Achieving Happiness

March 27, 2008

Those horrid tabloid stories

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 6:52 am

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Part of my work is to read most (if not all) of the Philippine news websites and to pick out certain reports and articles. In the process of looking for important news stories (meaning relevant to the work my office and my principals do), it’s highly unavoidable that I also get to see and read and consequently absorb horrific accounts of kidnappings, murders, theft and other crimes.

The tabloids are, of course, most notorious for printing the most gory, sensation stories that have the effect of making me want to go home, curl in bed under the covers and hyperventilate over morbid thoughts of how terrible the world is: 7-buwang sanggol, sinaksak sa dibdib, sinilid sa plastic bag; Dalagita, tinadtad ang sariling ama bilang ganti sa ilang ulit na panghahalay…

What gets to me most, however, are the stories about theft and robberies that end up in people getting shot or stabbed to death — over cellular phones, wallets and handbags. These stories make me fear for my loved ones and my self. How awful, how senseless these killings are!

The younger sister of one of my closest friends was stabbed to death by snatchers 2 years ago. She was on her way home when a man in a motorcyle tried to grab her handbag where where phone and wallet were; she resisted, and the man took out a kitchen knife and stabbed her seven times. She was 23 years old and almost through with college.

I wasn’t in the country when this tragedy struck my friend and her family. In fact, it was purely by chance that I was reading Inquirer.net the day after the crime took place, and I saw an article in the Metro section. I was so shocked when I read the article because I knew the victim – she was more than a crime statistic to me — and I knew her family and the struggles she and her siblings had gone through in the last few years.

It’s quite difficult for me to simply accept that crimes are a part of every day life. It’s so terrible how the evil and monstrous aspect of people’s natures get the best of them and when unleashed, the consequences are horrific.

I know, I know – all this brutality and violence and chaos and moral degradation are the effects of an equally brutal, violent and inhumane socio-political, economic-cultural system; but this doesn’t make it all easier to understand, much less accept. And let’s not even go beyond the tabloid horrors and discuss racism, homophobia and religious bigotry.

Kaya nga wala talagang ibang magagawa kundi magsikap na baguhin ang lipunan; baguhin ang pag-iisip at pag-unawa at ugali ng mga tao upang umunlad at bumuti.

Vice-president Noli de Castro has been more vocal lately. Meaning mas madaldal siya ngayon. Which is not to say that the stuff he’s been saying and the stands he’s been taking make any more sense. Because they don’t.

Earlier today he said that the dissenting Supreme Court justices should respect the decision of the majority in the high tribunal who voted in favor of former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri’s invocation of executive privilege on the Senate investigation into the national broadband network corruption scam. Safe, safe, safe.

He says he’s also interested in finding out the truth behind the ZTE deal; but hell if he’s going to take any decisive, positive action about it. Hintay na lang siya kung magiging presidente siya.

Oh man. Thoughts of moving to another country are suddenly popping up…

Nah.

My friend Nato Reyes wrote a sweet and beautiful entry on what it was like for him when his son Dylan Viktor was born last month, February 14. In his blog , he admits that the write-up was long overdue; but hey, better late than never.

He and Beng have one heck of a cute baby!

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March 25, 2008

If I were a potato, I’d die of shame

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 6:25 am

potato_2.gif Oh give me a freaking break! Gloria Arroyo is so desperate for approval that she willingly accepts tributes like this – (From a PNA new release) “A potato variety that originated from the Centro Internationale de la Papa (International Potato Center) in Lima, Peru has been named after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In gratitude to the President’s commitment to the development of the Agriculture Industry in the country, the Benguet State University (BSU) headed by the president Dr. Rogelio Colting, named a new variety of potato as “Gloria Kamaptengan”, after the root word “mapteng” an Ibaloi and Pangasinan word which means “good”.”

Now don’t get me wrong– potatoes are a perfectly good vegetable/root crop. They’ve kept millions of people alive all over the world. I love them when they’re French fried; and also when they’re mashed and mixed with heart-suffocating butter and then lightly salted.

But to name a variety after a corrupt, cheating, lying and murderous fake president of the Philippines?! Potatoes everywhere should rise up in protest!

I should like to get one of these Gloria Kamaptengans and turn it into a pin cushion/voodoo doll. I bet it tastes horrible; and bugs won’t even come near it.

In other news, the Ombudsman is said to have said that GMA cannot be tried for corruption, but she can be investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman. Huh?! Ano daw? So she’s immune?! The senate cannot subpoena her on the ZTE controversy, hell!

Grabe, this is what makes it even more crucial to make sure that she gets ousted from office at the soonest possible time – para masampahan na siya ng kaso and she’ll spend the rest of her horrid, wretched, self-serving life fighting off criminal charges.

All this hullaballoo over the Spratly Islands makes me fuming mad. The gall of the likes of Esperon and Ermita to say that the Philippines will defend its claim on the islands to the death – samantalang sa loob ng Pilipinas battalions of US troops are deployed and building military installations left and right; the Mining Act and the Fisheries Code are in place and rendering millions of Filipinos homeless, landless and without means of income; and the oil resources of Malampaya end up making foreign investors rich instead of benefiting the national economy.

It’s all just a show, I think – this supposed militant posturing of the Arroyo government when it comes to the Spratlys. To contain the outrage of patriots na pinapamigay na sa Chinese and Vietnamese ang maliliit na isla. And who the hell believes that the Arroyo government will stand up in defense of sovereignty? In Asia, the Philippines has the least credible government — sycophant and boot-licker that the fake president is to foreign interests.

On the rice shortage – imagine buying rice at P40 per kilo!!! Unbelievable. Hindi na lang sa mga probinsya kakain ng mais at kamote kapalait ng bigas – pati na rin sa mga lungsod. And I would much rather eat kamote and corn than eat NFA rice — the smelly, brown, insect-infested rice that sells for P20/kilo. I’ve eaten it once before just to taste for myself- brought it from one of those Tindahan ni Gloria Labandera stores – and it literally made me want to puke: it smelled so bad, and it looked awful. Some people say it’s only fit for pigs; well, kawawa naman the pigs kung sa kanila pinapakain ang NFA rice.

At kawawa naman ang napakarami nating kababayan na walang ibang magawa kundi bumili at kumain ng NFA rice kasi hindi na nila kaya ang mas mahusay na klase ng bigas.

March 24, 2008

Mrs. Aquino has cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 8:45 am

cory-aquino-headshot.jpgPansamantala, isa-isang tabi ang mga kasalanan ng kanyang pamilya at ng kanyang nagdaang gobyerno sa sambayanang Pilipino: I felt sad upon learning that former president Cory Aquino has colon cancer.

That she’s stricken with cancer would explain how thin and wan she often looked in her media appearances. Despite the smile, despite the graceful composure, she looked like she lost a lot of weight in such a short length of time.

There’s no doubt that Mrs. Aquino will weather this blow with her the help of her strong faith and belief in prayer. She did not even think to hide her condition from the public and instead gave her children the authority to inform the media of what she’s now undergoing. How brave of her! Despite the fact that she’d been feeling more than a little under the weather since December last year, she still went on to attend and speak at rallies condemning the corrupt Arroyo government.

I suppose my own sadness upon knowing Mrs. Aquino’s plight stems from the fact that I’ve lost a loved one to cancer. My grandmother Iluminada Silos-Silverio died from stomach cancer March 2006, and it was a slow but not completely painless death. I wasn’t even there when the diagnosis came in; or when she was taken to the hospital; or when she passed away. I was in Hong Kong and on my own, and I had to deal with the grief alone.

Bakit nga ba hindi si Macapagal-Arroyo ang tamaan ng cancer?! Masamang damo talaga.

The Lenten season came and went, and I didn’t get to do much — not even think over my multitude of sins (this is what happens when you’re married to a man who, when he was in fifth grade, stood in the middle of the school yard and dared God to prove that He exists by striking him down with lightning. When the skies remained lightning-free, he laughed and laughed like a demon escaped from hell).

As for my family — my sister pigged out on honey cornflakes; Kim bathed the dogs and watched horror flicks; and it was only my mom who did anything religious.

Last Wednesday I had dinner with Walkie and she told me about how her and Raymond’s (Bukaneg) visit to former BAYAN chair Capt. Danilo Vizmanos went.

I didn’tknow that Ka Dan has prostrate cancer and that for the most part his doctor and his family want him to rest at home so he won’t tire himself out. Despite the ravages of his illness, Walkie said that Ka Dan remains upbeat; his mind as active and alive as ever as he contemplates writing more books (he’s written a handful already — including a biography.Let’s not even mention the countless essays and articles he has penned through the years.)

A tribute is being prepared for Ka Dan and it’s supposed to take place early next April.

March 19, 2008

Brilliant baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 5:17 am

einstein_baby1.jpgBeen visiting websites on prenatal care and how to make sure that your baby gets a headstart on being brilliant kahit nasa tummy pa siya.

Nakakapressure ensuring that my baby becomes smart – kasi sabi sa mga articles, besides genes, and a good diet, mahalaga ang effort. The mom and dad should talk to the baby, tap/pat the tummy often, read and sing to the baby, expose the baby to music. I’m putting together a list of novels I will read to him/her, as well as compiling a CD (malamang broadway musicals, tibak songs, saka the recommended classical music). It’s not like I want the baby to be smart just for the sake of it; mas pa dahil responsibilidad din na tiyakin na ma-activate ang pinakamaraming brain cells niya as possible kasi according to exports, by the 7th month, the unused or unactivated brain cells will start dying.

Actually napansin ko that my baby actually responds when I talk to him/her. Every morning before I get up, I pat and tap my tummy repeatedly and greet the baby good morning and explain what we’re going to do for the day. I ask him/her if he/she slept well; or I apologize I moved too much in the night or squished him/her.After a few moments, the baby starts responding in a series of twists, turns and kicks! It is really as if he/she is keeping a conversation with me! I try to keep track of how many times the baby moves every hour (ang sabi kasi, dapat at least 10 times every two hours) and what kind of movement the baby makes.

The ob-gyne says I should have the ultrasound next month, along with the tests for gestational diabetes. I was supposed to have the ultrasound last Saturday when we went for the monthly prenatal, but the doctor said that it would be better if I had it on my 6th month so the image on the screen would be clearer. It really doesn’t matter to me if my baby is male or female just so long as he/she is normal, healthy and completely formed (no birth defects, complete and perfectly functioning organs and body systems).

Insane: There’s this news report about an irate mother who threw muriatic acid in the faces of three children passing by her house because they were allegedly too noisy. The face of one of the boys was burned beyond recognition – a jagged map of leathery-looking skin.

Is it too much if I want the woman who did this to do time? At least five years?

My friend from Hong Kong Chi Brotonel wrote me yesterday and it’s always so good to hear from him! It was his birthday yesterday, and his letter was exuberant and brimming with good will.

It’s always wonderful to hear from good friends — I’ve been so lucky in my friendships because the ones I have are the kind that I know I will keep forever. Iilan lang naman kasi silang mga kaibigan ko; and though I don’t see them as often I used to, the strong connection is always there and never weakens.

This Lenten break, will be going to my mom’s house in Cavite, and this time around I will not be a couch potato. I will take the dogs for walks, water the garden, and maybe re-arrange the furniture (or at least order Kim to lift and move them).

Will also try to do some writing.

March 17, 2008

Sunday haircut beliefs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 8:59 am

bk19.jpgUpon the insistence of my ob-gyne, I had my almost waist-length hair cut, so now it’s only down to my shoulder blades. I felt a little painful twinge when the woman at the beauty parlor started snipping away, but then again a lot of the protein that should be going into my flesh cells and hence my baby’s was being absorbed by the hair, so…And anyways, it’s summer, and I’ve been having an increasingly hard time coping with the heat (pregnant woman have more body heat pa) so having shorter hair is more convenient.

At the parlor, the woman who cut my hair didn’t let the cut off hanks of long hair fall to the floor to be later on swept into the bin. Instead she carefully placed them on small table and when she was all done with the cutting, put all the hair in a plastic bag.

“Itago mo,” she urged me, as she thrust the bag in my hand.

“Aanhin ko? Bakit ko itatago?” , I asked really mystified. “Ano’ng pamahiin iyan?”

She said, “Para hindi magtampo ang buhok mo at tumubo ulit. Sayang kasi – mahaba at maganda pa naman. Baka pag tumubo na ulit, pangit — numipis at gumaspang.”

And perhaps because she really wanted to convince me, she pointed at her own straw-colored, wispy-looking head of hair.

“Nagalit yung buhok ko nang ipagupit ko minsan. Dati lampas pwet ko na yan. Malago yan dati, ngayon numipis na.”

To humor her, I took the bag, thanked her, and put it into my handbag. Kim, who was napping in a corner, woke up and raised his eyebrows over the package. I raised my eyebrows back, and tried to convey the message that he should shut up and not say a word: wag na kaming mang-offend. We don’t believe in pamahiin, but heck, the woman meant well, and wala namang mawawala.

So Manny Pacquiao won. Does it make me anti-Filipino to admit that I don’t care and that in fact, I would’ve even taken a grim sort of satisfaction if he lost?

Mula nang maging offficial mascot ng Malacanang at ng pamilya ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo si Pacquiao, mas ginusto ko nang matalo siya sa lahat ng match niya. Nakakabwisit kasi kung paano pinalalabas nina Gloria, Mike at Mikey Arroyo na ang tagumpay ni Pacquiao sa bugbugan ay tagumpay din ng gobyerno at ng administrasyong Arroyo! Excuse me, ‘no – sana kung si Mike o Mikey ang umakyat sa ring at nakipag-boksing — at nanalo – tanggapin ko pa na achievement yun ng pamahalaan. Otherwise, ginamit lang nila si Pacquiao at itong isang ito naman, nagpagamit.

Samantala, may isyu pa ng pandaraya – nandugas daw si Pacquiao at si Miguel Marquez ang talagang manalo.

Ang galeeeeng. Dagdag sa masamang reputasyon ng mga Pilipino (may corrupt na presidente; madumi at madugo ang mga eleksyon; at talamak ang pagnanakaw ng mga opisyales ng pamahalan).

pregnantstandingrtcropweb.jpgGingersnaps maternity clothes are so expensive, but they are so comfortable that I don’t feel guilty about getting and wearing them.

Kim says for a pregnant woman, am too vain.

I guess. But is it really so bad that I don’t want to look like a walking yacht with billowing sails; or a blimp? Maternity dresses are so big, and while am very, very grateful for the ones a comrade lent me, I think I’d rather wear the dresses when I really can’t fit into my maternity jeans anymore. Also, it’s freakin’ too hot to be going around wearing yards and yards of printed cotton!

Thanks to Poty Padilla for introducing me to babycenter.com – I got this from the site: an illustration of how my baby looks like at 23 weeks (am reaching my 6th month of pregnancy by the 23rd this month).

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March 10, 2008

Difficulty sleeping

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 5:26 am

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The last few nights I’ve been having trouble sleeping because my baby has been bouncing around inside me and it’s been difficult finding a comfortable position to sleep in. I turn on my left side, the baby shifts too; I twist right, the baby does the same. Kim and I worry about squishing him/her (yeah, yeah, I know the baby’s floating inside a warm and safe gestational sac filled with amniotic fluid, but still…) so for the most part I sleep on my back.

But then my back hurts and sometimes I get excruciating twinges despite the pillows supporting it and my tummy.

Am actually on the lookout for a good pillow that will support both my back and my tummy. A flat bolster.

Oh well. Again, am not complaining, just documenting. Am actually quite, quite happy feeling the baby so active. Nevermind the discomfort.

Last Thursday night and Friday morning everyone at the office was shouting curses and various invectives as we watched the ABS-CBN 2 and GMA-7 news coverage of the camp-out held by PAMATIK-KMU and other BAYAN Southern Tagalog forces in front of the infamous Department of Labor offices in Intramuros.

The workers were attacked with truncheons and shields and bombarded with water cannons. Scores were brutally hurt, but the police had the fucking gall to say that more among their own ranks were hurt. Yeah right! The police must’ve sprained their wrists after walloping the heads and torsos of the workers and their supporters.Whatabunch of liars. One worker even fought off a policeman who tried to stab him and he (the worker) ended up with the tip of one of his fingers cut off.

Why attack a peaceful gathering? Kasi nga mga taga-Southern Tagalog ang dumalo and the police were stupid and moronic enough to think that the participants to the Lakbayan were automatically members of the New People’s Army? Malamang. Idiots, idiots. Just thinking about it makes me angry all over again.

There really is no way that labor rights can prosper under such this government, under this system. You join a union, you get axed. You participate in a strike, you get beaten up. You march alongside other workers to demand justice and you end up being dragged to the police station, with your head kicked in, your face bloodied and your body severely bruised.

Is it any surprise that the Macapagal-Arroyo regime has practically sold its claim on the Spratly Islands? Nah. Jus me, the Mining Act of 1995 continues to be implemented, and the land covered by it are within the Philippines, where Filipino actually live and where they rely for their survival on. On the basis of the continued implementation of the Mining Act of 1995 pa lang, ilang presidente na dapat ang na-impeach for treason.

Malacanang is also trying to justify the joint exploration with China and Vietnam as nothing but a joint activity. Isa pa, 60% naman daw ng matutuklasang langis o anumang mineral ay mapupunta sa Pilipinas.

Give us a break! Kelan pa nag-assert ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas pagdating sa pangangasiwa sa mga likas na yaman ng bansa? Its policy hasalways been ‘come in, come in, what’s our is yours!’

I wish Rodolfo ‘Jun’ Lozada all the luck – strength, fortitude and all that. He looks a little peaked on tv, but he still sounds upbeat and confident, and that’s good. It’s good that he continues to get strength from all the support that he’s been getting, and we cross our toes and fingers hoping that he never gets sick or too exhausted as he continues his tour of the country delivering the message that this government led by Macapagal-Aroyyo sucks big time and should be removed from power licketty-split.

Romulo Neri changes his mind about standing the senate investigations on the ZTE contract.

So freaking what. Walang kwentang witness naman siya, e. Duwag at wala sa katotohanan o sa mamamayan ang katapatan niya kundi sa kurakot sa Malacanang at sa sindikatong pamilya ni Gloria.

Read the PDI interview with Gretchen Barreto dated March 9 – now there’s one self-centered woman. She knows no other topics that go beyond herself, her clothes, her being a mistress, her jewels, and the endless series of scandals and controversies she’s in. Di ko nga alam paano ko nagawang basahin nang buo yung interview e. Gad, and to think brain cells don’t regenerate! Ilan kaya ang naagnas nang basahin ko yung article?!

It’s such a pity that she doesn’t have a single unselfish bone in her body – maisip man lang niya to use her popularity (or what passes for it – what makes people read about her) for good causes, kahit charity work.

On the other hand, I don’t regret reading the article on Annabelle Rama posted at ABS-CBN Interactive. Ms.Rama is always so amusing! I laughed out loud while reading how she lashed out against Lani Mercado and Lolit Solis. I can’t believe she actually told Lani Mercado on live television to ‘isaksak mo sa baga mo yang asawa mo’ ! Hahahaha!

March 5, 2008

How she reads

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 6:01 am

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My mother, my mommy, my Mamu, is a passionate romantic. She loves the things she loves, and she hates the things she does. There is seldom any middle-ground with her, she either cares or she doesn’t, and she makes up her own mind about everything and damn previous reviews. She listens to other people’s opinions quietly, politely – but she does so like a cat when it stares at you with no expression on its face but a stillness that totters on the brink of indifference. Then she decides whether she will do something about what she heard or whether she will just gently shrug it off and eventually forget it. She will love, hate, or be indifferent.

This is the way my mother is about books.

Since my father, her husband died in 2003, my mother has spent more and more time reading. Their house in Cavite is a storage space for books, piled one on top of the other in clumsily constructed towers. Books have long escaped the confines of the shelves after having been pulled down, examined, perused and then neglected. They sit on the window sill next to the planters. They occupy closet space near the bathroom, sitting next to bottles of shampoo and tubes of toothpaste. They gather dust under the sofa, or under the bed.

Sometimes I try to put the books back to their rightful place on the shelves upstairs on the second floor, or my sister does ; but generally the effort is wasted because my mother just keeps buying more – from Powerbooks, from Booksale, from National, from A Different Bookstore , or her bestfriend Tita Agnes from the US during her tri-annual trips home to the Philippines unloads her own shelves and gives her two dozen of their former contents. The books pile up, and there is no sense or reas0n or any straight classification to be seen. Mysteries and romances and comedies and dramas and anthropological studies gather dust after my mother has read them, enjoyed or rejected them, and put them down on whatever empty space is available (one time I even found two volumes inside the washing machine tub).

These days, she’s reading Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” and she loves it to bits (read the Wiki summary if you haven’t read the novel or seen the movie).

My mother may read a lot, but she doesn’t have the patience to share plots or explain why exactly she enjoyed what she read. She does, however, effectively convey her delight with shrieks (or in last night’s conversation via SMS, exclamation points) and sudden bursts of insight, quoting phrases or memories borrowed from the characters whose lives she followed and shared.It is during moments when she’s so enthusiastic and even hyper about literature that she misses having my father around – he’s the only one who really had the patience to decipher her twittering, and the only one to whom my mother never minded explaining plots (because she also asked my father questions about things she didn’t get or agreed with).

My sister often complains how hard it is to talk to our mother on the phone. Mamu is always in a hurry, always abrupt, always eager to get off the phone. She’s in the middle of reading something, that’s why. That or watching a Koreanovella on DVD.

Ang kapal ni Noli de Castro! Who the heck does he think he is? Gad, that line about how one can ever dictate to him, or tell him what to say or do, aaaargh! Isn’t he aware how most Flipinos who care about what’s happening to the country right now are biting their fingernails in despair over the strong possibility and probability that he will become president right after Macapagal-Arroyo is kicked from office? And instead of proving himself to be a good (or at least not so mediocre alternative), he exhibits arrogance and expresses disdain for all those who dare to challenge him to rise to occasion and be a good and credible leader.

Kahit magkunwari man lang. Jeez!

But then again, does it really matter if he’s prepared or he’s preparing though? He’s been vice-president since 2004, and a senator before that – his record and his career haven’t exactly impressed anyone. If it weren’t for his booming TV Patrol Kabayan voice, I don’t know if anyone would’ve paid attention to him, Politically speaking, he’s a nothing. What stands has he taken? What actions has he made that have contributed to the furtherance of social goals and campaigns for genuine justice, peace and freedom? The man is an idiot. His head is probably as hollow as a pumpkin carved on Halloween (hmm, that’s too western an allusion – okay: his head is as hollow as a red painted horse taka from Paete, Laguna).

Kung ako sa kanya, hindi na ako magyayabang at mag-iinarte at sa halip aaminin ko na lang – with humility, candor and honesty -that I am not up for the job but that he is willing, able to help those who truly want to fight corruption and turn the country around. Transitional president who will give way to a transition council. One who will not be blinded by ambition and greed for power and instead put the interest of the nation and the Filipino people ahead of everything else.

 

March 4, 2008

Wriggly sensation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 6:11 am
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Attended last Friday’s Interfaith Rally in Ayala, and was so exhausted afterwards. It was strange because I wasn’t as tired when I went to the Feb. 25 rally in Mendiola. Maybe it was because of how enclosed I felt – image001.jpgthe tall buildings, the islands in the middle of the streets, the

barriers formed by the trees and shrubs. For the most part I didn’t see who spoke on stage; mostly heard everything, but often not very well because the acoustics were terrible — sound bouncing off and against the buildings.

The police estimates were as expected – hindi talaga marunong magbilang ang PNP. Gad, math and statistics teachers must be going crazy trying to understand how the PNP comes up with its numbers everytime there’s a big rally. The police don’t know how to compute floor or area space and how many individuals can be accommodated given a specific measurement of area.

Anyways, I waddled instead of marched, chugged water and plonked myself on the pavement whenever I got too tired. Was so lucky we found space in front of the HSBC tower in Ayala because by 430pm I really had to sit down because my legs were killing me and my tummy felt really heavy. I missed being able to move around to say hi and catch up with friends among the fellow rallyists; to take pictures and just be a tourist, but I made up for it by talking to my baby and telling him/her why we were there, why we had to be there, and who else was there.

It was good talking to other comrades who are mothers (those who recently gave birth like Ruth Cervantes; and those who have been taking care of toddlers like Jennifer Padilla) because I got tips about how to handle my pregnancy. Sure some of the advice contradicted each other, but hey, let’s see which ones apply and which ones don’t.

Aya, Presto’s wife told me something cute last Saturday. She said that when she was still pregnant with the now 9-month old Isabelle, she (Aya) would feel Isabelle actively moving around inside her whenever she ate something sweet. “Parang humihingi pa,” she said.

Maybe. I mean, I did eat more than two ounces of chocolate this morning and now my baby is performing acrobatics inside me.

Earlier this morning a colleague came in with two big bags of Kisses and a few massive chocolate bars which were immediately divided among everyone here. It took me about 20 minutes to finish my own considerable slabs (shameless – my skin will suffer, I just know it. Gluttony does not pay), and after some 15 minutes after I’d tucked away the last piece of milky, chocolatey goodness, I felt my baby wriggling.

Wriggling. That’s such an apt, descriptive word. Even now my baby is wriggling like a circus contortionist in training. It feels strange to feel the movements – he/she is really at it – but am very happy to feel that he/she is there.