August 2007


 

mother teresa

The person in the picture needs no introduction. And the reason why it it looks old and rugged is that, I have kept it in my wallet even before her beatification in 2003.

I revered her so much so that I even christened my daughter after her. For me, she’s the epitome of how true faith should be manifested: by practical compassion.

I was dumbstruck – to say the least – that even the “gutter saint” had not been spared from faith crisis. But I’m still a big fan of her…just the same.

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My eldest son, Arthur, again showed his true worth by bagging the Akela award in scouting. An incipient leader who excels in his academics, I guess he naturally cinched it.

Akela is the highest honors, coveted by many, in cub scouting where one’s wisdom, authority and leadership is tested.

This is not the first time – and surely wouldn’t be the last – that this “urchin” made me feel real proud of being a father.

Burning incense and effigies reminded me that hungry ghost festival is just around the corner.

With all due respect to all the Chinese, not that I don’t really dig that the door to hell opens up allowing our dear and not so-dear departed to freely mingle with the living during this time, I’m just pretty pissed off with indiscriminate burnings in corridors, near lift (that’s elevator for you, americans!) landings. The soot and the smoke really get in my nerves.

It’s a source of celebration, nevertheless!

“Getai” and street opera bloom overnight in the island of Singapore to entertain the living and the dead together with sumptuous feasts organized by business associates and auspicious items such as bicycle, rice, pineapple, charcoal known as ‘black gold’ which are associated with wealth in Chinese are stacked on gold-tinted plates and elaborately wrapped in red ribbons are auctioned off with the highest bid to bring better luck.

In order to please the dead, the living make offering of food and burning paper effigies of homes, maids, and other daily items for the spirits to use in the afterlife or even a cruise to nowhere.

The Hungry Ghost Festival is still one the most unique and colourful festival in the cosmopolitan city.

*from singaporesights

Since I didn’t blog about Pinas independence day, I was thinking that it would be distastefully unpatriotic of me doing so for my patron country of 11 years. But then again, we ourselves cannot acquiesce whether it’s June 12 or July 4, which gives me a rather lame excuse to do so.

Singapore’s 42nd national day was last Thursday. Not that I’m dilly-dallying with the greetings. It’s just that I was just pretty occupied on that day binge drinking with a Singaporean friend. The guy is perfectly a snug fit to Pinoy culture. Our drinking culture, that is: drinking to really get drunk!

Yesterday I was in servile with the company whom I expect to toss me out like a worn out rag in less than a year.

Before I really get off-tangent…

We flew here one year, or so, after our marriage and practically raised the family in this “little red dot, one degree north of the equator”. The years  would be a dead give-away that we somehow come to like place. It’s a place we feel we can a give good headstart for our kids so uprooting back to pinas, or to any country for that matter, anytime soon is not on the radar screen.

I guess this is second home to us despite my not-so-many animosities to certain facets of life. Like you have to have a TV and radio (for cars) license, where the suicide per capita is one of the highest, where locals normally don’t brush their teeth after lunch making meetings in the afternoon a dreaded affair, where the length of the skirts is kept to the minimum leaving little to the imagination, where visible cleavage is redefined as the crack not of the bosom but of the posterior.

On the second thought, I’m taking back the last two.

Parents beware. It seems that young children, rubber clogs and escalator is not a good combination.

Yesterday, here in Singapore, a one-year old boy’s foot was stuck in an escalator. Writhing and wailing, he caught the attention of a passer-by who hit the e-stop in the nick of time. The boy was rushed to the hospital, was treated for minor injuries and discharged on the same day.

Some were not as lucky.

Like this 8-year old boy who needed ten stitches to close the gash so bad that the bones were showing. Or this 2-year old girl whose big toe was ripped off by a similar accident last year.

birthday card from alex…you’ll end up always buying one, specially if you have kids like mine.

This birthday card that Alex and Abby collaborated on, however, more than compensate for that–plus those times that they drove me real nuts.

Whitney Houston got that right with her rendition of the Greatest Love of All: about loving oneself, blah, blah, blah. Most are aware of course that she didn’t really walk the talk, or more aptly, walk the song.

But before I really digress, let me say there’s a good wisdom to that. I’m not talking about loving oneself in a puritanical narcistic way, but simply making yourself a better person for the sake of your loveones. That would include forgiving your own blunders and learning from it.

For me it’s the best birthday gift that one can give to himself or herself. Of course sashimis washed down with a good sake would a be welcome treat.

We have yet to decide which Japanese resto.

singapore marketLet me share with you a glimpse of how a typical Singapore market would look like on a bustling Sunday. This image was taken using my phone camera from the the second storey of the market while my wife haggles with the pork seller.

You might consider it an irony that Singapore is importing most of its pork products from the biggest Islamic country, which is Indonesia. Oh well, this “little red dot one degree north of equator” is getting most of its veggies, seafoods, and meat products from other countries for that matter.

Before, we had a carinderia that my mother tended to help support the family. We had it then as far back as I can remember. My filial love for her obliged me to accompany her to the market even at young age so I’m basically at ease with the sights, sounds and smells of a marché .

By way, pasar (market for malay)  practically operates half a day and close on Mondays. And pssst, my wife is preparing to host a dinner to close family and friends tonight to celebrate her lifetime lover’s birthday.

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