This morning, the family was deciding between Mr. Choi Kitchen and Gloria Maris Dimsum Kitchen for Sunday brunch. Being a democratic family, we opted to take a vote. VGood led us into votation.
VGood: Who wants to eat at Mr. Choi? (We raised both our hands.)
VGood: Okay, who wants to eat at MM..moria Laris?
Mom and Patch: Where???
VGood: Basta, who wants to eat in that place?
Everyone: chuckling, giggling…
Of course, Mr. Choi, as always, won. So the affair continues.
I was tagged by Auee looooong ago to list eight random things about myself. Though it took me a while, I got a bit nostalgic doing this.
1. I am the fourth in an all-girl family of six. Growing up with five other girls, in general, was wonderful. We got to share everything – clothes, shoes, make-up, and chores. Of course the middle ones (myself included) had it really bad in the hand-me-downs department. I remember being handed down those really sturdy Greg school shoes. Arrgh, the pair wouldn’t die no matter how many times I tried to assassinate it. The youngest two (sisters # 5 and 6) had it quite better because by the time the old stuff got to them, they were either outdated or worn out. So naturally, Ma bought them new stuff. *smirks*
Growing up with five other girls meant the chores were spread out, although rarely evenly. The older ones cooked, washed clothes, and fed the pigs. Yeah, we had pigs. We even had 3 favorite ones – Pinky, Dinky, and Binky. The younger ones washed the dishes, helped clean the house, did smaller chores. Of course there were lots of bickering too, but we had no choice so the chores still got done. I think it is because of this that we became better cooks than our Mom, hehe.
I love my sisters. I am happy that we were brought up in a loving environment. It wasn’t a perfect family, but our parents must have done something good with us. We have outgrown the bickering. 😛
2. I had my first perm (yeah, as in kulot hair) at age 7 or 8! Ma always brought me along whenever she had her hair done by the beautician (that’s how they were called back then, isn’t it? LOL). One day, Ma and the beautician must have thought I’d look good with short curly hair. Much like Ma’s very-adult hairdo. Now I’m thinking, maybe it was that episode in my life that determined how my hair behaves today. I remember when I was younger, my hair was straight and soft. Now my hair is wavy and, at times, unruly. Hmmm.
3. I had my ears pierced at age 22, a few days before college graduation. My friend, Kit, and I were shopping for graduation outfits when it occurred to her that my ears were virgin! She smooth-talked me: “My doctor-cousin has an ear-piercing gun. It’s not painful at all, pramis! Before you know it, it will be over.” Reluctant but excited, I obliged. So one afternoon, during a break from graduation practice, Kit and I went to the ladies’ room of the Baguio Convention Center. There she set up the gun and the pair of ear studs. When the first stud was shot into my right earlobe, I felt all of my blood rush to my face. It was so painful, I almost walked away with just one pierce!
4. I am sometimes (mis)judged as snobbish and unapproachable. I’d like to believe this is only because of my sharp facial features, and nothing else. 😛 When I was a child, I was often called by my sisters suplada, because I was. Maybe I did not completely outgrow it.
5. I have fear of earthquakes. In July 16, 1990, an intensity-7.8 earthquake hit Baguio City and a large part of Northern Luzon. (Warning: Long narrative follows. Skip to no. 6 if you wish to avoid being bored.)
It was almost 4:30 pm, dismissal time. We were having Values Education class. Our teacher, who was pregnant then, excused herself from the class to do an errand, saying she will be right back. She left us with an activity – draw an object that would aptly represent each family member. Nice, I smiled to myself.
Shortly after the teacher stepped out of the building, the quake struck. Along with my entire 4th year high school class and many other college students, I was trapped in the 5th floor of an 8-storey building which has collapsed. I remember thinking it was definitely the end of my young life. My classmates and I huddled together in the middle of the room. Praying. Crying. Looking up and waiting for the ceiling to come crashing down on us as the ground roared and the building shook.
The ceiling did not collapse, but all around we could hear glass breaking, concrete grinding, people shouting. The air was thick with dust, which made breathing difficult. When the quake, the longest 45 seconds in my life, stopped, we crept out of our classroom. The corridor was split in the middle, and hands were waving in the crack asking for help. My confused mind did not realize it then, but the whole building literally fell on the 4th floor.
The main stairways have fallen, so there was no clear way out. Our class divided into three groups – one group went to the left side to check the fire exit, another to the rear side to check the bridge that connected our building to the gymnasium. My group went to the right, where the ledge used to be. From the ledge, I saw our favorite hangout, the FRB Building, reduced to ground level. From the window at the far end of the corridor, we saw Hilltop Hotel in the middle of the City Market crumbling. We were speechless, helpless and dazed.
I don’t remember how many minutes or hours passed, but finally rescuers came. They helped us rappel down the wall with a rope. I was thankful to have gotten out of the building with just rope burns. Many had more serious injuries – a classmate’s leg was amputated. Others were not as fortunate – about 23 died in our building (according to this website), mostly in the level directly beneath where I was trapped.
For several days, the aftershocks continued, along with thunderstorms. There was no water, no power, and phone lines were out. Doomsday-sayers were going to be right, I thought. The world was coming to an end. The whole city, rich and poor alike, camped out in parks for fear of getting caught indoors with another quake. My family was fortunate to live across a park, so while we camped out, Dad was able to guard the house against looters. We ate canned sardines, canned beans, and, of course, sayote. One day, the neighborhood store-owner decided to pass around boxes of ice cream goodies as they were going to perish any moment in her thawed freezer.
On another day, my family attended the wake of a neighbor’s daughter. The girl, about my age, was crushed in their store at the FRB Building. I remember hearing news that the pretty volleyball varsitarian my friends and I so adored was also killed in that building, and that her family was holding vigil right outside, waiting for rescuers to find her body. I don’t think her body was ever found. Those were horrific, terrible times that I hope my children will never have to experience. The memories are still vivid in my mind. Up to this day, the slightest quake, whether of geological origin or just someone shaking his leg, always elicits symptoms of a panic attack in me.
*deep, deep sigh*
6. I used to play volleyball in college. Well, I never really became one of those good players who dished out mean spikes and blocks at opponents. But I did train with a group of girls every Saturday. During games, I was rarely never in the first-6 lineup. I was a good cheerleader though. haha 😛
7. I’m quite vain about my skin, but I keep my vanities within budget range. As a result, I’d usually DIY my treats. My home facial involves five steps (in this order): steaming to open up the pores; cleansing with a facial scrub or mask; massage; toning to close the pores; finally, slathing on a good moisturizer. Some of my vanity has rubbed off into my husband, who now cares that he has too much laugh/worry lines. Just today we bought a tube of cream for his crow’s feet and my eyebags.
8. I can keep secrets. If you choose to confide in me with a confidentiality clause (“Please keep this to yourself. You’re the only one I will ever tell this to. Please.Please.Please.”), you can count on me to carry your secret to the grave. (So help me God.) 😀
There, eight things about me (and then some).