Saturday, December 30, 2006

Here, Kitty, Kitty

So, this explains the days and nights of wauling:

"Cats are referred to as "polyestrus," which means that they will go into heat cycles periodically during their fertile years. These heat cycles may start as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten's life, and will continue until she is either bred or spayed. Heat cycles in cats last from several days to two weeks or longer, and repeat every two to three weeks. You can see then, how a female cat may almost always seem to be in heat.
No one can say with any accuracy that heat cycles are painful to cats; however from the calling (loud yowling) and other symptoms they exhibit, it would appear that they are very uncomfortable."

Our street was turned into cat-motel this past few days, and just yesterday, the neighborhood white tomcat and a stray black decided to have their honeymoon in our very own backyard--first-rate suite!

I probably looked ridiculous trying to scare them away, shooing and booing them to no avail while they look at me, the black one on top of the white (or was it the other way around?), with that so-what-are-you-looking-at-girl-you-voyeur-you look.

I was so disgusted it was actually ridiculous. I could have screamed at them "go, get a room pussies!" and they would just stare..and stare..and stare.

What could those hot felines do, right? They were simply responding to what's natural to them. I've been looking for the right word to describe it. It's not feral since the act is sexual. What is it, what is it? Kahayupan: this is good enough for now. Kahayupan in the very sense of the word.

I guess it's the same way with dogs doing it in the streets. There's just something--uhm, darn, I still don't have the word. I'm sure old Freud has some explanation to this: your wild, natural instincts are being reflected, blah blah. Next time they do it again, I'd bring out my stuffed Garfield, who is honestly the only feline I could stand and adore.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Here's to hugs, kisses, poetry, kids, wine, love, laughter and life!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

God, I want a baby


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thank You

Last Friday, our students had their Christmas party in which we teachers were invited. The kids planned everything—from food & drinks, music, their dates, dress code, etc. We were actually surprised that they invited us adults since it was supposed to be their “own” party. Somehow, we all felt that that night was extra special, perhaps because they were all dressed up (attire was semi-formal) and we are used to their t-shirt-jeans-flip-flops ensemble everyday. To see them in skirts, dresses slacks, polo shirts, and closed shoes was sheer delight. Sabi ko nga, mukha silang tao. They were gorgeous!

R, an eighth grader, hosted the party in his opulent Capitol Subdivision house. Food was great and his dad served good wine (to teachers only, of course). When P and I arrived, the party was in full swing. When the last of my colleague arrived, the kids announced they’d start their presentation. Excitedly, we all gathered in the sala, expecting some song and dance number, the usual, we thought. Apparently, they have prepared something “special”. It was going to be Teachers’ Awards Night, they said.

We were scared! What if they give us really embarrassing awards, we all thought. The emcees, N and J, said that they’d start with the “minor” awards which are mostly “blooper” titles. There were the Bonkers Award (most hyper teacher), the Oops Award (absent-minded teacher---me!), the Klutz Award, Wow Legs Award (teacher with the hottest legs—imagine!), the Yosi Addict Award, the Coffee Addict Award (me, again!) etc. Then followed the Smartest Teacher Award, Santa’s Elf Award (teacher who always helps the kids in projects, plays, etc.), Mr. Congeniality (friendliest teacher—my hubby P! His ballroom sessions with the kids helped hehe). Then they called my name for the Coolest Teacher Award and I thought, wow, this is something; my students think I’m a cool teacher??? Cool!

When they announced the Biggest Heart in the World Award and called my name again, I couldn’t help crying. As they explained why they chose me for this award, I just sat there looking at them, crying, smiling, laughing, all at the same time.

Other awards followed. We cheered on each teacher and laughed at their funny thank you speeches.

Then they announced another award: the Teacher of the Year.

Yes. Unbelievable.

Until now, I can’t believe they chose me. How can I believe it? I have doubted myself (I still do!) for so many times and have thought of giving up, thinking that I was just cheating my students because what do I know about teaching? What do I really know? When they started citing reasons why they voted for me, I was overwhelmed. I stood speechless, feeling both humbled and joyful.

To borrow from the PDI’s anniversary contest winner: “To be honored for something you love doing is unbelievable.”

That night was priceless. To my Kawayan kids, thank you. You are my inspiration. Para sa inyo ito.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Finally, Officially

Finally, I now have in my hands my official college diploma. After 6 years (the date stamped on the receipt was year 2000), I was forced to break the spell of procrastination, went to my Alma Mater and claimed my diploma. I was forced, mind you. I wouldn't have bothered if only the Dep. Ed. wasn't requiring us to submit our transcript of records--now that's another story. I don't have even a photocopy of my college transcripts. Seriously. Is that really strange? When my co-teachers found out, they were shocked. You don't have a copy of your records? Nope. I never really needed to show anyone how many times I endured Math 102. But what about your previous job? Nope. My brilliance was apparently enough for them (ahem ahem). But you're supposed to keep your records! Eh, wala eh!

Truth is, I used to have a copy--of course. Silliman wouldn't have accepted me for my master's and fellowship without it. U.P. wouldn't have let me take my M.A. units in MP if I didn't submit that darn paper.

But two days ago, when I was forced to show that "proof" and couldn't, I myself doubted: did I really finish college, went to graduate school, or was I just imagining it? Then if that's the case, I told my poor self, everything that transpired some time between 1999 and 2002 was just a hoax: Dumaguete was just a dream--the boulevard walks, the apartment in Amigo subdivision, the barbecue plates and 3+1 Red Horse rounds in El Ams, the lovers, friends, unfinished thesis--all never existed! Then, the shared townhouse, Vlad, Bebang, "the second encounter" with Vim, my humiliating "iyakan" blues in Sir Jun Cruz Reyes' class, etc, etc--these are all figments of my imagination!

And so, to Espana I went.

Ha ha. Totoo nga. Nag-kolehiyo naman pala talaga ako. But don't you think it would be more interesting if I DID find out I never graduated from college or worse, never went to college? Mas masaya di ba? Mas Calvino ang dating. May dating. Ha ha.

But of course, there I was standing at the Registrar's Office, proving to the world that I, Tintin, on the detox couch, is as normal as the bubble gum on the sole of my Chucks.


Six years pa lang pala akong nakakapagtapos ng kolehiyo? Parang sampung taong mahigit na ang pakiramdam sa dinami-rami ng mga pangyayari, kabulastugan, pagbabago, walang-pagbabago, kabagutan, kasintahang nagdaan, mga kaibigang iniingatan...parang ang tagal-tagal na!


Then again, six years--that's long actually. I don't remember much of it now. Another sad fact in my book.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When the universe tries to tell you something have to listen. Intently.

Tonight an affirmation dawned on me quietly like a butterfly alighting on one’s palm: I am in the right place, with the right people, in the right time. First, there was the moon. Tonight it shines in its silver and yellow glory. Full. For all my anxieties and preoccupations with work, I still noticed it. That is something, isn’t it? Then I chanced upon this poem and it spoke to me words that my soul longs for.

Don Paterson

Silent comrade of the distances,
Know that space dilates with your own breath;
ring out, as a bell into the Earth
from the dark rafters of its own high place-
then watch what feeds on you grow strong again.
learn the transformations through and through:
what in your life has most tormented you?
If the water's sour, turn it into wine.

Our senses cannot fathom this night, so
Be the meaning of their strange encounter;
at their crossing, be the radiant centre.

And should the world itself forget your name
Say this to the still earth: I flow.
Say this to the quick stream: I am.

(thanks to Jeline for the poem)