What’s Going On?

It’s probably just right to give you updates on things that’s been going on in my life. The last time I gave an update was way back in December 2020.

Basically, we’ve been busy surviving the pandemic like everyone else.

I just happened to re-read the other day what I wrote back in 2017, too. I was saying that people called 2016 as the worst year ever. I now think, Nope, we spoke too soon. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of what made it the worst then.

The years starting from 2020 till now are officially the WORST YEARS EVER. I’d like to say “so far” but I really don’t wish for things to get even worse than the worst. We lost so many people to the pandemic. Probably every one of us here knows of someone who succumbed to COVID19. I lost a childhood friend myself last September.

It’s not just COVID19 that is the problem.

Wars hurt people. My own sister-in-law still can’t go home from Lebanon due to bombings, violence, unrest, and the unbelievably high inflation. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine War is devastating and horrible. Anyone who doesn’t think so needs to look deeply into her/himself. Meanwhile, ransomware is a very big threat. Cybersecurity is in jeopardy all over the world…

img_20141031_183958

Image belongs to me (‘Cause, DUH, that’s me)

I don’t really need to list down everything to remind you of all the depressing things. Just saying we’re all in the same boat, basically. And as they say, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.

Let’s Get Personal

Let me go back to talking about myself now since this is supposed to be my personal updates.

The past year was not that eventful for me/us until September. Like I said, I lost a childhood friend to COVID. This was the same editor-friend I mentioned before in a post. I wasn’t her closest friend IMG_20201210_032908but due to circumstances, I kind of became one of the point persons when people wanted to know what happened or what plans there were. This is a story that I will write about in the future.

Another news shook the family in November. It’s not anything near devastating, really. That doesn’t make it okay either. To be honest, I already typed it down here. I decided to delete it, however. It’s not something to be proud of and tell everybody about. I’m not posting pictures on social media for my own peace of mind, for now. That will only invite questions that I don’t want to answer over and over, or questions that I will be forced to answer because I’m not a liar.

I’m not in the mood to explain to people. Sure, should anybody asks, I’m not going to deny it. I’m just not going to spread the news around either. Besides, it’s not exactly my own story to tell. I’m simply part of the story, whether I like it or not. It’s an added responsibility for me, by default.

On to Lighter News!

I’d rather talk about recent goings-on in my life that have to do with writing and blogging.

Me at my table

#NaNoPoblao2021. DONE!!! I didn’t finish on time, but I finished. That’s what’s important. The purpose was to blog more and I did. All the posts are listed on the NaNoPoblano 2021 page now. I do need a new challenge to force me to get going. Well, May is a special month so I’ll think of something.

I really wanted to join this year’s A to Z Challenge. I just knew it was something I would not be able to complete. So I’ll content myself with checking out posts whenever I have the chance. I did join the challenges in previous years. I am especially proud of my #AtoZChallenge 2017 entries.

Blog Changes. They may not be noticeable but I’ve been doing some “physical” changes on the blog.

Challenge Box

For one, the CHALLENGE BOX is now easily visible since it is included as a button in the navigation bar. It is not anymore in the BLOG BANK > BLOG LINKS dropdown sub-menu. I wanted to make BLOG BANK the landing page like it was some years back. This version of the WordPress theme won’t let me. I’ll keep trying.

HangoutsHANGOUTS replaced a sidebar section. I decided to make the links to my social media accounts more visible, too. The number zero at the end of every link annoys me, though. I don’t know what that is and I don’t think that I’d like to show it even if I knew what that is. Right now, I am not able to delete the zeroes.

I will continue making changes here or there.

Reading Blogs. I just restarted doing this a little bit more regularly (HOPEFULLY). I’ve been reading posts through the Reader. I am also visiting the blogs/sites of bloggers whom I’ve become pals with through the years. I plan to check on other bloggers who I’ve also connected with somewhat in the past. It makes me sad to know that I’ve lost connection with them. But it’s really hard to catch up when you’re busy and/or your community grows.

A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet where I tried to list every blogger I followed and who followed me. I wanted to repay people for those times they decided to check out my blog, comment and, especially, follow. I wanted to connect by following or following back those that interested me (it didn’t really matter if they followed me or not).

I soon realized that doing that isn’t easy for a slightly OC person. It was tedious! So now, I’ve decided to just wing it and visit everyone whenever I can.

The Veerledom. While it seemed I stopped visiting the blog, I actually kept coming back even before November. I kept/keep referring to and editing my post on theater thespian and ballerina Veerle Casteleyn. I have been updating it due to stuff that I’m finding through research. This is all in relation to the Facebook fan page I made, The Veerledom.

Veerledom cover photo 2

Yes, I’m a fan girl. Don’t tell me you’ve never been a fan of anyone. And even if others question you (no one’s questioned me, by the way), probably asking Why him, Why her, you stay a fan. Because sometimes, being a fan is just something you feel and have to express. I’m pretty sure most of us know the feeling.

I do also like other artists who are more well-known. They don’t really need more fan sites and pages than they already have. Veerle have those, too. I still chose to make her a page because of a very specific reason: We still don’t know much about her.

A lot of the pages dedicated to her say the same things. And a lot of them are simply focused on admiring her looks and/or loving her as the popular character she portrayed on film. That’s not fair to her. So I created a page to show that she is more than a pretty face and more than the character. Also, the page should serve as a resource place for “Veerleans”.

Volunteer Reviewer. I recently got invited as a book reviewer. I got invited because supposedly, the one who emailed me said she liked my reviews. I kind of asked if she’s read any of them. I didn’t expect to be amused by her answer, let’s just put it at that.

The site is very legit so I applied as a reviewer (that’s required even if you got invited). It’s not a job. just something to do because I like it and, well, free books! Don’t want to pass that up. I’m trying to be a good reader again, that’s my main goal.

The thing is I think I messed up my application because they thought I applied as a professional offering services. It was my fault, really. They were following up and I explained my side. But now, I don’t know if I made it clear that I applied as a volunteer reviewer. I am anxiously awaiting their new response.

I’ve been doing several other things but they are not concrete stuff.  I’ll just have to save those updates for another day when I’m ready.

How about you? What have I missed about you?

First Time Published: “SI DR. JOSE RIZAL”

Day 25 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaDePoblano” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer. Related page: Poetry Nook.

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From Wikipedia

Before December 30 ends for everyone, I am sharing this poem for the first time ever. This was written, I believe, in June 2016, a tribute to our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. I know that he is well-known in other parts of the world, particularly in Europe. This was, actually, a school requirement when the eldest kid was in fourth grade, I think. I helped him write it….Okay, I wrote it. Writing is not the kid’s forte and he was too lazy to do it. So, yeah, Bad Mama. I have my own poem that I have been trying to finish for years, to be honest. I’ve promised myself to finish it in 2022.

Anyway, today is the death anniversary of Rizal. So this is quite timely. I will translate in English, but don’t take it as the official translation yet.

SI DR. JOSE RIZAL                                  

Si Dr. Jose Rizal                                        
Magiting na bayani                                  
Isang  tagapagligtas                                   
Ng ating lahi.                                           
Ibinuwis ang buhay                                   
Alay sa Inang Bayan                                 
Halimbawang tunay                                  
Katangi-tanging mamamayan.                  
Nais kong matulad                                   
Kay Dr. Jose Rizal                                      
Sinisimulan ko                                           
Sa mabuting pag-aaral.                              

DR. JOSE RIZAL

Dr. Jose Rizal
Was a brave hero
He was a Savior  
To the Filipinos.
He sacrificed his life
For the Motherland
A great example of
A model citizen.
I want to be like
Dr. Jose Rizal
From here on I focus
On lessons and good morals. 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

I First Published This Because I Wrote It

It’s my anniversary at work (well, WFH for now) today, YAY!!! So I decided to finalize my last sub-theme for this challenge and post (finally!).

Day 21 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaDePoblano” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer. Related page: Poetry Nook.

Anyone who’s followed me long enough already knows about this. But since I am doing this as part of a challenge, and I also have new followers (thank you, all!!!), I am sharing it again. This is a translation of the popular Filipino lullaby SA UGOY NG DUYAN. This was first published on my Multiply account, not here. But I am sharing it because I WROTE IT. It was I who translated it in English.

While it is one of the various translations, it is currently the most popular. I say this not to brag, only to emphasize that I, at least, own the translation. It’s been used/posted by others without giving credit. They should, at least, say that they found it online. Anyway, read on and I hope you like my translation…

The End Justifies the Journey

On January 3, 2005, I shared through Multiply one of my favorite Filipino songs, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan. As many of my contacts were non-Filipinos, I thought I’d share a translation. However, at the time, I could not find any worthy translation, so I decided to create my own called The Lulling Cradle, which I included in a previous post (check the last video). I was quick to mention it was an unofficial translation. From what I now remember, there were two to three people who asked permission to share my translation, so I said YES, as long as I got credited.

Fast forward to a few years after, and then a few years more, I have found out that my translation is kind of making the rounds online, without proper credit and no explanation that it is just one of more translations. I don’t expect or plan…

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March 2018/2019 & April 2017/2018/2019 RECAPS #MonthlyRecap

Last April was A to Z Challenge season once again! So happy for those who were able to participate. Meanwhile, I’m sad that I was not one of them. I wanted to join very badly, in fact, I already had a theme in mind. Thinking things through, I realized that with stuff that were (and are) going on in my life, I might not be able to participate much at all. Rather than disappoint myself further, I decided to skip it. I’m sad and relieved at the same time!

That said, on to business.

I have prepared a two-in-one monthly recap, the reason being that I should have done the March 2018 and 2019 recap last month. The draft stayed as draft for weeks. I’ve been having technical problems, honestly. Don’t get me started on how unfair I felt life was so let’s just do this!

RECAP!!!

Here’s the recap of my March 2018/2019 andApril 2017/2018/2019:

Blog-wise:

March 2018

Hash potatoes!!!

I just checked my list and I am honestly now annoyed…I only posted once last year!

All Hash-days — NONE!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If there’s a ghost town, consider this a ghost blog. Pffft…

#AnythingDay (see Woe is Me )

I really should not be annoyed at myself, considering my circumstances. But it’s that initial emotional reaction, you know? I really am BUMMED big time. That’s not anymore initial, but you understand.

March 2019

#WhatsupWednesday (see For Real, This is a Test) – It’s really a more personal post that I maybe should not count, but it’s posted so…

#AnythingDay (see “Pagpapatawad” (Forgiveness) )

I was cooking up a #FeatureFriday idea, but the “research” required more time from me. It’s still coming, though.

April 2017

I did not care much about hash potatoes in April. My focus was on something else. I participated in the A to Z Challenge back in 2017. It was actually a very productive month. However, it is always the Holy Week days that throw me off. So 2017 was no exception. I was unable to finish on time. In fact, I still have not finished the whole alphabet! I did try in some other months.

First,…

#AnythingDay (see A show of support for blogging’s annual marathon and How to Apply as a Graphic Designer)

 

Now, below are my posts from back in April 2017. My theme: “Writing”. They are listed in descending order, from latest to oldest.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE…?

“TREACHERY”

SONGS AND SHORT STORIES

THE TRUTH IN YOUR MAKE-BELIEVE

LIFE AS THEY SAID IT

BEAST-MODE POETRY

ODE THINGS

WHAT’S IN A NOM?

AS LOVELY AS A TREE

I NOT STUPID (A REVIEW)

THE HAIKU

GRRRR-RAMMAR!!!

“WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER THAT YOU CREATED IS YOUR FAVORITE, AND WHY?”

MARK YOUR WORDS!

WHY DIALOGUE IS IMPORTANT

CONTENTS WITH ALL THE FEELS

“HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY DEAL WITH WRITER’S BLOCK?”

HOW TO SPELL THE ANCIENT FILIPINO WAY

I was almost proud except I was not able to finish 😦

April 2018

It wasn’t hard searching for last year’s post. They weren’t a lot.

(post-)#MondayMemoirs (see “I miss Perspective”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Let Us All Rise! )

April 2019

This wasn’t hard either.

#ThursdayTips (see How to Make a (Boxed) Ninja Turtle Costume and 6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular)

 

I will have to end this recap here. I will not promise anything except that I will try to be more active. That said, I just want to enjoy life, basically. Who doesn’t?

FOR REAL, THIS IS A TEST #WhatsupWednesday

I am trying to figure out why Facebook wouldn’t and still won’t let me directly share my own WP post on my own Facebook page. It doesn’t even allow me to just post the link instead. I have a feeling it’s a glitch caused by the much-bigger glitch Facebook experienced recently. But that’s just a hunch. It’s worse if I’m wrong.

So forgive me, this isn’t really a legit blog post. I am doing a test. If this works, then the problem is that particular post alone. If the same happens, then Facebook will have to explain to me why it says they are not letting me because someone reported my abusive posting or whatever it says in the notification or warning. It doesn’t even explain what it is I am supposedly abusing exactly. For goodness’ sake, I normally just share my own WP blog posts, not others’! Also, as you know, I hadn’t even been posting for weeks/months.

That really ticks me off! Imagine, I reported an ad for a product that has been misleading readers with the titles of their posts. I’ve been encountering it on Facebook several times and got duped into clicking. So what does Facebook tell me? That the ad I reported does not violate FB’s ad policies. MEANWHILE, I can’t even share my own post because of something I’m not even sure about??? The least they can do is give me a clue and just a first warning.

Do you guys get the irony in this???

 

***UPDATE (03-21-19):

They still won’t let me share on my FB page! I’m really mad and sad that the main reason I created that page is gone….So I just sent them a message that they will hopefully (and immediately) address:

“Recently, Facebook has not been allowing me to automatically share my WordPress blog posts here. My sharing setting on WordPress says I am connected to my FB account. I actually get a message that I am not allowed because someone reported that I have been abusive, of which and how, I have no knowledge. The least Facebook could do was to inform me immediately if I was getting a penalty and explain that penalty. At least, if I’m in the wrong, I’d be aware of it and can correct things. Facebook does not even allow me to share the link to my posts instead. What gives? I normally just post my own blog posts from WordPress, and I haven’t even been posting much for months! At least, let me know the problem, please.”

February 2018/2019 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Welcome back, peeps! More importantly, welcome back to me! This is me trying to get back into the blogging jive. So since I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time, this is a good time as any to restart this thing.

I checked my posts history and — gasp! —  the last recap I posted was my March 2017 one! That’s two years ago! I never realized that it would take me that long! Why did I keep putting it off??? But since we’re now here, it’s time to get back into doing it.

RECAP!!!

This is going to be the norm for me every month: Since it’s now March, I am supposed to be posting a recap of February. And since I missed it last year, I’m doing both February 2018 and 2019 recaps. Next month, it’s going to be recaps of March 2018 and 2019. But wait, there’s more! Literally! Next will be the start of the “threesomes” — April 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Don’t worry. Considering how seldom I posted, my posts would probably be not too long (‘cept maybe April 2017 when I last joined the A to Z Challenge).

Here’s a recap of my February 2018:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayToons (see Write! Write!)

#TuesdayTunes (none)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (none)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Busy is the Word)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (none)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see Versatile Blogger ) –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was not exactly that active at all. However, I did get to post stuff so it’s not bad either.

(2) My Trending StoriesWhat trending stories??? I must admit, I lost a lot of interest after encountering problems with their site over and over. But it’s never out of my mind. I plan to come back. But I need to be active here first. As far as blogging is concerned, this is my priority.

Here’s a recap of my February 2019:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yup, that pretty much sums up what I did last month.

Social Media Reach-out:

I will repeat what I said the last time, because it is still true.

“I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.”

A great shout-out to all of you!

Meanwhile, I mentioned and even posted about my new “endeavor”, which is vlogging. I am currently trying to get back after more than two months of forced hiatus (laptop problems). The good news is I have acquired a new cellphone that should help me make things easier and be more creative. Hopefully. Don’t worry, though, folks. Blogging is still my main squeeze 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Nada. Honestly disappointed with myself.

Both of my wedding ninangs (godmothers — there really shouldn’t be any “s” there as the Filipino language does not add it to change a singular word to plural) actually PM’d me a poetry competition. I haven’t checked. I will try to check later.

As for stories, through work, I found Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor last year. I realized I could use them for my works. I am very much partial to the latter, though. Will edit those I’ve done and will use the editors for future pieces.

Literature:

bakokak-gerry-alanguilan

“Bakokak” written by Gerry Alanguilan, illustrated by Kevin Ray Valentino

No book-reading happened whatsoever last month (but not sure about February 2018). Well, okay, I think I did read comic books. That counts.

Personal:

  • I have mellowed down when it comes to Wish 107.5 FM. That’s because they have, too. I mean they have expanded in the US, which is a great idea, but as far as artists that shake me, so to speak, no one’s really gotten my attention. I do plan on giving those “new” artists they feature a chance one of these days.
  • Quora recently suffered hack attacks. My account was one of those that suffered. They did sort of give me back copies of my posts, but my old account is lost. I am getting lazy just thinking about trying to start over. I don’t even really know how to get them all posted again considering that a lot of what I did was to comment on others’ posts. They’re not my posts, know what I mean?
  • Because of the new cellphone, I finally…
    1. got to play Plants vs. Zombies
    2. got to play an updated/leveled-up Temple Run
    3. was able to play Fruit Ninja whenever I wanted to (the first and only time prior that I played it was on a big screen at the arcade)
    4. found Wordscapes that got me hooked for a while (I still play it regularly, just not in that addicted-mode…Happy to say that I’m already doing Level 1132 as of this writing), and
    5. found Empires & Puzzles, which is my main game at the moment.

So officially, I am now a (quite) amateur semi-online gamer. Meanwhile, Soda Crush and other word games have taken a backseat.

 

And that ends this February — er, these Februaries(???) — recap. Watch out for March! I mean, you know, just sayin’ 🙂

New Year’s Greetings, Earthlings!

HELLO, FELLOW HUMANS!!!

 

And since February’s near…

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

Welcome to 2019! I can’t say much yet about the new year, but I can take it, so far. So how was your 2018?

If I were to sum up my 2018, it was a year of missed opportunities (job offers I turned down), personal losses (my uncle and hubby’s mother passed away), and failed attempts (tried earning new certificates, but something would always come up, I lost interest). It sounds really worse than it was, though. But since overall, it wasn’t enough to really depress me, I think it was just plain okay. As plain as “OK” can be. No great shakes. I was positively shaken several times, but nothing big ever happened.

Writing- or blogging-wise, I had a love-hate relationship with writing/blogging, to be honest. There was a sort of burn out. The fire would start only to dwindle into nothing. But I dare say I did better than in previous years. That’s ’cause my frame of mind was to not force myself because forcing myself would only stress me out until I get disappointed in the end. So I wrote when I could and whenever I was inspired. The funny thing was, even when I didn’t blog, I’d see some spikes in my stats — not that I’m crazy about my stats — and I usually don’t know why. I would look at what brought visitors in, yet there usually was no reason other than they were brought here by their searches. For me, that’s a form of success. After all, the main point of my blogging is to give something that even just a single person can appreciate and leave with.

Two things were new last year:

1. I created my online portfolio, The J. F. E. Portfolio, which you already are aware of, I suppose. It serves a purpose for me. Though I’ve not added anything to it again since October, I’m in no hurry. I have so many to share there if I choose to do so. I won’t run out.

2. I finally decided to go vlogging! Yes, on YouTube, where I am able to show my not-so-serious persona. Time and resources have been delaying my posts. I’m learning to edit the way I want my vids to be edited. I had been used to linear editing, so I’m just learning digital editing using my limited resources. I’ve been using the webcam I acquired last year (I mentioned that). It’s got clear visuals. HOWEVER, trying not to move too much can be a challenge. You’ll see later what I mean. I just recently started using phone camera. It takes great pics, but I think the quality changes once I start recording videos. I might still stick with the webcam for now. For outdoor stuff, though, the phone cam will do.

Again, I’m taking it slow. I want it to be fun for me, an outlet, not a chore. I’m not lacking videos to share at all. I’ve recorded several already, more than enough, that I don’t really need to record anything again for a while. It’s the editing that’s taking longer. I’ve recorded product reviews, informative and how-to vids, ideas, some challenges, and reaction videos (well, just one so far). My best plans that I’ve yet to make are to share the Philippine culture, create Filipino tutorials, and present old stuff that the younger generation don’t know about (like a typewriter, cassettes, and a tape player/recorder).

To be honest, I feel shy sharing myself (my face!), but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I claimed it! If something makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, claim it! RIGHT???

I’m sharing to you this video, which is my favorite so far, and its “sequel”. Bear with me, please:

Alright, time to cut this for now. Hanggang sa muli! (Till then!)

Red Dead Redemption 2 and AI #FeatureFriday

I am not a gamer. Just look around my blog. I have mentioned Plants vs. Zombies, where I shared photos and our fake-movie video, and Final Fantasy because I came as Rinoa Heartilly (I tried) in our office Christmas cosplay. Apart from those, I don’t think I ever mentioned any online/video game except in my fiction. I’ve played some, of course, but basically, I’m very much less than an amateur gamer. The longest I’ve played so far is Soda Crush…Yeah, I know.

red-dead-redemption-2

Brian Thomas, contributing author for Enlightened-Digital.com, reached out to me and introduced RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2. I had no idea about it, but finding out more made me interested. I actually asked a gamer-friend last night if she knows of Red Dead Redemption. She does know and did play RDR 1. I asked how it was playing the game and she said she liked it, wondering if the second’s going to be any good. Well, reading about Version 2, I think that she probably won’t be disappointed.

How about YOU decide? Brian writes…

“This Friday, Rockstar will launch its newest open world game: Red Dead Redemption 2. The game comes after eight years of development and much anticipation.

Red Dead Redemption 2 utilizes the hardware capabilities of the current generation to create a more visually stunning and technically impressive experience. The game’s incorporation of more advanced artificial intelligence powers the characters, animals, and dynamic physics system as they combine to generate organic events in an open world that aims to immerse players. As such, the title could ignite further discussion on the role of AI in video games and how games border on simulations.

Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the outlaw life of a character set twelve years in time before the original as he travels around a massive open world created by Rockstar. The game’s map is the biggest yet to be built by the company. Players will encounter interactable characters as they explore the various parts of the wild, villages, and even a city.

NPCs (non-playable characters) behave differently based on who they are as well as what the user’s character looks like, how he behaves, and his level of hygiene. The ability to engage with these characters through the game’s interaction system creates contextual back and forths that can result in many different ways, generating organic outcomes. The experiences generated by these NPCs are believed to be a step up from existing open world games and a force pushing the industry forward.

The relationship between video games, artificial intelligence, and simulations might still be young, but Red Dead Redemption 2 could represent a step towards progress as well as another spark (along with Westworld) to ignite interest in such subjects.”

Check out this infographic from Brian that emphasizes RDR 2’s major and newly improved game details! Click on the image to find out much more. Following it is the introduction to RDR 2’s gameplay. (WARNING: May contain content inappropriate for children.)

red-dead-redemption-2-game-details

Once you’ve actually tried this game out, let us know your feedback. Comment below, if you want to 🙂

Remembering My First Teachers (A Daughter’s Memoirs) #MondayMemoirs #atozchallenge2017

Note: It was supposed to be a simple Facebook post about Teachers’ Day/Month, but their memories inspired me. The first is the English translation, followed by the original, which I admit is better. I realized it would be great to use it as my “M” word for the A to Z Challenge I was finishing since I’ve had “memoirs” in my head for a long while now.
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“Respect the teachers that awaken minds, for while we owe our lives to our parents, we owe our humanity to our teachers.” (Gregoria de Jesus) — Just my translation. Credits go to Project Saysay

I had teachers for parents. I never knew of anything else they did for work except be educators. Teaching had always been their profession long before I was born. My father only had to stop teaching when he suffered a mild stroke. It affected his brain, causing the short-term memory loss. He became more temperamental, yet he could be jolly and quite the joker as well. He became more expressive. He could be difficult, too, his maturity having somewhat returned to the level of a younger man’s. There came a point when it seemed I gained a teenage brother that I had to often reprimand for being annoying and difficult.

Despite that, my father still knew who was the parent and who was the child, especially when I had to be reminded that I was still the child. His brows would meet and he’d sternly say my name as a warning. That was the father I knew: just one look and my sister and I would sit and shut up.

My mother had to stop teaching much later due to her ailments — she decided to file for an early retirement. She had always been sickly even when I was little. I remember a time that I, being a child, unintentionally hurt her feelings. Having learned a big word, I said that she was just being a hypochondriac. This really hurt her feelings and I immediately felt bad and regretted it. I could not say sorry at all.

From then on, however, I did not look at her ailments as simply nothing. And it made me admire her more for despite everything that she was going through, my mother was still able to work hard and guide her students, including other people around her.

They taught and helped so many.

A lot of my father’s students got along well with him, some became his friends, and many learned how to plant/garden, build stuff (I only remember that the subject was called “Shop”), and be good at sports, particularly in volleyball.

I will never forget the almost-weekly volleyball games at our barangay school every Saturday or Sunday. He would simply dribble the ball on the still-newly cemented road and its sounds would echo. Soon, those who wanted to join would arrive one by one, be they current students or past students, whatever the age.

Meanwhile, my mother had so many children, those she helped not just in learning math (geometry, trigonometry) but in their personal lives. There were those who found the right path again through her after getting lost. We heard of these stories from the various former students who went to pay their last respects during her wake. She would sometimes give money to kids who had no allowance. Other times, she would visit the parents of kids with school problems or who were usually absent. On many Saturdays, too, she chose to be at the school to prepare various things for the days ahead.

They said she was strict, but she was also a joy and a dear friend. I knew that, I saw that, I felt that. And while I felt somewhat jealous of them, I didn’t harbor ill feelings because even then, I knew of how good a person she was.

…My apologies. I felt like sharing these memories with you since this is the time to pay tribute to our teachers. I would like to salute the two people who were my first teachers. They were not perfect, but they were the first to teach me what it means to be human. I have not yet surpassed or achieved what they did, but they will serve as my inspiration. Most of all, they are the reason that I’m alive and why I am here.

This also pays tribute to them whose leaving has been a real loss to those of us that they loved and that love them still.

A SALUTE TO ALL OUR BELOVED TEACHERS!!!

Now, the Facebook post:

Naging guro ang mga magulang ko. Lumaki akong walang ibang alam kundi guro sila. Ipinanganak ako na iyon na ang kanilang hanap-buhay.

Natigil lamang ang aking ama sa pagtuturo noong siya’y magka-mild stroke. Naapektuhan nito ang utak niya, na naging sanhi ng kanyang short-term memory loss. Naging mas madaling uminit ang ulo, pero mas masayahin at maloko rin. Mas ‘expressive’. Mas matigas din ang ulo, sapagka’t mistula siyang bumalik sa panahong siya’y binata o binatilyo. Dumating ang panahon na tila nagkaroon ako ng lalaking kapatid na madalas pagsabihan sa kakulitan at katigasan ng ulo.

Gayunpaman, alam pa rin niya kung sino ang magulang at sino ang anak, lalo na kapag nakakalimutan kong anak pa rin nga pala ako. Titingin siya ng nakakunot-noo at mariing sasabihin ang pangalan ko bilang babala. Ganoon ang dating ama na kilala ko: isang tingin pa lamang ay tumatahimik na ako at ang ate ko.

Ang aking ina naman ay tumigil dahilan sa kanyang mga sakit — nagpasya siyang mag-retiro nang mas maaga. Bata pa ako ay sakitin na siya. Naroong bilang bata, nasaktan ko ang damdamin niya. Minsan, palibhasa ay natuto ng isang salitang malalim, nasambit ko na ‘hypochondriac’ lang siya. Dinamdam niya ito nang labis at pagkatapos na pagkatapos ay pinagsisihan ko ito. Hindi ko nagawang humingi ng tawad.

Nguni’t mula noon, hindi ko na ipinagwalang-bahala ang kanyang mga karamdaman. Kaya’t ako’y napahanga rin niya sapagka’t bagama’t may mga karamdamang dinadala, nagawa pa rin niyang maging masipag at umalalay sa kanyang mga mag-aaral, pati na rin sa ibang tao sa paligid.

Marami silang naturuan at natulungan.

Marami sa mga mag-aaral ng aking ama ang kanyang naging kabiruan, mayroong ibang naging kaibigan, at marami ang natutong magtanim, bumuo ng mga bagay (“Shop” lang ang alam kong tawag sa asignaturang ‘yon noon), at maging magaling sa larangan ng palakasan, partikular na sa volleyball.

Di ko malilimutan ang halos linggo-linggong paglalaro nila ng volleyball sa paaralan ng barangay tuwing Sabado o Linggo. Patatalbugin lamang ang bola sa noo’y bago pa ring sementadong daan at aalingawngaw ang tunog nito. Maya-maya ay magsisidating ang nais makisali, mga kasalukuyang mag-aaral man o dating mag-aaral, anuman ang edad.

Ang aking ina naman ay maraming naging anak, mga natulungan di lang sa pag-aaral ng matematika (geometry, trigonometry) kundi sa personal na buhay. May ilan na natutong bumalik mula sa lumihis na daan. Nalaman namin ito mula sa maraming dumalaw upang makiramay sa kanyang paglisan. Naroong bigyan niya ng perang baon ang mag-aaral niya. Naroong puntahan ang mga magulang ng ibang nagka-suliranin sa pag-aaral o kaya’y madalas lumiban sa klase. Naroong kahit Sabado ay pinili niyang pumasok upang gumawa ng mga dapat ihanda para sa mga susunod na araw.

Sabi nila, kahit siya ay naging istrikto, naging masayahin at kaibigan nila siya. Alam ko iyon, nakita ko, nadama ko. At kahit na may lihim akong tampo dala ng selos, di ko ito itinanim sa sarili ko sapagka’t noon pa man, batid ko ang kanyang kabutihan ng loob.

…Pasensya na. Naisip ko lang ibahagi ang mga ito sapagka’t ngayon ay panahon ng pagpupugay para sa mga guro. Nagpupugay din ako sa dalawang una kong naging mga guro. Bagama’t di perpekto, sila and unang nagturo sa akin ng pagpapakatao. Hindi ko pa nahihigitan o naaabot man lamang ang nagawa nila, pero sila ang magsisilbing inspirasyon ko. Higit sa lahat, sila ang dahilan ng aking pagiging tao at kung bakit ako naririto.

Ibinahagi ko na rin ito bilang pagpupugay sa kanila na ang paglisan ay tunay na kawalan sa aming kanilang minahal at sa kanila’y nagmamahal.

PAGPUPUGAY PARA SA LAHAT NG MAHAL NATING MGA GURO!!!

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Have you thanked your teachers yet?

M is for “Memoirs”

This piece serves as my Letter M post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.