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Showing posts from October, 2007

Helping the Schoolchildren

There are 131 schoolchildren in the first grade at the Conrado Barrios Elementary School in Baybay, Roxas City. There are only 3 sections so each teacher is in charge of 43 students. It was raining heavily the day I dropped by the school so a few students didn't show up. The Principal, Miss Carandang, has instituted a reward program for students who have the best attendance.

In December last year, my family and I distributed school supplies to 20 of the first graders who had the most need for assistance. We also donated books to their library. This year we saved enough money to give all the first graders the tools they need and could not afford to buy.

The children were all excited as we distributed crayons, pencils, pens, sharpeners, pad paper. Some children were extending their hand to get the supplies before their turn, probably because they wanted to ensure they got their school supply. Each child smiled and said "Thank you". One child was brought by his teacher to me …

Is Beauty White Skin Deep?

After three months of watching Philippine television, it was difficult not to miss the numerous ads on skin whitening. I’ve been aware of these in the past but it seems that all the famous cosmetic brands are now embracing this national obsession to be fair skinned.

"When it comes to whitening, I trust only one name", proclaims a young, fair skinned model. Her ad is just one of many that claims their cream or lotion has “Power whitening”, “Whiter skin that stays”, “Star white skin", and "White radiance intensive whitening cream, closer to perfect fairness". A popular soap star who promotes a whitening cream reminds viewers that the "batok" (back of the neck) and the "siko" (elbow) must also be white.

According to some of these ads, papaya and calamansi (of the lime family) are ingredients that help skin turn white and stay white. Even armpits have to be white. It is no longer enough that you use deodorant to get rid of the “baboy” (pig) in yo…

Not under the Tuscan Sun

My new home is not in the glamorous region of Tuscany nor in Peter Mayle's neighborhood in Provence. But it is across from the beach where I can walk every afternoon when it's low tide and scan the horizon for islands close by. What's more, I can wear my pareo all day long and walk the length of my driveway if I don't wish to go outside my gate. What a perfect hideaway though my good friends are always inviting me to some lunch or dinner in one of many restaurants that line the beachfront.

My skin is now a deep chocolate brown after spending three months tending to my garden. My friends have given me so many different kinds of flowers, cactus and trees which I've planted along with my little helper. In two months I've watched how fast the papaya and plumeria trees have grown. I love the roses in hues of pinks, reds and oranges. I've recently been given a white rose bush. And the bougainvillea are flourishing as are the orchids and gumamela.


I feel a tremendo…

Yes! A Pre-Flight Massage

I no longer dread waiting for hours for my flight after checking in at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. I’m more worried that if I don’t check in early I’ll miss the chance of a good massage. Moreover, I’m preoccupied with the type of massage I’ll get: a one hour full body rubdown, a foot, back or scalp massage, or foot reflexology. The charge for a 20 minute back rub is $7.00 and my masseuse really worked hard on my aching back and shoulders and surprised me with a scalp massage to remove the fog in my head. She was also solicitous enough to ask me if her massage technique was hurting me. But I was already half asleep. Before finishing she asked me to sit down so she could stretch my back muscles and arms. What a clincher that was! True to the description given on their leaflet, the massage helped ease my anxieties. When we were done, I found I wanted more. But I had to board my flight to Tokyo.

With a little bit more time, I could have had a full body massage for P1,000.0…