A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for May, 2008

“Do I Make You Proud?”

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Alex in BusinessWorld May 9-10, 2008 edition

My son Alex’s first Mother’s Day gift turned out to be one of the best- he got himself published! :-)

Around a week and a half ago, having gotten off theater practice early, he, A and I caught the advance screening of Speed Racer at SM Megamall Cinema 1. I think he must have been really impressed with the movie as he set to write about it as soon as he got home that night. He submitted it to BusinessWorld for the arts and leisure pages, and thankfully, it landed on the Weekender. Proud father showed me a copy last Friday when he got home from work. (Above is a screen shot of the online edition. You can check it out here.) Alex was all smiles as he asked me to keep a copy for him, and asked his dad to get another copy for Mr. P, his theater teacher.

“Advanced Happy Mother’s Day, Ma,” he whispered as he gave me a peck on the cheek.

Alex often sings “Do I make you proud?,” Taylor Hicks’ song when Hicks won American Idol (Fifth Season) two years ago. Now, when he belts into song, I sing back, “You always do.”

Life Will Find A Way

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The santol tree in front of my houseI was looking at the santol tree that looms large in front of my house when this thought crossed my mind. Life finds a way. I live in a concrete jungle, where everything is covered in cement and stone. Even our small scrap of lawn, before we had it completely covered in stone, used to be made of artificial grass, the kind that covered commercial mini-golf courses.

I grew up in a similar environment. My dad’s business involved the finishing of metals (plating, powdercoating), and as such, we flourished in a home that was made largely of stone, steel, and cement. My mom’s green thumb definitely came in handy; where she could find a patch of dirt, she dug and planted. She was able to grow flowers, vegetables, even trees. By the time we sold our family home in the late nineties, it had a beautiful garden hidden behind massive stone edifices.

When my turn came to have a family, I promised myself that I would plant a garden too. Alas, I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb. Also, Alphonse’s pica was such that he dug through earth to eat roots and fallen leaves, and before I knew it, my little garden became stone again.

One day, many years ago, (Alphonse was only three then) I saw a small tree struggling to break through the concrete. I later found out that one of the nannies threw a single santol seed in a small crack in the concrete. I let the tree be; I figured, it’ll either die or flourish and it’ll all be the same to me. As the days  passed, the santol tree, although thin and sickly looking, grew. It was barren and without fruit, but I liked the idea of having a tree (even just a single one) so once again, it was spared of the ax. After that, it would bear fruit once a year, and produce three to five puny santol- little ones that were smaller than a tennis ball and slightly bigger than a pingpong ball but  oh, they were so sweet.

santol fruits of the tree

When typhoon Milenyo ravaged the metropolis two years ago, the tree broke. I thought that was the end of it. We gave away the broken branches for firewood; a wise old neighbor even made one large branch into a bench. Surprisingly, a month later, the santol tree was already sprouting new branches.

This year, for the first time ever, this tree has been producing the sweetest fruits in an astonishing number. Every branch has santol, some heavy with clusters of the fruit.  Alphonse likes picking up the falling fruit and usually takes a big chunk out of them, skin, rind and all.Santol fruits from my tree

And this brings me to the thought that indeed, life finds a way. Who would have thought that a crack in stone could yield a tree?  That a single seed could surprise even the most jaded of us ?

I love this tree.

Just A Short Break

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

I’ve been lurking in my own blog for a few days now, never actually logging in, just checking every now and then on activity in the site. I’m glad that some of my friends have still visited despite my absence and I am grateful for their words of support and encouragement. :-)

I’m almost there where I should be, in terms of catching up with housework, my teaching load (with Alphonse), my part-time business (I make laminated PECS cards and I also sell autism awareness jewelry), and my writing (I’ve submitted two articles this week, edited two more, and started on another one just now- not bad). Once I get over this huge hump, I plan to blog more and write about what I’ve been up to in the last few weeks. In the meantime, while I savor a few minutes of downtime (I just emailed my article to my editor and I am awaiting his comments via SMS), I thought to say hello to everyone I’ve missed. HELLO!

Sending you Kitty love

Once my work load is decently managed, I am scheduling more ME time. Time to blog. Time to take pictures and edit them at leisure. Time to listen to music. Time to meet up with friends. Time to watch movies.

With Ms. Sharon CunetaSpeaking of movies, I just saw the trailer of Sharon Cuneta’s latest movie, Caregiver. I’m a big Sharon Cuneta fan, really, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet her (and hug her in person!!!) because of my writing (I do reviews of music and movies, on the side). I’m not a big movies fan; moreover, I’m not a big Filipino movies fan. Still, despite the limitations of our entertainment industry, we do manage to come up with stellar performances that are at par with world-renowned talent.

Aside from being a Sharon-starrer, this movie caught my attention because it tackles a theme very close to our heart- the plight of overseas Filipino workers. We are a country of migrant workers scattered in every corner of the globe. We are doctors, nurses, caregivers, engineers, bankers, domestic helpers, seamen, entertainers, and teachers. 

I hope that you enjoy the movie trailer as much as I did. When this comes out on the big screen, I’m hauling A and forcing him to watch this with me.