Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More on Facebook and my 8-year-old

I posted about Facebook and MC here.

The day after that, she came home with this story.

A classmate, who like MC, was one of those ignorant ones about Facebook, came to school with a big, big smile.

MC, curious, asked her, 'Why are you so happy this morning?'

The classmate informed her proudly that she finally got her own Facebook account the night before. She said that she could finally play at Facebook. She loves Facebook, she announced to MC.

MC just shrugged and said, 'Ok.'

Her classmate teased her, 'you dont know Facebook. I am sure you are jealous!'

MC shrugged nonchalantly and said, 'I dont care about Facebook. My mama showed it to me and I wasnt interested.'

'You are simply jealous,' insisted her classmate. To which MC replied: 'Think what you want.'

To me, she said, 'They are all crazy about Facebook. I dont understand why!'

I hugged her and said, 'Sometimes, you just have to accept that people have different interests.'

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When will I get my PSP?

Dear Girls,

This has been discussed, and will be repeatedly discussed.

This has been asked, and will be repeatedly asked.

This has been in your wish list and will be popping up in your list again.

But our answer, at least mine, would still be, not yet.

My answer before stays. You are getting your PSP if you could already pay for one.

I am not paying for something very expensive that would provide my kids a world of their own. I still wanted to be a part of your world.

I am not paying for something very expensive that would keep you from talking to me anymore. I still wanted to hear you talk to me, ask me endless questions, pester me, even.

I am not paying for something very expensive that would keep you busy alone while we impatiently wait in line. I still wanted those stolen moments when you would wrap yourself around me, ask me endlessly 'are we next yet?'

I am not paying for something very expensive that would keep you quiet during long drives. I still wanted to play those 'i see something that you dont see' games while on a trip.

I am not paying for something very expensive that would keep me from smelling your sweaty little bodies. I still wanted to have you snuggling with me when you are bored saying, 'and what should we do now?'

I know most of your friends have PSPs. But as I always tell you, 'being the minority doesnt mean you are missing something. It just simply mean, you chose the alternative.'

And by chosing no PSP -- you chose to play with your dolls, to go around with your bike, to build things with your playmobil, to create crafts and arts with your papers and colors, to discover the world together with your friends and with your family.

There would be enough time in the future to enjoy your PSP.

For now, let's enjoy each other!

Love, Mama

Monday, April 19, 2010

Facebook and My 8-year-old

Going home after school, eight-year-old MC was not in a good mood and it seems I am the culprit.

Prodding her to tell me what's bothering her, she said, 'Mama, what is Facebook?'

I told her Facebook is something that you would see in the computer, in the internet.

She continued belligerently, 'Why are you not telling me anything about Facebook? Dont you know that eight out of 14 kids in our class have Facebook? Only six, including me, doesnt have a Facebook. Even the brothers and sisters of my classmates have Facebook. Our teacher said, she used to have Facebook; but now she dont have it anymore. I dont understand why you wont let me know anything about Facebook.'

I told her that I didnt tell her anything about Facebook because I dont think that Facebook is important to her at this time. I told her I use Facebook because it is good in disseminating information and in sharing some ideas and is good for promoting business matters and events and is great for finding people you have been missing for a long time. (Nope, I dont play games nor add applications, I dont want to complicate things.)

I told her that she could have Facebook when she is at least 18 years old. For now she better enjoy her toys, her friends, her bikes, her freedom to play outside. She blurted out the next question, 'but how is it that G, (our neighbor who is a year older than her) already have one, too?'

'Remember that she proudly informed us that she lied about her age to get a Facebook account?' I emphasized to MC. 'To get something because you lied about is not worth it. You better wait until you are old enough.' Those words seemed to calm her down.

Then I explained to her that her Papa doesnt also know what Facebook is. And G, our new housemaid doesnt know what Facebook is. And F, our office assistant doesnt know what Facebook is. And her Teacher, lost her Facebook already. But all of them are satisfied with their lives. Meaning, Facebook is not that important to live a happy life.

Still, MC wont be appeased. The kids at school was teasing her because she doesnt know anything about Facebook. She wants to know what Facebook is. Basta!

The next morning, I turned on the computer and went online. Finally, MC got to see what Facebook is all about. She saw texts and photos. 'Is that all about Facebook, Mama?' she was disappointed.

I frankly told her that there are more things about Facebook; but these are the things that are important to me.

Then I asked her, 'what do you think is better?'

To which she sheepishly replied, 'I think I better play with my toys!'

But before she left, she gave me a very sweet hug, still smiling sheepishly. I returned it to her, with a small prayer that when MC start really to get really curious to learn more about these social networking sites, I hope that she would let me know.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Trees have feelings, too!

While on a long drive to the province last week, MC was bewildered by the many posters plastered all over the walls and the street posts, hanging on trees branches and stapled on the stems of the plants and trees.

She said, 'Mama, why are they doing those things?'

I told her that it is election time. They placed those posters for people to know who to vote.

She said again, 'Mama, don't they know that trees have feelings, too? It is painful for them when those posters are nailed or stapled on their stems and branches.'

I told her she's right. The juices of the trees would flow when they do that, and that would be their tears.

She said once more, 'How could the trees talk to them to let them know that it hurts?'

I told her that when the wind blows and the trees would sway to the wind, you would hear them talking. It would be up to you to interpret what they are saying.

To which MC added, ' You see, I am sure they would say, please stop hurting us.'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday, IC!

She turned 6 today.

Last March, she cant wait for April to come. She knows her birthday is in April. She knows her birthday would be celebrated after Easter. She knows her friends would come to party. She knows her cousins would come to party.

She's already listed down the gifts she wanted. She's already listed down the party loots she wants to have. She's already listed down the games we would play.

And then came April. It is too hot. She changed her want list. She wants a swimming party. We found a resort near our house. She would party there with her friends. That would be in the next Friday, the Easter break just ended last Monday.

Yesterday, she agreed to celebrate her birthday at home with her cousins and the 'adults.'

But she specifically demanded, 'please tell the people you invited to my birthday to come with a gift. Or else, the security guard in our village would not allow them to enter.'

I informed the people we invited, and they all found it cute.

Well, cute it is. But IC is serious.

This morning, before leaving our village, IC told me to lower the window of our car.

The birthday girl told the security guard, 'make sure that the people who are coming to my birthday have gifts, or else, dont let them in.' ;D

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Generosity

It was the pre-Easter celebration in school last week. The girls and their school mates were all over the school playground getting busy.

I saw one girl with a big sack of plastic Easter eggs being followed by her classmates. In an instant, I saw the same girl and her followers beside me.

'You know what, MC wants to have two Easter eggs. But I am only allowed to give her one,' she said me. Her followers all nodded with her declaration because all of them got only one egg.

I told her that it is her decision. If she doesnt want to give MC two eggs; and MC doesnt want just one egg -- then they should be able to find a compromise that would be good for both of them.

After my little speech, they went off looking for MC who immediately sneaked up beside me and said, 'Mama, I told her I dont want to accept it if I got only one egg; because then IC wont be getting any egg. I dont want that,' said IC's big sister. 'So I said, two eggs or nothing.' IC, beamed to her sister, in hearing that.

A few minutes after, the girl with the eggs come to us and offered two eggs -- one for MC and one for IC. She declared that it is okay to give two eggs to MC because one would go to her little sister.

Running off, she shouted to her brother, 'Sorry but you arent getting any egg, I already gave it to somebody else.'

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our Holy Week

Our first time to celebrate Holy Week in the Philippines. In Germany, the highlight would always be the Easter Sunday; which is much, much different from the traditions I grew up with.

First I told my husband that usually, all works stop on the Wednesday before Maundy Thursday. But the real thing is that, a week before Holy Week, everybody's already in a vacation mode that there would be no more work done as most people are already in vacation or preparing for their vacation. He wont believe it until he noticed that most of his emails went unanswered and we couldnt reach anybody anymore. The usual answer, 'please call after Holy Week.'

To the girls, I told them that usually, there wont be any good shows on tv because most televion stations would be closed or would only be showing Holy Week specials. And that malls and shops and almost every commercial business would be closed. They noticed that!

I also informed them that they could join the parade of angels and princesses who would be on hand during the dramatization of Jesus Christ's way of the cross which is a famous tourist event in our hometown in Pasay. They did join the procession. IC was an angel and walked half the station, and MC was a princess, and she joined the whole procession until the end.

The way of the cross is a part of the local tradition of 'cenakulo', which is a nine-day extravagant stage play that derives its sequence of events from both the Gospels of the Bible’s New Testament and from the Book Martyr of Golgotha.

Before that, we visited the church where they watched a theater group about the life of Christ. I also pointed out to them that all the images inside the church are covered, because Christ has been stripped bare.

After that, they saw the procession of various life-sized religious images. I also told them that midmorning, there are also the 'penitencia' or the flagellants walking back home together from their assembly place. I assumed they are not ready to see those things, which they are!
 As our usual practice, too, there were no meat on Good Friday. Good thing the girls loved the buttered shrimp and fried fish that my mother prepared for us.

Since the girls were getting fascinated by the colors of the events during Good Friday, I decided to give them a list of traditional happenings during the Holy Week in the Philippines.

- Pabasa -- the Gregorian chanting of the poetic prayer story of Jesus’ life, passion, death, and resurrection known locally as the “pabasa” or the “pasyon” . It remained well preserved particularly in the provinces where it is held continuously day and night sometimes for as long as three straight days. In recent years, the melodies of pop songs are sometimes used to make the chanting of the Biblical passages sound more interesting and lively. And after those 'pabasa' -- there are food and drinks served.

- Visita Iglesia --Visita Iglesia (Spanish for "Visit of the Churches") is a Holy Thursday tradition of Philippine Roman Catholics, brought to us by the Spaniards. It is the practice of visiting 7 churches to pray and meditate. The tradition has its roots to the early years of the establishment of the Church, when there were 7 great basilicas in Rome that Christians would visit for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. (We experienced this already last year, but this year, the kids said they would pass; simply because, they forgot what this is all about!)
- Moriones Festival -- In Marinduque, the colorful and unique festival attracts thousands of tourists every year. Male participants wearing oversized masks and costumes patterned after the ones worn by centurions who tormented Christ.

- Salubong -- is an Easter Sunday pre-dawn ritual that reenacts the Risen Christ's meeting with His mother. It is performed in the churchyard under a specially prepared arch where the veiled image of the Virgin Mary has been placed. A child dressed as an angel is lowered by ropes from a high platform to lift the mourning veil of the grieving Mother. The church bells are rung, and there is a procession of the images of Christ and his mother that ends up inside the church.

The participants in the procession are segregated by gender. The men and boys follow the image of Jesus Christ, while women and girls follow the image of Mary. The procession ends with the two groups meeting in the church, where Mass is said. It is re-enacted in the evening of Black Saturday.

- Easter Egg Hunting -- This is a western tradition that is now being done in most hotels and malls in Manila. Of course, in our home, we mix our traditions in such that we did our egg coloring with the kids and tomorrow, Easter Sunday; there would be egg hunting, too.

Oh, and some myths and fads: nobody should take a bath or wash their clothes on Good Friday!