Hey, World, Guess We Hate 2020 #NanoPoblano2020

Yes. It’s me. One year after.

My lone post back in February aside, the last time I posted was in November….LAST YEAR.  So, yes, I missed greeting you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, even a Happy Valentine’s, and all those other greetings. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. But I’m back. Hopefully, for much longer. I know I always say that, but please know that I do mean it every time.

I was supposed to start posting last November 1, but November did not start right. A super typhoon hit the country hard. Then it was followed by several more typhoons. The last one just left a few days ago. They left parts of the country in shambles, so to speak. These are sad, sad days for the Philippines. Correction: It’s been a sad, sad year for us and most parts of the world. It was not only November that did not start right but Year 2020.

In all honesty, I wasn’t doing well long before 2020. There were personal struggles, most of which, I kept to myself. I’m used to dealing with personal struggles so I am able to handle things most times. Still, self-doubt is always something that can eat away your courage. 

Things got worse. My sister struggled with health problems for years. Every year, she’d be hospitalized. Last year, it started again around October. The worse part was she had to start going through dialysis. My brother-in-law and I kept consulting people and trying to decide the best thing to do. It seemed there was no other way but to start dialysis. And this naturally became another worry for me. It is really a longer story, but I don’t know if there is a need to say everything.

The good news is I was able to visit her in Surigao last February (went back home a few days after, which was already in March). The bad news is…she left us in May. She left me to join my parents. My family left ME. I am now orphaned by my whole family…So, I’m sorry, 2020, if I don’t like you. 

Alright. Year 2020 hasn’t been all bad. I did not lose my job, for one. I get to work from home, spend time with my new family, and be a teacher-mom. It’s actually hard work, believe me.

Well, I guess I should live through 2020 and the next year doing what I always do: I’ll wing it. As for you, I won’t ask how you’ve been (unless you want to volunteer information). I am pretty sure it hasn’t been that good to you either. I am also pretty sure you’ll do what I do.

Let’s wing it!

The Sandbox Show #WhatsupWednesday #NanoPoblano2019

Last October was my first YouTube anniversary. Actually, technically, it wasn’t. I’ve had the account for years. But last year, I decided it was time to do what I really wanted with it: I started vlogging.

One of my dreams was to create my own videos someday. But when I was younger, we didn’t have a camera. We probably could not afford one. Even if we could, it would be against my conscience to ask one from my parents who worked hard to raise us. If we had cellphones, they would not have had clear cameras anyway, if they came with cameras at all. Good thing that I had my chance in college where we created various video productions. And then, my first job was perfect — I wrote and produced institutional videos for a tertiary school.

But those were school- and job-related works. I wanted to create stuff for myself. I had always wanted to own a channel once I learned about people broadcasting on their own cable channels. I wanted to be the one to produce and decide what to do on my own show. But I didn’t have my own equipment and the family did not have cable…

Fast-forward to now and voila! Hello, YouTube!  It helps, too, that new technologies have made it easier for us. Now anyone can own a channel. Even a quirky wannabe like me.

Starting Out

My not-so-high-tech equipment does the trick. Of course, there’s still a lot to be desired. My detachable webcam takes vivid shots except if you move a lot, it creates a sort of visual echo. It can be quite tricky considering that I am a very animated person. I use Windows Photo Editor, which is helpful but is not as nice as other editors. In some of my posted videos, it is obvious whenever I jump from one part to another. They were the first ones I recorded.

I used the “Trim” feature to edit at the start. Luckily, I noticed sometime these last months that they have added a “Split” feature. Tried that and it proved to be sooo much better. It makes the work easier and the results less ‘jumpy’. Most times, the transitions are not even obvious. I could get a better (free) editor, but I am not sure if my laptop’s memory can handle it. Will get to that one day.

The jumps in my vids are more obvious when real-time, actual background music is recorded along with my talking. That is because in the first videos I made, I knowingly recorded while playing songs in the background. That was me being stupid, not realizing the consequences of my actions.

I sometimes get copyright claims when I post them (so I do add credits in the Description section). No strikes, though, especially since I am not earning anything from vlogging. YouTube influencer, I have no illusions of becoming. I have explained in one of my posts (“6 Reasons A Vlogger is Not Popular“). Unless the universe tells me otherwise. Until then…Anyway, I decided to ditch the real-time background music once I realized my problem. If you do encounter a newly posted vid that still noticeably jumps because of the music, that means the raw copy just recently got edited.

Honestly, in a span of one year, I have only posted eight videos on my channel. Life happens, in a good way or a bad way. Serious editing eats time. But since I am in no hurry to get famous, I figured I’d do things on my own time. If you’ve been watching vloggers long enough, you’ll know a lot of them get burnout trying to keep up with the demands of vlogging. So, no. I have enough pressures already at work and in my personal life, I’m not about to add more.

Yes, there are only eight posted videos. Still, there’s enough where they came from. I have lots of recorded copies to last me till next year, plus there’ll be new ones I have yet to make.  My upcoming New Year’s Resolution, however, does include being a more active YouTuber. Also, I’m putting (1) “Don’t buckle”, (2) “Pronounce words correctly”, (3) “Avoid grammatical errors”, and (3) “Don’t be conscious of the camera” on the list.

The Sandbox Show

The Sandbox Show is produced by The Sandbox Prodxns, a “self-owned one-woman company” that I created myself years ago (when I didn’t exactly know what to do with it). My account name has “akasands” in it, which actually means A.K.A Sands. Why it is there and what that means, I will reserve for another time. Unless you want to watch my long, boring, and awkward intro video. It’s explained there somewhere. At least, I added bloopers after, ha!

What can I say? I’m getting better at it. And I do like to play around with the editing to get my best results. I’m a visual person. I try to make my videos as entertaining as I can. Maybe I have only eight posts yet you can betcha I worked hard on every one of them. Practice makes almost-perfect.

Anyway, I have shared some videos in the past on this blog. Below are the two most recent ones I posted on YT, if you can call them recent:

Yakult vs Delight vs Go Long Probiotic Drinks It’s one of those reviews that I call “comparative mukbang”.

Next,…

The Arya Stark Gender Debate It’s the first and, so far, only Game of Thrones-related video I’ve posted. There are more to come. Here, I discuss an issue that people felt compelled to debate on even in this day and age. Disclaimer: I did say “It does not matter” whether Arya Stark was or was not.

This is my channel, by the way: THE SANDBOX SHOW.

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?

“PAGPAPATAWAD” (FORGIVENESS)

Since I posted my entry for a local writing competition (poems category) more than two years ago, “Tula ng Puso: Pananampalataya, Pag-ibig, Pag-asa” (Poems of the Heart: Faith, Love, Hope) has been one of my most-read posts. I know it has nothing to do with any writing talent I have. They’re most probably just either Googling for samples to get writing ideas, or looking for love poems for Valentine’s.

What most people don’t know is that two of those poems were very personal. Non-Filipinos didn’t even understand, for sure. The most personal was the third and this month, especially today, it holds a very special meaning in my heart. Every time March comes, I grieve twice.

It’s not the best poem out there, but it is my most heart-felt. I wasn’t just writing to win a contest (winning at that point seemed like wishful-thinking). I was trying to convey my grief and ask forgiveness, maybe even for understanding.

This is it below, with translations. I hope nothing is lost in translation (I tried my best, but don’t consider it the official English version).

PAGPAPATAWAD (FORGIVENESS)

 

Hindi ko alam.

(I do not know.)

 

Paano nga ba?

(Please tell me, how?)

paano magpatawad?

(how to forgive?)

paano magpatawad sa sarili

(how to forgive oneself)

sa pagkabigo bilang isang ina?

(for failing as a mother?)

 

Paano mawawaglit ang sakit na narito

(How can I lose this pain)

kung sa bawa’t araw, ang bawa’t araw

(if each and every day)

ay naglalaman ng iyong alaala, mahal ko?

(has memories of you, my love?)

kung ang bawa’t tibok ng puso ko

(if every beat of my heart)

ay nagsasabing sa iyo’y tuluyang naglaho?

(reminds that yours beat no more?)

 

Paano? (How?)

kung sa bawa’t “Kumusta?” ay “Mabuti” ang tugon ko

(if for each How-are-you, I say “I’m fine”)

gayong ang bawa’t tugon ay may halong kirot?

(yet each reply carries the pain with it?)

Sinungaling…

(Liar…)

 

Paano?

(How?)

 

…Siguro, may mga bagay na sadyang di natin masasagot.

(…Perhaps, there really are questions that will remain unanswered.)

 

Hindi ko alam.

(I do not know.)

Hindi lamang sa ngayon.

(Not for now)

 

Darating din ang araw na masasagot ko kung paano.

(Time will come that I will finally learn “How?”)

 

Umaasa pa rin ako.

(Yet I keep hoping.)

Isang araw ay babalik ka sa piling ko.

(Someday, you’ll come back to me.)

Hindi man ngayon. Maghihintay ako.

(Perhaps not for now. But I patiently wait.)

 

Hanggang mayakap kita, mahalikan kita, at masabing

(Until I can hold you in my arms, give you kisses, and say)

 

“Pinapatawad ko na ako.”

(“I now forgive Me.”)

 

Karapatang-Ari © J.Gi Federizo

Sinulat: Nobyembre 10, 2016

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!)

Memories of The Big C #MondayMemoirs

There was a time that I worked for an actual print publication. It was a health-and-lifestyle magazine though it was far from the ordinary. Ours was centered on cancer, its survivors, and how to overcome, fight and win against it. They were, for me, very interesting times.

Almost two weeks ago, I shared on my folio blog my experiences working for the mag and some of the insights that I gathered along the way.

So for today, since I am guessing you missed them, I am sharing my stories to you guys as well. Just click on the image and you’ll be good to go 🙂

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.
************************************************************

Image may contain: one or more people and text

“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.