Day 306: 11.08.2017

“Naging masama ba akong ama?”

I’ve been asked this question so many times that the last time I was asked again, I began doubting my answer.

And that disturbed me.

There’s a lot of shitty things in my life and I can easily point out to my family as one of them. Since childhood and family creates a big impact to a person’s personality, then that easily answers the question why I have a jaded side.

My parents separated when I was two years old. Young as I was, I somehow understood that my parents were not going to live in the same house anymore, and I will only see my father twice a week, every weekend when I don’t have school. He will pick me on Friday evenings and take me home on Sunday evenings. I don’t remember much of my bondings with my dad during these weekends, only fun times with my cousin since my dad and his brothers’ family were always together so they can play cards, and the kids can play videogames or house.

So really. Even when I spent enough time with him (technically), the emotional connection was probably never established properly. He was busy with work, perhaps finding another woman to hold, and I was just going with the flow.

They said I was an obedient a child. A strangely quiet child who was mature for her age. So I basically followed what my parents agreed with, received and said thanks to obligations provided (schooling, gifts, time), but in retrospect, no wonder my father is so wounded to have his “angel” grow up to be this independent, outspoken, always going against his thoughts and plans kind of daughter.

Oh, how time changed…me.

But to answer his question, NO, HE IS NOT A BAD FATHER. In terms of providing for what we need and fulfilling obligations, he provided well. Yes, we hear a lot of complaints and sarcastic remarks in the process of asking them from him, and specific requests for gifts he specifically asked from us set aside for his own preference (style and budget) in the end, and us getting the “hindi nalang kayo magpasalamat” line from him when we express disappointment, but yeah, he provided. Perhaps it’s his parenting style that does not match our personality, especially the personalities we developed while he was absent for most of our formative years.

Sadly, my dad does not understand this.

He’s too proud as a father, as the padre de familia, to accept that we have grown out of the image he crafted of us. We are not the ideal children, nor is he the ideal father. We’re not in a film because real life is much more complex than what movies could ever offer us. We are not robots. We cannot be as easily malambing and caring just because he is family. A person who came from a complete family would probably disagree with me, and I understand that, but this reality exist where I’m coming from.

I probably have a different definition of family than others. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be that movie-type of daughter for her father if I could. My dad is 58 years old, he’s alone, and he doesn’t know what he is doing wrong, and he doesn’t even want to admit that he is wrong in the first place. Believe me, I want that turning point in a movie like Tanging Yaman just so I can fix our relationship; just so our whole family will be fixed.

So dear Daddy, no, you’re not a bad father. You just don’t know what’s going on because you chose to just put forward your achievements and what you have done for us to get our sympathy, not our love. I know you try, I know you really do. But there’s not enough time for us to be together, and I think a month long vacation is going to fix years of a heart’s absence.

So please, please, don’t ask me this question again. It’s always so hard to answer, especially when the answer is morphing into something unfavorable, but real.

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Day 302: 11.04.2017

SWIMMING!!!

Every time dad is back in the country for a vacation, we have family outings like these. Throwback and rekindling broken family traditions, I guess.

Anyway, it was fun bonding with nephews, family, and cousins in the pool and ball games. Damn tiring, but fun!

Oh, and here’s a GIF of an awesome, weirdo pool dive. Please watch out, she chases whoever watches it. >D

Day 296: 10.29.2017

To mend my stressed heart due to the exam yesterday, I basically just lazed around the whole day until dinner time to meet with my family. Dad’s back in the country for a month-long vacation and this is our first time to meet and have a family dinner since he landed on the 25th. Of course, my two cute nephews were automatically in my care since 1) I love them so much 2) I love my brother so I’m helping him out because these two are so much to manage 3) because I missed them!

The older one, Miguel (5) is more mature now. From the spitting dragon of a kid, he now really listens, I can have a longer conversation with him, and since he goes to school, he’s basically a student for me. LOL. It’s strange that I my teacher-switch is turned on automatically whenever there are small kids around me. And I swear, if only I can lecture my brother and his wife about the way they spoiled their younger one and how we can work on his executive function (wtf), I would’ve. If I can.

I can, technically, but you see, my brother is like the game Minesweeper. Just when you think things are okay with him, he suddenly explodes, like those mine in the game. And I rather not deal with that, thank you very much.

Anyhow, tweaked a bit of my fic and then made this as my project teaser:

There’s a Twilight Zone vibe to it which I like and kinda fits the story, so yay!

Day 99: 04.09.17

I just spent the entire afternoon helping my older brother figure out how to make a Russel (“Up”, Pixar) costume for a gigantic easter egg. 

He didn’t come with zero effort on his own, so “Eggy” (as we ended up calling him) initially looked like this: 


He was an egg originally, but since the plan is to turn him into a boy who looked like this: 

He needed limbs! And what better way to grow an egg some arms and legs but to amputate someone. Unfortunately, the sentence was given to one of our furry dog stuffed toys. Thus, the hairiness. 

Excuse that. 

Now, basically what my older brother needed–demanded–from me was that I make a pattern for the clothes since I’m “creative”. 

Dude, lemme tell ya. Creativity has nothing to do with sewing. It’s all about skills and giving enough attention to your economics teacher in grade school. Pssh. 

Well, I got creative alright. 

So lo and behold! After four fucking hours of figuring out what life was about when you’re stuck in a deal you agreed for pizza and ice cream, you get creative to survive. To be fair, we were able to produce the patterns and prototype costumes he would present to his members tomorrow and they look  decent, mind you

In the end, here’s folk dancer, Eggy! 

What a cutie pie! 

The picture couldn’t do justice to have us a peek of his skinny jeans my brother made with his big, rough hands. And yeah, a trip to a waxing salon would help heaps in the grooming angle. 

Though I was reserving the afternoon to writing and organizing my media files, I was actually happy my brother sought my help. We never bonded over projects when we were kids in the same house. I also missed that living room bonding moments of him with mom and I. 

💕

(movie review) The Love of Siam

“If we can love someone so much, how will we be able to handle it the one day when we are separated? And, if being separated is a part of life, and you know about separation well…is it possible that we can love someone and never be afraid of losing them? At the same time I was wondering if it is possible that, we can live our entire life without loving anyone at all?

That’s Mew’s question about life and love as he was left with more loneliness after his grandmother died and was left alone to live on.

I don’t know why “Love of Siam” has such a big impact on me. This film which I downloaded a copy out of mere excitement that I’ve stumbled on another gay movie. A few months (or a year) later, I watched some parts of the film until I finished it. I cried the first time. I re-watched the movie from beginning to end and found myself sobbing like a part of myself died while the credits of the film rolled. I couldn’t help it, the ending broke my heart.


The Love of Siam (Thai: รักแห่งสยาม, RTGS: Rak Haeng Sayam) is a multi-layered family drama that includes a romance between two teenage boys. I admit of getting a copy due to this element, but I was more than happy to find out that this movie has more to offer than just a feed to my fujoshi-heart. It deals with tragedies, sexual awakenings and other things a young adult deals within his environment, including peer pressure and responsibilities to family. No wonder it won so many awards, including Best Picture.

I think I’ll never be able to forget this movie as it has now awakened my interest in Thai culture, starting with its other great films to offer.

I’d have to say the actors contributed a lot to the success of this movie. The actress who played Tong’s mother Sunee, Sinjai Plengpanich, is said to be one of the best actresses in Thailand. I think it’s true. Every time she appears in a scene, the loneliness and pain of a distressed mother struggling with her family’s tragedies and her effort to show strength, gives the scene a heavy feeling and the characters interacting with her character is easily dragged by this aura, making the scene effective. A mother who has to deal with a depressed alcoholic husband, a missing daughter and a son whom she discovers to be struggling with his own sexuality might, at most times, would be seen always breaking down in tears or edging sanity. But Sinjai’s acting gave light to this character who showed her strength with silence and carefulness with her own tears, gave us access to the character’s pain through her eyes. I was so impressed with this actress that I wonder how she fairs in other movies. Aside from that, she is really beautiful.


As for Tong and Mew, Mario Maurice and Witwisit Hiranyawongkul respectively, I think they also gave justice to their own characters. Even the younger actors of their roles did great in acting, especially the little Mew who needed to show an internal struggle with loneliness because of his own family and his building interest with his playful neighbor Tong, whom was equally suffering due to his sister missing one day in Chiangmai. Meanwhile, I would say that Mario impressed me with his acting especially in that scene with Ying, wherein he broke down crying while he confesses his own confusion about his sexual identity, mixed with the pressure his friends had indirectly pressed on him. Witwisit (or Pitch, nickname) I think gave a good performance as well, maybe also because his demeanor really suits the character of Mew who lives quietly by himself and music. Based on the profile written about him in Wiki, I think his character is not really far from Mew as he really sings for a band and creates music in his free time. He also is not that fond of his own popularity that many misunderstands him as a snob.

The chemistry of Mario and Witwisit in the movie was so great that it was funny to read that they weren’t that friendly towards one another in the set. They even admitted of having cold feet due to the kissing scene in the movie. Well, I think they did well and they were very natural in those moments their characters had to interact with each other in more than friendly manners. Now this makes me think if it was just the ambiance in their scenes that made Tong and Mew’s moment so effin great or if they really just acted great with each other. I guess I’d settle with both, then. ^^

There are a lot of parts in this movie I’d say was very memorable for me, but I think my favorite would be the end where we can see Mew putting the last piece of Tong’s gift to him, completing the wooden toy. He sits on his bed and say’s “Thank You” (to Tong), perhaps with the memories they made together, the love he was able to experience with him, and for loving him despite the fact that they can’t be together as lovers. Since Mew’s character sort of mirror’s Sunne’s character of wanting to stay strong to the point that they quietly shut their world to build themselves back without others seeing their vulnerability, this scene shows Mew crying his heart out. I feel so sorry for Mew that I wanted to hug him. Seriously. Maybe because I thought that if I was Mew, I know that I would be able to move on with my life because I have friends. But then I go home to an empty house, with my mind constantly flying to the images of those people I lost, to that person I can’t be with. I’m alone and I have the right to be lonely. Who would comfort me when I am alone, trying to make music about love without loving?

I think that made me cry. I suddenly remember that time I went to watch a Japanese movie with my co-workers and was surprised to see our QA crying over a scene in the movie when a grandfather made his wife’s death robe. When I asked him why he cried because of that, he said he couldn’t help but place himself in the shoes of the character. I didn’t understand it then, but now I totally can.

And maybe it’s a play of fate that I stumbled upon a documentary about missing children in the Philippines. According to a child psychologist, it is more painful for parents who have missing children than dead children, because there is no closure. They live with the pain, the guilt, and regrets. They have to go on living and hoping one day they will be reunited with the ones they lost one day without a trace. This part of the movie was clearly seen with the situation of Tong’s family.

*sigh*

This entry sounds like crap, when I actually wanted to make a decent movie review. Maybe next time, when I don’t feel heavy anymore.


Alright, that was actually a movie review I wrote five years ago from my old blog I thought that I’ve lost the contents since the website shut down for a while. It’s not the best writing I have, but I think this writing is much more honest and descriptive than I could ever be now. Since I’m on a Thai-entertainment high these days, I might as well post this review here. 🙂

*downloads the director’s cut*

My family

If I were writing an elementary essay, I would talk about my family in the most simplest, idealistic way: My family is made of my daddy, mommy, older brother, and me. We go out every Sunday to go to church. We eat in Jollibee. My family is happy!

If I were to write about my family during my high school days, I would describe it as: My family is made of my mom, dad, older brother, younger brother, step mom and me. I live with my mom when I go to school. Every Friday, my daddy picks me up from our house in Makati to go to our house in Boni. I watch TV all the time in the house or play with my Barbie. On Sunday, we go to church then eat in a Chinese or pizza restaurant. This is the best part of the weekend. I enjoy time with my family like this, but I need to go home at night.

If I was describing my family situation during my latter college years, it would be like this: My family is composed of my father, my mother, my Tita, Kuya, younger brother, and me. My dad is in America, working. My Tita takes care of our shop in Boni. I occasionally visit her, my older brother who lives with them now, as well as my younger brother. I often fight with both my brothers, but they’re mostly simple sibling banter. I always have long talks with Tita. I guess she likes me most because I’m the only girl in the family, and I am a very good listener. She always have complains about the house, the business, my brothers, and of course, my dad, but she loves everyone, nonetheless. If I lived with them, she’ll probably complain about me too, but I don’t so I’m safe. It always amuses me how great Tita’s memory is because she remembers the exact dialogue in her stories. There are weekends I don’t visit anymore because I’m busy or I get lazy, but I need to because my dad always go online on Ovoo. He goes online from 11:00 AM up to 2:00 PM sometimes. He always asks us how we’re doing, the kids, but we mostly go our separate ways after a while then he and Tita talk for hours. We also go to church on Sundays together, but often Tita would go alone or only with me since my brothers can’t be bothered to do so. I don’t like going to church, but I don’t like Tita feeling alone also. After church, my brothers join us for dinner. Later, I go home by myself or they take me home by car. 

I’m going to describe my family at present: In 2014, became less of one person. She’s in heaven now, probably watching over the family she has invested on for so many years. Our house in Boni is less of one matron de arc, but my younger brother lives with two friends as borders. He doesn’t communicate with us much, despite the years of being together, but has episodes of total sadness and I don’t know how to comfort him. Yesterday, he seemed okay, but he had no stories for us except that he doesn’t have a girlfriend anymore. My older brother lives with his family not far from my house, he has now two bouncing balls of energy as sons who keep him busy and a rocky marriage with his wife. I’m not sure what’s the deal with them now, because every quarter we get a press release from my brother that they’re going to finally separate. Yesterday, they seemed okay. I still live with my mom. Things between has never changed, but probably I have more authority over my actions now. She welcomes my younger brother in her house, but it’s more complicated for him than just living with us. There’s a lot more to deal with. My dad is still in America, trying his best to deal with old age, the loss of a loved one, and three kids who cannot communicate with him on a daily basis like Tita did. He must be very sad, feeling lonely and alone, but we can’t help it. We grew up never connecting that well with him. At least with my older brother and I. My younger brother grew up with him, but not me. Over the last months I lived with him, I get to know him better–and worse–but it’s probably late to demand being “malambing” children to us. I already had an established personality when I connected with him, so I can’t be the “princess” he always wanted me to be. My siblings and I don’t talk much. We mostly like Facebook statuses and pictures, give a short comment here and there, but we probably talk more, hang out more with our friends. We don’t hug, we don’t text, we don’t assure each other that we’re gonna be there all the time. I guess the latter is already understood, even without words. When my family meets, even after a long time of not being together, we don’t catch up, we don’t say “I miss you” to each other, we’re not excited over each others’ presence and I’m not sure how to feel about this. I guess, at the back of my mind, I’ve always longed for the kind of family I see on TV, or the ones my friends have, but that’s not the one I have. I can’t say I’m unlucky because I love them nonetheless.

This is my reality and of my family. Also a reminder to just go with what they want for the next birthday treat and not insist on things I like (eherm, Japanese food). Haaaay…what’s gonna happen in the next years to us? Will we still be in the same country? How much will we miss each other? I guess I’ll just have to hold on and see.

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She will be loved

…forever and ever.

After more than a year of battle, my Tita is now more peaceful wherever she is.

I knew that she will leave us sooner or later; I was mentally and emotionally ready for it. I don’t know if that is a bad thing or not, to expect a family to die, but the way I saw it during the times she was still alive but sick, it was what was expected due to her health condition.

A lot of her other relatives told me that perhaps it was not cancer because her hair grew back, she was walking and eating better after many months on vegetable, but I was in doubt it wasn’t. No matter how I wanted to believe them, I was the person with Tita the most during the past year who observed the changes in her and the one who reviewed her medical conditions the most. It was no doubt a very bad disease, cancer or not. What I never doubt was that Tita never resigned herself to the disease. She perhaps resigned her faith to God, but I know that she helped herself get better. From the stories I heard about her last minutes alive, I think she knew it was time. She was the strongest she had ever been from the time the lung complications hit her. She danced, she ate heartily, she spoke clearly, she talked happily and said goodbye peacefully. What I am very thankful for is she didn’t experience pain; she was at home and she felt safe.

I am very thankful to the people who took care of her in place of us, her family. Of course I feel that her mother and siblings should take care of her as an obligation, but I would have preferred she stayed close to us, but we knew, to be honest, that we’re not good enough to make her feel better. During the time I took care of her, I was stressed because there was so much to do, so much to be concerned with, and I can only take care of her half-heartedly. I questioned the cosmos why it was happening to us, to me, and I was very, very tired. I wanted the burden to end. That burden could have been her, or the situation, I’m not sure. I was so stressed I was starting to feel very edgy and selfish. Of course, I didn’t give up on her.

Tita never gave up on me. She was my protector. Whenever Dad doubts my decisions and my preferences, she was always there to defend my reasons. She trusted me that much. She thought I was smart! When I wanted to go to Japan, instead interrogating me and telling me that it would be a big waste of money, she pushed me to go through it! She even shared her story of working in Nagoya when she was younger. She always told me that I have to pursue working abroad while I’m still young. My destiny could be in another country. We went out more than I could think of. Because we are girls, we had more bonding time. I’d always remember those fondly. Although I acted so much like a kid, letter her treat me and depending on her so much, I’d like to think she liked dotting on me. I was her favorite. 🙂

I remember defining the word integrity to her as she was to explain it for my brother’s school event involving parents, and now I can’t help but think that the word suited her very well. She always lived with integrity.

During her internment yesterday, perhaps I saw the saddest, yet most beautiful picture of a husband and wife. Although not legally married, my dad and Tita were best together. My Tita loved her dad wholeheartedly. To be honest, we even questioned that many, many times since my dad could be such a jerk. Yet, yesterday before Tita’s casket was buried, my dad asked the casket to be opened. He stroked her head, touched her cold face and hand, then he leaned down to whisper things to her. In that moment, we didn’t exist; only him and Tita. He whispered to her closely, not minding her lifeless body or the odor. He said so many, many things to her I think and it was the most intimate thing I’ve seen between them. Those things were only to be known between them; between heaven and earth. After that, he kissed her cold lips for a while before finally saying goodbye.

Now, I know that I loved Tita like a mother, but would I be this calm when my own mom dies? I don’t even want to think about it. I don’t want any of my family members to go soon. Despite having a feeling that I might leave on my 33rd birthday, I wish I have fulfilled much of what I need to do for my family before then.

 

JpegRosemarie P. Giron

February 8, 1964 – December 1, 2014

 

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

Rest in Peace, Tita.

You will always be my friend, my special Tita, and my mother.

We will always miss and love you.

the green coincidence

the green coincidence

February 23, 2014, my dad, brothers and I found ourselves wearing different shades of green. It was fascinating! This goes to show that we, as individuals have different shades of personality and character, but as family, we are from the same category of color, sharing the same blood.

*tears* AHLABYUGUYYYYZZZZ

(I’m a dwarf next to these men in my life. Thanks, Ma.)

Oh my dad…

Grown ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever be explaining to them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince (novel)

 

This quote of the day was chosen in lieu of my father’s departure, again.

In several hours, we’d be taking him to the airport, have the usual goodbye quips and hugs, while I keep everything I want to tell him to myself, as usual. 

I actually intended to write him a long letter (which I have not accomplished) expressing my impression of him as a father to me for three months, my observations of him as person, and properly extending my gratitude as a daughter who, though ever enthusiastic to object his ideas time and time again, learned a lot with our short stay together. I also want to assure him that I do love him as my father and I do respect him (though to be honest, this area needs boosting) as one despite my bitchy attitude sometimes and my silence whenever he shares his woes. I wanted to make him understand that I’m the awkward child in the family and he can’t do much about that anymore.

My father and I have a brittle relationship. I say this even if it’s a one-sided point of view because he’s confident there’s nothing wrong between us. Sadly, that’s not true.

In a parallel universe, I’m probably a very sweet daughter who can dance the waltz with her father and look up to him with sheer admiration and appreciation. In reality, I am tight-lipped around him and I always have to browse through a catalog in my head of possible topics to start despite my apparent aversion to small talk. As family, this isn’t natural.

You see, my parents separated when I was two years old. Once they settled their relationship as separate single parents, I only got to be with my dad on weekends, a family member’s birthday, and Christmas. As the years progressed and I got busier with friends and had an active social life, my time for family naturally digressed, more so with my father who lived in a different city. With a sudden, horrible turn of events, he had to escape to another country. Our communication was aided through fiber optic wires and a monitor on weekends and special occasions, which to all it’s good intent, never really helped much to strengthen my emotional connection to him.

Throughout the years, I suppose the image of my father had been pretty bleak. He was nice because he worked hard to get to our good side, he never failed to give us what we want (if we negotiate hard enough) and provide what our family needs financially. However, I strongly scowl at his pride, his never-ending public outcry of how his problems are always worse than his, and his not-so-subtle hints of begging for pity. He’s also the type of man who mocks the sincerity of a monogamous man.

(That, I proudly announce, have commented as bullshit to him in one of our better times together. See?)

There’s a saying that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. Yes, agreeable, but my father refuses to be old, so it’s an invalid argument when he tells me to shut my trap whenever nag at his ever irritating ways. More than once, I told him that even with our dilemma with Tita, the shift in our family setting, the money problems, etc. he should have taken the chance he had with me and my brothers to get to know us better, even with the short time. Surely, if the big C problem never happened, then everything would never have happened. Fine, that would have been preferable of course, but I think I would never be able to spend more than a month with him, actually living with him and getting to know his good and bad side, getting to know him better if all these never happened. I would never have bother to learn how to cook rice and some dishes properly if he never forced me, or the things I should have been concerned in the house if he never came here to our aid. It’s sad that he spend most of those three months sulking at the pile of problems left for him alone to solve (I object because we were always there to help him, he just never trusted us enough to believe that we are capable of properly helping) and how our attitudes does not suit his taste, questioning our ripe characteristics. Like the kids he left for the states years ago, he expected us to follow all his decisions blindly just because he is the adult, the father.

However, it’s not like that. It’s not easy letting a person waltz into your life with the label of a father after being without each other for so long and instantly glorify the situation without thorns that have grown pricking us in the process.

We have grown so much, isn’t he proud we can defend our opinions so well? Isn’t he proud that even in our own flawed way, we’ve somehow survived society unscathed and still smiling? We can joke about the sad times in the past because we’ve accepted it and we have moved on. Sadly my father occasionally mulls on the times he was never there for us, the graduations and birthdays he missed, and seemed to have never defeated the guilt no matter how many times we assure him that we were never angry at his departure and that we are fine, we’re happy, we’re coping.

Although I guess that can be sad as well. Your family coping well even without you. Well, if we don’t have a choice, we can’t really do anything about it, can we? So just…move on with life and enjoy the present and the future! I wish at least 30 percent of my positiveness rubs on him. He seriously needs to change perspective.

Well, after three months, I’m happy to note that I have became closer to my father. I have a better image of him, and I’d love to visit him abroad in the future. I will miss him, but I think there’s still a lot of things we have to work on. Things we have to work on without each other. I love my father, but he gets on my nerves so much, I’d have to prevent potential family drama initiated by my imploding grief.

So…

Dear Daddy,

It’s been nice, well, more than nice living together these past three months. We’ve had rough days and relatively relaxed ones. All those memories I will remember more vividly as they were made in my later years compared to my apparent happy childhood which is a haze to me now.

Always take care, and I love you.

Till next time. 🙂