Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photos of a Typhoon-Stricken Weekend

Writing this on a Sunday morning. Due to typhoon Ondoy hitting the metro and nearby areas, I decided to call off the two events which I was supposed to attend to yesterday. As early as 7 am of Saturday I was trying to send an SMS to colleagues asking if they're still going to push with their respective events.

Thank God I simply stayed home. For this is the view outdoors if I did:

This photo was courtesy of ABS CBN News online showing the Aerial view of Marcos Highway in Cainta Rizal. Normally, Cainta is one busy, traffic-stricken place on sunny days but as Ondoy came to the country, this now is the picture depicting the place. As of this writing, people including celebrities like Cristine Reyes and ABS CBN's talent coordinator Angge Lee is asking for help to be rescued since floods already invaded their homes.

Back home, this was taken by me through my cousin's digicam in the midst of the heavy rains yesterday morning. Few people know my house is located in a hillside subdivision so although there times we find delight seeing things like this, most times, this scenario is also one thing that we fear about too.

That's my nephew and his yaya making the most out of the stone and mud-colored water in front of the house. Although this is a common thing, we keep an eye on the kids since the current is so strong. Strong enough to drive someone away. And I'm not kidding. I once saw my cousin being pushed by the strong water current while bathing in the rain coming home with wounds on his elbows because he tried to defend himself. That's how strong the force of nature is. And to prove more of it are these pictures:

This is not taken from a landslide-stricken province. This is the view just outside our house. I decided to take this photo just to see the aftermath (at the same time I saw the sun shining already). That's how strong the water current was yesterday, it almost dissolved the soil and tore down the banana trees and cassava root crops dad planted months ago.

In spite of the cancelled attendance to events, I was still working on my tasks. Aside from writing, I'm also into transcription so in my bedroom I have this yellow paper, tapes and the recorder which I listen to and write. I'm dying to read that book, One Day at a Time by Francis Kong so despite of the transcription, I read the book on the side. Due to the typhoon, power supply was cut-off until about 2 am. If not for those linemen who accepted being on-call at the wee hours, I won't be wrting thi today. Thank heavens for the I-pod brought home by my brother's friend, I was able to survive the quiet, cold night.

Those were just about my weekend and my family's. Unfortunately as typhoon hit our area, my dad was not with us. He's currently staying in the province in the family's hometown in Quezon and mom although asking plainly I know is worried too. As I woke up today immediately checking on news feeds from various news agencies over the internet, 42 people were killed (in Rizal alone) 20 are still missing and 10 from the 42 casualties were from Angono. In my Facebook account, I received an email from Rapa Lopa of I am Ninoy. The email contained a call for help for those who were greatly affected and evacuated families due to the typhoon.

For those who would like to help, donations in the form of clothes, canned food, rice and medicines may be sent to these addresses:

Caritas Manila Office Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge
( 5639298/5639308)

Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Corner EDSA
(tel no. 9257931-40).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

12 Things Teaching Has Taught Me

A year ago, I ventured in another vocation while pursuing my passion as a writer. I worked as a teacher for Korean citizens to teach them English.

Now, I look back at the things being a teacher has taught me. Some of them are funny but some of them are insightful. From the simplest to the seemingly complicated. Things that I actually never thought from the mind of kids and teenagers--just when I thought all they care about are Boys Over Flowers, their PSP's and their handy electronic dictionary (that they can't seem to live without).

Teaching had taught me:

1. How to write my name in Hangul.
2. That I could actually sing like a soprano; this I found out after doing a part singing the song Seasons of Love.
3. Being a sociophobic (I mean really HUGE), that I could actually sing in front of people.
4. To eat with Japanese chopsticks (and they have a difference to what Koreans use).
5. That I could actually be an efficient Science Teacher too.
6. Positive thinking creates positive influence.
7. Talents should be shown and shared; not to be kept hidden inside.
8. Marriage is the best decisions a person can make.
9. If you can't and don't know how to take care and raise a child, don't dare try to make one.
10. But if you want one, go to Sogo with your boyfriend (okay, that was actually a joke said by my 13-year old student Jerry that really pinned me to the wall in shock!).
11. That when a guy carries a girl on his back, it's a sign that they're in love with each other.
12. You need to compromise if you want a relationship to work.

Yes, they're pretty simple and probably funny. But when I think of it, they make sense too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Revamped on A Short Notice

Just a little notice in case you're wondering if you're in the wrong website, no you're not. You're still visiting the same Zone of Solitude--but with a different look.

Yesterday, I decided on giving my blog a new revamped look (just like giving myself a new hairstyle). Checking out the web for free templates and blog skins, I stumbled upon this website named Pyzam and this website actually has a lot of templates and blog skins available. What's more is that the codes are that easy to install. Just what I need. Now from the Minima Black template of Blogger, I have this Old Fashion Love template as the new face of my blog.

The only inconvenience is that installing new template meant deleting a lot of HTML links and installing them again.

Please let me know what you think about this techie overhaul. I still have a few things to renovate on this space. I'm enjoying my techie side--the only problem is I still find it hard to combine colors. I hope you're having a great long weekend like I do.

Till the next entry. :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Better Bride's Bible

Weeks ago, fresh from a road trip-slash-working day spent in Tagaytay, I had the chance to be among the bookworms to own this book.

As of this writing, I sit here in my PC with the book beside the keyboard. The first time I saw this book on my favorite bookstore, I knew it's a must have not just in my little library but for a much better reason. Entitled Confessions of an Impatient Bride by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng, I find the book really worth the price (oh, and the pink cover too). Just a week ago, I finished reading the whole book and I should say I am really, really happy to have made the decision of having it.

Now, I'm not an impatient bride (okay, just sometimes) but I dream to be one in the near future once Mr. Right comes along--the reason why this book landed to my hands. Upon seeing this book my managing editor Ms. Peng told me, "aba, may plan ka rin maging bride ano?" Blame it on the book and the stacks of Metro Weddings magazine that the marketing office has; something which lands on my hands whenever I am there. And this book has really thought me a lot of things. Most of them are lessons that I actually learned the hard way and this one justifies that:

1. The impossible is not really hard as you think it is. All it takes is doing what is necessary and possible and you make things happen.

2. Just when you think, kids are just saying the darnest things, think again. Listen to their wisdom and it could be much better than yours. (Having a three year old nephew at home, I attest to this.)

3. The word settle means agreeing to what is less than satisfactory. I remember my good friend Miguel who told me these words 8 years ago: Ideals are just that--ideals. Kahit kailan hindi mo sila maaabot kasi nga it's something that does not exist. On the other hand is Dr. Phil McGraw's philosophy that there is no such thing as Mr. 100 percent. If you meet a Mr. 80 percent, grab him for he's good to go; don't pass by him looking for a Mr. 100 percent because someone's ought to get (and marry) Mr. 80 percent. Wise words.

4.There are things that are just not worth bargaining for--even in relationships. Spend on the aspects and values that really matter than to stay on that track just for the sake of. Because in the end, you really get what you pay for--so it's wise to make the most out of it.

5. Your life partner shouldn't just be someone you love, but someone who'll be your home. For the home is really being in the presence of the person one chooses to spend the rest of her lifetime with.

Indeed this book has guided me and is preparing me into being the bride-to-be that I do hope to become.

On the other hand, I'm taking this space and day to invite readers as Meralco Development Center will be having its Grand Food Tasting and Mini-Bridal Fair on September 26, 2009 from 11 am to 2 pm. And it's an open invitation for everyone. For details click here.

See you there! :-)

Confessions of an Impatient Bride photo courtesy of Shepherd's Voice online store.
Bridal Fair poster courtesy of MMLDC Facebook account.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Missed Poems

Before I became a freelance writer and editor who ventured into making the job of tweaking words and creating articles, I started out from scratch--as a literary editor of the university paper eight years ago.

Yep. While I enjoyed tweaking (that's one wonderful word I enjoy using lately) words, correcting errors and doing spot checks on punctuation marks in my articles and that of others in the magazine, I started and once spent my life brainstorming and composing stories, poems and all fiction-related stuff.

Nights ago, since I was having a hard time catching up on sleep, I decided to pull out my compositions just so to read them. Searching for the files, one of them, a sheet that's yellowed after being kept for a long time, fell on the floor. It contained the following lines:

To say I love you at three in the morning
Could be a such different thing
While there are no sounds of nightly snoring
And all that's left are stars steadily shining.

To hear those words at three in the morning
Is much softer that the pillows I am hugging.
That eventhough this mind of mine descends
I love you is like a music that never ends.

But then to hear that happens often
I know, I notice though I don't ask when
The last I love you I still do know

I think it happened a long time ago.

And how could you bear to hear such words
When the feeling fades yet no one knows
Could you still reply at three in the morning?

With the same intense wonderful feeling.

If you would hear I love you at three in the morning
Would you just close your eyes and sleep?
Or would you say I love you too
Then drift away and weep?

Entitled I Love You at 3 AM, it was one of the 117 poems that I wrote three years ago--marked with the date April 19, 2006. It brought me back to the day that I'd spent my wee hours writing the words and pent up emotions running in my head.

While it brought me the kilig feeling again, unfortunately though, I no longer write poetry. I once reasoned out, poems won't satisfy my hungry tummy if ever. And because of my writing stint in the corporate world, I realized such [poems] are only to cure the lovesick emotion locked in me. Simply being on the practical side, If I'd want to know how it feels to fall in love, I just read. Through writing, in some way, I make a dream come true. But then, with what happened to me months ago, seeing my co-teacher and when he asked me about who the author of some famous poems are, I felt that maybe I should start reading and maybe writing poems again.

And it's actually one great kind of journey. By writing, I am able to express the thoughts of the Silent Warrior that I am and get to experience and give a story a happy ending. Something to which I am also hopeful--that will happen to me-- eventually.