What I Hate (and Love) about Facebook

I admit. I can’t end the day without logging on to my FB account. Better yet, I can’t spend the day without peeking at my mobile phone for the news feed, and even can’t control my itchy finger urging to scroll down once that red color appears on my notifications page.

I am a facebook lurker. But of late, I get distracted with what I see on my wall.

Excessive information about one’s daily life can be exasperating. Sure, I get the highs when I get connected with long lost friends, with special people whom I’ve always wondered how they were doing after not seeing them for years. And I am amazed how facebook can get us connected and updated even when we are not physically together. These are the times.

But, forgive me. Too much of the good things can get irritating. Passively annoying.

Such inordinate posts about trivial stuff can really get into one’s system. By trivial I mean – being late for work, how stressful your day is, what to wear for the day (or what you’re wearing) a missing shoe, buying a new toothbrush, having braces or removing them, a flat tire, an injured knee, going to the gym everyday, having too much to eat, playing with your pet, how you cried watching a sappy movie, trying on a new make up….and list can go on and on.

I get dizzy with too much face on my computer screen, those selfies I mean. One or two shots is excusable, but a multitude of them in different poses and angles, all bundled up in a collage, and worse, obviously photoshopped or edited by some phone app – simply outrageous.  Not to mention those poses in front of the mirror with your hand vertically holding your mobile phone.

It seemed mandatory to post the kids’ new toys, the new gadget you just purchased, your brand new car, new purses, your new chandelier, those pasalubongs, the gifts from santa. Endless ooohsss and aaaahssss and thank-yous.  I can tolerate a couple to these, but repeated, and almost habitual postings of such are just too much to ingest.

Then there are the hate posts. They are sort of guess-who-I’m-talking-about kind of thing, but it is so intriguing that you end up generating comments and queries about who and what happened. I don’t mind them at all. It is even quite amusing to join in the fun, of adding insult to injury. You get to solicit empathy from your cirlcle of friends, having an assurance that your facebook friends could rally behind you in your battles. But then again, too much of this could make you appear you are loaded with so much baggage.

But of course, Facebook is not about all these things. I love reading quotes, sensible quotes. I like getting pointers about traveling. Those baby pictures I am so fond of. Family gatherings, weddings, reunions, all things positive and worth celebrating. Everything in moderation.

With this I have come to realize that I’ve become a different person once I log in. There’s unsolicited advice on my comments, there’s disliking a friend just because of his/her posts. There’s even judgement just because of one’s status. I don’t like what I turn to when I use my facebook.

Perhaps its time to use less of facebook this coming year. Facebook has done a great deal to people who get connected again. But sometimes, it destroys friendships and ruins people’s lives.

There’s more to life than those news feeds and statuses.

And I can’t believe I am able to post again after a long time.

Simple Joys

Living with my sexagenarian parents for almost four decades made me realize that the older you get, the simpler life becomes. That is, finding joy and fulfillment in every day life.

After Mom filed her retirement a few years back, and Dad decides to slow down and take a break, life for them has never been easier and uncomplicated. They’ve learned to embrace life in a slower, more relaxed pace.

They spend their early mornings tending to our makeshift garden. My dad’s form of exercise is making sure my car is squeeky clean before I start the ignition and set off for a day’s work at the office. My mom gets up at 5 o’clock in the morning to prepare breakfast.

An hour and a half later, my nephew, the one and only grandson is  ready, so off they go to bring him to school. On their way back, they’d stop by the “palengke” to buy pandesal and newspaper.

Sometimes we have breakfast together, but when I need to come to the office earlier than usual, I’d take mine ahead of them and by the time they sit down at the breakfast table, I’ll be in the shower and would unintentionally eavesdrop on their almost-mundane conversations over breakfast.They talk about almost anything under the sun – political issues, news and current affairs, showbiz tsimis, our relatives, the neighbor’s helpers and above all things – what’s for lunch and dinner. Sometimes they argue, not because they have different views but because they seem not to hear each other.

By high noon, and after having lunch together, as if on cue, you’ll find them sitting beside each other watching Eat Bulaga. You’ll be amazed at how they know the show by heart. How excited and animated they’ve become every time Pinoy Genio is on air, the way they hold on to their cellphones when Vic Sotto announces what to text and where to text.

In between domestic chores, afternoon naps, cable and local tv, they’d call me in the office to ask if I’ll be home for dinner, if I can’t make it to dinner, theirs would automatically translate to – leftovers or sardines or tuyo.

Sometimes, when Mom gets bored at home, he’d prod my dad to bring her to the mall. There are times too, they’d get their Senior Citizen’s booklet and avail of free movie passes.

Those times when I get home late, or too late, Mom never fails to text me. She’ll stay awake all night until after she gets my message that I’m almost a block away from home. Then my Dad would wake up and open the gate for me.

There. Bits and pieces of a day in the life of….my sexagenarian folks. Their simple joys. The simple life.  I love them. I will never trade anything for them.

The beauty of life is spending your days with the people you love. And I thank God for such gift. I just wonder, will my life be less complicated when I reach their age? =)

The Month that WAS

December as always, is the busiest month of the year. And having an eleven-day off from work helped me manage a whole caboodle of affairs in my hands and somehow kept my stress levels to a manageable (if not minimum) stage.

My holidays this year seemed to be the most special thus far. First, my cousin and her family flew in from Canada after 14 years to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary here. And I, until now, is in awe how all five of them were able to fit like sardines in my tiny room, not to mention all of their suitcases and stuff.

Second, organizing their silver wedding affair is not a joke. Though the event was planned one year ahead, things crop up at the last minute and trivialities such as missing misalletes and misplaced wedding rings could turn your head upside down. But after some bloopers and minor glitches, the event went out well. Maybe I could set up my own events organizer office in the future.

Third, spending the holidays in Boracay was a first. Boracay welcomed us with big waves and heavy rains while the sun decided to shy away from the over-crowded beach during the whole course of our stay. Despite all these, this brief Boracay escapade was a blast.

Then there’s the countless Christmas parties and family reunions you have to attend to, staying until the wee hours of the morning and waking up a couple of hours later to attend the traditional simbang gabi. Then add up a number of driving errands for your balikbayan visitors after office hours, all these are squeezed in to your daily December life. At times like these, energizer drinks are my best friends, if not for these wonder drinks, I don’t think I could pull it off or my physical body would have given up long before the Christmas eve strikes.

So there. It’s the first day of work, remnants of the holidays are written all over my face, but things are slowly getting back to normal. Reality is gradually creeping back to my system and before I know it, I’m back to my feet again.

Cheers! 

Of Traditions and Superstitions

Granny was laid to rest today. Her three-day wake were days of realizations and personal observations that I thought it best to pin down to this spot. Some are amusing, some are confusing, and some are just something that I could write about….so read on and be your own judge. Here goes……

The eldest of the brood must always havethe last say. Talk about power-tripping or seniority issues.They believe that“ang panganay ang dapat masunod.” Hmmm….I’m the eldest daughter, I never realized that I could take advantage of this one, uhm, maybe some other time….at some other place. Lol.

Kissall theelder’s hand. Regardless if you know ’em or not. Yeah, if my forehead can just speak or even scream, I would have been deaf by now. I lost count of the elder’s hands that landed on my forehead. And it’s already close to feeling numb. Whew. I never realized that Granny still has a number of surviving kin. And they all flocked the house today to attend the funeral. So just imagine how the youngest managed to go around and make “mano” to those who are older than him? Go figure.

Strictly follow superstitious beliefs as imposed by the elders. A myriad of superstitions, do’s and don’ts that you have to observe. Feels like I am walking on egg shells. And if you ask them the reason behind such belief, don’t expect for a sensible, matter-of-factly reply, rather, they would always answer in unison “basta yan ang sabi ng mga matatanda nuong araw.”So no matter how absurd you think it is, don’t bother asking, because the more you ask, the more baffled and confused you get.

You’d realize how small the world is, afterall. Really. You’d come across people who are connected to you in one way or another. You’d talk about common friends, your friend’s friend, your friend’s friend’s colleague,their colleague,their colleague’s neighbor, their colleague’s neighbor’s relative (huh??)….and so on and so forth…and thelink gets longer and longer until the wee hours of the morning.

So there, it’s beenone frenzy, emotionally draining week. And I need to sleep now. Fourmore days to go before the end of the dawn masses.

Two Funerals and a Wedding

This is quite an odd year for the family.

Two extreme events and a flurry of contrasting emotions in the last quarter of the year. There’s grief over a cousin’s death and euphoria over a wedding.

Then Granny just died today. She did not make it on Christmas day.

Mom has in a way, accepted that Granny wouldn’t last long,because her health deteriorated a few months after her operation. I hope mom’s ok. She was still weeping the last time we talked. And I’m still in an unknown state – a mixture of grief and relief. Relief because Granny is finally free from physical suffering. I hope it’s ok to feel that way,that I even managed to post an entry here.

It’s eight days before Christmas. I have no idea how to celebrate Christmas with death in the family. Imagine A dirge to replace Christmas Carols; words of sympathy and condolences in exchange of holiday greetings….now I think Scrooge has every reason to celebrate.

Farewell my dear Grandma. You may have missed celebrating Christmas with us, but I know that Christmas up there is so much more meaningful than spending it here.

Rest in peace Granny. I’ll miss you.