Andrea & Pascual

This year, my family’s Christmas Eve celebration was a little different.  It is because my pretty pregnant niece decided to hold the Gender Reveal Party also on the day before Christmas.  Everyone was so excited my mom’s house was colorfully decorated with pink and blue balloons and buntings for the event.

khris mae… my preggy niece

Games were played prior to the exciting gender revelation.  My family is so big that my nephew Den Den, the program host, decided to divide us into 4 groups.  In one of the games, called “Nominate A Name Game”, Den Den directed each group to think of a girl’s and a boy’s name whom we suggest be best given to our would-be newest member of the family.  The best recommended names will win the game.  Khris Mae, my would-soon-be-a-mom niece was, of course, the judge.

i was rooting for a baby boy while my elder sister wants a girl

There were so many suggestions, my group decided that I should be the one to think and provide our group’s nominated names.  I actually got an advantage because I have personally talked to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner buffet at Sofitel on what names does she plan to give her child. 

I however could not recall a single name that Khris Mae showed me as listed on her mobile phone during that Sofitel dinner.  During the game, I instead limit the names to names that starts with the letter A.  Besides, all of my grandniece and grandnephews names starts with the letter A – Arziolo, Alvia and Alexander II so I guess it would be perfect to name this baby with a name that starts with this letter.

When it was my turn to nominate a name, some gentle spirit seems to have whispered to me and made me utter the name Andrea.  A Greek-originated name that means “strong, brave and powerful”.  The very characteristics that I would want my brother’s would-be grandchild to possess.  A very appropriate name for a baby in this age and era of our planet.

For the boy’s name, the first name that entered by mind was Andrew, the male variant of the name Andrea.  But when I was asked what boy’s name I nominate, I suddenly uttered Pascual. That’s when I remembered suggesting to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner in Sofitel that I like the name Pascual.  I told her that it is to pay tribute and homage to my loving grandfather (Nengkoy’s dad) whose name was Pascual.

it’s pink confetti!

it’s a girl!

Later in the party, Khris Mae finally revealed that she will have a baby girl.  And guess what? My group won the “Nominate A Name Game”.

Could Have Been Aubergines, No Thanks to the Treaty of Paris

Esquire magazine published an article entitled What If The Philippines Was A British Colony.  The write-up relays that between October 1762 and April 1764, the Philippines was actually part of the British empire.  Following George Washington’s attacks on French colonies, the French went to war against the Britishers.  Spain which rules the Philippines during that era, joined the same war so as to honor its alliance with the French.  Because of this, the Brits attacked and was able to capture Spanish-owned Manila in 1762.  However, British reign in the Philippines came to a peaceful end when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763. 

The Esquire article then presented a number of could-have-beens in case there was no Treaty of Paris and the British rule continued in my beloved Philippines.  Expecting it to be mind-blowing, the theories presented in the article were somewhat deflated, subdued and ordinarily predictable because the notions discussed were simply aligned and paralleled to what happened with other countries under the British rule like India and majority of Africa.

the closest thing to my being briton now is wearing a union jack shirt. haha!

Let me then dispatch my inane and doofus version of what could have been if the Philippines was part of the British colony.  Firstly, I could have had high teas instead of siestas.  Eggplants would no longer be eggplants but aubergines and shopping carts would no longer be shopping carts but trolleys.  And I’d be drinking more tea and eating more biscuits while saying “God save the Queen” during weekends!  I might be speaking like Harry Potter by now and would be rooting for John Whaite and Johannes Radebe to win Strictly Dancing this year on BBC.  We will never know, if Brits ruled the Philippines, one of the James Bonds could have been some dishy Pinoy bloke.

talong, the filipino name for aubergine

Hey! Why was I not consulted when that wonky Treaty of Paris was drafted and taken into effect? 

Sizzling Hot Covid19 Vaccine

My post Covid19 pandemic started yesterday.  When me and my sister (being registered under our local government’s waiting list) were told that an available vaccine is available, we immediately drove up to the designated vaccination site.

Though it is sad to note that majority of my country’s populace still doubts the significance and efficacy of the vaccine, such popular yet imprudent viewpoint became advantageous on my part for getting the vaccine. 

If you’re reading this article and wonder why such meek and lowly event of getting my first jab seem such a big deal on my part, please understand that my poor unregimented country has very limited supply of the vaccine.  It is because my country at this late point in time only depends on the United Nation’s donations as well as the dole-outs sent to us by rich countries because they either have surplus of the vaccines or that their country already achieved the so-called herd immunity.

So how did my first vaccination affair went? Answer: It was hilarious, uneasy and at the same time a little nerve-wracking.  It was nerve-wracking because I hate injections! It was uneasy because the vaccination site was at an open-air public place.  With no air-conditioning and with the scorching humid heat index of 42 degrees Celsius (no thanks to climate change), me and my sister were soaked wet in our very own sweat! 

Good thing there were very few people at the venue, our papers were right away processed.   And after we were injected, the hilarious thing that happened is that both me and my sister were told to stay a little longer because both our blood pressures were shooting up! And when asked if I take medicine for high blood pressure, I answered yes.  When asked what medicine, instead of telling the name of the drug (Losartan), I uttered the name of a popular French bakeshop here in Manila (Lartizan)! LOL!

took a photo of my covid19 vaccine passport while waiting for my boiling blood pressure to ease down! beside it is my sister’s japanese fan.  underneath is a mini-towel to wipe off my super sweat!

With pocket-sized feelings of worry, me and my sister laughed instead after realizing that we were the only two who were asked to stay longer.  My sister even verbalized to the medical team present that who on earth would have a normal blood pressure at such a torrid and scorching temperature?!  After taking our blood pressure three times at an interval of every 15 minutes, both of us were finally released and discharged by the nurses.

I went home nauseous not because of the vaccine but because of the sizzling weather. I too was craving for Lartizan! 

A Masterpiece of a Response

I have seen the Harry & Meghan interview by Oprah.  The two-hour interview was like watching a televised therapy session with a shrink.  I am not British nor American, my country is not even part of the commonwealth, so I’d rather not publish my personal take about that massive interview.

But what fascinated me more was not the protracted and controversial narrative of the couple.  I was more into the reaction published by the Queen about this interview.

read!

It is a short, classy and dignified response.  It is firm yet compassionate.  It is brief yet precise.  It is succinct, refined and appropriate.  It is a masterpiece!

That 61 well-chosen words of a letter simply shuts, knocks and nails the over-the-top 2-hour interview done by Oprah.  The letter though short contain hopes of restitution, reconciliation and redemption.  It was unlike the Oprah interview which failed to discuss these affirmative possibilities.

Thus, after reading the Queen’s reaction, it dawned in me that I actually wasted 2 hours of my life listening and watching the Oprah interview that everybody now is talking about.  And with the Queen who is now 96 years old who still serves mankind and has to deal with this brouhaha by Harry & Meghan and with a husband who is very ill in the hospital, it can be deduced that it is actually not Harry nor Meghan who is depressed and lonely.  I think it’s the brilliant British Queen who is.

Leron Leron Ea

Leron Leron Sinta is an old Filipino folk song I learned to sing when I was in elementary school.  This fun cheery old tune is a basic song every Filipino child learned during the time when gentle cows and mild water buffalos has started to diminish its presence in the streets of the city. 

I actually wonder what songs does young tots has to learn in preschool nowadays.  I won’t be surprised if teachers nowadays would coach their students Beyonce’s “All The Single Ladies” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Haha!  Good thing I am not a preschool teacher because I would definitely teach my young innocent pupils the classic Sophie B. Hawkins song entitled “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover!

Regressing a little and in reference to Leron Leron Sinta, here’s one new cool version I discovered and have been listening to in the past seven mornings.  The Hawaiian version!

Aloha! How cool is that!

The UK Variant & Being Back to the Dark Ages

just a thought

I read somewhere in the world “wild” web that calling the now-named novel coronavirus as the Wuhan Virus or the China Virus is unfair, uncivilized and xenophobic.  Lots of articles and write-ups raised that this naming of the new virus from its place of origin is inhumane and no longer acceptable since year 2015 by the World Health Organization.  Articles explained that such should be named differently because the world is no longer in its Dark Ages and that the old practice has caused violent anger and physical danger towards the citizens or ethnicities where the disease originated.

But I got sets of disturbing questions now.  If WHO has new sets of best practices in naming viruses and diseases, how come the now-mutated and highly contagious variant of novel coronavirus is commonly called The UK Variant, the place on earth where it was first detected?  And why are the British people not reacting the way Chinese folks reacted when novel coronavirus was named after their country?

I don’t have a relative living in UK now but I know lots of people there, from Boris to Elizabeth to cute little George, Charlotte and Louis.  Why is my godmother who is British whom I last met when I was 3 years old is not hurt, not offended and not even reacting?

Answers to these troubling questions I guess is because British folks nowadays have gone too docile to react and have been too busy trying to improve their sad and alarming Covid19 status.  Or maybe, we are back in the Dark Ages.

Get well UK!

A Non-American and the Un-American at the US Capitol

If it would be inevitable to change my citizenship, one of the nationalities I would prefer would be to be an American.  Sad, crazy and outrageous as it may sound but who would not want to be part of the populace who has the strongest economy, the richest opportunities, a very hip civilization, beautiful people and a super power status as a nation?

It is therefore not surprising that setting my foot on USA soil (at least being a tourist) was on top of my bucket list.  Luckily by some grace and blessings from the heavens, this entry on my long and arduous bucket list has long been done and accomplished.

majestic yet a tranquil visit

I, a non-American have been to USA a couple of times already.  And in my last visit, I found myself at the capital state of Washington DC touring the insides of the US Capitol.  I can clearly recall that the outdoor grounds as well as inside of the Capitol Building gave me some incalculable sense of calmness and security.  It was majestic, it was peaceful, it was secured.  I can also recall my regret of not bringing my favorite pillow then.  Reason behind this is that being inside that most secured building on the planet gave me immense feelings of security and comfort.  The building made me feel so at ease, dreamy and relax I wanted to take a nap.  Haha!

loved it!

But these personal experiences in and out of the Capitol Building was a total opposite of what I saw and read on the news when Americans themselves consecrated the dignity of that honored spot of their country.  For me, the reckless and unwise siege done last January 06, 2021 at the Capitol Building was so sad and very un-American.  From my personal view point, the January 6 incident did not in any way made Americans great again!

Though some peace has been restored, I was in fact quite glad that on the day of the humiliating siege I was not an American.  I just hope that every American would realize how lucky, how fortunate and how free they are being citizens of the strongest and most democratic nation on the planet.  They should not let these valuable benefits slip from their hands because of some rash, thoughtless and heedless revolts and rebellions.

If some un-Americans are tired of being American, a lot of deprived and underprivileged gasping human beings here at a third world far east are willing to swap with them.  I guess, only when they become non-Americans would they realize how precious it is to be one. 

Unsexy

During your active breathing adult life, what are the common adjectives that you would get from strangers or people you know?  Which among the complimenting and unflattering words on the English dictionary do you receive or are usually associated with?

Like everyone else, I’ve heard and received countless adjectives both appealing and unbecoming.  But there is one elusive English word that I have yet to hear that would describe or associate me with. 

The word is Sexy.

People say that being sexy requires nothing.  It is a natural element that effortlessly flows out of a person’s aura.  I have been called evocative, indelicate, spicy and suggestive but never sexy.  I have been described as racy, shocking and delicious but never sexy.  I have been considered tempting, yummy and palatable yet never sexy.

too pleasant, too neat, so unsexy!

Now, to those who bumped unto this post and reached this point of the article, you can either call me one at the comments section below or tell me where is the nearest store where I can buy a bottle of this elusive impression called “sexy”! 

Please excuse this unsexy narcissistic episode! Hahaha!

Cute Human Beings

It’s the last day of the crazy year.  Let me be very positive today.  I know I failed to post and greet everyone a very Merry Christmas last December 25 that is why I made sure to write something on the last day of the year.

I have been seeing and bumping unto highlights of what has been this tremendous year online.  The internet specifically YouTube has somewhat been my escapism during this scary pandemic year.  My incapacity to explore outside and my inability to socialize personally with my friends and family gave me the opportunity to instead switch to watching sweet and delightful videos on YouTube.  These are the videos that somewhat filled the void of my needing to smile and my wanting to feel pleasant despite the scary contagion lurking outside.

Let me give homage to the cute human beings whom I encountered this year via YouTube.  These are the cute babies, toddlers and kids whose parent’s vlogpost I frequently watch and look forward to during the months that passed. 

They are…

Nitro (the cute baby of Dwaine and Shanta Wooley)

Nitro: cuteness overload

Holland and Stone (of Dustin & Burton Buffalo)

you will definitely be charmed by the chic and trendy Holland and Stone

Zach, TJ and Holly (of ChonaAndMyKids)

these kids’ antics will never fail to put a smile on your face

Uma (of Matthew & Elliot)

Uma the adorable and stylish little sunshine

Leila and Stella (of Ingrid in Bosnia

the cute sister-power of leila and stella

May our new year be as beautiful, as happy, as promising and as full-of-life like these cute human beings!  Happy New Year everyone!