”? Did I hear her right? Did she indeed address me as “Nay”? Ganun na ba ako katanda?
Aray ko! Nasaktan ang damdamin ko!  Disappointed
Buti sana kung at least once in my life e naging Nanay talaga ako.. but the thing is never naman akong naging isang Ina at gaano ko man katagal tititigan ang sarili ko sa salamin, with or without my reading eyeglasses, di pa rin ako tumatanda to the level na pwede na akong tawaging “Nay”.
Di naman ganito ang hitsura ko ah!
(  Jump For Joy )
Baka naman mali lang ang narinig ko:
> Maybe she wanted to say ‘Day but it became ‘Nay. But she is not Bisaya. Tagalog na Tagalog syang magsalita.
> Hindi rin sya ngongo na ang ‘Day nya e naging ‘Nay.
> Hindi rin nya alam pangalan ko, so it’s not possible that she called me Bai (tapos ang dinig ko lang e ‘Day).
Oh, my goodness!  Oh Jeez
After a few minutes, she handed me the finished pictures placed inside a plastic “supot”  (ano nga ba ang proper term dun sa pinaglagyan nito? ewan… hehehe). She said: “Wag lang po ninyong i-touch ang harap ng pictures, Nay” (meaning avoid putting your  fingerprints on the pictures, just hold it at the corners).
There goes the “Nay” again. This time I believe that I heard it correctly. It is indeed “Nay” and not “Bai” or “Day”… aaarrrrggghhh!!!!! Damn Damn
I just sang to myself (remember this song?): “Napakasakiiiit, Kuya Eddie!”  Teethy
Bakit kaya “Nay” ang tawag nya sa akin? Bakit di na lang “Ate”? Alam kong me puting buhok na ako pero di naman ganun kadami. At di rin losyang ang suot ko that day. In fact I paid attention to how I looked kasi gusto kong maganda ako sa picture kasi pang-passport yun. Ako pa? Me pagka-vanidoso ako ah!
Ahaaaay! The mystery of how things/events are! Shocked
Anyway, pinalagpas ko na lang. I just gave her my sweet smile & politely thanked her. Tapos nagmadali na akong pumasok sa consular office.
Surprisingly, konti ang tao sa embassy at that time. Yung pinangangambahan kong “long exhausting day” never happened. There was no line. I finished all my transactions in about 45 minutes. Di pa pagod ang mga taga-embassy at that time & therefore di sila masungit.
Plus there was a bonus: at the information desk, the guy asked: Taga-Cotabato ka ba?
Me: “Opo”
Guy: “Kapatid mo ba si Atty Muslimin Lim?”
Me: “Opo. Kilala nyo pala sya?”
Guy: “Kasama ko sa trabaho.”
Me: “Sa PNB, Cotabato po?”
Guy: “Hindi. Sa Malaysia kami nagkasama. Sa Maybank”
Wow!!!! Terrific I never in my life expected this to happen! Na me makakakilala sa isa sa mga utol ko. Wow!!! There is an advantage in knowing someone in any office. Kahit  papaano e mas smooth ang transaction. Me extra advice on how to go about things. They treat you more kindly.
SWERTE! SWERTE! SWERTE!  High Five
And so, except for that teeny-weeny bit of nakaka-asar na episode (the “Nay” episode), overall, the day was a SUCCESS! Clappy
Pero hanggang ngayon, di ko pa rin maubos isipin: why did the lady addressed me as “Nay”? Mind-boggling indeed! Pwede kayang isali ito sa “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”?
December 8, 2009 Tuesday
Magandang Martes sa inyong lahat! Heto na naman po ang inyong lingkod, giving you reasons to smile.
Who says husbands don’t obey their wives? 
www.FunAndFunOnly.net
S  M  I  L  E
 
This was an entry in my journal last week…
 
*****
11.29.2009 Sunday
Tinanghali na ako ng gising ngayong araw. Pero ok lang. Miminsan-minsan lang naman nangyayari ito. At least, nakatikim ako ng masarap na tulog.
After doing all my usual morning rituals, I checked my to-do list. #1: List down things to bring for Florida trip. Ah, ok… yan ang gagawin ko ngayon. Kasi ilang araw na yan nakalagay sa listahan pero di pa rin naasikaso. Laging nalalagpasan.
Excited na ako sa lakad namin nina Jackie, Mayette at Lito. First time kong pupunta sa Florida. Tamang-tama na gagamitin ni Jackie ang time-share nya. Ayos!
November 11 pa, nabili na ang ticket for a Dec 9 (papunta) & 14 (pabalik) na trip.   Pilot Pinagtyagaan ni Lito aralin ang options namin at hanapin ang pinakamura. He ended up choosing a round-trip from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, CA to Orlando, Florida and back for $248.90. Not bad.
Sa sobrang excitement ko, ngayong araw pa lang (10 DAYS PRIOR!!!) e halos tapos na ako sa pag-empake ng mga gamit ko.   Tapos ko na din asikasuhin ang hatid-sundo sa akin! Finishing touches na lang ang kulang. Hanep! Kahit ako di makapaniwala sa sarili ko..
Sa sobrang excitement ko din, I also prepared for my duty tonight: I set aside what I’ll wear, from top to bottom… scrubs down to the socks.
Hanep again!  Woohoo!
Then I sat down in front of my laptop to log on to my daily journal. As I was about to write down the date, I glanced at the wall calendar. Ooops! I noticed na di pala ako scheduled to work tonight. Bukas pa pala ang duty ko! Ahahaaaay!!! Ano ba yaaan?! Oh Jeez Kamot-kamot ang ulo… Patay kang bata ka! Kung di pala ako nag-log sa journal ko, di ko mapansin na di pala ako scheduled to work tonight! Diyos ko! Kung nagkataon e masasayang ang bihis ko pati gasolina sa pagpunta sa hospital, e ala naman palang work.. Hay ambot na lang!
EXCITED ka lang, Tabs! Grabe!  Wakka Wakka
Anyway, since hindi naman ako duty tonight, e di change of plans. I decided to go to Costco to restock our house needs…
It was past 3pm when I left the house. As I was driving, I realized na di pa pla ako nakapag-lunch ng matino. Kumain lang ako ng isang avocado bandang tanghali. Ah, ok lang. Sanay naman ako mag-fast.
Sa Costco, una kong pinasyalan ang hilera ng HDTVs.  Naglaway ako. Dalawang beses kong inikot. Pero hanggang tingin lang muna ako today. Next time, Tabs… next time… Magmumuni-muni muna ako. Mahaaaaaabang pagmumuni ang kelangan dito… Di pwede i-rush..
 
To buy or not to buy?
Nalilito na si Matabai!
How willing is she to say goodbye
Sa datung na pinaghirapan ihanapbuhay
Kapalit ng HDTV na pantanggal-lumbay?
Ayayaaaaay!!!!!
 
Eniwes, dumeretso na lang ako dun sa kung ano ang nakalistang bibilhin ko.. laundry needs, gamit sa kusina, panlaman sa pridjider, etc…
Sa dulo ng ilang aisles, me nakita akong maganda sa mata at lalo na sa tiyan ko.. yung namimigay ng sample food!!! Oolalaaaa!!!  Way Too Happy I’m alive! Kumuha ako ng isa at kinain away from the lady who was giving them. Parang noodles na me chicken chunks. About 2 tbsp. Bitin. Nagpalipas ng ilang minuto.. bumalik. Nagpasimpleng kumuha ng 2nd serving. Ayos!  Rolly 3
Itinuloy ang pamimili. Sa bawat kanto na me free food samples, tira Tabs, tira!  Too Happy 1 Kaya lang, tig-iisa na lang ang nakuha ko dun sa iba. Kasi jahe. Mejo ma-o-obvious na ako. Me ibang taong naghihintay. Pakonti-konti na lang ang sini-serve nung tao. Paubos na yung samples nya. Past 4pm na rin kasi.. Dun sa last na nadaanan ko, last serving na yung inabutan ko. Pero ok lang. Busog na rin ako, pagdating sa dulo.
I’m alive!  Bounce
******
PS: Ipagdasal nyong gumanda ang weather sa trip namin… Sayang naman hetong first ever trip ko sa Fl na mukhang babagyuhin pa yata… tsk tsk tsk. Sana magpa-iwan na lang ang ulan dito sa CA at huwag nang sumunod sa east coast..  Rain Cloud
11.16.2009 Monday
 
Tuwing autumn, ini-enggangyo ako ng friend kong si An to visit her in West Virginia. Para makita ko daw ang kaaya-ayang tanawin sa East Coast: iba’t-ibang kulay ng mga dahon ng puno.
This time, ganito ang message nya:
“ganda ang mga leaves dito tabs. bursting again with all sorts of vivid colors: reddish hue,  yellow, yellow green, tawny, orange. ang iba tho nalagas na.”
Tawny? Mmmmm… ano kayang kulay yan? Di ko kilala. Marami akong alam na colors: rainbow colors (pito yan), plus yung wala jan tulad ng black, white, gray, beige, ecru, “fenk”, brown, tan… at marami pang iba… pero, “tawny”? Wass dat? Question Mark
Pag merong kang di alam at wala kang mapagtanungan sa tabi mo, i-google mo baby!
E di nag-google nga. Sa google page, under “Images”, I typed “tawny” sa search box. Enter!
Charaan! Surprise! Surprise! Nagulat ako sa pahinang sumambulat sa aking mga mata! Ano ito? Wow! Wow
Ako’y napailing…  Oh Jeez … hindi picture ng color ang bumungad sa  aking paningin kundi……… larawan ng pagka-seksing babae! Meron pang semi-hubad at meron ding hubo’t-hubad talaga! (pero hindi naman nakaharap kaya likod at wet-pu lang ang nakikita)
Ang nasambit ko na lang: “Oh, my gulay! (…walang sabaw….) ” —- expression ko lang ito.. Brows
So, inulit ang search. I amended it to “tawny color”. Enter again! Pop-ups Hay salamat! Mejo matino-tinong information na ang nakuha ko… “mejo” lang kasi sari-sari pa ring kulay ang nakita ko. Hindi lang isa.. Pero at least me idea na ako kung ano ang ibig sabihin ni An…
Nang dahil sa salitang “tawny”
ako’y napa-research nang sandali
At sa aking inosenteng sarili
Nagkaroon ako ng bagong discovery
Kung ang lalaki e Tony
ang pambabae pala nito e Tawny…?
Kung ang “tawny” ng autumn
ang kaakibat e nalalagas na dahon;
Ano naman ang “nalalagas” ke Tawny
Walang iba, kundi ang kanyang damit, Pare!
He he he… sorry…
kung ang joke ko e napaka-CORNY!
Sana po maibigan ninyo ang kwento ko… sorry kung wala akong matinong contribution sa class natin… hanggang ganito na lang ang kaya kong gawin,.. magpa-kwela.. ayokong madagdagan ang kulubot ng mukha ko gawa ng simangot, no!
11.04.2009 Wednesday
Post-Halloween kwento
October 31. Duty ako. Two significant things happened:
1. Shift from DST (daylight saving time) to PST (Pacific standard time), otherwise known as “fall-back time”. Naging 13 hours ang work. Ok lang kung double ang rate ng ika-13th hour. Pag nangyari yun, that would debunk the notion that “13” is an unlucky number.
2. Halloween night. I was not originally scheduled to work that night. Andie needed to be free that night because her kids expected her to join them in celebrating Halloween. Since wala naman akong kids na makiki-trick or treat sa akin, e di sige na nga… pumayag na akong makipag-exchange ng work nights.
Awa ng Diyos, magaan ang load ko that night. A co-worker said, “I think the night would be light. Kids will be busy ‘tricking or treating’. If ever we will be busy, that might be past midnight when kids have stomachache from too much food..or getting injured running in the dark..”
I learned from my co-workers that people usually rush back to the stores the morning after Halloween kasi nagse-sale daw ng candies & chocolates. So imbes na umuwi ako agad from work (para sana makatulog agad kasi duty pa ako ulit that night, Nov 1), e na-engganyo akong pumunta pa sa Walmart.
As I parked, napansin ko na yung mga taong bagong dating e nagmamadaling pumasok sa tindahan. Yung lumalabas naman, wala masyadong pinamili. I told myself baka ubos na. I got there 7:45am.
Di naman ganun kadaming tao. Dun sa aisle where the Halloween items are, doon halos nakakumpol ang mga tao. Siguro me isang dosenang customers kung bilangin mo pati mga anak na bitbit. On one side are the Halloween items with marked down prices, 50%. Opposite them are the chocolates & candies. No note of any discount.
Then I heard people commented: “The price is still the same. There’s no sale.”
Natuto na rin ang mga tindahan. Bakit pa nga ba nila ise-sale ang chocolates e “perennial” item naman yan? Ke me okasyon o wala, people buy chocolates. Hindi nalalaos. Hindi seasonal.
A lot of customers were having second thoughts of buying. Others just bought some para di masayang ang trip nila. Kaya pala yung mga nakasalubong kong mga tao e walang bitbit, hindi dahil naubusan kundi hindi pala sila bumili.
Ako? Sa totoo lang, first time kong subukang mamili ng chocolates after an occasion (in  this case Halloween). E di naman pala nag-sale. So, umuwi na lang ako. Walang binili. Nagsayang pa ako ng oras, gasolina at effort. Nabawasan pa tuloy ako ng oras sa tulog. Not my luck. Kicking Dirt (Sa totoo lang, natatawa ako sa emoticon na ito. Hindi naman ganito ang reaction ko kaya lang nakakatuwa itong emoticon. )
Anyway, to conclude my story, kungbaga sa trick or treat, e na-tricked ako definitely!  Trick O' Treater Falling Off Chair Laughing
******
November 3. Bumalik ulit ako sa Walmart. Naghahanap ng paggagamitan ng perang pinaghirapan at pinagpupuyatang kitain. hehehe.. Joke lang. Kelangan ko actually bumili ng sinulid. I’m fixing my scrubs.
Napadaan ulit ako sa Halloween aisle. Yung mga chocolates, nire-replenish na nila ng bagong stocks. Pang-Christmas na. Yung Halloween items, di pa nila naliligpit. Tumingin-tingin ako sa mga costumes. I thought maybe I could find a nice costume. Who knows, maybe next year duty ulit ako, e meron akong maisusuot.
Tingin-tingin…. tingin-tingin… Karamihan ng naiwan e pang-little boys na costume. Maliit din ako pero di kasya yung mga andun. Besides di ko type. Meron akong nakita na mejo natipuhan ko. Alien. Me mask at itim na robe. Pero di kasya. So, out.
Next: witch. Sabi sa label: “large girls”. Ah, heto na, pwede na siguro ito sa akin. Excited na akong binuksan yung package para inspeksyunin. Ooops! Maiksi. Mid-thigh. Baka ma-eskandalo ang hospital admi (SDA-run ang hospital na pinagtatrabahuan ko. Conservative). Baka di ako papapasukin… Upon further scrutiny, mejo ok na sana yung size ng costume except around the waist.. jan….jan talo ako. No pwede. Either hindi ako hihinga buong magdamag na suot ko or gagawan ko ng multiple slits sa sides pra bumuka. E di lalong naging sexy. At lalong di ako makakapasok sa trabaho. So, out ulit.
Next: the label says “for adult women”. Heto na siguro ang hinahanap ko. Size ko na ito. Di ko pa binubuksan ang package. Nasilip ko lang ang material: gawa sa matingkad na pulang tela. Ew! Hindi pa naman ako mahilig sa pula. Lalo na kung matingkad pa! I looked at the picture. “Devil woman”. Mid-calf ang length na ang hem e hindi pantay-pantay at saka long-sleeve na mejo flare sa dulo. Hindi sya sexy. Style wise, papasa na sa siguro sa mga konserbatibo.
Pero, final verdict ko: No dice… Cannot be, my dear…  No
1. “Takot” ako sa super pulang damit. Parang di ko kayang isuot.
2. Pag isinuot ko yun, di bagay ang working shoes (rubber shoes) ko. Kelangan dun e step-in or sandals. E paano ako makakapagtrabaho kung di ako naka-rubber shoes? Paano kung magkataon na matoxic ang duty ko? Patay! Di ako makagalaw ng mabilis. No way!
3. Heaviest factor that killed the idea: pang devil-woman ang costume. Sa palagay ko, lalo akong di papapasukin ng mga bossing ko. Kahit na yung secretary namin na ultra-conservative at reklamador, siguradong walang katapusang sita ang matatamasa ko. Mantakin mo naman, ka-religiosong institution, tapos demonyo ang papasok sa trabaho?  Costume No way! (highway… hehehe).. Baka sipain pa ako sa trabaho.. I cannot afford it.. hehehe. Kelangan ko ang datung.
And so that ends my plan to don a costume next year… siguro, gutay-gutayin ko na lang yung old scrubs ko, pwede nang maging costume… matipid pa!
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