Sunday, August 31, 2014

Filipino - Wika ng Aking Lahi (In honor of Buwan ng Wika)

August is the month of our native language – Filipino. And though it’s the last day of August I’ll take this last minute chance to honor our language by blogging in Filipino.  Not an easy feat for me but one which I will endeavor in.  To my non-Filipino speaking readers please excuse this blog, maybe I’ll translate it in another post.

Hindi madali sa akin ang mag-tagalog o mag-Filipino. Kahit ako’y isang purong Pilipino, lumaki ako sa ibang bansa at doon nag-aral. Nahirapan akong matuto ulit ng salitang Filipino at kahit ngayon mas sanay ako sa wikang Ingles lalo na sa pagsulat at kahit sa pag-isip.

Marami pa rin dito sa Pilipinas na kahit hindi tumunton sa ibang bansa ay puro Ingles ang salita at pagdating sa araling Filipino sila’y nahihirapan.  Kaya’t marahil kami’y nagsasalita ng tagalog sa bahay pero may oras na nagsasalita ako ng Ingles o kaya Taglish.

Kapag kami’y nagsisimba madalas ay Ingles na misa ang aming pinupuntahan. Mas sanay pa rin ang tenga at isipan ko sa wikang ito.  Kapag Filipino ang misa, may mga salita na ‘di ko maintindihan at naiintindihan ko lamang kapag alam ko ang istorya na yun sa bibliya.  Pero may mga salita o pangungusap  na kapag narinig ko sa Filipino ay tunay na mas nararamdaman ko ang diwa ng wika.

Ang wikang Filipino ay ‘di naman mahirap pag-aralan.  Sabi ng iba mas mahirap pa nga ang salitang Ingles.  Totoo siguro at nagpapasalamat ako na meron akong dalawang wika na nagagamit at naiintindihan. May mga aralin ang mga anak ko sa kanilang silid-aralan na ‘di ko matulungan at pinapasa ko lamang sa aking asawa na mas sanay sa salitang Filipino.

Gusto ko tuloy pag-aralan ang mga hindi ko napag-aralan nung ako’y ka-edad nila. Katulad ng mga nobela ni Rizal na hindi ko napag-aralan.  Ang El FIlibusterismo at Noli Me Tangere ay dalawa sa mga gusto kong basahin at subukang intindihin.

Kahit ako’y ilang taon na naging dayuhan sa aking bansa, ako’y Filipinong tunay - sa puso’t isipan. Tinawag kong letsgopinoy itong blog na ito dahil naniniwala ako sa kakayanan ng Pilipino at gusto kong isaad ang mga karanasan ko dito sa aking bayan,  para matulungan ang ibang tao, Filipino man o dayuhan.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


I’m 44 years old.  Still young comparatively. But there are times that my body is telling me otherwise. Times when I feel a twinge of pain in my back when bending over, a recent pain in my leg after waking up one morning, but which thankfully went away after some stretching, and some tiredness during the day.

I’ve been wanting to start an exercise routine for awhile. Maybe jogging in the morning, badminton in the afternoon with my kids, but I haven’t found the time nor energy to do neither on a regular basis.  The one thing that I’ve been wanting to try is Zumba, mixing dance with aerobics.  There are lessons almost everywhere, at the QC Circle where we go during some weekends and at the covered court in Binangonan which we pass after going to church.  There are so many people, mostly women young and old attending these informal classes.

I feel a little shy to do this type of thing in public and so I did a search on zumba on youtube and found several videos.  The first one I clicked on was the right type for me, a beginner and so after the kids got out for school and I was left alone at home, I clicked on the video and followed the instructor.

It was simple but yet fun.  I’ve always loved dancing and it was just that, dancing but with a goal of strengthening body parts.  I followed the same video again this morning, but this time with my kids and husband (it being a Saturday) and though they found it fun in the beginning they gave up on it early.  I followed the video to the end and got quite a workout, actual sweating and it felt great.  So I hope to do this more regularly and maybe I’ll get enough courage to join in one of those public zumba classes.

Here's the actual link to the above youtube video: 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Passion for Photography

I have a passion for photography. And recently I purchased my first DSLR. It’s been on my wishlist for some time and when the opportunity came and knocked on my door, I purchased a second-hand Nikon D3200.  After doing my research and asking questions I figured that this was a good start for my shift from point-and-shoot.  It was only used I was told for a year and very seldom. It was in excellent condition with accessories such as a tripod, extra battery, extra memory card and camera bag. And to top it off, it was selling for a very reasonable price.  All this for P20,000 (Ph pesos). It was first offered at 25k and at the time I was still considering.  But the seller needed the money pretty badly so brought the price down further.

My mother had the same passion for photography.  After rummaging and trying to make sense of all the things that we’ve accumulated over the years, I found a great amount of pictures, in and mostly out of albums. Not only ones that I have taken in the past (this was before the digital age when pictures were actually processed from film), but pictures that my mom had taken - at work, at home, at all the events and places she had been.  So now I know where I get my clicking genes from.

I have a blurry memory of my mother having a Canon SLR in the mid 70’s to early 80’s. I say blurry because I don’t think that she ever really learned how to use it.  As proof, we have all these pictures that would’ve captured such a great memory - perfect lighting, composition and I’m certain, great smiles on those faces.  But you just could not see the expressions on those faces because they were too blurred.

So one of the first things I did when I got my dslr was to study.  I took pretty good shots with my point-and-shoot and used many of its features.  There were automatic features on the dslr and I was tempted to use them. But after reading several articles on the internet, it was strongly suggested to use the manual settings to take real advantage of the camera. Words like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc were once strangers but now they have become more familiar. 

It’s only been about two months since I purchased this camera and I’ve already taken thousands of pictures. Many are failures, but others have caused me such delight.  I look at things around me differently now, thinking how it would look like through the lens.  There are many more pictures that I want to capture.  Sure the lens that came with the camera is only the basic type, but it suffices for now.

The world around me has now become clearer and brighter.  Pictures are not only just images, but can almost be touched, heard or smelled.  The adventure has just begun with this new camera and I hope to share more of this in the future.