Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas, by Jonathan Morrow

This story is so inspiring, I am re posting this from Copyblogger.

The doctor cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, but I have bad news.”

He paused, looking down at the floor. He looked back up at her. He started to say something and then stopped, looking back down at the floor.

That’s when Pat began to cry.

She’d argued with herself about even coming to the doctor’s office. Her baby was a year old, and he hadn’t started crawling yet. He tried, yes, dragging his legs behind him as he struggled to make it just a few feet on the floor, but it didn’t look right. Everyone told her that she was worrying over nothing, and maybe she was, but she told herself that she would take him to the doctor, just to be safe . . .

“Your son has a neuromuscular disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” the doctor said. “It’s a form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects children.”

Pat was speechless. Everyone had told her she was silly. She had hoped she was wrong, prayed she was wrong, but still . . . she knew.

“What’s going to happen to him?” she managed to say.

“Where most children grow stronger as they get older, your son is going to get weaker. He’ll lose the ability to move. He’ll lose the ability to breathe on his own. And one day, he’ll catch an infection that will spread into his respiratory system, giving him severe pneumonia . . .”

She held up her hand to stop him. “You’re saying he is going to die?”

He nodded. “There are three types of SMA. Caught this early, your son almost certainly has Type I. Most children with Type I die of pneumonia before the age of two.” He paused. “I’m sorry.”

Pat looked up into his face and saw that he really was sorry. It made her angry. Not because of his pity, but because in this man’s eyes, her baby was already dead.

“Don’t be sorry,” Pat said, wiping tears away from her face. Her voice was suddenly very calm.”He isn’t going to die.”

“It’s important you understand the situation, Mrs. Morrow. The pneumonia . . . he won’t be able to fight it.”

“He won’t have to,” she said. “I’ll fight it for him.”
The miracle of mothers

Over the next 16 years, I had pneumonia 16 times. But I never died. It sounds strange to say it, but my mother wouldn’t let it happen.

She orchestrated a team of more than a dozen doctors. She slept in a chair beside me in the hospital, sometimes for as many as 30 days in a row. She pounded my chest and back every two hours to loosen the mucus, covering my chest and back with bruises.

Today, at 27 years old, I’m one of the oldest people in the world with my type of SMA, and people tell me it’s a miracle. And I agree, it is. But the miracle isn’t just me. It’s a mother who fought like only a mother can to keep me alive.

By “alive,” I don’t mean just “not dead,” either. You’d think my mother would have been satisfied for me to live at home, tucked away from the world where she could protect me, but for her, that wasn’t living. She insisted that I be great.

When my elementary school principal decided that disabled children didn’t have a place in her school, my mom appealed to the school board and turned every board member’s life into a living hell for two years.

She won.

When I wanted to play basketball, she forced an astounded coach to reinvent the rules of the game so that I could be the “ball carrier” for the team, and no one could take the ball away. Not surprisingly, everyone wanted me on their team.

When I could no longer pick up a pencil, she arranged for honors students at local colleges to help me with my homework after school. I graduated at the age of 16, not only near the top of my class, but with college credit.

If you’re a mother, none of these things surprise you. Some mothers are weak, sure, but the vast majority fight for their children, especially when those children are defenseless. It’s not because they’re trying to be heroes. It’s because that’s their job.

And I think we can learn something from them. Not to minimize what mothers do, but I’ve come to believe that our job as writers is not all that different.
Fighting for your ideas

Growing up, I always had to fight to get people to listen to me.

The worst part about being disabled isn’t the pain or the struggle but how the world tries to shove you into a corner and pretend that you don’t exist. After all, what could you possibly have to contribute? You’re going to die soon, poor thing. Here’s a nice, quiet room and some morphine to ease the pain.

They don’t proactively hold you back, no, but they don’t expect you to succeed either. I’ve spent my entire life fighting against the weight of those expectations.

Like when university professors were flabbergasted when, on the first day, I asked my attendant to raise his hand, so I could answer the question that no one else could.

Or the vaguely constipated look on the face of a venture capitalist when I asked for $500,000 of startup capital for my first software company.

Or the disbelieving stares of people at a real estate conference when I gave a talk about buying million-dollar homes without even being able to get up the stairs to see the inside of them.

Their disbelief has never stopped me, of course. It’s not a matter of persistence or strength or attitude, as some people think. It’s a matter of shame.

How could I possibly look my mother and father and all of the others who have sacrificed so much for me in the eye and tell them, “I can’t?” I couldn’t bear it. The shame of dishonoring their sacrifice by giving up would poison my soul.
And so I fight

If my mother could ignore a doctor who would condemn me to death, then I can ignore my inner demons who tell me I’ll never make it as a writer.

If my mother could demand that I achieve straight As in school, then I can demand greatness from every blog post I publish.

If my mother could lobby school administrators and government agencies to get me the help I needed, then I can lobby bloggers and social media power users to get my idea the attention it deserves.

Not to imply that I’m unique, because I’m not. Yes, I’ve had to overcome a lot of adversity, but so does every creative person who wants their ideas to see the light of day.

If you want to succeed, you can’t wait for the world to give you attention the way a cripple waits for food stamps to arrive in the mail. You have to be a warrior. You have to attack with the madness of a mother whose child is surrounded by an army of predators.

Because, let’s face it, your ideas are your children. Their future is as tender and delicate as that of any newborn.

You can’t just write them down and expect them to succeed. Writing isn’t about putting words on the page, any more than being a parent is about the act of conception. It’s about breathing life into something and then working to make sure that life becomes something beautiful.

That means spending ten hours on a post, instead of 30 minutes.

That means writing a guest post every week, instead of one every few months.

That means asking for links without any shame or reservation, not because you lack humility, but because you know down to the depths of your soul that what you’ve done is good.

You have to realize that your blog is more than just a collection of ones and zeros floating through cyberspace. It’s more than the words on the page. Your blog is a launchpad for your ideas, and you are the rocket fuel that lifts them off the ground.

So burn it up, baby.

Your ideas are counting on you.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger and Cofounder of Partnering Profits. Get more from Jon on twitter.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Curly Tops, Hair Story, My story

I thought I would forever be sporting short short hair, until my employer in Saudi Arabia told me to grow my hair long as the Saudi women customers mistook me for a man or a boy with my 'crew cut'  hair and man pants.  As a photographer, it was the easiest look for me......I was one of the boys,  but because my employer required a feminine hairstyle,  I grew my hair longer.
 After my separation with my ex, I was in a hunting mode,  I grew my hair longer.  Also it was  cheaper  for me to grow it longer  as I didn't need to visit the beauty parlor or barber shop (yes I could go to either of them for my 'crew cut') once a month because I just tie my hair in a bun or ponytail.
Does your hairstyle change whenever you have

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Four Greatest Gift You Could Give Your Children

It was Black Friday yesterday.  Those of you guys who live in the U.S. of A, I hope that you got really good bargains and are happy with them.
We live in the tropical country in the Philippines, there's no black Friday for us.  We have sale everyday, though.  Some of our stores advertise year-long sale!  My daughter and I went shopping yesterday.  She bought a pair of white jeans, she calls it cigarette pants. She's lucky to have nice shapely legs and slim calves.  I told my daughter that the pair of pants is my birthday gift for her.  She raised one eyebrow to that.  She'd like an iPod for a birthday present.
These kids, they don't know how blessed they are.  In my time, if my mom gave me a pair of pants - cigarette pants or hot pants I would be jumping up and down with delight.  My Nanay  knew better,  she did not buy me those kind of pants, I am bow legged.
Kids now take for granted the things that are so valuable to us when we were young.  They take for granted having  cell phones, computer, internet, TV, etc. I would roll in pleasure if I had them at their age.
Children will never have enough material things;   they  always want  something more, they want the greatest and the latest.
I miss the days when my youngest daughter was happy and contented  to practice her creativity with photo editing.  She inserted her picture in the Microsoft wallpaper below when she was eight years old. 

For her coming birthday, I  would like to give something that is more lasting. I kept thinking what would that be. As usual when you ask the universe,  answer come naturally.  Recently I attended a parenting seminar given by my youngest daughter's school.
I confess, I am usually bored with these kind of seminars.  I sometimes go and ......cheat, like I attend the morning seminar, check in for the attendance then I don't go back for the afternoon session.  But I was bothered by my daughter's latest grades.  I thought I will be able to talk to her teacher.   We are not happy with her grades.  Yes, She moved from no. 12 to number 11 in her class ranking, but we are not satisfied with her grades.  Dave, the first time father has a high expectations of our daughters, his instant daughters (he adopted them after we got married).
Dave is a Mensa member, and even without studying his lessons in school, he breezed through high school, college and even studied Law after he graduated in engineering. 
I am not the Mensa type, I had to study 'hard' in order to have high grades in school.  The only remarkable thing about me is I love studying, so it was not hard work to study, unless the subject is Math, for it needs more time for conditioning.   I realize now I was  a nerd.  Where other students loved traipsing around in our small barrio, going to the river for a swim or to town plaza to watch basketball games,  I was perched on one of  our guava  trees, or on top of the bodega roof (the stockroom for sugar cane fertilizer),  eating guavas and studying, eating guavas and daydreaming while lying on the roof.  These were my pastime -  eating guavas with a book or notebook in hand, I studied or reviewed my lessons in school, or read my Tatay's Reader's Digest, Newsweek and Time magazines or my Nanay's Liwayway, our local magazine in Tagalog,  The benefits were:
1) I was  always way ahead of our school lessons
2) I always beat the birds in eating ripe guavas
4) Between the birds and myself, no guavas fell and rotted in the ground.
3) My teeth are so strong from eating guavas
4) I was not vitamin C deficient at all.
Enough of guavas and birds.
Back to the  seminar which  I attended.  Mr. Ernest Tan, of Ateneo De Manila University, the author of Your Greatest Gift to Your Greatest Love, was the speaker.  He looked nerdy, he was funny, and never was a dull moment in his seminar.   I did not cheat by running out of the seminar during lunch break. Below is the gist of his morning seminar:
Four greatest gifts you could give your child:
      1) Self worth
a) This is the foundation of success in work and relationship.
b)  Success has nothing to do with grades.  The important thing is confidence.
c)  Teach self-discipline.
d)  Teach intrapersonal skills,  this can not be tested.
e) Grades are relative.
 These are all better said than done.  If I see  grade of  like 77 to 79 I get pissed off. 
2)   Healthy sense of sexuality
Teasing is another form of violence.  We did not delve on this.  He postponed this topic 'til next seminar.   

3) Teach your children effective coping skills. 
a) Give them roots and wings.
b) It is the foundation of strength amidst diversities.
c) Don’t be so over protective.
d) Love your children, good grades or no.
4)   Build your child’s character 
 a)  It is the foundation of basic goodness and integrity. 
 b)  Discipline by consequence, e.g.  give her allowance for one week and if she finished that in one day, don’t give her more money.
 c) Give tough love.  You're tough but remain loving.

Do you think these are good gifts?  I think they are.  Starting today and for the rest of her school life, I would try hard not to scream at my daughter for not doing her English and Math exercises.  I will not think of it as a personal affront.  I would feel sad because it is  the opportunity to study that she missed. 
But yes, as usual, no TV, no computer until she’s done with her household chores,  and Math and English exercises.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a good excuse for not updating lately.......I have been very busy lately with my article writing for oDesk.  This is a new job for me, the first time I am paid for writing. This is another wonderful  reason to thank God  this thanksgiving day. 

I miss you guys and I will be reading your posts soon, and I intend to keep the discipline and update my blogs regularly. 

For now, let me greet you Happy Thanksgiving.  May you have the most delicious stuffed turkey ever.
The thing that I love most during thanksgiving  is pumpkin pie. Yum.  I will be visiting Marguerite in her  Cajun Delights (see my blog buddies) and dream that I am in your house in Louisiana and enjoying your goodies.

See you later :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

12 Things About My Dad - You Are tagged, Write 12 Things about your Dad, too

This is spin-off to my notes entitled the same in my Facebook account. Emotional reactions poured because people remembered how they were with their dads too. You dear gentle readers, I tag you to write 12 things about your dad too.

12 Things About my Dad

At right is our family picture when I was the 'only girl', (peace,  Jo and Maritz :)  before my two younger sisters were delivered by a stork :)

1. We call him Tatay. He liked it that way.
Tatay is a Tagalog word for Dad, you've guessed that right. When I was young, I asked Tatay why other kids call their dad Daddy or Papa. My knowledgeable mom or Nanay as we called her, answered for him, "Because I believe only rich people should call their Tatay Dad or Papa". That's a stereotype attitude, an offshoot of colonial mentality - only rich people speak English.   So whether Tatay would like to be called Daddy, Papa or Tatay is out of the question..  Nanay  liked it that way, he liked it that way too.  Did I say that sometimes he's a henpecked husband?  

2. He assured me I was so "guapa guapa gid" (very pretty) when I was a young girl as people compared my looks to my mom  who was a beauty.
I always felt insecure with my looks.  I hear friends and relatives telling each other I don't look like my parents at all.  They say Nanay has dark 'Turkish'  looks.  Don't ask me how this is possible.  Tatay is a "small American", as his mom, my grandmother,  lovingly described him.  He was very fair, until he became so tanned from years of riding his motorbike.

Tatay (Right) with a friend

He loved and was so proud of his 'American Legion uniform'. 

3. He was so proud of all of us.
He'd tell his friends all of our accomplishments, big or small.
Nanay always related to us how Tatay would brag about us with his friends and relatives.  Our accomplishments are feathers to his cap.

4. He loved to tell jokes, and laughed at his own jokes.
There were times  he was not able to finish telling his jokes, he'd be overcome  with laughter and his audience would laugh with him and at him because it's funny how he'd guffaw and shook with laughter with his own jokes.

5. He loved being a politician (a small time politician, from Barangay Kagawad or Councilor to becoming a Barrio Captain).
He  loved giving looooong speeches during school graduations, barrio fiestas, etc.  People were so conditioned of him giving very long speeches that seeing  him on stage and hearing his voice would trigger instant sleepiness.
Tatay as the guest speaker in a Graduation Ceremony

6. He made me feel I was his favorite child, then later I found out each one of us,  especially  the daughters, felt that way too.
It's strange how he did this, he did not tell me I was his favorite child, but I always though he treated me more favorably than the others......until my sisters told me they thought they were more favored too. 

At right is Tatay and our youngest sister, Maritz.

7. His best facial feature were his eyes.
They were light brown and when he'd look at women, my mother said that it made each woman feel she's so special. His eyes turned reddish brown when he was angry, so Nanay knew he was angry even if he did not say anything.

8. He's a good street boxer, he'd fight with anyone, even those who were bigger than him when he knew he was wronged.
I remember a neighbor who after years of secret jealousy of my dad, went amok and fired shots at our house when he was so drunk.  Tatay had me and Nanay hide. He did not fire back even when he had his own gun.  The next day, when the neighbor was sober and walking towards his house, Tatay confronted him on the street.  Tatay confiscated the neighbor's gun as he had no permit to carry deadly weapons.  He then challenged the neighbor to a fist fight.  The foolish and arrogant athletic neighbor who is a head taller than Tatay took up the challenge and had the scariest open gashes on his face.  Tatay sent him to the hospital first, then filed a case against him, then sent him to jail.  The neighbor cried and asked for forgiveness, and after two hours, my father forgave him and had him released. 

9. He had several guns. He had license to own and carry weapons even though he was a civilian.
I think he was able to justify the possession of deadly weapons because he went  to the bank in the city every week to give salaries to the hacienda laborers. He used to be the hacienda bookkeeper.  The arrogant neighbor mentioned above was the hacienda administrator. 

10. He was slim all his life.
My sisters and he borrowed each  other's  jeans  when my sisters were teenagers. I was not able to enjoy that because I studied in the city (Manila)  and they were in the province.

11. He had a very solid voice and although he was short, about 5'2'', his voice could be heard 200 meters away in all directions if he felt up to it.
Everyone of us inherited that solid voice. Translation: Be careful not to piss us off, we could shout very very loud.

12. He taught us to be very courageous, to stand up to what is right and to protect and take the side of the underdogs.
In the times when I was emotionally and physically challenged, I would say to myself, "I could do this, I am Mating's daughter, I am brave, I am strong".  BTW, my father's name is Matias, his nickname is Mating.   

Tatay died in 2003, while I was working in Saudi Arabia.  I could not go home. My employers in Saudi Arabia did not think that sickness and death in the family was a good reason for taking a leave to go home before the contract is over. Tatay  got sick and was bedridden for a month. He had all these tubes in his body and he kept  disconnecting them. He said that he'd rather die than be dependent on tubes for his life.  My sisters had to hire two able-bodied young men to keep him from disconnecting all these tubes.  Mercifully, he did not suffer long.  I regret being not able to tell him how I love him, how I appreciate him taking care of all of us.  I thought that the money and gifts  I sent them were enough, were understood as my gesture of love and appreciation.  I was 'macho' like Tatay, who could not say I love you to  parents, sisters brothers, relatives and friends. 

Why is it so hard to express our loving feelings.  If we are angry, most us us don't mince words to say I hate you. Why is hard to say I love you.  Why is it hard to verbalize the appreciation for each other.

Before my time is over (that would be a looong long time yet),  I would like to say to all of you, my loved ones, my friends, my relatives, my followers on this blog, I appreciate how you value me, I like how you make me feel important, I  love your presence in my life,  I love that you give some time for me even with your busy schedules, I LOVE YOU.

Fathers, how do you raise strong children? This is a book for you, and to friends and loved ones of fathers, this is a great gift for fathers: 
To encourage and guide men in becoming the dads they want to be, Michael Farris addresses issues common in all families with daughters: friends, dating, personal appearance, and preparing for the roles she’ll have as a woman. Michael Farris challenges fathers to take their unique opportunity to train daughters for life’s challenges—in ways that only a dad can. Originally published as How a Man Prepares His Daughters for Life, it now includes new material on relating to an adult daughter. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Idiomatic Expressions, PC Lingo, Chat and Texts Language, Emoticons, etc.

What can be harder than having discussion with your husband about the trip to Snake Island when distractingly he says, "I'd throw in the towel on this manuscript, I can't smooth out the rough apples.   That rhymed fine, but it's painful.  For one, we have only two brand new  fluffy pastel towels.  All the rest are fluffy and stained pastel towels.  Blame that on my hair's henna wax treatment. I have completely forgotten the Fuji apples, tsk tsk, I hope they have not rotten yet.

Okay, okay. Now you can surmise  my husband is an alien I am an alien.   Do you speak American?  I do, I also speak Filipino or Tagalog, and Ilonggo too, and some sprinkling of French, Spanish and Arabic.  Don't we all do?  But do we all understand the  idiomatic expressions devised by  the native speakers so  it would be easier to spot the aliens aside from spying them beamed up to their mother ship.  To make life harder now,  we also have PC lingo, chat and cell phone texts language and computer speak (did I  invent that term).

I compiled a few idiomatic expressions and used them in a sentence:

A1 - if something is A1, it is the very best or the finest.
Wife after receiving her monthly allowance from husband: "Sweetheart, your A1".
In a street in Saudi Arabia:  "Filipina, you're number 1", the man in Thob inside a Porsche car shouted.
Beat a dead horse - to engage in pointless and repetitive discussion
"The camel's dead, do you think it would come back to life if we beat a dead horse?",  the Bedouin  asked his wife.
Crash - to go to sleep
My computer crashed, I might as well crash too.
Over the hill - to be past (your) the prime
These steaks  are over the hill, my husbands been aging then for a week now. 
Rub someone in the wrong way - to annoy someone
Rob my neighbor, rib my enemy, you don't rub me in the wrong way, ever.
Age before beauty -  this idiom is used in a way of allowing an older person to do something first, though often in a slightly sarcastic way.
Hey, don't look at me.

PC Lingo
Elvis year - the peak of something's popularity
My husband's Elvis year is when he married me, ahem.

Plug-and-Play - a new hire who does not need any training.
A newly married guy is boasting to his friend, "My wife is plug-and-play, she does not need any training in bed.
Under mouse arrest - getting busted for violating an online service's rules of conduct.
Shit, my Farm Town is under mouse arrest, somebody must have clicked Report Abuse.
Cobweb site - a site that has not been updated for a long time, a dead web page.
I am updating, alright, don't call my blog a cobweb site yet, huhuhu.
404 - someone's who's clueless, from the Worldwide Web message, "404, URL not found", meaning that the document you've tried to access can't be found.
Don't ask me for more PC lingo, I am a 404 girl.

Chat Speak/ Cell Phone Text Codes 
Here are some of them:
AAK - Alive And Kicking
ADN - Any Day Now

AFAIK - As Far As I Know
AFK - Away From the Keyboard
BCNU - I'll Be seeing You 
BWL - Bursting with Laughter
BBL - Be Back Later
BBS - Be Back Soon
BFN - Bye for Now
BTW - By the Way
btw -   between you and me
CID - Crying in  Disgrace
CRS - Can't Remember Sh**
CYA - See you
EG -    Evil Grin
EOT - end of thread, meaning End of discussion
FWIW - For What it's Worth
GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
HB - Hurry Back
HHIS - Hanging Head in Shame
IGP - I Gotta Pee
IMCO - In My Considered Opinion
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IRL - In Real Life
JAS - Just A Second
JK - Just Kidding
KIT - Keep in Touch
PITA - Pain In The Ass
PPL -   People
TYT - Take Your time
WTH - What The Heck, or substitute H with F
YR - Yeah Right (sarcastic)
YW - You're Welcome

:-|      Ambivalent
o:-)   Angelic
>:-(   Angry
:-[{}  Blowing a Kiss
\-o    Bored
:( )    Can't Stop Talking
:'      Crying
:"-)   Crying with Joy
:-*     Drunk
{{{name}}} Cyber hug
{{{{{{name}}}}}} Warm Cyber Hug
{{ }}:**   Hugs and Kisses
:-#     Lips are Sealed
:~/     Mixed up
:-\      Undecided
Lastly, here's a cool way to have your computer  speak to you, worship you or make it tell you just about everything you like :)

This a super nice feature of Windows that can be abused so that you can make your computer talk or speak whatever you tell it! This method takes advantage of a built-in API installed on most Windows XP machines called SAPI (Speech Application Programming Interface). The Microsoft Speech API is what is used for the Narrative accessibility feature built into Windows. You can also write programs that call the API, which would allow you to let your applications speak. But making your computer say what you want is pretty easy actually! Here’s how you do it: Step 1: Open Notepad and paste the following text into a new document: Dim message, sapi message=InputBox(”Enter the text you want spoken”,”Speak This”) Set sapi=CreateObject(”sapi.spvoice”) sapi.Speak message   After copying and pasting the above, go back and retype all the quotation marks, as they don't save right.   Now when you go to save the file, give it any name, but make sure you also type .VBS after the name. Also, for the Save as type box, choose All files instead of the default Text Documents. Now double-click on the VBS file and you should see a input box where you can type in the text you want spoken! Go ahead and type something and click OK. That’s it! Your computer will speak to you in the default voice.  Some find the voice scary, some find it seductive.  I like it when it tells me, "Rich and famous Malou, I am giving you a million dollars to dine with me."  It even pronounced my name right!  What about yours?    If you did not understand  the above instructions above, go here:

Do you have new text/chat codes or emoticons to add?

Online Job for All. Work from home computer.

Would you like to be more internet savvy? Here's a practical Internet Dictionary for you: Review "A living dictionary devoted to the often cryptic and comedic vocabulary of the Internet, which is evolving at record speed." -- PC Magazine Product Description With emphasis on the personal, business, and technology aspects that make using the Internet so unique, this handy reference presents more than 2,500 computer-related terms and industry-specific jargon for anyone who needs to learn the new language of the Net. Newbies as well as techies will find commonly used shorthand, modern office phrases, and a large collection of emoticons and ASII art. An index sorts the terms into 10 popular categories with a complete list of international country codes and file extensions.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Despite Typhoon Santi, Happy Halloween

Today, I found in my Yahoo inbox some  guidelines on how to prepare for yet another strong typhoon, Santi,  international name is  Mirinae.  Pagasa, the local weather bureau, predicts that the eye of the typhoon would be passing through Metro Manila, bringing in strong winds of up to 180 km/h (signal no. 3) and heavy rains. The eye of the storm is expected to make landfall over Infanta, Pampanga, Zambales,  etc.  It's going everywhere we're going! So I should prepare for the storm.
Here are some of the general guidelines they gave:

1. Review family emergency plans - We don't have plans at all, our family members are scattered in all the areas to be hit by the typhoon.  Although I could make  plans  to go to the U.S. right now,  my husband would not like to hear foolish plans like that.  He likes to live in a tropical country.

2.  Ensure adequate water to last for several days - Um, yes. Yesterday we had our big container of  "purified drinking water" replenished.  I just don't know if they'd  come back again for more replenishment later.  I think I scared the delivery man when he asked for payment two deliveries ago.  "This is supposed to be free now", I firmly told him.  "Every 6th delivery we get 1 container free".  That's their promo, but just maybe I scared him when I also taught him how to use our doorbell so he does not leave the container on the doorway, and of course I told him I am not paying him, NO WAY!!!!

3.  Have adequate amount  of cash on hand - I hope so. My daughter is very good at milking money from me  'till the last drop.  Imagine every day, she'd demand. "mom, I did the laundry last weekend, please pay me P70 as you promised", or "Mom, I swept the floor of the dining room, living room, kitchen, your bedroom, please pay me P45", and other payments for jobs done. What a brat!

4.  Have a supply of candles and matches - Oh I could be awarded for readiness concerning those things.  I always use black candles and matches  whenever I do the ceremony of piercing needles on my New Orleans voodoo doll.  My doll's name is Yasmin, the same name that my neighbor has.

5.  Check windows, door and roof - Yeah yeah.  The last time I checked my windows, no neighbors went to the pool, too windy.  The roof, I always go out with my broom via our roof every night. And the door, it's always closed lest my neighbor and her partner fight again and we don't like  be to be asked as witnesses for homicide. 

6.  Seek temporary shelter during the storm - As I said we're all in the eye of the typhoon, unless you,  dear reader,  invite us to your home,  in Las Vegas, maybe? 

7.  Prepare an emergency kit containing toiletries, medicines, important documents (in plastic bags), extra  clothes and if possible basic  bedding.  - Gosh I have to do this.  Kidding aside I better stop goofing around and prepare myself, I hear strong gusts of wind in our kitchen.

But before that, let me be socially  relevant and get into my Halloween costume.  Sorry folks, I don't like to smear my flawless face with ketchup or any other gooey stuff  for blood.  My wrinkles should be enough, I am retaining my beautiful face:

Ok, that's Angel Locsin's picture which I tweaked in Photoshop.  Angel Locsin played the local super heroine, Darna.  Darna is also Narda, a simple village girl who swallows a white stone (don't, just don't swallow a common white stone, buy a talistone from me...maybe it could transform you.....)  to transform herself to Darna in order to fight the common criminals,  enemies with super powers - the likes of snake woman or Valentina, Babaeing tuod (the tree monster), etc.
Darna is a comics character created by the novelist Mars Ravelo.  The name of the super heroine is originally Varga.  She made her debut in Bulaklak Magazine in  1947 and became a household name. Later, Mars Ravelo had a fallout with the magazine and had to leave.

Since the  magazine bought the rights for Varga, he renamed his super heroine to  Darna.  He also got himself a new illustrator (he used to illustrate his own stories).  Compare the illustrations above by Nestor Redondo to one at the right by Mars Ravelo. Nestor Redondo  was more illustrative, not cartoony like Mars Ravelo. 
So many local movie stars portrayed Darna on films as well as on TV. . Below are the recent movie stars who played Darna:  Angel Locsin (left) and Marian Rivera (right).  I know,  I am the best Darna.
Dear gentle reader, who do you like best, Angel Locsin or Marian Rivera? 
The current Darna TV series is portrayed by Marian Rivera, Valentina is portrayed by Iwa Moto (right of Darna) and Valentina's father Paulo Contis (left of Darna) who played the alien, one of the  Anomalkans.
Darna's number one enemy is Valentina, the snake woman, who is helped by her father. If you go to my other blog site, Swimming and Floating, you'll find Valentina  with her snake head. Oh, just as I was writing this, a good ole neighbor Chris passed by and scared us with his Dracula costume. Here he is:

Happy Halloween everyone.  May Santi and other typhoons be scared and not come back for thousand years to come.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Know How to Swim? You Must Be Kidding!

"Let's go swimming, Babe", your bf may invite you. If you're a Filipina, 6 out of 10, you'd say, "but I don't know how to swim."

He'll surely shout, "Baloney, you don't know how to swim, your country is surrounded by waters, (and sometimes full of flood waters too). Your country is comprised of 7, 107 islands, has 47 rivers, has at least 24 famous beaches, and you have about 574,000 fishermen (one of which could be your relative) , surely you know how to swim,".........or maybe he'll just say, "Crap, we met by the river bank and you say you can't swim?", or worse, he might say, "learn how to swim now so you won't drown in flood waters."

Truth be told, we are modest people. If we hear the word "swim", we take that to mean, the Olympic crawl, or the breast stroke, side stroke, back stroke, butterfly stroke or the freestyle . Nobody told us that our dog paddle style is actually a swimming style as well. Foreigners find it ridiculous if they hear us say we don't know how to swim, we're too afraid to swim, etc. Actually, we fear that people would laugh at us if we don't swim as good as Michael Phelps or even our local Miguel Molina or Christine Jacobs.

Most of the time, we fear getting our skin dark too, so don't invite us to swim at noon time, it's counter productive to the bleach we applied to our skin .......joke! Lately, some of us use Glutathione to make our skin whiter, but that's beside the point, or that's another blog subject - why Filipinas like to have a whiter skin.

Learning how to swim is easy, it's supposed to come naturally, that's why babies learn to swim fast.

Isn't it that when we were in our mom's womb, we were on swim mode? I don't remember it myself, so just to be safe I learned how to swim at one of our country's finest swimming school, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

It's not that I don't know how to dog paddle, I am champion of that, especially making loud splashes and going down the bottom of the pool or river and not breathing for three seconds. So don't make a mistake of challenging me to a swim race, I will out swim you, by speed or distance, I kid you not.

Most of us could at least swim with pride across the swimming pool doing the crawl without breathing at all, and if nobody's looking we could actually dog paddle 'til the end of the swimming pool. Babies and young children who don't know any better do that without fear of being laughed at, "heheheeee, she swims like a dog," or "hahaha, the way she splashes the water, the pool will soon run out of water." That's a terrible thing to hear for fragile creatures like us. So we'll just say, "can't swim".

Do you know how to swim? If you have no practice swimming, or you're too scared to swim, the most practical thing to do is to have a swim coach. A local YMCA or YWCA will usually have one. If Pamela Anderson has time off her promotion of vegetarian food and if the price is right, I am sure she would teach you too. It would help a lot too if your YMCA or YWCA has a swimming pool.

Our first lesson from our swim instructor was to practice doing "bubbles", breathing-in above the water and breathing-out in the water, making bubbles. This is a great thing to do as it adds to your happiness to see and make bubbles under water. Added benefit of this exercise is to make you practice to breath out with your mouth under water and breath in with your nose over water, thus avoiding the bad habit of drinking as much pool water as you want, especially when you're thirsty. Next was holding on to the gutter while practicing the kicks, "not bending the legs from the knees, but kicking from the hips". When we learned this to perfection, we then swam across the pool with leg kicks only (or hip kicks?). The next lesson was to swim across with our hands, doing the crawl without the leg kicks. We isolated the movements to confirm our suspicion that one could actually swim and float using either hands only or feet only. The next lesson was practicing the coordination of breathing, crawling and the leg kicks. Sounds complicated but with enough practice, patience and hundred liters of swallowed pool water, you'll learn in time.

For those who already learned to float or to dog paddle, the internet has wealth of how to's on swimming. These two sites offer very good advise on doing the crawl, the first one even has a video:

Once you learn the crawl, you might like to show off with the butterfly stroke. Here's the best site on learning how to do the fly:

I did not include sites which teach the breast stroke because that's my most favorite stroke, and I feel that I should personally teach you how to do it. Plus there are gazillion ways how to breast stroke.

My ambition in life is to show off my thin butt while doing the flip turn. Flip turns are not allowed in a swimming race but it's so cool to look at them butts while swimmers do their lapping. Here's a good site to learn it:

Did I learn the flip turns through this site? Nah, my small nose gets so filled up with water; I also lose my sense of direction and swim towards the wall and bump my head......

I don't lose hope, though. As in anything and everything, practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect......

So tell me, how did you learn to swim?

Useful sites:

This will help you:

Review By
Lucie Melahn (Arlington, VA USA) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons (DVD)
This DVD has completely transformed my swimming. I'm 42 years old, in decent shape but not an athlete. Back in October I took up swimming after a running injury. My first time out, I struggled to swim just a few laps, was gasping for air, and even panicked mid pool. Based on Internet recommendations, I got this DVD. Within two weeks I was swimming 30 minutes at a time without struggle. Now it's the end of January, and this evening I swam 1.25 miles with only a few stops, without struggle or fatigue. This DVD has completely transformed my swimming. It's the best $36 I ever spent. I went from hating swimming to loving it.

Online Job for All. Work from home computer.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Smell of Orchids, A Ghost Story

It's almost Halloween, er, almost All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2) , and Nanay (mother in Filipino language), visited me. Oh, I guess not only her, but my aunt as well. You see, it's my Auntie Charing's birthday yesterday. Nanay and she always had that love/hate relationship but last night they were united in scaring, er, visiting me. They are finally together, in heaven and literally inside the tomb. Their bodies or bones are together. That's the beauty of above ground tomb here in the Philippines (just like the cemetery in New Orleans ( where our thoughtful tour guide took us. She thought above ground tombs were something unique to include in the tour, until I told her I am a Filipina. "Oh, you have the same type of cemetery," she admitted. You see, in that kind of cemetery, you could squeeze 10,000 bodies in a tomb, as long as you do it in interval of five years. Five years because you have to wait 'till the bodies are no longer bodies but bones only. Nanay had a perfect timing, as Auntie Charing died and was burried in 2000. Auntie Charing has a big space for Nanay. So I should tell our sick relative, "wait for five years or more if you want to lie with Nanay and Auntie Charing."

Seriously... Here is a question for you -- how can you bury more than one family member in each vault? How can a tomb hold all of those coffins? According to a local ordinance, as long as the previously deceased family member has been dead for at least two years, the remains of that person is moved to a specially made burial bag and put to the side or back of the vault. That coffin is then destroyed and the vault is now ready for the newly deceased family member. What happens if a family member dies within that two year time restriction? Generally, local cemeteries are equipped with temporary holding vaults and the newly deceased family member is moved into their final resting place when the time restriction is met.

Usually though, with rich folks, there's no such thing as tomb-sharing. Each one has a privacy of her tomb, or even a mausoleum.

At right is your typical American or western cemetery. We have that here too at our American-Philippine Cemetery, but this is not the typical Philippine cemetery. At left is the most famous mausoleum of the country.

This is our typical cemetery, just like the cemeteries in Mexico, Spain and that cemetery in New Orleans. This is also the typical Catholic cemetery.

Back to my ghost story, I smelled orchids for about 30 minutes. I had this conversation with myself....."hmmmn, this is a lovely smell of jasmines at the poolside, just luv it.....jasmines..... no, they're orchids......" I kept surfing the internet...then again something was not quite alright......orchids? There are no orchids here. Ayayayyy, Nanay must be here......then the smell of orchids was gone. That's how ghosts visit, I was told. Once you are aware of them they disappear. Of course I heard other ghost stories where the ghost float around in white dress or have all your things flying around you, then you puke green gooey stuff, or sometimes ghosts eat all your goodies inside your ref......but Nanay, and Auntie Charing love me (I hope) so no such things happened. So why the visit? It's a Philippine culture thing to offer mass, or light a candle, pray for the dead, especially so during the All Souls Day. That's why it's holiday here on those days. You could also have a family reunion in the cemetery as everyone visits the tomb of the loved ones, bringing food, sometimes music - complete with loud speakers. And yes, bring flowers for the dead too, they could not eat your food but I think they could smell the flowers. Nanay and Auntie Charing both loved orchids. At Nanay's wake, my sister, Maritz, persuaded us of covering Nanay's casket with flowers, mostly orchids. Sure, I said, what is extra thousand or two for Nanay's happiness. Nanay was a fragile woman, in sickness and in death, having been bedridden for one year before she passed away. But when she was in her prime, we exercised together doing the shoulder stand and bicycle-on-air, we baked goodies together, we rolled in laughter for shared jokes and insults. She is the most beautiful mother in the world for me. Honestly, she was also the most beautiful corpse I've ever seen. The make-up artist did a good job in doing her makeup and hairstyle. No picture here, as we did not take picture of her in the casket. We know that Nanay would like to be remembered when she was young and in the peak of her beauty. You see the reason why we three sisters are vain is Nanay taught us the importance of making a good impression by being well-groomed and just ........being beautiful.
Oy, don't laugh that hard...........My sisters are so pretty, not joking here.

Carpe Diem, I had to speak to Nanay, I told myself, so I did. "'Nay, help me become a millionaire, give me the right numbers for lotto." Then I remembered, two nights ago I also had a dream about her. In my dream she was with our "prodigal" brother in the hospital, he was tending to her, seated beside her bed and keeping vigil. You see, our brother was not able to visit her in hospital nor was he able to come to her interment. He lives in another planet, namely Bacolod, that's in the south -- 45 minutes away in airplane ride or 18 hours away in ferry ride. He has his reasons, who am I to judge.........."Edwin, abaw gid ah!!!" (Edwin, you're something else).

To end in a happy note, here are ghost jokes for everyone:

  • Q: Where do baby ghosts go during the day?
    A: Dayscare centers.
  • Q: What kind of mistakes do spooks make?
    A: Boo boos.
  • Q: What does a ghost eat for lunch?
    A: A BOO-logna sandwich.
  • Q: Where do ghosts go on vacation?
    A: The Eerie canal, Lake Eerie ! or Mali-Boo
  • Q: What's a ghosts favorite ride at the carnival?
    A: The roller ghoster.
  • Q: Where do ghosts buy their food?
    A: At the ghost-ery store.
  • Q: Where do ghosts mail their letters?
    A: At the ghost office
  • Q: What kind of street does a ghost like best ?
    A: A dead end !
  • Q: What did the baby ghost eat for dinner ?
    A: A boo-loney sandwich !
  • Q: What do you call a ghost's mother and father ?
    A: Transparents !
  • Q: How did the ghost song and dance act make a living ?
    A: By appearing in television spooktaculars !
  • Q: Why are ghosts bad at telling lies ?
    A: Because you can see right through them !
  • Q: What did the ghost teacher say to her class ?
    A: Watch the board and I'll go through it again !
  • Q: What is a ghost's favourite day of the week ?
    A: Frightday !
  • Q: Where do ghosts get an education ?
    A: High sghoul !
  • Q: What did the polite ghost say to her son ?
    A: Don't spook until your spooken to !
  • Q: What do you call a prehistoric ghost ?
    A: A terror-dactyl !
  • Q: Who speaks at the ghosts' press conference ?
    A: The spooksperson !
  • Q: What should you say when you meet a ghost?
    A: Howdo you boo, sir?
  • Q: What kind of mistakes do ghosts make?
    A: Boo boo's!
  • Q: Why did the ghost go to the amusement park?
    A: He wanted to go on a rollerghoster !
  • Q: When does a ghost have breakfast?
    A: In the moaning.
  • Q: What's a ghost's favorite breakfast?
    A: Ghost toasties with booberries, Scream of Wheat or Dreaded wheat !
  • Q: What do ghosts drink at breakfast?
    A: Coffee with scream and sugar.
  • Q: What is a ghost's favourite dessert ?
    A: Boo-Berry pie with I-scream !
  • Q: What do ghosts dance to ?
    A: Soul music !
  • Q: Where do ghosts live ?
    A: In a terrortory !
  • Q: What color are ghosts?
    A: BOOOO!
  • Q: When do ghosts usually appear ?
    A: Just before someone screams !
  • Q: What's a ghost's favorite ride?
    A: A roller ghoster!
  • Q: What kind of ghost has the best hearing ?
    A: The eeriest !
  • Q: What does a ghost swim in?
    A: The Dead sea!
  • Q: Who did the ghost invite to his party?
    A: Anyone he could dig up!
  • Q: Who was the famous ghost detective?
    A: Sherlock Moans.
  • Q: What vehicle does a kid ghost like to ride?
    A: A boocycle.
  • Q: Why did the ghost go to the doctor?
    A: To get a Booster shot.
  • Q: What do ghosts eat for breakfast
    A: Dreaded wheat.
  • Q: What is a ghost's favorite bird?
    A: scare crow!
  • Q: What does a ghost put on his cereal in the morning?
    A: Boonanas and Booberries.
  • Q: What kind of cars do ghosts drive?
    A: Boo--icks.
  • Q: What's a ghosts favorite Broadway play?
    A: phantom of the opera!
  • Q: What did one ghost say to another?
    A: Do you believe in people?
  • Q: What did one ghost say to another?
    A: Do you believe in people?
  • Q: What do ghosts eat for dinner?
    A: Spook-ghetti.
  • Q: What is a ghost favorite article of clothing?
    A: Boojeans.
  • Q: Where does a ghost go on Saturday night?
    A: Anywhere where he can boo-gie.
  • Q: What time is it when a ghost haunts your house?
    A: Time to move to a new house!
  • Q: What tops off a ghost's ice cream sundae?
    A: Whipped scream.
  • Q: What did the mother ghost say to the baby ghost ?
    A: Put your boos and shocks on !
  • Q: Why are ghosts cowards ?
    A: Because they've got no guts !
  • Q: What story do little ghosts like to hear at bedtime?
    A: Ghoul delocks & the 3 scares.
  • Q: What is a ghost's favorite party game?
    A: Hide-and-go-shriek.
  • Q: What do you get if you cross a cocker spaniel, poodle, & a ghost?
    A: A cocker-poodle-boo!
  • Q: What happens when a ghost gets lost in the fog?
    A: He is mist.
  • Q: Who protects the shores where spirits live?
    A: The Ghost Guard!
  • Q: What did the boy ghost say to the girl ghost?
    A: You look boo-tiful tonight.
  • Q: Why do girl ghosts go on diets?
    A: So they can keep their ghoulish figures.
  • Q: Why did the game warden arrest the ghost?
    A: He didn't have a haunting license.
  • Q: What did one ghost say to the other when they fell down?
    A: I got a booo booo.
  • Q: What kind of tie does a ghost wear to a formal party?
    A: A boo-tie.
  • Q: What kind of makeup do ghosts wear?
    A: mas-scare-
  • Q: Who did the ghost go with to the Halloween party?
    A: With No-Body!
  • Q: What do baby ghosts wear on their feet?
    A: Boo-ties!
  • Q: What did the little ghost have in his rock collection?
    A: Tombstones
  • Q: What do ghosts mail home while on vacation?
    A: Ghostcards.
  • Q: What do ghosts do when they're in hospital ?
    A: They talk about their apparitions !
  • Q: What's the 1st thing ghosts do when they get in a car?
    A: They boo-kle their seatbelts

Are you researching about ghosts? This could be the book for you!

his review is from: Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (Hardcover)
Ghosts: True Encounters With the World Beyond by Hans Holzer is a comprehensive volume of the author's extensive research into the world of ghosts, spirits, and poltergists performed over the past 30 or more years. Whether one believes in these phenomenon or not, the book makes interesting reading. While many of the stories have appeared in other books, Holzer adds interesting updates and background information which give them a new perspective. Of particular interest to me was the historical research done with respect to the life and times surrounding some of the occurrences. The author discusses the American Revolution and Civil War and some of the events of early European history as well as some of the central figures of these events. Where he is able, he also adds information about the history the specific houses and other buildings he inspected. He gives advice to the would be ghost hunter, and describes some of the mediums with whom he worked. It sounds as though Dr. Holzer had a fun and exciting career that has taken him all over the world.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love my Heel Spur

Are you loving your heel spur yet?

Young people, before you check the latest fashion forecast on shoes or the accessories for fall fashion, let me explain what heel spur is:

Heel spur is the more common name for a condition that is medically referred to as plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome. Plantar fasciitis is a location-oriented term that refers to the bottom of the foot(i.e. plantar warts). Fascia is a tough, inelastic band. 'itis' is a term used to describe something that is inflamed (i.e. tendonitis, bursitis).

Fascia tissue is located throughout the body, usually providing support to the musculoskeletal system, providing rigidity, much like guide wires support a cell phone tower. Together with ligaments and tendons, fascia allows our body system that allows us to be mobile. Plantar fascia (foot fascia) originates on the base of the heel and runs across the arch of the toes. The primary function of the plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot.


This cute spur was detected on my left foot a year ago. Before I knew what it was, I could not explain why my heel hurts. My husband and I are hikers, being a member of HHH.

I was embarrassed telling my husband how my feet hurts, him being 66 years old and I, 53 years old and my feet hurts unbearably! I limped and sometimes I was close to tears. My thoughtful husband, bless him, insisted that I consult my orthopedic doctor. I have a regular orthopedic doctor who loves my tendinitis (that’s another blog subject later) so I consulted him about my painful foot. Not many people know what heel spur is. In fact when he sent me to an x-ray technician the technician took my x-ray but he himself has not heard of a heel spur. Nevertheless he took an x-ray and later my orthopedic doctor told me how my foot would have been better positioned for x-ray.

My doctor gave me a cortisone shot. So considerate of him, I had to buy the f******g injection myself from the drug store, about 400 meters away, went back to him, then he injected the area near my heel. I felt the painful injection but it did not do any good for my painful heel. Okay, the pain that I regularly felt on my right arthritic arm went away, my trigger finger (tendinitis) pains was lessened, but it did not do squat to my heel. I tried heel pads, in fact I have different kinds, different brands of them, I even had one custom made! It lessened the pain for every step I take but it did not help in taking out the pain.

I went back to my orthopedic doctor, and he referred us to a doctor, a physiotherapist, whose treatment we’ve used earlier for my tendonitis. His treatment was his useless ultrasound machine and oil, etc. I stopped going to his clinic after the second session as I felt\t no improvment for my tendonitis.

We went to another physiotherapist that was again recommended by my orthopedic doctor. You see how loyal we are to our orthopedic doctor :) My husband had gone to this physiotherapist before for his back pains. We were turned off by the doctor’s sweeping statement, “as you grow old there will be more pains” . . . . . He said that smilingly and victoriously, as if he was saying to us, . . . "welcome to the club. . . of old people who moan and groan everyday of pains". I don’t like that kind of doctor either. I researched on the internet and found exercises for the heel spur. The exercises are mostly for stretching and contracting the legs and feet.

Here are the exercises I found in internet:

Stair Stretch

This is a great stretch to do. Begin by finding a step, curb and something you can hold onto to maintain your balance. Remember to slowly ease into the stretch. Bouncing may cause further trauma to the area.
• Balance yourself on the balls of your feet. While doing this you may listen to Michael Buble on your iPod.

• Slowly allow your body weight to gently stretch the calf muscles until you feel tension.

• Hold this position for 30 seconds

Wall Stretch
While wearing shoes, locate a doorway.
1. Reach through the door way so that you can balance yourself.
2. Position one of your feet so that:
1. The ball of the foot is firmly against the wall.
2. The heel of the foot is firmly pressed into the ground.

3. Begin to slowly apply pressure by pulling your body towards the wall, making your lower leg more perpendicular to the floor.

4. Repeat with the other foot.

I added more – my warm up Tae Kwon Do exercises that I used to do when I was in my 20s. This exercise I do while listening to Santana's Samba Pa Ti :) It’s just that when I am not able to do these exercises and I had to keep walking or hiking everyday just like what happened when we went for a vacation in Las Vegas and New Orleans, that we had to hike/walk everyday to see interesting places. My heel spur killed me each night, and more so each time I woke up in the morning. Then I went around limping like and old woman that I am.

Recently I found a miracle cure: Your head will spin by the simplicity of the cure: ice pack!

The importance of Ice


Icing your foot is recommended as long as the inflammation is present. The cold temperatures help to slow down local metabolism in the foot. Depending on the type of injury, you may want to continue icing the area for as long as inflammation is present, even after the pain has subsided. This may mean icing the area during the entire rehabilitation process. It may be particularly beneficial to ice the area as you return to more strenuous activity.
There are many ways that you can ice your elbow. There seems to be 2 distinct methods:
• ice the area with a cold pack
• ice massage
The most common way is to simply put and ice pack directly on the foot. You can fill a ziploc bag with ice and just put that on the area. It may be a good idea to wrap the ice pack in a light cloth so you don't freeze your skin. It can happen, so you have been warned.

Since then, the pain from center of my foot to the heel vanished and the heel spur felt like the small wart that it actually is. It only hurts in the little area on my heel each time I walk. The ice pack vanished the inflammation and so I walk like normal human being again! F*****g shit! What a simple solution. I so believe in the usefulness of the internet. My husband always advised me from believing what’s on the internet, but on this issue, he grudgingly acknowledged that if its good for my beloved heel spur, go for it. But he tells me, we don’’t stop looking for a doctor who could rid of the heel spur, and so he calls every week a different doctor, asking how he’d treat a heel spur. Those who advises on cortisone injection or ultrasound, etc, they were counted out.

We are looking for a doctor who would mention surgery.

We would even listen to a doctor who will mention Extracorporeal Shock Wave therapy( ESW), although I could not imagine that my heel spur “listening” to acoustic will make it run away for good. I am so ignorant of these process, it does not sound good to me.

What does internet say about it? “…Shockwave therapy, Extracorporeal Shock Wave therapy uses a acoustic energy wave that is focused at the area of pain. It is believed that the shock wave causes micro-trauma to the area. This micro-trauma stimulates an intense focused inflammatory response that promotes healing at the insertion point of the plantar fascia.”

This is a technique that has recently been developed to break the cycle of re-injury associated with plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy was originally developed to treat kidney stones non-invasively. Shockwave therapy revolutionized the Urology ( urinary system surgeons ) by giving surgeon the options of treating the kidney stones without:
• Invasive surgery No cutting
• Overnight hospital stays, before stone removal surgery require multiple days in the hospital
• Less damage to the kidney area

But we have not found any doctor who does that here. My dear husband would like a doctor who will tell us, "okay, I could take the heel spur out through laser technology, I will pulverize the heel spur and send it to another planet, never to come back and bother your wife again".

And they say that surgery is the last resort:

..."Surgical options should be the last resort as they have the greatest risk of complications. Plantar fasciitis surgery has come a long way in recent years, even though the basic technique remains the same. The basic idea of surgery is to manually release the fascia of the foot with the hope that the pain will be eliminated, medically termed plantar fasciotomies. Older techniques involved a large incision made in the foot and then removal of the calcium deposit ( bone spur ) or a removal of part of the heel. The technique has evolved to release the fascia because the bony heel spur does not seem to be the source of the pain but rather a side effect of the inflammation of the area".

Surgery has the risk of further complications dues to changes of the structural support of the foot. Possible complications include:
• Fallen arches
• Lateral Column Syndrome
• Infection
• Nerve damage

And here are some useful TIPS if your doctor had convinced you that your heel spur’s gone:
How can you prevent re-injuring the heel?

To avoid re-injuring the fascia and causing further pain, the here are some recommendations:
• Always consult a foot specialist before starting a new exercise program
• Allow your body to adapt to the exercise program by starting slowly. It takes time for the body to adapt to the additional stress.
• Purchase and maintain good shoes and replace them regularly. Investing a little more money in good shoes will pay dividends in pain-free living.
• Remember to stretch your feet and Achilles tendon before and after exercise.
• Always try to exercise on an even surface. Uneven surfaces can but strange stressed on the foot and can result in pain.
• Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Without your shoes, you fascia has to support your entire body weight.
• If it hurts, STOP. Don't try to bear through the pain.

But for me, it's ice pack two or three times a day for now. We are still looking for a competent doctor. How’s your heel spur treating you lately?

Need more information about Plantar Fasciitis. This may help you:

"I am an avid runner and have suffered through plantar fasciitis twice and lasted for months. I got a copy of Injury afoot and followed the recommendations. I am happy to say I no longer have plantar fasciitis and follow the suggestions in the book to keep it from coming back. Excellent book and easy to read and understand."

Review by Just a Hobby

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Filipinas and Interracial Marriages

My two friends got married one after the other.

Left: Herbert and Lory  got married two days ago. 
Herbert is German and Lory is a Filipina. They lived together for seven years before they got married.
I guess there will be less surprises here, they know each other well enough, and it must be true love for them to decide finally, to tie the knot....

Nory and Alan, (right) who  lived together for nine years, they are off for their honeymoon after they got married last month. Alan is an American citizen, Korean at birth, and Nory is a Filipina.

There are lots of debates why more and more Filipinas marry foreigners, like to marry foreigners, and vice versa.

Here an article I found in the internet.

8 Reasons Why White Men Like Philippine Women
By Diane Winter
Platinum Quality Author

Nowadays, it is very common to see a white man dating a Philippine woman. Sometimes, they even tie the knot with Philippine women and live with them for the rest of their lives. Many people might be wondering why white men like Philippine women. Here are some of the reasons.

  • Among Asian women, Philippine ladies are the ones who are best known for their exotic and oriental beauty. They also exude femininity and are also very alluring. They have won the most coveted Miss Universe title several times and other international beauty pageants such as Miss World, Miss Hawaii, and even Miss America.
  • Filipinas have very sunny disposition. They are fun to be with. Sometimes they will delight you with their stories and happy chatter while other times you will observe that daintiness in unexpected situations which is unique to Filipino women. These women are brought up to act and to be finesse, refined, delicate, and proper at all times.
  • Western men like Philippine women as wives because they have good characteristics and personalities all rolled into one petite package. These qualities include being patient, understanding, composed, generous, caring, and supportive. In a fight between couples, Filipinas will just usually keep quiet and are expected to be submissive to their husbands.
  • Moreover, in the Filipino culture, they were taught how to do house chores and how to properly manage a household because those are considered as Filipina wives' responsibilities. If you married a Filipina, expect a clean house, nice meals everyday, freshly ironed and newly washed clothes and sheets, a garden full of blooms and other plants, and basically a well-organized household and family.
  • Filipino women value their relationships and they are very loyal to their husbands. They are sometimes even viewed as martyrs in a relationship because even if they are suffering, they will just keep their silence because they do not want to cause big trouble in their relationships. They will stick with their man no matter what.
  • In a culture where families are valued greatly, Filipinas also put their family first above everything else. They will do everything to make their families' lives more comfortable and they will do whatever they can to help their husbands. They sometimes tend to forget about themselves because their husbands and their children are their top priorities.
  • White men also choose Filipina girls because of their skills in handling money. Give them a hundred bucks, and they can buy so many things with it which you can only buy if you have double the money. Filipino women have a knack for choosing the cheapest yet good quality products. They are also very patient when it comes to buying groceries. They will even compare the unit price of the products. Some will scour the section where there are discount tags or freebies while other save a lot of money by using coupons.
  • Philippine women are smart and well educated. In the Philippines, Filipinas excel in many fields more than men, even in the fields which were thought to be masculine such as engineering, computer, architecture, etc. They are diligent and hard working and can compete side by side with males.
Philippine women are unique creatures who are strong, willful, smart, charming, caring, and delicate that makes them all very attractive to white men.
Article Source:

But in my opinion, here's a more realistic take on this. This guy has a website on his opinion about the subject.

Q1] If a Filipina is a female from the Philippines, what is a male called.?
A1] All RP's (Republic of the Philippines) citizens, males and females, are Filipinos. But, to distinguish a male from a female, generally a male remains a Filipino but never a Filipina.
Q2] Why are Filipinas available to marry Western men?
A2] There seems to be a shortage of eligible men in the Philippines.
Q3] What does "eligible" mean to Filipinas?
A3] It can mean many things. For example:-
1] A way to escape from an undesirable life - hardship, mean parent/s, their own bad reputation.
2] A man to love them and enable security and, probably, a family when they cannot find that in the RP
3] A way to help support their family.
4] Excitement of a new life overseas.
Q4] What does "their own bad reputation" mean?
A4] Although some girls in the big cities - particularly Manila - are starting to ape Western women and lose their virginity before marriage, most girls in the provinces remain virgins until marriage.
Q5] Why is this important to them?
A5] Filipinos seem to have plenty of choice so usually insist upon marrying a virgin. There is a belief that once a Filipina has had intercourse with a man she is securely bonded to that man in a way that is unique.
Q6] How would they know they were virgins?
A6] Quite apart from the physical signs, a provincial girl who has had sexual intercourse would find difficulty keeping it secret. The word soon gets around the network and her chances of marrying a Filipino are slim. Hence why she will welcome a Westerner in that "adulterated" condition.
Q7] Does this mean that a girl with sexual experience and, perhaps, even a child, will be a bad prospect for a wife?
A7] Not necessarily! She may have fallen in love and succumbed to a sweet-talking Filipino who promised marriage. He then moves on. Often, in these cases, the Filipina might, by Western female standards, have been raped. However, the Filipina, will accept it and hope to keep that relationship going now that she has lost her virtue to him.
Q8] So such a girl might be very grateful to a man from the West who will marry her.?
A8] She might well!
Q9] What if she has children by different men?
A9] It might be unwise to marry her. She has gone off the rails.
Q10] Would many Filipinas who marry Westerners have preferred to marry a Filipino and stayed in the Philippines?
A10] Yes! Many would like to marry a Filipino near their own age and stay in the Philippines if he could offer them things that Westerners usually can.
Q11] Would a Filipina marry a much older Filipino who could offer them what an older Westerner could?
A11] Yes; but they might prefer a white old man - given a choice.
Q13] Why bother to marry a white man when they could get a Filipino the same age offering the same things?
A13] Because many Filipinas have been culturally conditioned to consider white men with long noses and light eyes to be more attractive than dark men with black eyes and squat noses. Also, older Filipinos usually "act" old and die much earlier than Westerners.
Q14] Would that put Afro-Western men out of the running?
A14] Many Filipinas do not find Afro-Westerners attractive. If they are going outside the Filipino culture they want that pointed nose and the much-admired, pale skin. Also there is a fairly wide-spread belief that Afro-Westerners have painfully large penises.
(NOTE. One US black man and his Filipina wife took exception to these assertions. I re-checked my facts with Filipinas and an American with much knowledge of Fil-Am marriages and they confirmed my contentions. Obviously, there are blacks married to Filipinas but, proportionately, not a lot. A little field for research here? Feedback appreciated!)
Q15] Don't many Western women desire just that?
A15] Possibly! But, according to the Masters and Johnson research ("Human Sexual Response" ) it is psychological rather than physiological.
Q16] So don't Filipinas have these hang-ups?
A16] Probably not! Filipinos have smaller penises than Westerners and it does not seem to be an issue.
Q17] What about Filipinas' "equipment"?
A17] "Horses for courses". Some Western men say it's icing on the cake.
Q18] What would be a Filipina's ideal Westerner?
A18] A fair man, 5 - 15 years older with blue eyes, 5'8" high or more with reasonably "pointy" nose. He will not have tattoos nor beards nor moustaches and his hair will be shortish, trim, neat and straight. He will be sober, industrious and kind and can provide her with security and children. He will wear neat slacks or suit and more business-style clothes generally. The opposite of Mr Natural. Often, a Westerner might be surprised at what a Filipina considers handsome.
Q19] Is that all necessary?
A19] No! Filipinas are very practical and accommodating. If the man is caring and can offer security other things will be overlooked if the man can do nothing to change them. Some will consider an Afro-Westerner if other attributes are favourable. Obviously, it also matters how badly she wants to get married to a Westerner and who is available to her.
Q20] So a Filipina would prefer me to shave my facial hair, have a hair cut and stop wearing sloppy clothes because these I can change?
A20] Most would. But the odd one will tolerate a neat beard. Clothes would be negotiable according to the environment - beach, country camping etc. But a trip to town would be neat and kempt.
Q21] Are Filipinas very religious and must I be religious and the same religion?
A22] Generally not! Although they will typically believe in God and profess Roman Catholicism and attend Church. A minority of RCs are "spiritual" and pray a lot. A few, from very religious RC families, might not wish to marry other than a Roman Catholic man. Generally, they do not proselytise; but some might expect their children to call themselves Roman Catholics. Nor are they orthodox. They have no objection to contraception. There is a minority of born-again and other, Protestants- and Mormons - and these may insist on similarly committed men. In some areas of Mindanao there are Muslims and they might insist upon fellow-Muslims. But these girls have their own networks for meeting Muslims and different marriage customs.
Q23] Will a Western man that has been divorced and had children still be considered marriageable material?
A23] While she would prefer a never-married man without children, she will usually be willing to hear his history before eliminating him. Many of the Western men who marry Filipinas have been married before and have children. A Filipina will possibly want to hear about the attitude of his children to her. She may ask him to say that he will support her if his children become hostile. Parents might object to a divorced man. Divorce is not legal in the RP so the older folk might think that a very bad sign. They may have no idea how little stigma now attaches to divorce in the West. One point might be that he wants a Filipina because Western women no longer see marriage as inevitably a life commitment whereas he does.
Q24] What priority does she accord wealth in the equation?
A24] A Filipino (male and female) would consider the life-style of any Western man with a steady, quite ordinary job, rich. It's a matter of comparison.
Q25] So numerous, attractive, young virgins committed to the idea a lifelong marriage, educated and English-speakers are prepared to consider quite ordinary, plain, older, Western men as good prospects for marriage?
A25] Most definitely!
Q26] Where's the catch? - There's always a catch!
A26] Yes, it is not dead straightforward. There are stings.
Q27] What should I be looking out for?
A27] Filipinos think that all Westerners are rich because they can drink Coke and eat Macs any time. And they all seem to run modern cars and have nice homes and an abundance of the latest consumer goods. Filipinos who are like this are few and they can afford servants, are not in heavy personal debt and they have spare cash over and above this life-style. So Filipinos assume that Westerners who have these things can always produce those extra dollars at no great pain. They seldom realise that our Western consumer societies run on credit - on the promise of future earnings - "Buy now - pay later." There is a general assumption that all the possessions of average Westerners are owned by the consumer and not by financial institutions.
Q28] How can this be a catch?
A28] Filipinos see any connection to a Westerner as benefiting not only their daughters but themselves. And even though they have no eligible daughter or a Filipina little intention of settling in the West, many Filipinos are determined to get some of that Western cash by a variety of means. This can vary from modest to avaricious. At the very least, seasonal presents.
Q29] So what do they do to extract my money and does this apply to ALL Filipinos.?
A29] The ways are many and it is almost universal; even if the Filipina is most sincere and will make a good wife - though a few do not even do that and some intend to deceive you. Mostly, if you are married this is not unusual greed but their culture of sharing with the family. Filipinas will knock themselves out at a menial job overseas for years to help their family while they deprive themselves. Quite admirable by many's standards.
Q30] Any examples of what can happen to lighten Western men's wallets?
1] Some families write to several men and solicit small amounts regularly for postage. The small amount will pay their postage and leave some change. In total, considering their low-cost living, this can be very useful addition to the family income.
2] Once the man is hooked he may willingly give an allowance or money for education/health expenses or to set up a business. - before and after marriage. Most Filipino families know of such arrangements with relatives, friends and neighbours and rather expect it even though the male/female relationship is sincere and genuine. Some ask for loans. These are never repaid. It is a euphemism for "Give me a present." Occasionally the man is encouraged to buy a house for his retirement which will be occupied by the family.
3] Some families push their daughter into a Western marriage for their profit when the girl had no intention of leaving the RP. She may even marry a Westerner and then refuse to join her husband in the West. I know of one case and have heard of a few others.
4] Some Filipinas have married a Westerner in conspiracy with their Filipino boyfriend . They enter the West and, eventually, engineer a divorce and bring in their boyfriend and support him until he arrives. Even has been said to happen with a married Filipina. Recently (2003) an American man courted and fell in love with a Filipina and went through the quite invoved and expensive process for her fiancee visa. He travelled to the Philippines to accompany her to the obligatory interview at the US embassy in Manila. The official wanted to know how she expected to marry the betrothed when she was already married. The man felt let down!

(Sometimes a married and separated girl seeks a western husband. She may not tell him until he is infatuated. Then the man, knowing how easy it is to obtain a divorce back home, carries on courting and then finds out that there is NO divorce in the RP. They do have an annulment procedure. This procedure is expensive -$US1,000 to $US2,000 - and takes 14 months upwards. Some men have given up in frustration and some lawyers have taken their money and left them out to dry. Even if you do last the course the annulment may be denied - it's a lotery. The moral is to find out early if she is married. Ask her directly or check with the authorities - your embassy will when you want to take her home. If possible, stick to single girls and widows. If you want to be sure The National Statistics Office (NSO) would be the source of previous marriage records, by way of the famous CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage). The gal can order it by phone or in person from any NSO office, but the Manila one is apparently best. Ask her! )

5] Some Filipinas marry Western men with the idea of getting to the West and then ditching their husband and going their own way. It happens! The "Green Card Trick." Recently (late 2004) I have heard several American men lamenting that their new wife left them shortly after arriving in the USA. This MAY be an increasing trend. They seem to know that if they get a lawyer and claim that they were abused that they will be allowed to stay. In at least one case the Authorities did not seem to want to take action to deport her. Possibly it is a method being circulated among girls in the Phillippines, Reported success may breed further scams along these lines. Be careful!
6] There are extreme scams and they are, I'm told by my wife and others, not unusual. I know an American who married a widow. One of her relatives accused her student son of raping her under-age maid. The boy was imprisoned and the husband paid many thousands of US dollars to "fix" his release. Then the girl was examined and proved to be a virgin. Another very interesting case is "Extortion In The Philippines" at This American was really put through the wringer for a couple of years and, as of now, 4 Sept, 03, has been unable, legally, to return home. Well worth a read! Has pics of the girl - see if she was worth it :-)
Q31] What are the danger signs?
A31] She asks for presents, loans, medical/education expenses. She calls you Dear Joe and you know your name is Jack. She may have mixed up the men she is writing to. Another Western man contacts you and warns you off HIS fiance. It's happened! She comes on strong before she knows you - that is bad. But this could be an untypical, romantic girl so one uses caution in rejecting her.
Q32] What if she asks me how I am fixed financially.
A32] Tell her - honestly. If you are in a normal state she will accept it. If she is after riches she will probably drop you.
Q33] So basically it's my money they are after?
A33] Basically - yes! But it has not necessarily a bad connotation. It's what that money can provide. Mainly security - along with love and the other comforts of marriage if possible. But, if you could not offer that, there would seem to be little point in her leaving the Philippines. They undoubtedly like pointed noses and pale skins, but they do not want to gaze into your eyes and stroke your nose in poverty. Occasionally, there is a Filipina from rich parents and the girl is primarily interested in the Western culture and a Western man. But that's unusual.
Q34] So it's more like a bargain with advantages to both parties?
A34] Yes!
Q35] So, where is love in all this?
A35] If you are a normal, Western man and meet an attractive Filipina who wants to "catch" you, you will probably find yourself in love and she will grow to love you for your care, friendship and security. A deeper, possibly more valuable, love than the often whimsical, romantic, sexually-intoxicated and ephemeral love of a Western woman. Some Filipinas will even fall romantically in love straight away. Don't press her to lie to you.
Q36] So she wants the right conditions up-front to enable her to grow into love with one?
A36] That's about it.
Q37] Which Western men seek Filipinas to marry?
1] Armed forces personnel who have been located in the RP.
2] Men who have friends married to Filipinas.
3] Men who are unable or unwilling to marry Western women.
4] Men who find Filipinas more physically attractive than Western women.
Q38]Are "Men who are unable or unwilling to marry Western women." Losers?
A38] Can be, but not usually. Most seem to be well qualified, resourceful and successful - apart from their late marriage. Anyway, a lot of men with a good experience of Filipinas might say that he would not then be a loser if he "caught" a good Filipina.
Q39] So why are men "unwilling to marry Western women"?
A39] They might be divorced from Westerners and do not wish to risk that again. Or they may not like Western women's attitude which might be described as capricious, or harsh, or politically-correct, or career-orientated. Or all! Some American women have, it seems, become so bad that they are "Bully Broads" and are attending courses to feminise themselves - to show their vulnerability and sweetness. Not, it should be said, to please their man. No! It is because their present attitude is hindering their career! See Jean Holland's recent book on the subject of Bully Broads.
Q40] Which men "are unable to marry Western women"
A40] It may be that they are unable to marry the Western women they desire. The latter may already be married or will not consider them on account of age, or looks, or attitude, or abilities, or wealth.
Q41] Why will Filipinas marry these men "unable to marry Western women"?
A41] They have different criteria when seeking a mate for life. These have been described in A13], A18], A19], A24]
Q42] Could a disabled man obtain a Filipina wife?
A42] Yes! It has happened. Choice might be very limited. But the girl might, nonetheless, be very good wife. Can you offer her security and love?
Q43] What is the best way to start on the quest?
A43] Many avenues!
1] Just go to the RP for a holiday and mention to clerks, waitresses, taxi drivers, shopkeepers etc. that you are looking for a suitable Filipina for a wife. Or, if you are of a religion, attend the relevant Church's functions. You might have a queue! Indeed, you will often be solicited by a father, brother, sister, uncle etc. This is not necessarily a scam. It can produce some good leads.
2] There are "tours" operated by agents who will line up girls at designated hotels to meet you. Some men deprecate this but good marriages can result. As usual: use your head!
3] Ask someone married to a Filipina or a Filipino in your neighbourhood. Nearly all Filipinos in the West will know a relative or friend who would be interested in a pen-pal relationship with a Western man. That's the euphemism for a sparring, or paring, match.
4] Join a list on the Net devoted to things Filipino. Mak-anak and Asialink for example. The former used to have a list of available women who were relatives or friends. Although this is a fairly reliable screening method it's not infallible. There were a few casualties of men and women meeting this way. Anyway, (March 02) it was removed because of possible legal implications.
5] Visit Web sites specialising in pen-pal relationships. Sunshine Girls is one such; but there are a lot out there in cyberspace (See note at top of this page re. new US law.). A few are free; but most will charge a fee per address or offer to sell you a magazine, or list, or CD/video. In some cases they will advertise your virtues via various contacts and media. Many successful marriages are contracted this way. But, obviously, they are haunts of the scam merchants too.
6] Look in the personal columns of your newspapers.
7] Chat sites can be productive.
8] Remember that Filipinas will be found working in Hong Kong etc and even in your home area visiting a relative.
Q44] Is it best to write, phone or e-mail or chat?
A44] Initially, writing is probably best in most cases. It allows both parties to read, digest and react. Send a recent photo in smart-casual or business dress. She should send one of herself. Then, having established that both your basic criteria have been met, the phone, if available, and e-mail/chat are ideal to swiftly progress.
Do not necessarily be put off by the photo. It may be an unflattering snap and not representative. Do not necessarily believe her if she claims she is unattractive. Remember, to them, a pointed nose and fair skin means attractiveness. So you may find her very attractive if you like neat little noses and a smooth brown tan - the envy of many Western women!
Q45] How would I begin?
A45] Unless you are working a scam or have something to hide, be scrupulously honest. But not brutally so. That way you might not, unintentionally, offend; and you will be less likely to contradict yourself later.
You might mention that you realise that the two cultures are different and that what you say that might be acceptable in the West might be offensive in the East. Ask for forgiveness in advance and tell her that you would like an opportunity to explain what you really meant in a different way. That will give you a second chance when you do offend - as is probable. And it shows understanding on your part.
Keep off the sex topic. And if she brings it up apart from asking if you are normal at a later stage be suspicious. It goes without saying to a Filipina that if you are a man you will want regular and normal sex. A Filipina expects to be available whenever the man desires - after marriage. She is normally of the opinion that if she did not then she could not complain if you looked for satisfaction outside the marriage.
Q46] What if I am divorced?
A46] Do not keep it a secret but try to explain why. Even if it was your fault say that you have learned and are determined not to make the same mistake. And that's why you need a Filipina because she will be more committed to a lifetime marriage. That's probably true!
Q47] What if I have children?
A47] That will put a few off. But there are many successful marriages where the man has children. Explain what the situation is and how she would stand vis-à-vis your children. If possible, assure her that although you will expect to fulfil your parental duties - if that be the case - you will place her first and back her up if they prove unreasonable.
Q48] What if I can't father children?
A48] Tell her, and why! If it's vasectomy and you are willing, you can tell her that you could try for a reversal while mentioning that there is no guarantee that it will be successful. Many Filipinas expect to have at least one child. You could mention adoption if that is feasible. If you want children and are incapable you might be a candidate for a single parent or widow. I know of a few cases and happy marriages resulted.
Q49] What if I am impotent?
A49] Again, honesty! I know of a couple of cases. Neither men were up-front. It is amazing the tolerance of the girls and the lengths they were willing to go to help their husbands. Counselling, injections, drugs. Most impressive considering they were duped by silence. There are ways to allow a female some satisfaction in this sphere in spite of impotence. But in one case I know no attempt was made by the man. I consider this rather cruel.
Q50] What if my parents or friends are against the idea?
A50] Grow up! You have to weigh up what is more important to you. If you decide to go ahead, experience shows that the chances are she will win them over by her normal, patient demeanour. Parents can be converted when they see her sincerity and a genuine relationship. Occasionally they are not. But, if associates and relatives are died-in-the-wool racists it's hardly feasible that they will change. The best one can hope is civility and no abuse. Think well whether you will have to see these people alone or not at all and whether that will spoil the relationship.
Q51] What if I have facial hair or tattoos?
A52] I know from personal experience and that of friends that it repels many Filipinas. They associate long hair, beards and tattoos with rock stars, bums and criminals. So you have to decide whether to shave and shorten your hair. Some do not like curly hair either. You will still find a few that respond if you do not. But you are narrowing the field and maybe she has a hidden agenda. As Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide sang in Guys and Dolls: "Marry the man today - and change his ways, tomorrow."
In the case of tattoos it depends on location. And can't more offensive ones be removed? You could say, truthfully, that as a member of the Navy etc that it was expected by tradition. Point out that, under some circumstances, in the West, it is considered quite normal and fashionable. You could mention some film stars they know of.
Q 53] What is an acceptable age gap?
A 53] A commonly asked question. Usually, even the younger Filipinas wants a man older than themselves. A minimum of 5 years. But up to 15 years will be unremarkable. But, if other factors are desirable, to many Filipinas, the sky is the limit. If you think you are too "old" perhaps you should steer clear of young girls. But it's difficult finding older than 35 yrs Filipinas. Most opportunities are in the younger 18 - 30 group. I was recommended to a 14 yr old by her aunt {who had met me) and she wrote me a very interested - and mature - letter. And I was nearer 70 than 60 yrs old! It is feasible to put her through her remaining education while getting to know her. It could be a scam; though I know of a few cases that were successful.
Q 54] So, what did you expect at 66 yrs old?
A 54] I expected, at "best", someone in their forties. But a 22 yr old wrote to me and I said she was far too young. She passed me on to her 32 yr old sister. I thought that a little young - my Western ex-wife was 30 yrs younger and it had not been a problem. But I dropped that Filipina as she started asking for presents and never did send the promised photo. Then on to another 32 yr old - a lovely woman with two lovely children. One only relationship that had gone wrong! But that did not work out due to the mendacity of her parents. Not her fault! She would not allow me to "pay them off".
I was recommended to several Filipinas by a married Filipina friend in the RP and, among others, what seemed a very suitable 22 yr old wrote to me. A graduate and no boyfriends and level-headed . She is now 29 yrs and we have been married nearly 6 years and she had our first bonny boy as a 70th birthday present; a second one for my 73rd and another on the way. My 3 youngest children 18-22 yrs are her good friends. My older ones, around 40-50 yrs old, live in another country.
So, as you see, I had to lower my sights regarding age; but raise them regarding a woman. We seem to have no problems so far and are contented and happy. I know a few other men with the same experience.
I hope this adequately explains the age thing. We start off with our Western pre-conceptions; but end up seeing things differently under a Filipina's influence - in many areas! Filipinas can be very determined and dedicated to their plans. My wife was that, in spite of her father who was dead against her even leaving the Philippines let alone marrying a twice-divorced father of 6 children 11 yrs older than himself.
Q55] How do I prepare to meet her?
A 55] Wait for the next instalment!

Clive (1938) Grace (2000)

This FAQ is based on the many experiences of Western men who have related their experiences on the Net - Mag-Anak for example and private communications to me. They shall remain nameless though, no doubt, some will know where they fit in.
I would also like to acknowledge several Filipinas who have told me their private and very frank thoughts on the subject. Naturally, being private communications (over several years) they shall be nameless.
My own experience has been summarily dealt with in Answer 54.
Copyright © 2001-2006. Clive Halliday.

My view: I was burned with my previous relationships with Filipino guys. The first one was a boyfriend who was a playboy and who always borrowed money from me. For him borrowing means he'll pay back once he becomes rich. The second one is my 2nd boyfriend who became my first husband. I don't know why but more and more Filipinos rely on their women for financial support. Yes, life is hard, it's difficult to find a job, but there's no reason to give up and relinquish responsibilities to the women in your life - wife, mom or daughter. And that is another subject of blog. For now, the white or a foreigner husband. A foreigner husband appreciates more the virtues of a Filipina. It's the Philippine culture for the wife to serve, take care and be loyal to the husband, no matter what the circumstances are. Just like me, I did not know how to quit. I was in a married one-sided relationship for 20 years. I never thought of ending it after the birth of our two daughters. The husband eventually left, he got tired, he would like to start anew without a wife and daughters. At may age, 54 years old, Filipinos my age regard me as a lola (grandmother) because most of them are grandfathers themselves. Most of the grandparents here had become sexless. Starting when I was in my late 40s until now, young Filipinos would follow me around the mall, streets (!), department stores, etc. I think they see me as a cougar, a prospective sugar mommy. I am not flattered at all. Foreigners who regard me as one coming from a third world country would never look at me as their future sugar mommy.

My 2nd husband is an American. And what is his take on this? He said that he does not like JAPs (Jewish American Princess). He told me in one occasion, the reason he likes me is that I have city sophistication but I retained my provincial charm. Today, I overheard him talking over the phone telling his friend that the reason he married me was the I am the only woman he felt comfortable with!   And on one occasion, he said I was there at the right time and at the right place.....not very romantic but he thinks that is the primary reason we got married.

My husband and I. We got married in 2007 as soon as my first marriage was annulled.

People say we started the wedding trend in our barrio. More and more partners got married after we did.

Chris and Marie (above) moved here when they were about to get married. They met in Korea. Marie is a singer/actress, and with lots of admirers. Her parents have a stable business, she did not marry for financial reasons, discounting the usual belief that Filipinas marry for money.

Here's a practical book for you:

Debbie Allen and James Silver have a strong belief that diversity is what makes life an interesting place to live. That being said, the writers have also noted the trend of intermingling of cultures, which continues to be an ever growing phenomenon. And as the world continues to enjoy more technological advances and freedoms it also becomes a smaller place - meeting and getting to know people around the world Is now as close as one's computer. Intercultural relationships are becoming increasingly common, and in spite of the differences in the partners, or perhaps because of them, these relationships are often long lasting and loving. Many result in lifelong partners and even marriage. As the couple learns about each other's cultures and customs they determine their own way to live life and where this journey will take them. They establish the values they will live by in order to build a happy and healthy relationship. Just like other couples, they find that the key to keeping their relationship strong is an open line of communication and the act of falling in love with each other over and over again. This book offers information that will serve as a guide for anyone interested in or involved in an intercultural relationship.