Home sweet home – Independence at last

For those who don’t own their own houses yet, do you already have a dream house in mind? I already have a rough design of my dream house etched into my mind ever since I was in high school. This was conjured up during one of my technical drafting classes, where we had to design and build a scale model of a house for our final project. I recall that my notebook was filled with doodles on rough sketches of the house schematics.

Looking for an ideal house and lot in Manila is frustratingly hard. Real estate costs from the “better” communities in the metropolis are usually priced four or five times as much as the typical subdivision real estate. And if you already have a house design in mind, like I do, a vacant residential lot is usually hard to come by since almost all residential zones already have houses built on them. This leaves you with the option of either settling for what’s there, or having to shell out big bucks to demolish the old house and build a new one – that dream house.

For me and my family, the quest for building that dream home will have to wait and a second choice would suffice. Right now, what matters most is that CJ spends his formative years growing up in a clean, peaceful and decent neighborhood where he can come out and play on the street, playground, or village park, and where we won’t have any fear of him being run over by speeding cars and public transport, or being exposed to a rough and “uncivilized” neighborhood.

We’ll finally be moving to our new home come May 1st. A homey 2-storey enclave in a nice, quiet neighborhood in Sucat. Conne blogged about our impending move and is quite excited about it. And so am I.

That villa by the sea will have to wait.

thought for the day

“So often in life we think that because we have done things in a certain way, certain results would follow. But life is like the ocean. Sometimes we get caught in squalls & storms & things don’t go the way we think they should, even when we think we have done right. But God can find us in the eye of a storm & give us courage to swim in rough water. WE LEARN LESSONS FROM STORMS THAT WE CANNOT LEARN FROM CALM SEAS.” – author unknown

Atty. Guerrero on the bar exams – “Bittersweet”

I wish to congratulate my friend, Berne, who recently passed the Philippine Bar exams. Atty. Michael Vernon Guerrero is now a full-fledged lawyer. The Philippines needs more lawyers like him.

He wrote a very interesting entry in his blog about this event. You may check it out here.

Again, congratulations my friend! 🙂

A T-rex blast from the past

I was driving home this afternoon, along Manila’s Skyway, when I happened to pass by what I thought to be a familiar-looking van. You see, I used to own a green model ’98 Hyundai Starex minivan (the first vehicle that I ever owned, hence the sentimentality) which was affectionately called “T-Rex”, a play on the word Starex. It was sold years ago. But throughout the years, every time I happen to come across one, my first reaction would be to look at the plates, hoping to see if it carried a certain familiar plate number.

The van was a few hundred meters in front of me, and from the rear, as I surveyed it, I noticed that the exterior was a bit different in comparison to what my last memories of T-Rex were. It sported an over-sized roof rack, and had those stainless steel trimmings you’d see in some public FX shuttles in the metropolis.

But it had two stickers at the rear window, with one being awfully familiar. And so it was my curiosity that led me to speed up to catch it – it still had its “zing” and was cruising effortlessly at slightly over a hundred kph. As I neared it, I soon realized that the license plates were familiar after all. Ha! I was on the heels of T-Rex! My beloved T-Rex! Barring a few exterior alterations (its fuel tank cover had now been replaced with those somewhat cheesy (sorry) shiny, metallic trimmings; stainless steel sidestep panels and bumper trimmings and large roof caddy, even the front bumper had changed – the new owner probably changed it because I recall that it was once mangled by an over-zealous mechanic. The body color was unchanged, the “Toys For the Big Boys” sticker was the still there, while a new sticker “Baby on Board” was placed beside it, which made me realize why the change in external accessories. This was now a family car – and from the looks of it, my T-Rex had probably finally had its share of “baby” and family-raising experience – from carrying a pregnant wife to the hospital, to carrying the new-born back home. It was now probably heading off carrying its family to a vacation site up south. I couldn’t help but smile and be happy.

Throughout this experience, I didn’t realize that I was actually coasting along the entirety of Skyway’s stretch, up until Sucat Interchange where I had to exit, side-by-side with a long lost friend.

“Puti”, our car, had finally met its “kuya”. And I’m glad both turned out to be reliable, family-oriented vehicles.

So long T-Rex! See you when I see you!

On parenting: Baby’s mouth blisters

Daddy’s new word for today: Herpangina – mouth blisters, usually common in children.

Today started off differently. We woke up at 4AM to the sound of CJ’s crying. This usually indicates feeding time, and so I did my now well-versed ‘rouse-myself-out-of-bed’ and ‘fix-up-a-bottle-of-milk-while-half-asleep’ routine. I was halfway through the motion when Conne, sounding rather alarmed and upset, brought my attention to the fact that the lower part of CJ’s face (mouth area), and the upper part of his pajamas, were covered in dried blood.

Flashback:

He had a slight fever a week ago and had been extremely irritable the past few days due to two large mouth sores located on the tip of his tongue. This was apparently brought on when he inadvertently bit himself while we were attending mass over the Holy Week period (and oh boy, did he make a small scene then, ha!). To compound the situation, his gums were quite swollen and sore partly due to teething-related problems (we initially suspected gingivitis as the culprit), although after an initial check-up, a dentist friend assured us that there was nothing to be concerned about and prescribed preventive measures and gum care techniques.

He was still feeling a bit uncomfortable and irritated when Tuesday evening came. Although his appetite did improve significantly when compared to the previous days. But because of some minor bleeding of the gums, his pediatrician prescribed some antibiotics.

Today, 4AM:
I was really concerned with what I saw. Even though the bleeding had already stopped (probably hours before while we were deep in slumber land), you can just imagine how the initial shock of seeing CJ’s face and shirt stained with blood really made me weak-kneed for a bit.

It sure is one way to make any parent fully awake even at un-Godly hours. We were off to the drug store in a jiffy to buy the medicine prescribed the night before. We even treated CJ to some ice cream on the way home. This seemed to lift his spirits, because when we got home (at around 5:30AM) he was running about, shouting, jumping and playing with wild abandon as if nothing happened.

Present:
We finally had him re-examined this afternoon, and it appears that the mouth blisters were caused by a viral infection, Herpangina, which is a fairly common illness among babies and toddlers. Whew!

It’s another Parenting 101 lesson for us. Thank God.

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Other Sources:
drgreene.org
babycenter.com