Friday, May 13, 2005

Blog for a Cause

I'm on my work shift and I feel so sleepy. Used to be able to access a site where free ebooks were provided but it's not working anymore. Maybe the person who put it up has decided, along with every capitalist in the country, that it's a waste to provide something that nice without a fee. Well...

Hate to just stare at my screen doing nothing. As much as I try to fight it, my eyelids keep drooping and I feel like getting comfortable on my seat. Much too comfortable which can very well earn me a warning from the powers-that-be should they see me lounging drowsily on my seat.

Hence, the post. An escape from the deceptively nice comforts of dropping off for a quick nap. Actually, surfing the net and using non-work related websites, such as blogger, have also been forbidden at work. But, seeing as I haven't mastered the art of looking wide awake and alert while my mind is off to dreamland makes me quite sure I'm choosing the path of lesser evil.

It's easier to hide what I'm doing on my computer than pretending not to be asleep at my seat. So, I'll just try to be casual and wave and smile while I close non-work related website whenever the authorities get too close. Really, I don't relish being made to feel like a criminal at work by not sticking to that rule. Surely there are lots of useful sites on the net. I believe that reading and learning from them is much more productive than sitting and doing nothing. But, again, it's not within my sphere of influence. Nor something I can do anything about. So, I'll do my own thing and hope that everything will fall into place. Like, hopefully, circumstances take a good turn at work.

Yeah, I know I can beat Sleep at work. No caffeine or energy boosters needed. Just, one simple blogging.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tita Luz

My maternal grandmother went to the local market one day and came home, not only with the family's food for that day, but a child as well. She was about 8 or nine years old and her name was Luz.

My grandmother relates that she was doing her round on the public market looking for the best produce when she noticed this thin, little girl following her. She thought that she was one of the seller's kid and didn't pay much attention. But, when she was finished and gone out of the marketplace, the girl was still on her heels. She looked around but there doesn't seem to be an adult watching for the child. She beckoned her to come over and though hesitant at first, the little girl opened up to say that she has nowhere else to go because her mother had abandoned her. My grandmother took pity on the girl. She took her home with her.

Nowadays, that decision would not have been very smart. Some would even say stupid because it smells like a set-up. What if it was a con?

But my grandmother obviously did not think it was such. And, she was right. For my Tita Luz, as we came to know her became part of the family. My grandma's two natural children, my mother and my Tita Linda, accepted her readily.

At that time, my grandmother had separated from her husband, my grandfather, and was the sole provider for all her children. That is why, I find it even more admirable that she'd take on that responsibility. For she did not stop with Tita Luz, she adopted another baby from an impoverished relative and named it Wellina.

My grandmother worked hard by doing buy and sell while tending a local sari-sari store and thus provided for them all. When her children where in their teens, she met a man who became her second husband. Things did not work out for them and they separated as friends. But, the gentleman, who have no hopes of fathering a child and who became close to my Tita Luz, asked my grandma to let him raise my Tita.

Tita also became close to him and she willingly agreed. The man promised to take good care of my Tita and he did. She grew up and studied but maintained contact with my grandma and her sisters even when they moved to a different place.

My grandmother went to work at the Far East years ago and is still there but Tita Luz always visited us with her three kids during special occassions. Sadly, though, she married a poor and lazy man and had a difficult life. Her adoptive father and my grandmother still helped her, but she loved her husband and suffered through. She did not even once complained to us.

Three weeks ago, her children came to tell us that she was in the hospital being treated for fatigue. She was hard-working and helped her seasonal working husband by taking on sewing jobs. But, they said she wasn't in any danger and so we just extended a little financial help to them. Then, last Friday, May 6, we got a call from them with the news: their mother, Tita Luz, had died.

Her adoptive father, ailing and old, shouldered most of the expenses. But, due to her long stay at the hospital, his finances had already been stretched. The husband had no money whatsoever and it was sad how it all became a bit of a problem getting her laid to rest.

My grandmother still doesn't know. We're waiting for her to call so we can give her the news. How terribly sad she must feel once she hears that, the little girl she once rescued from abandonment at the local market, the little girl she took home and let into her heart and life as one of her daughters, has gone.

My Tita Luz left three young children. She was buried on May 8, Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Filial Matters

I came to work on a slightly sour note. I was getting ready to leave when my mother told me about my grandmother's request. Money again. I love my grandmother and I'm grateful for all that she's done for us before. She worked hard and gave much to her children and their family. But, there's the rub, she did everything that she inadvertently made almost all of them entirely too dependent on her.

Now, I'm no expert when it comes to effective parenting. I don't believe anyone is, really. One can only guide and do so much for one's child but with the environment, other people, and lesson and values they will develop by themselves in life, there's no foolproof plan for a child to turn out well.

That is, of course, not an excuse for an adult as for all of my Lola's children are. I feel that, at their age and their mother's age, they should take it upon themselves to turn their situations around. There are no hopeless cases in life. They are, after all, able to work. They have been given all the opportunities, education and support, from their mother, my Lola, when she's still able to do so and its their turn to give that back.

My Lola's youngest child fared better in school and work. He's not married and he helps, but is cursed with that dreadful disease called Arrogance. He makes it a point to let everybody know, by telling gossipy neighbors and by shouting at and belittling his unemployed brothers, that he's the sole provider of the family when of course, he's not. My Lola, even at her age and condition, is still earning money from her work at our local barangay and as you can expect, still provides for much. I, the only one employed among my Lola's grandchildren, also helps. Not a lot, though, since I have my own family to take care of.

Although I can understand my youngest uncle's frustration, trying to fill the role of my dead grandfather, his impatience with his younger brothers for not producing money, nothing can be had by being bitter and angry over giving. Since he wants to handle all the money coming in for my grandmother, he should be prepared for the responsibilities of budgeting. He's determined to sell the family home with no thought of where his brothers and their families will live. And, that just seems irresponsible too.

With him handling all the money and the family's affair, there's been tension and ill-feeling at the family home. The much older children, who are not able to give in terms of money, can only offer their care and attention to my Lola. Which is still a lot. No unpaid person will do that much to someone and with love.

I don't believe that helping one's family is something that needs to be broadcasted to the neighbors, especially gossipy neighbors. There's no glory in that at all. If one is blessed with a good-paying job and is able to help his loved ones, that in itself is a blessing and an accomplishment. In this world, we are each given a role to fulfill and a responsibility owed to someone. Sometimes, we get tired but there'll be no one to help you and your loved ones if you don't do it yourself. Self-glorification certainly won't help. There won't be any ribbons pinned to you if you've alienated your own family.