Sunday, August 23, 2009

Puregold's Vs Makro

Okay, I'm in a complaining sort of mood... so bear with me as I let my frustrations out on this blog. We were on our way to Puregold Qi Central branch for our regular grocery shopping. It was a Saturday morning and was confronted with traffic as early as D Tuazon Ave. On trying to take alternative routes, we found ourselves in even more traffic. Nearing Araneta where a guard on the sidewalk informed us that the early morning heavy rains caused flooding, motioning to his waist to tell us how far the water had reached.

We then manouvered our way to a U-turn slot and decided instead to go to Makro Cubao. We reached Makro an hour later. I really do prefer to shop at Puregold's, for its cheaper prices, more variety of products and my familiarity with the locations of the products. Though at times we do have to deal with lines at the counter. Lines are a part of life, especially here in the Philippines, so we've learned to deal with the waiting.

Makro, has been in part or whole, been sold to SM, so we've heard. Some of its branches are now named Hypermart, SM's grocery store chain. Makro Cubao still bears the name. Okay, what were my frustrations? Firstly, I got a trolley that was too hard to manouver. And with my back/hip pains, I had to have Jojo push the trolley, which Benjo and Joselyn hopped on. On second thought, it would have been nice to sit in the trolley myself :) Secondly, noodles that are packed in plastic to sell as bulk items get crumbled in the process. Thirdly, it was hard finding items. Fourth, and my biggest complaint, is that while at the counter, the cashier saw that the taco shells that I bought were supposed to be packaged in 3s, but I had only picked out 2 (someone might've opened the packaging) and left the individualized boxes. I ended up getting the other box of taco shells, which was at a location at the corner of the store. It was only afterwards that I realized that we should have requested them to ask another employee to get the item. That is supposed to be their service anyway and part of what we are paying for! If that's not enough, I realize on our way home that the price of the kid's milk, was P100+ more than what we would have paid for at Puregold's or even Mercury. Oh, and as part of their (non)service, we have to load the items in the car individually, since they're not placed in plastics or boxes. Jojo had to request for a box to place the meat items so it wouldn't stain the car.

Okay, I've let it all out. Now I've learned my lesson. It may be awhile 'til we shop at Makro again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh, My Aching Back!

Okay, the years are catching up with me. I'm not as young as I once was. I'm getting back/hip pains. I know it's mainly from the manual handwashing that I've been doing, which requires me to bend over and sometimes lift the container full of water. I started feeling pangs before but today, I tried too hard when lifting the container and felt a strong pain on my left hip. It's also due to some of the other chores and the lifting that I've done in the past. The pain started this morning and it's still with me now this evening. The electric massager somewhat helped and the salonpas, which up to now I only saw mom use, is also giving me some relief.

Now, I have to be extra careful. I'm nearing 40 but that is still young by standards. I still want to live to see my children grow. But I lift that up to God and his plans for me. For my part, I will take better care of the body He has given me - eating more healthy and nutritious foods, exercising more and knowing when to stop and asking help from others.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Driving Again

They say that if you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere in the world. Well, I got to drive here! And it wasn't just those less than a kilometer trips that I've tried a couple of times in the past, nor just the manouvering of the car when we couldn't find a parking space and had to park behind another parked car, and I got the honor of going forward or backward in case the owners of the other parked car needed to leave.

I actually got to drive all the way from Quezon City to Binangonan and back again. With traffic and all, about a two-hour drive one-way. And we survived.

It was the occassion of Mark and Rona's wedding (which I'll try to blog on another day) and since many of our relatives in Binangonan would be attending the wedding that was to be held in Cavite, we brought the two SUVs. Jojo and Benjo were in the Honda, while I drove the Toyota with my co-pilot Joselyn, who was so supportive with her "ang galing mong mag-drive, mommy!" ("you drive well, mommy").

Jojo and I had our arguments beforehand when I practiced driving with him at my side after driving the kids to school. Some wives have probably had similar experiences. The more agressive Jojo wanted me to beep at the cars and overtake, etc. After our argument, saying our "sorry's", and trying to accept each others way of driving, we settled on having Jojo lead the way while I tried to follow. He wanted me to lead, but even if we've travelled to Binangonan for the umpteenth time, I still had no confidence in my sense of direction.

The hardest part of driving ended up to be ... trying to follow Jojo, who did his best to slow down and wait for me. The traffic was difficult, but it wasn't as hard as I thought, and I did find that the horn was needed mainly to warn other motorists.

There are so many things to consider when driving in Manila: different modes of autos, from the big busses that zig-zag across lanes, jeepneys who don't bother to stop on the side, tricycles that are too slow for the regular traffic that it's necessary to overtake, the pedestrians who are everywhere and want to cross wherever they choose, and the not-so-friendly streets, some with holes and others with bumps, where you have to slow down so you don't end up bumping your head on the roof of the car! Whew! If that sounds like a lot of hard work, it is!

So I'm proud to say that I drove in Manila, or to be more specific in Metro Manila and Rizal. Though I've had many years of driving experience in the US, it is only now, 7 years later, that I got to get back on the wheel. And it felt good.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Farewell Tita Cory! Thank you po!

Farewell Tita Cory at maraming salamat po! The late president of the Philippines, Cory Aquino, was laid to rest yesterday. Watching all the rites, interviews and tributes for Cory, really made me shed tears and I felt inside a sense of pride for being a Filipino. I am not alone in this feeling. This is one of the things that I admire about Tita Cory, her unique pride and courage in defending the nation and its people. When many of us are wishing and investing our futures for better and greener pastures in other nations, there are those who still keep the hope that that nation is right here in the Philippines.

I am one of those who have somewhat lost hope in our country and have become cynical of those in power and the systems that have been established. A big change from the woman of 7 years ago who had dreams of making a new start when I first came back here from the US. Hearing Cory's story brings back the hope and I have even been entertaining thoughts of re-considering our immigration to Canada, which we have been waiting for for over 4 years now.

We did not line up to view Cory nor were able to attend the funeral procession, which attracted many of our countrymen. We did however make our way to Cory's home at Time St. where a small shrine has been formed with people placing flowers, small gifts and lighting candles. We try to tell our children of the life of Cory and how important a person she was and continue to be to our country and the Filipinos.