Saturday, 27 September 2008


Here's one of the entries from the FRIENDS OF THE EARTH for the 2008 One-minute film competition. I love watching their videos.


No more birds cooing and chirping as early as 4 A.M. Most of them(I spotted some are still here but are leaving soon)had gone somewhere, migrating to warmer places for this winter. But, these birds' noise are now replaced with the rooster's crowing at the backyard of our hotel neighbor. Along with 3 hens, they've been put there for three weeks now.

Fronting our house is the backyard of the said hotel with the green fence that separates us. My kids are in love with and being entertained by these chickens. I could leave Dylan there while I go help Lukie get down from his school bus. No, its not that far, I could see Dylan from our gate so its not that dangerous to leave him on his own.

Before Lukie goes to school or gets in our home, he never fails to remind these birds, "Chickens, lay some eggs... okay?"...

Reminds me the last time we went home to the Philippines. Lukie doesn't want to finish his food and I told him to stay in the corner. So he went and after some minutes, I checked on him. He wasn't there. Guess what? His Lolo Danny (my Dad) took him to see the chicken outside.

I told my Dad he should have left him there till the "punishment is lifted"(lol). Then my Dad said, "Oh leave him, he is not used with our food. Don't insist if he doesn't want to eat it!"... I held my tongue and didn't want to argue.

"Is he my father?" Thinking out loud. What I do remember, when we were kids and didn't like the food that was served, our choices were:

1. Cry. Leave the table and wait for the next meal or sleep with an empty stomach(specially during dinner).

2. Tough luck! Just eat it!

I just can't imagine how much my father and I will be disagreeing on things when it comes to disciplining my kids had we been living in the Philippines. I know I got most of the ideas from him. I might be left mouth open in disbelief all the time hearing, "Oh leave him..."



BTW, I drew the chicken with our PC's Studio 5(Zoom Browser EX). Nice ei? Its hard to control the mouse though.

Friday, 26 September 2008


This week's Weird Culinary Delights(?) of Teacher Julie's GreenBucks had brought out a memory I want to BLOCK. Yes BLOCK, as in "intentional amnesia" hahaha...

What were the worst or weird food (for you) that you have ever eaten? What were your reactions?

A CAT'S MEAT! I want to forget I had ever eaten it. I felt betrayed and abused hahaha! Again, its a memory I want to BLOCK.

Seriously, I was eleven years old back then and my Lola cooked 'adobo' out of it. My Mama and I just came from Baguio and everybody had already eaten lunch. So, just me and my Mama by the table to feast on the 'monggo' and 'adobo'(with only 3 slices of meat left). I spooned the 'adobo' to top my rice and goshhh, it really tastes good like chicken and the meat was so tender.

I was hoping(and praying heheh) that my Mama will leave the 'adobo' and have the 'monggo'. Ohh eem gee, my mom was an angel, she "sacrificed" and "denied" herself from eating the adobo so I could have it all for myself! She ate just the 'mongo'. My prayer was answered, God must really love me!

That night, our Dad asked me and my sisters, "How was the 'adobo' you had for lunch?". We all agreed its the best and Dad told us its a CAT. We were disgusted, betrayed and too late to puke!

My Lola Meding thought there's no harm in trying what our neighbor suggested that cat's meat is good for treating asthma. It was for our two youngest sisters, Jehan and Ica who were always having asthma attacks. It had always been a question to me why they have to let us all eat it! WHY?

'Isu gayam nga'(so that is why) the meat was strangely slimy when swallowed. I only realized that when all was said and done.

Thursday, 25 September 2008


I was tagged by GANDANG IGOROTA here: In Case (and I Thought) You Want To Know

I am: Blogging, waiting for the washing machine to finish, eating dinner and waiting for Boogs to come home from work.

I think: This is "multi-tasking" hehehe...

I know: I am not making sense.

I have: Just put the kids to bed.

I wish: Peace, love and prosperity to all mankind.

I hate: Racism, graft and corruption, self-centeredness and indifference.

I miss: My Dad, my Pa in-law and the whole family back home in the Philippines

I fear: For anything that will in-danger my kids and my family.

I hear: Its almost time to empty the washing machine.

I smell: My lotion.

I crave: For Mangosteen

I search: For the remote control all the time.

I wonder: If there is still a chance for the Philippine Government to eradicate graft and corruption.

I regret: Not taking the CGFNS exam before.

I love: Hugging and tickling my kids.

I ache: For all the maladies in life. Injustices, "misfits of blessings" and pains caused by evil deeds.

I am not: Perfect.

I believe: Love, peace and humility conquers all.

I dance: With my children when my husband sings the "Birdie Song".

I sing: All the time.

I cry: Easily.

I fight: When I know I am right.

I win: When humility sinks in.

I lose: When I keep my pride.

I never: Liked McCain hehehe...

I always: Remind Lukie to eat his food, brush his teeth and stop bugging his little brother.

I confuse: Record from pause... with our video cam.

I listen: To almost everything.

I am scared: For the next generation.

I need: To remind myself to believe that there is always hope for kindness, justice and love to reign.

I imagine: Things will all be fine....

Now I'm passing the tag to Jane, Hannah, Izma and Noeds


I wrote here: FLORICOLTURA DA NATASCIA, that I would be posting pictures of the flowers I planted at home. Better late than never. Here are some of it with my favorite "models"(lol).

Newly planted:

Sunday, 21 September 2008


He married her beautiful wife, a successful accountant who already built a house from the earnings of her career. They had two kids and the wife decided to quit her work when the second one was born. The family left their hometown and settled here in Venice - where the father was permanently assigned for his "import-export" job.

The marriage wore off after 20 years. They divorced. Their eldest son found a job in Spain and their 17 year old daughter is doing her internship away from both parent's place.

The wife went back to their old hometown and started to work again. She now lives in the house she built when she was still single. While he, the ex-husband stayed in Venice with his new house, new pots, new home theater and definitely new life. Their family home here was retained by the wife for her and their daughter to stay when they're in Venice.

In his late fifties, he now has a life of a bachelor riding motorbikes, cooking his food and ironing his own clothes. Then he got sick, suddenly can't walk, blood pressure is dangerously high and was admitted to the hospital. Dr's can't find the cause why his BP is always up though medical tests and exams showed all is fine. Good thing he was able to walk again.

I went to see him last Friday. It was a depressing sight. Just as I step out of the elevator, an old man with swollen lower extremities was having an argument on the phone. Another weak man walking so slow going to the TV room. I was about to ask directions but he seems in a different world. I doubt if he could even see me. An unconscious patient was being wheeled from the operating room. The ward is cramped , nurses are unfriendly and the smell of disinfectant is so strong. Reminds you, you're really in a hospital

I was asked by the nurse to wait for 10 minutes because the patient I am visiting is being attended to by the doctors. So, I waited. I'm watching TV with the two men I saw earlier avoiding to make eye contacts that might encourage conversations. 30 minutes passed and I was called by the nurse to get in.

He was lying there so frail, different from the smart shipping tycoon in his expensive suit. A small vial of meds directly dripped into his veins to lower down his yet again high blood pressure. He was not allowed to to leave his bed till the dextrose is consumed. The last time I saw him, before he was admitted, he was riding his fast motorbike feeling like a daredevil away from his age.

"I want to get out of here", was the first thing he said upon seeing me. "If I'll die, I want it at home, not in this freakin' hospital! The doctors can't figure out what's wrong with me." he added.

I asked if he has some friends to do things or errands for him and he said just the people from his office. Her ex-wife came to Venice on the third day he was admitted but stayed outside the hospital while their daughter gave him a visit. She just came to pack her daughter's things for her trip and she'll go back to her old home after.

I already knew the ex-wife is coming before the ex-husband knew. She called me to air open her house that has been closed for the whole summer. She also told me what triggered his ex-husband's attack - he stopped taking in the pills to contain his BP. He also went back to smoking and his usual 2 glasses of wine per meal was increased to more than his capacity. I pretended I didn't know these and gave him no hint that I spoke with her former wife...

to be continued...


Teacher Julie of GreenBucks wrote Ugh as the title of her 17th Weekly Question. Here's why:

One day, a friend told me about her trip to a nearby province that is known for its culinary arts and expertise. She, together with her family visited a cousin who got married to a wife from that said province.

Filipinos are being known for their hospitality so we could just imagine how scrumptious the food served to them.

As this friend was well into her second serving of the very yummy and creamy lasagna, she happened to comment to her cousin’s wife (who cooked all their food) how the beef in the lasagna is so tender.

She got really surprised when her cousin’s wife relied that she did not use beef in the lasagna. She used pig brains. I would not say how my friend reacted so I am going to ask you this question:

If it were you in that situation, what would you do?

I will compliment the chef/cook! She's resourceful and creative. Who would ever think of putting pig's brain for lasagna? That's really something. Besides the story said Teacher Julie's friend asked for the ingredients when she went for her second take. Means the guest enjoyed the food regardless...

I do eat pig's brain. 'Ilocanos' use it for 'Dinak-dakan' and its better than mayonnaise. For us Igorots, I remember during our Canaos, they cook it the next day when the remaining part of the pig that will be feasted on would be the head. They just boil the brain, add a little bit of salt and I really like the different taste when added to rice. I tried feeding it to my son with soup and rice, he ate it considering he is really that picky or the only yummy food he knows are pasta(any sauce except the green ones), 'sinigang' and 'adobo'.

Friday, 19 September 2008


Lukie had Mama all by himself on his first day at 'Prima Elementari' (grade 1) last Monday. Its good my sister Ica, who just came from Sicily, stayed with Dylan.

Before we left home and took 3 photos of my son on the doorstep, I checked my "gears"... Camera(heavy in my shoulder bag)... DV cam (added weight)... other stuff (like I need them!).

All 20 first graders with us - parents and some 'grannies' waited outside the gate for a tour around the school, a snack after and the welcome "ceremony" by the second graders to their "neophytes".

I thought I'm the only one exaggerating the "documentation" of this big day of school. Turns out that all parents were with their complete paraphernalia hahaha... Our kids were truly superstars(and bored) with our clicks. I thought it was funny, sweet and cute how we parents "over do" it. So, I pointed the DV cam to em' paparazzi parents.

Same as usual, I'm far from making things perfect... or maybe, luck can't seem to agree with me. Something always comes up! Perfection? Luck? Well, that's just putting stupidity in less degrading words hehehe.

Only the 3 shots I took at home, my camera was out of batteries so I just used the still shots of the DV cam. Picture weren't great. That's not all!!! I interchanged PAUSE from RECORD when I thought I was capturing memorable scenes(lol). I'll leave that for you to picture the moving video I took... It makes me dizzy watching it! Made me hate myself too (lol)!

It was for Boogs to watch because he was called to work when it was suppose to be his day off. Lord, why me?hehehe Lukie's first day of school or any events special for my family can't get enough of mama's "side stories"(READ:
Mama's Famous Gate) . Hayyy naku, I hope that would be the worst.

Naturally, husband was not at all pleased then I told him the next day when we went to buy Lukie's bus ticket, "Goshhh, what have I become! I was always the best in what I do and I can't even take ON and RECORD right." I didn't hear a reply...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Sorry, this has nothing to do with Lightning McQueen! I just love watching this film with my kids and you know, with my "flight of ideas", it just snaps(lol)....

Our Internet connection had been crazy for 4 days now (It feels like a week for each day hehehe). Something was struck by a lightning after the storm we had last Saturday. 'Meno male che' (less hassle cause) our electricity gets back in seconds after shutting off.

Our kids were quite panicky for the thunders that were roaring loud and the lightnings that will jerk you up in fright. Poor Dylan, he clung to me as he cries every after occurrence.

It was chaotic last Monday because banks, the post office, and businesses generated by the net were paralyzed for Cavallino - Treporti(our 'commune'). My sister who went to pay some bills and to post her papers for her permit of stay was asked to come back if the Internet is fixed. Goes to show what a great damage if computers won't work now a days. Yikes! We're becoming dependent to it.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one!" A quote by Jane Howard (1935-1996).

To educate solecism and correct the ill stigma concerning how our fellow countrymen see us, THE IGOROTS, may be impossible. A mother who belongs to "this" tribe who happens to blog, only dreams she could help educate the implications of ignorance about her people. But, what if she tries?

Native Cordillerans who're from the Northern part of the Philippines with the following Provinces: Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Baguio City, Bontoc , Kalinga and Ifugao, are the IGOROTS, who often referred to as the "people from the mountains". With which in it's context is literally true, but sometimes, it is abused and used as a derogatory remark by those who doesn't really know us.

True, we are 'taong bundok'(mountain people) because our homes are situated in the mountains but that doesn't mean we're lesser humans than the people from Iloilo, or Manila, or any other parts of the Philippines. For one we don't have curly hair, not of dark complexion, almost 90 percent of literacy and English is widely spoken than our national language - Filipino.

I don't need to enumerate who is who but just like any other Filipino, many of us are professionals from doctors, to nurses, lawyers, artist etc... Some were successful in businesses that had given prestige to our country like the Narda's Handwoven Arts & Crafts among the many.

Each of our different ETHNIC GROUPS: Bontoc, Ibaloi, Ifugao, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, Kalanguya and the Kankana-ey, is rich in customs and traditions. The preservation of our culture that was not heaved by the Spanish regime is very symbolic of our ancestor's antagonism to whoever wants to strip our roots- OUR IDENTITY. Neither the American's influence did not eradicate our fashion sense of not to wearing our 'kubal/kuba'(G-strings) for men, 'tapis' for women during special occasions nor our dancing with our gongs and solibao(Igorot drum).

Head hunters? Yes, the Igorots specifically the Kalinga tribe had this practice but that was only true in the past. It had been abolished long before our parents were born.

Seeing our "kind" at the Botanical Garden and Mines View Park being paid to have photos with you as the picture of who we are as Igorots is another limited or unwitted perception. To rather see the dignity of not resorting into stealing just to put food in their mouth is more dignified. "Picture taking", their job, is more noble than wearing 'Barongs' as they comfortably sit "on" government offices corrupting people's money.

Sure, you see some beggars asking you to spare a dime while you sit at Burnham Park. An old lady in particular would even decline food if you you give him that instead of money. Again, that is not the generalization of who we are. Like any other Filipino group, there are less fortunate and your alms are their means to meet their ends.

So next time you scare your children saying, "Sige kayo, kukunin kayo ng Igorot!.."(the Igorots will get you) or when your kids are uncontrolable and you blurted out, "para kayong mga Igorot, doon kayo sa bundok!"(you're like Igorots, stay in the mountais.)... you are doing well in teaching racism, solecism, prejudism and is successful in miseducating them.

"I am an Igorot. Let me be treated as I deserve—with respect if I am good, with contempt if I am no good, irrespective of the name I carry. Let the term, Igorot, remain, and the world will use it with the correct meaning attached to it." –Jose Dulnuan

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


A montage for our PHOTOS OF THE WEEK, a last look of our summer fun. I added some sounds, so put that audio on hehehe...

Create Your Own


We had our teacher-parent's meeting for the first graders today. School opening was moved to the 15th of September. Less than a week more and Lukie will have his first day at the 'scoula grande'(school for the big ones).

We were given a long list of things to buy such as a rim of coupon bond, notebooks and other school stuff. These will be left at school except for the rubber shoes for the PE class.

I was seated with Gerson's mom as I translate her what is being discussed. The teacher's stressed mainly on punctuality and said if parents will be late with out informing they won't be on time, even just for 10 minutes, the student will be handed to the police. The 'carabinieri'(police) will be in charge in taking the kid home.

One mother said in Italian, "Yeah that happened to Marra" and we all laughed as we look at Marra. Then she said, "Don't worry, my daughter was treated well and parents wouldn't be put to jail!".

When the meeting was almost over, the teacher asked who would volunteer to be our "mother leader" while we wait for the election of officers come October. The mom of Lukie's bestfriend, Ale, raised her hand quickly. The teacher said(in Italian), "Eeegh, its my first time to see a Mama accepting the job that quick" and we all laughed again.

On Monday next week, we'll have a merienda at the school ground before the kids will get in their classroom. Only for the Grade I pupils. The teachers said they want the first day for the kids as fun and more on getting to know each other and familiarizing them to the their new school.


I told the police officer at the 'Questura' that we just retrieved our Permesso di Soggiorno (permit of stay)two months ago and now we're renewing it again. We applied June last 2007 and we got our documents after a year because they interchanged Dylan and Lukie's ID twice. Just me and the kids went in the office yesterday. Boogie had to leave us there for work because our supposed schedule of 10:15 went late to 12:00 noon.

Processing your Residence Permits in Italy: Permesso di Soggiorno(details " how to "- found on this link) is flinty and expensive here. 72 euros in all for: Bollettino postale(€27.50), stamp(€14.72)and Envelope forwarding, (€30.00).

Sometimes it also depends on the officer's mood. Even though you've produced all the papers needed, if he doesn't like your face -tough luck! It also takes a looong time for one's turn, so imagine "the waiting" when you have two little boys around.

It was a speedy "turn" for us, anyway! Thanks to Dylan who was trying to help the police officers rearrange the bulk of papers on their shelves. His noice too while walking from one office to another and him going up and down the chair trying to see what the police officer is clicking on his computer while asking me questions. He said I am 'brava', 'tutto'(everythings) okey and had me finger printed really quick.

In record time, we were out of there and was asked to come back FOUR months to get our renewed 'Permesso di Soggiorno'. FOUR months? How will that be if wonders of miracle will work for us and going home before the year ends will push through? Aghhh, I don't wan'na know.


Saturday, 6 September 2008


La Biennale di Venezia was concluded last night. Philippines won the Orizzonti price for the movie MELANCHOLIA by Lav DIAZ.

Boogs posted his unsuccessful paparazi shots here Shooting Stars and I'm looking forward for the clear pictures of the "stars" on his blog with his article about it. Then I asked him for these photos:

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Lukie's Ninang Rose who only comes to Venice with his employers on summer invited us for lunch last Sunday. She and her daughter Kaye will go back home to Milan this week. We were rushing out of our door when Gerson, our 6 year old neighbor, asked where is Lukie's bike. Its always parked on the right side of the house... now its not there. Santa's present last Christmas is gone!

Gerson said that his brother Gerome's bike was also stolen last night but his father found it parked outside the grocery store (200 meters away from our place) early that Sunday morning.The automatic main gate of our village is not working. It had been widely open for a week now. Making it easy for the thieves to sneak in.

I was so upset that I keep on talking about the bike while we went to Lido for lunch. But, I was more disappointed because my son seems not affected at all. It seems nothing happened when its the "worst crime"(hehehe) that ever happened in our little village. When I was a kid, if a toy is gone missing, even the simpliest 'gading'(rubber band), my life is doomed.

I told Boogie that maybe Lukie knows we would replace the stolen bike so there's no worry at all. Huh? That ain't good! His BMX is even way expensive than the bike my husband is hesitant to buy for me.

Of course Ninang Rose gave his godson Lukie an amount for a gift and Mama and Papa will just add a bit for yet another bike. But, we decided we won't till our son learns a lesson from his bike being stolen.

When we went home that night to feed Dylan first before we'll go and have dinner at Cat-cat's 12th birthday bash (hehehe pansin nyo, nakikikain na lang every Sunday), our neighbor asked me a minute for a talk. Boogs and Lukie raised for the gate so just me and Dylan on his baby carriage was left for whatever interrogation(lol) this neighbor will do.

Fronting our home is a hotel and restaurant, AL CASSON, run mostly by their family members. They only open during summer and on
Carnevale. Its from them we buy our yummy pizzas which they cook the traditional way - with stone oven heated by woods or charcoals.

So our neighbor, the son in law of the hotel owner, told me that he saw two men last night with Lukie's bike. OMG.... he did?... I asked were they 'straniere'(foreigners) and answered no. They were Italians who live around the area only on summer to work in one of the camping village here. Then he told me he was wondering why these two got Lukie's bike and stopped them to ask. I wasn't listening anymore because Dylan wants his food already but when our neighbor said he took the bike, my eyes grew big and said, "YOU DID?" He said YES and the bike is inside the hotel SAFE AND SOUND (sound, what?hehehe).

I saw him with a halo arms clasped wearing a white frock that very moment. Then I run home to shout, PAPA, PAPA! UN MIRACOLO!(a miracle)....


WQ 14 - Facial Regimen: What are your facial or beauty regimens that you do before you go to sleep?

Nothing extra ordinary or no "voodoo rituals"(lol), I just wash my face with lukewarm water and Papaya soap. Any Papaya soap from the Philippines will do. Then Nivea Moisturizing Cream after.

Speaking of Nivea Cream, it had been a necessity for our home back in Tublay specially during the coldest months. That's why its never missed when a parcel is sent along with pasta and Nutella hehehe...

WQ15 - Blogging for Advocacy: If you are to start a new blog focusing mainly on a particular topic or niche, what would your niche blogging be all about?

A distinct blog with a single theme won't work for me, maybe. For one, I suck in sticking with the rules and lousy to even follow it. Just like this out of topic I am about to say.

As much as possible, blogging for me is something I own which I don't want to own me. I'd like it to stay as a space for me to laugh at myself. Where I could be shallow, silly and mad with no worries.

WQ16 -
Are You a Cry Baby? What makes you cry?

SI(Yes)! EVERYTHING! Its a curse hahaha...

Another OT: Lukie took his being serious all the time from his Papa. Mine are his tears that readily drop. When he started reading before he can even talk, he cries all the time after finishing the book:
Are You My Mother?(By P.D. Eastman) that his Lola Becka sent him for Christmas. So we stopped reading it. Also when he watches the Ugly Duckling, same, water flows from those eyes which would also make me cry. Btw, we do share tissue paper sometimes hahaha...

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