Friday, June 19, 2015

Dadbod, not BAD

We took our kids to see Jurassic World the movie considering as well how our 7-year old son is so into dinosaurs. When we got home, we were yet talking about those prehistoric creatures. At the dinner table while conversing about the movie and some of its highlights, the scene where the lead actor's role "Owen" was guiding the raptors in hunting down the "monster dinosaur" came up. It had my son agree with the leading lady's nephews' assessment of Owen as their aunt's "bad ass boyfriend"... Nevertheless, "bad ass" means cool.
From then on, I asked my son in jest, "So do you think I'm a bad-ass dad?" To which he flamboyantly replied: "Noooo!"

"What? Why not? Am I not cool enough?"

By then he thoughtfully answered back: "You are... but you're not bad. You're nice..."

"Nice?!" (pause) So I'm a 'Nice-ass' dad?" as I thought would be my composed-still come-back

"Yeah!" He said quite emphatically

Oh well... I don't know, but by being regarded as such, "nice" doesn't seem nice. Sounded like a loser actually... Then it dawned on me... Am I really like those kind of fathers not cool enough to/for their children?

My kids apparently get surprised when I tell them stories related to some "cool stuff" I used to do or have engaged in. For instance, I told them I was into martial arts back (who-knows) when, it was reluctantly believed with that "doubtful awe": "Ahh whoa! Really?"

Yes really. That's the truth however doubtful... Is it my "dadbod"? Looks like it is... Hmmm... I myself would probably doubt as well. I suppose it's human nature to most likely correlate looks with that of a fitting aura... Or perhaps, current events are similarly up to date and with more impact as to what people remember and take note of vs that of something from the past. My current "dadbod" figure isn't helping in convincing my kids that I used to be "bad ass" (modesty aside - come on, don't tell me you did not brag anything about yourself to your kids? Not at all?) Well, anyway:

  • I was a pretty-accurate 3-pointer, shooting at will... (That their Lolo, my father, had a basketball ring built in our backyard when I was about-to turn 13)
  • I used to do breakdancing (Well come on, I was a teenager back in the 80s)
  • that through some strength-vs-strength program a soldier taught me, I can do 200 push-ups in one set (Karate Kid-like story line right there)
  • I dated Marian Rivera (For real?! Nah... This isn't true)
  • I was a 3-Time Motocross Champion (Ok now I'm dreaming...)
  • etc. etc... 
"Really?!" I don't have proof... Needless to say, those moments during our time, there were no smart phones, no selfies and no social media networks to record and "show it off"... and my "dadbod" is far from validating or FITtingly emBODYing any of those claims... More so, I can't even do all of those now if only to show them and validate it... If I were a history book, I'd be judged by my cover; who'd believe my story?

But of course that's another thing I want to teach my kids, to not be judgmental.
Thus, regardless of what something or someone might look like, what's within (or perhaps what its purpose or role is) is what really matters... Quite timely, after some "buddy time" with family over lunch out on our way to our next destination, a young driver (seemingly "cool" in his sporty Chevrolet Cruze) had the guts to cut our way in as if muscling his way in showing that I shouldn't go ahead of him apparently assessing ours being " some sort of a subcompact family SUV"... Though challenging my ego, I thought I'd let it pass... He however had to insolently glance at me with this "know your place old man!" look... My ego seemed to have set its receptor to the pedal and went like VROOOOM!!

It was a one-lane road seemingly a long one waiting for an opening as cue for some "Gran'pa err Gran Turismo" action. As it reached that point, sensing I'd overtake, he sped up really fast with the obvious intention and confidence of leaving me far behind by zigzagging his way through traffic... So he wished... By then, I floored it and defensively cruised my 28 years of driving experience... The adrenaline rush flashed back memories of my "drag racing" days, so did how I managed to look back through my rear view mirror as I lost "Chevy Cruze" (by then, getting smaller and smaller) in my dust... Silently (on my mind), I was like, "Yeah! This old man just whipped your bad ass boy!"

All along during the "Cruise over Cruze", my wife and kids were "quietly taken aback". As I said sorry for putting them at risk, in unison, I heard them "Whoa, that was awesome! That was cool daddy!"

Who's the bad-ass now?!

Not me.

Just when I'm "cool dad" now, (quite off for the coming Fathers' Day) my wife posted this:

It elicited laughter and grossed out my kids (can't blame them... more like throw-up than throwback). However, it's with the idea I've injected that it's important to be confidently comfortable with who you are regardless of the different roles you'd likely assume without being intentionally offensive towards others... I don't even have to justify it as just some fun-driven family affair... (Oops I just did)

I'm old compared to what's rather considered cool among today's generation's standards. Amidst today's technological breakthrough, I'm like that old "conventional" T-Rex (gladly not extinct though) without "longer arms" to extend as a "better useful hand" compared to those "enhanced bad-ass monsters"... But after all that has been said and perhaps doubted, my kids can count on me sans the "reachable arms (make that 'rich able' arms)" even if I have to bite off someone's ego including my own if only to protect them from any kind of harm physical, emotional or otherwise... Never mind if I look like "old-school", I'd be cooler being my kids' "bud" instead of "BAD" (Bad Ass Dad)...

I'm my kids' "dadbud in dadbod" hmm... not BAD...


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Home SUITE Home

Regardless of where I am, being with my family is what makes me feel at home… There are moments however when you also enjoy the serenity of that personal space’s exclusivity… I (or I believe, we – my family) experienced both in a fitting MOMent along a timely occasion at a suitable retreat – make that SUITE-able haven.

The commemoration of Mothers’ Day just last Sunday of which subsequent to it was the national election the next day made it a long weekend. Usually, 3-day off from work is simply spent as a longer period for ‘family time’. What makes it rather extra special is some out-of-the-ordinary indulgence.

And far from commonplace indeed, we seized the chance to spend 3 nights and 3 days in a 3-bedroom suite at Azalea Residences Baguio. Markedly, too much 3s there (3-day off, 3 nights/3 days, 3-bedroom suite…) but (and as if to substantiate ‘family man’ as this site’s essence…) the best ‘3’ for me however are the similarly “threefold” reasons: father, mother and kids – Family.

Quite in harmony, Azalea Residences seems to exemplify that same value. Unlike the traditional hotels where rooms or simply a place-to-stay is what is given focus to, Azalea Residences gives importance to affectionate closeness as a complementary encounter on its own. While local sights, sounds and flavor are thought to be reasons enough for a vacation, Azalea Residences Baguio offers more with an experience corresponding with that of “home away from home”. 

True to their catch-phrase “Your holiday haven”, every day with Azalea Residences Baguio is a holy day as it encourages sanctity of affection… and as if integrating ‘having’ and ‘heaven’, one (family or group) is in for having more than a treat but a moment of realization leading to reasons of your being… This holiday haven just made me further realize the value of my family as much as having the motivation to gain the capacity in providing for them the extravagance of togetherness.

Alternatively, for the expression of individuality or that sought basic hush-hush moment, each room comes with its own flat TV should the preference for a TV program differ or even if entertainment of guests by another is taking place at the living room (or perhaps for that “sound-defying” instant hehe)…

More than an experience, more so in celebrating Mothers’ Day, it was a retreat and a gathering of memorable thoughts and life episodes even for a father like me. Actually, especially for any father whose idea of celebrating Mothers’ Day in honor of his children’s mother… The opportunity to strengthen the family union is what was gained more than anything else… Azalea Residences Baguio paved a SUITE-able avenue for that. It did not just construct a residential building similar to that a father that just took a wife and had kids. Like a father that molded a family; it established ‘Home SUITE Home’.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Wish

At this point in my life, it would be nice to get some 'R and R'. Celebrating four decades of existence through some breather from all the toiling throughout the years is what I seek and what will continually be sought after. Having reached this age, anyone would most likely envision being in a stress-free situation. However, that would most likely contend with and allow us to realize still the purpose of our being. For a while there, you’d also reflect back on the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘what-would-have-beens’ as much as what you have accomplished so far that of which somehow molded your essence and probably determine who you will further be.

It would be hypocritical of me to deny that I’m not aspiring for the finer things in life. I want ‘this’, I want ‘that’… too many of ‘those’ actually… There’s no need to elaborate on what those are if only to point out the difference between the ‘wants’ from the ‘needs’; the necessities from priorities as much as the luxuries from what’s really important. As a matter of fact, it will likewise be trivial of me to even be torn between wanting a status-defining extravagance over a simple requisite for a decent basic need in a time such option is not just dependent on my current financial affair but also subject to the essence of life’s provisions.

We’re in trying times. It’s even more depressing to deal with untimely spending that overlaps with overheads at hand. The escalating expense over several bills coinciding with an additional outlay adds to the pressure. And more than that, that additional cost has been originally allotted for something already. Then it struck me…

The mere fact we’re even in such a situation no matter how tight it squeezes our resources, it’s still some manifestation of a windfall that breaths subsistence. We get to enjoy amenities with the capacity to pay for it and appreciate for ourselves as a reward of some sort. A chronic example is how our family has simply enjoyed even just going around on a joyride with the convenience of having a car yet to an extent mileage has tallied up only to reach a distance-run that needs periodic maintenance consequential of a substantial expense inopportunely befalling simultaneously with tuition fees, internet connection, cable TV, etc. Come to think of it, all of these are actually blessings. We’re even more blessed to be healthy for the capability to do that.

Amidst this awareness seemingly half-grasped and halfheartedly valued, I’m still dreaming of a grand vacation without having to worry about everyday expenditure; the capacity to settle fiscal obligations in full and without delay; equipped with up-to-date technology, currently trendy and other superficial wishes justified as “providential” necessities. Then, as if presenting me a tangible and a ‘touching’ example, it struck me again…

A day after my 40th birthday and along all these worldly yearnings, we facilitated the realization of a dream through the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s program. A young leukemia patient simply wished for a time with her family at SM. Such a wish though as unpretentious, it dwarfed all my materialistic desires. Traveling on a several-hour trip from a far-flung area, they were brought to Baguio for a planned family reunion and had them experience luxury even if only for a day. The most poignant part for me though was upon providing them with new shoes as part of that absolute shopping experience we planned for them as it’ll be their first time. It wasn’t even the thought of the charitable deed they’d probably appreciate regardless of brand or condition as a matter of that sense of liberality. Perhaps regardless if it was even just hand-me-downs, they’ll still be as grateful as it was their first pair of shoes.

For all we know, those shoes could get them comfortably farther. So much for a wish coming true and yet we seem discontented of what we have and still fancy about going beyond on a more affluent indulgence; at times unrepresentatively beyond our means.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself and/or your family with such incentives as these are likewise motivational factors for our being if it provides not just comfort but inspiration and life’s essential realizations.

As we start 2013, another estimated good year in the offing, in a time New Year’s resolutions are contemplated on, I’ve realized that I’d be more thankful of every blessing that comes my way and those that are yet to turn up as a result of perseverance for the next 365 days or so… I’ve realized that I’m as normal as any man could be and wanting to achieve and gain so much even the “not so important things in life”… And more than vainly seeking for the capacity to be charitable once rich, I’d continue to wish to have that means for that ability to share… yet achieve to be as generous of whatever I could accordingly contribute regardless of time and occasion…

This year, this time, I wish…

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Anak ng Gangnam Naman O!

Colonial mentality seems to have been disjointedly ingrained from Western impact to Asian influence. Manifesting its significant sway is attributable to the ‘Korean invasion’ of which is interestingly personified through K-pop culture. From kimchi to Samsung for instance is how Korea’s collective impression has evolved into the likes of world-renowned lifestyles. Kimchi is one among a select few trade names Korea was just known for until their innovative technology got its current global reach for a market similarly consumed by more than just their aforementioned staple ‘appetizer’. Likewise whetting the general civilization’s appetite for revolution, Korea’s own brand Samsung among others has introduced not just its modern inventions but also themselves as an entity worthy of tremendous following. From smart phones capable of getting in-touch with the world to producing trends worthy of being emulated as much as downloaded through these technological breakthrough mobiles, it has established a name for itself creditable of standard-setting.

The introduction and adaptations of Korea-novela seems to have opened our penchant for such culture; better yet, for this drama. In a dramatic fashion indeed is how K-pop stormed into the scene and conquered universal recognition. What brightens and goes well with the heat and hit is the matching colorful appearance. While for those who were as expressive during the 80’s – the Bagets era, who would have thought such fashion statement will be resurrected. The Koreans though have brought it to life as vivid as it is and as influential.

Currently though, no one has enthused so much leaning than Psy’s Gangnam style. If its outburst through its apparent sardonic approach is any manifestation of revolution, it has effectively channeled the unorthodox and the assertion among outcasts and even ‘privy’ individuals. His now famous ‘danceable’ steps used to be moves you’d perchance comically perform within the confinement of your own room in front of a mirror to probably make your wife laugh. It does not make it any conventional though as opposed to its amusing execution but it doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Undeniably, it seriously established Korea’s influence regardless of norm. Seemingly, having that supposed unassuming nature likewise unpretentiously casts one as the “new cool” worthy of an unpretentious attitude-inspired admiration.

Such down-to-earth outlook (corresponding with one’s inferior race compared to what the world in general has been accustomed to towards the expected and familiar prevailing first-world forces) greatly appeals as a hope-inducing metamorphosis of some sort especially among second-rates. The idea is that it gives the impression of the potential of the ‘icky caterpillar’ in all of us transforming into the elegant butterfly we could be; an inspiring reminder just like how an ugly duckling could turn into a beautiful swan. The general belief on such impossibly-perceived development is that “who would have thought?”

Yes, who would have thought? Perhaps due to our colonial mentality and that we’re used to seeing the world’s dominant players rule, the prospect of the underdogs becoming the top dogs fascinates us behind our own reservations. The record-breaking Gangnam is an attestation to all these. If only we’ve thought of publicizing those “bedroom moves” even as mocking as we naturally are… we’d be as popular… or not.

Now the Koreans have erased any doubt… and they have further asserted it with overriding passion and fashion, in an upbeat flair; through Gangnam style. Opa! I mean ‘OPAno?’ Banat na!