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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Day I Saw A Parenting Fail Before My Eyes

(Courtesy of

As part of my birthday celebration, we gathered - yet again - for more food, and this time, over a buffet that claims to span the entire world. (They tried. A for Effort.) So there I was, happily munching on my sashimi - the one item I almost always am sure will be on my plate - when I heard giggling from the next table.

I looked over and my jaw literally dropped at what was about to transpire.

Some siblings (wearing almost identical clothing), probably aged 8 to about 15, were laughing because they picked up the sticky label of a bottled water from the floor. They were passing it on to each other so they were squealing so as not to be "stuck" by it. Then one of the siblings saw a potential victim.

An elderly woman, heavy-set and limping because she seemed to have a foot ailment, who was walking very slowly while eyeing the buffet spread and gingerly placing items on her plate. (It seemed like even her arm mobility was similarly compromised.)

He started following the woman, mimicking her actions from behind, which elicited even more laughter from the other siblings. Then he ran back to their table, grabbed the bottled water sticker/label, then placed it on the back of the elderly woman - who probably had slower reflexes and did not realize what had just transpired. The three siblings then started pointing at the woman and laughed out hysterically, even dancing behind her back, with so much glee.

Just as I was beginning to frown, the parents went over to see why they were making so much noise. Finally, I thought, someone will straighten them out.

The father saw the sticker behind the woman's back, then asked one of the children, "Who did this? Did you do this?"

The guilty child looked woeful and muttered, "Yeah, I did."

Then the father erupted in laughter.

He then explained what happened to his wife, who then joined in on the laughter.

Just when I thought this unreal scene couldn't get any lower, the father then rushed back to the table (where they had a maid waiting): "Yung camera, bilis! Kunan natin tapos ipost natin mamaya! Hahaha!" (Get the camera, quick! Let's post this online later!)

I guess my death stare hasn't been functioning well, because I bored my gaze right through the parents, who seemed oblivious. (Operative word seemed, because I know that they knew I was giving them the evil eye, but they pretended not to notice.)

I turned around and got up my seat to remove the sticker from the old woman's dress, but she was lost in a sea of people fighting it out for tempura, Indian curry and mushroom lasagna.

When I took my seat again, the parents were high-fiving their kids, beaming with pride.

Just because you can procreate doesn't mean you should.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's Official: I'm Retro

(Courtesy of

For my friends who I've already told this snippet to, bear with me.

I was driving along C-5 one hectic afternoon, and when I turned on the radio, Waterfalls by TLC was playing. I got out my rusty pipes and started singing my heart out - I was in the privacy of my own car, anyway, and not mutilating a song over a videoke machine, inducing homicidal rage in the neighborhood cats - and when the song ended, the DJ then said, "That was Waterfalls, from the girl group TLC...part of our Retro Day!"


The first thing that shot through my mind was, this is NOT retro. Hello. Retro would be bell bottoms, Saturday Night Fever, ABBA...until the DJ continued her spiel: "This song is 20 years old...all the way back from 1994."

What the hell, indeed. And for this DJ - who might have been barely a toddler when this song debuted, this really was a blast from the past. I've mulled about this for some time, and I think the reason I reacted so strongly is because of what it means in terms of how many years have gone by in my own life.

When talk of retro and revisits are front and center, another R word comes to the forefront: relevance. Am I no longer relevant? Will I be replaced by someone more relevant? Are my contributions less relevant now that I'm older? As my birthday tomorrow signals the inevitability of time marching on, and this being the last year I can cling on to the statement "I'm in my thirties," I find myself wondering what the hell it is I've learned about life so far.

With no embellishments, or lengthy explanations, this is what I've come up so far.

1. Life isn't fair, and it doesn't give a flying fig. Suck it up.
2. Happiness/being positive about any SNAFU is sometimes a choice. Sometimes it's hypocrisy/a lie.
3. Feelings are more important than the pop treatment we see portrayed in TV and movies. Always listen to them.
4. Families come in so much, much, much more shapes and forms than the traditional mode. In fact, the "normal, regular" family - one pop, one mum, 2 and a half kids - might soon be like Caucasians in America, a minority. Not one is better than the other. Period.
5. We all have sh*t and baggage to deal with. Knowing this helps in imbibing empathy. But sometimes, people use it as their get-out-of-everything-free-card.
6. 1000 Friends in Facebook doesn't mean you have that number of friends. The real ones are extremely rare. Seriously.
7. I've knocked fashion and material things - but let me quote a friend: "When you're sad and crying, it's better to be and do so inside a Mercedes Benz than on a tricycle with 5 other people crammed into a space meant for 2."
8. It's not wrong to want more, earn more, have more. It's just politically incorrect to declare the same.
9. Never work with friends, if you value your friendship more.
10. If you've found the one, hang on until your fingernails fall off. Besides, kung talaga siya nga, you won't have to. 

Older, not necessarily wiser, but learning that even the most effed up experiences have their value. I can live with being labeled retro - while listening to some really great music.