Monday, February 23, 2009

one sunday night

this is not healthy. at least, i don't think it is. but edgar allan poe and ernest hemmingway resorted to the same devices, so why can't i? (uh, because you're NOT them!).
consciously unstable again because of the last dredges of my pastis--which, i realized in horror, was not ricard, but a rip-off of ricard (but who cares)--and i sit here again, wanting, needing to talk to someone, but finding myself faced with facebook and twitter instead. pathetic.
marco and mateo got into an almost-fist fight earlier this evening, and i had to physically pry them apart and carry one off to safety (they were pulling at each other's shirts and threatening to get physical at the top of the stairs). mateo said marco wasn't giving him enough time on the computer. marco said mateo spit at the computer. i asked who was lying. each said each other's names. i asked if they were scared, and if that was the reason why they were telling on each other. each said no. standstill. dead end. standoff.
in the end, i managed to get marco downstairs to eat and bribed him with a book called "let nature do the growing." mateo, i had to cuddle and soothe like he was two years old and let him play the final 20 minutes of a ben 10 game.
"let nature do the growing" is a technical book. but you should have seen the glow on marco's face as he flipped through the pages.

he's a bit different, this boy.
after mateo had his dinner, i handed him a book on diving ("mommy, di ba ito yung corals sa isang book ko?"), rock climbing ("ayoko to"), and finally, cats ("di ba eto si Gus? si Max?").
then they both gravitated to "family gardens" and "gardening techniques," until they were both arguing again about fertilizers (organic and inorganic).
all this, while their ate Simone was upstairs, enamored with french-inspired graphic posters of revolution, and understanding the perfect blends of CMYK for different pantone palettes.
i wish derek was here to mentor her. she even has notes and everything, on percentages of CMYK. stuff i only learned in 2002.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

this is why i love my job

sometime in 2005, i wrote an editor's note that touched someone so vividly that she was moved to adopt a child, even if she was still single and about to be married. i remember reading her email that day, and shouting to marla to "come! read this!" only then did i fully realize the impact of what i was doing. i wasn't just editing a magazine. i was changing lives. i was influencing their decisions, and being a part of their life journey. a year later, when i joined another company, and was asked what i was most proud of as an editor, i singled this experience out. imagine--the power, the grace to have someone give a child such a chance, the encouragement mere words could give. this is what journalism is about: talking to people and making a difference. it doesn't have to be controversial or globe-shaking or libelous (as some journalists revel in). it just has to be sincere, meaningful, well-intended, pro-active. i'm going to follow up this woman's progress now; now that i've grown "wiser" and more well-grounded. i'd like to see how it all played out. the universe is funny. imagine, a mediocre mom like me, who's made so many mistakes in her life, inspiring one to give a child another, better chance at life, even at the expense of risking a job or a higher position. i am deeply humbled, and grateful. in this editorial, i said that being brave is about sticking to your convictions. the letter-sender was 25 at the time--i wish i were brave enough at that age to stick to mine. i know most of us do, too.

cerilyn pastolero <>

06/15/05 07:10 PM


thank you

Dear Ms. Gina:

Hi! I would just like to conggratulate you for such a touching and inspiring issue of Working Mom this month. I dont usually buy glossies thinking theyre just pictures and a waste of money. But your cover story on Claudine Barreto struck a chord. I too adopted a 6-year old girl, which a left a lot of people puzzled. I am 25 years old, single and having the time of my life in terms of my career and social life ( whatever I have left). I met her through my volunteer work with small orphanage in Manila. The first time I saw her she could hardly walk because she has Escobar's sydrome which means her joints and tendons are not growing at the rate theyre supposed to grow. Because of this she cannot stretch her limbs. After several months of volunteering there I had to quit because of work. A year later I came back with my boyfriend since we have been talking of how to spread the blessings we've received. I was amazed at my daughter's transformation. By that time she has already undergone her first operation and was already able to walk. Despite her disability though she was bubbly and intelligent and very independent. My boyfriend and I were so inspired that we decided to sponsor her and eventually adopt her once we get married. But this orphanage was closed down and our daughter was transferred to another orphanage. We followed her because we couldnt bear disapppointing her. This year was the turning point. I decided to bring her home with me because I couldnt stand the thought of her not having enough to eat or her being bullied by the other kids. I wasnt prepared. The original plan was to wait until such time my boyfriend and I get married before we adopt her. But I just could no longer face myself in the mirror. Everybody who knows me were shocked since Im know to be very career oriented. Its been difficult. Because ive never had any experience on parenting. I dont even know how to cook or to do the laundry decently.But am doing ok so far. and its also fun. shes given me an excuse to catch up on my childhood:). A few months ago I made the most difficult decision in my life I had to give up a job offer abroad that pays well and would make me one of the youngest in the agency holding a senior position. But pushing through with the job would also mean I would have to bring my daughter back to the orphanage because the adoption process has not been finalized yet. Its difficult. But as you said in your editorial, being brave is just about doing what youve got to do based on your convictions. Thank you again you dont know how this issue has made me more confident of my decision, since I know that the right decisions sometimes do sound illogical and impractical. But the right decisions is what makes you earn respect for yourself and from other people.

God Bless,


working mom ed's note, nov 05

i was looking for something in my old CDs when i came across this--an ed's note i had done for the november 05 issue of working mom, which had the theme "passion". i remember jose enrique soriano shot the cover (a problematic one, because it was uncharacteristically de focado [well maybe not, as i later learned], and pixelized to the core). that frederick peralta designed the gowns and knorr had bought the cover brought me much stress during those days. frederick screamed when he saw it; knorr didn't want to pay. but they did. i remember pacing the living room of my apartment, squirming with discomfort on how i would deal with soriano about the quality of his photo. in the end, i ran it. WTH. it was a good-selling issue, though. and this was my intro for it.

the true meaning of passion

I was chatting with an old friend last night on YM. He’s based in Israel for the moment for a leading semi-conductor company, then will fly home next year to rest, then fly out again when it’s time for him to update the bosses on what’s happening in this region. He’s with his family, gets to indulge in his hobby of guitar music and Apple gadgets, and has a clean credit history. “I gotta hand it to you, man,” I said. “I would never have the guts to do what you’re doing, being away from the Philippines and all.” His answer was a surprise. “I’d trade places with you anytime,” he typed. “You’re doing what you always wanted to do. I feel I’m still drifting.”
This defines what Cora Llamas, WM contributor, content editor, and Star Studio International editor in chief, recently asked us: “If you could choose between having a job that paid really well, as in MALAKI, versus staying at a job you loved, but didn’t pay really well, what would you have?”
The answers were unanimous: “That’s why I left ADB,” Marla replied.
Ditto with yours truly, who had a short stint writing and copy editing for a regional health publication and was earning what junior editors-in-chief earn—with none of the headaches of administrative, staffing, advertising, and circulation. I came in three days a week and had a cubicle twice as big as mine now, with floor to ceiling windows. But I left after barely three months, eager to get back to the gritty world of journalists who were art guerillas by night, and who accepted stories on a pittance because of the rush and fulfillment they gave.
This is what this issue is about: Passion. The passion that drives us to do what makes us happy; the passion to overlook all discomforts to pursue what we believe in. It’s also the kind of passion tempered by self-knowledge and self-inquiry—the passion of a woman with children—not the reckless ardor of someone alone and carefree.
Our two cover moms, Jean Garcia and Eula Valdez, epitomize this passion as today’s icons of working momhood. “Plastik!” Jean declares to people driven in their jobs “for the children’s sakes.” “Common, that’s for yourself! Because if you’re not happy, if you’re not OK, how can you be OK for you kids?” she challenges. That’s passion without guilt.
Eula, meanwhile, settled in her new marriage and on top of her TV career, still wants to conquer the world of films. Quality films. That’s passion subdued with discernment.
Bing Balayon, our Good Life mom who shares with us her story on page XX, is a reading clinician and single mom who built her impressive career around her son Czar. From grade school to college, she went where Czar went, but never let go of her advocacy to spread the love of reading. Now, she and Czar run a reading clinic and library called Bookgrove. That’s passion with focus.
In a time and world when people think the only passion is of the kind that’s ruled by hormones, it’s good to know that we’re part of a community that sees and funnels passion the way it should be used: upward and outward. It may start as a basic instinct, from a flicker at the base of our spine, but—and this is just how the ancients say the kundalini flame travel—it should flow up, heavenwards, shooting above our crowns to meet halfway with the divine.
Now that’s passion. That’s hot.