"You know wha—"

Artwork by Adrian Conoza, Title: Idle Art

Recently, I had a seemingly once-in-summer getaway at SM mall at our place here on Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I got that opportunity to get some strolling after staying in the house and sauntering Walter Mart—which is nearer than SM—for days. That day was our enrollment day, and after I was finally enrolled, I and most of my classmates went to SM.

I haven't gone to SM for a long time. Thanks that it was enrollment day, I finally spent my carefree time there. There's the bonding, and the talking, and—at last—a larger and more different Booksale.

Once again, I've talked a lot. After a long time not seeing or meeting my classmates, we were there again as classmates and friends. Then again, I unexpectedly dried my throat out as I have observed it before.

I discussed a lot of things with these people, including the recent brawl between journalist Mon Tulfo and actor Raymart Santiago in NAIA; the competition and performances on American Idol; Adventure Time and other cartoons. But then, I had reflected on a thought thanks to these conversations that I had that remarkable day.

I remember having that impression when I and some classmates ate at McDonalds. At that assembly of perhaps 3 small tables we talked about the happenings on American Idol, including that shocking moment when the judges, with no hesitation, used their lone "save" on the almost-eliminated Jessica Sanchez. So, I had these ideas and opinions of mine in mind. I'm ready to speak them out and let them be heard. When a classmate of mine was already finished talking, I decided to speak. I started to talk....but then, another voice interfered. I stopped and let the voice of that person be broadcasted through the ears of my classmates. I tried again. I spoke...but again, another voice meddled before I could complete what I wanted to say. But at the end, I had my opinion heard.

I just hate it when I am interfered when I had that chance to speak. I can compare it to some session in the Senate, or perhaps the nearly concluding impeachment trial of the Chief Justice, where voices confront on each other. A person is interrupted by the other. The one speaking in those small microphones will suddenly be toppled by another standing in some box with a number in it.

Or perhaps, I'm the one who interfered.

I realized that as I want to share what I have to say, I should also have to listen. I have to lend an ear in every person in every discussion. I think that's what I have forgotten. While it's good to talk, it's also important to listen. Listening is an important part in a conversation, as well as in a interview or a talk show.

In listening, you get to understand things and hear the viewpoints of others, whether they are as same or as different as yours. If you lend an ear and give chances to every person to speak, you'll learn things and you'll have your curiosities and doubts clarified. Keeping one's ears open to people gives them a sense of respect, and most of the time, it would be a comfort to a friend, a family member, or churchmate who might have problems or burdens that he/she wants to share.

Isn't it nice to listen and not just dry your throat?

Don't just speak and speak to get attention. Listen.

You know what? I should wait for my turn. I'll remain listening.

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God Bless!


Author's Note: The article was started last Saturday, but I got busy the next day when I should have finished this. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the article. Mama, I hope what I've made is correct in grammar and understandable. I hope you like it.

I'm grateful that I continue to grow and learn. It's somewhat amazing that I'm now a boy of 14 in the chapter of adolescence. It's good to see that amidst mistakes and failures I stay as a person with morale and a man having faith in God. What I've become today I thank, first of all, to God, and for my parents. And for this article, in honor of the occasion on May 13, it would be my mother.

She gave birth to me at the 10th of June, year 1997. I'm sure it was hard labor. I'm sure it took my parent's—and my mother's—effort, love, and time for me to grow healthy and strong from the day she delivered me. She gave the name Paul, from the apostle Paul, to complement with Adrian, which my father brainstormed, coming from the former NBA player Adrian Dantley. My first nourishment came from her. The first attention and care I got was from her and Dad. I now think of her holding me in her arms, caressing me, cradling me to sleep. That's the care my mother garbed in me. The tender loving care I need as an infant. The TLC resembling the little picture of mother and child in a soap of the same name.

As a little tot, mama is there. As mama said, as our church pastor told, and as I saw it, I was a child that was described as makulit. Pesky, stubborn, most of the time irritating and bothering. Really childish. Going here, going there. Running around, chattering endlessly....childish. Just childish. But all the way, she became patient with me. She disciplined me little by little. Her discipline has a great impact on me. If it weren't for it, I'll hardly become a kind and obedient boy(even a shy boy). From going bananas to staying quiet.

She also taught me as a child what is right and wrong. She has great influence on me when it comes to values and faith. It was generally from her that I learned things like prayer, the Bible, and other things when it comes to Him. I remember consulting her when I had questions about what I've read on the Bible and on Our Daily Bread.

Recollections with Mama

I also recall those times when I'm with her at the office at any day of summer or Christmas season. At the office what I'll only do is to roam around the office, play Super Mario on her computer(I learned that game there) or go on the Net either through that computer or her office-mate's(or my tita's) computer, eat with her during lunch, and see her at work or outside the office for such work to do.

At outings, mama is my fellow traveler. It's nice to recollect those outings where I'm with my mother and her office-mates. The cozy vacations on Batangas near the Shell plant. That remarkable trip on Bataan where I saw Mt. Samat and the big monument—a big cross, Dambana ng Kagitingan—in honor of the people who suffered on the Death March. The beach at the province of Quezon. Those journeys I was with my mother.

But even at Walter Mart or Festival Mall, it's nice to be with mother, as well as with my father or the whole family. At those times we'll saunter along stores and sections of the supermarket, and the best part, eat at either Tropical Hut, McDonalds, Ho Chai Lai or anywhere we or I want to eat.

"For your own good"

Tough there were those great times, there were also those circumstances where I have misunderstandings or disappointments with her. It's a part of life. I couldn't avoid it when I fail that I make Mama angry and frustrated. I even hate those times when I see her furious in such an unconventional way. It is hurtful sometimes when she turns irascible or thwarted due to a misstep.

I'll also admit that I'm nagged at times when I am scolded or reprimanded by mama that I also became embarrassed. But all of it were, and always be, for my siblings' and my good. She said it one definite time, and I understood it in a snap.

I'm now a grown-up, so I should now have grown to be responsible, reverent, and compliant, yet I know I still have to learn more things as an adolescent. I'll learn them by everyday experience and of course, by the guidance of my parents—by her guidance and advice.

Mama in person

What more could I say about Mama?

Mama is a great cook. Every noche buena, media noche, or any other occasion or gathering or simple day, Mom cooks a great meal. Coming from the land where people love to cook and eat—Tarlac—Mama makes delicious meals and courses, from the main dish to the dessert.She knows many recipes.There's the cordon blue, chicken croquetes, nilagang baka(boiled beef with vegetables), beef steak, beef and broccoli, caldereta, shrimp in chili, etc. There are many of them, including one of her specialties, the meal abro(boiled green beans and jute).

In every meal she cooks, there's the yummy taste that makes the family or the visitor eat for more. I'm a big eater of her delightful food. She is a great cook that I also want to learn from her how to cook and make recipes.

Mama is an intelligent woman. She graduated at Far Eastern University with a course of Zoology. Yet, she also graduated at University of the Philippines Los Bańos with the course of Developmental Communication, or Dev Com. I consult her at such information, and I get knowledge from her during some conversations. Now she pursues a doctorate degree on [the same course (edited 5/9/15)]. Wish her all the best!

Mama is good to talk with. I have nice discussions with her on anything either I or Mama or Ate or Dad care to talk about. We mostly talk about issues, politics, and news and give our own opinions regarding the topic discussed. But I also come to her when I have such problems, some of them she considers and I realized as only small problems. Yet knowing that there is someone who'll lend an ear to what you have to say is a big relief for me. There I'll always say that after a long day's work(schoolwork), it's relieving to have a family, a home to come back to.

There's one more thing I'm pleased to say regarding Mama. One night I had a long talk with her while I massaged her. At that discussion, we talked about books, literature, and writing. She's really a reader. That's why no wonder she subscribed to Reader's Digest when I was still young. Unfortunately, the subscription stopped, maybe because I sabotaged them and cut the pages(I was not an avid reader yet then). She also reads the papers whenever she wants to. She said to me that she read before a column written by Teddy Benigno, and she likes the Lifestyle section. In addition, Mama has some books retrieved and now shelved with my other books at the house.

But above all what we've talked about, I've learned one great thing: she has a flair for writing. She told me she wrote poems during her good old days. Unfortunately, they aren't with her anymore. If they were just sitting at some table in our house, I'll read it. I saw her name at articles on the weekly supplement of the Manila Bulletin, the Philippine Panorama, which were about Industrial Technology and Development Institute(ITDI), a branch of the Department of Science and Technology(DOST)—where she works as a communications specialist—growing old yet improving and continuing to serve the people. I also saw her page in the magazine of ITDI when it was still National Institute of Science and Technology(NIST). She wrote book reviews on the magazine NIST Monitor. I also noticed her again on an article from Malaya Business Insight online.

Knowing that Mama is a reader and a writer, I got another inspiration for my writing. I think I got those writing genes from her. I even consulted her before when I have such questions regarding grammar. She'll let me know if I'm using Filipino words incorrectly. Yes. I get inspiration and influence from such people and literature as a writer in the making(as Mama had said), but Mama would be another spur for my growing interest and skill.

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Mama. I'm grateful to have her. Isn't it that every mother who loves and cares is a blessing to her family? Mothers. They are a great blessing from God to every children, to every family.

To my Mama, thank you for everything. Thank you for this life. Thanks for every love and care. I hope that as you continue to go on through the cycle of life, though there will be problems and storms to come along,  may the Lord bless and guide you all the way. As always, trust in Him. I know your family will be here for you. Reach for your dreams. Stay happy. Keep well.

With love and gratitude, and on behalf of Ate, Kuya, and Dad...Happy Mothers Day!

...And happy anniversary to you, my parents!


A blessed Mother's Day to all. Love your mother always.

Here's an Original Pilipino Music from The Dawn. For every mothers out there.


At one unexpected time I clicked on my profile on Facebook, and a different kind of profile appeared. What I saw was the timeline that was known to many of the site's users several months earlier. Good thing my original profile was still seen while I saw the all-new timeline, but all would change on May 9. I preferred to wait until that day the timeline goes live, yet on that day—Wednesday—my profile was already changed. After I disregarded timeline for many months when people went on timelines and regretted later on, I came to realize that timeline is not bad. In fact, it is really a good upgrade for my profile. It is even a more organized view of my profile as well as a good appearance of it.

But let's go back when timeline was something new on the World Wide Web. I first saw how timeline looks through an article on Yahoo. Upon reading it and peeking in at some photos I thought it wouldn't appear nice to me, and I'm content with my plain profile with the profile picture on the left side, a row of recently tagged photos adjacent to the profile pic, and a simple flow of activities and posts on the body. Once the social networking site released and promoted of it, some of my friends changed their profiles into timelines while others accidentally published their timelines. I saw then that most of my friends who upgraded their profiles regretted it thereafter. Some said it was okay, while others demanded the original one.

Then came that one day. When I clicked my name which was written on the top of my Facebook, a new look of my profile boomed on me. So they are really renewing every profiles on Facebook by May 9. But I think timeline is not bad. Anyway, I sneaked at the timeline that was shown to me, took a review on it, and realized after such days that timeline appears to be better than the original.

Last Tuesday, a day before timeline goes live, I had a thorough glance at the timeline. I hunted the timeline to the day I joined Facebook and understood more of how the timeline works and organizes every information in chronological order. There I saw the statuses I wrote from grade 6 to second year. There I saw the pictures that remembered me of such events. There I saw the posts every 10th of June, being grateful for those greetings. There I saw my activities on Facebook, which were mostly games and answering machines and yearly logs of statuses in photo albums.

Finally, I appreciated timeline that I was even excited to sign on and put a cover photo on the topmost part of my timeline the next day.

A better profile

First of all, what is nice in timeline is that you have the cover photo—which is now the fad among Facebook users. I have a photo that would be seen first whenever someone goes into my profile. It's just like when Philippine Daily Inquirer inserts a big photo in the masthead altogether with the newspaper's logo. It would be a nice highlight of your life. For me, I'll make anything that interests me my cover photo. Now, I'll stay on a photo of myself answering some Algebra homework. Next time I plan it to be some photo of a band(I think of Level 42 or Daft Punk) or a nice cover of a book or a better photo of myself.

Aside from the cover photo, I'm finally able to get back in time and look back at my past posts in a very convenient way. Every activities, posts, and events are simply organized. That's another great thing about timeline. I remember a friend telling to me that it is confusing, but as long as I learn how to use it, it won't be confusing.

I could now track my teenage life as seen on Facebook and see how good and how worse my posts and encounters were throughout the years I logged in on Facebook. I'm now 2 years at Facebook as the timeline says, but it's been so long for me. For those two years and counting I met and added friends, posted things of my interest, played games,commented on such posts....and changed from the way I speak to the content of what I share or write. I now realized I have already a large record of my life, being connected with people and sharing thoughts, on Facebook.

At the night of May 9, I finally logged on to a new dress for my profile. It now looks like a front page. It's now a line of posts, from "Now" to the day I started having Facebook as major means of social networking.

My profile was upgraded. It now appears a lot better.