Saturday, February 14, 2009


There are quite a number of us housewives who can add “driver” to our long list of job titles. This we do almost without fail from Monday to Friday, and maybe even Saturdays when it’s time to take our kids to their ballet classes, or probably to their voice or violin lessons, maybe even drums and guitar. Or it could be soccer practice or taekwondo! Name it and we housewives have covered it!

This particular job takes a big chunk off my day, what with the increasingly clogged streets that we DumagueteƱos have to grind our teeth through! The traffic is simply horrendous nowadays, not to mention hair-raising! Have you ever tried passing through the busy roads close to bag-ong tulay or the Banica River Bridge at Angatan? During rush hours? I suggest you try it and believe me, you’ll start sighing for that Dumaguete of long ago.

I have to suffer through that traffic almost everyday. Generally, I don't mind the delay. I’m more concerned over the safety of the police trainees who are being utilized as human dividers, as MetroPost called them last issue.

Detailing these kids as human dividers is risky business. Would you allow your kid to be placed in that position? I often wondered what their parents think of this assignment. I also wondered what their school’s, or the city’s liability would be if, God forbid, they are hurt while doing this job in the name of “training”. But I’m digressing here.

I actually wanted to write about the little wish list that I have compiled as I drive around our once placid Dumaguete. Here goes:

I wish that motorcycle drivers would not drive and text at the same time! Never a day goes by when I don't see one of these morons. Not that it’s any of my business but I cant help becoming worried that they might end up looking like Humpty Dumpty (whom all the king’s men and horses couldn’t put together again) after they have smashed themselves into a post or something, or worse, cause injury on someone else for no other reason than sheer stupidity on their part;

I wish that gasoline stations would be stricter when it comes to implementing their “no smoking/no cell phones” policy while vehicles are being filled up. I’d hate to be in the car that’s next in the line if some mishap would occur;

I wish that teachers (particularly of public elementary schools) would teach their pupils how much wiser it is to walk left. We all drive on the right side of the street, right? Then pedestrians, especially schoolchildren, should walk on the left side. This would enable them to see oncoming traffic. Walking on the right side means that they would have their backs turned on traffic and therefore unable to see any daredevil on wheels who might be speeding towards them;

And not only do I wish that people would walk left, I’d like to add this little gem: I wish they they’d wear light colored clothes or shirts if they have to walk along darkened streets and highways! People in dark clothes are very difficult to spot at night. And what makes this doubly hard for us drivers is when we are temporarily blinded by the lights of oncoming cars. I’m sure that not a few of us have had the fright of our lives when we belatedly realized, after getting blinded, that there was a person casually sauntering along the roadside. After doing what we had to do in such situations, we drove on, albeit with cold sweat breaking out, pounding hearts, and a little trembling here and there. And what about our pedestrian? He merrily goes his way, blissfully unaware that he just missed meeting his Maker at an earlier date.

(To be continued.)

Thank You Teachers!!!

"Whose child is this?" I asked one day
Seeing a little one out at play
"Mine", said the parent with a tender smile
"Mine to keep a little while
To bathe his hands and comb his hair
To tell him what he is to wear
To prepare him that he may always be good
And each day do the things he should"

"Whose child is this?" I asked again
As the door opened and someone came in
"Mine", said the teacher with the same tender smile
"Mine, to keep just for a little while
To teach him how to be gentle and kind
To train and direct his dear little mind
To help him live by every rule
And get the best he can from school"

"Whose child is this?" I ask once more
Just as the little one entered the door
"Ours" said the parent and the teacher as they smiled
And each took the hand of the little child
"Ours to love and train together
Ours this blessed task forever.”
Author unknown)

Time and again, I wrote about how motherhood has brought me boundless joy. I also wrote of the depths and heights of rage and frustration that only our beloved children could make us go through.

Becoming a mother forced me to confront myself more often than I wanted to and made me face truths about myself I would have preferred not knowing … truths like frailties and limitations that I’m certain most of us would rather not have.

One is foremost in my mind right now … that I can’t be Abby’s mother and teacher at the same time. Sure, I’m her teacher about life’s basics, but I stop there.

Beyond that and it’s flying notebooks and pencil cases, broken rulers, stinging palms (mine from banging the table), hurt looks in the eyes and tears streaming all the way down to quivering lips.

I have close to zero tolerance for Abby come time to do assignments or prepare for quizzes and exams.

I lost no time seeking a tutor’s help to spare us both from this ordeal.
Realizing this, I discovered a newfound respect, profound admiration, and the deepest gratitude for everyone in the teaching profession.

If one child could drive me to the edge of sanity, I can’t even begin to imagine what thirty or so children could do to one teacher day in and day out.

And yet, day after day, they persevere. Morning after morning, they troop into our schools, as fresh as the day itself, ready to face once more, a day that only they could truly know.

William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

So as Catherina Cittadini (St. Louis) School celebrates Teachers’ Day on January 27, the feast day of St. Angela Merici, Patroness of Teachers, I join all Cittadine parents in saying … For taking their hand and walking along with us parents as our children journey towards their future … we can only say … thank you, THANK YOU!

To our Cittadine teachers

Happy Teachers’ Day!