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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unto The Next Running Challenge - 36th Milo Marathon Elims

I know I promised to train harder for my next race. But as always, my original plans took a detour. After my race last February, our household got busy with schooling issues then yaya issues. Then work got the best of me (and still has as I still am drowning on it till now). Life just seems to really get more and more complicated as you progress with adulthood. Sigh. Right now my ONLY goal is surviving all these with my sanity still in tact and THE ONLY game plan I have is just to simply RIDE it out. And praying hard that somehow, someway, I'd get some form of respite along the way.

Running is one thing that help keep me sane. Well, it is in fact the only exercise that I can really commit myself to do regularly so technically it's also the only form of destress that I have at the moment. So despite having time management issues, I tried my hardest to squeeze at least 30-min runs every other day. And somehow that helped keep meltdowns at bay. I had a crazy schedule but I was at my most stable state! All this time! (That's a big yay, for the hubby and the little lady!)

So I have been steady and stable. With my running, as with my life. But since I've always been inclined to challenge my sanity I try to up the ante on my exercise regimen by signing up in a race once in a while just to inject a little excitement into my routine. So as if the complications in my life aren't enough right now, I recently signed up for my second half-marathon. Tibs and I have officially registered for the 36th Milo National Marathon Eliminations. AND I ONLY HAVE 1 MONTH TO TRAIN HARD FOR IT.

Suffice to say, we have been working doubly hard this past few weeks just to catch up with the training but of course we know that even that cannot ever compensate for the benefits that we would have gained had we been guided with say a 3-month training plan. I can only hope that the mini-cardio work outs that I've been doing in between our 5k runs for the past 6 months would work their miracle and churn out extra endurance powers for me to meet the 2.5 hour cut off for 21k runners. I might never forgive myself if I don't finish this race as this will probably be the first and last time that I will get the chance to join in. I am not exaggerating. With the rising cost of races these days, I don't think I'll ever consider signing up to the same race again (not unless somebody signs me in for free maybe).

This is probably one of the biggest challenge on my time management skills but I am going to stick my guns to this. And I will do this. And I will cross that FINISH line (injury-free!). As the race jersey goes - KAYA MO YAN! I say -- OO KAKAYANIN KO TO!

For more information about this race please visit: or

Friday, June 22, 2012

Preschooler Parents, We Now Are.

So it's been 2 weeks since our little girl started going to school. We've technically wrapped up the 3rd week today and somehow, we've already gotten into the rhythm of things. Our body clocks (the entire household including ate inday) are now adjusted. Little girl wakes up just as her dad starts his office preps routine. We say our morning prayers and we get up to do homework and review for the days lessons while Ate Inday prepares breakfast which is already pre-planned the night before so we don't cram in the mornings. We always try to come up with something carb-heavy so that the little girl has plenty of packed energy for the long day ahead. Homework-wise, Ate Inday usually goes through her notes for day right after she gets home from school and relays them to me through the phone so if she needs to bring something to school the next day and we don't have it at home, I still have time to drop by the store and get it on my way home.

The first week was mostly about getting the kids familiarized with the new surroundings. So my problems mostly evolved around what to pack for her lunch since her class schedule falls right smack on the middle of lunchtime. On the second week, they started doing actual class activities and teachers started giving them homework as well. Since I had a co-worker who's kids also went to ESS, I had already been forewarned: EXPECT HOMEWORK EVERY DAY. So every day when I call, ate inday would check Maia's diary for homework and other notes from her class adviser. Some days, ate inday would miss it but yes for the last two weeks there was never a day when we don't have to do homework. What's good though is that it's training the little girl to set aside about 10 minutes in the morning with me to do some school stuff. The homework itself is an easy-peasy task for the little girl but what we're actually trying to train her to do is to pay attention. And the trying part is really TRYING in its truest essence. But I'm just glad we're getting things done. It's a good thing that we've parted with most of her toddler toys so there's not a lot of distractions in the house. And we've already made a rule of no-TV time (and we've been successful for the past 3 weeks, hurray for us!) during school day so the tiny space that we had set up for the little girl's study area in our cramped, little home is not as big of an issue as I'd expected it to be. 

So we've somehow adjusted. But we know deep in our heart that the real adjustment is just beginning and with that new fears as parents now just starting to creep in. 

  • What if somebody bullies her in school? Or what if she bullies someone in school? 
  • How is her appetite in school? Is her immune system now strong enough to protect her from communicable diseases now that she's more exposed to them?
  • Can she withstand the commute to and fro our house to the school in the long run? 
Wishing for a smooth first year! 
The list could go on. I get very anxious at times especially when I'm about to sleep and I start thinking of how she might be in school. My anxiety would sometimes rub off on the husband as well and we'd eventually see ourselves up till midnight contemplating on whether we chose the right place for our daughter's schooling. I guess somehow, we're still hung up on Waldorf and in the back of our mind, we still dream of sending Maia there. Some days when fond memories of summer at St Michael would revisit her, she'd announce - "you see Mommy, I have 2 schools. Today I go to Seton, pero pumapasok din ako sa St Michael." I'm just thankful she's still enjoying every minute that she's in ESS. Although there have already been several mornings where she would tell us she doesn't like to go to school. But our morning routine of reviewing their topic for the day and accomplishing assignments always manages to shoo the blues away. By the time we finish the assignment and the topic review she'd be all excited ("Gusto ko na dumating si Ate A - referring to the school service assistant - excited na ako pumasok sa school, Mommy!").

The worries just never go away, don't they? (how many times have I posed this question in this blog alone?) They just seem to come in phases. But the fact remains, there's no stopping them from growing up. I guess there's really no way we can ever dodge this or skip this entire stage of worry. So the best way we can deal with this is probably just to embrace the fact that - we are now parents of a preschooler. Good luck to us!

At the end of the day, surprises like this just makes our heart swell

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lola!

Today was going to be my lola's 102nd birthday. But sadly, she's already passed on last year. Still, I wanted to do something special today to remember her birthday by so I woke up early today to fix some pasta for breakfast. I made some Shrimp and Bacon Aoili Angel Hair Pasta (a slight twist from a favorite recipe in our household) which my family shared heartily. 

I am also publishing this post that I started last October (after we laid my lola to rest) but never got to finish. I thought I'd publish it as is because what I wrote there were my fondest memories of lola. 

Happy birthday Lola! Please continue to watch over us! We love you and miss you!


What Lola Has Taught Me

We finally laid her to rest last October 9th. Despite the bad weather that we've been experiencing for almost a week, Mr Sun came out on the day we were set to bury my 101 old grandmother.

At 101, yes you can say my lola has a chestful of wisdom to impart to us grandkids. She was a story teller. She loved farming. She was proud to call herself a farmer and she was active at it till she was in her 90's. And even while she was wheelchair bound, she made sure she was updated at the going-ons of her farm lots. She was a very hard worker. She taught us that you don't earn easy money. And that you have to work hard for your dreams.

Lola was one of the reasons why we also make it a point to be home during long holidays. We looked forward to this 'pocket' reunions which are usually just spent sharing/swapping stories at the dinner table. We might not be the perfect family but Lola made sure we valued what we have.

I remember when we were little, our house was located about a kilometer away from Lola's. Every Fridays, we looked forward to spending the weekend with her (because she tolerated late night TV time - Doggie Howser, Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch). When I need to write book reports, I would hie off to my Lola's because her house was really just so conducive for writing. Now that I've mentioned it, it was probably in my Lola's that I started to write in journals too.

Lola loved to tell us stories. Usually they were tales of their lives during the war. Lola's been through TWO world wars and boy she had a lot of stories to share. Our bed time stories were mostly about that. She'd sometimes sneak in some 'horror' stories as well probably to scare us and drive us to sleep (hehehe).

My parents were both working. It was Lola who looked after us while they were away. And when they travel, it was lola who would keep us preoccupied so we won't miss them too much. I was also a big worrier then (probably because I was the eldest I always have this fear I might end up taking care of all my siblings). My lola made sure however that we relish our childhood and yet taught us how to survive independently. She taught us how to cook our own meals at an early age. She bought us clay pots to practice on. And at 7 years old, my sisters and I can easily whip out a meal of laswa and fried fish. We learned to cook rice as well the old school way. We also learned the benefits of healthy eating from lola. She lived to be 101 because she was careful with what she ate (she wasn't intentionally careful but well she just really hated eating pork and beef and would always prefer veggies over anything else). 

I think if I would summarize the values that I picked up from lola they would be:
  • Resilience and Hardwork
  • The Importance of Family 
  • Goal Setting
  • Communication
  • Farming is a respectable, rewarding job only if you put your heart and soul into it.
Apart from my parents, Lola also became our primary teacher when we were little kids. But what she taught us were not about academics but really about what was practical and basically how to survive life as it is. 

Maia calls this Apoy's (that's our vernacular term for greatgrandma) new home 
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