Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You're blessed, I'm blessed, we're all blessed

...for starting my day late, but ended as a productive one - sign I'll have a busy, work mode week - meaning, I'm blessed to have these jobs I have now, and that opportunities continue to come my way, despite my being shell-shocked at times

...that I'm able to write, that I'm able to come up with readable and helpful stories, that I get to satisfy my clients' requirements, and that I can go an extra mile - I would not have the opportunities I have now if not for this gift that is writing (and editing on the side)

...for giving me a patient and an understanding boss - who despite the times I wasn't able to meet my deadliest deadlines, continue to believe in me and in what I can do - and I will be humble and accept my faith in case he no longer sees we can continue working together, for the times I let him down on the account of not beating my deadlines - (not being proud, but I try to do good in other areas of my work, especially if it's crunch time, so as to honor his belief in me that I'm the right person for the post). I'm summoning all my will power and strength and courage to see him this week and update him on what's happening with my eh, melodramatic life, and discuss with him what I still hope to achieve working with him. Boss, I'm very sorry though if you've grown lots of gray hair since you hired me - peace!

...that I have my family - even if at times we clash - but no matter what happens, I know I only have my family more than anything - thanks for the trying times, for the good ones, and for the challenges and changes that lie ahead - I am, and continue to improve as a person because of my mother, and my brothers, and yes, my late father.

...for blessing me with this gift that is love - I'm just blessed my soon-to-be husband took that weekend off to see me in person (when I was readying myself that he would be disappointed in actually meeting me then) - that we enjoyed that weekend as if it was not our first time to be together; that was followed by visits here, meeting my family, telling my mother our plans, having time to chat with my mother, bearing with my brothers being quite snob (well, he says my brothers got that being snob from me, duh, hahaha), for socializing and chatting until the wee hours of the morning with my friends for life; that he introduced me to his best mates, who have been with him since the trying times of his life...

...being separated geographically is not easy - there were times we had our misunderstanding, miscommunication, mainly because of this being apart. But we're persevering, we're understanding one another, we’re keeping our communication lines open – above all, despite the distance, we’re continuing to be each other’s strength and we’re giving each other the love we both deserve. Thank you, Robin, for coming into my life, and looking forward to spend the rest of your life with me. Thanks for truly loving me, and I’m blessed for loving you as well.

There are so many things I am thankful for – I sometimes feel I can’t cope with the challenges, but, really, I’m blessed to have this life. Despite all the challenges we deal with, we're all blessed to live.

Friday, July 04, 2008

"Grandma, that's not a candy..."

"...that's a condom."

Yes - that was what I told a grandma when she bought at Watsons in SM Fairview earlier the orange colored (and flavored) FRENZY condoms' pack for her grandchildren (I think those were her grandchildren, as they called her "mama," but she's quite old to be their mother, anyway).

What was going on?
As I was paying for the stuff I bought, I noticed the boy of about 7 to 8-years-old checking all those condoms displayed at those two, three-story racks facing the counter for Watsons pharmacy products. Not only condoms were displayed there, there were also lubricant tubes, pregnancy test kits - another mini-rack was also sitting at that glass counter, with various condom and lubricant brands.

I just thought at first the boy was one of those restless kids tagged along at the malls and tinker at every item they could get their hands on - but what made me disturbed was when his sister, who looks older than him, and was a bit taller too, also tinkered at those condoms' packs, and the two of them got fond of that orange Frenzy condoms' pack. The boy egged his grandma (who was behind me and was to pay for a mat of tablets [her maintenance medication I assumed] to buy it for him - then I heard the grandma asked the girl, "Ikaw, gusto mo rin `yan? (You want that also?)" And the girl, with her big eyes, nodded. Obviously, with the seemingly absent-minded look in her eyes, the grandma had no idea she was buying condom for her, as I assumed, grade school grand kids.

Then the grandma saw the senior citizens' line was vacant. They went there, and the kids gingerly waited for their "candy" to be paid and have a piece of it. I was still in the claim counter, when a pharmacist attended to the grandma, punched the item, mentioned something to the grandma, but I was quite afar to overhear what she said.

They bought it
Then the pharmacist bought the tray of Grandma's items to the main counter, that pharmacist chatted with the other pharmacists (I was thinking it was about the condoms' pack the grandma bought for her grandchildren). I got my stuff but I still hanged around, just behind the grandma and kids who were about to get their bag of items. I saw the pharmacist put the mat of tablets and the FRENZY condoms' pack inside the bag, and off they were leaving Watsons, with the boy, asking for the "candy." I followed them and the kids tore open the FRENZY pack, split the individual packs among them, and seemingly counting how many each of them should be getting.

This was where I couldn't take it anymore - the grandma was walking ahead while her grand kids were busy with the "candy," when I said to the grandma, "Excuse me po, excuse me po." (She faced me, still with the absent-minded look in her eyes, and the kids who were trailing behind us stopped). "Ah, binilhan po ninyo sila ng condom? (Did you buy condom for them?)" I was wearing a very embarrassed smile here I think, and she replied, "ano? (What?)" "Ah, hindi po kasi candy `yang nakuha ninyo, condom po `yan. I mean, hindi pa po para sa kanila `yan ("Ah, it wasn't candy you bought, it was a condom, I mean, it's not for them yet.")

The grandma fumbling, said, "akala ko candy, sabi kasi niya candy (I thought it was a candy, he said it was a candy)." (And she hit the boy's forehead, but it wasn't that hard as what I saw.) The girl, still wearing the big eyed expression, was just looking at me. The grandma gathered the condoms, and said, "Ano gagawin ko rito ngayon?" "Puwede ko ba ibalik ito?" (What would I do with these? Could I return this?) I suggested here she try, I told her, just tell the pharmacist you didn't know it was a condom, and smiled (embarrassingly and apologetically I think) to the grandma. Then I turned around, still wearing the embarrassed smile on my face.

Who's responsible?
I don't know anymore what happened to the grandma and the kids - if they were able to return the opened pack of condoms mistaken as a candy. I was still thinking about them when I went inside the department store. Less 10 minutes, I stepped out and went back to Watsons to check if they were there - I didn't find them there.

I would not have been bothered that much if say, if those were high school kids getting or buying that pack of condoms - I mean, they're a bunch of curious kids and supposedly, during their age is when sex education is being taught to them already (but it was earlier this year that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines called for scrapping sex education in the high school curriculum? I don't know the update on this, anyway).

But what I found disturbing at the mall earlier, that the grandma didn't know she was getting condoms for her grand kids, and obviously, didn't bother to look what it was about....I'm also disappointed with the pharmacist, and Watsons for that matter, for sealing that sale to a grandma and grand kids - if that pharmacist chatted with her co-workers about that, and wondered why the grandma was buying that, and the kids seemed to be waiting for that, still she did not tell them what it was about....

Who's responsible? Or should any be responsible for such kind of incident? What kind of measure should stores be applying in selling such items like condoms? I mean, they're sure for sale, and be accessible as part of safe sex teaching, but at least stores like Watsons should also take time to inform and towhom to sell a product like that. Not being moralist here or what, but if you were in my shoes, will you also tell the grandma, "that's not a candy for your grand kids - that's a condom."