Wednesday, June 25, 2008

5 Lessons in 1 Day

When I woke up yesterday, June 24, 2008--I thought it's gonna be just another ordinary day. Well, I was wrong.

I hit the showers early for my appointment at the Philamlife Head Office, UN Ave. Manila. My friend Vins will bring her 56-year-old housekeeper Fanny for the required Medical Exam. When I sat down at the dining table, only Gio's breakfast was there. I realized the cook didn't know I was leaving early for Manila. It's good there was a bowl of left-over QUAKER OATS in the fridge. I had breakfast in a jiffy.

Lesson # 1: Don't forget to inform your cook the night before if you're leaving early so you won't be facing your client with a rumbling stomach.

After bringing my son to school, I dropped by my friend Mila's mansion to get her Authorization Letter so I could pick up her Medex results. The 3 of us (Nanay, Sister Mila and me) had our free VIP MEDEX at Healthway ATC then enjoyed our free breakfast buffet at Vivere Suites last June 9--a benefit exclusively for Philamlife VIP clients.
Anyway, it only took me less than hour to reach UN Ave. although I was driving at a relaxed speed. When I was about to enter the parking area of Philamlife, I was blocked by the big rope tied to the 2 ends of the posts. The first thing that entered my mind was, maybe the parking lot was under renovation.
I proceeded to Taft Ave. then turned right at Padre Faura then right again at M. Orosa. I parked my car along the pavement but was shocked to find out that the entrance door was also blocked. I asked the security guard and he informed me that (sigh) there's no office because it's "Araw ng Maynila" (double sigh). I immediately called Vins (thank God she's still home) that the office is closed. We agreed to meet Tuesday next week.

Lesson # 2: June 24 is Manila Day, hence all offices are closed. Before you make an appointment outside your residential area, consult or ask the proper authorities whether that date is a holiday or not. This way, you conserve time, energy, and most especially--the skyrocketing price of gas!

I left Manila with a heavy heart. How could I not know that June 24 is a holiday in Manila? In order to lift me up, I decided to turn right at MOA with the intention of buying a mini-cooler bag for Gio where he can place his Mango juice and ice-cold Milo. It's good that before I entered the open parking, I asked the attendant if the Hypermart was already open. I found out that it opens at 10 AM, simultaneous with the Mall. Strike 2! It's useless to wait for one hour there so I just went straight home.

Lesson # 3: It's a common notion that the supermarket opens ahead of the Mall itself. Well, not in MOA. Before you go to a supermarket you don't normally go, ask your neighbor or friends first what time it opens. Again, this is to save time, energy and gas.

Eia's class was 1 PM so we left the house @12:30 PM. Our cook asked me to buy a loaf of bread so after dropping off Eia in school, I parked in front of a bakery store just inside BF Resort Village. I went out to buy the bread, leaving Ate Ella inside the car. I was giving my money to the sales boy when I heard a feeble sound "Nora".
When I turned around, I saw the car going down the slope, stopping in the middle of the road, almost touching the car behind it. Faster than a speeding bullet, I raced to the car and brought it back to its former spot. The hand brake was up so I was really perplexed why it still went down the slope. We're just so lucky that there were no cars on the road during the time that it went down.

Lesson # 4: Pull the hand brake all the way up, making sure that it's in place when you're parking on a slope or anywhere for that matter. This is to avoid accident of any sort. What if there's a little boy or girl at the back of the car?

By mid-afternoon, I got an overseas call from my Aunt. She told me to check my BDO Account where she deposited money for the insurance premium of his son. Before going to BDO, we dropped by PETRON for gas. I looked for my SM Advantage Card (you earn points at PETRON in case you don't know) but it was nowhere to be found. Maybe it's in another bag, I said to myself. And I was right.
That night when I was fixing my bag which I was supposed to bring last June 22 for the Manila Run, my SM Advantage Card was there--together with my DRIVER'S LICENSE! That's when my knee trembled and I slumped on the bed.

Lesson # 5: When you change your bag, make sure all the important documents/things are transferred. What if the "accident" that afternoon affected cars or people? I didn't have my driver's license to show to the police! Just the thought of it caused me to shiver.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Let Me Try Again

When "Frank" came and caused some rain showers last Saturday, I panicked. I tried calling and texting Mr. Kenneth Montegrande to verify if the Manila run will be cancelled or not. It was already mid-afternoon when I finally reached him in his office. He told me that he just completed setting up the "site". I asked him if the race will be cancelled when it's raining and he was quick in answering that most runners actually enjoy running under the rain. "Nag-text na sa akin si Lord", he jested. "Hindi daw uulan bukas". Talk about positive thinking!

My cousins and I agreed that if it's not raining heavily at 4 AM, we will leave Las Pinas City at 4:30 AM. I then began preparing my stuff that I would be bringing the following day. I even pinned my RACE # 4437 on my running shirt. Since it's most likely that we'll be running under the rain, I brought a vest with hood and one jacket as spare.

I set the alarm at 4 AM but I was already up at 3:45 AM. YES! It's not raining. Yehey! But the smile on my face turned sour when upon opening my door, I heard the howling sound of the ferocious wind. Oh, no! I can't possibly run in this condition. Maybe, if I were 2 decades younger or if I'm still single with no kids--I will take the risk. But fact is, I'm half a century old and I do have 2 very wonderful children whom I'll leave behind if something bad happened to me.

I called my cousins and we all shared the same sentiments. We decided not to go anymore. It broke my heart into jagged pieces and I blamed Frank for doing that to me. I went back to bed with an aching heart. I woke up at 7 AM with an aching neck. It's because I was so depressed I didn't bother anymore to fix my pillow before I went back to bed.

Anyway, my mind drifted from my own problem when I realized the scope of Frank's wrath.
Again, my heart was pierced but this time, not for me but for those who suffered because of Frank.

My friends were curious if the Manila Run was pushed through. I couldn't answer them because I didn't really know. I tried contacting Kenneth and finally, at 2:38 PM today he informed me that they postponed the race to July 6. Whew! What a relief. I hope and pray that this time, nothing like this happen again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wish Me Luck!!!

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
--Theodore Roosevelt

This Sunday, June 22, 2008, I will be facing the greatest challenge of my life--that of proving to myself and to you, my dear blog readers--that Life, indeed, Begins at 50.

For the past 2 weeks I have been sending invitations to all my friends and relatives to join me in my daring attempt to run 5k to commemorate my golden year of existence on this beautiful planet. Dubbed as "Takbo ng Manilenyo Para sa Kalusugan, Kabataan at Kalikasan", the race will start at the Luneta Grandstand along Roxas Blvd. then U-turn at Quirino Ave.

As I have fantasized last year, the recipient of my Golden Run is the Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils. Inc.(DSAPI). Thank Gold some of those invited who can't run with me pledged their financial assistance to DSAPI. For this, I am extremely grateful although I must admit that I was initially devastated that my friends can't join me. But later I realized that their spirits are very much willing but their bodies, weak. While others can't join because of unavoidable circumstances.

So who will be running side by side with me? Well, I have successfully recruited four brave individuals: (drums roll please . . . !) My 1st cousins Junjun de Ala Muego, Wendel de Ala, Ronald de Ala de Venecia and his girlfriend Chari.

My darling children Gio and Eia promised to cheer for me. Just don't know how they could possibly get out of bed at 4 AM.

So folks, this is it . . . ! After 13 months of mental, physical and emotional preparation I will finally reap the harvest of my hard work. Pleeease pray for me and my four companions.

(Thank you, thank you Jaymie, for consistently inspiring me. This wouldn't be possible without you as my bullheaded mentor. Hope to see my IDOL in the flesh after the race. And oh, belated happy happy birthday to your one-in-a-million hubby!)