Tuesday, July 18, 2006

my mommy

i've been my mom's daughter for almost 4 decades now. i can't tell exactly how many years because there was a time when i stopped being a daughter to her. thanks to kahlil gibran's "the prophet" (your children are not your children, they're the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself....). but she never stops being my mom.

i don't have much recollection of how it was when i was still a child. she's been a career woman ever since i can remember. we practically grew up with nannies. and although she did spend quality time with us when i was still a child i thought she didn't do much as a mom. but i didn't resent it. never. i just thought that she was atypical.

i didn't hear stories of her childhood or how she and my dad got together. and i don't remember my mom saying "i love you" to anyone of us siblings.

of the few recollections i have: my mom used to rub my hands with sugar or vinegar to make them smooth. she still thinks up to now that i have hideous hands. i also remember how, exhausted from day's work, she stayed up all night with me as i sat on a basin of warm water to cure my urinary problem. or how she taught me to use sanitary napkin when i had my menarche. it's only when i became a mom myself that i realized and appreciated those things she did for me, to me, and with me.

when i decided to devote my life to activism all she asked was if i was ready to leave them, which i answered with a question, "are you ready for me to leave?" my mom knew from the start that if i made a decision there was no stopping me. and so she let go.

not so many years later, i was back to being her daughter. i started visiting them in the province. from then till now she looks forward to my visits. she always cooks my favorite dishes. after all, i am the prodigal daughter.

i guess the years that separated us has somehow put her in a time warp. i've already metamorphosed from a bratty child who abhored chores to a responsible and independent mom (but still hates some household chores). to this day, when she asks me or i offer to do something for her she never fails to give me step-by-step instructions how to do things. like when she wanted me to cook. she would start by saying, "there's pre-sauted garlic, onion, pork, tomatoes in the freezer (mind you, my mom could have invented ajinomoto ginisa mix). take it out. thaw. heat the frying pan..." this she never fails to tell me. she would stop when i tell her, with a very recognizable sound of irritation, "mom, i know the basics of cooking."

this morning, she asked me to buy toner for their photocopying machine and have it dispatched through the bus liner plying manila to our town. i called her to ask the address of our house, she gave me instructions..."talk to the dispatcher, tell him blah-blah, write your dad's name on a piece of paper..." and before she could tell me my dad's full name i said, "mom, i'll figure out what to do when i get there, just give me the address."

my mom's never stopped being my mom. sometimes i think she's trying to make up for those times when she spent most her waking hours earning a living. and maybe because of all her children i'm the only one she's have the least time to be with that she still thinks i'm that helpless little girl and forgets that i've become the most independent. but while it annoyed me then, i've learned to appreciate it now. she laughed when i interrupted her instructions, i laughed too. i shook my head and just told myself, well, that's my mom."

and as i've said, i've never heard it from my mom, when i said "i love you", she was embarrased and lovingly said, "thank you."


Thursday, July 13, 2006


cannavaro, el capitan

determined buffon

toni after his goal-that-never-was

dejected henry. sob, love this guy

pirlo - john malkovich look-alike

camoranesi, with his new haircut

zidane right after the head-butting incident. lapse in judgement?


ballack during penalty shootout

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


anywhere one looks in the internet there's always an item about italy and france's battle for the first place. and anywhere one looks there's always something about zidane's red card. even those who rooted for italy are still wondering what got to zidane's mind to head-butt materazzi. nobody saw it coming, not even materazzi himself. it was a sad scene to see, a great player ending his career with a red card. but as analysts said it wouldn't tarnish zizou's legacy. in fact he was still voted player of the year.
enough with zidane.

i was groaning in pain monday after downing 2 shots of brandy and 2 glasses of white wine sunday evening with an empty stomach. but that didn't stop me from watching the final match, delayed as usual (live telecast which i had earlier planned is a staggering P3,800 pay-per-view !!!!). i had to bear with persistent pang in my stomach as the game progressed. good materazzi made that goal just a few minutes after zidane's penalty kick. otherwise the pain i felt would have aggravated and become psychosomatic; the relief i was expecting from several cups of tea would never have come.

it was a great game, there was no telling what would ensue after each attempt for a goal. i was dumbstruck when on the 16th minute of the second half toni made a goal but there was just a momentary jubilation. for about two minutes, the score was there on the screen, italy 2 – france 1, then it was back to 1-1. that i could not understand why. i heard the commentator say something like toni shot too early. anyway, they didn’t raise hell, so why should i?

the extra time was something to look forward to. it was still fresh in everyone's mind that italy beat germany 2-0 during the last three minutes of the extra time, they could do it to france. but something else happened, that much talked about head-butting incident that led zidane to bid au revoir.

the penalty shoot out could take one's breath away. suddenly, i didn't feel any pain in my stomach but i could hear my heart beating fast. and so it happened, 5-3 in favor of italy. yeissss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! need i say more?

Monday, July 03, 2006

on fifa 2006

four years ago, conrado de quiros wrote in his 'there's the rub' column that filipinos are no football fans. if i remember it right, he said he drove around the streets of manila to find a bar or restaurant that was showing the world cup then. good he found one.

four years later, most filipinos remain indifferent to football even if it's taking the rest of the world by storm. we've not caught up with the fever. i understand that basketabll is still THE popular sport here, next to boxing i guess, but that's only when pacquiao is competing. or until another filipino world boxing champion emerges.

i'm a boxing fan myself and like most filipinos i'm hooked to the teevee set whenever a well-touted match is aired. but i had to forego last sunday's pacquiao-larios match in favor of the late telecast of germany-argentina and italy-ukraine quarter final matches. and the night before that i woke up every hour from 12 midnight to 5 am in an attempt to catch england-portugal live. after all, the world cup happens only every four years.

i always like to watch football game whenever i can, even back to the time when the only player i knew was pele. i'm amazed with the acrobatic stunts that i thought were already "not-human". unfortunately, i only get to see highlights of various games when i channel surf.

this year i made sure i could see at least one full match. thank god for cable tv. although solar sports' telecasts are delayed i got to see so many games, yipee!!! (trinidad & tobago vs. england, trinidad & tobago vs. paraguay, portugal vs. netherlands, australia vs. croatia, australia vs. italy, france vs. togo, brazil vs. ghana, and the ones i mentioned above
). the thing is any game is unexciting unless you root for a country. not having anything in mind i had to choose a team to root for before each match began. criteria varied from how popular the team is to how goodlooking the players are; who was playing fair and who wasn't; whether a country is for "war against terrorism" or not?, developed or developing country, black or white.

i settled first for england because of beckham and crouch. then australia over croatia because croatian players were bullying them. then portugal. that's after mulling over that i could root for the dutch because they're funding one of our projects; germany too because of funding. argentina because i already knew early on that they lost to germany and my heart bled for them. i liked italy because of totti and because of the mafia novels i read but they were up against australia when i first saw them.

so that made the games thrilling for me. it didn't matter that i was the only one in our street watching football, cheering, screaming, full of agitation. and because they are super-delayed telecasts i stopped watching cnn and bbc every morning so as not to preempt my exhiliration or frustration. like this morning, i could just tune in to the news to see how england-portugal concluded (the game was last july 1) their match and eliminate the chance of me coming to work late again. but hell no, i wanted the suspense. i wanted to feel the euphoria of triumph or the agonizing thud of defeat.

and yes, i felt it today when england lost to portugal. beckham was a "peripheral figure" during the first half, and was out of the game just few minutes after the second half started. rooney was sent off for misbehaving, crouch got in in the second half but was hardly impressive. ronaldo of portugal tormented the english team, and me with his almost perfect ball skills.

the game concluded with a penalty shootout. the commentator incessantly blabbed "england never won in a penalty shootout". and what was i to do? it was a hint to switch loyalty to the likely winner portugal. but hell no,again. along with live audiences i held my breath in anticipation, applauded for the one successful shot of england, groaned for every good shot of portugal, and boy, the anxiety i felt as cristiano ronaldo walked in to finish it off.

so now that england is out i'll choose between italy and portugal. i dont know when's the next game, and surely i wont see any live game so i'll have to block cnn and bbc news programs off my morning ritual from today till the finals.

and because filipinos are for boxing and not for football lunch today consisted of fried fish, vegie dish and pacquiao's victory. no mention of football. sigh, i'll just keep my emotions to myself.