Sunday, October 16, 2005

Backyard Urchins and Jordi at Buglasan

Louie and Jordi decided I needed help today because it's Rose's day off. Not wanting to do the dishes, they offered to water the garden. Kids, water, garden... By the time I checked, they looked like this:

Tonight, Jordi's school (that's him in the left foreground waving a Chinese lantern) presented several Chinese dances at the Tayada sa Buglasan. The Tayada is a weekly cable tv program that features the talents of schools and groups here. The Buglasan, on the other hand, is Oriental Negros's version of a provincial "festival of festivals". The towns and cities bring their respective festivals to the capital and compete for prizes in street dancing, "showdown", booth-making, etc. Oh, and not to forget the ubiquitous singing, dancing contests and the "Little Miss Buglasan" and "Little Master Buglasan"! :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Well, We Left the "Children's Ministry"!

couldn't have them do this!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Billy the Kid

Went to the blessing of SPI-Publishers' new building over in Bacong yesterday morning and dropped in at the mayor's house to take photos, for DTI, of his coco coir project (both are really long stories). As we were walking out of his compound, saw this baby goat across the road make a skip and a jump and scramble up this rock. It tried to find a better foothold, teetered precariously at one point, and finally jumped down and landed squarely on its feet - just like in National Geographic or Animal Planet shows. Too bad my kids weren't with me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

In the Water At Last

Finally, it was cool enough to go out, Fred found a couple of boogie boards, and the kids were off! That's Apo Island in the distance.

This place is right beside the mouth of a small river and the kids (the driftwood's pointing at Jordi and he's pointing at Louie at the end of the spit of sand) thought they'd explore there. The adults followed and sat on the sand, and talked about kids, crabs and crazy ideas.

This was quite exciting for the kids. They'd been busy digging in and transporting and building with the sand at our feet when these fishermen, on their way home from a day at sea, came silently into the river. I really should get myself a videocamera soon. Although, I don't think I'm likely to forget their shrieks of "Mom! MOM! LOOOK!" I am so glad we packed them into the car to come here. Next time we come, we'll have to get them into one of these boats. After all, they're great-grandchildren of a fine fisherman; they should at least know how to paddle a banca... In the distance is the town of Zamboanguita, by the way.

Fred's Dogs

This is the view from Fred's porch and that's the Alpha male of his dogs, a German Shepherd among Labradors. I can't remember its name, though.

I thought we could only toss them bread, but apparently, they also eat fresh young coconut! The minerals in it are supposed to give their coats shine. Who would've thought!

After their coconut treat, they were allowed on to the beach for a quick game of catch and a swim. They rinsed off at the back of the house, beside a well that about 2 ft down looked like it had been there for a hundred years. Fred says it probably was about that old since it was already there when they bought the lot.

Louie had been intrigued by the shape and size of this bougainvillea, and the dogs were already in their cages, so he ventured down and tried it for size. From left to right, the three legs of this "pergola" are lomboy, bougainvillea, and kalamunggay. It must look really nice when it has flowers.

Saturday at Latasan

Saturday, September 17, we decided we needed a break and called a friend to ask if we could drop in on him at his beach house. Fred had been asking us for the longest time to just bring the kids over but there was always something else going on which prevented us from enjoying his hospitality.

The kids, settled in front of the tv for Saturday morning cartoons, understandably started whining "What? You're stressed and so we all have to go to the beach?" :-) Jordi was right, too. You'd think I'd enjoy the beach more if I wasn't always making sure they were within sight and reach, having been trained how to do this every summer over the course of years by my wonderful aunts from Dipolog, but no, not likely. Images of them sitting zombified in front of the tv would've haunted me and I wouldn't have been able to focus on the view. So packed into the car went we.

We got there about noon, told the kids to stay in the house until it wasn't too hot, bustled (another word I've long wanted to use. it reminds me of The Little House on the Prairie) in the kitchen, got lunch spread out, and by the time I sat down to eat, they'd gone into "there's nothing to do here!" Fortunately, right beside the kitchen I found an entire 6-foot bookcase filled with Fred's son's very good collection of children's books. After shouts of "Mom! He has Roald Dahl!" and "Mom! He has LOTS of Roald Dahl!", both boys settled into the conveniently positioned and comfortably sized rocking chairs for 2 solid hours of reading, believe it or not.

After that, and since it still wasn't cool enough yet, Fred showed them his attack-trained dogs. This is as close as we could get, or would ever want to get, to them: tossing pieces of bread, right at that spot.

All this time, Jong napped on this suspended sofa-swing. The breeze was blowing in from the beach, too. :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dances for Buwan Ng Wika

Forgot to put these photos up last week. Holy Cross High School had their Buwan ng Wika cultural show on Friday afternoon, August 26, and the kids were made to wear "Filipino costumes" in the morning. Both kids went in camisa chinos, rolled up maong pants and slippers. The only difference was that Louie wore a huge sundang in a sakuban strapped to his waist and was the center of attention (No,there was no knife. Just a real handle glued to a real holder/scabbard/thingy, but it looks so much like the real thing the guards and teachers repeatedly checked it). Last year, it was Jordi's turn but this year he decided he didn't want the attention. He could've gone as an Igorot warrior or something, but he said, "I can't go to school naked!" :-) (Sigh, I remember the time I sent a very game Patrick to school looking like a fisherman complete with fish trap and a paddle. Would've thrown in the banca if he could carry it. He says he remembers the fun we had, too.)

For the show, Louie couldn't wear this barong tagalog without the long-sleeved undershirt. "It's too itchy! How can I dance?" It looks good, doesn't it? Wearing a barong any other way, unless you're a minor, should be made a crime :-) That's his classmate and friend Ari. Ok, Ari's parents are both tall.

Louie told me to come watch the show "because I have a surprise for you!" This was his surprise: a pretty dance in pretty clothes. His teacher told me he quickly memorized the steps and it showed. He was so confident up there, but I think the thing that made it really special for him were the clothes. Coming up to me after his dance he asked, "Wasn't that a nice surprise, Mama?" Of course, it was perfect.

Jordi, who's always the leader at home, always seems to be shy at school and it shows in the way he smiles... He also picked up the steps of this dance very quickly and had the best-looking smile up there, shy or not. Well, only a few of them were smiling; most kids were too busy counting steps :-) I hope next year he gets to wear a barong, too. I believe it does wonders for self-confidence. Maybe I shouldn't wait for next year!

While watching the show, I was wondering about things that people seem to have taken for granted. For example, why does the sound at these shows always have to be so loud? Don't the school authorities care that loud sounds can damage young (and old) ears? Also, who monitors what the children are presenting on stage? Why do these shows always feature, in some skit, screaming homosexuals or effeminate cross-dressers? And who monitors the messages these skits put across? Like the one where an "ugly hunchbacked" girl makes a wish upon a magic mirror and ends up making everybody around her ugly and hunchbacked. Why allow such a negative message? I wish somebody would explain those things to me because I'm this close to joining the PTA again :-) Somebody STOP me!