Sunday, November 30, 2003

Dear CAT 2

Dear Mouse, This is the continuation of the DEAR CAT....their stories reassure readers that they can muster strength sufficient enough to ward off self-doubt, loss, grief and hopelessness. The stories are just waiting to be told. Here are a few of them. Mr. Principal-continuation It was during this time when he was very nice with our section-a group of young people with almost all had honors, from with honors to valedictorian , that I lost my father. My mom talked to me about quitting school. I had one-year scholarship for my previous excellent academic achievement. It was unselfish for me not to heed my mom while my other older siblings took jobs while enrolled in the evening classes. My mom was pregnant when my dad died so she was expecting our youngest a few months after my father’s death. She wanted me to help her take care of the younger ones. At six thirty in the morning, my shoes were pounding the pavement leading to his office. Except for the janitor and a few students, the place was completely empty of the noisy students that occupy that corridor during school hours. He ushered me in. Even his secretary was not there yet. He was reading a book. Between stutters, I told him that I was there to request for the deferment of my scholarship until I come back to school perhaps next school year. He knew me personally, not only as one of the faces in his favorite class but as a young lady who was a regular visitor of his wife. When my father was hospitalized, I was ashamed to ask money from my mother for my school projects in Homemakers or Home Economics. The principal’ wife was our teacher. She was very vain about her appearance that she got a lot of beautiful dresses for her wardrobe. Most of them were delicately embroidered by herself. My first embroidery project impressed her that she commissioned me to do the design and embroidery work for her dress. She would provide me the materials in exchange of the grade that was always perfect. There was no expression from his face after I delivered my short piece that I painstakingly mentally composed and changed over and over on my way to school. There was no litany of discouraging me to quit schooling. Instead, the Principal handed me a piece of paper . He knew that my dad succumbed to massive brain hemorrhage after suffering a stroke at a very young age. He did not want me to leave school. The name of the lady who was the President of the local chapter of Inner Wheel Club was written in the piece of paper with a short note from the principal that was practically an endorsement. I did not know the place so I asked my friend to come with me. We found the address. It was at the back of a restaurant-cum-beerhouse. To gain entry to the house, either we take the short cut by using the entrance from the restaurant or we use the narrow alley at the side of the dining establishment. There were burly looking men inside. They asked us who we wanted to see. Along came a man who made the comment that we did not understand at all what he meant.. “Ang babata naman niyang aplikante mo? –to which a much older man responded—they were looking for Ma’am ,you moron. The principal agreed to be my foster parent who was going to take care of the stipend coming from the Association. He was to give me my allowance every week and buy the school supplies and books I needed. The tuition fee was taken cared of by the university. My mom did not show her pleasure for my foster parent program. But she was proud to tell our neighbors that I was her daughter who was always resourceful and independent-minded, yet she thought that I was arrogant and stubborn. The principal was always pleased when he saw my name in the honor roll. He would also show his displeasure when my grades suffered because of too much extracurricular activities by asking me to see him. He did not say it or he must have said it that I was the daughter that he never had. He got only one child, a young man who was so spoiled that he was a problem in school. I was in fourth year when the inevitable thing happened. My family would want to go back to our province. I said no to my mom. I asked her to allow me to finish high school. I can take a dorm even for one year. The principal did not like the plan. He even promised to take care of my College education.My foster parent, the lady president would want to adopt me and bring me to Hawaii. She was married to an American and she had no daughter. But my mom would not want to hear of it. I know she got reasons of her own. I would be unselfish if I would just think about myself. The principal did not talk to me until I left. When I came back, he was no longer the Principal. He was no longer there. He was already dead.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Dear CAT

Dear Mouse, You read it right. This post and the succeeding posts will not be addressed to you. The long vacation due to holidays gave me ample time to organize short stories about people. Much as I want to participate in public forum, I find some people, turn-offs by their no-brainer rationalization of their political ideals. I rather remember the stories from people I met, from people whose lives give inspiration. Their stories reassure readers that they can muster strength sufficient enough to ward off self-doubt, loss, grief and hopelessness. The stories are just waiting to be told. Here are a few of them. Dear CAT, I lost my father at an early age. There was a silent agreement in the family that no matter what, we will stick to each other thru thick and thin. As I went thru my life passage, from adolescent thru adulthood, I saw life unfolded thru the eyes of people I met. Mr.Principal He was always in the office as early as six- o -clock everyday despite the fact that the flag raising ceremony that he attended without fail for more than 20 years was being held once a week only. His house was only a stone's-throw away from the back gate of the university. He would tell us during make up classes that he conducted when one of our teachers called in sick that most of the time he did not want to go home so he slept in his car. He would flash a smile whenever we chorused the question—WHY SIR ? It was just that he loved his car more than his wife. To us it was just a jest, until we learned from the more senior members of the high school community that his wife was not his fiancé. According to rumor, it was a shot- gun wedding with the current wife. Her love was also a teacher in the university and a roomie in their big house. She was among the teachers from other provinces who rented a room to stay during weekdays. Young as we were, we were suckers for life secrets of school "celebrities". So we probed. It was not easy for us to identify who among the teachers was the ‘ex girl friend’. Using the process of elimination, she was the only teacher who belonged to the age bracket of the principal and his wife. She was still single and was always wearing pink. As to what that color pink to do with her life, we really did not know. Maybe it was a sign for him that she was still in love or her love never died. The wife was always wearing the shades of blue and green. Green of jealousy and blue for blues? There were moments when we can read the mind of the Principal, from his story, from his sad life and from his closeness to us young people who he wanted to leave a message that we cannot understand. Was it a love story that never came into happy ending or was it a lesson that success was not everything. There was also the so-called happiness from being able to share it with a loved one. But that was not my story at all at that time. To be continued-

Friday, November 28, 2003

A day after Thanksgiving

Dear Mouse, I woke up early today. NO, it is not because I was going to join the early birds who queued outside the malls for the After Thanksgiving Sale. I promised the Old Lady that I am going to visit her. Her family visited her yesterday and I do not want her to miss that special day with her loved ones. The family did not know that I am visiting and calling her. I prefer to be there when nobody is around so we enjoyed each other's company by simply laughing and telling stories. On my way home, I got by Macy's. It seems it is enjoying brisk business---what with lots of people coming out with the plastic transparent bag with its colorful logo. I did not buy anything. I made my shopping a month ago for people in the Philippines and I guessed I will have only to buy a couple of dozens of gifts for people that include six babies. My office is in the downtown area and it is so easy to get an item or two before going home every day. The CAT

Thursday, November 27, 2003


Dear Mouse, Thanksgiving is equivalent to Christmas for Americans. Sons, daughters, stepdaughters, stepsons and other family members come home to celebrate this holiday. I roasted a turkey, mousey--13 pounder. My friend asked me if I am expecting friends. Nahh- Just the two of us, my student and me. The reason for the turkey roasting is to show her how to burn a finger...ermmmm how to roast a turkey...This is her first thanksgiving in the USA. I told her that she can eat turkey for the next 12 months. In fact, I still have ???some leftovers last year in my freezer. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL and to you mouse. You can have the breast. The CA t

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Tell me mouse

Dear Mouse, When Fernando Poe ended his 'pahili-hili bago kiyere (did I get it right)and announced his dawn decision to run as a presidential candidate, many people expressed their disgust; businessmen panicked; Moody threatened the country to downgrade its rating;the prophets of doom sighed that at last the end has come to the country. Ping Lacson is undeniably mad; Angara was declared a dictator and Tito Sotto fantasized himself to be a kingmaker. GMA looked pleased that the opposition's dessert for the day is banana split Now, tell me mouse, why this Cat is positive that the DA KING will not be king? Because, time and again, the Filipinos have not allowed bad things to happen as long as it is within their control. If the opposition can read the temperament of the Filipino people for the last few months, then they should realize that the people would not like to have anything to do with a group whose agenda is to destabilize or overthrow the goverment regardless whether it is legitimate or not. The people have grown wiser not to believe politically motivated propaganda that rides on legitimate issues carried out not with the end objective for its resolution but more on discrediting the political opponents. The CAT

Monday, November 24, 2003

Celebrity parents?????

Dear Mouse, The saying that ang santol ay hindi namumunga ng mabolo (unless it is grafted ? :) perhaps) aptly fit the downside of having celebrity parents. The official statement of the family regarding the death of the son of Miriam Santiago pointed to despondency over failing subjects as the reason of suicide. It is unthinkable that a son of a Constitutional law expert will flunk the subject where his mother excelled. Was it the failure to meet the parent's standard or the high expectations from the law school communities that drove the poor law student to the edge of hopelesness. Sometimes, the parents are not aware of the children's dilemma of choosing what they would like to become especially if the choice is not what the parents suggest or dictate. In the process, the struggle continues as the children wanted to prove that they carry on the legacy in the family. Despite the support of Priscilla, Liza Presley failed dismally to duplicate her father's legendary success in music world; Sonny and Cher's only daughter's hug to limelight was the news about her bout of depression and her coming out as lesbian. John Lennon's only son did not even enjoy a fraction of one per cent of the cultish fan adoration of his late father. John F. Kennedy Jr. may be famous as a hunk and possessed his father's charms but he was not considered as good political icon material. Sometimes, it is the children who cannot constantly live under the shadow of the famous parents and fail but what about if it is the parents who cannot bear to be humiliated by their children's poor performance in the field where they became legends ? The CAT

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Pasko na Sinta ko

Dear Mouse, It is a month and three days before Christmas. I wonder how it is in the malls in Metro manila. I can imagine the display of lights and decors. Every mall tries to outdo one another every year. In my journey log, I mentioned about Manila COD's Christmas display that had been a part of the tradition of celebrating Christmas for more than forty years. Now that the department store is closed, would there still be a display? COD Christmas legacy to continue in Greenhills Cecille S. Visto BusinessWorld 11/19/2003 COD Department Store may have closed shop but its colorful Christmas displays will continue to delight holiday shoppers. But unlike in the last 45 years, the yuletide extravaganza will not be staged on the ledge of the COD’s Cubao store. Instead, the exhibition will be seen from the rooftop of Greenhills Shopping Center’s entryway, its new home beginning this year. Ortigas & Co. chief operations officer Rex Drilon III said the COD Christmas display, a well-loved Filipino tradition, will be shown in Greenhills not only this year but every Christmas season thereafter. "Greenhills is its new home. The Rosario family, who owns the concept, partnered with us. They want to continue with the tradition even as they retire from the department store business. Many Filipinos look forward to the COD Christmas displays all these years," said Mr. Drilon. The display was unveiled last night, with a group of street children as special guests. The 15-minute show carried "The Christmas Story" theme with the Holy Family taking center stage. The mechanical Three Kings, angels and shepherds also livened the show. The program was presented in a 50-meter wide and 10-meter deep tableau. Ortigas & Co. spent some PhP6 million putting up the display, which took some five months to conceptualize and set up. Mr. Drilon said the Rosarios initially hesitated to allow Greenhills to replicate the COD show. It normally took the Rosarios six months to plan for the Christmas display. "But when we saw the onlookers were in awe, we knew that our efforts were well worth it We knew that we were correct in our decision not to let a very nice tradition die. We have to remind people the true meaning of Christmas," he said. The show will run hourly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily until early January. Aside from the traditional Christmas stories, the show carry various themes over the years. Among the most memorable are the fiesta/palo sebo extravaganza and Santa Claus, his reindeer and elves. link via unlawyer.

Room for rent part 2

Dear Mouse, When the fiancee arrived from the Philippines, they decided to move to her sister's apartment after the wedding. Just a simple wedding that I arranged in the city hall with her mother and a friend as a witness and the two month-old baby as the guest. Ginawa pa akong ninang not because she wanted to but due to exigency. The apartment was a one bedroom unit. The sister was moving in to her boyfriend's digs while her roommate had nowhere to go. The roommate took the room in my house. She was an old lady in her middle 50's but was young at heart. She was a widow who was constantly in love. Sometimes she would not come home. She would regale me with her bleep bleep bleep adventure. I felt so old and old fashioned compared to her. One night, I woke up thisty. I groped in the darkness before I can get to the switch. Where was the nightlite ? Eeeekkkkk, a mouse, I mean a guy, I mean an Indian guy in the receiving room. At first, I thought he was an oversized genie or an Eastern version of Santa Claus. He was the taxi driver that always brought her home from her nocturnal escapades. My reminder to her fell on deaf ears. She can not just let everybody in especially if he is a stranger --to me....I felt, I was raising a rebellious daughter. Mahirap pala pag matanda ang gumagarutay. So much for the stress. She had to go. I can be alone. Who's afraid to be alone? Not I said the CAT. Her parting words before she left, Go get yourself a boyfriend, girl. Thanks, but I am looking for a soul mate. The CAT

Friday, November 21, 2003

Room for rent

Dear Mouse, For the last few days, I've been pretty much busy, interviewing prospective tenant for a room in my place. The former tenant is gone after leaving horrendous trash in a pretty much neglected place. How in the world did he survive in that room, unvacuumed carpets, spiderman lurking in the cobwebs at the corner of the room and two slippers orphaned by their other pair under the bed. It took me two bottles of Tylex to make the walls white again. My arms and my back still hurt. I can say I am in excruciating that I can hardly move a msucle without saying aaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa. Applicant: Can we come over and see the place ? (over the Phone) Me: Who's we? I thought you are single ? Applicant: My husband. Didn't XXX tell you ? Me: No, anyway, you are already parked outside, so you may as well come and see. (she's calling from a cellphone). The guy with him looks like a bouncer. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no way, no way. The lady is sweet. I can sense that she is a good person (here I am again, didn't I tell that to myself about the mother of my latest tenant). Me: So why are you moving? Applicant: We got two sets of families, his and mine and we would like to have our own place. Me: Why not take a bigger apartment for the two of you. (nakialam pa). Applicant: We cannot afford to get another apartment because we are paying for one for our siblings. (thought baloon...uh uh) Next. My first tenant was single and is now married with two kids. Did'nt I mention it before? My problem with her was her previous boyfriend who turned into a potato everytime he sees my couch. (Uunahan pa ako). Meron naman silang sariling couch. Gusto lang yong couch ko kasi sa mga colorful and soft throw pillows strewn all over. Akala niya for the hugging and for pillows talaga yon. OYYYY dekorasyon lang yon noh.(Nanny Fine, I am fine).Oh there was also her cousin who stayed with us for six months. ngeeek. She was a tenant's cousin from hell. She would offer to cook for her cousin and would leave the mess in the kitchen for us to clean. grrrrr. Then my US citizen tenant took a vacation in the Philippines. After a few months, she started showing signs of a woman infanticipating. Buntis ang lokah. So I helped her petitioned the guy so that she will not join the ranks of the unmarried mothers. She became like a sister to me but I cannot be a surrogate mother for her son. She delivered a baby when the father was still in the Philippines. I know nothing about caring of babies. ah ah ah baka mabali ang mga buto pag kinarga ko. ah ah ah ah. Then one night, she left him with me. When he started crying, pinandilatan ko siya as if...he stopped crying para ba siyang nakakaintindi sa message ng mata ko. Don't mess up with me or.... Pag dating ng mother, saka nagpalahaw ng iyak para bang. Donot leave me again. She is a witch. The CAT

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Joe Burgos

Dear Mouse, I heard about him from his brother-in-law. I did not meet the "legend" described by Larry Sipin to have fought the dictator eyeball-to-eyeball when all of media cowered or, at best, offered token resistance. He died a hero. A real hero. Soliven, the cousin has so much respect and adulation for the fallen Farmer Journalist. Lest, the column would not be accessible in the future, let me reproduce an excerpt. Farewell, Cousin Joe. That’s what I’d like to say to Jose G. Burgos Jr. today now that he’s winged his way to heaven, a newspaperman-farmer (a strange but edifying combination) gone home in the gloaming. There will be a lot of words said about Joe’s bravery, his defiance of the Dictator Marcos, in the days to come. I would like to add that he was a "happy warrior", smiling even in the throes of adversity or the humiliation of setback. We were happy in the International Press Institute – during our 50th Anniversary celebration in Boston in the year 2000 – to award Joe Burgos a golden trophy as one of the "50 Press Freedom Heroes of the Century". Truly, he deserved this recognition given by an international board of judges, and his being in the forefront of the heroes’ list made our country proud. When a pathetic few stood up to the martial law despot and his military goons and police torturers, Joe was in the front ranks of those freedom fighters. While others cowered in fear, or begged for crumbs from the tyrant’s overflowing table of looted riches, Burgos continued to fight the good fight, with publications like We FORUM and later Ang Pahayagang Malaya (The Free Newspaper). When this writer was released from Fort Bonifacio prison, nobody would dare employ me and almost all former "friends" would avoid me, in order not to incur the ire of the regime. It’s difficult to imagine such a scenario of fear, shame, and persecution today, especially with the Marcos clan not only back in the political swim, sunnily smiling, and cavorting with the best society (and perhaps Imee Marcos, now a congresswoman, even headed next year for the Senate). But in those days, when the Dictator and Superma’am Imeldific frowned on you, and you were a condemned "un-person" from the Gulag, you were shunned like a leper. Somehow, by a feat of legerdemain, Joe got the National Press Club to honor me – of all things – with the Pammadayaw Award as an Ilocano writer! Talk about moxie and chutzpah. Good-bye Mr. Burgos. The CAT

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Sister Christine Tan

Dear Mouse, It is already a more than a month when she died and I did not know. She is Sister Christine Tan, the local version of Mother Teresa. Well not so many people knew that she was a sister of Bienvenido Tan, the former Ambassador; that she belonged to a well-to-do-family and was one time a member of the board of the PCSO until she was removed by the then President Estrada due to her criticism for the First Family's use of the funds intended for the indigent families. While other people would expect a head of a religious congregation to be serving God in a cloistered , spic and span convent, Sister Christine, practised her ministry in the depressed area in Leveriza, Malate. "It was with the poor that I felt comfortable. In the dirt and foul language, with drunken men, in shattering noise where no one seemed to sleep, it was here that God was at ease. It was here that I found Jesus." Known for her militancy and vigilance, she opposed the totalitarian rule of the dictator in the 1970's. She became a member of the Constitutional Commision in 1998. She fought for the human rights not only of women but also of men and children. Despite her achievements in human services, she still considered herself as nothing but a simple person with simple joys for herself that includes watching good movies and playing with her ward, the poor children. A very meaningful quotation reflects her attitude in life. "They say that we are all drops of water in an ocean, totally lost in its expanse and depths. But some drops sparkle". the CAT

Friday, November 14, 2003

thank you

Dear Mouse, Kahapon, ang agila ay natutong magsabi ng salamat kahit sa maliit lang na papel na ibinigay ng isang kasama. Nang-iinis ba siya o may leksiyon siyang natutuhan. The CAT

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Dear Mouse, I just copied this from aol. Enough said. The Seven Deadly Friends Sometimes our closest relationships can be the most toxic. Are yours? She's great with your kids but a terrible listener. She's hilarious, but you wouldn't trust her with your secrets. She's the first one to call on your birthday but the last person you'd call in a crisis. We're stuck with our families, warts and all. But we can choose our friends. Why choose someone who makes life harder? Here are seven of the classic prototypes of toxicity — the hidden good, the bad, and the ugly — and how to handle each one. 1. THE DRAINER She is rarely in a good mood and always has a problem. Drainers always need help, seldom offer any, and never really want to feel better. If you greet her with "Hey, something really exciting happened to me last week!" she answers, "Must be nice. My week was absolutely awful." How to Detox: Some Drainers aren't looking for sympathy; they believe the world is a hard place. If you tell her, "Yes, life sucks, but wallowing doesn't help anyone," she might realize you're more than just a sponge for her woes. 2. THE ZAPPER They love to bring you down with a single zinger. For example, you're trying on jeans and say, "Wow! I never thought I'd fit into a size 6!" Your friend responds, "Everyone knows that the sizes here run big." You've been zapped. Zappers are masters of the deflating yet seemingly inarguable statement. Call them on it and they'll just say, "I didn't mean it. Don't be so sensitive." How to Detox: Every time a Zapper hurls something your way, say, "Well, now I don't have to feel good about that anymore, do I?" She might stop zapping sooner than you'd expect. If that doesn't work, avoid spending time alone with her or talking about anything private or personal. Or just break up. Some Zappers will never change, and they're too hurtful to keep around if they don't. 3. THE ALARMIST If a Drainer is a slow bleed, an Alarmist gives you whiplash. "I have a problem," she's always saying. "What are you going to do about it?" Now, she may know that you're panicked because your unemployment's running out or that a large family of mice has made its home under your kitchen sink. But hers is a real emergency. She needs to borrow money or your best suit. And she'll be by in five minutes. How to Detox: Lynn, 27, an account manager for a national food company, gave her friend Michele a test: She told Michele she was overloaded with work and asked her not to call at the office, during dinner, after 9 P.M., or on weekends. Lynn soon found out that Michele had found someone else to be her 911 operator. To an Alarmist, a friend is a rescue unit, and when you cease to play this role, there is no further purpose in knowing you. 4. THE NARCISSIST A Narcissist means no harm. She simply thinks the world revolves around her. "When I'm around my sister-in-law, I can't get a word in edgewise," says Karen, 35, a graphic designer. A Narcissist uses chatter to prove she's likable; it doesn't occur to her to accomplish that by listening. Unending talk is a sign of discomfort — a way to control a situation and create a wall so others can't see you. How to Detox: Try giving a Narcissist what she needs and maybe she'll feel sufficiently safe to slow down. Tell her how great she looks and that everyone at work thinks she gave a brilliant presentation last week. This might distract her long enough so that she can discover the joys of listening. 5. THE GOSSIP HOUND Most of us feel one of two things around chronic gossipers: guilt or suspicion. A Gossip Hound can make you laugh and feel as if you're sharing something intimate. But then you start to notice that in the middle of this intimacy you're encouraged to share some private information about yourself. How to Detox: Be uninterested in the secondhand stories of others. The innocent gossip will get the message and may start opting for discretion. The dirt-disher be completely dismayed and will start gossiping about what a rigid, humorless goody-goody you turned out to be. Consider it a badge of honor. 6. THE TEASER This friend is a performer, and often a witty and entertaining one. The only problem is that her primary focus is to make fun of and undermine others, usually in front of an audience. "I was trying to lose weight," says Caroline, a 31-year-old assistant at an ad agency, "so at a dinner with a bunch of friends, I passed on dessert. But Melissa secretly ordered a huge sundae for me and spent the rest of the meal trying to get me to eat it. When I got annoyed, Melissa said she was only joking and that I was being a bad sport." How to Detox: A Teaser tries to undermine your efforts to do something for yourself by trying to make you self-conscious. Not a little of this behavior comes from envy. Melissa might have wanted to shed a few pounds herself and hated watching Caroline display the willpower she lacked. Don't bother being sarcastic; you can't tease a Teaser. Instead, you might say, "You're lucky — you don't have to watch your weight." The Teaser will have no reason to retaliate and will have to defend herself from blushing instead. 7. THE MAN-KILLER You're having dinner with a friend. She's charming, she's a great listener, and she compliments your hair. Enter a man — your boss, your brother, your husband, the waiter — and her eyelashes grow an inch, her giggle fills the room, and you disappear. And after the man has left (and you reappear), she pretends it never happened. The problem isn't only the awkward feeling you get; it's also that her behavior renders you insignificant. How to Detox: "I had a lot of issues with my friend Emily and the men in my life," says Jolene, a writer. I advised Jolene to call Emily in advance of an upcoming party and say, "Emily, I'm bringing a new guy, and I can always tell how worthy a man is by how he reacts to your flirting. So don't forget to do it tonight, OK?" Emily never did it again. HEAVE-HO HOW-TO It's time to cut your losses and end a toxic friendship when the relationship brings you more stress than joy, and she (or he) makes you feel worse about yourself, not better. These are the best ways to break things off: Tell Her to Go Away It's the simplest, most direct route. Be as firm and dignified as possible. If you feel the need to offer an explanation, there are two ways to go: Nice and Not Nice. Nice sounds something like "I don't hate you or anything. I just feel like we don't see things the same way anymore." Or maybe even "We've been kind of drifting apart for some time. Don't you think?" For the Not Nice version, use your imagination, or list all the many times she has wronged you, annoyed you, or stressed you out. The Holly "Go Lightly" Method This is neither harsh nor direct. It's the same method that some women use to cut down on coffee or chocolate: weaning. Try gradually cutting your interactions with her until you're down to an occasinal e-mail. If she asks you what you're doing Friday night, tell her you're busy, without giving specifics. Continue to be vague. Eventually, she should get the hint and stop bugging you. But since she'll be the one ending contact, you won't feel embarrassed when you see her at the mall. Play Possum Basically, lie. If she wants to know why you can't make plans the way you used to, put on your best forlorn, French-film face and say, "I really can't talk about it right now. I just need some time." Allude to, but don't elaborate on, problems with money, your marriage — whatever works. She'll probably leave you alone, if for no other reason than that you've become an enigmatic bore. Fall Off the Face of the Earth It's worked for single men for centuries. Why can't it work for you? The CAT

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Dear Mouse, Dumating na ang aking kasama sa opisina. Marami pa rin akong gawa. Humirit siya nang makita niyang may mali sa ginagawa niya. Naghanap na naman siya ng butas para ako ang masisi. Sinagot ko siya. Wala mang lang akong narinig na salamat, pagkatapos kung tapusin lahat ang trabaho niya. Hindi ko responsibilidad ang kaniyang iniwan na hindi niya binilin. Nagwawala siyang nagsumbong sa amo. Parang batang dinala ang amo namin para ako pagalitan. Sisinghap singhap pa siya na tila ba hindi sya makahinga. Gusto kong hingin ang tropeo kay Nora Aunor para ihampas sa kaniya para sa Best Acting. Ang pinakamataas ay naniwala sa kaniya. Ang sabi ko lang, in a polite society, when one takes over your responsibility because you take a holiday, it is a must that you say thank you instead of scolding a subordinate for a responsibility that was not even hers. Besides, dapat ibinilin niya sa akin yon. at kung tutuusin dapat iniwan niya sa pinakamataas namin yon. Wala akong otorasyon para sa mga kasamang tansaksiyon na iyon na tungkol sa kaperahan. Ang aking abilidad na gawin ang trabaho niya ang dahilan ng kaniyang palagiang paglalakbay. Dapat niyang malaman na ang mga bagay na hindi pinahahawakan sa akin ay hindi niya puwedeng ihampas sa akin na tila ito ay responsiblidad ko rin. Tssk tssk, marami rito ang mga may puwesto na walang edukasyon. Edukasyon ang gumagawa ng kaibahan sa tao. Maging matagumpay man kung ang bunganga ay napakarumi, lumalabas pa rin ang kawalang pinag-aralan. Salamat sa pag pakinig mousey. Kung hindi mo ako naunawaan dahil ito ay Tagalog, pahinog ka. Biro lang The CAT

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Boy from hell and the Shop lifter

Dear Mouse, Last Saturday, my married friend with the boy- from- hell asked me to give her company to the mall. The two children were too much for her to handle and the husband was too lazy to keep eye on them while she was out. My friend was a few items short to seal her balikbayan boxes that was due for pick-up on Monday. My "student" was free, so we brought her along. She was unimpressed by the mall she saw. Malls in the Philippines are more beautiful, so she said. We had to go to MC Donald for our lunch. I like BK more but the boy collects the toys that go with happy meal. Chicken nuggets and French fries are not his favorites but he just wants the toy. Using simple math, I can say that it is more expensive than the toy bought from a toy store. That day and that outlet was giving away a plastic cow toy with movable head. He did not like it. HE played with his food and he harrassed a little girl seated across his table. I can sense that the mother of the little girl had already counted up to 1,000 in order to keep her cool. Before she run out of numbers to count, we decided to put the left overs in the papers bag and left hastily. Window shopping, browse, stroll, sit, walk and eat again. The boy wanted to go to the restroom. Oh great... i asked them to go while I looked for Christmas lights. One hour and they were not back. Wow, they must have been sidetracked in the TOYS-FOR-US. The boy was wearing a new pair of pants. The thought that crossed my mind was that he wanted the pants very badly that he could not wait home to try them on. In-between snickers and swears, the mother told me that the boy did the most embarrassing umber 2 (is that number 2) on the floor of the restroom that she had to clean and change him too. It was a relief that the "student" went with them. Arghhh, what next? TIme to rest our tired feet and feed our grumbling stomachs. The pretzels in caramel dip looked temptingly delicious. Instead of buying the soda in the plastic cup, we bought Coke in resealable bottles. There was not better a place to have a break than in the benches, sofas and square tables (that can double as seats too) strewn in the middle of the mall. So with a soda in one hand and a piece of pretzel in another and shopping bag teeming with towels, Christmas decors and etc. we managed to get us seats in the "rest area". Unmindful of what was going on around her, the baby slept in the stroller while the boy positioned himself on that big low lying table where two children were amiably sharing pop corn.I shuddered what to think next but before I could open my soda, he intentionally dropped his---it popped out due to pressure and wet us all-- including the two kids. Again, the mother had to wipe and clean him and apologized profusely to the parents of the two children. We got to go home. I was wet all over and I saw the rain started falling heavily outside too. We got to come by another store in order to get us to the area where we parked the car. Shees, we did not have umbrella and the baby did not want to part with the mother. The little boy was already eyeing the computer that was provided for those interested to apply for a job. The plastic shopping bag was cool. We put the baby inside the bag, rolled the plastic up to her breast and she was ready to go out in the rain. In the meantime, we waited for her to get the car to pick us up at one of the entrances of the store. The little boy was busy pounding on the keyboard of the computer that said "application in Espanol". I told him, he's hired so if we please move near the entrance so we can see the mother in the car. Suddenly, there was a commotion. The assets protection staff (house detectives for you) were escorting a screaming lady inside the room where they have all those videos for the surveillance cameras. It turned out that between those toilet papers, paper towels and napkins were unpaid expensive items shoplifted by the lady. It seems that the humungous pack of toilet paper is able to cover the items with security sensors-allowing a shoplifter to bring out the items without having to undergo search, the moment the sensors go wild. The store has also devised a way by which the customers cannot bring the shopping cart outside the store. So the woman will have a mugshot. Wanted for shoplifting. Strike one ? The cellphone rung. Time for us to go out and run to the car while covering our head with the plastic bag. What a wild shopping day!!!!! The CAT

Saturday, November 08, 2003

BRRR-Grrr Aray

Dear Mouse, You know it’s been awhile since i’ve blogged. I am sitting here in my desk near a window that is bursting with colors from the morning sun. It is cold yeaa but I rather bundle myself wih the thick blankets than turn the heater on. My body is sore. Even my breathing hurts. For the last few days before and after the end of the month, I was wearing two hats. How I wish, I was just a CAT in the HAT. Our manager took a holiday in Hawaii and I have to organize the reports that should be out a day or two after the month closes. We need the feedback, comments, corrections within a week in order to come up with a package for the board meeting after the Veterans Day. I did the preparation and double checked my work at the same time. Oh and I am even hard to myself when it comes to errors. You would not like to hear me s.... when I find one. The hot shower in the evenings did not ease up the sore muscles. On top of it, I was randomly weepy for the lone responsibility lodged on me to make someone attain her dream. This is a deja vu. I did this not too long ago. It is not supposed to be my responsibility alone. I am wondering if I need to come to terms with me as somebody who needed the help to start anew in the foreign land, will I get the same support? The answer in the afterthought is me becoming selfish or time is catching up with me. Shame on me. And I haven't finished my travel log yet. sigh The CAT

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Dear Mouse, My "tourist" celebrated her birthday today, Nov. 4. She exclaimed with glee that she can go to Reno now. That was a hint. His brother offered her a trip to Reno, so was her godfather who she met for the first time when we were dining in a restaurant. He was in the media back there in the Philippines and is a columnist of a Philippine newspaper here in the States. A friend advised us not to take the invitation. He did not elaborate. Her brother on the other hand never showed up . He also reneged the promise that he would take her in his place. In the meantime, she started her first day in class. She is no longer a tourist, she is already a student. I will not b alone again. The guy-tenant of mine moved out last Oct. 31. His mother who visited him during weekends was a pain in the neck. She was so possessive of her son that she thinks every single woman on this earth is out to grab him. She cooks for him and serves him like he was more of a husband than a son. (kadiri ).Mean me. She practically takes over my kitchen during weekends cooking the whole day (because she said I seldom use my kitchen). She never care to light votive candle and or switch the exhaust on. Her Matutina-like voice wakes me up when I am in my couch, catnapping. The malevolent single-lady-neighbor-who-has-never-had-a boyfriend (read: matandang dalaga. 40 noh na) who has a crush on her son aggravated the problem. She has a crush on the mama's boy and worked her way to be close to him through his mother at my expense. Her strategy backfired. Instead of the guy moving in to her place, he decided to get a place of his own with his mother. Why am I writing this? Did I not tell you that the guy is gay. I do not want to break his mother's heart. The CAT