My First Blog, Actually

(I was browsing my multiply.com site and saw this one hidden. Then I remember, this is my first shot at doing a blog. Since I’ve also posted this in our company’s internal site, I deleted its name here. (hint: Only the paranoid survive)Some of the practices in this blog though may not be true anymore. Rest assured, I still respect the Pedestrian lanes.)

I like walking around our company’s campus a lot. Why? Because it is here where most, if not all drivers would abide by the speed limits placed on designated lanes. It is also where drivers and commuters wear seat belts too; motorists would patiently wait for the pedestrians to safely cross the street before they proceed driving. In today’s world, this is almost too ideal.

Day in, day out this commendable practice goes on inside this pedestrian-friendly campus. Lately though, I’ve observed that the entrance gates seems to look like pit lane entrances and the exit gates like pit lane exits. The former is where speeding employees would brake to follow minimum speed & the latter, is where outgoing employees would rev their engines & hit the gas and dash to their destinations just like F1 racers do. I always wonder if these gates are warp zones where every driver is zapped into a different world from where they’re currently are.

Frankly, I was guilty of this act too. I’ve been driving back and forth for almost one and a half-year already. I admit I drove like hell outside the campus during the first year. It was a very good thing (company name) had this on-line Defensive Driving course & it got me enlightened somehow. Still, I would still drive aggressively but would be cautious, up to the extent of counting thousand 1, thousand 2, thousand 3…to estimate my distance from the car in front of mine. At least.

Then this time came for my wife to learn how to drive. Eventually, I came to be her “boot-camp” coach whenever she would drive to and from work. I was wondering every time though that despite my conscious effort to lecture her on the proper and safe way to drive, we would end the driving sessions in frustration and disappointment.

What went wrong then? Well, I’m a firm believer that “a good teacher, makes a good student”…in this case, teacher – me, student – wife…bad teacher, bad student. It was this driving encounter that made me realize that I could be a big factor indeed. How can I expect her to follow what I’m teaching if she doesn’t see me doing it. And so the saying goes “Practice what you preach”.

It’s almost two weeks already since I’ve been driving defensively & coolly. Now, there’s lesser mad honking, lesser unnecessary overtaking, more consideration, and more courtesy. And for those who don’t know, it feels good all the time.

And guess what, just this weekend my wife was on the wheel from our home to our favorite hang-out, almost 20kilometers away & she did perfectly well, almost perfect until it was time to park…but then again, nobody’s perfect. She’s currently grounded. Just kidding.

So please if you value safe driving inside _____ (company deleted), I encourage you as well to do it on your way to and from home. Someone’s waiting for the pedestrians to come home. And so does yours – your family.

Advertisements

Memories from the Construction Site

Old walls down. Damaged concrete and dirt pile up. Rusty galvanized iron roofs ripped. Loud hammering from sun up until sun down. Dusty air and diggings here and there. Just total chaos and destruction, isn’t it?

Welcome to our house renovation, something that brings me back to my childhood days for a couple of reasons.

Sight and feel of the construction area

I could very well remember back in the days when I was yet a grade one elementary pupil. We used to live far from school and our parents decided that we transfer just near where my sister and I study. I can still vividly remember that since my father would supervise and sometimes help out in the construction of our new house, he built a temporary hut for him and his stuffs and tools right inside our 200 square meter lot. I loved eating in the hut even it has to be done by hand and while seated on the floor during the whole meal.

Every now and then after school hours, we’d drop by and play in the construction area. We would climb and roll down on the pile of sand; run along the ditches where concrete hollow blocks and posts are yet to be erected; play hide and seek in the unfinished rooms and do any other things which I soon learned later in life are very unsafe conditions. Likewise, the smell of anti termite solution, paint, saw dusts and wood shavings attract me—yes, I like all of it. Safety training at work would soon make me realize that these are considered harmful and wearing mask is required when working around them.

There also other things that never fail to amaze me: how the wooden scaffolds are built, and how the hose leveler works. During that time I couldn’t grasp the idea of how the workers refer to the water level as the correct level for doors, windows, walls and flooring. These to me are magic.

Made me appreciate how lucky we were

How young some of the laborers who work in our home project are, made me say that I was lucky. The man whom I got to do the job was Mang Narding. He has two sons whom I know are in their teens but are already working with him. I just hope that they’re in their legal age, or I’ll be guilty of violating the child welfare act. (Or I can just pretend that this is also their on-site exposure just like mine.)

When we were young my father works as a panday which means a carpenter just like Mang Narding. I realized that his job, with its meager pay, was just enough to support our family. But still, father didn’t require me to join him in his work even after high school. It has just dawned on me, how both of my parents strived hard to keep us going from elementary to college.

During our school years, I had to ask for my balon (school budget) daily because mother doesn’t want me to havemy allowance received on a weekly basis. Despite all that I was able to finishmy schooling and was able to work after four years of college education. Myyounger sister likewise graduated and we are now both working for one giant computer company but are assigned to different positions and countries.I’m still here in the Philippines, she’s in the US with her own family.

I hope and pray that Mang Narding’s sons will later discover that it’s not yet too late for them to continue their studies and hopefully, they’ll graduate and be able to help alleviate their parents’ situation and provide a decent life for their own family in the future.