Tayo Muna

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Bilang English/ESL teacher nang hindi naman katagalan pa, at may alam sa, gumagamit, tumatangkilik, at minsan nang nagturo ng Korean language, nais kong ibahagi ang aking saloobin sa dalawang isyung ito kahit wala namang humihingi. Lols πŸ˜‚

Dahil Pilipino ako, hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit hindi na required ang Filipino subject sa college. San ka naman nakakita nun? Isipin mo nga, sa US ba, dahil mahusay na silang mag-slang, di na kailangan ng English subjects pag college? Naglagay nga ang DepEd ng Mother Tongue sa Grades 1-3, tapos feeling ng CHED na-master na ng mga Pilipinong mag-aaral ang Filipino pag natapos nila ang high school?!

Luh, gising ho kayo! Yun ngang may required na Filipino subjects nung college, banong bano pa rin sa wika nila pagka-graduate eh — what makes you think students are better off without it?

Kung mahal nyo ang ibang wika, eh di go. Pag-aralan mo lahat. But do not take away the opportunity from every college student to learn the Filipino language. Tungkulin ng bawat Pilipinong maging matatas sa wika niya, wag kayong ano!

So eto na, alam kong maraming di sasang-ayon sa akin, pero syempre papansin ako eh.

Sa ganang akin, ayos lang na magkaroon ng Korean language elective sa high school. Nasubukan na namin to ng isang school year. Sa una, tuwang tuwa ang mga Kpoppers. Aba naman, sila talaga ang unang unang makikinabang dun. Pero sa dulo, na-appreciate din ng ibang mga bata ang bagong wikang natutunan nila.

Bakit ako payag? Kasi inis na inis ako sa maaarteng pinagsasama ang dalawang lenggwahe, tulad ng English at Filipino, sa isang sentence — parang ganito. Hahaha! πŸ˜‚ Ewan kung sadya, o para tunog mayaman, pasosyal, o kung ano pa man. Tapos puro slang o salitang balbal ang ginagamit pag code switching. Ganun din yung pakiramdam ko sa mga mahilig sa Korean, pero hindi naman nagagamit ng maayos, o puro Korean slang (반말) lang ang alam. Saan ba sila dadalhin ng saulado nilang lyrics? Pag nakipag-usap ba sila sa isang Koreano, maitatawid ba nila ang usapan nang nagkakaintindihan?

Sabi nga, if you can’t beat them, join them. Kung dumadami ang Korean investors sa bansa, baka paraan ito ng gobyerno para i-accommodate sila at iparamdam sa kanila na welcome silang mamuhunan sa Pilipinas. Kung hindi natin mapigilan ang Hallyu sa pag-impluwensya sa ating mga kabataan, baka pwede natin silang tulungang hindi maging ignorante sa mga salitang binibitawan nila.

Kung magiging sarado tayo sa pag-iisip na ang pag-aaral ng ibang wika ay pagtataksil sa ating bayan, paano natin maipagmamalaki ang bansang Pilipinas at ang ating pagka-Pilipino sa paraang maiintindihan ng iba?

Mahal ko ang Filipino, pero mas kaya kong magsulat at magpahayag ng damdamin sa wikang Ingles. Mahal ko ang Filipino, pero nagagamit ko ang ν•œκ΅­μ–΄ sa pakikipag-usap sa mga dati kong estudyanteng naging kaibigan ko na, at sa pag-unawa sa mga bagay na binabasa ko at palabas na pinapanood ko. Investment ko rin ang kaalaman ko sa ibang wika sa larangang kinabibilangan ko.

Nabawasan ba ang pagka-Pilipino ko sa pagtangkilik sa ibang wika? Wika lamang ba ang pamantayan sa pagmamahal sa bayan? Tingin ko hindi.

Kung ikaw na nagbabasa nito ay nagsasabing ayaw mo sa ibang wika, pero ang tawag mo sa pambansang awit ng Pilipinas, na hindi mo rin nga pala saulado, ay Bayang Magiliw, na hindi mo rin nirerespeto dahil tuwing pinapatugtog to ay abala ka pa sa kung anong gawain, at hindi ka rin sumusunod kahit sa pinakasimpleng batas ng bansang Pilipinas na pinapatupad sa barangay nyo katulad ng curfew at wala nang videoke pagkatapos ng 10 ng gabi, hindi ba’t wala rin tayong pinagkaiba?

Ayos lang tangkilikin ang iba, pero bago ang lahat, LOVE YOUR OWN. Bigyan mo muna ng halaga kung sino ka at anong sa ‘yo bago ang sa iba. Pag-aralan mo munang mahalin ang sarili mo bago ang iba, dahil baka naibigay mo na sa kanila ang lahat, at wala nang natira pa para sa ‘yo.

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You want me to sapak you?

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Yesterday, a gradeschooler went to the office to ask us to send her mom a message. After a few minutes of waiting, the girl, feeling hopeless as though a reply would never come, said something that totally irritated me — “Pwede pong i-call Mommy ko?”

You see, this kid is Indian, but she speaks fluent Filipino, so I don’t understand why she had to use i-call when she can just use the Filipino word, tawagan.

Some people think combining Filipino and English words in one sentence when clearly there is an easy-to-pronounce colloquial, even millennial, term for whatever word they choose to use is cute. Like, “get mo yung ball,” or “anong like mo here?”

Let me tell you frankly. It’s not cute. It’s not impressive. It won’t make you sound mayaman or matalino. It does not signify fluency in two languages; rather, it exhibits ignorance of both. It is verbicide — you kill your mother tongue and your second language in one shot — and there’s no glory in that.

Don’t get me wrong. I am no expert in Filipino nor in English. My vocabulary especially in Filipino is very limited, but when the need arises to express myself in either language, I do so without combining the two in one sentence, most especially if the words have direct translations. I try my best to make my point using the language I am more comfortable to speak in.

We are Filipinos; we do not even need to be soooo good at English — that’s just a bonus! English is not a standard of intelligence, and we don’t have to prove anything.

So instead of trying so hard to speak in Fil-glish, why not appreciate Filipino and English just as they are — two different languages but equally beautiful? Why not become proficient in both languages, along with their accompanying grammar rules and idioms, and eventually be able to speak with such mastery and eloquence? Wouldn’t that be soothing, even therapeutic, to your audience’s ears?

The Adventure of Avrianna

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A nice story by two of my English Elective students. ❀

c r z c n n n

A few years ago Avrianna found a strange book hidden behind her father’s closet, a strange aura was surrounding the book that captured her attention and drew her in. It was as if the book was calling her, telling her to touch it. The entranced Avrianna looked closer and found herself touching the book, running her fingers through the old, dusty cover. Avrianna lifted the book and something fell out. It was a letter from her deceased father.

I knew someday you’d find this book, but I still hoped you’d find it sooner, hopefully never. This book is something a little out of the ordinary, keep it safe and never lend it to anyone. Do not trust anyone, never let fall into the wrong hands. I love you darling, keep safe always.

After that day, Avrianna kept that book by her side, never removing it from her bag and never…

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Beyond Grammar: Retiring from the Nazi

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For the first time in my life, I have decided to not let grammar and lower order concerns be the deciding factor if a written work is A-worthy.

Being a Grammar Nazi is tough. People might think I enjoy proofreading every printed material or correcting their mistakes — no, it’s not an easy task, especially when you’ve got hardcore obsessive-compulsiveness traversing your bloodstream, and your bloodline.

Has an insect or an ant ever entered your ears? That’s what it feels like to hear grammatical inconsistencies — it itches your ears. And when it bites, or when the speaker does not stop talking that is, it makes you cringe. And the only way to relieve yourself is to tackle the source of pain.

While I consider myself a writer, I won’t say I’m a good one. I may well pass as a good writer because of my unparalleled grammar skills, but if you pay close attention to the content and diction in my writing, you’ll soon find out that my very limited vocabulary and lack of substance are meticulously covered by good grammar.

As a firm believer of learning through experience, I too have learned, over years of teaching the English language, that students have so much to say — much more than what we expect from them!

But almost always, they have trouble expressing themselves and they just give up on speaking out altogether — all because they couldn’t find the right words to say or the right method by which to say them.

You see, as a teacher, my aim is not only for my students to learn — I want to learn from them, too, and I honeslty believe I can. But, I figured, how can I learn from these young people if they are trapped in a system where only their teacher is the expert? How can they share what might become the turning point of their lives if the only method of sharing is based on pre-defined standards they have not even mastered and have little knowledge about?

For the first time in my teaching career, I did not include correct grammar in the rubric. If learning should be interactive in my classroom, teacher and student should both be able to express themselves freely.

So I took that leap — the challenge of finding something good in the content, in the person, and looking past wobbly sentence structures, vanishing punctuation marks, and somersaulting subjects and verbs.

Today, no — the day I assigned this blogging project to my students — is the day I left the Nazi office. And while I enjoy the mischiefs of essay checking and all, I will not be anymore conformed with the totalitarian principles of Grammar Nazism.

Or so I thought

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After giving birth, I thought my only role in the world was that of a mom. I thought I was exempted from performing other responsibilities because I was taking care of my child. I thought I didn’t have to be sensitive of the feelings of others because being a mommy requires an infinite deal of sensitivity. I thought it was absolutely fine not to spend precious time with people, family in particular, because, after all, every bit and part of me was oh-so-devoted to first-time motherhood. This baby is family!

I thought I was doing a great job. But I was not.

I forgot that I was also a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a wife. Realization rushed in late, and with it came circumstances that were unimaginably tough for wee little me — tough enough for me to not talk about it for now.

Nevertheless, the assurance of God’s sovereignty was present, and His message in Romans 8:28 was clearer than day:Β And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)

Despite the uncertainty of things, I have this verse to hold on to. There might have been a few setbacks, but somehow they seemed to work together for the better and paved the way for an enlightened and encouraged me.

 

Ang Anak Kong Hindi Mahilig Matulog

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Yung anak ko, marunong nang matulog nang tanghali. Marunong na rin siyang manatiling nakapikit at hindi dumilat agad kapag naalimpungatan. Marunong na siyang kalabanin ang liwanag ng araw para maituloy yung tulog niya. Yung morning at afternoon nap niya, tumatagal na ng higit isang oras. At higit sa lahat, marunong na siyang magpababa.

Siguro nagtataka yung iba — anong klaseng bata ba yung anak ko?

Sabi ng mga magulang ko, nung baby daw ako, hindi ako iyakin, at kung umiyak man, madali lang patahanin, kaya nung nag-maternity leave ako, nag-uwi ako ng raket kasi naisip ko ang haba ng 2 months, imposibleng di ko matrabaho yun. Madali lang naman siguro mag-alaga ng baby; matutulog lang naman siya palagi. 

Pero hindi pala pare-pareho ang mga baby. 😱

Nagkataon na yung binigay sa amin ay yung clingy, iyakin, at hindi mahilig matulog. πŸ˜‚ Siya yung baby na gustong laging nakadikit sa akin o sa nag-aalaga sa kanya. Siya yung baby na gusto lagi ng atensyon. Siya yung baby na nakakapagod alagaan, kasi nga mahilig siyang maglaro at ayaw niyang matulog. Sa sobrang hirap niyang alagaan, yung pag-ihi at paliligo, pati pagkain, pahirapan pa.

Yung prinsipyo ko sa pag-aalaga ng baby na hayaan sila at wag buhatin pag umiiyak, hindi ko pala magagawa sa anak ko. Kasi ang totoo, hindi siya ganung klaseng bata. Hindi uubra sa kanya yung ganun. Hindi siya katulad ko nung baby ako o ng ibang batang ilapag mo lang sa isang tabi ay ayos na at hindi iiyak.

May mga panahon na pagod na ko at naiinis na at hindi ko na kayang makipaglaro o makipagbolahan sa kanya dahil mainit na ang ulo ko. May mga panahon ding tinatanong ko ang Diyos bakit hindi na lang yung mabait na baby ang binigay sa amin — yung baby na tahimik lang, hindi iyakin, hindi malikot, natutulog sa umaga at hapon, at natutulog ng soooobrang haba sa gabi.

Pero baka nga kasi dahil sa init ng ulo ko kaya siya ang binigay sa akin. Baka ang dami ko kasing oras para sa sarili ko kaya ilaan ko naman daw sa pag-aalaga sa iba. Baka kulang ang pasensya ko kaya habaan ko naman daw ang pisi ko. Baka masyado akong nakatuon sa sarili kong kaalaman kaya puso ko naman daw ang gamitin ko.

Iyakin siya nung maliit, laging nagpapakarga, at malikot hanggang ngayon. Gusto niyang laging nakadikit sa mga tao, laging gumagala o lumalabas, at laging nakakakita ng tao. Kung may girlfriend na high maintenance, si Samsam yung high maintenance baby.

Ang daming pwedeng ikapagod sa batang to. Kung susumahin ko lahat ng hindi ko makita sa anak ko, lahat ng kahinaan at kapintasan niya, mapapagod talaga ako, mabuburyo, at susuko na lang.

Pero pag tiningnan ko kung anong mabuti sa kanya, kung saan siya magaling at anong kalakasan niya, siguradong kaiinggitan ako ng ibang mga nanay na may “mababait” at “hindi iyaking anak.”

Pero syempre, sa susunod na yun. Nagising na siya eh. πŸ˜‰

Of Mother’s Day and First-Time Moms

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Mother’s Day this year is not like any other.

Why? It’s my first mother’s day as a full-fledged mom! Aside from my birthday, this one is another special day dedicated to me, so hurray for that! πŸ˜‰

The other reason makes more sense though. Until last year, I always prepared something for the special women in the family, be it a small gift, food, or a card. This time, since I am too tied up with our little ball of chubbiness, I wasn’t able to come up with anything. πŸ˜”

I never really got to fully understand why parents have their individual special days until I bore and started to raise my own child. Giving birth is one thing; being a mother — which is craftily subdivided into showering her child with unconditional TLC; guiding their first steps; caring for their physiological, spiritual, mental, and social well-being, instilling discipline, and so, the list goes on — is a whole new level. Now that I reflect about it, I think there’s no end to being a mother. The day starts and ends with only one thing in the mind of a mother — her child.

Whoever thought of dedicating a whole day to mothers should be recognized. You are a genius! However, given the chance, I would propose to turn it into mother’s week. One day is not enough to pay tribute and show gratitude and appreciation to the mothers in our lives. It’s not even enough to reminisce their sleepless-nights-turned-sabaw-moments, their numerous sidelines just to provide for our needs, and the immeasurable amount of blood, sweat, and tears they have shed for us. Heck, even the greeting, ‘Happy Mother’s Day,’ does not seem enough.

Now if I were to customize that greeting, this would be it:

“Hey, Mom! Thank you for the things you do and do not do for my welfare. Today, please rid your mind of us, your children. You are free to relax and think of yourself and of the time when we were not yet around– your needs, your wants, your dreams — and tell them to me. Perhaps, that might be a nice mother’s day present.”


However, as much as we ask them to think of themselves only — even for a day– in the end, it will always be about us. Why? Because motherhood is a lifelong duty, not an 8 to 5 job. It molds a woman and gives her a new perspective. And it never ends. πŸ’–

I know, because now I am a mother too. πŸ™‚

PS. After much thought, you know what else I think? Grandmothers should be celebrated, too. It doesn’t count that we celebrate grandparents’ day. A whole day should also be devoted to grandmothers as much as one day is dedicated to mothers.

Growing up with my grandmother, and now living with my mother-in-law, who just happens to be Samsam’s grandma, I can never, and I mean not ever, fathom the strength and endurance they have, even at their old age, to care for their children and their children’s children. They must be Gal Gadot in their younger years. πŸ˜‰