Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wowowee on TFC Today

I really enjoyed watching Wowowee on TFC today! The players of the Wheel of Fortune segment are all spouses of foreigners. I could relate to it!

I was expecting that mostly of the players have met their spouses online or in a dating site in the internet like my case. I was totally wrong.

The first player is Maria. She is a single mom. She met her British husband in Silverworks store where she worked as salesclerk. The guy was having a vacation in the Philippines after his painful divorce that time and he found her. Maria is thankful to her husband because he takes care of her and he treats her son as his own child. They looked very happy.

The second player is Cecilia. She is chubby. She met her Turkish husband in Japan when she worked there as an entertainer. They are now settled in the Philippines and her husband is a driver/operator of a jeepney in their province. Their problem is communication. She cannot understand and speak Turkish language and her hubby hardly understand and speak English also although he is trying hard to learn Tagalog. Sometimes they speak Niponggo or Japanese language when they talk. Confusing.

The third player is Grace. She met her Canadian hubby in Malaysia when she worked there as Lounge Singer. The first time the guy saw her, he has not stopped seeing her since then. He is a pilot trainee now and he wants to settle down in the Philippines for good. They already have 2 kids.

I forgot the name of the fourth player. I'm sorry. Anyway, she met her German husband in Hongkong when she worked there as Domestic Helper. Her husband confessed that he is an avid fan of Pokwang, hehehe! Pokwang gave him a hug and a kiss in the cheek.

Speaking of Pokwang, she confessed that she got a foreigner partner when she worked in Japan before but the relationship did not last. She considered her lovelife unlucky but she jokingly blurted, "But it's good that I have allot of money now!". Good for her.

There are still 2 more players left.

I was surprised when the name of the next player was called. Manny. Musculine. I thought no ordinary Pinoy man can afford to marry a foreigner. Well, I was again wrong. Manny is a guy from Leyte who is married to an American lady from Washington. He met her in a Karaoke Bar. They were the only ones left in the bar before closing time and they found each other so in-love. In fairness, the girl can speak Cebuano! Apart from that, she's got a good voice when she sang a Mexican song while Manny danced at the same time.

The last player is Benjie from Bulacan. He met his Brazilian wife in the internet. Hmmm. Sounds familiar! Hehehehe! When the pretty Brazilian went to Palawan for a vacation with her sister, Benjie went there to meet her. She stayed and they got married. She is pregnant now. And she can speak Tagalog and Visayan too! They rendered duet singing Willie Revillame's "Ako'y Para Sa'yo" and the girl really knew the song! I was really impressed! Bravo!

As expected, the lady foreigners are a way taller than our guys. Geez!

I am glad that hubby subscribed The Filipino Channel or TFC. I heard al lot about it when I was still in the Philippines and I am happy to be one of its subscribers now. It keeps me updated and I could always watch my fave programs especially Wowowee!

Thank you TFC! More power!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Day at an ESL Class

I had a nice time at school today.

I learned about the four periods of the year in the United States. I learned new words. And I learned to appreciate more on my country's English teaching.

Jen was still in her bed trembling with a heater in front of her and Jun was at the corner of his room curled up himself when I went to school. They said they would attend the evening class.

I did not take shower. I just washed up. It was toooooooo cold this morning so I wore under warmers, pair of gloves and a thick sweater with hood going to school. When hubby dropped me off, one of the teachers, Ms. Sally Schumacher, saw me and teased me because of my outfit. I did not give a care, hehehehe!

When I entered the classroom, I read this sentence on the board "Today is the fall equinox: the first day of autumn! Equinox. New word to me! Equinox according to Mr. Webster is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about March 21-September 22. So fall or autumn is when the equinox takes place. Fall and autumn are the same. I was confused of this before and I learned that after summer, fall/autumn follows, and then wintertime, spring comes afterwards then vice versa.

When Brenda and I were walking this morning, I was really dressed up. Aside from the under warmers and pair of gloves I wore, I also wore ear band, for the first time. And I noticed that I could see my breath when I talked! Gees. I remember one of my fave movies; a James Bond sequel entitled "For Your Eyes Only". There is a part in the film that shows wintertime and there is a kind of vapor or steam comes out from their mouth when the characters speak. I experienced the same this morning and it is only autumn yet! I think I would freeze to death this coming winter! Huhuhuhu!

Anyways, aside from the word equinox, I also learned another new word today. Stucco. We discussed about parts of the house and one of my classmates mentioned this word. So I asked what is it all about. And I learned that it is an exterior finish for masonry or frame walls usually composed of cement, sand and hydrated lime mixed with water and laid on wet. Hmmm. While the teacher explained it, I was imagining "hardiflex" in the Philippines, hehehehe! Maybe. It is kind of, as I understand it.

During our Phonics class, the teacher, Ms. Patricia Meldrum, taught us how to pronounce the consonants. She let us pronounced them one by one. For example, letter "S" is pronounced as "sssssss...” I have classmates from Mexico, from Dominican Republic and from Peru. All of them speak Spanish. When we were pronouncing the letter "V", one of my classmates couldn't pronounce it correctly, so he was told to repeat more or less 10 times and he hardly made it. Ms. Pat told him to put his lower lip inside his upper teeth to pronounce it correctly, he tried once more but failed again and then he blurted out desperately, "Oh My GOD!” Everyone was silent. None of us laughed. I guessed, we wanted to but we did not want him to feel embarrassed. He is already in his mid 50's and it is peculiar to tease him in his age. But suddenly, one of the students asked Ms. Pat, "What if a person has no teeth at all?" Ms. Pat answered, "then there is no need to pronounce it!” Everyone laughed out too loud. That was funny! Bwahahahaha!

I am happy that I learned English from home and from school in the Philippines. I admit I am not very good at it but I could say that I am good at it.

When a Mexican classmate asked me how did I learn it, I proudly told her that we are taught by our parents or any family members and that English is one of our subjects during our kindergarten days until our college days. I even boasted that we have had our Spanish subject also way back in the early 80's but the government abolished it because it is no longer needed in our daily undertakings anymore. I told her I could even speak and understand some of the Spanish words because we are still using some of them these days. She was really impressed! She said she learned English by self-study and it was very difficult for her. She said that I am very lucky! I said, yes I am!

Well, I am a Filipino.

And I am very proud to be one.

Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All about My LIFE

I just turned 36 today.

I thanked God for giving me another year of my life.

Before I slept last night, I harked back to my colorful and interesting 36 years of my life on earth. I had an unhappy childhood. I had very short adolescent years. I became a parent before I reached adulthood. I became a single mom at the age of 21. I was a single mom for 12 long years before I remarried. What a life!

I lived with my grandparents when I was a child. It was a hard life for me. I have always wanted to be with my family. There were many times that I struggled to escape while on our way to the bus terminal going back to my grandparents' place from a summer vacation with my family. One thing that I couldn’t forget during my childhood was when Super Typhoon "Nitang" hit Surigao City. It was a traumatic experience for me as a child. And the aftermath of that event was a food shortage. I experienced too much poverty.

During my high school days, I lived with my Aunt, I mean, Aunts. Two years in my father's younger sister and another two years in his older sister. That time I got a lot of suitors and I already got a boyfriend. I did not take my study seriously though I belonged to the prominent class section called "Experimental Class" or "Crack Section". All students in the class were considered "smarter" than the rest of the class sections. But I never cared about it. I was a rebellious, irresponsible and selfish teenager in my time.

At the age of 18, I already have Jen. I was married to a person whom I thought the right man for me. I really thought he was the man, well, I was wrong. But I was lucky to have a very supporting and understanding parents-in-law. They provided everything we need even after Jun was born. The marriage didn't work. It just made us all miserable. That time, I started to get interested in reading books/novels and writing. There were times that I tried to make a short story inspired by my own experience but I couldn't concentrate having 2 little kids so I resorted to writing poems. My first poem was entitled "Life is so CRUEL". It really was!

I firmly believed that there is always turmoil in every relationship but as long as both parties would hold on together, everything would end up okay. Ours didn't work. It is because both of us gave up for so many reasons. My kids and I moved to my parents’ house. Funny, I was not at my parents during my childhood and adolescent days but I was there during my adulthood and stayed there for good.

My colorful life began when I became single again and when my father passed away. I was a government worker, a college student and a struggling mom to my two kids. I was a "barkadista" and I thought that without friends, I am nothing. I worked during the day and went to school during the night. When I got home, I checked my kids' notebooks to see to it that they made homework. I woke up early to prepare their breakfast and their things for school. As "barkadista" as I was, I always gave time to hang out with my friends in a Karaoke bar or to their house and got drunk sometimes, yikes! I had a lot of escapades. I made allot of mistakes. I did not listen to my mom. I was such a bad daughter to her. I have had several relationships mostly flings in my 12 years of being single. I tried to have someone who would love me and care for me and for my kids as but it turned out that none of them was the one for me.

For those struggling and shaky long years of my life, I could say that I was a good mom to my two kids. They grew up to be responsible and smart kids. They can do any household chores. They both belonged to a special class in their elementary and high school years and they were both achievers. Ate Jen is now 18 years old and she really is a big sister to her brother Jun, who is now 17 years old. They are very close to each other and most of all they are God-fearing teeners. I am very proud to say that I definitely RAISED them well.

When I met hubby, things eventually changed into allot better. I mellowed down. I didn't go to any bar as I used to. I did not hang out with allot of friends anymore. I became more compassionate to others. I became more considerate, more caring, more understanding and most of all; I became responsible in the truest sense of the word. When I met him, I have found out that I have so much of real and genuine love inside my heart, which made me a better person.

My life has ups and downs. I am sure yours has too. Always remember that "It is not the failure that will determine your destiny but it is your next step and the next that will tell the story of your life".

Life is what you make it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am Back to School Again!

Last Tuesday, September 2, my teeners and I have registered/enrolled in an ESL (English as a Second Language) Class in a Community College here. It is absolutely free. This program is run by the College School but is funded by the government.

Hubby was at work so Jen drove the car going to school. We were all scared because her driving was illegal since she only has an Instruction Permit- no Driver's License. We were hoping no police car in the vicinity! We thanked God that we got to the parking lot safely.

Nathalie waited for us outside trembling and shaking because of the cold wind blowing in her skin. We hurriedly went inside the school to get rid of the cold air outside, brrrr!

Anyways, when we got inside the classroom, there were already 3 people ahead of us and I thought they were Mexicans. Teachers were inside too. They were very nice and accommodating. One of them gave us forms to be filled out and she helped us in doing it. We kept on grinning because we felt like we were 1st graders J we were asked on our educational attainment, on how did we learn English words (from home or school?) and how did we know about ESL programs, etc.

Afterwards, one of the teachers gave us information on the whole ESL Program through Power Point presentation and we liked her because she was funny and enthusiastic.

I have learned that the ESL program is open to all, not only for foreigners like us but also for native Americans who want to improve their English, who wants to learn about Basic Computer, Mathematics, Key Boarding, Grammar, Phonics, etc. Woow. I was impressed! This is one thing that I like being here in the US. Hmmm.

And I forgot to mention, they also have subject about Immigration and Citizenship and even DMV Written Test Review!

We were given series of tests for them to know our level of knowledge and they were impressed on the result of the tests. We passed the tests with flying colors, yeheey! :)

They had coffee and cake for FREE inside the classroom. I was wondering why they are free. I heard that one of the teachers baked the cake. We did not eat our breakfast so we took a slice of cake and tried the mocha-flavored coffee. The room is "air-conditioned" and we ran outside and exposed ourselves under the heat of the sun to keep us warm, while eating the cake and sipping the coffee, hehehehe!

Everything was done before 12:00 noon and they allowed us to go home and told us to come back on Monday.

Jun drove the car going back home and Nath was with us that time. When we finally got back home safely, we felt relieved, whew!

The regular class will start on Monday and we are already excited about it. Hubby would have his 7-day off so he would drive us to and fro. And we would be safe by then!

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