Oct 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


Oct 29, 2011

Daily thoughts - pissed.. while watching the red tape unfurl some more..

Today I got up early to attend a mandatory seminar somewhere in Katipunan Avenue. I knew it was something that Id dismiss later as stupid, ridiculous and another last ditch effort of my government to milk money from me. I wanted to prove myself wrong. Besides I didnt have a choice, this so called orientation is required and if I didnt go, I might not be able to leave the country.

Ill go into the details of how I got to the place and what it looked like. All I can say is that I paid for the most expensive photocopy (16PHP), sticker (400PHP) and the lousiest seminar ever which cost me 250PHP.  This is one of those times Im very ashamed of being a Filipino. Because of this blatant corruption that seems small scale but is unfortunately legal.

The damn seminar lasted for one hour and it tackled very basic information about migration. I could have spent the day at home surfing the net and I would have gathered more information without spending a single peso.

One woman shared her horrible ordeal of having been deplaned the night before because she wasnt aware that she had to go through this seminar. She is from Davao and doesnt have any family member in Manila. She said the people at the British Embassy never advised her about the CFO requirement. She has been in and out of the country for many years and this is the first time she was petitioned as a spouse so she had no idea she needed that special sticker prior to leaving the country.

cfo sticker on a passport page

I can just imagine her harrowing experience. Because I myself didnt know it was a requirement not until I got my visa and read that little pamphlet that came with it. I felt so sorry for the lady because the seminar we attended was a waste of time, money and it wasnt worth her having to go through rebooking her flight ( I hope she was able to fly tonight) and all the other inconvenience she had to encounter .

Seriously what is this seminar for? I read from this link that it should discuss certain issues that Filipina women may face when immigrating and finally moving in with a foreign spouse. Not a lot of things were covered in that one hour seminar to tell you the truth. Although I was actually relieved I could leave early and even managed to make it to my niece's UN (United Nation's) parade at their school, still I felt that Ive been robbed twice-My time and my money.

In my honest opinion I doubt the sincerity of the government when they say they are doing this because they care about their citizens, especially the women who are going to marry foreign spouses.  Ive read countless articles of other migrant workers who have been raped by employers and worse killed but the government couldnt do much for them or their families.I aint drinking  the whole "we are doing this for your own good" kool aid shit.

In that one hour of orientation all I felt was annoyance and disgust. Annoyance over the fact that maybe our government think we are idiots that we dont know this is just another scheme. Coercing us to go through this bureaucratic bullshit so they could extort money. Disgust because the ugly cycle never stops. In fact I noticed that our government just never runs out of "FEES". The brochure we received also emphasized that apart from the Airport Tax we have to pay (1620 PHP for economy and more for business clas) a terminal fee. I remember that when I used to work overseas, I had to still procure an OEC (overseas employment clearance) prior to leaving the my country.

Its sad. Ive been to one of the nicest airports in the world and they dont require an airport tax or terminal fee. When I look around our airport (where I also lost my bag 3 years ago when it went thru the xray machine. The personnel there didnt even bother to help me look for it) I sigh and shake my head and think to myself "Kaya walang asenso ang bansa dahil kahit san ka magpunta, puro kotong, kurakot na lng" (the reason our country wont progress coz everywhere you go the government just screws us over with more tax, additional fees and corruption).

Even a change of president isnt enough for the old bad ways to go.

By the way I also looked up report of marriage on google. Interestingly, only the Philippines seem to have that requirement. And you guessed it right, there is a FEE for it too!

Oct 27, 2011

Daily thoughts - ambivalent feelings on leaving

Yesterday I finally received the documents Ive been waiting for. Its the fruit of almost a year long of collating and submitting important paperwork to finalize my travel. I admit I was very happy to finally get it all done. As I tore the plastic package and surveyed the contents of the bag, I could imagine being with my husband again and that thought made me smile.

But I wasnt totally happy. When I went out of the room, I saw the cats and one of our dogs and as usual they followed me around. They brushed their bodies against my leg and some of them just wouldnt stop circling around it. It made me guilty.

For the past few months Ive tried hard to look for people who are willing to accommodate at least one pet. I had to put the pets up for adoption because I discovered last year when I came home that the animals arent fed most of the time. I dont understand really how the owner of the house can stand treating animals as such. So I decided Id rather for these pets get adopted out than die in this shithole.

Initially my plan was to stay here for awhile then when I leave I needed to bring my 2cats with me to the US. These two were my original cats that I adopted in Singapore. But after that incident in December, I had to adopt two more cats. And lately I just fell in love with Boomer's sibling Fruitycake. So yeah damn I have 5 cats in tow.

I wish I could bring the rest of the animals with me but its impossible. I cannot afford to do that. Also I dont think Delta Airlines will allow me to fly 13 cats and 5 dogs. Lastly, I doubt that the landlord of the apartment Im moving into would allow a huge number of animal in its premises.

This is probably one of the hardest things I have to do.. Break these animals hearts.

I am not too proud of myself right now..

Oct 24, 2011

Appeal for a cat named Cooper

My cat Thumper was hospitalized in February this year and if not for the kindness of friends and some people I met on the internet, my baby girl wouldnt be alive today. I am forever grateful to these wonderful people and I promised it to myself back then that if any of them ever ask me for any favor in the future, Id do it in a heartbeat.

One of those kind souls need that help right now. She didnt ask me to do this but I wanted to share her story and just maybe you too may want to help.

My friend has many cats and she lives with her husband and infant daughter. She is an artist and makes money of out commission for her fantastic drawings. Here is a sample of one of her works. This drawing was given to a friend of hers:

My good friend Rheann is a lovely person because despite the very little money she makes, she still goes out of her way to donate for animal causes. Like in my case, my cat was hospitalised and needed to be confined last February. I was short on money and this person shelled out whatever money she had just to help me. She never asked me anything in return after that. She was simply happy to know that my cat survived. As a token of gratitude I just made a watercolor painting for her instead since she would'nt accept my offer to pay her back.

Lately she has adopted 3 more cats from a kill shelter in California. These 3 cats were about to be "destroyed" since noone wanted to adopt them, but they she saved them just in time. This person has a good heart and if kindness was all it took to be rich in this world, then she would'nt probably need my help at all.

This post is not just because I owe my friend a favor. Im also doing this because I know how it feels when a  pet's life is in danger. It is heartbreaking and only animal lovers can truly understand whats it like. I love my pets very much and Id do anything to ensure they are safe, healthy and truly cared for.

Here are some photos of my friend's cat named Cooper. Cooper was recently confined and had a surgical operation at SPCA in San Francisco California. The bill rang up to a whooping 3544 and some change (which is really rather hefty).

A note my friend wrote on her fb wall for her friends and family :

Cooper is staying for a few days at the SPCA vet. She is very sick right now with Jaundice and in critical condition. Where on earth did I go wrong. I am waiting to hear back from the vet on her results, it will take a few days. At this time the vet is not sure if the Jaundice has been caused from her lack of desire to eat, or if she may have a hidden illness with her liver, hepatitis or liver cancer. They will hook a feeding tube up to her neck tonight surgically and she must remain in the hospital for several days because when she tries to eat she throws up so she must be force fed at this time.... The vet told me that there is a high chance she will not recover for this if it’s taking a turn for the worse and more serious like cancer etc. What does this all mean…. So my Cooper is going to die? Is this treatable? I hate not knowing this outcome the stress is eating a hole in my stomach. I am simply devastated. I haven't even had her that long and already I am losing her...
I am appealing for financial help for Cooper and also prayers, her medical costs are quite expensive and we just had to pay for Pancake and Chocolate, Chocolate of which was finally neutered and tattooed today. Vet also said something about that maybe she can come home in a few days but I’ll have to feed her through her neck tube if they take that approach… I’m so scared at this point. I don’t know what to think or to do next, I just wait for her blood results now… I miss you so much Cooper I wish you were home….


Breakdown of Cooper's final veterinary bill:

To confirm the amount, you may also contact SPCA San Francisco 415-554-3000 .

Here are additional photos of Cooper after she was discharged:

food and medicine

Cooper passed out in the carrier

Feeding tube on Cooper's neck

new bandage

Cooper socializing again with her cat family

Cooper on top of her favorite pillow
Any amount would be of great help. Please visit this link if you would like to make any contribution. Thank you very much in advance.

Oct 23, 2011

Daily thoughts - Let the Games begin!

My husband has been telling me that the book is very good and so is the TV show. I am yet to check the series on TV out. But before that I want to check the book out first. Im eager to know what the fuss is all about. I have the soft copy but there is just something about the feel of a hardbound book and the smell of its pages that really entices me. I cant wait to get started!

Oct 22, 2011

Daily thoughts - sweet message early in the morn..

"I remember when I first got here, everything seemed so exciting, but it's like the longer I'm away from you, the duller life becomes, as if all the color is draining out of the world.You add life to my life baby girl."

sigh. a message from my soulmate. i know my day will turn out great=)

Oct 21, 2011

Daily thoughts- Yue yue, RIP little girl..

I dont know if youve seen this video, but when I saw it, for awhile I couldnt breathe

Here is a link on the full story of what happened that very tragic day. I was totally speechless for a few minutes before I just mumbled profanities after watching the video. I kept shaking my head in disbelief. 18 people saw the dying child and did nothing. The kid was ran over not once but twice by 2 vehicles. I cant even imagine something like this happening to an animal, and here I witness a little girl being treated worse than an animal. I dont want to be quick to judge because people in China may have aversions to helping because of fear of getting implicated instead of commended. But seriously, how hard is it to call an ambulance or get the attention of other people and get the seriously injured child to a hospital??

Yue yue, the little girl, unfortunately succumbed to all the injuries she sustained and died today. This sad event is somewhat like a reminiscent of what happened to Kitty Genovese in New York many years ago. Ms Genovese was murdered and 38 people saw what was happening but didnt even call the police. All they had to do was CALL but that was just effort to them.

The morality of man is eroding. The indifference shown by these 18 "human beings" is so appalling Im so ashamed we are of the same species. I have more respect for some animals who would save its own.

To you little sweet girl Yue yue, you may not have lived long enough on this world, but you will be remembered. I wish to let you know that not all people are bad. There are still some people would have gladly helped if they have been there. I among those many people would have wanted to pick you up and bring you to a safe place. I hope you forgive those heartless people and pray for them because it must be difficult to live with such apathy.

You are in a better place now where noone will ever hurt you again. Rest in peace beautiful Yue yue.

Oct 16, 2011

Daily thoughts - The New Kid in Town

Pretty, one of our mainstay cats at home, gave birth to a single litter last July. The last time she had another live kitten was back in November of the previous year and that cat was also born without any siblings. Normally, our other female cats have three kittens in one go, but not Pretty. It is very seldom that she conceives more than 2 kittens and they rarely also survive. Late November of 2010 she gave birth to a beautiful white kitten and I named it Boomer. Boomer is now almost 11 months old and is very healthy. Also, she is unfortunately blind. Nevertheless, its because of her being blind that she earned that coveted "spot" of my special cat list (ie:the cats that will come with me to the States). I know that noone else here will want her since she is a special needs cat and I cannot imagine leaving her either.

The new addition to the huge cat family in the house is another reason for me to work harder. A new mouth to feed! lolz. I am currently feeding already 12 cats and 6 dogs. Not that Im complaining, but a kitten is precious to me everytime there is one. Especially now that this kitten is one of Pretty's. This is the 2nd of the 2 surviving offspring she has so I am doing my best to ensure that this kittten is healthy. I had to buy special milk and kitten cat food because during the first few weeks, I noticed that Fruitcake was beginning to get frail. Pretty is not a very good mother as Ive noticed. She leaves her kitten behind most of the time and she only tries to show that she is a good mother when Im looking. What a bitch. She just wants me to reward her with generous supply of catfood but she wouldnt take the time to nurse her new baby.

Im glad that Fruitcake has put on weight again and is seemingly healthy and happy.

Fruitcake - July 25 2011

Fruitcake - Aug 5 2011

Pretty, Fruitcake and Shopwise - August 6 2011
Ive allowed Fruitcake to wander into my room and now is a permanent fixture. He refuses to stay outside of the room longer than 10 minutes. When I open the door Pretty would be hanging out of the room with the other critters that I just fed 5 minutes ago. And as usual they act like they havent eaten for a month, meowing and begging for food. I would let Fruitcake hang out a bit with Pretty and the PG gang (pg stands for patay gutom, a slang we use for people or animals who seem insatiable). But he goes back to the room voluntarily when I open the door of the room again. He knows where he can get unlimited love and food=).

This is now a big dilemma. I have fallen in love with this new cat..unfortunately there is a quota to the number of cat I can bring to the states with me.

oh Fruitcake, how I wish I can bring you with me to the promised land..