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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stop Child Molestation! Stop Child Abuse!

This is the continuation of the post, I was abused as a child.

Knowing the house was my uncle's, I would also find comfort spending the afternoons there after straining my eyes from the TV monitor and its amusing images. Sometimes, I would just snooze when boredom and tiredness start to sink in my young, innocent and unblemished body.

Most of the time, I would be lulled into unconsciousness undauntingly occupying the sofa in the living room alone. Upon waking up, I would see myself crying feeling I was abandoned. Everybody seemed to have gone out and I was left all alone. I thought that was something enough I would have been scared of then. Later in my adulthood, as I was trying to recap the rites of passage in my life did I realize that waking up or forcing myself to sleep with somebody else-a man whom I looked up with the noblest reputation as my childhood memories would bring me, proved more horrible than seeing no one upon consciousness.

He was there at times. Marvin as I would often call him and refer to him as my own uncle, though he was not. He was one of my uncle's friends. There were incidents, he would close the door, pull down my shorts, start caressing my body, play with my dick. As a very young child, (I think I was around five to six years old then), I didn't feel any malice about that. I thought it was a natural thing to do. I could feel some sensation in his stroking mine. He kept fondling me and found pleasure in my little weapon. That incident did not happen once, but twice, and even thrice as long as I remember.

I never thought how that hugely affected my life and my sexuality. Sometimes I can't avoid to surmise that that incident in my life led me to who I am right now-a gay who is a recipient of mockery, ridicule, discrimination, etc.

I need not elaborate. Finding arguments about homosexuality is not the issue here. The real score is about child molestation, child abuse. The aftermath could be varied, the consequences may take a U-turn in the future of a child. The problem takes its toll on the children and what lies ahead of them.

Up to the present, child molestation, pedophilia, rape and the like are unceasingly common place. Some people seem to ignore the reality. Indeed there are a lot of groups who are against child abuse. One organization in the Philippines known as Bantay Bata is an advocate of childrens' rights, its vision and mission is also in congruence with Unicef Philippines fight against any form of child abuse.

Let us all unite with the cause spearheaded by blogcatalog. Stop the abuse. Be involved, stop, look, listen, and speak if you have to. We need your help. Come on, it is never too late. Stop the abuse and spread the words.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I signed up for PPP!

This is the second time in a row I am saying, "To be honest." And for the third time today I have to tell you, "To be honest, I have been waiting for an opportunity from PPP (Payperpost) to blog about products some of you readers can be interested in.

I have waited for almost four months, got an e-mail stating my PPP application got declined, had to resubmit it, and finally I received the approval yesterday. I was ecstatic. I think it was so in time that I posted about how I have been yearning of owning a computer. PPP is certainly a blessing in the sky (a blessing in disguise). Now, I think owning two units is a possibility.

When I started blogging, I thought that it wouldn't hurt if I also do some sponsored posts. Besides blogging, I also get the opportunity to make money online. When I joined some blogging communities and directories as a newbie, PPP was a word of mouth among bloggers. I got curious, I read some bloggers get by with the help of PPP. I visited its website and I learned how PPP has been helping thousands of bloggers make money out of this hobby.

PayPerPost delivers online word of mouth marketing, brand building and traffic generation through the world's largest consumer generated advertising community and marketplace.

I have already met some friends who are also signed up for PPP and their wonderful stories of success. I know, I can meet more and learn about them as time goes by. For now, I very optimistic that I can buy the Christmas presents I want for my loved ones especially my family.

blog reviews

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I need a computer

I may sound entreating but to be honest, I have been dreaming of having my own computer.

That is the brainchild my boyfriend and I have envisioned a few months ago and hopefully a few days from now, we could have a computer we can call our own, finally.

Had it not been due to my addiction to gambling which almost drowned me to death, I would have made the realization of that vision even long before.(LOL)

Last week after he finished his usual routine in the office, (He works as the maintenance personnel in the office.) I called him for lunch. My approach was kinda dramatic as I asked him to spare a few minutes with me by the window near the kitchen-like area in the office before faring.

"I have a problem," I said in a toned down voice. I looked at him with contracted eyes and a little pouted lips.

"What? You always give me problems." He asked.

I was quiet for a few seconds.

"Come on, I'm already hungry. Tell me what the problem is." He drilled on.

Inside me, I was laughing. Sometimes it makes me feel good to fool my boyfriend once in a while. Maybe that's the abusive me in that sense but he is just so kind that he won't take it as a big deal.

"Ok," I said. "We are buying a computer on Saturday! (corny + LOL)Isn't that what we always wanted?" I added.

He smiled at me and put his arms on my shoulders. We fared sumptuously and talked about where to put the computer in their house. It maybe a refurbished computer we are planning to buy but that will surely cure the longing I have of being infront of a computer monitor on weekends.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Brazo de Mercedes saved the day

"When is your birthday?" I asked Kevin, my student.

"My birthday is February 28. " He replied.

"Teacher, how about you? When is your birthday?" I was dumbfounded. I didn't know if I had to confess that day was my birthday. I stuttered.

We were doing the question and answer marathon in the ESL book we were studying. As a teacher I realized that sharing your answer with your students makes the conversation more spontaneous. Too many times, I observe teachers giving so much hard time to their students by simply asking them questions, hear them talk, often times force them to. They tend to monopolize the asking of the questions and leave the burden of thinking how to construct good and grammatically correct sentences to their students. Some students find this unfair but some teachers seem to be insensitive.

I realized that some students who are really hard up with the subject somehow need a pattern or a guide to begin with. So I came up with what I call as the question and marathon portion of our lessons. Everytime we come across discussion questions, I make sure that I also share my answers with my students and vice-versa. Koreans would call it "sem-sem" -quid pro quo. It's like you do it, then I do it. (It sounds childish, doesn't it?) But that's one part of teaching ESL I might as well impart.

"What a coincidence?" I thought to myself. If I knew I would be forced to let others know of my birthday, I would have chosen another topic for that day. However, we really had to stick to the class program and schedule.

"Well," I felt some tears roll down my eyes and I was starting to get dramatic. Good thing my student's cam was disabled and he couldn't see me.

"Actually Kevin, today is my birthday." I said awkwardly.

"Happy Birthday Teacher." He blurted out.

I just told him how I am not used to celebrating my birthday, that I had to prioritize work and it so happened I was in financial crisis so there was no celebration.

After my class, just before leaving my station, Teacher Harry, another fellow teacher of mine came to my station. He handed me a small notebook.

"Happy Birthday, sir!" he said. I was red in the face that I remember telling him once about my birthday but I kept quiet when it arrived.

"You know exactly what I need, the only small notebook where I keep records of my tens of accounts with blogging directories and other online services looks worn out and only has a few pages left." I thought with a grin.

Teacher Harry bought my alibi. I think my persuasive skill worked.

After smoking a stick of cigarette, I went back to my station and began with my next class. While busily discussing some lesson with my student, I heard the main door swung open and was shut in milliseconds. Had I not been quick and caught a glimpse of my boyfriend, I would have thought some robbers broke into the office and ransacked my boss' golf clubs and a couple of pairs of branded shoes left beside my room. It pays that I always keep the door to my station open so I know who comes in and goes out of the workplace.(LOL)

All the teachers were already at their stations that time and I wasn't expecting anybody to drop by and care to give me something for my birthday or what. Remember? I kept it as secret as possible.

My boyfriend immediately went to my bedroom at the back of my station. It was unusual for him to come on Thursdays. He might have forgotten his M-W-F schedule, I supposed.

Right after my class, he came to my station and even before I could say a word, he handed me a lunchbox made of polystyrene (styrofoam) and a can of Pepsi.

"What's this?" I inquired.

"That is yours," he said with a smile. He closed the door at my station, gave me hug and whispered, "Happy Birthday, Hon.?"

"What?" I was really surprised. I opened the pack and I saw a big chunk of cake. I never knew it was Brazo de Mercedes until he told me. It's really embarrassing but that was the first time my palate ever collided with such a taste of cake. I really don't have a sweet tooth but that cake definitely changed my perception of cakes.

I figured that he bought a whole piece of cake, sliced them in several chunks, put them individually in those polystyrene containers and KAPOW! All ready to be served. I had the privilige to distribute them to all the teachers around. A can of Pepsi for each of them was a bonus and it perfectly matched the presentation of the delicacy. It was kinda humiliating that most of them never knew of my birthday and here came my boyfriend to ruin the plan. But to be honest, that was one of the happiest moments in my life.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alas, My Birthday Is Over

A week before my birthday, my boyfriend asked me how to go about it.

"What are you gonna prepare for your birthday?" he asked.

I looked at him with some worries in my eyes, heaved a sigh as I moved my eyes to the ceiling, looked at him again and wondered, "Do you have money?" I was expecting a favorable response. Deep inside me, I knew he had not.

"I have some but just good enough for our transportation and our food allowance." he replied.

Hearing his response doubled my worries as I tried to grab the pack of cigarette laid on the desk behind us. (These days, he feels obliged to buy me a pack of cigarette every now and then instead of me buying them stick per stick as that would cost more.)

This situation reminds me of Murphy's Law again. I don't know but I always see myself in trouble halfway just before payday. Why am I always penniless when I feel the need to spend on something? Just like why can't I have the time to visit my family back in my hometown when I have the money and vice-versa?

There was a moment of silence until I took out one cancer stick and lit it. My first puff broke the silence.

"See? You can't even control your smoking, and you always worry about money!" he said with some superior tone in his voice.

I don't smoke that much but to be honest I have noticed a sudden increase in the amount of cigarettes I burn daily. I am a silent worrier and I know what he meant.

"Okay," I told him. "No birthday for me, I am used to this. Let's just keep quiet and let's keep it secret if possible." I said as if whispering.

"But I remember you telling one of your teachers you would share some cola and pizza?" he interrupted.

"That's easy, a pizza treat can wait. I can buy some in the next few days, when payday arrives. They'll surely understand." I said.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Like attracts like

This is kinda long but I hope you learn something from it as much as I did. I was posting a comment on Deb's post about 'bragging one's income' last week when I came upon this post of her about the Law of Attraction. I don't know much about this Law but I sure learned something from it. Something enough to explain why there are people I seem to easily feel comfortable with and the other way around.

It says that "like attracts like". Hmmm, I and my boyfriend have been together for more than three years. We fight as most people in relationships do but we seem to overcome these problems. He always seems to nag me about my fashion style (he says I look like a geek or most of the time outmoded but I just ignore him). As a highlander coping with the lifestyle here in Manila, I just tell him I can't do anything about it because it is my style. And for as long as I am comfortable it shouldn't be a thing to really bother with. At times, he would project matriarchal image and starts reminding me to always keep our room out of mess and that I often forget to put my used clothing in the laundry bin at the terrace.

Long story short, we are ok so far and our relationship continues to grow stronger. As the "Law of Attraction" states, 'like attracts like'. People who like each other hang out together. I think about my friends, neighbors, fellow workers and I realize that attraction and harmony must be present in order for combination to occur according to the film.

Just a thought, sometimes we have to find time to rediscover ourselves and perhaps think of our relationships.

Oh by the way, you can check out this site for good reads and good list of recommended sites. Satisfy your curiosity with secrets revealed, make your day with humorous posts, get some tips about public speaking and check other interesting posts , and more.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'd rather see a public doctor

This is the continuation of the post Do you trust private doctors?

After a few weeks, we made several attempts to go to some reputable public hospitals in the city but as usual, I was asked to go back and have an appointment with the doctor. No check up was conducted until I had to stop medication more or less after two months. Yes, I decided to stop medication even though without any doctor's advice. Worrying about the skyrocketing prices of medicine was just a burden. I have never gotten a checkup eversince.

I somehow felt relieved that the yellowness on my skin just disappeared. I still had to look at my eyes each morning in the mirror. As time went by, the yellow thing on my sclera vanished. The doubts are still in me. Do I have A or B? Might as well live it to that. I have hepatitis and I am getting over.

On one sunny weekend, just before my boyfriend and I headed for the Casino, I told him that we'd have to drop by a public hospital.

"I think we'd go to Casino first." I joked.

"There you go again, you always think gambling is more important than anything," he answered.

We were laughing on our way to the hospital while telling him how disappointed I was that he referred me to a private doctor earlier. Even at the onset of my disease, I already had the predisposition to see a public doctor. The cost of the checkup would be cheaper and I just trust them more than private ones.

Public doctors are supposed to look after the health conditions of the majority and I surmised that they undergo rigorous screening processes just to get through and be recognized as public servants. I just feared private doctors. Based on my college experience, I learned that taking up a medical course was like hell. This could be my personal opinion but I have seen a lot of medical students solely depend on leakages during exams because of the difficulty. A lot are tempted if not forced to join cheaters to get even with the soaring tuition fees they invest in the universities. That gave me the idea that a lot of them don't exactly know what they study about. Thoughts related to medical malpractice or maltreatment crossed my mind. I hated the idea.

Knowing at the same time that most private hospitals just hire doctors perhaps based on their diplomas intensified my doubts about private doctors' capabilities. I made a generalization that private doctors easily find jobs since private hospitals in their sole purpose of generating money need not have to impose strict screening processes to minimize their expenditures. Who knows if the doctors they hire other than their diplomas really possess the expertise?

Well, I hope you don't come across a doctor who doesn't know how to interpret lab results and shies away from your simple questions of how to avoid hepatitis or if such virus indeed could be acquired through saliva.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Do you trust private doctors?

I could feel summer was on its way as the temperature in Manila rose drastically. From the usual 27-31 degrees celsius, it ballooned to a constant 31 and above. It was really hot and humid. I avoided the formality of wearing long pants while teaching. Since my students just see the upper part of my body, I found a way to give myself more ventilation by wearing a pair of shorts at the office. Until now, I really feel at home since this is also where I spend most of my nights. This office is now seemingly providing me that homey feeling.

We had to spend more on our electric bill than ever and I just realized how stingy my boss is at times. "Please lessen your use of the airconditioner because that accumulates much of our electric bill," he once reminded us." We maybe bad employees that we blatantly ignored him the fact that he was not here in Manila. He surely doesn't know how hard it is to teach while uncomfortably profusing at the teaching station.

Just as I was preparing for lunch waiting for the water to boil for my oatmeal regimen in one of the areas in the office, I received a text message from Mommy Ruth. "Meet me here my son, I am at a nearby mall," the message said. I had to hurry to the mall right away since I would have a class after forty minutes. Although in a hurry, I had to see to it to maintain a certain pace because my left tummy hurt everytime I would have to speed up.

I was so emotional when she greeted me with a hug and and a semi-kiss on the cheek. Mommy Ruth, she just treats me as her son. We are not relatives. I met her at the duckpin club I joined here in Manila. She once told me she likes me. Perhaps, I thought because I am gay and she can easily relate with me. She is a widow, deprived of any children. She must find vicariousness in the idea of treating me as hers. There she was, handing me a gallon of alkaline ion water.

"Never drink any water from any source, you have to stick to that. Just send me a message when it empties so I can send you another gallon..." I was so touched. Later, she took me to the nearest mall. She bought some tea bags for me, some unrefined sugar, biscuits, oatmeal. We even had to roam the market to look for molasses. How eager she wanted me to recover.

She kept asking me about my check up. I told her I had been to the clinic already and just had to go back for the lab findings but she insisted I get another one to be sure. I told her, I would have to go back since I needed the result of the clinic's laboratory findings.

When I went back to the private clinic, the doctor whom I had an appointment with was on a leave. I was disappointed to find out I would be handed over to another doctor. She seemed so naive that she could not explain to me all my querries. She wasn't sure if I had A or B based on the lab findings. She naively told me that "it could be A or B, or a combination of both. I was damned confuse and so was she I guess. She started explaining biliburin and stuff. I intercepted her and asked how I could possibly prevent the unwanted spread of the disease. I was so worried that I live in a house with several children and toddlers. She didn't seem confident of what she was telling me. She advised me to comeback for another consultation. My God! consultation alone would cost an arm and a leg. I just said thanks anyway and left the clinic for good. To be continued...

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Jaundice Days

The next weekend came. I had religiously been taking the medicines my boss sent me. Some had to be altered though as they were not available in Korea, nonetheless they pretty much looked very similar to the ones prescribed by my doctor.

"I will send you medicines, those are really effective ones. Those are the best medicines for hepatitis according to my physician friend," I remembered my boss telling me once as we had a short talk on Windows Live Messenger a week ago just before my day off. I was overwhelmingly emotional when he had to tell me to sleep in between my broken schedule. Some of my friends had asked me how I felt. They assumed I would easily exhaust myself and feel tired because of the disease. I kept myself strong and luckily I managed to keep up with all my classes as usual.

"Do you see my eyes yellow?" That expression had been very famous for the first few weeks among my students. I was very conscious of my jaundice. Looking at myself each time I woke up in the morning had been a habit. I would examine my eyes and see if they would ever go as white again as before.

My students kept my hopes and I was auspicious, "Avoid looking at yourself in the mirror and examining your eyes everyday,"said Rachelle. "You just have to be patient and your eyes will get back to normal," she added. "You have to eat a lot of grilled fish and foods rich in protein," said another student.

I was positive of the virus and positive still that everything would fall into its place. While patiently waiting for any changes and development, I had to face the fact that my lifestyle would have to adapt to my health condition. Until then, I had to avoid my usual hangouts. I missed playing duckpin bowling, my drinking sprees, and chit-chats at the cafeteria with Ate Liza and her helpers.

Whenever it was time for lunch, I had used to just go to the cafeteria's kitchen and salivate at the different sets of meals there. I choose what could satisfy my appetite and leave, I wait for a few minutes and "Renee" (one of the helpers) would deliver them at my door. Dishwashing was never a problem. That was prior to me contracting the disease.

Things changed after, I started avoiding the cafeteria, made a phone call whenever I felt hungry, told them to put my meal in small plastic bags. I didn't want to use any of their utensil to avoid contamination. Oh, how I missed the gossips and talks while caffeinating myself with Ate Liza and Renee.

Being visible to the people I know was hard to deal with. I avoided going out. On the weekends, I would rather stay at home which my neighbors and my housemates thought was unusual. A lot of people really had no idea what the disease was. Apart from being advised to separate my eating utensils and stuff as the virus could be contagious and could infect anyone through saliva, I remember the doctor telling me to avoid any sexual contact to prevent the spread. I was worried that someone might get the virus from anywhere else and I might just end up as the scapegoat.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Choice is None of The Above

Upon the confirmation of the doctor that I was indeed positive of the virus, I felt like the world just fell on me. Never had I imagined myself actually contracting the disease. I was still in denial though the clear-cut proof of my jaundice should have been enough for me to submit to the horrible fact that people around would start shunning me. Or I had to shy away from them myself if I wanted to avoid scorn.

"Ok, I have the virus, it must be it," I told myself when the doctor handed me the prescription. "Doc, do I have A or B?" I hastily asked. "Your results will still have to be looked into at the laboratory.", he said. He had just injected me with the Anti-Hepa B vaccine, though he himself wasn't clear yet of the diagnosis. "It could be A or B if we dismiss the fact that there must be something wrong with your gall bladder. I want you to come back next weekend so I can give you the result and perhaps prescribe you more medicines," he added. From the looks of my deformed tummy, it was clear that he was just trying to pacify my paranoia.

"For the meantime, you avoid indulging yourself in junkfoods, softdrinks, fatty foods and alcohol, he ended as he left for his room. "But, can I smoke?" I blurted out just before he was gone. He turned his back and gave a vague response. "As much as possible you have to avoid smoking." I am a smoker and I thought I could give up some of my physical desires but not yet ready to give up smoking.

I was anxious when I looked at his first prescription. He recommended three types of medicines that I had to regularly take. My visual math skills estimated around 500 pesos a day (around 12 dollars)for my expenses. I got more worried. "How could I exact my salary knowing that I have to continually support my family while taking medications?", my thoughts again.

When I got to work, I immediately told my boss of the sad news. My mind kept telling me that my boss had something to do with it. I had been overworked for almost a year working daily for almost 16 hours. I felt exploited being a pioneer teacher in his company like I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m and would go to sleep at around 12:00 midnight.

Not minding whether other companies would still hire me as a worker, I with the courage told my boss that I would have to quit the job because of health reasons. On second thought, I got worried about the coming months, the future. Most companies conduct rigorous medical exams and I might not just make it. My family was my priority. I should make the right choice. When my boss asked for another consideration, I quickly said yes especially when he said we needed to hire another teacher to somehow lessen my workload.

The next day, my boss asked me to scan the prescription and show him a sample of the medicines I had started taking. I was advised by the doctor to be under medication for two months and that must have been hard to deal with. I just don't support myself but my family. Maintaining my health spending mostly of my daily wage on my medicines almost made me hopeless. Then my boss, told me he would send me medicines that would last for two months. I felt relieved.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Trojan Horses Almost Kicked me Off

As some of you already know, I teach ESL online. Last Friday, 31 of August, I just ended up my class just before I was about to have dinner. Suddenly, when I looked at my taskbar, an old student's Messenger window highlighted and it caught my attention as it just kept on blinking. I might have been so excited to hear from that student. I haven't heard from him for a long time and it felt strange that he would suddenly send me something out of the blue.

Out of curiosity, I clicked on the Windows Live Messenger's conversation Window. It said, "Joe wants to send you the file mygallery5156..." Just below that, there were options as to whether, I would accept the file, save it or decline it.

Before clicking on to it, my fellow teacher Oliver came rushing to my station, "Who's that student Joe?" "He just sent me the same file but I did not open it," he said just as soon as I had started extracting the file. "Don't open it, that could be a virus," Oliver added. Knowing Joe for a long time, my instinct just told me that he would not have the guts to be sending me some viruses. I just successfully made a zipped copy of the file attempted to open it but it would not show me any pictures.

"Oliver was right," I thought. I quickly deleted the files and ran my virus scanner. Later, it found no virus. While having classes in the evening, I just noticed that the virus was like automatically sending itself to all my online contacts. Two of my classes got disrupted because my computer would freeze and I could not click on anything. I had to apologize to my students several times. I even had to log out and log back in just to deal with the onset of the virus. I got a little bit agitated that there were moments I was denied of opening any Messenger Window.

A few minutes again after that, another teacher told me that her computer just froze. Oliver and I just found out that she herself received the virus and it almost ruined her computer. She had to use another PC because her computer just kept on blinking, any application would not finish processing because the desktop or the screen monitor would refresh every after a few seconds or so.

It so happened Oliver had his USB and had some AVG Virus scanner setup. He quicky installed it on the PC and it healed the damage.

Thinking that my PC was safe since I ran F-Prot Antivirus Scanner, I turned off my computer, left work, unmindful of the fact that there could be some virus which the scanner was just unable to detect.

After my days off when I got back to work, I just realized that my computer has started blinking and it could not run processes. It would not let me open the files on the desktop though I could access the Internet explorer without any trouble.

When Oliver came to work, my hopes beamed that he could fix the problem. The blinking on the PC though would not let him install the AVG scanner on my PC through his flash drive. The more I got worried and I was very uneasy. I couldn't concentrate at work.

Out of nowhere, It just crossed my mind to get some help online since I had the ability to browse the Internet and I was actually logged in to Blogcatalog. Thanks to Chris for the link he provided to get rid of the virus.

After running the scanner, two types of Trojan Horse Viruses were moved into the the vault and my computer was back to normal. That day I sounded so techie that I started informing my students about it.

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