Knock, knock!

Contrary to my goal, again, I’m failing in my goal to fill my need to write more posts and Marcus has a lot to do with it. For wifey and me, parenting lately has been a lot crazier than before. Don’t get me wrong, despite nerve-wracking moments with an active 3-year old we seem to spend more enjoyable times as we witness his rapid development and antics that come along with it. Nowadays, our one and only boy….

…has become more articulate than ever. Other than saying our names clearer, he can now say Manny Pacquiao.

…can recognize Toyotas and Pajeros and other car brands. He can just spot Hondas before. (When he was more than a year old, he screams whenever he sees wheels.)

…has transitioned from nursery rhymes to more mature music. He used to just like GTO from the movie RV and lately he surprised me when he showed to me that he can dance to Top Gun’s Danger Zone and Mighty Wings. He also goes ballistic when he hears Party Anthem and Moves Like Jagger.

…continues to impress us with his pace in learning to use cellphones, computers and home theater. (Thankfully, he has not figured out why his favorite cartoon show doesn’t appear however he press the TV’s channel button. Yes, I locked it.)

…seems to start understanding that littering trash will result to flood and that whenever he sees some of the Sendong video footage, he’ll look for his clothes and tell us to donate them. (This one makes us feel so proud.)

Well, this is just a knock knock and I have to cut this short because sooner or later, he’ll be up and ready again to keep our day busy…and stressful…and fun. Parenting is exciting, isn’t it?

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Thankful to be home.)

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Christmas 2011 Greetings from Marcuscanblog.com

Happy are those who will still celebrate without anything for they will
do it just like how it was first celebrated — pure and simple.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

From,
Marcus…and his dad and mom.

Running for Adoption Consciousness

Today is quite a significant day for me and my family. I have been thinking about this day since last year when I started doing my strategic management paper. The months I spent knowing about domestic adoption made me realize the importance of this week’s event. Eventually, the critical call did come—a sign that I have been waiting for. The call from our social worker asking if I can give a testimonial was unexpected and quick. Before I can think of last minute alibis, something in me made me say a crisp ‘yes.’ After the phone conversation, I already knew that today is going to be one of those killing-two-birds-with-one-stone moments.

So around 4 o’clock this morning, I woke up minutes ahead of my alarm clock. I was that excited. After quick preparations of breakfast-to-go –coffee, bananas, pan de sal – and placing Marcus’ bike in the trunk, we were on our way to SM Mall of Asia. The early morning traffic was smooth so we arrived at the venue just less than an hour later.

The annual DSWD event started with a fun run just along SMB’s strip facing the Manila Bay. Several groups of people led by DSWD employees gathered to join the 3K run. I was in the middle of the pack at the starting line and the different t-shirt prints—DSWD, ICAB, CWC, etc.—of most runners around made me recall how immersed I was for months in the field of social welfare, specifically adoption, wherein I got acquainted to these organizations and some of its key employees.

The fun run started past 6:30 AM. Although I started cold, I began to pick up the pace by the first quarter of the course. I finished the 3K route in just around 20 minutes, not bad considering that it’s my first running event. A month of regular treadmill runs at home paid off.

After every runner has finished, the adoption consciousness week program proper followed. This year’s theme is ”Bata ay Huwag Abandonahin! Legal na Pagpapa-ampon ang Gawin.” Different personalities coming from DSWD and its partner agencies joined the program with some children from different child-caring agencies are also present and are part of the intermission numbers. Among the highlights of the kick-off program are the testimonials from two adoptive families—we’re one of them.

Despite having a prepared speech–I spent several hours to prepare just the night before, I decided to do an impromptu speech. It was brief but I think that I was able to bring my message across. One key message I mentioned is that hopefully domestic adoption will soon be embraced by more Filipinos because the latest statistics isn’t enough: there are only about 5,000 children adopted locally and around 3,000 internationally since 2006. Something has to be done to improve the current figures since the number of children waiting adoption is just overwhelming.

The adoption consciousness week will be until February 11, 2011. DSWD and child-placement agencies (KBF and NORFIL) have setup help desks in some SM malls to cater to anyone who is interested in the legal domestic adoption process. According to DSWD, they will have booths in SM North, Fairview and MOA. Please come and visit them.

***

I was able to talk to the founder of the Adoptive Families Foundation and I learned that he had difficulty convincing other adoptive parents to give a testimonial. This is not surprising. One of the surveys I did in this group received only a 12% response. It just shows that most adoptive parents are  still not privy when it comes to talking about it in public (or even online) and this is also one of the reasons why there are still hesitation and resistance from most Filipinos towards legal adoption. Optimistically, the efforts of DSWD and related NGOs will keep on saving more innocent lives from being wasted and deprived of a permanent and loving family.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Glad to finally reach the decision.)

You Become a Father When…

…you start caring for a small bundle of joy.

…you gladly forego your own sleeping time in order to watch the new occupant of your bed slowly settle to dreamland.

…you hate leaving home because there’s now another hand waving you goodbye.

…you visit playgrounds with just a slight yank from fragile yet convincing hands.

…you realize how hard it was then for your own father to raise you.

…you stop being the king of the remote control and that the winner is one who does not even have to speak…and it’s not even your wife.

…you shamelessly sing a nursery hymn on short notice…anytime, anywhere.

…you watch what you’re saying because a pair of tiny ears listens.

…you watch what you’re doing because little eyes are intently watching.

…you enthusiastically mount a basketball hoop in your yard…and you don’t even play the game.

…Barney, Mickey and Baby Einstein just pushed your Braveheart, Top Gun, and Saving Private Ryan DVDs deeper into the back of CD shelf.

…your Last Song Syndrome is not the latest rock music but the Alphabet song.

…you stopped hating noisy kids in the church because you’re now constantly running after one.

…you shift to buying the smaller Happy Meals…not because you’re on a diet but just because you want a toy to come with it.

…you have now mastered dealing with a formula…and it’s not math.

…you wake up at 3 AM just to blog how it is like to become a father. Happy Father’s Day to everyone!

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Grabbed another oatmeal cookie to keep me company.)

I’m all mixed up once again. It’s just more than 24 hours and I’ve already done several things not so related to each other but has nevertheless kept myself busy, frustrated, confused, and excited – may not be in proper order but may apply all at one point. Yes. I’m once again having that chopsuey day. Well, just to remain optimistic there’s always a good thing about bad things.  At least it doesn’t make my day SSDD.

***

After a meeting with the rest of our village’s board of directors yesterday and with our treasurer walking out of the meeting, I finally filed my formal resignation this morning as well. It’s not because I’m fed up with any of them but it’s because of the troubling effect that goes along with the treasurer walking out and her probable termination.

So this morning while trying to decide between eating proper breakfast or leaving on time for one of the most important things I’ll be doing in the next few months to come, with fingers tightly crossed, I hurriedly typed what has been going on inside my mind for weeks, my resignation letter. It’s about time.

Emerald court
I miss the days when this is a common sight.

I really hate doing it but I did the best that I could to explain why I’m leaving this time. I got several compelling reasons and one of which is living a quiet life away from the baseless accusations, gossips and intrigues which are sadly done by elders who are supposed act as well-meaning advisers in the community. Although these may not be directly addressed to me I can’t bear hearing it anymore and this isn’t the environment that I want our baby boy to witness – this is one major reason.

Now I’m back, hopefully, to living as a private individual. Next time, I’ll share some of the homeowners association woos and woes.

***

Other than filing my resignation which I just realize was actually my first as I never had the chance to make one since I joined a team, organization or even a company, I started the first step to another milestone in my life. (Incidentally, I’ll be leaving my current job without it again)

This morning I went to Ateneo Rockwell to register for their MBA Regis program course entrance exam. Although, their building wasn’t exactly as vivid as what they have on their website’s header, I was still thrilled and excited the moment I saw it from afar and it got even more intense when I came inside. The place itself had this professional feel and the surrounding appears to be a very conducive place to learn. What especially caught my attention though was the solemn chapel inside the campus. I’m wondering now if this is filled to its capacity during exams with most of the students asking for divine intervention. Anyway, just in case it is, I’ll just bear kneeling outside.

Ateneo Rockwell's chapel
Law students do pray here. Photo by: Michael Gomez

The whole registration process went very orderly. I don’t know if this is always the case but when I arrived at the registrar’s counter, there were only four other people transacting and even if I had to go down to the cashier’s office to pay for the exam fee everything was still a breeze. When I left home this morning, I was prepared to be in a long line of students and have asked myself for extra patience. But then Ateneo’s automated system changed my perception of a traditional registration flow – it took me just about 10 minutes to finish the whole transaction and I was happily on my way home just in time for a late lunch and a well-deserved siesta – considering that it’s from Cavite to and from Makati being completed all in the morning wasn’t bad at all.

***

My blogging addiction has stepped up. In my desire to monetize my blog, I’ve been searching for days already on how to do it properly. I’ve also researched on what free or paid blog providers will cater monetization. Somehow, I discovered that in this case the best things aren’t free. And this led me back to Typepad.com.

I made the first steps in signing up with Typepad a couple of weeks ago but I was taken aback when I saw that its 14-day trial period would require me to enter my credit card number. Yesterday, as I ran out of choices and with my eagerness to sign back, I read and re-read the trial period conditions which to my relief say that I won’t be charge if I cancel before the 14-day period. And so I proceeded.

Sadly, my first impression about this paid blogging site isn’t good. For one, my expectation of Typepad being better than WordPress faded soon enough as I had a hard time using its dashboard. I find its features falling short of WordPress’ and just a bit better than Blogger.com. I still have 13 days to exploit it, but as of now I’m already revisiting my Blogger account and have done some re-layouts and modifications. I can see that it’s starting to look a lot like Typepad now. It’s a shame. But of course, I’m not quitting on Typepad yet. In the next days to come, I’ll spend some time using it and will give it another chance to prove its worth. Hopefully, at the end of the trial period is a win-win situation.

Here’s Typepad’s dash.

typepad

Here’s WordPress’.

WP dash.jpg

Now take your pick. I’ll bet a day’s worth of transport fare.

***

Chapel photo credit: Michael Gomez

***

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Kids and Lyrics

kidsnlyrics.jpg

Just as I have anticipated when we got married (wifey and I waits for a few more months before we become a decade-old married couple this coming June), I have eventually become an overprotective and strict father. Our 9- month old son’s presence confirmed all traits that since then I knew I would be or would like to be when fatherhood comes in.

I really don’t know if I’m doing a good job, but deep inside I feel that I’m at least meeting expectation. Wait, that last two words remind me of work. Maybe it’s because the absence of work, or at least its regular routine, that my missing the attendance tracking of my staff, conducting shiftly hud- dles, checking with my persistent upstream and downstream customers and everything else about work has made me more aware of everything about baby stuffs. Worries about work has been replaced with which nipples goes to which bottle, if milk scoops are exact to the brim, if formula ratio has been properly mixed, which baby DVD has been played already…and this is just to mention a few (trust me). Did I just mention DVD?

One of those baby things that I’ve actually been keeping tab is the baby music’s lyrics which I’ve been hearing so often again and again that the last regular “adult” LSS I can remember is the Journey’s Only the Young Can Sing. Now my ears have been attuned to Barney’s Mr. Sun and I can very well remember the video of Flying in an Airplane that I’m now beginning to think that it’s the Barney videos that are unconsciously encouraging gay- hood or lesbianism. But maybe it’s just me and besides it would require a long separate blog for that topic. By the way, don’t get me wrong and let me make these two things clear:

  1. I love the songs but I hate the video.
  2. I personally have nothing against members of the third sex…and Barney.

Ok now? So let me continue, but still the following maybe as thought- provoking as questions like who is capitalizing from all these recession and layoffs? Will Vietnam’s Intel factory perform just like the Philppines (pun intended)? And so many other questions currently and continuously bothering me.

Having an LSS of music for babies does seem to trouble me more than hav- ing Usher’s Trading Places lyrics play over and over again inside my head. This is because I’m now very careful with what our baby boy might be hearing and if the message it sends isn’t something that will plant harmful ideas to his innocent memory ready to break loose anytime during his ado- lescence. I don’t know if it’s paranoia on my part but I’m not taking any chances. And besides, remember the word “subliminal”? Scary, huh!

Let me start checking some of it now. Here’s the first, titled Ice cream Sun- day. Isn’t this a call to obesity? I wonder if Ronald McDonald composed this lyrics:

Ice cream Sunday it’s my number one day… Monday is not a fun day, mom makes broccoli… Thursday is the worst day, there’s liver on that dish Friday is a cry day, ‘coz then we all get fish…

How about this one, Fiddle-de-dee? This one reminds me of anything but children song. If I remember it right I saw one Body Snatchers episode in the Discovery channel about a bee or wasp planting its eggs inside a fly:

Fiddle-de-dee, Fiddle-de-dee,

The Fly has married the Bumble Bee, Says the fly, says he,

“Will you marry me?

And live with me, sweet Bumble Bee?” Fiddle-de-dee, Fiddle-de-dee,

Oh, I love you, and you love me!

How about a song that teaches our kids to stereotype?  There’s probably one, it’s titled There Was a Crooked Man:

There was a crooked man, And he walked a crooked mile, He found a crooked sixpence Upon a crooked stile:

He bought a crooked cat,

Which caught a crooked mouse, And they all lived together

In a crooked little house.

How about one that suggests animal cruelty? Now I find that the famous idiom, “curiosity killed the cat” is after all missing a word before it. The complete could be, “Kid’s curiosity killed the cat.” And we parents should not wonder why in the first place, because of the song The Cat Came Back:

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own

He had a yellow cat which wouldn’t leave its home; He tried and he tried to give the cat away,

He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.

But the cat came back the very next day,

The cat came back, we thought he was a goner But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away

Thankfully, there’s one song that would give hope to those cat lovers and this happens to be one of my favorite kiddie songs. I heard this when I was a kindergarten and 30 years after I was surprised that I can actually remember the tune. What’s more surprising was that after I googled and saw the lyrics I was able to sing it with pride in front of our baby. But, I’m still wondering if this one has some hidden message in it…like love and death? Well here’s the full lyrics of the song Senor Don Gato. You go figure.

Oh Senor Don Gato was a cat On a high red roof Don Gato sat He went there to read a letter, Meow, meow, meow

Where the reading light was better,

Meow, meow, meow

‘Twas a love note for Don Gato

I adore you wrote the lady cat

Who was fluffy, white and nice and fat There was not a sweeter kitty,

Meow, meow, meow

In the country or the city, Meow, meow, meow

And she said she’d wed Don Gato

Oh, Don Gato jumped so happily

He fell off the roof and broke his knee Broke his ribs and all his whiskers, Meow, meow, meow

And his little solar plexus, Meow, meow, meow

Ay Caramba cried Don Gato

Then the doctors all came on the run Just to see if something could be done And they held a consultation,

Meow, meow, meow

About how to save their patient, Meow, meow, meow

How to save Senor Don Gato

But in spite of everything they tried Poor Senor Don Gato up and died And it wasn’t very merry,

Meow, meow, meow Going to the cemetery, Meow, meow, meow

For the ending of Don Gato

When the funeral passed the market square Such a smell of fish was in the air

Though his burial was slated, Meow, meow, meow

He became reanimated, Meow, meow, meow

He came back to life, Don Gato

Oh by the way, if you’re wondering how on earth Don Gato sounds, you may check dizzler.com. And if you’re a bit disappointed (like I was last December) after hearing every available version, please tell me and that would be my cue to record and release my own. Hahaha.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Kids Do Say the Darndest Things

whencominghome.jpg

I remember several years ago, one of the TV programs I enjoy the most is the one hosted by Bill Cosby, Kids Say the Darndest Things. Several American kids appear as guest and are all seated side by side in front of the camera with the comedian host and they are asked about their opinions on mostly adult matters. The answers are often funny and sometimes so interesting that I’d wonder how at that early age they would have had learned such things. Well, I’m hearing the kids speak once again, this time they’re thinking out loud about the recession.

This morning during our staff meeting our boss started with the usual ice breaker when he flashed through the electronic projector someone else’s doodling. Soon after the bulb warmed up, the intensity of the projection revealed a comics strip personally drawn by his daughter who was just a 3rd grader.

The strip has six frames of colorful drawings telling a short story of their family and their plans during this recession period. Surprisingly, the innocence of his small kid did not fail to capture what has been blasted on TV over and over again in the news reports since our company’s closure was delivered to all of its Philippine manufacturing plant’s employees. His kid even drew a close resemblance of the company’s logo.

Although this is my first time to see a kid’s personal expression of what is currently going on, this isn’t my first time to hear stories coming from colleagues and friends about what their young children said when they learned that their mom or dad will be out of work in the next few months.

One peer told us that when she called her parents to inform them about the retrenchment her young son grabbed the phone and blurted, ”Lola, mawawalan na ng trabaho si mommy at daddy, tulungan mo po kami ha (grandma, mommy and daddy will lose their jobs, please help us)!”

Another heard a different tone from his children, “Tehey, lagi na kaming makakapaglaro kay daddy (We will be able to play a lot with daddy now)!” This joyful welcome of the bad news must have been the most common I’ve heard from other co-employees’ stories. And I can’t blame their kids, really.

Intel’s working environment is so competitive that raising the bar to be at par if not exceed the level of performance (and indicators) of the rest of Intel plants worldwide requires each of its employees to be at their best almost all the time. And to be able to meet that expectation, every employee is at least expected to be at work and leave work on schedule. During the busy years, rendering overtime was often a must. Unfortunately, this is when someone at every employee’s home is deprioritized or worse, ignored – kids. Some will say wives, but that’s a different story.

Therefore it’s really not that impossible if during this recession and global financial crisis, while every parent is worrying about almost everything, there will be innocent kids smiling and rejoicing that sooner or later this year they’ll be one happy family again with their jobless mom or dad just around them ready for 24X7 playtimes.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks!