Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stranger in my own home

I am blogging right now in my old room, my very first own room when I was still single. In my childhood years, I always shared a room with my siblings. So when I heard that our family was moving into our own house with my own room, I decorated this room, my theme was baby blue, silver and nature. Yup, nature but not in green colors, but blue and silver. So I bought any item that fits the description. I put a wall clock, shaped like a sun but colored silver and baby blue, above my painted glass window. Below the window, I placed mini candles, shaped like seashells, in hues of blue and white. I also bought a standing silver candle holder, with the face of the sun on it. I also put a beaded curtain in my window and door, again in baby blue. Not to mention that I was strict with my linens, if I had to change the bedsheet with the skies design, the color of the bedsheet and pillow cases have to be baby blue. So I felt I fused skies and oceans in my room. It was my little haven.

But now, seeing this room, I feel like a stranger in my own room, in our family’s home. The sun wall clock is still there, where I left it. But everything changed already. Gone are the beaded curtains, gone are the candle seashells. Since this is the only room at the living room, it has been the favorite room of everybody who’s too tired to go to the second floor. Now, there are green curtains, hangers with different clothes at the back of the door, colorful linens, and lots of bags, from paper bags to handbags to luggage, everywhere.

Apart from the obvious change I see in my room, I feel like a stranger in my own home. Right now, I couldn’t tell exactly why. They always welcome my presence here, especially when I’m with hubby. But maybe, the warm welcome is exactly what makes me feel alienated. Ironic, but it’s just the way it is, it makes me feel I no longer live here because I have to be welcomed. Or maybe it’s the fact that I really feel I no longer live here. My home now is the place which my husband and I chose to live. It’s not big like this house, it’s not even our own house because we are just renting it. But it’s our place which we decorated, put love on it, made love within it, hehe. That now, even though I am in my family’s house, even though it’s comfortable here since I don’t have to do any household work and just leave everything to the maids, I am dying to go back to me and my husband’s place. This isn’t my home now. My home is where my new family is. Though we don’t have kids yet, my new family is my husband. I wonder, do other married women feel the same? Or is it just me?

Anyway, there’s a consolation. I realized that though I feel like a stranger in my own home, I will always choose to stay here, in my old room, whenever I am here. Though there are two more vacant rooms upstairs, I always choose to stay in my very first own room. I remember that it was a bit weird when I first slept here as a married woman. My mom, forgetting that I was married already, instructed my husband to sleep in the other room. I forgot how I reminded her that we’re already married and it’s okay to sleep with him now. But then, it sank to her that yeah, I got married already, and I just got back for a visit. It was the first time of my husband to sleep in my own room, and I know, we both felt awkward, hehe. But after awhile, after feeling the soft but sturdy mattress against a heavy-duty narra bed frame, which we compared with our own bed, we both relaxed… And then, at that moment, I felt, I’m home again, but this time, with my new family.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garbage story

Taking care of our garbage was never my problem before until we moved to this apartment this year. In condominiums, you just throw and push every stinking item you have down into the garbage chute. But in communities like this, you wait for the dump truck to honk and wake every sleepy nerve in your body in the early morning. Because if you don’t get out of bed immediately, you would miss your once-in-a-lifetime chance to hand your garbage to the garbage men, oh boy. When hubby is around, he takes care of this. With an unbelievable adrenaline rush, he jumps out of bed, changes his shorts and shirt (which, by the way, is my little request since I’m paranoid that the odor of the neighborhood’s trash and the viruses from the bugs and flies would stick to his clothes, which I’d be embracing once he returns to bed! Eww.), then chases the garbage men.
But hubby’s not been around since last month, so I have to do the dirty job. Which stinks, which I hate.

So it’s not surprising that I have never met the garbage men up to now. Or was it me who waited at our gate one time? Darn, I was too sleepy to even remember. And as expected, my trashes have accumulated the past 2 weeks. Oh yes, can you imagine the ants, the mosquitoes, even the spiders and lizards rejoicing over their growing treasure at our backyard? And I shouldn’t forget the stray cat, who manages to squeeze its body to the slim gaps in our gate whenever it smells the trash. Looks like everybody’s happy except me, huh?

My only hope is the little kids who knock at every gate and door, shouting “ate, ate patapon.” These kids, probably between 6- to 9-years old, would collect garbage from villagers like me who didn’t catch the elusive garbage men the past few days. In exchange, you’ll hand them a few pennies, or for others, loose change. But unlike the garbage men, these kids don’t have a schedule, they just show up whenever they want. The past few days, I heard them shouting their services, “patapon, patapon.” But blame it on the extreme heat, I was moving quite slowly, that I even missed the kids knocking on my gate. Quite pathetic, I know. But a few minutes ago, I heard them loud and clear though their voices sounded far, so I opened my door even before they can knock. Gosh, I was too excited to clear my garbage, whoever thought that throwing garbage can perk me up like this, hehe? Now, I smell a sweet sense of victory! Thanks to the kids, my garbage woes are over, temporarily.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To like or not to like neighbors

That is my question. I feel like asking this, because it is only now that I realize the existence of the word neighbors, n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-s.

It’s not as if I have lived in a secluded, remote place all my life. It’s just that when I was growing up, I wouldn’t care less about the neighbors. When our family lived in a bungalow, our dear Nana didn’t allow us to be like the other kids who would go from one house to another looking for playmates, instead our beloved Nana asked our kid neighbors to come and play at home. And when we lived from three-story building to high-rise condo, I still wouldn’t care less about them. I remember quickening my pace or closing the elevator doors, even though neighbors were yelling “waaait!” I’m kinda bitch, I know.
When I got married, husband decided that we rent a condo near my place of work. And you know how it is in condos situated in very urban areas of Makati – no one wants to know each other’s business. Though your door is just a few steps apart from theirs, you want to let your ears pretend you didn’t hear the “ooohs” and “aaaaahs” that echo through the walls during nighttime, because you’re not even sure if they came from two gays, yaya and the driver, old men without a partner. Or just cats, hehe. Enough of these revolting details…

So anyway, I could write a dozen more reasons why I didn’t feel the existence of neighbors before. But this afternoon, I began to really take note, neighbors do exist.

I am just a bit bothered that they are singing, again, a song. I heard the words loud and clear though my doors were closed, but since I decided to consciously, forcefully not listen to it, now I can’t remember any lyrics from the song. Which is good. I wouldn’t want to have the last song syndrome or LSS of whatever they’re singing. Because the last time I didn’t consciously, forcefully not listen to them, husband and myself found ourselves singing, (and thank gawwdness, not dancing) to the tune of “Nobody, nobody but you, nooobody” from lunch until midnight! Gosh, the young kids were singing and dancing to it, while its tune squeals from a broken and presumably dusty boom box. I know, this shouldn’t be enough reason why I should dislike them. Besides they’re kids and they may only be doing it for a school presentation (waait, they did that the entire March so there’s no more school that time right?). But having it as our wake-up alarm in the morning until late afternoon for almost one full month is just TOO muuuch. That’s one point, or should I say, one dozen points.

Hubby is even more alarmed, actually scandalized is the better term, whenever he hears the nagging mom screaming, nagging, screaming, nagging then letting out a final scream to her kids. The worst part of this drama, after hubby hears all of these, he faces me and says, “sana hindi ka maging ganon.” Whaaat, does hubby really think I’m gonna end up like the neighbor mom? No way, over my dead voluptuous body. :P I can’t be like that! Two points for the neighbors!

Then, the second apartment, thrice a month more or less, would have their own party at their place, from around 8pm until 5am, drowning themselves in bottles of San Mig or Red Bull. Are we lucky that there’s no videoke blaring all night? Yes, we’re lucky also that they’re not the rowdy Tondo types who would throw bottles and knock each other out. But our fortune ends there, I blame it on the ventilation (though I dunno if it’s connected to sound waves) and the fact that we’re just about 5 meters away from their place, we hear all their earth-shattering laughter, with magnitude beyond the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Japan. And that’s from 8pm until 5am, I repeat.

Those are three points, which seem shallow, but for a couple used to having their own peace, those three points say a lot – yoohoo, you have neighbors now! So can you conclude my answer to the question, to like or not to like neighbors?
Oh yeah right, sorry, I forgot the part where I should likewise be discussing the likes, the potential of liking our neighbors. Here goes… For now, (sigh), there’s none. Nada. But maybe that’s our problem, we don’t mingle with them, and we choose not to, so we can’t really judge if we should like them or not.

I don’t know their names, not even their faces. But hey, I perfectly know their voices! And maybe, it will stay this way for quite some time. Until an opportunity to like them comes.

What I do know is that they kinda like us. Haha, I’m assuming, I know. My basis is that last month, when it was earth hour, they only began turning off their lights when we did, and their cue to start turning on the lights again is not their clock but our lights. “Ayun, puede na raw, may ilaw na sila,” said our neighbor kid. And I noticed twice already that whenever I start sweeping our li’l backyard, our neighbor mom will start sweeping theirs too. So maybe someday, we will talk to neighbors and get a bit friendly. Knowing your neighbors may be good too – you’ll have someone receive mails if you’re not around, you’ll have someone to look around your place if you leave home, and if you’re in dire need of gossip, perhaps the nagging mom have something in store for you.

But for now, hubby and myself are just comfy having our own peace in our little place.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The benefits of having a friend come over to your place

...I get to exercise!
I sweat a lot by doing general cleaning. After doing 3 hours of dusting, sweeping, cleaning the windows, electric fans, etc., I burned 555 calories (according to, which is equivalent to more than 2 café lattes, grande, whole milk at Starbucks.

…I get to cook the recipes I only lifted from my imagination, hehe.
I only thought they were edible, but after doing a bit of googling, I realized a few of these recipes actually exist! I cooked sinigang na manok. I love sinigang na baboy but since I’m trying to stay away from pork, I thought chicken can be a good alternative. For dessert, I mixed kiwi with strawberry jam. The following morning, I prepared pancakes with nutella, cinnamon flavored pancake syrup, butter, topped with strawberry jam. For late lunch, I prepared pasta, which my friend fondly called cheesy spicy tuna pasta. I mixed San Marino chili corned tuna with carbonara sauce, added some water, olive oil, basil, topped with grated cheese. I was scared that the pasta would taste terrible, but even our ants loved it! After a few hours, my friend saw that 3 ants drowned in my leftover pasta sauce. But she was still willing to eat the sauce had I not decided that even ants should have pasta for dinner!

…Hair spa again!
When your hair is digitally permed like mine, you need to maintain it as well. There’s the advantage of not having to comb your hair every day and having the excuse to look fashionably haggard, hehe, but the ends of your hair can look so dry and eventually become brittle. Though I just had my hair color and hair spa last week, I felt I overlooked my hair for the past few months, it needs pampering again. Anyway, salon treatments here are cheap because so many salons compete against each other in our neighborhood.

…Good laugh; endless, nonsense conversations until 4am.
When we heard the rooster crowing and some streaks of light passing through the curtain, we realized it’s time to say good night and good morning. After about a few minutes (or was it seconds??) of silence, we chatted again for an hour. Certified chatterbox queens? You bet.

...Time to discover your friend again. And time to discover yourself as well.
From nonsense topics, we got to some serious discussions as well, though that lasted for about an hour only, hehe. When a friend stays overnight at your place, you can do more than just catching up. You can tackle new topics, realize that you may have different points of view, and still end up as good friends.

Thank you Bennetsky! Aliwin mo ulit ako next time!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bum + boredom = blogging

I have been a bum for more than four months already. And it's only now that I feel bored so I decided to revisit this blog and start writing again. The past few months were not boring because even though I wasn’t working, I was infinitely enjoying having a bakasyon engrande with family and friends. But now that hubby left me again to work abroad, I stay most of the time at home. I'm alone at home so I don't feel the need to wake up before hubby does and cook and prepare other wifely duties. And so boredom knocks on my door now.

I admitted this to hubby. He told me if I want to work again, I should look for home-based jobs. Hubby doesn't want me to work full time anymore, which entails going to different places, staying late when he's not around, unnecessary pressures. I must agree that I feel so much better physically now that I don’t work anymore. No more sleepless nights of tossing and turning on bed because I couldn’t find a good position for my back, and thank goodness, these past 3 weeks have been really amazing for me (I should write about it some other time), no more nights when I would wake up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t breathe.

Being a bum seems to be good for me, at least for my health, and for the most part, hehe, I enjoy the freedom of not working my ass, haha. But when I’m alone, without any agenda for the day, that’s when I feel bored. And fear that even my brain cells will get bored and make me dumb. I am proud to be a bum, hehe, but not a dumb. So here I am, blogging again.

I have a friend who makes money out of blogging. She inspires me to start writing again. Isn’t that a better reason why I should start blogging again? Hmmm.