on malling, squid balls and birthdays

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Last Sunday, my family and I went to the mall together for the first time, since mom passed away. We went there after we visited mom's resting place, coz my brother had to have his eyeglasses fixed, and we decided to have lunch there, as well.

Back story:
My brother's eyeglasses broke last week and he was having a hard time without it. He's going to kill me if he knows I wrote this, but it's just too funny to pass up. Hehehe! Last Friday, I was kinda worried that it was already almost 10 and he still wasn't home. His M-W-F classes end at 7:30, and he's usually home by 8:30pm. He texts me whenever he'd be late, but last Friday he didn't. He arrived around 10, looking exhausted.

Brother: "Umabot ako ng Imus."
Jennie: "Whaa--?" Bakit ka umabot ng Imus?"
Brother: "Kasi hindi ko nakita yung sign, akala ko pa-Sucat yung nasakyan ko."

Awwww.. wawa naman.
I didn't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for him. Heehee! The funny thing was, when he paid the fare, he told the driver where he was going, and the driver didn't even tell him that he was on the wrong jeep. The driver even gave him the right change! Ano ba yun?

And that was why we went to the mall last Sunday. :)

It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but of course I still missed mom. I'm sure my dad and my siblings did, as well. I was just the only one vocal about it. We had my brother's eyeglasses fixed then had lunch at Pancake House. While my sister and I did some groceries, dad and my brother had coffee at Le Coeur, which was what mom and dad used to do when my siblings and I were going around the mall. Hay... it's the little things that remind me of mom that makes me miss her even more.

It's weird though, coz when I'm at home in the living room, kitchen or dining room, it feels like mom's just quietly staying in their room. Maybe it's because a month before she passed away, mom mostly stayed there, and I got used to it. But when it's time for me to go to my room, and I pass by their room, I take a peek and she's not there, that's when I feel her loss.

Ang bilis lang. Tomorrow, it'll be 2 months since mom passed away. I don't cry everyday anymore, although the pain is still there. My friend says, it never really goes away, we just find a way to deal with it better. :) I guess she's right.

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Bakit ang mga Pinoy, laging nagkakahiyaan sa pagkain? Napansin ko kasi na ang mga Pinoy, pag konti na lang yung pagkain, nagtuturuan pa kung sino ang uubos nun, okung sino yung kukuha ng kahuli-hulihang parte. Nakakatawa. :p Kagabi ko pa iniisip yung sagot dun, mula ng tignan ko yung nakatakip na plato sa mesa namin, at nakita ko na may nag-iisang squid ball na lang yung nandun. Hahaha! Tawa kami ng tawa ng sister ko. Parang nakaka-awa yung squid ball kasi ang laki ng pinggan, tapos nag-iisa na lang sha, di pa kinain. It's like no one likes to get the last piece or everyone waits for everyone else to say, "Nah, I'm full, you get it." Then, someone would say, "Sige na nga, kung ayaw nyo, akin na lang." :p

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AXN aired CSI's 2 hour finale last night. It was the most morbid CSI episode I've ever seen and I loved it. Haha! Ang galeng! It was clearly a Quentin Tarantino masterpeice, from start to finish. Gearge Eads should have been nominated for this episode.

Nothing really beats the original. Sana yung forensics dito ganun din, kaso walang Gil Grissom dito eh.

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I almost forgot. It's my maternal grandmother's birthday today. If she was still alive, she would have been 93. She passed away 14 years ago, on mom's birthday. I guess she's happy celebrating her birthday with Mom and Lolo up in heaven. :) Happy birthday, Lola Enciang!

to know or not to know

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Given the chance to look into your future, would you choose to know?

Honestly I am torn. On one hand I am curious to know what lies ahead for me. On the other hand. I am terrified. What if my future turns out to be really unfortunate?

I don't really believe in predictions, although the curiosity factor is very strong. I think we make our own destinies, that our futures aren't mapped out even before we were born. But wouldn't it be nice to know our what lies ahead for us? Hehehe.. nice to know, but only if it's good. :p

If I learn that my future will turn out to be really unfortunate, I could react two ways: 1. be really depressed and think "What's the point of living if my future is bleak?", or 2. I could tell myself there's still time to reverse that future and make it a better one. Of course, I prefer the latter reaction. :)

So, would you choose to know?

weekend musings

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Don't you just hate it when someone spoils something for you? Well, it happened early this week for me.

Like most people on the planet, I was so excited to read Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. And then the spoiler hit, so I knew what would happen even before I read the book. Grrr!

Yep, at my age, I'm still into Harry Potter. Hehehe.

I got a Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince ebook from a friend. Yay! :) I'm half-way done and I can't wait to finish it (even if I already know what will happen). The sixth installment of the book is starting to replace The Prisoner of Azkaban as my favorite Harry Potter book. I hope to finish reading HP6 this weekend, but it seems unlikely coz I have to turn the pc on to read it. Unlike if I have the book, I would probably be finished by now. No complaints, though. :)

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I find myself enjoying the new Mark Burnett show, Rockstar:INXS. Not because I like INXS. I think INXS = Michael Hutchence, so when he died, INXS ceased to exist for me. Yeah, bad, I know. But it was Michael Hutchence who put INXS on the music map.

I like the show because, for once, I get to hear great rock songs performed each week and not cheesy love songs or country music. Reason number 2 is finalist Fil-Aussie Mig Ayesa, a cousin of Manuel Legarda, of Wolfgang fame, and nephew of top women's rights lawyer, Atty. Katrina Legarda. He's a really good performer. Shempre, Pinoy eh. :) You can vote for Mig after every live show (Starworld on Wednesdays at 8:30 am), via text (Globe or Smart, forgot the numbers though, but it's on Ricky Lo's Philippine Star column today), or by going to startv.com.

I also like Jordis, the youngest at 22. Her performance of Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box last week, blew me away. Ty, the African-American rocker is also great. I liked his rendition of The Killers' Somebody Told Me. Then there's Marty, who looked like Tom Petty the first time I saw him, but he's a great performer. JD is cute and talented but he's way too cocky for my taste.

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Two of my favorite shows will have it's seson ender soon. CSI will have it's season ender this Wednesday. It's doubly special because it's directed by Quentin Tarantino, from his own story. I'm not so sure though if he wrote the script.

LOST is only about 3 episodes away from the season's end. I just love that show! I hope AXN shows the second season agad, coz I can't wait another 3 months for it to start. :p

Alias is back on Studio 23. It seems boring this time. I hope the next episodes would be better. It also seems awkward coz I can feel the tension between Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan. I'm not sure if it's in the storyline, or if it's because when they were shooting this was the time they broke up. Hmmm... Chismosa no? :P

I'm getting tired of watching The OC. Mischa Barton acts so wooden and her character is so whiney. Rachel Bilson's character Summer, however, is starting to grow on me. Although if not for Benjamin McKenzie, I don't think I'd watch the show anymore. :p

No compliants about One Tree Hill. I look forwrad to watching it every week :)

Hehehe.. lumabas na naman ang pagka-couch patatas ko.

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As I write this, I'm listening to CNN on the background and they're reporting another wave of suicide bomb attacks, this time at the vicinity of an Egyptian resort. So far 50 people are dead and hundreds are injured. Tsk.. tsk.. What is the world coming to? It seems like everyday there are bombings, ambushes, and other terrorist attacks around the world. Middle of the week, exactly 2 weeks to the day of the London bombings, another wave of incidents happened in the London underground system. It was a good thing only a few people were hurt.

I still can't understand why people do this kind of thing. It's really senseless. Why don't they just blow themselves up and leave the innocent people alone?! Mangdadamay pa sila eh. Kaines!

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The President will deliver her State of the Nation Address on Monday at the Batasang Pambansa. I wonder what her gimmick this year will be? Remember her "bangkang papel" speech with the 3 boys from Payatas?" Sus! That was absurd. Talagang ginamit pa yung mga mahihirap, wala din naman shang nagawa para mapabuti yung kalagayan nila. Hay.. I'm really getting disillusioned with PGMA.

On a lighter note, because of the SONA, Monday was declared a Special Non-working Holiday. Yey!

Happy long weekend!

and they wonder why I distrust some HMOs

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I always try to look for the best in people. Even if sometimes it is hard, I try to look at their positives and ignore the negatives.

Lately, it's been especially harder to put a positive spin on certain people - notably the Personnel Manager at mom's office and the people running the HMO. It's almost two months since mom's passing and yet I am no where near wrapping up the discussions with the HMO (whose sister company, the educational plan is having difficulties), regarding their billing statement. I won't go into details, although I am sorely tempted to do some character assassination, but my mother didn't bring me up to be like that. I wouldn't want her to see that I've stooped so low. Yes I am near my boiling point, but I'm desperately trying to control it.

The main point of our dispute is the 30% discount given by the hospital to us, which the blasted HMO got because they said they have an agreement with the hospital that discounts go to the HMO. I disagreed because I asked the hospital about it and they said regardless whether we wer admitted as private paying patients or through an HMO, every patient gets a discount. There are other issues to resolve, but it all boils down to unfair practices and taking advantage.

I've been fighting them tooth and nail about it, and every person I spoke with at the office gave me excuses. I'd call the office and they'd say the person I was looking for was in a meeting, out of the office, stepped out for a while, on leave, etc. They told me all the excuses they could come up with, so that I won't be able to talk to the persons in charge. One time, an official of the HMO Company texted me to call her office. The person who answered the phone said she wasn't in her room. And I said at my best bitch mode, (coz I was almost at the end of my ropes that time), "You're telling me she's not in her room, when I just received an SMS from her, less than a minute ago, asking me to call her at her office?" The gay guy who answered said, "Ay, ganon po ba? Teka lang po titignan ko." He/she then covered the phone, as if telling another person that I am on the other end of the line. It was so obvious that the person I was supposed to talk to was there. Then he said, "Could you call back after 15 minutes, maybe she's in another part of the office?" Bitchy Jen said, "No thanks, I'll just wait for her, I know she's beside you." Then the person I was calling miraculously appeared and said, "Hi, sorry, I was just in another room." Yeah riiight. I wasn't born yesterday. I am not stupid and I will not fall for that line.

This morning, I received a fax from the Accounting Head of the HMO denying my claim, and explained why. If I didn't work for a multinational company and handled Employee Benefits, I would have fallen hook, line and sinker for their explanation. They came up with high-fallutin words meant to intimidate people. Fortunately I wasn't swayed coz, not to toot my own horn, I dealt with similar companies before. Yung mga kompanyang kung makakalusot, gagawa at gagawa ng paraan para makalusot. I hate that. If they could take advantage of people, they would.

So I called the Personnel Manager at mom's office and told her I wouldn't budge - that my claim stands. And she goes on to tell me in a whiney way, "So, what are we going to do now?" I saw red. I told her why she's asking me that, when in fact I should be the one asking her that same question. It was her job after all. And the company had been with the HMO for more than 15 years, dealing with her. Surely she has some leverage. And then she said she didn't know what to do. Susmaryosep! Ako pa nagsabi sa kanya kung ano ang dapat na argument nya with the HMO. How incompetent can she be? She's supposed to be the one dealing the HMO and here I was doing her job.

I called Executeive Vice President of mom's company, mom's immediate boss, to ask his advice on this matter (he's a laywer). And he told me that he needs to familiarize himself with the case first because the Personnel Manager is the one dealing with it, and that he'll call me back to discuss it. A few minutes after our conversation, the Personnel Manager called me and asked why I called the EVP. I told her I did because I wanted his opinion if I have a case, in the event my family and I decide to sue the HMO. Nataranta sha. I guess she didn't realize until then that I was seriously contemplating to sue the HMO, that I'd just meekly follow the HMO's decision. Or it could also be because the EVP scolded her. Hehehe... Buti nga sa kanya. See? I can be real bitchy if you push me to the limit.

The amount I am claiming may just be a small amount in their eyes, but it's not the amount I'm fighting for, but the principle. Who knows how many more people they've taken advantage of?

I will have a meeting with the EVP tomorrow and hopefully put an end to this matter.

I need to pray harder tonight. :)

the current situation

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I was supposed to go to Makati today, submit my tax declaration at the BIR (uy, ang bait :p - ayokong magaya kila Juday. hahaha!), then drop by the office. It's a good thing I decided not to go because there's a massive rally going on (organized by the people who want President Gloria Arroyo to resign) at the Ayala Avenue-Paseo de Roxas intersection in the Makati Central Business District.

The long stretch of Ayala Avenue, Paseo de Roxas, parts of Makati and Rufino Avenues, de la Rosa and Sedeno Streets have been closed to vehicular traffic since dawn. Roads which I will have to traverse to the office. I would either walk to the office or stay stalled in the car, coz of the traffic jam the road closures would have caused. Both of which I have no intention of doing.

Normally, I try to steer clear of polical situations, even though being a Scholastican from Prep to HS, has taught me to be socially aware and opinionated. This time I can't be a fence-sitter and just watch as things unfold. I have to make a stand, coz it affects our future.

I agree that PGMA has done some good things and the "Hello Garci" tapes may have been a lapse in judgement, but when 7 out of 10 Filipinos have already lost confidence in her to lead the country, she should seriously think about giving up her office. How can a person successfully lead a nation who doesn't believe in her anymore? The legal community may argue that the "Hello Garci" tapes will not stand in any court, because wiretapping is illegal in the country. But that doesn't change that fact that it happened.

Now former President Ramos and the Speaker of the House wants a Charter change, in order to change the form of government from a Presidential to a Parliamentary system. That's a load of crap! It's not the form of government nor the Constitution that has a problem, but the people running the government. Hay.. and they wonder why some people evade paying their taxes. I thik they do that because they don't want their hard earned money going to the pockets of the corrupt public official. We don't need a Charter change, we need a change in values.

God bless our country.

I've been tagged

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I've been tagged by Diwata and since I've had nothing but gloomy posts lately, this is a welcome change.

I like answering these survey-type questionnaires (or whatever it's called). I'd much rather do this than think about the current situation in the country. Frankly, my blood pressure just shoots up when I think about the "Gloriagate" scandal, rising oil prices, rising cost of basic commodities, etc.

I realize I may have sounded apathetic. Maybe. Or maybe I'm just fed up with all the politicking going on.

Ay, tama na nga yan, magkakawrinkles lang ako sa kakaisip. Hehehe!

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Survey says.. :p

Three Names You Go By
Jennie or Bebe
Jen
Jay

Three Screen Names You've Had
jennie_bebe
videokequeen
smiley_face (yuck! Ang baduy nito kaines!)

Three Physical Things You Like About Yourself
lips
eyebrows
boobs (can I say that? - bwahaha!)

Three Physical Things You Don't Like About Yourself
hair (my hair is naturally wavy and I'd like it straighter)
thighs
height

Three Parts of Your Heritage
Filipino, Spanish and I don't know what else :P

Three Things That Scare You
ay, three lang? madami eh...
the dark
blood
mumu

Three of Your Everyday Essentials
face powder and blush
Nivea caregloss and shine - mocha
cellphone

Three of Your Favorite Musical Artists
Plumb
Jars of Clay
Greenday

Three of Your Favorite Songs
When I'm Thinking About You - The Sundays
Worlds Collide - Plumb
Mr. Brightside - The Killers

Three Things You Want in A Relationship
love
respect
trust

Three Lies and Truths in no particular order
lies:
1. I don't like pasta.
2. I love washing the dishes.
3. I would like to see a ghost.

truths: (confession time ba ito?)
1. I watched Meteor Garden: full edition, and liked it. I didn't give a hoot about it when it was first shown two years ago, but I did this time.
2. My room will soon closely resemble a library. I still have a box full of books I haven't read, yet I want to buy more.
3. I'm a chocoholic.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you
eyes
smile
abs

Three of your favorite hobbies
blogging
reading
drawing

Three things you want to do really badly now
buy a new cellphone (nokia 6680, sony ericsson k750i or a palm treo 6500 - asa pa ako!)
find a very high paying job
own a business

Three careers you're considering/you've considered
lawyer
doctor (but I knew early on that I can't be one coz of my fear of blood and needles :p)
painter (way back in high school when I was more idealistic than practical. Haha!)

Three places you want to go on vacation
Tuscany (especially Florence)
Ireland
Prague

Three kid's names you like
Matthew
Benedict
Cassandra

Three things you want to do before you die
travel
have a family
skydive

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy
I'm a Formula One fanatic. (Go Kimi & Fernando!)
I can curse like a sailor.
I''m a hothead, specially when I''m in the car. (maiinis ka pag ako kasama mo sa kotse kasi hirit ako ng hirit pag may stupid driver, di ba Chie?)

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl
I love shopping
I'm kikay
Shoes are my weakness

Three celeb crushes
Michael Vartan (since ayaw na sa kanya ni Jennifer Garner, kay Jennifer Sales na lang sha. woohaha!)
Jesse Metcalfe (sige na nga, he's the reason I watch Desperate Housewives. hahaha! Him and James Denton)
Ryan Gosling (did you see him and Rachel McAdams during the MTV Video Awards, when they won Best Kiss? Ayayay!)

Three people that I would like to see take this quiz now

Chie (kasi may cobwebs na sa blog mo. hihihi! joke)
Dinah (same reason as above)
YOU! (so that i can learn more about you. hopefully you'll tell me you answered it too :p)

healing process (pt.2)

Monday, July 04, 2005

I love sunflowers. It picks me up when I'm feeling melancholic (which, lately I have been).

It's a good thing that my computer wallpaper is the picture on the right. One look at it and I feel better. I dunno, there's just something about this picture that makes me smile.

I need my daily dose of sunflowers. :)

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It seems like an eternity since I last blogged and bloghopped. That was quite a long hiatus. :) There's just so many things to accomplish now that mom's gone, that I haven't had the time nor the inclination.

Being busy is a good thing. It keeps my mind occupied and it leaves less time for me to get depressed. I hate that feeling. And I know wherever mom is now, she hates it that I cry a lot, too.

It's easy to say that I should get on with my life, don't be depressed and move on, but in reality it's not. When I feel my tears welling up and I tell myself not to cry, my tearducts don't listen. It has a mind of it's own. :) I guess it's because keeping it all inside hurts. The more I try to stop my tears from falling, the more I feel like crying and I have difficulty breathing. But after a really good cry, I feel relieved. Not that I cry everyday, coz I really don't. It's just sometimes I see or smell something that reminds me of mom and my tear ducts go on over drive.

Most days it feels like things are back to normal, then reality sets in.

Gah! I just reread what I wrote. It sounds depressing. I need to snap out of it :)

I know, I'll share one of my favorite text joke:

"Ang aso ko mashadong bright. tanungin mo ng 2 + 2, tatahol sha ng 4. Nalaman ng neighbor ko, tinanong: "2 million plus 2 million?"

Hanggang ngayon tumatahol pa sha. Payat na sha. Please pray for him."
Hahahaha! Super funny diba?

I'm glad my friend Ellen, sent me that text message again, coz it always make me laugh.

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The first part of this post was written over two weeks ago, the next part last week. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish this post today. :)

I planned on writing about everything that transpired after mom passed away. But I realized that I'm not going to forget about it ever, so there's no need to immortalize it in writing. It will all be in my memory bank. Besides, it's still a painful subject..

I just know that mom was happy during the wake because her wishes were fulfilled. Per her request, her mortal remains were cremated a day after she died. There were lots of beautiful pink and white flowers. People were there to celebrate the extraordinary life she led.

It was very comforting to hear the wonderful stories about mom from family, friends, colleagues, clients and from people we didn't know until then. The number of people who came to her wake and funeral was a testament to how much mom was loved, and it brought smiles and comfort to us.

Ang bilis talaga ng panahon. It's been a month and a week since mom passed away. Things aren't back to normal, but at least there's a sense of normalcy in our lives. We miss mom terribly and there are still times when a little thing triggers memories of mom and I cry. But we're moving on with our lives, and I know that mom is still here to guide us. She may not be present physically, but she'll always be with us.