Monthly Archives: November 2016

Broadway Bound (Again)

Less than a week to go before our “Off to Broadway” production in Grade 1 and I’m at my wits end here.  Compared to last year, I seem to have started much earlier for this year’s preparations.  But still – somehow – I’m barely hanging.

I guess it’s the rehearsals that are getting to me.  Less than two weeks to teach new songs to two groups of pupils (ranging from 6 to 7 yr olds) for their performances is like going on a specops mission… you’re not sure how it’ll turn out but definitely hoping for the best possible outcome amidst forces you can’t control.

Anyway, November 25, 2016 is D Day.  So I’ll just have to wing it and keep my fingers crossed.

Just to keep me inspired, I’m sharing some photos of last year’s “Broadway Bound” Production.

Opening Salvo – Dance Club



Second Performance: GETTING TO KNOW YOU from THE KING AND I

Intermission with…

Our very own Fantine with her rendition of ON MY OWN from LES MISERABLES

Broadway Medley of Pippin’s CORNER IN THE SKY, Mamma Mia’s I HAVE A DREAM, The Little Mermaid’s PART OF YOUR WORLD, Hercules’ GO THE DISTANCE, and Annie’s I THINK I’M GONNA LIKE IT HERE.

Third Performance: WHEN I GROW UP from MATILDA

Fourth Performance: ONE SHORT DAY from WICKED

Special Performance: FOR GOOD from WICKED

Closing Performance: Glee Club


I take off my hat and salute all who made it possible… these wonderful people!!!


Sometimes too…

And there are times that you wish you’d be able to turn for comfort and encouragement -even just a simple return gesture – from the most unexpected places.  With the same conviction and passion to help you push forward and get past the nightmare of a mistake.

No judgments.  No comments.  No criticisms.

To be enveloped in the arms of understanding and be led back to normalcy.

I guess that’s how trauma is managed.  Be processed.  Then reenter the society.

Traumatized.  Lost.


Sometimes, the thing you’ve feared to become in the eyes of others infects you.  You end up being labeled as the thing you feared the most… without meaning to… without intending to.

A lapse of judgement… a totally unrelated huddle… misinterpreted by others.


Self-fulfilling prophecies that Mr. Subconscious takes over of.

Insignificant and worthless.

Then the inner turmoil sets in.  Rearing a beast of doubt and insecurity hell-bent in wreaking havoc to an otherwise glorious moment.  All too consuming… engulfing every ounce of joy and excitement for the fun of the game, leaving only emptiness, errors, and self-doubt.

Drowning.  Trying to reach out… clumsily failing.

No More of Them

During my senior year in High School, a classmate of mine wrote an essay weeks before graduation entitled as above.  It chronicled her thoughts about the overall make up of the class – different personalities, cliques, and the first and lasting impressions it elicits – during the first few days and the last few weeks, memorable class experiences (the almost always 4th place wins during batch competitions in singing, dancing, choral speeches), the dramas that unfold due to the chemical combo of puberty, friendship,hormones, and schoolwork (aka growing pains that somehow made each one in class become their own person), and disbelief that senior year went by too soon and would no longer endure and enjoy spending days together.

How I wished we were able to keep a copy of that simple write-up which she posted on our bulletin board.  And how I wished I could have written something that well.

Although I may never see my former classmates as often as during my high school years, reunions are usually just around the corner for meet ups (or when necessity dictates. lol).  Especially now that it’s already November.

“No more… of them…”

But November brings other memories in mind.  It’s a time to reminisce people that you see no more… of them… no matter how many reunions or homecomings I may decide to attend.

As I lay quietly in the comforts of my bed and listen to the familiar noise in my neighborhood, I am reminded of how long I’ve lived here that each residence has its own familiar “natural” sound.  Even though most homeowners are just tenants, every house has its own voice.  The quiet slam of the car doors from two doors away, the noisy chatter from visiting transients across the street, and the thundering footsteps on the second floor of the house next door are just some sounds that I have come to be familiar with in my lifetime.  But the most deafening noise I’ve heard so far is from the silence of the gates from three doors across our house – the home of one of one of my mom’s oldest friend, and my honorary aunty ever since I can remember.

The sound of her gates opening and closing could be heard even inside our own house and would usually signal to me that she’s home at night or leaving for work in the morning.  Day in and day out, it has been a part of my life.  When mom and dad would have to  be away, I’d get to stay at her house.  I learned how to play Word Factory with her and experienced my first overnights.  When her nieces and nephews would visit, I’d be invited over to play.  During parties at her house or even in her hometowns, we’d be asked to attend.  She never got married so she was like a second mom to me too while growing up.  When my mom passed away, she was also in remission due cancer of the stomach (or was it the colon).  I’d occasionally visit her at home just to keep her company while she waits for her niece, and for me to not feel lonely too during my mom’s first year in passing.  Then life progressed.  I kept myself busy but would still listen it to the rusty sound of her gates shrieking open.  Then suddenly… no more… for a really long time.  When I would call out on her… no answer.  At first, I thought she was back at the hospital or stayed for a while at their family house. Then during October last year, I called for her again (knowing October was her birthday month).  But still nothing.  It was then that my godmother from two doors away informed me that aunty Frosy passed away on September.

I never got to visit.  Not even to pay my respects or hug her and thank her.  I never even got to write about it last year when I should have.  But the words would just escape me.  I could only think of then was “No more of them.”

Home front

I am constantly reminded that I live alone.  More so lately now that I seem to be surrounded by a new set of people I’ve had the priviledged to meet.  They wonder if I’m just okay by myself and ask if don’t I ever get scared.  Honestly, for now, yes I’m fine and no I’m not scared.

Last week I had a chance to meet a Jesuit priest who was part of the school community my mom worked for during my basic education years.  Fr. was surprised to have heard that Mom and Dad passed away that the 2nd time we met up again, he kept on asking what happened and how I’m getting by.  Naturally, one day at a time.  I may not see more of them, but being where I work, seeing the people who knew them occassionally, doing the things we’ve been used to doing, and being here at home makes it easier to get things back to normal.

But nevertheless, Novembers are the toughest.  November 6, 2010 was when my dad passed away.  And since Mommy has also gone to eternal rest, visiting the cemetery during All Souls Day gets tough… especially going there alone, cleaning up, placing flowers, praying, and talking.  Nobody to share with.  And sometimes, going home to an empty house after visiting… physically reminds me… no more of them.


Just this afternoon (November 7), we laid to rest one of our co-teachers.  This one hits a bit closer to home since she was in the same grade level I’m currently assigned, and she has been one of my supporters for my Broadway Productions in Grade 1.  Seeing the events of her fall and hospitalization through other peoples eyes and mine, breaks my heart most especially witnessing the loss, the uncertainty, and the fear the family members are left with.  Stories and sorrows from friends and colleagues who, upon returning to work would definitely feel the void… the freshness of seeing no more of Tr. Jess.

Nobody said that it was easy.  Sometimes we’re only prepared to say goodbye since we know we’ll meet again soon enough… but for the long haul, it’s a scary prospect and we’re never fully ready.  Just have to take it one day at a time.

In saying goodbye, reunions, grieving, and in healing, I guess we just have to make the most of it.  The beginning may be rocky at first, and we encounter a lot of bumps in the road.  But it’s never the destination that makes it worthwhile… it’s the journey.  No more of them maybe, but it’ll be okay eventually.  Especially when they will always be in our hearts.

To Always Understand

I don’t know where to begin.

I should really be sleeping… but my mind… my thoughts are keeping me up.  It’s all just a bunch of statements, piling up one on top of the other.  Revolving around: understanding.

“I always have to understand.”

That sentence slowly crept up on me earlier like a vine making its way around a fence.  Maybe it’s a thought that has been inching its way through my psyche… or perhaps it’s brought about many random things.

I’d like to think that I am an understanding person (well… up to a certain extent) but I think it was different years ago.  Growing up as an only child, I had a nasty temper.  I’d get easily mad if someone annoyed me, cry if someone hurt me, and withdraw when I felt left out.  Without saying anything, I think i wanted everyone to conform o my preferences.  That got me a lot of scolding, a couple of physical admonitions, and a few friends.

But nature flows on its own course.  Maturity set in.  And although, I still stretch the limits in getting what I want, I somehow knew what to risk in taking the chance.  My parents were the (un)lucky ones to experience my hotheadedness (and my ex-boyfriend).  As for some of my friends, they’ve witnessed and have taken a peek on that.  Not the full onslaught (thankfully!).

Anyway, as I’ve broadened my horizon and had the privilege of exposing myself in different environments (work, organizations) and people, flairing tempers started to be kept in check, control developed, triggers were acknowledged and let go, and the importance of understanding (maybe even empathy) was learned and appreciated.  I grew up.

I guess it helped that my field of work in my different employment focused on human interaction.  That, and having loads of responsibilities as well as living independently.

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

I first heard of this from my mom.  It’s Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Effective People.  And it truly is.  It practices the Golden Rule: “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.”  So if you want to be understood, you have to give your understanding too.

But what happens… when in seeking to understand others, you can’t get your own message across because you understood their predicament as well that the issue you may have towards that person becomes negated since they may be going through a more difficult patch in their lives?

Emergencies: “Sorry, I can’t make it… I’m not feeling well.. please understand…”

Trying times: “Please understand… now’s not a good time for me…” or “You know I’m still not over you-know-who, so please don’t ask me”

Apologies: “You have to understand, I was in a meeting and had matters to attend to….” or “I already said sorry.”

So many triggers. Emergencies, Emotional Turmoil, Uncontrolled Circumstances.  Things you can’t control but understand too well that these are indeed difficult moments.  How would you be able to have the heart to share your own?  Or say that these things bother you too and affect you?  Can’t complain about these predicaments.  I just hope it’ll eventually get better soon and bounce back to normalcy.

I guess it’s not just being understood.  After all, that’s where good communication comes in and extending the same courtesy… eventually.  Maybe it’s more of being appreciated too.

If ever I may reach my breaking point and cannot put the lid on it, I’m imperfect too.

Please understand.

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