Saturday, March 10, 2012

Phenomenal Woman

Today, a work colleague brought some cakes to celebrate that someone will permanently start (at least for 6 months secondment) using the desk that's been used as hot desk by different people for the last few months. They had difficulty finding a replacement for another work colleague who moved to another depot.  The good news is it's a girl joining the group!  Every additional girl in a male-dominated industry helps achieve a better gender balance.

This is a good coincidence to the celebration of International Women's Day yesterday.

Let me take this opportunity to salute all the women who sacrificed and made it possible for women to exercise our freedom, to fulfill our rights to work, vote and be heard, and to stand up for our beliefs, while still being grounded and caring.

I believe I have a little of the woman plus factor.  Otherwise, I would have packed my bags and gone home to the Philippines at the first instance of difficulty after migrating.  But, I stayed and assimilated.  When I feel down, especially when homesickness strikes and when things are getting out of hand, I pray for more strength and read Maya Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman," which resonates well with me and uplifts my spirit.  Thanks to my friend Len for introducing me to Maya's poem. Len is a phenomenal woman herself, an epitome of calmness during adversity. 

Another woman I consider phenomenal is my mother.  She raised 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls, on her own after my father died at a young age. She worked hard, and still working hard, to provide us with the necessities of life. She sacrificed a lot of "me" time that a lot of mothers now complain about. She put up with the different temperament and behaviour of her kids. She did not give up on us when her relationship with my father was not at its best.  She kept her values intact and performed professionally with her career in government service.  She is my woman of strength and resilience. An inspiration. A Phenomenal Woman. If she succeeded with 6 kids, one child should be easy peasy for me. I hope.

Let us all celebrate and unleash our phenomenal womanity! May you also be inspired by Maya Angelou's poem which you can be read here.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Six weeks ago, Kimi received a letter in the mail. Tatay did not actually think that the mail was for Kimi because the letter was addressed to M. J plus our family name. I had to tell him that it was for Master Joachim!

Tatay handed the mail to Kimi, who was already excited to open it. This is not the first time that he received letters from the mail. Thanks to Lego Club for sending him his first mail, which is the photo below.

Lego Club Mail

Tatay and I were really curious as to who sent him the surprise mail. It was our general practitioner's clinic! They are greeting Kimi a happy birthday (a very advanced one) and gently reminding us that his 4 year old immunisation is due soon.
Immunisation Mail
I really appreciate the reminder. It is very beneficial especially to very busy families. If we were in the Philippines, we wouldn't receive any reminder and we even have to pay for each immunisation. Down under, child immunisations are free and we even receive an immunisation allowance of $129 after the 18 month immunisation and another $129 after the 4 year old immunisation from the Family Assistance Office.
I was surprised that they have to provide incentives to encourage parents to immunise their kids. I believe that it is a responsibility of the parents and they don't have any reason not to do it as they are being administered for free.  But, don't get me wrong, I would gladly receive it still.

Time to book that vaccination now.