Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sleeping with "Mummies"

For two straight nights, I have been sleeping with "mummies." My kids have been covering their feet with blankets making sure no ghosts nor monsters will be able to touch them. The heads have also been covered for they do not want to get a peek of any evil spirits or ghoul-like figures believed to be lurking during this spooky season. I had to get up in the middle of the night to check if they're still breathing. There's no lights out- not until they are totally asleep and that's the only time I can switch off the lampshade.

Blame it on Halloween. Most of the television shows have nothing but the creepy stuff. The malls have their share of surprisingly frightening masks. The featured stories on TV and in print have been ghoulish too. In the morning, my kids would exchange horror stories with their cousins and playmates building up their fears at night. They were telling me about graves, ghosts and disturbed souls haunting people. I was contradicting them and shrugging off their morbid stories with antic punchlines.

I used to be the same frightened little girl when I was at my kids' age. I would clutch a neon rosary to drive away ghosts. I remember perspiring a lot underneath a blanket due to scary stories that I have vividly imagined.

Deep inside me, the "mummies" sleeping with me are just lovely to look at. I liked it when they asked me to hug them tightly as they try to close their eyes, twitching it perhaps distracted by scary thoughts. I'm taking my little mummies out to join Halloween's trick or treat this afternoon. It's no Filipino tradition but the malls have long commercialized this western event and there's no question that it's a hit to boys and girls! I'd like to celebrate fright with them. After all, kids are only kids once. I might as well have fun in this spooktacular event.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Winning by Losing

My father run for Barangay Elections today, 29 October 2007. It's something I never expected to happen since he's not the type who would be welcoming visitors from all walks of life everyday. He values privacy. He values punctuality. He values discipline. He values hard work. He is not the type who would sit down for long hours and exchange stories with people. He is not the one who would put up a front if he dislikes an idea or a person. He's the boss. Whether right or wrong, he is right. That's why he upbraids me whenever I speak my mind that may be contrary to his. That is a violation to him.

My father decided to run to change the way our elected leaders in our community do their thing. In the past, there were many ghost projects that allowed release of local community budgets without getting tangible results. He wants change. He wants to sincerely serve by bringing civil works as one of his prime target projects as a licensed civil engineer. He wants campaigning be done house to house instead of putting posters on the walls to refrain from dirtying it. He did just that during the campaign period. And he was so motivated to keep that no litter campaign when our esteemed neighbor, Justice Jose Vitug, complimented his style.

My father lost in the barangay elections today by a sheer number of votes from the one who emerged as the newly elected barangay chairman. There will be a leadership change in our community but my father will not be heading it. The defeat may have stung him. By now, he may be lying in bed with thoughts rambling on the election scenario and his cash outflow during the period. That was a gamble.

My father may have lost the election but it didn't mean that he is not a winner. It was his first try to throw his lot in politics and getting a good turnout of voters means that he has the public trust. He just didn't get everyone's approval as he was less popular compared to the new barangay chairman.

He is a winner in a sense that he offered himself to have a choice for change. His intentions are clean and clear. It was like utopia that he envisioned for our small community near the presidential palace. There is triumph in losing. There are ways he can't change and there are things he may just have to accept as is. There is humility in defeat and there are other endeavors to try out.

Papa need not prove himself. He can still remain hot headed like Stalin and reformed like St. Augustine in a matter of hours without the prying eyes of many. To me and the rest of the family, my father remains a winner. He's the boss. And by his life experience, I must say, there is wisdom to it.

Monday, October 22, 2007


My sister-in-law, Cath, did her grocery at Rustan's. While waiting for her I decided to take my kids to Glorietta play area last Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It was a very unusual Glorietta that we witnessed. The busiest shopping mall was deserted. It's not normal and it's appalling. People come in trickles and the languid mood was much felt.

A day after a deadly blast in the area that killed eleven and wounded over a hundred, this was quite expected.

The bomb experts are still gathering evidence whether it was a terror attack or an accident. I remember the Course on International Terrorism that I previously facilitated. I gained a couple of friends from the participants and there's one who is a bomb expert. As chief of the bomb squad, he's been frequently interviewed in connection with this tragedy. He's still mum on giving conclusions as they continue to gather sufficient evidence but given the lessons I've learned from that training, it would be difficult to identify one such act. And if indeed it was, it's a lamentable truth. It's so heartrending to see innocent people get into this kind of tragedy where they were left helpless and lifeless out of one man's whimsical, beastly act just so a political cause gets across the government's negotiating table.

The misfortunate event was stunningly traumatic. The victim could have been someone I know or some friend you know or some workaholic yuppies having late lunch. Whoever was caught up in that leisurely place did not get the respite he/she was simply after. It was unspeakably immense. We could only sympathize with the grieving families, empathize with the victims and hope that justice will be served soon.

While it's incomprehensible to imagine how contemporary beasts could have played with lives and that the attack (maybe accident) could have temporarily scared the hell out of us, we remain undeterred. This great loss will have to remind us that our security threat is paramount. On the other hand, we quietly mourn with the nation as a consequence of this tragic incident.
In a metropolis, going to a shopping center is our way of relaxation. We just hope that if it was an accident, it should be prevented from recurring in the future. And if it was more than that, we hope that the security guards will have a better sense of detecting explosives so the terror threat can be downplayed. Things get sophisticated and high tech and the terrorists in our midst have turned savvy bomb makers. May the guards know exactly what they are looking for when they make their routinary inspection to shoppers and passersby. May this tragic event bring solidarity in our nation that is now in palpable threat of yet a great divide.