Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fatherhood 101

More than 20 years ago, I was a small skinny and charcoal skinned kid who enjoys the sand and blue waters of the sea in a bright sunny day and under the star filled night together with my cousins and friends. Actually one of my happiest childhood memory is enjoying the beach with my cousins every summer (even on rainy seasons) playing lantay lantay (patintero), ayam - kuti (cat and dog), building sand castles, pukol (sand balls tournament), catching dyukoy (beach crabs), punaw (seashells) and even milkfish hatchlings.

Lately, I had the chance of sharing with my son some of the things we enjoyed when i was a kid of his age and showed him that enjoyment and fun is not just limited to watching cartoon channels and playing PSP.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Discipline Without Shouting and Spanking

Several months ago, my son did something that made me lose my temper and gave him the spanking he deserved (in my opinion). Several minutes after crying almost silently in our room, he approached me and handed me this book without saying anything.

I was surprised upon seeing the book since it is familiar and had seen it laying our bed or in the table most of the time. I don't know if i should feel insulted or be ashamed of my self.

My wife and I had been arguing about what method are we going to impose in the upbringing of our kid. She believes in diplomatic kind of discipline (without shouting and hitting) while i want to be more strict (since i grew up with a disciplinarian father).

As a parent, I actually don't feel good either after laying a hand or raising my voice on my kid. Its like you are also hitting yourself and feels three times more of the pain.

I took the time to read and give the philosophies of this book a chance to settle in my mind and analyze if whether it is reasonable and attainable enough to be followed.

The book covered a lot of topics and problems usually encountered by parents with preschool kids and gives most practical and simple advices on how to deal with such problem. It also helped me have some understanding in child psychology.

Now, my wife is happy seeing me slowly putting the book's ideas into action and i find it also very interesting since i am required to spend more time with the kid and at the same time be more patient. This way, I am given the chance to know the child more and more each day and make our bond stronger. Maybe its a way of catching up of the 3 years that we had lost.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kalag Kalag

All Saints Day/All Souls Day is not just for us to commemorate and visit our departed beloved and and spend the day bringing flowers, lighting candles and offer prayers for them. It is also a chance for our family and distant relatives to have a mini reunion and show this Filipino trait of close family ties and good sense of enjoyment.

We spent the day with preparing foods (Suman, Valenciana, Egg Pie and Mango Float) for visitors who might come for Kalag kalag at night.

Since its very humid and hot, i decided to open my internet shop (where i earlier decided to close for holiday) and visit the cemetery in the afternoon when the heat is already bearable for us since my wife's having a sensitive pregnancy. By that time the volume of crowd is expected to have decreased.We reached the cemetery around five pm and the crowd still come and goes. Some of them are familiar faces and we just exchanged smiles and hellos while some commented on my son in his Superman costume. We lighted candles and offered prayers and the rain started to pour. We managed to reach my wife's grandparent's mausoleum before it poured heavily and where some cousins are already there. We happily chatted while waiting for the rain to stop.

We went home around 7 pm and my father, sister and nieces are waiting. We still have time to set the table for some more visitors. 10 minutes after, a bunch of kids (happens to be nephews and neices) noisily knocking at our door while chanting "trick or treat! trick or treat!" in their halloween costumes.
Our house soon became a carnival for kids where they all displayed their antics. There's the Hunchback, Red EyedFairy, Dead Black Eyed Queen, The Ripper, The Vampire in Stripes and the Rock Artist who Hanged Himself. I am impressed to learn that these kids at really the ones who planned and conceptualized their characters and even did their own make up.

We then have our dinner and some more cousins arrive. The noise of kids were replaced with teenager's giggles and laughter as the kids went on to the next house for more trick or treats.

The last visitors left around 10 pm and by that time i am already snoring in our room.