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i can't imagine myself diving into the pit of responsibilities involved in being a parent. every single day i read on facebook something about the awesomeness of having kids and parenthood, and yet the mommies who make that type of statements do not look as though they're having the time of their lives. i mean, forgive me if i don't think it's cool to always have kids screaming in the background. forgive me if i'd rather be working overtime than to wake up in the middle of the night just so to comfort a toddler who's been having bad nightmares. forgive me if i don't see anything fulfilling about not having to travel and move around spontaneously, at will. forgive me if i hate to spend my money on toys and diapers and milk, and other things that will invariably be useless to me, when i can use my savings to avail a good insurance deal. forgive me for thinking spending my time in peace, reading all the novels i can get my hands on, is more intellectually stimulating than arranging a kid's schedule or observing his conducts. forgive me if i have more fulfilling everyday goals than succeeding to prevent the little tyke from playing with his poop. forgive me if my idea of self-growth and maturity does not include expertise on intensive childcare. forgive me if i don't know what i'm missing by NOT having a kid. i do not honor my opinions as first class, or even as accepted, general truths, but it seems to me that a woman's world shrinks once she gets the hang of parenting. her window to the world zooms into scenes of nappies, diapers, playtime, breastfeeding, disciplining and so on, while the other, often more colorful, aspects of life in the periphery blur to oblivion. suddenly, everything is all about the baby. every picture you share to the public is a snapshot of your child's early milestones, which basically consist a baby smiling for the first time, rolling on the floor for the first time, holding her milk bottle by herself... gosh, they can get REALLY boring. it's probably different to you, as a mother, but as a human being those are merely accomplishments a kid will sooner or later achieve, like INEVITABLY. so excuse me for not clicking the "like" button on them. so now, where an energetic and zesty woman once stood there sits a mom who cannot conduct a discussion that does not involve her children. i cannot allow myself to be like that. and you say, "you can still travel the world with you kids." or "it's possible to write your thoughts and other substantial materials with a kid around."  errrr, NO. things like that are only possible on the event that i can ignore/forget the fact that i'm saddled with a larger-than-life responsibility. as it is, i ain't that callous. but then i'm hearing the "it's all worth it" mantra, as if the benefits of having kids need to be asserted over and over again, until we all tire of it. "the kisses, the laughs and the random hugs are enough to  wash away your exhaustion." "the unconditional love you'll feel for your child will surprise you and it's not something to miss for the world." .... the fact is, there's a huge possibility that i'm not interested in this unconditional love that mothers are prone to promote. i have lived all my life without having to feel such. i have enjoyed life without it. therefore i can live, and be truly happy, without it. i have a mother i love, sisters i love, a father i love in spite of his shortcomings, and a partner i wanna spend my future with. i have traveled to europe, to asia, and will travel to america and it's all because i have disposable income to spare which i managed to accumulate due to the lack of an extra mouth to feed. i have finished 100+ highly acclaimed and difficult novels because i have all the time in the world to spare. i have written so-so fiction works because there's not a huge responsibility over my shoulder to kill my so-called creativity. i have the freedom to grab a bite in any restaurant without having to worry where and to whom will i leave a baby or a toddler. i can focus on my job and on my designs owing to the absence of additional mental stresses that motherhood imposes. hence it is indeed safe to assume i have been missing out on a huge, life-changing love, but i also happen to be skipping the mental stresses involved in raising a kid, financial responsibilities, sleep deprivation, physical wear, childbirth and the list goes on. why? because my strict  belief is, it's definitely NOT worth it.
04 February 2013 @ 08:47 pm
before this year started i decided that, for better or for worse, i will resign from my current job. for starters, i'm earning a PALTRY sum from a profession somewhat respected due to its presumed glamour. well, they're wrong. being under employment of a fellow professional, whose outdated ideals do not pan with me, i'm almost always the receiving end of his silly demands which are mostly derived from his ignorance in modern technology and concepts. couple that with a laughable salary and i have just about had enough. and now the bad news. the most competent of my colleagues has jumped ship in pursuance of a better salary, therefore of a better life. because of that i now have to be the one to shoulder the work he's left behind. being the most loyal among all employees strictly in terms of tenure, i have no other choice but to accept the cold reality. this simply amplifies my desire to just be done with this firm. and what is there to miss anyway? greener pastures are beckoning me. but before i left the office this evening my boss summoned me! he said he'll be giving me an increase. aside from that, he was practically begging me not to resign anytime soon. needless to say what he was asking me was the complete opposite of what i was planning, i didn't know how to answer. i did not, however,  give him an assurance. in the first place, dude, that's (salary increase) long overdue. i don't mean to sound like an ingrate but the last time i was given an increase was 2 fucking years ago. if he was expecting i would jump up and down for a $40 increase then he must have thought i was a fucking beggar! really, it did strike me as an insult rather than a blessing. so, i've made up my mind. once i return from my impending one-month vacation in San Diego, i'll come back with a resignation letter at hand. i'll be flying one and a half months from now and have not filed my leave. to hell with that and hello, California. see you in a while.
18 January 2013 @ 11:47 am
There’s a trend that’s overwhelming Facebook. It goes by several names but you might recognize it as the ‘I Love My Kids’ trend or the ‘I’m So Happy with My Life’ fad. For me, it goes by longer terms like, ‘Happy Outside: Miserable Inside’ or ‘I Like to Deceive People and Myself’. I can reason this out because I’m simply the type who likes to take into account reality and other factors that truly count, or matter. The truth, or lack thereof, in the idea that having children will invariably ruin your life, let’s face it, remains to be seen. Just like any other coffee table topic that calls for verification, this one is open for arguments. I, however, am certain about one thing, and it’s that no one in her right mind is hypocritical enough to suggest that having children is always full of laughter, joy and love. Please. If anything, having them almost always means acquiring more responsibilities and less independence. But it does work both ways. Everything has its ups and downs hence I don’t see how having children could be any different from other life-altering decisions. Adjustment is key, but can it be done with perfect ease?
Well, ok, I get it; you love your children. You feel so blessed to have them. They are adorable and you are over the moon for having them around you all the time… errr, really? They mean the world to you and most of the time your heart is threatening to explode with that so-called thing you call love. Exactly just how many times have I heard that? It has rang down my ears so many times, in fact in too many repetitions, that I often have to think twice about taking your word for it. That aside, why do I keep hearing only the good things? I’m pretty sure parenting isn’t all about exhilaration and fulfillment; there has to be something frustrating in it. Like that needs special mention. So where’s the part where you couldn’t sleep last night because she was having a big tantrum while the other little one chose the same time to be equally difficult? I think we all would rather face reality. At this point I have to admit I’m exclusively referring to those who gush endlessly and constantly about the incredible nature of their little angels as though completely forgetting about the circumstances under which the kids were conceived. Didn’t you just weeks ago hinted on suffering numerous symptoms of postpartum depression? Didn’t your surprise pregnancy almost ruined your relationship with your sister and mother? So how come life has suddenly become so fucking beautiful? It’s unlikely that you’ve recently won a lottery jackpot but then again something big must have come your way. Come on. You don’t have to pretend that the infant on your lap has hampered a number of your dreams. The good part is, though, no one is obliged to bat a blind eye on your situation. We understand. We understand why you had to quit your job and to postpone school. Probably necessity no less than conscience has brought you to that choice, and that is in no way something to be ashamed of, much less to hide. But if you’d be bold enough to profess that that sort of arrangement is a blessing for the most part on account of the presence of your child, then that’s where our opinions must differ. Subsequently I would then have to assume that your standards have undergone a downgrade sometime during your pregnancy, otherwise I’m more than convinced you’re delusional, lying even. Why? It’s actually as simple as comparing your previous routines with the current one you’re having. It’s as easy at looking at the vast ocean of gaping differences. Formerly, you could go about hanging out around Manila Bay until the break of dawn. You can even opt to sway the night away inside a club, without care for whoever was gonna receive you at home. Oftentimes you’d be burning the midnight oil inside a coffee shop, utterly ignoring the clock; it’s just a superficial representation of time anyway. Without heeding curfew and parental warnings, you allow your mind to take up a comfortable pace, review notes scattered in front of you. And your excuse for that is the upcoming finals. You fancy yourself poetic, independent, carefree--above all. And where are you now? Feeding the baby, all alone and waiting for the husband whom you wedded in your empress-cut wedding gown which was ingeniously designed to conceal your ballooning belly. Clad in that virginal white dress, it seemed ironic that you were, at the moment, as remote a representation of a virgin upon an altar as a regular sinner was. But he comes home late, for he has to shoulder the task of bringing home the dough, if only to make ends meet. Now you wonder why you’re here, when all around you friends are jetting off to foreign destinations, almost on a regular basis. You would have wanted to be given the same privilege, and yet it’s not like you’d let your baby’s christening budget be compromised. Surely, Hong Kong, Boracay or Singapore can wait, right? Surely, the honeymoon can wait. For now, baby is ready to be taken outside, and it would be nice if he had a few accessories and clothes to parade in the mall. But some other thoughts are assailing you. You can perhaps do the same, say get a little downtime should your savings account allow it. But then again the expenses to a trip to a romantic private beach resort is quite equivalent to a gorgeous stroller and a few weeks’ worth of formula milk. Of course you know your priorities, and it’s the baby, your greatest joy in life. What a novel sacrifice indeed.
Luxury aside, your extended leave from your college reaches its end. A question now presents itself; must you return or choose to rear your child with optimum parental care, as mothers should? As chance would have it, you can’t attain both at the same time. But what of your dreams of becoming a practitioner, an entertainer or a professional whatever? Thus I ask you now, can you look at me straight in the eye and tell me, “I love my life.”, “Being a mother is the best thing in the world.”? In the first place, you finished more or less five grueling years of college education. After five hundred thousand pesos spent in the promise of a prolific career, you end up caring for a child, who was conceived in one night of unrelenting pleasure. Just like that. Is it worth it? Why, as this happens often enough there ought to be a collegiate degree which offers motherhood training courses. Sarcasm aside, the continuation and quest for a career is always an open road. I only sometimes have to wonder why something like that is so seldom achieved by mothers who breed early. Indeed, women who often succeed in pulling that off are most likely the ones who were born with silver spoons up their asses, precisely the ones who can afford high-class nannies and daycare centers.
All in all, I can’t fully suggest there’s something utterly wrong with your situations, in the same manner that I can’t say you’ve chosen a very lovely shack to imprison yourself. If anything, it looks to me like you’ve just dug your own grave. However, I must admit there are women who have ended up worse and more unstable. But I’m really curious and fascinated as to why you have to parade your current lifestyle and brag about your gadgets when what you’re showing are atypical to what single women are capable of affording. In fact, what you consider as luxury items are mostly things taken for granted by spoiled brats. And there are so many of them these days--the brats. I mean, seriously, can you even pee in peace these days? Without having to worry about a toddler trailing your every step inside the house, like a shadow? You brag about  having two flat screen televisions when you live in an extremely cramped, scantily furnished one bedroom flat? I must applaud your husband for having yet to break down under the constant pressure of attending to your infant.  While you’re professing about being blessed with countless joys you’re also roaming the streets of Makati after an application for a dead-end job. You assert your sexiness to the public, your ability to surpass the appeal of single ladies, and yet your baby fats after the birth of your third child have yet to subside. Meanwhile you can’t even spare an hour or half of it for the treadmill because you have two boys and a young girl who demand every minute of your waking hour. Are you happy? I entreat you not to interchange the question with ‘do you love your children?’, because that is just plain retarded. This now begs the question, is it worth it? Remember, there isn’t gonna be any of those late-night parties and dinners, no more 5-day vacation trips abroad and so on; there’s only the unceasing demand of attendance to your family and the occasional (but deep) desire to just get away from it all, if only for one fucking day
My argument is simple. It’s that, in the past you had numerous dreams, like finish novels, travel the world, own a beach house, contribute something to the society or to whatever field your career is treading, but now the majority of your energy and effort will have to be expended on making a home and bringing up your children, just so for them to have a bright future. Ironic, isn’t it? While your personal dreams are suspended on vague hopes you also gain fulfillment by watching the kids grow in the manner you meant them to
In closing, I wish to clarify something; this post is not meant for all starting mothers. It is, however aimed at the majority since the number of working-class individuals far surpasses that of the rich and privileged ones who lead a glamour-filled life. More importantly, I am not bashing women who are thrust into motherhood because they’ve found themselves pregnant and unprepared. I’m merely entreating you to be more honest, if not for yourselves then at least for your kids. Because with the way you impose yourselves and your everyday journey through life on social networking sites, we’re all liable to assume your home is an exact replica of cloud 9 and that your children are fucking cherubs, whereas it ain’t even near
04 January 2013 @ 02:59 pm
once upon a time, my cousin was a single mother. needless to say that role was thrust upon her by some misfortune or another, it was exactly the sort of thing parents of young girls dread to happen to their sweet innocent little daughters. with every nature elemental to an accident, like carelessness and irresponsibility, incidental motherhood was something she could not have escaped, although it could have somehow been prevented by not engaging into premarital sex in the first place. at the age of 22, with hardly any source of stable income, her parents buried to the waist in debt, she was going to be a mother. the crowning misfortune of the entire affair was the fact that her partner was married, with two kids. what this meant was, she could be indicted for concubinage. with that at hand, we all just had to wonder where her education and common sense had gone off too--if she had them in the first place. really, because she was a college graduate, all of it barely added up. presently, she's living quietly. if it hadn't been for luck her name could not have gone off untainted. now, sometime during her pregnancy, she permanently cut ties with the father of her unborn child because my uncle, her pops, was so gonna kill the dude. and that was apparently the most logical, most consistent, parental guidance he could offer after his daughter had just about spread her legs for a married dude. her pregnancy, as in the situation of unwanted conceptions, wasn't an easy one. more than enduring an unhappy anticipation of the baby, the problem was the obvious abnormality in the gestation. sure enough, the labor into which she underwent suffered a series of complications, thereby harming the baby. when the kid was born, one of his eyes deteriorated, for some reason, leaving him with one eye. days later, during his time in the nursery, the doctor announced that his remaining eyes would not last for long. my cousin and her parents did everything they could to help solve this problem. they solicited huge amounts of money from relatives and friends if only to save the kid from contracting total blindness. luckily, their efforts paid off. in the end, the remaining eye survived although with poor sight.

years passed. it now appears the little boy is having difficulties in learning how to talk and to express himself. in short, his cognitive abilities are impaired. as for the mother, she remains a ward of her parents. recently she married a decent guy who happens to be a friend of her brother. the catch was he resides in canada. the opportunity he has offered her is immense. without taking into account the inconveniences, he took his chance and promised to treat the kid as his own. since she practically has no means of earning for herself, making a house for her husband and child appears to be the only future that awaits her. in a word, he could save her from her monotonous and unproductive life. but the guy's stay in the philippines was only temporary, which means he had to move back to canada ultimately. there, i believe he sought to process the papers necessary to have her wife and her child move in with him to his now homeland, canada. naturally, it took him some time. and then she grew tired of waiting. they argued and he has stopped sending her allowance money. meanwhile, she removed all the photos she shared with him on facebook. even their civil wedding ceremony album wasn't spared. 

why, i have to ask, did she have to go through the trouble of marrying and adapting a man's last name, of vowing everlasting togetherness in front of witnesses, only to have it revoked for some more or less recondite reason? such as impatience? why must she overlook the bright future the man has proposed to her in exchange for what she has been living with all along? is a life of freeloading and monotony worth enduring just because you do not have the courage to face a whole new life? i gather her parents, my uncle and auntie, have had their misgivings about the possibility of their daughter being sundered from them. they did say canada is way too far, that if it had been australia all would not have been complicated. what mindset! what timidity!
31 December 2012 @ 02:50 pm
must we reach a point where we would have to take jonathan swift's 'a modest proposal' in a literal sense? while the RH Bill doesn't in any way propose an immediate solution to this country's poverty woes, parents, financially secured or not, sooner or later will have to lend ears to what it actually is proposing. it's their responsibility to do so. in the first place, no one's asking you to be great parents; we're merely asking you to be responsible. after all, it's the least you can do after spawning in considerable quantities. the idea i'm trying to propose here is a very simple philosophy; the more mouths you feed the poorer you become. and, in some cases, one's quality of life become more endurable should they abstain from having children altogether. so who am i to talk? i know nothing  about parenthood and maternal hardship anyway. but i'm capable of observing. to elaborate, here's a story:

a middle-class family has in its employment a middle-aged woman--as a cook--, and her husband. let's hide the woman's identity by referring to her as 'Mrs A'. now Mrs. A is quite efficient in what she does but her husband, Mr. A, on the other hand is another story. being a drunkard and of scarcely any education to merit him by, he goes around the household doing odd jobs, and to be quite frank there appears to be no need to avail his services. what the plain facts suggest is, the master of the house is keeping him purely out of charity. in consequence, the masters of the house have acquired one extra mouth to feed, and that's not mentioning the christmas bonuses and birthday treats with which they reward the freeloader if only to give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life. unfortunately, the burden this couple is imposing on their employers has yet to meet its end. Why? because the couple has three children. three fucking children and no decent employment. as a partial solution, one of the kids is given away for adoption while the remaining two are, well, left to their care, thereby adding two more mouths to feed--care of their employers. that totals to four extra individuals in the household. if the additional expenses Mrs A's family poses for her employer were taken into account, it would then be very easy to justify the paltry sum she is receiving every month. to be quite honest she doesn't quite deserve to get cash at all. 

now, another chapter is unfolding. Mrs A's daughter gets pregnant all of a sudden. this, in itself, is an outrage. i'm sure every woman who's ripe to get married has every right to get knocked up. i mean, that's what the constitution says, right? but how acceptable must that be, if i might ask, under regrettable circumstances? so here is a young woman, who has no absolute means of procuring an income for herself, much less for her unborn child, blundering in the worst possible way a woman in her position can fuck up. worse, nobody knows who the father of the child is. this is quite a common occurrence among sneaky little hos, particularly those who have not the slightest idea about the consequences of fucking or getting herself inseminated. since this is the clear case, i'd like to hear what the people who oppose RH Bill and the dispensation of sex education have to say for themselves. so poorly educated girls get to have more than their fair share of unprotected sex, without having to suspect what should entail, and you dimwits are saying this isn't a problem? young girls giving birth amid squalid living conditions isn't a problem? repeat the process 4 or five times for multiple spawning and that's still not a problem? some people must be dreaming. going back to the pregnant girl's story, it becomes apparent that she isn't getting proper nutrition and is not receiving adequate maternal care. because her family is extremely poor, the employers of her mother can only do so much. it's possible there's a way for her to obtain appropriate health care but then again who's willing to spend for her unwanted pregnancy? now she goes into labor. she hemorrhages. finally, she dies of childbirth. you can imagine the trouble her pregnancy has brought upon the people around her, and yet the aftermath of this calamity has yet to finalize its ripples. the baby she gives birth to, due to complications, is suffering from a disability. needless to say the masters of the house are the ones who took it upon themselves to provide for the child's needs, like milk and clothings and meds, this again means another mouth to feed for the providers.

the kid is now three years old, without a mother nor a father. he has his grandparents to care after him. luckily, the employers of his grandparents adore him, but how long will this luck last? the kid is suffering from cerebral palsy, is too small for his age, does not speak a freaking word and is not capable of proper gait. aside from that, there's a stiffness in his facial muscles that render him abnormal-looking. when he tries to communicate he does it with grunts and frustrated hollerings just so to get his messages across. his motor skills are like those of an infant. i hate to see kids who seem to have no foreseeable decent future ahead of them. without therapy, it will take years before this kid starts talking and truly functioning. the problem is, therapy costs serious money. to top it off, there's no way he'll get admitted to a normal school. he will have to avail special education. so what's in his future? as i see it, he'll be freeloader to his grandparents or his masters for as long as he shall live. with little possibility of ever gaining normal intellect, as he is somewhat retarded, i doubt his future is shining bright on him. remember, charity isn't always there to rescue poor souls.
20 December 2012 @ 04:38 pm
i wish people would stop bragging nowadays. to be quite honest i'm so sick of people uploading 100000 pictures in one album of their ipad, iphone and ipod gifts as if these items deserve some special homage or something. i mean, last time i checked, owning an apple product wasn't a realistic representation of one's lifestyle. it's okay if you're over the moon for having received something so grand for a gift, but it becomes a different matter when you take snapshots of your newborn baby with your two ipads occupying 2/3 of the frame, when you're supposed to be showing your baby to the world and NOT your ipads. i'm not kidding; one of my so-called facebook friends did that. she was uploading the very first album of her newborn kid because her friends had been so excited about the baby. the album was titled "<baby's name here>'s cuteness". oddly enough, like in every shot, something in the background would steal the show; two ipads right beside the baby, the former occupying more frame space than the infant herself. i though the album wasn't titled "ipad's cuteness." so what was that all about? we were intrigued about her baby's face and her health, but what we gathered from her album, for the most part, was the fact that she owned two ipads. it doesn't end there, unfortunately. for some fucking reason, she goes out of her way to allude to her ownership of an ipad. for example, a friend of hers once inquired as to her current condition. because at that time she had just recently given birth, it was normal for friends to check on her. hence one dude posted on her wall, saying "how are you?" to which she responded, "i left my ipad2 (she really took the trouble to say she owns an ipad2 and not the firs gen) downstairs. i can't go online for now."  errrrr... bad dum tsssss...this sort of digression, i believe, is only excusable on the event that she mistook herself for a fucking ipad2. jesus. if anyone can explain to me the reason behind people's obsession over apple products i entreat you to enlighten me. i'm sorry but i just don't get it. i do own a few apple products, which i received for free, and yet i can't imagine myself fawning over them. i don't see the point of always announcing on your facebook wall  that you're currently updating your ipad and iphone apps. "updating my iphone and ipad2 apps...." even in the most unrelated topics, she goes around inserting her ipad in each and every topic, out of nowhere, like when she took her husband for lunch or something when she had to include once again useless snapshots of the ipad. 

ipads aside, the proneness of people to brag is just so there. like so pervasive. is everybody constantly begging you for a blow by blow update of your "luxurious" sprees? one time, this same girl hosted a small get-together at her crib. what the pictures suggest are plain; she and her husband and baby live in a one-bedroom apartment, and with the quality and quantity of the pieces of furniture their crib is sporting, anyone can say that she and her husband are just starting out. the description of the album she uploaded, however, tells a different story. "Setting up our brand new LCD TV and PS3." i happen to know for a fact that her husband owns a PS2. sure enough, when i inspected the photos, what they set up in fact was a ps2 and NOT a ps3. why is it necessary to lie about your lifestyle? jesus.
it's no wonder why a lot us filipinos hate those immigration officers stationed in our international airports; they're really hard to deal with. aside from travelers losing patience under their solicitations, there's the possibility of their being late for plane boarding. in worse cases, people even miss their flights. while there's every legitimacy for these officers to determine people's admissibility to fly out the country, there's no denying they are prone to bullying and offending passengers. i know this because i have witnessed several passengers who suffered offenses which are, say, a breath away from what one might call harassment. the problem is, it seems imperative for them to assume that the travelers are likely to spend more time abroad than what their visas or their travel documents imply. this therefore means that, in their eyes, more than half of us are seeking job opportunities abroad, which, believe it or not, isn't the case. filipinos love to travel, and that's a glaring fact. but the officers more often that not put up a front which seems to suggest they are acting on the best interests of the travelers, that they are denying you the right to board your fucking flight because they are quite convinced you're not up to some simple gallivanting on a foreign land. as such, something might happen to you and they are trying to prevent just that. my question is, does this have to happen even to those who seek an earnest leisure? provided there's no other way to screen passengers other than to grill them with intrusive questions, that still does not warrant them to humiliate people. i have more than once had the misfortune of coming upon something like this happening to fellow passengers. here are some of the most distressing questions i've heard issuing from an immigration officer's mouth. i'm also citing the reason why i find them offensive. 

"So anong trabaho mo? wala kang trabaho dito ganun ba yun? housewife ka?" (what's your job? none? so then you're a housewife? 
the woman was in her fifties, of retirement age, so her daughters answered she was retired. the dude then went on to inquire as to her past employments. what i'm trying to say is, should one be prohibited to exit the country for the reason that she never has worked a day in her life? must the possibility that someone else is funding her trip be overlooked in all cases? i think not. this would have been an acceptable query if he was looking at a younger individual who had all the potentialities to work illegally, and not at an aging housewife.

"kasal na kayo? patingin nga ng marriage certificate." (are you married? may i see your marriage certificate? 
the couple had brought along their child. they had several companions with them, young couples like them, who likewise brought with them their preschooler children. the whole arrangement obviously was a group tour. nevertheless, what exactly is the purpose of determining the marital statuses of the tourists? say, do live-in couples with children have slimmer chances of securing for themselves out-of-the-country vacation trips due to the lack of wedding rings? if there's a legitimate reason for that, i'd like to hear it. 

"nakapunta ka na ba sa ibang bansa? hindi pa? eh pano mo mapapatunayan na babalik ka dito pagkalipad mo eh wala ka palang travel experience?" (have you been to other countries before? No? well, that's just too bad, because there's virtually no proof that you're really willing to come back here) 
i cannot begin to describe the irony of this. how can someone gain experience in travelling abroad if first-time travelers are being discouraged to fly to begin with?

"alam ko na ilang beses ka na nagpabalik balik dun (US, if i remember correctly). nakikita ko sa passport mo yung tatak. pero hindi parin garantisado na pag pinayagan kita lumipad ngayon eh babalik ka dito." (i know you've gone back and forth from here to there for countless times. your passport shows me that. even so, there's no guaranteeing you'll be back here as soon as i let you go now.) 
apparently, the stamps on the woman's passport stood as a testament to her punctuality in returning to her motherland. she also swore she never overstayed abroad, so where was the immigration officer basing her judgments? on the lady's appearance? 

there are countless horror stories of this sort. i do not want to admit it, but ladies who are less commendable in terms of appearance are almost always right away subject to superficial discrimination. say, lacking two front teeth. because they don't look presentable enough, the officers are obliged to assume that their purpose of travelling is likely to fall onto some dishonest venture, which is just plain sad. for instance, an acquaintance of mine once fell into line, in front of an immigration window, where she overheard what the officer was asking the three ladies in front of her. 

"ano gagawin niyo sa Japan, maghohostes? (what are you three gonna do in Japan? off to involve yourselves in prostitution?

on the other hand, unaccountable numbers of my fellow countrymen have for so long been pulling their own shenanigans abroad. bringing upon blunders upon themselves; just how many times have i heard this story? getting sentenced to death in china and in brunei, well, these are the kind of things that push the government to take tighter actions. if you trace the origin of this problem, you're likely to come to the issue of the country's regrettable economic situation. mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are forced to risk their records just so to feed their immediate families, but they lack the qualification to be merited with decent-paying jobs in this third-world shithole. the only solution, it seems, is to take chances in the first world. a fraction of these individuals will resort to the easy way in by becoming undocumented immigrants. as a result, it's becoming harder and harder to tell who are going out with honest purposes from those who aren't, hence the lack of leniency on the officers' part. it's just frustrating that all of us have to bear the brunt.
06 December 2012 @ 04:31 pm
i've just been to the US Embassy along roxas blvd this morning. my sister and i woke up at quarter to 5 in the morning for an 8:30 am appointment. that much time was allotted to serve as a  margin for lapses. because we live in antipolo we arrived only about one hour too early for the scheduled time. i was expecting myself to be there at 6:30 but that could not be achieved. so, on to the procedure; first, no cellphones or any such gadgets are allowed inside the embassy's grounds. apart from  that, the list of prohibited items extend to handy electronic devices such as USB's, headphones and mouth pieces. therefore, it is imperative to have someone wait for you outside the complex to take care of your belongings, otherwise you would have to avail the services of those shady strangers who wait outside the embassy. these individuals will persuade you to entrust your items to them, while you file your visa, at the price of 150php per gadget. if you happen to be carrying an Ipad or something as valuable, you might wanna back out. moving on, once your belongings have been scrutinized by the security team, you'll be given your number and from there you will be asked to either sit outside the building proper or to enter it, depending on you scheduled appointment. from here, brace yourself for a considerable amount of waiting time. there are a number of amiable and knowledgeable officers on the floor to assist you. also, remember to procure a 2x2 headshot with a white background because during the first step of your application the person behind the window will ask for it. there's nothing worth noting in the first step, but the clerk will take a good look at your passport and will ask a few basic questions, after which you're gonna have to sit tight and prepare yourself for... another down time until your number flashes again on the screen. next, they'll have your fingerprints captured. and then, lastly, the interview! the dreaded interview, should you be given enough luck to get pitched on to a foreigner consul, usually consists the following questions:

1. why do wish to be granted a US visa?
2. how long do you plan to stay in the US if ever...?
3. with whom are you travelling with?
4. where are you gonna stay? (which state/city specifically)
5. who's gonna accommodate you once you're there? (relatives, friends, so on)
6. how much is your salary?
7. so who's gonna cover your expenses for this trip? (they're gonna ask this if they so deem your earnings inadequate to cover your trip)
8. have you traveled to other countries before? (if you answered a country whose access requires a visa, the consul will consult your passport to ascertain whether you're being a lying son of gun. if you haven't flown to any other part of the globe before now, be prepared for a number of questions; 'why the United States first and why not other nearby countries?)

from experience and from what i've been hearing, sporting a schengen visa and the like is a major plus. in most cases, once they see this type of visa pasted on your passport, they'll end the interview almost immediately and say, 'your visa is approved yada yada yada.' 

now, while i was waiting in line, i couldn't help overhearing what was going on with the other interviewees. the woman next to me had a pretty hard time. it was easy to tell why it was so. she was applying for a tourist visa, but when asked as to the duration of her stay, she answered two years. the consul then asked, almost incredulous, why it would take her two years to take a tour. she could not answer coherently. a point came when she admitted she's been  planning to stay with a 'friend' who resides abroad. this so-called friend, as far as my observation went, was a dude. as such, the consul rejected her application and advised her instead to apply for an immigrant visa or spousal visa, in which case she'll get to move in with her friend for good. what i'm trying to say is, you guys ought to be careful with your answers :)

all in all, i am very thankful for the privilege granted me. the consul lady was very amicable and she conducted us through the interview with ease.
05 December 2012 @ 02:14 pm
I've just arrived from a four-day vacation in Hong Kong, which made me miss two days of work. I enjoyed the trip on account of the food and accommodations, but I never would have expected I'd be treated like trash when I got back. Where I work, the employees are given all the basic benefits namely, SSS, Pag-ibig, and Philhealth. It then follows that we are entitled to vacation and sick leaves. Should we file absences or notify our bosses or the HR beforehand that should serve as adequate notice, wouldn't you agree? That however, isn't how it is in this fucking shithole. We never get paid for any absences at all. The rule goes like, ' if you miss work, you ain't gonna get paid for that day no matter how valid your excuse is.' That's completely fine with me because, on the other hand, we get to skip work any number of times without receiving a written warning. We're only reprimanded. it also means it's very hard to get fired. In my case, I had my employer notified of contingencies, say, in case of a cancelled or delayed flight, which thereby would have excused me if I so happened to extend my vacation for a day or half of which. As it turned out, my plane landed midnight on the day I was scheduled to be back at work. But, as the fucking airport is situated somewhere very far North, my commute from there to my house took about 3 and a half fucking hours. By the time I reached home, with sore shoulders and back due to the weight of my baggage, it was already morning. I then decided to skip work on that day because there was no way I'd be able to function productively after only 3hours of sleep and with my back aching like a bastard. And that's not mentioning the state of my legs after walking around the city during the trip. So imagine yourself the next day, having just arrived in the office in the morning in a decent mood. You've just finished handing your colleagues random souvenirs you purchased abroad. they were delighted for a change. You're looking forward to your boss's entrance so that you can hand him little HK goodies. And then he slams you down with a fucking scowl, saying 'Is it so hard to notify me of your extended absence? Do you want my cellphone number? I'll give it to you now.' Fact is, my fucking mobile phone ran out of battery abroad. I'm very used to going around without a phone, so I didn't bother bringing a fucking charger. However, I did contact one of my colleagues via Facebook and asked her to inform the boss of the exact day of my return, which would be a day later than expected. With that, I can say I made every fucking effort to be a responsible employee. 
In short, what I really wanna say is, 'Sir, fuck you. I deserve a fucking holiday.'
17 July 2008 @ 04:30 pm
You'd think the world would come up with something more brilliant, huh? So. Earlier this morning, I took on the world and joined the working class in their routinely neck-breaking commuting adventures on the stretch of the very splendid Edsa Avenue. There I was, plodding my lovely steps to buy train tickets and yes...you guess it right; the booths were swarming with bastards. Yeah, nothing out of the ordinary except, perhaps, for the occasional patience-pushing sons of guns who are kind enough to assist this country's degeneration by fucking cutting in the friggin' lines. Yeah, I can forgive something like that, like, things like that happen to EVERYONE. Even so, can I quit being among them 'everyone'? So after standing for eight million minutes in the line, I noticed it hadn't moved in the last mentioned eight million minutes. It so happened that one of the stations, Libertad, had chosen the most gorgeous day in the calendar to suffer a fire; my job interview day. That cleared it. I mean there were about ten sirens blowing on the streets below and if that wouldn't give you a clue of what was going on, I don't know what would. That has to be the best luck god has bestowed on someone in years. Finally, though I have no idea how I did it, I found myself in a car train. There was practically no room to breathe in though I was really thankful that I managed to wedge myself in there and that the females and the males branch out to separate cars. The overhead speaker kept on yakking about no pushing and all and I get that. It's rude to push and that applies anywhere around the globe. But how the hell can you NOT push all these goddamn bitches when they wouldn't back away from the fucking arriving train that's like centimeters away from ramming in your face at full speed? Filipinos are all like that. I'm a goddamn Filipina and if there's anyone who's willing to trade citizenship with me, please contact me. But if you look at it, I only have ONE gripe about the Filipino people; it's that that they fucking exist.

And then this woman behind me was doing some superb skin to skin moves on my back which wasn't much to complain about. Only that she was so fuckin' pretty. I swear, man, like so fuckin' pretty. Heterosexual tendencies are never gonna make it to my life's list, mark me. Only that she was so fuckin' pretty. The matter was I kept glancing at her surreptitiously and she kept noticing. Well, fuck that. I don't hit on women. Jesus.

So the interview went okay and I'll be starting tomorrow. Not a day to breathe. What would you know.