The Christine Reyes in Me

Christine Reyes
My new favorite actress. Image from promotional material of her movie, Maria.

In the middle of the supporters and detractors of media giant ABS-CBN is a bold woman unmindful about the turn of events in her current network. No, she is not being ungrateful because she owes a lot to her employers whatever she is today. Nevertheless, she does not forget her humble and sometimes controversial beginnings in GMA-7, the rival network.

So, what exactly did Christine Reyes say to earn the praise of people?

“Ang bilis lumipas ng panahon. Minsan nasa taas. Minsan nasa ilalim. May kanya-kanya tayong oras. Walang permanente sa mundo. Lahat sa takdang oras may pagbabago na kahit sino sa atin ay hindi mapipigilan,” she wrote.

“Lahat tayo may kanya kanyang pag-subok sa buhay. Tatag ng damdamin at taimtim na tiwala sa itaas. Lahat ng bagay ay lilipas, sa takdang panahon. Maraming salamat ABS-CBN sa 12 taon na tiwala,” she added.

Christine acknowledges that we all go through the ups and downs in life and that nothing is permanent in the world, be it good or bad. We all go through a phase of plenty and scarcity and when the latter happens, we need to be strong and have faith in the Lord. She is grateful to ABS CBN for all the 12 years of trust.

I love how this once bratty teenager turned out to be one of the most open-minded people about the issue. No, I don’t think she is playing safe; she is being neutral and hopeful that things will turn out to be fine later.

I’d like to have her calmness and patience in these days when all we could see are sickness, death, hunger, unemployment—-all because of covid-19. It’s good to be reminded that there is God who we can always count to. We’ve become too focused on earthly affairs: earning money, attending parties, vices, focusing on our career and neglecting our loved ones. If there’s one good thing that the pandemic taught us, it is about realizing that no matter how high and might we are, no one is spared. This too shall pass.

The Good Old Sari-Sari Store

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Sari-sari” is a Tagalog word for “variety.” Hence, you can see a variety of goods from toiletries to food to drinks to laundry products to cleaning materials to e-load station to bills payment and etc. Sari-sari store represents the “masa” because we can buy “tingi” or little quantities of goods. So, instead of buying a pack of cigarettes, you can get a stick or two or any amount that fits your budget.

I grew up being Mama Dely’s (my grandmother’s sister) occasional tindera (saleslady) in her sari-sari store in Mabini Street. For Mama Dely, her sari-sari store was just her diversion and her means to socialize with the neighbors; it was not her bread and butter so it was easy for her to close the store during her siesta. Well, that would have been one of my excuses not to sleep in the afternoon so I would volunteer to take care of the store while my grandmothers were busy napping.

Admittedly, I was painfully shy when I was younger. I easily get intimidated and I had no social skills back then. But breaking free from a boring afternoon was more important to me than acknowledging my insecurities. As a saleslady, I got to know our neighbors by their first name, not bad for a shy girl. By 4 PM, Mama Dely or Nanay Bebe (my grandmother) would call me for a snack.

When Mama Dely gave up her sari-sari store for a much needed medical work up, my grandmother, Nanay Bebe took over. I was already a teenager when that happened— still painfully shy. Nanay Bebe allowed me to eat any food that I fancied but my business-mindedness prevailed—I would not let to lose our profit and capital because of voracity.

Fast forward to before the pandemic, we seldom bought at the sari-sari store. We got our stocks in the grocery store to save on time. That was aside from the diversity of brands that the supermarket could offer versus the sari-sari store. As fate would have it, we lost our normalcy since the pandemic started in March. Since then, we have been getting most of our stocks from the sari-sari store. For some brands that we prefer to maintain, we get them from a nearby convenience store like Alfamart.

The good old sari-sari store is alive and kicking during the pandemic minus the istambay (bum). As long as the owner has kapwa-tao (camaraderie), his sari-sari store will be here to stay with or without the pandemic.

Mother’s Day While On Lockdown

Mother's Day

Let us not let the lockdown dampen the Mother’s Day spirit on May 10th. Instead, let us use this day to reflect, reconnect and honor all the women who shower us with maternal love.

She could be your yaya (nanny) who takes good care of you while your parents are busy making a living.

She could be your aunt who comes to your defense when your parents are mad at you.

She could be your teacher who goes out of her way to make her students understand and appreciate the day’s lessons.

She could be your lady boss who hides under the guise of toughness but has a soft heart when it comes to her team’s welfare.

She could be your elderly neighbor who looks after you and treats you like her own child.

Not to mention, she could be your grandmother who is more capable of giving you that purest kind of love.

But of course, let us not forget your MOTHER who will move heaven and earth just to give you the life that you deserve. Your mother who is your cheerleader when you feel like life is being hard on you. Your mother who doesn’t complain and when she occasionally does, is prone to being misunderstood. Your mother who will let all her children pick the most delicious part of the viand before getting her share. Your mother who wears the same clothes for years because she wants you to have new items for yourself. Your mother who loves you with all her heart and because you know that, you tend to take her presence for granted.

Some children can afford to give money as gift. Some send flowers on this occassion. But heartfelt greetings are more appreciated because you cannot fake affection when it is not in your heart in the first place.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

GCash for Bank Transfer

GCash

It’s been less than two months since the ECQ (enhanced community qurantine) started so we need to get used to “The New Normal” because there’s no guarantee that the GCQ (general community quarantine) will have any difference when it comes to safety guidelines.

GCash has been around since 2015 but a lot of Filipinos are not yet aware of its bank transfer function. Almost 15 years ago, we can do online bank transfer through the Bancnet website but that service stopped sometime in 2007. Some banks do not allow interbank fund transfer through the ATM so what I do is to deposit the money through the cash deposit ATM—- PHYSICALLY!

Now, transferring funds to another bank is possible using a financial application software like Gcash and Paymaya. Since I am more familiar with Gcash, I cite it as an example on the poster that I prepared above.

If you are not comforable in transferring big amount of money in a single transaction, my advice is to break it down to smaller amount. For now, Gcash and Paymaya do not charge transaction fee. Even if they do, the comfort of an online transaction is a big relief for us.

Hope After the Pandemic

Covid-19

Today is the 52nd day of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Some areas have been given a general community quarantine because of the controlled Covid-19 cases but most areas are still under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) would have to assess if more areas would be given a GCQ status by May 15th.

Because “freedom” on May 16 is a little impossible on some areas like the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Luzon, people are getting worried about their fate on the coming days. On the other hand, prioritizing public health and safety is just right if the Covid cases are still high in an area.

There is hope after the pandemic. I’ve seen friends resort to first time online selling while they are on forced leave from work. Some neighbors offer delivery service to the elderly and immuno-compromised individuals for a little fee. Others cook and sell, their customers are those who are on work from home arrangement and are too busy to prepare food for the family. To beat the boredom, some people sign up to a youtube account in the hope to make it to vlogging. In short, I think that most people are on the survival mode nowadays.

The new normal is in and we are forced to adapt while the cure for Covid-19 is how many months away. After all these struggles, I believe that people will be more appreciative of life. People will be more compassionate. People will be more humble. Where do we go from here? To a better tomorrow, I suppose.