Wednesday, 31 October 2007


I thought I have something to write about our family tradition back in the Philippines during this time of the year. Now that I am doing so, I can't seem to compose one and my children will be waking up soon. I'll try my best and I hope at the end of this, we would all be pleased with the result.

1985 was the last time our clan gathered on November 1st, having only my Lolo Ramon resting in the family's graveyard. Who would ever think back then, that a wide space would be allotted for our burial site and it would be spared off from the land partition among my grandfather's 8 children.

When we were kids, I always look forward for this day as all my cousins from Baguio City and La Trinidad would be coming home to Tublay. We would all go together with flowers and candles that would later surround my Lolo's resting place. After saying our prayers, we would all sing my grandfather's songs. The first voice, second voice blending from my father and his siblings would always awe us grandchildren. As a little girl, I always had this feeling that those voices are the angels singing and it makes me proud being a part of this gifted family. Then my Dad, aunts and uncles would later tell us anecdotes about my Lolo and their younger days.

Lunch would follow in our house. A pig is always butchered back then that is cooked the Igorot way, no spices, just water and salt. Before feasting on it, my Dad will 'i-pum'makan'(an Igorot ritual, sort of a prayer talking with the dead to come eat, bless the food and give us good luck). After we had all eaten, our parents would stay talking all day while we the small ones would go to the school my Lolo built near our house and play hide and seek, pinalpaltugan(shooting game) and 123...7 UP.

When we became teen agers, for some of my city cousins, going home to Tublay wasn't cool anymore. By that time, my Mama Normie and Uncle Roger joined our Lolo on the family's graveyard. Still our parents sing their songs and tell the same stories every November 1st.

Years passed, my Lola Meding finally rested with my grandfather then my cousin Agustin and later his brother Julius. My Uncle Arsenio followed by my Uncle Alex. Then our recent departed Auntie Juling and my cousin Sony.

With the resting place getting narrower, our city relatives have more reasons to go back to the province. Second generation of Lolo's family tree, where I belong, dominates the number now and its a shame we don't sing like our parents do. Its also a shame that we don't tell stories of the old times for some reasons this blog is not ready to discuss.

I was suppose to write about the food we serve, the mass in the afternoon and other things we do but I somehow came out with what really this day is all about. Its the celebration of life, family and home. We may not be there right now but our hearts and prayers are!

H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N !

Sunday, 28 October 2007


(ANSA) - Rome, October 26 - Italy's Antitrust authority is investigating to see whether former state monopoly Telecom Italia abused its dominant market position in the battle for voice and broadband internet more HERE:

This is the first post to my new added category/label - Italian Mode. Its where I want to share the latest news, issues, trivia and anything Italian.

To name a few to some of the companies owned by the state, aside from other businesses which they hold the greater share of stocks:

1. Telecom Italia - It is responsible for all our telecommunications here including the Internet.
2. TrenItalia - train transportation.
3. RaiTV - TV stations which every household has to compulsory pay 109 euros yearly.
4. BancoPosta - a bank at the same time the post office. Its where we go pay our bills for the city services.
5. Alitalia - airlines
6. etc...

Going back to the Telecom Italia article, my 2 sisters Danica and Noeda bought 2 cellphones that are in promo: From the price of 185 euros, you get 2 cellphones for 50 euros instead, provided, you switch your existing Wind(a rival company)number into Vodafone(Telecom Italia). The phone number remains and Telecom Italia will do the work in maneuvering the technicalities.

After a day my sister Noeda received a call from Wind and was asked why she switched to Vodafone. She told her about the promo and they offered my sister a 160 euros worth of load just to go back to the original company - Wind. So, my sister took the offer.

Next thing you know, Telecom It/Vodafone called too and asked my sister why the change of mind again. She told them about the free load and they matched the offer with the tip of finishing first the free load and go back to Vodafone after. My sister declined the double-crossing and stayed with Wind.

Things they do to maintain monopoly and power. Well, that's business for them and anything goes but I say Antitrust authority will have a headache in concluding this case. Being the "state" would mean they are one step (if not ten) ahead - It applies everywhere, sad to say.

Why the government owned businesses for this entry? It caught my curiosity or perhaps my day dreaming of it's applicability to the Philippine setting. I don't want to elaborate more as corruption will say it all.

Saturday, 27 October 2007


We found this article at Baguio City Dot Com - On the Road to Dual Citizenship HERE, By: Ramon Dacawi - BENCHWARMER . It really made us laugh and I was reminded of my Dad when he was still in denial of his "citizenship".

Friday, 26 October 2007


One of my greatest fear is when my children will grow up to be writers. The thought of them not having good memories of their childhood to write about scares me. Or,them recounting what I should have done as a parent.

How about if Lukie will have his own blog and will write about his "First Halloween Pumpkin". I wish to read this someday:

My parents were more excited than me and my brother when we had our very first Halloween Pumpkin. I was 5 years old back then. I know, it took my folks 5 long years before they thought of carving one. Maybe it has something to do when my mother quitting her job and decided to be a stay at home mom. She finally had time.

It was raining that day and I remember my Pa' looking at his reflection on the mirror. He had put on a red raincoat and it was really small on him. He rode his bike and came back after 20 minutes with a big pumpkin.

I asked my mom, "Is that for a cake you're going to bake?" Then she laughed and answered, "No honey, its for Halloween like the one Garfield had before they went trick or treating".

My mother drew the nose first and rest followed. I heard her say, "My Ifugao pumpkin carver", to my father as his knife worked.
I was more interested to the game at GIOCO IT. on the computer when they were busy with the pumpkin. My mom was taking pictures and she asked me to stay next to that orange thing. I didn't want to until she bribed me with a "Haribo".

I thought my parents were silly back then fussing over a pumpkin. I didn't know they are carving memories like what I am treasuring now. How I miss them!


Post 24: Lolo Ramon's Story:

"I am old and I had my place in time. How can others prove themselves if they were not given the chance to show their worth. I believe in the youth's strength and their fresh minds. In them is the burning enthusiast to pursue change with their new idealism." Ramon Pontino

When my grandfather's term ended, people were convincing him to run again but he declined. He retreated to civilian life, his coffee plantation and to helping his place preserve what he introduced-"UNITY". Among all the 'barangays' of Tublay, Ambassador has the widest scope, thus, having the most number of voters. Whoever their candidate for any local position would be the sure winner.

Before, if the old folks would say zero for a certain candidate, then the result after would really be zero. That made them occupy either of the two top local seats since then.

1964 My Lolo Ramon's health started to deteriorate. My father said his boxing before might have contributed to it. He had been having mild strokes that made his memory poor. Bad times were when he can't remember people and where he is. A snap lost of memory. But, most of the time he goes back to reality easily.

"When your grandfather started to lost his memory, my interest of finishing my course wasn't there anymore. The lack of money to support my studies made it even harder. One semester, I stop and the next sem I'll continue then stop again. I left the convent after high school so my college was supported by my older siblings but they also had families of their own. Most of the time , it was Manong Eddie. Being the eldest, he became the provider. He worked for the the BIR( Treasurer's Office) before." Danny relates."

"1968 - After Liberal Arts, I took up Political Science. Manong Eddie came to SLU one morning and asked me to take him to the accounting office. He paid my tuition fee in full and also my younger brother, Roger's remaining balance. Before he left, he gave me money. I thought he might have won the lottery that time."

"After two days, Papa came to Manang Juling's place, the Sunny Side Apartment where we were all boarding. He told us that the BIR, where Manong Eddie works were looking for him. They audited the office and they are in short of two thousand pesos(2,000). I told him about my tuition fee and he just sat down. Until now, I could picture Papa's face that very moment - It showed love, pity, worry and hurt."

"Your lolo was so preoccupied about your Uncle Eddie and never stopped looking for him. His friend Bado insisted to pay Eddie's short at the BIR and Papa couldn't refuse it. My brother had been missing for a month and my father had his worst stroke. He was paralyzed all over that had left him bed ridden. Its good his mental state was still ok.

"July 1968, Papa died and Manong was already back home after hiding in Nueva Viscaya"....

To hide my Daddy's sad emotion, he ended this part while laughing and said, "You know your lolo? During his last days, he keeps on asking, "En tu las Danny?"(Where's Danny?) and when they feed him, he would request, "Si Danny ga-ay."(Let Danny do it). It made my other siblings say, "Apay si Danny bangat e anak mo?(Why, is Danny your only child?). I was his favorite 'met a'."

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


When Boogie writes an entry to his blog, he makes me his first reader before he sends it to the web.

Remembering Sony, my husband's latest post made me cry not because I lost my cousin. It made me weep for all the Filipinos who had to leave their homes just to seek better lives elsewhere. Doctors, nurses, maids and any professions alike, still its work in a country not their own.

Euros and dollars may have built houses and buildings for many of the our OFW's back in the Philippines. But, those are hardly earned trophies twined with sweat of blood that people back home often mistook.

This morning I opened my email and have known from Princess Lea's message that Boog's article was published at Sun Star Baguio. Its his second blog entry that made it HERE:

Autumn Pixies

I've been blog hopping here and there.

Almost all have their autumn pictures everywhere.

So I went out to take my own clicks,

Just in time before the winter kicks.

Leaves down the ground so they fall,

Tight may their grip but strong is the thrall.

Spells of hue paves way for changes,

Its not the end but its the dawning it bridges.

Cold and gloomy winter awaits,

Birds seek warmth they go bait.

Trees they may seem

Its depressing, others weep.

I was only to post these photos,
Because I run out of words for my posts.
But listen here, it just couldn't stop.
Pictures and words it might be a flop.

When I was done with my photo shoot,
I turned my back for home starts my right foot.

There from the window watching me,
The joy of all my seasons, they will always be.

Monday, 22 October 2007


Tina of My Good Finds is spreading 'the love' hehehe! She is running a contest and is generously giving away "Hosting and Registration value of $290.00"! How cool is that?

We believe that Bill of
FROM THE BOONDOCKS deserves to win this contest. His blog has been our "HOME PAGE" (figuratively) and had been updating us on what is happening around the Cordilleran Region. We like how he keeps his theme on blogging anything about us Igorots. So please, help Bill by clicking here. Be reminded that the contest is up until November 1st.

Good luck Bill Bilig!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

What The...?

I found this site CSL CartoonStock when I was trying to find images from Google. I was thinking to write on why absurdity has to hit us sometimes and kick us out from our contemplative state.

Moderation in everything keeps the balance of a fine and well rounded existence. We need to be crazy sometimes, a drama here and laughters there.

Shouting and cursing may be a means of how to be heard. But a whisper or silence at times, can work more wonders.

Who knows, punching the keyboard here like you know everything might lead to some irreversible delusions you might never fix...What am I saying here? All I was suppose to say is I need to hit the bed. Sleep! Tsk, tsk, tsk....blame it on these C images, its contageous!

Friday, 19 October 2007


I tried to email this letter to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration(OWWA)in Milan Italy 2 days ago and resend it again this morning:

To Whom This May Concern:

A pleasant day to all.

I'm a Filipina housewife who lives and blogs here in Venice Italy. In one of my blog entries, a reader asked a question concerning the benefits and services an OWWA member would be entitled to in case of death.

My cousin Sony P. Jacinto is a certified OWWA member who works at Harry's Bar in Venice. He had been been working here in Italy with legal documents for almost 9 years now. Last October 7, 2007, he went home to the Philippines together with her sister to attend their mother's wake. A day after they buried their mother, October 7, 2007, Sony died in his sleep and was pronounced DOA when they took him to the hospital. Please read more of the story HERE:

I went over to your website here: OWWA and I would like to know more on how your program will be of help to my cousin's case. What are the compensations and help his family will avail of from your office? Would it be better if her sister, who also works here in Venice, do the processing of papers needed, here in Italy? Your suggestions and advice would be very appreciated.

I will be blogging about this on my website and any supporting datas and informations from your office would be of much help in educating OFW 'kababayans' regarding this matter.

If its not much to ask, could you please participate in the discussions found at the comment section
and answer the questions posted about the OWWA's rule in giving what's due to it's members. You will be helping so many Filipino Overseas Workers in giving transparency to how your office will extend their help when it is needed by the members. It would also encourage us to have faith on what we could get back from our government who calls us - 'Bagong Bayani'.

Thank you very much and I will be expecting for your reply as soon as possible.

God bless and good health.

Respectfully yours,

Venice Italy

I didn't have luck for a reply so I tried to contact the number I got from their site. The answering machine tells me its an unexciting phone number so I called Ate Billy(know more about her on my next blog). She then gave me the new number of the Philippine Consulate in Milan. So I called. A lady answered and immediately gave OWWA's number and I asked her: "If I won't be able to contact this number, may I call you back?". Maybe she didn't hear me because hang up tone answered my last question.

She gave me a wrong number so I called her back and spoke 'Tagalog'(Filipino) this time. I told her, "Ako po yung tumawag kanina e mali naman po yung number na binigay ninyo"(I was the one who phoned up a while ago and you had given me a wrong number). She answered, " Ay hindi ako yung nakausap mo!". Then I related the purpose of my call and she immediately connected me directcly to OWWA's office.

Finally, Ma'am Welof Emma V. Sinclair from OWWA told me about the ff:

1. A member is covered with 100,000 pesos insurance for natural death and 200,000 pesos for accidental death.

2. 20,000 pesos for the burial expenses.

3. OWWA will be responsible for the dead body's repatriation.

4. Documentary Requirements for Life Insurance Benefits here: OWWA

5. OWWA Membership pay is renewable every two years. *According to Ate Billy: If unable to pay and renew on the said time, there is no chance that the repatriation of the human remain will be shouldered by OWWA. Speaking through experience when she helped a certain 'kababayan' who died here in Venice.

6. File documents needed and ask further info from the OWWA Region 1 office in Baguio City.

The lady from OWWA was a bit hesitant when I asked her name to be quoted as my source for this blog and she said, "Naku!..." but gave her name anyway. I told her I sent them 2 e-mails and their contact numbers are not available and she later said that their website is old and not yet updated.

Later today I have learned from our friend Myrma that my cousin Sony got his 'Carta Soggiorno'(permanent residency)recently and will not be covered with OWWA's benefits and services.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Sony is my first cousin who was born 8 days before me and we were baptized at the same time before we reached our first birthday. He used to show off his report card back when we were in elementary while her sister, Joan, rolls her eyes when his brother would say, "Come and see my grades!"

He came here in Italy 2 years ahead of me and Boogie. The first time Sony saw us he said, " Oh my... you're so black!" just being polite of not saying we look ugly. We just came from Malta's Summer sun and being tan didn't suit us.

Sony, Susan, Noeda, Me(pregnant with Lukie) and Boogs in Venice
We stayed in the same apartment for almost a year before me and my husband got our own place. Our first son was born while we were staying with my cousins and Sony became my alarm when my son wakes up and I am in the kitchen cooking.
Onetime, me, my sister Noeda and our cousin Susan were eating and Sony was in his room. We heard Lukie crying from the baby alarm/radio.

Sony came in the kitchen with his worried look and said, "Lukie is lying face down, I have to turn him up!" Then all of us wicked girls laughed. Her sister Susan told him, "Sony, That's how Lukie sleeps, 'NAKAPAKLEB'(lies flat on his tummy)!".

He is one of Lukie's Ninong and every time he goes home to the Philippines he buys his niece(Noeda's daughter) and nephews(Lukie, Dylan and Roldan) 'pasalubong' clothes that he said he had chosen from the stores of SM.

Sony and Susan went home to the Philippines last October 7 to attend their mother's wake. A day after they buried my aunt I received a phone call from our friend Myrma that Sony is gone. He slept and never woke up in the jeep on his way to SM. He was DOA when the driver took him to the hospital. His last words to his sisters when he left their house were, "I have to go and buy some stuffs from SM. I don't have time anymore."

Last Friday, October 12, 2007, Sony P. Jacinto went to the life beyond. He was 33 years old.


Someone said, "Why is it that when people die, that's the time we think more of the good things they did? When they were still alive, we see more of their mistakes."

I want to write so many funny stories of your innocence and clumsiness but for 5 days now I stopped writing because I don't know how. You will no longer hear how we speak fondly of you. You will never know you are dear to us and how much we will be missing you. Worst, you will never thought you can make us cry with leaving so soon.

In our prayers we hope to find solace - That in your death, its God's way of giving you peace and perfect happiness you never found in this world.

Rest in peace 'Insan'.

Thank you for the memories!


Tuesday, 9 October 2007


As an Overseas Filipino Worker(OFW), the Philippine government will not clear and give us our needed documents to leave the country if we don't pay the following:

AS OF 2006:
A. 1,275 pesos = Welfare Fund Membership Pay to the the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). note the "WORKER'S WELFARE".
B. 900 pesos = Philippine Health Insurance Corporation Contributions Payment or MEDICARE. I just realized that this insurance's applicable period is only 1 year. I paid the amount last January 4, 2006 and expired January 3, 2007. If I get sick or die now, October 2007, I can't avail of any benefits from MEDICARE as I did not go home this year and pay another 900 pesos.
C. 100 pesos = Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
D. 550 pesos = Terminal Fee by the Air Transportation Office.
With the sum of 2,825 pesos per every OFW excluding the remittances they send their families. How many Kababayans are leaving the Philippines in a day? That, I don't exactly know but I've heard and watched the country's president saying that the OFW's are the 'Bagong Bayani'(Modern Heroes) who are keeping our economy to hang on there.

Last week, Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27, was found dead Monday(Oct. 1, 2007) inside the Doulton Place mansion where she worked as a live-in maid in Canada. Complete details on this tragedy here:From The Boondocks: Toronto Tragedy. Bill Billig had been updating us on his blog as we watch to how far the Philippine Government can help us OFW's.

From Bill's blog we've learned that the OWWA denied any help for Jocelyn at first as her point of exit to Canada was China. The Filipino community in Canada are at work accumulating the amount of 10,000 Canadian dollars for the poor victim's body to be brought home. OWWA promised 5,000 in addition, to come up with 15,000 Canadian dollars needed, a begrudged amount so as not to be pestered by the watching public.

CHERYL L.DAYTEC-YAƑGOT from SMORGASBORD OF RANDOM THOUGHTS tells us more HERE: "how children are becoming orphans while their parents are still alive".
Online petitions circulated the net to further publicize the Desperate Housewives show. The Pinoy blog-sphere desperately touched the issue. Here is a more essential challenge to us, Filipinos, for another "POWER CHECK" if we can gather positive results from the Internet. A help in pursuing justice to Jocelyn Dulnuan's death. Its not only for her but for all the OFW's - the "New Heroes". Maybe in her death is an eye opener. The start of "shaking and shoving" the government to give the 'Bagong Bayani a LITTLE assurance and confidence that in time, help will be given when we he needs it most!
From all these, I can't help but to be angry, hurt and emotional in filling up this page. I am staring at these receipts. What if I am Jocelyn? The clear words "WORKER'S WELFARE" from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration" will kill me twice!

For sure the next time we go home, another receipts and an increase to what we have to pay just to leave the country AGAIN. Then again and again and again........
Latest update from "From The Boondocks":
UPDATE 2: Forwarded to us from the ifugaoyahoogroup, this update is from Fay Hangdaan:
The fundraising went well and we are able to collect $4664.00. At the fundraising a representative from the Phillipine consulate came and inform us that they will help in the repatriation of the body of Jocelyn to the Philippines thus the money that we raised and any other donations will be sent to the family of Jocelyn Dulnuan.
The account has been set up but will be open by Wednesday or Thursday, In the meantime, anybody who wants to send a check here's the address.
Payable to "Jocelyn Dulnuan Funds.
"Address:C/O Fay HangdaanP.O. Box 6250685 Ellesmere Rd.Scarborough, ON M1R 5G8
Bloggers for Jocelyn:
Pinoy AmbisyosoUKPC/FCYA -- Here and here.

Sunday, 7 October 2007


You Are From Tublay If:

1. Ammom nga ni Jane ket taga Acop...hehehe(ituloy mo tani rumwar manen pagka-cornyk).
2. nu haan mo ammo nga dati paradaan ti acop ket ijay ayan ti centermall tadta, dati nga burned area nga kunada
3. nu haan mo ammo nga ti sinmublat famous manginom ijay Acop kenni Elmer (RIP) ket ni Lorenzo
4. Nu haan mo ammo nga ti style tadta ti instant pinikpikan ket apan aggatang ti manok ijay poultry ni Gloens santom ipapulpog jay manok

5. If you know Father Galasgas.
6. That the cutest altar boy is the younger Lee.
7. Hitch ride, stand by the toll gate.
8. You know the political clans.

9. (an extension of no. 8) - if you know that the pontino's, cosalan's and acop's (+ cosente's and velasco's) are politically inclined families.
10. if you know that dec. 8 is the town fiesta and binubudan is sold in the streets (yummy, i miss binubudang kamoteng kahoy ya)
11. if you know Fr. Val - a chubby cute priest who once served in Tublay (learned he's now married)
12. if you know that Mrs. Leyba once thought Physics in San Jose High School (and our schoolmates would tease us as favorites beacause we're from Acop)
13. if you remember that passing by Tomay's dung stores is one of the dreaded moments in a jeepney ride to Tublay (BTW, the chicken dung stalls transferred from Tomay to somewhere after Shilan, near the "mushroom" site.

14. Did you know that the internet place at Acop was pulled out because it's hard to pick up an internet signal(sayang,it's where my sisters go to update their friendster's profile).

15. If you remember the busses going north always stop by Tubday...ijay sango ti Public rest room ngay...I can still imagine the peddlers with their "Bilao" yelling "Balut,Penoy, Mani yod'ta".Adda pay "tinudok ken Turon"....
16. If you know where Dinangking creek is.
17. If you know where is the "historical"(lol) public CR.
18. If you're aware that Tublay is also one of the preferred 'nga maidistinuan ti' police who are from Baguio, La Trinidad or those who want to be near the city.
19. If you remember Totoy Ramos'(RIP) pal'lutan.
20. If you ever heard Mrs Fernando's exceptional voice

Friday, 5 October 2007


In loving memory of Auntie Julia "Juling" Pontino Jacinto
December 9, 1937 - October o4, 2007

My Dearest Auntie,

I know from the time Uncle Arsenio went to join our Creator in the sky, a part of you departed with him. I have seen how you both forget everything and every one when you're together. I always envied how your love and companionship endured a very young marriage.

The sacrifices and hard work just for you to send your 10 children to private schools and have them all graduate is such a conquest beyond the ability of an effort to surpass pain and hardships.

You once told me, "to keep your man, allow him to be the man". You always ask Uncle Arsen what to do but at the end he lets you decide anyway.

How funny when I think of you going on stage during programs or when you go to wakes or funerals and sing your songs. You've got a beautiful voice but I usually hear Joan say, "Ay apo si Mama!".

"The frustrated doctor", Auntie Mary used to call you. Dr. Dacanay might have taught you well as you bravely say, "I will inject you!", when someone is sick. You gave me buscopan when I have my tummy ache. You gave me chloromycetin when I have a terrible cough. What I like best is your massage in the Mitsubishi pick-up at the Trading Post , La Trinidad when my PMS triggers.

The last time I went home and you saw me, you cried and said, "forgive me for everything"... You're not well I know so I cried with you.

I should ask you to forgive me too because one time, I liked one of your plants and Joan(youngest daughter) told me that I can have it. We both carried it into Daddy's jeep not knowing its so special to you and even named it Eva, like your eldest daughter is called.

Rest in peace now Auntie, I know Uncle Arsenio is waiting for you.

Thank you for the memories,

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


Every Tuesday is flea market day or 'mercato'. Here are some photos of what's being sold. We were not able to take pictures of the wet goods such as the fish, vegetables and flowers.


paintings and baskets

clothes made in China


cheap watches

bikes and spare parts

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