My Philippines/Bayan Ko

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.
- President Benigno Aquino III


Benigno Aquino III
has been sworn in as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines. Even if I was not rooting for President Aquino, this new administration makes me hopeful. For full transcript of President Aquino's inaugural speech, please click here.

I'm feeling nationalistic.

I cannot stress how much I love the Philippines. My country. Ang bayan ko.

My favorite version of the song Bayan Ko was sung by Lea Salonga at the funeral of President Aquino's mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

Bayan Ko
by José Corazon de Jesus



Ang bayan kong Pilipinas,
Lupain ng ginto't bulaklak.
Pag-ibig ang sa kaniyang palad
Nag-alay ng ganda't dilag.
At sa kaniyang yumi at ganda,
Dayuhan ay nahalina.
Bayan ko, binihag ka,
Nasadlak sa dusa.

Koro:
Ibon mang may layang lumipad,
kulungin mo at umiiyak!
Bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag,
Ang 'di magnasang makaalpas!
Pilipinas kong minumutya,
Pugad ng luha ko't dalita,
Aking adhika,
Makita kang sakdal laya!

Two Days Off

What's with the number two? And why is it gracing the title of my blog for two consecutive days? It is purely coinciden tal, or maybe lack of a better title.

For those who watched Sex & the City 2, you know what "two days off" means. To those that didn't watch "two days off" was Big/John's solution to a problem in his marriage with Carrie. His idea was to take two days each week to do whatever the each of them want to do separately then the remaining five would be spent together doing things a married couple does. This was prompted when Carrie took two days off in her old apartment to finish the book she was writing after which things got better with her and Big. I was appalled when I heard Big's "solution. This is why Sex & the City should never serve as a moral compass to its viewers. In the end though, I tend to nod my head when I saw Charlotte taking a break from motherhood and applying the "two days off" rule. Yes, mothers - especially full-time mothers - deserve time off. It doesn't need to be two days, a couple of hours works for me.

My favorite scene was when the two mothers, Charlotte and Miranda, talked about the difficulties of motherhood over drinks. I love how they kept on assuring each other that motherhood is the greatest thing and how they love their children. However, motherhood is not easy. And then they toasted to those mothers who do it full-time without help because the two of them have nannies. When I heard that, I wanted to raise the plastic cup I was drinking and engage the two ladies in a toast.

While I enjoyed watching Sex & the City, I always remind myself that I watch the ladies purely for entertainment only. Couldn't keep my eyes off those wardrobe and accessories. I also agree with them that girlfriends are an essential part of a woman's life in whatever stage a woman is - single ladies, wife or mother. But never to the extent that girlfriends are more important than the husband or children.

I make time for my best girls. I need them. I am a wife first, then a mother, then the girlfriends fit somewhere. I promised myself I will not let motherhood stop me from going out with my friends. Motherhood did not transport me to another planet. My girlfriends are single ladies, married women, new mothers like me, more experienced mothers and older women. I learn from each one of them - similar interests, values and faith. We talk like there's no tomorrow over lunch, coffee & dessert, after-dinner drinks or even play dates with our little ones. It's times like those when I opt to use my "two days off."

My Two Jacks

**SPOILER ALERT**

I bid farewell to two Jacks - Jack Bauer and Dr. Jack Shepard

Jack Bauer (24)

Photo sent by my friend Rita who is another 24 fan

The moment I watched the first episode of 24, I was instantly a fan. I have a thing for suspense/thriller. A season of 24 has 24 episodes which covers a day in the life of CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) Agent Jack Bauer. An episode is an hour worth of Bauer's life. It happens in real time. That made 24 different. It also resurrected the career of Kiefer Sutherland. The show went on air for 8 season/years.

We have seen Jack lose his wife and most of the people he cares for. In the end, he only had his daughter Kim, and the most loyal co-worker turned friend, Chloe O'Brian. Jack is one tough man who probably has a cat's nine lives. I would not want to be in the same world as he is. Jack Bauer is synonymous to terrorism. Presidents are being assasinated, the existence of nuclear bombs, nerve gas and airborne viruses, the White House was attacked and the President held hostage. It's a scary and dangerous world. Jack is a total mess - he lost his wife, got addicted to heroin, believed to be dead for his protection, imprisoned, exposed to biological weapon, subjected to Senate hearing and so on. I really thought he would die in the end because of his patriotism.

Yet, Bauer is the one person US presidents (even Heads of State of our countries) listen to. They trust him with their lives. He never betrayed his country even sacrificing his own private life. In season 8, I cringed when Jack went on a killing spree. I was sad that he had to succumb to revenge. Then I cried with Chloe at the last scene. I will miss watching Jack Bauer.

Dr. Jack Shepard (Lost)

Photo from http://wallpaperstock.net

To be clear, my favorite character on Lost is James Ford, popularly known as Sawyer, not Jack Shepard. The latter just happened to be the show's lead character.

The creator of Lost, J.J. Abrams, is the same man behind one of my favorite TV series, Alias. Because of this, I had to watch Lost. It started out pretty normal - plane crashing on an island and there were survivors. I learned about the different lives of the passengers of Oceanic flight 815. There was Locke, Hurley, Kate, Claire, Sayid, Sun and Jin, Charlie, Michael, Walt, Shannon and Boone. They were waiting to be rescued at the same time finding means to communicate outside the island - the mysterious island.

A few seasons after we were introduced to more characters - Ben, Eko, Charles Widmore, Desmond, Libby, Ana Lucia, Juliet and the Others. Later on, there were Miles, Dr. Chang, Charlotte and Daniel Faraday. Yes, the plot got very complicated and confusing. Throw in the character of Jacob and his black smoke unnamed twin brother, I definitely needed time to digest the new developments. Lost has this way of connecting/linking all passengers prior to the crash. They have their own six degrees of separation.

In the end though, I kind of understood the mystery of the island. The "what if flashbacks" were engaging. It is interesting to watch what could have happened if the plane did not crash. However, the meaning of these 'flashbacks' were explained in the end. The series had ended but I still have questions. I am still somewhat lost.


What's On TV?

**SPOILER ALERT**

This is is a long overdue post. It had been crazy busy life. The keyboard on our netbook needed to be repaired. It won't type the letter "C."

I have been a follower of American TV series for as long as I can remember. Even the crappy shows. Knight Rider. Wonder Woman. 90210. Melrose Place. Friends. Sex and the City. Alias. There are too many that I cannot remember all of them.

Thanks to today's technology I can follow my favorite shows and watch them when I have the time wherever I am.

Season finales make me sad. It means I'd have to wait for a few more months until I see my favorite characters again.

I follow six shows: 24, Brothers and Sisters, Glee, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy and Lost.

Now how do I feel about this year's season finales (24 and Lost will be tackled more thoroughly in a separate post as both shows have ended) --

Brothers and Sisters

Who doesn't love the crazy but endearing Walkers? I tell myself I want a family like the Walkers. The Walker siblings are as close as can be. At troubling times, you could see them support each other. Nora Walker glues the family together. She has authority and her children despite the fact that they are full grown adults still obey and respect her. In season 4, we saw Kitty battle cancer and get on the campaign trail. Sarah fell in love with a gorgeous French man. Kevin is now jobless, and we felt his pain as he found out something about his past. We did not see much of Tommy as he is mostly away to be closer to her daughter. Rebecca and Justin final got married. Nora wanted to sell Ojai and we later said goodbye to Ojai Foods. The finale is very tragic. We won't be seeing a very important (and handsome) character in the next season.

Glee

I learned about Glee from Twitter. People would not stop talking about it. I found out why when I watched the first episode. I was instantly hooked. I listened to their songs over and over again on my last few weeks of pregnancy. I really thought my son would be screaming to the tune of "Don't Stop Believing" when he comes out. The show is similar to High School Musicale but even better in my opinion. Be still my heart, Mr. Will Schuester. I'm giving away my age as I'm having a crush on the teacher than Finn or Puck. Will tries to keep the New Directions for as long s he can. There's star singer Rachel Berry who has got to be the most annoying person in Glee then later you felt her pain when she found her mother. Glee won't Glee without Kurt, Mercedes, Artie and Tina. My favorite character is Sue Sylvester. Don't you just love her in the finale. I always knew she has a soft spot after learning she has a sister with down syndrome. I like the fact that New Directions did not win the Regionals. This mean a bigger season two. I am looking forward to watching our very own Charice on Glee.

Gossip Girl

Of the six shows I follow, this one I watch for entertainment purposes only - mostly for the wardrobe, accessories and the eye candies. Theirs is a life I wouldn't want - the life of the Eastsiders. Yet I am somewhat hooked. My favorite character is Blair Waldorf. She is beautiful, deceiving but somewhere in her feisty image she is endearing. I particularly like her relationship with Dorota. And I just knew the right man for her is Chuck Bass. Season three made me despise Jenny, Serena and even Vanessa. Relieved that Lily and Rufus are still married. And what was that surprise Georgina sprang on Dan? Let's see if Season 4 will be better in story and values.

Grey's Anatomy

What I do not like about Grey's is how the actors leave the show when I am already attached to their characters. And I am glad there is no major character who is leaving. We all know about Izzie Stevens leaving so she is not counted. I seriously think Meredith Grey is finally maturing. I'm seeing less and less of her whiny self. McDreamy and McSteamy still capture my heart. Oh and McSteamy has got to be the hottest grandfather ever. Season 6 introduces new characters such as Teddy and this mysterious but cute Jackson Avery. Derek is now Chief of Surgery. In the end, the one with authority is still Richard Webber. Grey's Season 6 finale is heart stopping. I thought I was watching 24. Seriously.

While my favorite shows are on break, I will take this time to read and catch up on movies on my to watch list.

Can't wait for fall season.




Quiet Time in Manila

Javi and I are were in Manila a couple of weeks ago. This time, I decided to stay quiet and not be as busy as our trips before.

I probably have mastered flying alone with the little one. This time, I brought our luggage with us. And I managed without a porter to help me. The key is planning way ahead. There I was with a a baby on a sling, with my huge baby bag and a stroller in one hand. Haha!

We spent most of our time in Bulacan. I cannot believe it is warmer in Bocaue than Cebu. Would you believe that the house there is probably one of the very few ones who does not have air-conditioning. I seriously believe it is energy efficient to use an A/C than all those electric fans. My little boy suffered from heat rash. Poor little thing.

Javi and I did go to Manila a couple of times. No more meet-ups one after the other. I've stopped doing home visits, too. Maybe on our next trip when we're able to stay in Manila.

My biggest regret was not visiting my dearest friend Malou and her son Isaiah.

Now these are the things/people that made our trip special:


Masachi ball with chocolate from Eat Well
Mr. Jones with Neyza
Chelsea with Che & Bib
Bistecca means good food
Birthday treat from Ding
Le Royale from The Cake Club
Playdate with Gabe
Lunch with my mother and her siblings
Ice ream with three beautiful ladies


Then my little boy turned seven months.


I couldn't wait to be back in Cebu. I actually missed it. I guess for now home for me is in Cebu with Javi and Jed.


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