January 13, 2017
my wife’s grandmother is turning 100. We will attend the celebration. She has a big family (180 guests, 120 of which are relatives) so we’re staying offsite.
What’s special about her is that she still has her mental faculties and some of her physical acuity (in fact, she still does the household laundry). I think her “secret” is constantly being and remaining active. If I ever manage to get close to her age, hopefully I’ll be the same.
As I will have intermittent Internet access, you might notice a “slight” hiatus but I’ll resume this when I get back.
January 11, 2017
everyone is entitled to whinge about their problems (or physically express them) but you have to know your audience. Forgive my callousness but originally hailing from the Philippines where 90% of the population live below the poverty line (despite the majority working extremely hard to improve their lot), having a wife who required a kidney transplant after falling pregnant with our son (she was previously on haemodialysis six days a week and was hospitalised several times and had to be brought in to Emergency via ambulance) and living with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI that’s unnamed and resulting in compromised in balance and co-ordination) for nearly a decade some issues seem like “high-class” problems to me. It’s not that they shouldn’t complain but choose carefully the person(s) to share it with.
I know I should be more empathetic but it frustrates me when people feel entitled – ever seen the film, Blue Jasmine. It’s just people should learn to adjust and adapt to their circumstances – all of us have our own crosses to bear but, with me, for the most part they’re barking up the wrong tree.
January 7, 2017
my wife’s niece is getting married later today.
The Filipino tradition (Hispanic in origin ) arras (13 coins) presented by the bridegroom to the bride was rightly scraped by the couple and didn’t make much sense in the Australian context. We shouldn’t be so beholden or precious with rituals and just welcome the nod to recognising heritage. This type of symbolism should be changed to suit (or eliminated entirely).
My view on marriage is it shouldn’t be an outdated institution but a living-breathing social construct (that’s not for everyone and should be an individual’s choice and not dictated by societal convention) that’s adaptable to present realities. In fairness, they did scrap “obey” from the vows. Legal divorce in the Philippines (if I’m not mistaken, we’re the last holdout country) is a seperate issue.
There’s even a proposal for 10-year terms instead of forever. This might not be the solution to the “high” rate of divorce but the conversation’s welcome. Silver, Golden and Diamond anniversaries seem to be unrealistic given wedding as teens is no longer the norm.
Do we now put to much emphasis on the day itself (encouraged by an entire industry) and not the upcoming unified life?
Full disclosure: Have been married now for a little over 14 years
January 5, 2017
Saw Birdman a few nights ago on free-to-air tv and it made me think. Is this blog a feeble attempt at relevance? I don’t really use FB (because like internet browsing it can lead you down a time-consuming rabbit hole) or tweet (because I have verbal diarrheoa). Although it’s very hard for me to type, writing does help with my sanity.
I am used to working two jobs (usually one full-time and another as a casual) and now I have none. Many say I’m “Iucky” because I can’t help around the house anymore and have a valid “excuse”, am I really that “fortunate” to lose my balance and co-ordination? Do they even stop to think maybe I don’t want to be on the lounge and watch all day. Forget walking, what I would have given for my speech to be left intelligible (now it’s only my wife that mostly understands me) so I could have tried to hang on to my last job for longer.
I wouldn’t mind wearing glasses but instead I need a handheld magnifier to read “small” fonts because I’m legally blind (although I can still see). It’s getting around with a walker that most concerns me about losing my eyesight. I wish I could adjust the size and contrast of subtitles to suit my preferences.
There’s still a lot I want to see but most sites are pretty much inaccessible. That’s perhaps why my interest in food is more pronounced. I can’t even drink a hot beverage on my own (and I really love coffee). Sure, I no longer cook nor bake (I was rather fond and quite “good” at both) but I can still enjoy eating – although I now refrain from bones and soup (as they are “tricky” for me). I’ve given up alcohol since I use a straw to drink (since I don’t want to be easily intoxicated with all the air I ingest and drinking wine is just stupid). Although, I suspect, I would’ve been naturally weaned off the stuff as my wife’s allergic and I’ve got a son who’s still too young to drink. Moreover, I’m not really a fan of waiting for my food to cool down; or expecting for a straw or a bowl (because I need them to feed myself independently) to come as those around me begin eating.
It’s the ordinary things I find troublesome like stairs, buttons, inclines and writing implements. It takes me longer to dress, brush my teeth manually (automated brushes often have small bristle “footprints” and I can’t floss), cut my finger nails (I can no longer groom my own toe nails) and use an electric shaver. The only reason I can go to the toilet and bathe myself is because of the equipment (a raiser and a shower chair & bars respectively). Aside from not being comfortable, I find the concept of adult diapers disgusting. Also, I’ve got to pee more often as I can no longer hold my bladder. Don’t get me started on how toilet doors open and the cramped spaces – poor design often results from a lack of empathy or thought.
I know it shouldn’t bother me but I used to be a “fast” walker for my height. Now because I walk very slowly and carefully, I lag very much behind my family. Maybe it’s a thing I got so used to. I can no longer play basketball which was my main form of recreation and exercise (and stress relief).
I hate it when I’m told to think of others who struggle more than me. It makes me even “sadder” for them and not grateful that my condition could be worse (and don’t feel “better” at all).
I don’t usually whinge but I’ve been told in order to truly move on I need to vent on occasion – so pardon the collection of complaints, I’ll try to avoid such posts.
December 30, 2016
I enjoy lechon like most Filipinos. I really like Cebuano-style lechon because it suits my tastes (or maybe I’ve been brainwashed by my dad over the years). Most people favour the pig’s skin or rind (what eventually becomes the crackling) but I enjoy the ears, brains and trotters but IMHO the best meat comes from the cheeks. The best lechon I ever ate was prepared by Estos (I wonder where he is now) stuffed with two stuffed chickens. That said, I’ve yet to taste the Stuffed Lechon at Pepita’s Kitchen tucked away somewhere in Magallanes Village.
It’s partly hedonism but I’m hoping other like-minded individuals can also follow their own bliss.
December 30, 2016
At business school, I was taught about clusters and diamonds. Given the “horrendous” traffic in the Philippines, I think we need to consider other models which may co-exist with these. Sure, zoning is a definite constraint but we need to plant local opportunities: where “quality” jobs are available nearby instead of the CBD (where people need only travel within or to directly adjacent municipalities or towns).
This might spell a boost in employee productivity and this will definitely improve the quality of life of people. A ‘win-win” as it were: we need to move away from “zero-sum” thinking.
This may not be in line with “conventional” wisdom but we need to try something different.
December 29, 2016
been under the weather lately and it’s caused me to reflect. Haven’t done my daily exercises now for three days as I’ve been feeling really bad (it helps keep my body weight at a level I can physically manage and releases my endorphins to help me cope). Living with an unnamed neurological condition for nearly nine years (with relatively stable symptoms) and my recent health issues has reinforced that control is an illusion and that I better make hay while I still can (not to be overly dramatic but more realistic). Admittedly, it’s hard for me as it’s not my personality and I was brought up to place other’s needs before mine (so much so that I don’t REALLY know what I want). It’s not easy but I should endevour to put my and my family’s enjoyment first (even if it runs contrary to the delayed gratification I was earnestly taught). Everything considered, I will continue to set aside funds like I previously learned to manage money. Enjoyment shouldn’t be an excuse to shirk responsibility.