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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hepatitis : A or B?

This is the continuation of the post A Bloated Pimple Then A Sty

I must have overslept. The new year bash kept me busy and deprived of several hours of sleep. It was past one in the afternoon but I was still lying in bed at the office. I just arrived in Manila from a four-day vacation back home in my hometown. Must have been really tired the night before. That was the first week of January.

A little later as I was about to get out of bed, the door to my room opened. It was my boyfriend. "Don't you have a class? Get out of bed, your students must be waiting for you." I was really, really tired that my eyes woudn't even open. My boyfriend kept tugging me. "My first class is more than an hour from now, I still want more sleep," I replied. Just as I was turning over, and was trying really hard to open my eyes, "Why are your eyes yellow?" he blurted. I didn't mind him. He might just have been so desperate forcing me out of bed.

He came closer and started opening my eyelids. He looked closer and with some expression of worries, said, "Your eyes are really yellow, wake up and see your self in the mirror." I quickly got up, stared at him nervously, and went to where the small circular mirror was. I kept thinking to myself that he was just kidding trying so hard to get me out of bed.

When I reached for the mirror, I paused, I felt like I didn't want to see the reality. I didn't put it right in front of my face. "What if he was right?" I just thought.

When I gathered my composure, I stared directly at my eyes. I instantly trembled at the sight of what I thought was the end of my happy days. My boyfriend was right, my eyes indeed turned yellow. I quickly went to the bathroom and washed my face immediately focusing on my eyes. I started thinking of many things. The first thing which came to my mind was "HEPATITIS". It couldn't be. My mind woudn't settle to accept such a disease. I was in denial. I never had sex with anybody other than my boyfriend. He doesn't have the disease. I could have been careless with my diet. So many thoughts, I was in paranoia. Oh, and we just had overeaten some pizza yesterday and I over indulged myself with platefuls of spaghetti at the cafeteria. I was restless.

I thought of other diseases that could have been associated with it. What if it were associated with AIDS? I was so scared. Who would look after my younger sister, my family? "This is my doom." I guessed. Then, my mind took me back to a time when most people in my neighborhood talked about hepatitis and dreaded the disease. I saw some people with it. It made me remember the time I didn't even want to drink water though I was thirsty when I was once invited at their homes. I felt some kind of contempt within me when I looked into their yellow eyes. How could have they contracted the disease? They must not have had good hygiene. Gosh, I was too judgmental then.

That same week on the weekend, we went to a private hospital. I was found positive of the hepa virus...

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jingoism: The Poor Philippines

Just got off from a three-day vacation. Wow, it must have been awesome though I had to spend most of the time watching TV and taking a nap at home. Reminds me of Murphy's Law. I had always yearned for a three-day vacation at least but was never granted. I was always very busy. Those were the times I had enough money for my fare and for some allowance I could leave my parents before another six hours of a tiring trip to Manila on the bus. How ironic that I have the time now but I don't have the money.

We have had two holidays in less than two-weeks. In fact, my boss complained that some of our students might think we are taking them for granted. Nonetheless, he gave us the go signal to take additional day off.

Going to work is not a problem. Prior to the holiday on the 27th of this month which happened to be a Monday, I even asked my boss if he would allow us to go to work. I think he was trying to avoid the expense of paying his workers double that he vehemently said no. That was so strange of him. He used to be always adamant as to ignore the Philippine Holidays and kept saying that this is a no-no in Korea. He would always point out that the Philippines is still one of the poorest countries in the world because of so much holidays. Like people love slackening off. Well, he must be right. He certainly hit the mark. Sometimes fervent Nationalism contributes to our lackadaisical economic development.

It's true, I have always wondered why my country is always left behind. The Philippines is a grim picture of poverty. Our leaders always say, we have an edge over our Asian counterparts because we are one the few Christianized countries in Asia and we can speak English better than they do because of the American influence. That means we should be more globally competetive and versatile. True again, but I don't see the fruit of all the effort.

Once I remember pleading my boss for a cash-advance. My parents were in dire need then. As I and my boss were going down the stairs, "You know, your parents are still young. You are working hard for your money. Let them work for their needs," he said. "You know, your country is poor because everybody is so dependent from each other," he added. He still gave me some money for the cash advance and I excitingly deposited the money to my brother's bank account. For a while, I thought to myself, "I'm very much attached to my family that I can't just leave them the way they are now".......

Oh, and I don't want to talk more about "Close Family Ties"
and "Utang na Loob" ("Sense of Indebtedness")

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unleash your secrets

Life has so many twists. Life is like a wheel. Life has ups and downs. And if you look at my banner you will be reminded that life can be a bed of roses and can be a bed of nails. Life indeed is full of mystery.

Secrets, these can spice up one's life. To some people, these add color to their existence. Secrets kept for a long time often bothers people. Once they are divulged, a certain kind of bliss is achieved.

And so is the purpose of paisley in coming up with a site where you can exactly tell the world of your darkest, deepest secrets. Unleash them and feel a different sense of bliss.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A bloated pimple...then a sty...What's next?

Just more than a week ago, I had a pimple. That pimple got infected and it got bloated. That was the first time ever I got a bloated pimple. It looked like a boil and the sight of it was disgusting. I felt like I never wanted to go out and avoid entertaining questions about it from people. That small zit, which obviously got irritated disappeared after a week but then it repuffed up after.

Two days ago, that pimple finally left its spot leaving a small scar on my face. It kept me paranoid for over two weeks. I felt relieved but on that same night, I felt a twinge of pain on my right eyelid. I felt burdened with a simple wink. That made me wonder whether sty could be contagious or not because prior to that upon arriving home from work last week, my boyfriend's sister had a big one on her left eyelid. It had disappeared though before Monday. She told me she had to do some offerings in her room like she had to light a candle, whisper some prayers and spread some candy around. She thought there must have been some evil spirits lurking around her room thus she got one. I'm not that superstitious to believe that that paved the way for the cure. Now, I am thinking of like doing the same thing in the next few days if mine lingers.

It is really itchy and painful. I also get the feeling that some evil spirit must be concocting some spell on me. I am totally clueless. Could this be something I have to worry about in the next few days? What if my tummy gets bloated next. Oh my, I am dying to have my own child but not to look impregnated.(LOL)

I really can't help but be paranoid. Until now, I haven't had another checkup since February this year. January 5, 2007. How could I forget that day. That was the day I thought would be the end of my struggles and somehow my happiness. That day when I was lying in bed and my boyfriend came telling me my eyes have gone yellow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rainy Days and Memories Part II

This is the continuation of the post Rainy Days and Memories.

The picture looks fresh from how I conjure the actualities in my thoughts...

The transistor radio is always on. While watching my mom doing our neighbors' laundry, her ears are too focused on the radio drama that she has been regularly listening to. After the drama, she turns off the radio leaving some soapy water on the knob.

"We have to conserve the batteries because the news said that there is a coming storm tonight." I look at the skies and the sunshine has been so selfish all day, it had been within the past days, cloudy skies, and cool weather, giving me some goose bumps everytime a splash of water kisses my skin. My mom is menially brushing the dirty clothes on a backboard made of a slab of wood.

I quickly get up from where I am seated. "Hey, where are you going?" Go get twenty pesos from my sweater's pocket in the room. It's almost lunch time. Buy a kilo of rice and a small can of sardines," my mom says. (That's about fifty cents these days)I get inside the house and go to my parents's room walking past the empty table in the kitchen. While taking out the money from my moms pocket, I can't help but realize the poverty that my family has been into. "Why can't we afford to buy a sack of rice that will last for several weeks so I and my brothers don't have to go the variety store every now and then for a kilo of rice and a can of sardines?"

Glad there is something for some fish, I have been sick and tired of eating plain rice mashed with some soy sauce and lard. I pretty much enjoy it though, particularly on a very cold weather. I just noticed that I enjoy eating whatever is served on the table when it's cold while hearing the lashing storm outside and the whipping on the galvanized walls and roof on our house of the bamboos in the backyard. Yes, and the bamboos are a great provider, my dad would get some shoots and my mom would gladly boil them and saute in oil, ginger, and garlic. If there is more, my dad would ask my older brother to sell them to the neighbors so we could buy more rice and sustain ourselves for the next few days.

I just fold the bill in my palm and hold it tightly as I get out of the room. I must have developed a phobia once I placed the money in my pocket which was supposed to buy as a meal and lost it somewhere. I had gotten the umpteenth corporal punishment from my dad because of the incident. On my way out of the house, I glance at the dirty kitchen extremely located on my right. I see my dad boiling some water for some cups of coffee to sustain his addiction and basically the entire family's addiction to it. While teary eyed and dingy because of the smoke coming from the woods, he occupies himself stacking chopped woods above the fireplace. Oh, we can't afford to have a gas stove yet. Even a single burner must be a dream for us for the time being.

He piles the wet pieces of wood just above the hearth where he made up a hanging shelf intended for them. He is always in a haste to free them from moisture. Momentarily, he sees me and asks the same question my mom had earlier for me. "Buy me a few sticks of cigarettes if there's any change," he adds. I hate the idea knowing how dirt poor we are but I have no choice. I sulkily leave the place.

My dad is deprived of any jobs during inexorable weather, and so is my older brother waiting for the sunshine to peek out of the sky soon so he could display his horse for horseback riding at a nearby park. That means money if he gets tourists ride on his horse for an hour or so. I have always looked up to him as a brother who always displayed so much concern for the entire family and who at a young age learned how to work not only for his own but for several mouths to feed at home.

Around one to two times a day during the rainy days, he wears his old raincoat which already looks like a trash, socks a pair of plastic bags on his feet and wears his leaky rubber footwear given by my dad. He leaves the house, takes an empty sack from the stable outside, a scythe and braves the storm to get some grass for the animal.

After lunch, my older brother comes home. I knew it was dangerous for him to have gone out of the house. I may not show him my concerns but I am glad he is safe. Much to my delight and my younger brothers', he takes home with him fallen off pomelos, wild passion fruit, avocados, and chayotes he picked up around the neighborhood. We sumptuously fare on them while our parents enjoy a nap in their room. We play some little games inside the house since there is no TV set to entertain ourselves. If ever there were, the power outage would always be a problem. The only thing ran by electricity at home is the single bulb located in the small living room between the only two bedrooms in the house. We get tired after some time, and proceed to our room opposite our parents'. The house becomes quiet as we snuggle in the cushionless bed just before dusk comes. I close my eyes, whisper a prayer hoping that God provides us another kilo of rice when the night comes.

"Hey, I thought you have a class at 5:30 p.m." Lisa, the cafeteria owner said. I came to my senses, rushed up to my station and clicked on the video icon on the messenger menu while anxiously thinking of my family back home. "Oh, it's rainy days again and I have to work doubly hard."

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Some Thoughts on Learning English

Oh, I remember those terribe years when the only English expression I could mutter was, "I don't care!" and I felt so good as one of those elementary students who was obviously wanting to learn the Language but was having a hard time understanding its complication.

As an ESL teacher, I have tried to adopt some of my own teaching techniques which I find helpful in imparting the English Language to my Korean students. Oftentimes, I find fulfillment when students appreciate my effort and when they start showing little improvements in the course of time. On the other hand, it is so frustrating on my end when they start quitting their classes because they don't feel any progress at all. As people always say, "We don't learn English overnight", and as Paisley mentioned, "Rome wasn't build in one day."

Well, I just want to brighten up your day and share this video about studying English. Take a look in case you haven't seen it yet. I just find this so funny and it always makes me smile. How I wish I could also do this once in a while, lol.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rainy Days and Memories

"Teach, I had to come early because there is a typhoon." I turned around as I was still having a class and it was Teacher Shirley who just got in the office putting out her umbrella on the floor. Her big umbrella wasn't enought to keep her dry. She was wet upon arrival.

"What? There's a typhoon? Why in the world didn't I hear of that?" I said, after clicking on the messenger icon to end the video call I was having with my student online.

I must have been very busy lately that I don't even have time to go out of the building nor look outside the window and see the world outside. I realized that I have been so absorbed in my computer either preparing students' tests, evaluations, and reports, and most of the time lurking around blogcatalog. I used to possess what my college teacher taught us as "the nose for news" but these days I am really clueless about what's going on around.

"Ohh, I feel stupid," I thought as I rushed at once towards the window at the back of my office. It was raining cats and dogs. I just recalled that my boyfriend had just left and worried that he might have been drenched in the rain by that time.

I kept staring at the number of people running around the streets looking for a temporary shield from the rains. Some parts of the roads were starting to get flooded because of the clogged sewers. A few moments later, the winds have gone gusty and you could see umbrellas' being blown away by the billowing winds.

"Teach," I told Teacher Shirley,"Please stay here and tell boss that I was having coffee in case he calls. I will be back in a while." With so little said, I hastily made it to the cafeteria on the fourth floor.

Lisa, the Cafeteria owner knew my presence and automatically grabbed a styro-cup and a pack of a three-in-one coffee. I would often drop in the cafeteria to have small chit-chats with the people there and savor at least three cups of coffee in a day. "'Ate'(-pronounced as ah-te, a Filipino honorific term for an older woman)until when is the typhoon going to affect Manila?" I asked her. She was too preoccupied, and just said, "I don't know.!" and turned her back towards the kitchen.

I made myself comfortable in one corner of the only square table inside while enjoying every sip of my coffee....To be continued.. Gives More About Blogging

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I myself benefit a lot from these wonderful sites. It is a blessing that they put their efforts not only for their selfish interests but for the interest of others. To mention a few, I sometimes visit Online Tips, Tricks, and Tools , Blogging Mix, and my latest discovery, is James Allen's spot in the blogosphere to keep track of all the other blogs that discuss things about blogging. This site is surely a wonderful resource for all the things that we have to know about blogging. Why not check it out?

Friday, August 3, 2007

He Behind Me and I Behind The Tree

This is the continuation of the post Faggot Bitch

"Aha, so after all of this time of living a decent and moral life despite my homosexuality, this is what I have to hear from my dad? And why the hell didn't I defend myself?" I just froze when he started talking earlier. Time has tested, no one at home would ever beat him in an argument. I didn't want to argue anymore. Not want to set the small spark ablaze.

I became so close and attached with my friends that I would often arrive home late. My friends and I would often watch TV until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, or talk about the teenage life, sometimes drink, help each other remodelling or giving one's room a fresh look, play scrabble or sometimes table tennis. (You know teenagers have so much excitements and proclivity to so many things.) Deep inside, it was also a way of rebelling against my parents for not supporting my education. Many people said I was a waste that my intelligence was not nurtured. That aggravated the self-pity I had for myself.

Upon realizing that he had already fallen asleep, I half-opened the small window in my room and crawled my way out. Had to be careful not to rouse the neighbors' dogs. It was around 2:00 pm. With some conviction in my mind, I heard a whisper say "Let the accusation come to life."

Walking several kilometers, reaching the park with insufficient illumination was easy. The park was so quiet. The only noise you could hear were the vehicles speeding up before daylight to reach their destination. I started wandering around and noticed some people sleeping on the park benches and the loans. I never noticed any suspicious activities.

Rumor has it that gays and call boys made it their rendezvous for some sexual pleasures in the dark. People say that some boys there are ready for pick up if you have the money. Interestingly, that is where university students who run short of money to pay for their tuition find the solution to their financial problems. I never had the money but I just got curious. The reality of it had never occurred to me before. Going there on shorts indicated I had no money but my curiosity and perhaps my excitement to find out the words of mouth myself catapulted me in no time.

An hour had passed and I didn't sense any signs of immorality. I decided to turn my back and walk my way back home. While at the outskirts of the park, I tried to look around bushes of wild sunflowers in abundance in the surroundings. I paused, heaved a sigh and not far from my stance, I saw a silhouette of a guy around 5'7". A little bit taller than me. I think he just made an inviting gesture, that I followed him.

He was completely a stranger but the darkness was not enough to cover his musculinity and his good looks. I didn't have second thoughts as he started to pull out his arms, I mean his weapon, oh sorry I mean his thing. (Ok, now I have to sound more nasty.....ready?)He pulled out his penis and started stroking it. Like tempting a child with a succulent and lickable chocolate.

Farther down the bushes was a tree which I didn't actually recognize. Might have been an avocado, but I never paid attention. He led me there, pulled down my shorts...and then...the rest was a combo of two P's. Pain and Pleasure. We never talked to each other after the quickie and I left. The guilt I had earlier as we were doing it accompanied me on my way home.

The day was breaking as I arrived home a little bit limping. Everybody at home was still asleep and I stealthily entered my room through that small window-my gateway to paradise and perhaps the threat to my salvation. As I was silently closing the window, I looked at the azuring sky and uttered to myself, "Please forgive me."

FLASHBACK: Knowing the real me was not an issue, though I was not so openly gay at that time, I never had any sexual intercourse with men until right after my dad's accusation.He just crushed my being. I never wanted to argue with the king of the house. The hurt and the constant "why's" just stayed within me. Until now, the hurt continues to ignite, but having accepted myself and perhaps God's plan for me is a consolation. I have forgiven my dad and learned to adjust.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Faggot Bitch?

My aunt says, "God only created Adam and Eve, a man and a woman." My cousin says, "If your girl classmates tell you, you are gay, go ahead and kiss them," and my father says, "Did you just have your ass cornholed again?" I arrived home late one time when I was still a teenager, I just dropped out of school then so bumming around was a habit with my close friends. My father couldn't send me to school and I was helpless.

I am getting so mushy again as I am flicking my fingers intermittently on the keyboard. Those words just keep playing in my ears like haunting music ripping me off a night rest.

"You faggot bitch!"(Baklang Puta) I was so dumbfounded my dad just told me that. Without having eaten the dinner which my mom lovingly put aside on the table, I headed for my room and confined myself in solitary for the verdict handed down to this innocent soul. Ah, that was several years ago, but it keeps crossing my mind.

Staring at the gloomy skies past midnight, I sat on my bed with tears rolling down my eyes. "Why did he tell me that? Did some of my neighbors hear that?",my mind again. My resentment just got heated up. I wanted to curse my dad at that time. I wanted to go out and shout that I didn't do anything wrong, much to the extent of having sex with men and come home late after. CONTINUE

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