Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ignorance is a death sentence

As much as Mommy would like to concentrate on her articles for today, she is distracted by Candy Crush. And now that her lives had run out (paging fellow Candy Crush addicts for some lives please), she is still bothered by something that is perhaps the cause of her headache today.

It breaks my heart that your Ate Gina will have to leave soon. I have grown very fond of her because she takes care of you very well, and I'm sure you've grown fond of her, too. In fact, last night you didn't wait for me to finish my work and instead allowed her to rock you to sleep. Anyway, a few days ago she told me that she might be pregnant and is asking for a week-long vacation to visit a manghihilot (faith healer or midwife) so she can get her period again. You shall learn later on that this is something that goes against what our families and education have taught us.

I would be happy for her with this news but I don't because she already has 6 children at 31, the youngest being just 14 months old. She even lied about having 3 younger children because she was afraid to lose her job. I felt bad for her baby who has gotten used to not having his mom around because of work. She often tells me that her eldest child would text her to say they have nothing to eat and she gets worried. If the rest of the brood had nothing, there's no chance for the baby to get any kind of milk. She says you weigh two kilos more than her baby. Any mom would be heartbroken just hearing about this.

She didn't really want to get pregnant and she thought she had it covered when she started taking pills AFTER her day-off. She knew she was fertile but was careless anyway. Now she tells me she cries to her husband because she doesn't want to have another baby because she pities her sickly little one and she'll do anything to resume a normal life working for us. It makes me sick that she's acting as if it's a wart that needs to be removed and everything will be the way it once was.

I told her my conscience will haunt me if I allow her to come back knowing what she is about to do. Her logic? "Wala naman yun ate, dugo pa lang naman yun kasi isang buwan pa lang. (It's nothing, it's just blood because it's just a month old)". Now who on earth planted that silly idea in her head? And this is coming from a provincial lass who reached senior high school before getting pregnant. And I bet everyone else in her village thinks the same way. Sigh. No wonder the Philippines is about to burst from overpopulation. People simply do not know anything, or assume that they know so. I bet even if she was told otherwise by a doctor or some professional, she would still believe what her folks say, all at the expense of the innocent.

There was once a TV commercial that said, "Maraming namamatay sa maling akala." Nothing could be more true. She thought all pills could prevent pregnancy, she thought her actions will not bear consequences. She thought it's that easy to rid herself of further consequences. She probably thought we need her that bad to expect her back after that "vacation". I told her she can leave after training the next yaya for a week. She said she will insist on working to feed her family anyway, whether she's pregnant or not.

Your Daddy and I really want to help her family but we can only do so much. Tough luck for her, if she stayed we would probably send some of her children to school or ensure that all of them are fed. But I guess her life is not cut out that way. She knows how I feel about her plans, and I hope she will consider what I said.

The main problem in this country is not poverty nor overpopulation, it's IGNORANCE. And it's equally sad and frustrating that politicians are riding on the ignorance of many for their benefit (Binay and Villar up there in the the polls, are you kidding me?!). Nobody even bothers to address the lack of education and information in this country. That's why the poorest of the poor in this country will remain for generations to come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Post-birthday shout-out

Time flies so fast. In two weeks, you'll be 10 months old and it's been more than a month since my birthday. Usually I'd write about my birthday reflection, but this year, and I guess in the years to come, it will be a bit different.

Since you were born, my concept of date and time flew out the window. Weekends are as tiresome as Mondays and sadly, they don't end. I only realized that I was turning 33 when I checked the calendar for your next vaccination. Your daddy kept asking me if I wanted to do anything special on my birthday and I couldn't think of anything. Anyway, the day ended with me and your daddy cooking a big batch of our favorite clam pasta for my family. It was still tiring, but it was a happy kind of tired.

It's a far cry from what my life was 5 or more years ago when I was single with no worries but requirements for masters classes. My days were filled with meet-ups with friends from preschool, previous work, grad school, gym, grade school, college and church group. It felt like I had 50-hour days with the things I was doing, with matching energy to boot. There were days when I would go to gym after work AND THEN meet up with friends for dinner and another set of friends for a nightcap. Naturally, I'd go home late and sleep a few hours before another workday begins.

Nowadays, the energy I have is just enough for taking care of you and Daddy and working from home for a few hours. I'm still grateful for a bit of me time every now and then, but honestly, I miss my friends. I've made really good memories with a lot of them, and I hope they still haven't forgotten me. I feel guilty for somehow disappearing from the picture, and thanks to Facebook, I haven't faded out completely.

Later on, Georgia, you'll find people who will share the same interests and experiences with you, be it in school, in the neighborhood, at the playground. When you do find your own set of friends, keep them close. Show them how much you appreciate their company, their stories, jokes, and whatever they do for you. You can never have too many friends, but then again you may prefer having a few and that's alright. What's important is the memories you make with them. Always remember that life will always be better with friends around.

Allow me then to make a shout-out to my very good friends, your titos and titas, as this may be one of the very few times I can do so.

To everyone who has made wonderful memories with me in the past 32 years of my life:
You will always be a blessing to me. You made my life colorful and enriching. Thank you for your time, your efforts in keeping our friendship, the pieces of advice you've given me, your stories and jokes, and your gifts. I may not have been there for you in the last 5 years or so, but always remember you're always in my heart. I wish I could turn back time and make more memories with you. Nevertheless, marriage and motherhood happened to me and I know you understand if it will take time before I slowly get my groove back. I will try to get in touch with all of you in the next months or years, and I hope you'll be looking forward to it as much as I am. I miss you guys so much! Let Facebook be our bridge for the meantime. Cheers to all and I will see you guys soon! :)