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I HOPE I COULD STOP THE CLOCK

Prior to my return to overseas work assignment, I spent the last hours of my stay in the Philippines inside a church in Makati with my wife. Initially, I thought of watching a movie but I realized that we need a solemn moment of solitude. The last hours before my flight schedule proved to be the most trying moments of my life as if I really hope that I could freeze the clock from ticking away precious seconds of my life.

On my way to the airport, we have to go back to our house to pick up my youngest daughter to go with us during the airport send-off. On our way to the airport the rain pours as if God in high heavens is sharing with me the pain of leaving a family behind.

The car I was driving of all the times suddenly had a mechanical trouble leaving me no choice but to ask my brother to send the car back home and hailed a taxi instead in the middle of the rain pouring at intermittent intervals.

(1:30 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)

 

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 I asked my wife to board the taxi waiting at bay and to her hesitation, I reasoned that they have to go before heavy rain pours, not from above but from my eyes. 
– G Marcelo

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At the airport, I asked my wife to board the taxi waiting at bay and to her hesitation, I reasoned that they have to go before heavy rain pours, not from above but from my eyes. I pretended to be fine even though I was not. As the taxi sped away from my view, thoughts of running after the taxi to bid farewell to my wife and daughter comes to my mind but my legs and feet proved to be powerful than my thoughts. Finally, they’re gone and out of my sight, I was left alone and with a heavy heart, I dragged my feet inside the airport terminal and found myself standing aimlessly in front of an X-ray machine.

A sign visible to all incoming passengers telling us of things prohibited in all hand-carried and check in luggage. The person manning the X-ray machine ensures that all passengers pass through the metal detector and have to be stripped of metal objects. The X-ray machine scans all bags and luggage that pass though the conveyor. However what the X-ray machine and the metal detector failed to see are the tears in my eyes and my bleeding heart.

(2:10 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)

Inside the terminal, the check in counter as expected is chaotic. Passengers come and go and from the piles of passengers queuing to check in their luggage. One can easily discern a passenger on leisure trip, with a face beaming with pride and excitement from the one driven away from his family not by choice but of dire needs whose face is masked by strong determination but with a heart that bleeds inside.

At the boarding area, I saw a batch of passengers disembarking from the plane’s aisle with their face beaming with excitement to reunite with their loved ones – exactly the same euphoria I felt on my way back to the Philippines during my 2-month vacation.

(3:45 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)

The PA system announces the boarding call to remind passengers bound for Abu Dhabi to board the plane. As the ground steward announces the order of boarding by seat number, I remember praying, wishing that my seat number’s row be overlooked. As I enter the plane, my heart is pounding and my shoulder becomes heavy not by the weight of my bag but of my emotion. While the plane is on its way to the runway, I wanted to tell the stewardess to ask the pilot to stop the plane to let me out but again, reality reminds me of the need to go.

(11:45 pm: Dammam International Airport – Saudi Arabia)

I arrived in Dammam after a connecting flight from Abu Dhabi. After I checked out from the immigration counter, I saw two of my officemates who patiently waited for hours. We headed straight outside the airport terminal only to find our company car towed by airport’s park and ground employees. We found the car in the impounding area and while my companion is paying the impounding fee, I remained inside the car recalling the events that had passed for the last 24 hours.

(1:45 am: Jubail City, Saudi Arabia)

 

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 I opened my room’s window and I glanced upon the tall chimneys of petrochemical plants nearby that breaths fire in the sky. The chimney breaths fire like a dragon but the fire couldn’t dry the tears on my pillow. 
– G Marcelo

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We reached our accommodation and headed immediately to my room only to find that air-conditioning unit is not working. I opened my room’s window and I glanced upon the tall chimneys of petrochemical plants nearby that breaths fire in the sky. The chimney breaths fire like a dragon but the fire couldn’t dry the tears on my pillow. As I glance to the 4 corners of my room, I knew that I’m alone – again. My body is exhausted but my mind keeps on resuscitating the events I had during my short stay with my family back in the Philippines – sleepless in Saudi Arabia.

I don’t want to unpacked my suitcase for I was imagining that tomorrow, I will be back to Philippines and to be with my family and to never be separated from them again. But how is that? I quipped. Will I resign from my job? What shall I tell my boss? I have just arrived from a vacation then I will resign? Ok, granting my boss allows me, what’s next? Will it be “And they lived happily ever after” story? I don’t know, I just really don’t know.

(3:00am: Jubail City – Saudi Arabia)

I still couldn’t sleep so I tried to keep myself busy so as not to give my mind a chance to procrastinate. I clean the toilet seat and floors, I cleaned the room, wipe off the dust in my cabinet, on the windows, tables until I come across with files of my family’s pictures and letters from my children and wife. In one of the letters, I saw the Toblerone chocolate given to me by my daughter as her gift before my flight, at that time, I feel like dying.

I know that days before my next vacation are still far but if only God would allow me to make one wish, it would be an opportunity to work in a place where my heart is – my family. – GMANews.TV

 

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, ,

GMA to DepEd: Replicate ‘kariton’ classroom

MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo directed yesterday presidential adviser on education Mona Valisno to replicate the kariton classroom system in areas not reached by the Department of Education.

Following the worldwide recognition that CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida’s kariton (pushcart) classroom has generated, the government is now adopting the strategy to reach out to school children, especially in remote areas in the country.

Yesterday, Peñaflorida was conferred the prestigious Order of Lakandula with the rank of komandante at Malacañang for the honor he and his Dynamic Teen Co. (DTC) brought to the country on a worldwide stage. His parents, Lucila and Efren Sr., accompanied him to Malacañang.

The President told Valisno to work with non-government organizations such as the DTC and support them in education programs for children.

She said the focus should be on children from poor families who most likely would have lesser access to education.

“If Kenya was able to have success replicating the program, then there should be no reason for the Philippines not to do this too,” she said.   – Marvin Sy

 

(The Philippine Star) Updated November 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, People who inspired Us, ,

Keep Christmas ‘simple but meaningful,’ DepEd chief tells schools

MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has instructed schools to keep “simple but meaningful” their Christmas parties due to the recent calamities that struck the country.

Lapus said schools should even consider cancelling their Christmas parties and donating the funds for these celebrations to calamity victims.

“The difficult economic times call for austerity and simplicity…Much suffering has been experienced, but it should not stop us from ending the year with the spirit unbowed and full of hope,” Lapus said.

He noted that the severe difficulties during the past months brought about by the global financial crisis and by the series of typhoons have tested the Filipinos’ resiliency.

“Schools or offices which decide to forego Christmas parties (should) consider donating the savings to relief assistance for families still reeling from the destruction caused by recent calamities,” Lapus said.

Decorations should be simple, inexpensive and to the extent possible, produced by students and staff. Violators will face administrative sanctions, he added.

Lapus, through DepEd Order 114 series of 2009, said contributions for celebrations in schools or offices whether in cash or kind should be strictly voluntary.

Moreover, gift-giving should be “guided by the spirit of sharing and should not lead to extravagant spending,” Lapus said.

He said Disruption of academic activities in schools and delivery of departmental services should likewise be minimized.

The Christmas break in public schools begins, Dec. 19, 2009. Classes will resume on Jan. 4, Lapus said.

 

By: Philip Tubeza- Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filed under: Education, ,

Lapus: Let’s make television programming more child-friendly

The National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) signed today a
memorandum of agreement with the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster sa
Pilipinas (KBP) and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers
(PANA) to monitor and handle complaints against “undesirable” TV
programs and commercials that are harmful to children.

“Our television programs must increasingly become reliable resources
for learning among our children, and not a source of negative influence,”
said DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus.

Lapus added that the TV is still the most widely used source of
entertainment among Filipino children. He added that KBP and PANA
will play a major role in protecting children from TV shows and
commercials that show excessive sex, violence and other viewing fares
that are unfit for minors.

“We welcome this partnership that promotes positive TV programming
that puts premium on educational and responsible entertainment content
for our children,” Lapus stressed.

During the signing of the agreement, representatives from major
television networks were also present to discuss Republic Act 8370,
otherwise known as the Children’s Television Act.

Through the KBP and PANA, concerned TV stations and advertising
agencies will have a venue to have a “constructive dialogue” about
formulating protective measures for TV such as the Violence Rating
Code and Children’s Block Time programming or “C” Time.

NCCT Chief Jonathan Malaya called on the TV networks, advertisers
and child-focused NGOs to work together so that TV programming
contribute to the shaping of positive values, culture, and behavior among
Filipino children.

Participants in the dialogue included key KBP and PANA officials, TV
network heads and head writers of TV stations such as ABS-CBN,
GMA7 and TV5.

Filed under: Education, ,

Succeed with a Positive Attitude

Friends, please take a moment to watch this short video clip about ” Succeed with a positive attitude”. Dios mabalos!

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration,

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