Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Life on Cannery Row....

I  leave in my house at 1:30 pm and have to ride a trisikad to go town then transfer to jeep to go in the city to my job at the cannery. The trisikad has street priority in daytime, so is faster and easy to get to mains streets where I can catch jeepney. Give php15 (us$.035) to trisikad driver. Today it is Milan - who is registered with proper ID from government. He is engine, and driver for triskid. Takes 2-3 people. Usually just short trip to main street.  At street I catch jeepney (b/f says) this is only in Philippines. Made from jeep to carry many people on benches in back. Very colorful, so driver can get passengers attention. Jeepney from my town to Cagayan de Oro cost php25. (us$0.60). Is quick trip to factory.  Today crowded - many people - but I get seat. 

Before we go in to the plant, I read the sign at the gate. On a post "NO ID,NO SHOES NO ENTRY".   Important for discipline to look like employee, not squatter, so I arrive in uniform. White tee-shirt, jeans, have gloves, have hairnet and apron, have mask. Company and employees both serious about doing clean work with food product.

We are serious while we work. Begin 1:30pm, snack break at 6:00pm. My job is in finishing product. Is already to put in can when comes to me, I sometimes pick out eyes of pineapple - imperfections - I pickup pineapples (always use sterile gloves) and plop! into can. Pass on to machine that puts top on and seals. There are more than twenty of us who do this job. Hundreds of cans in an hour. Today I read advertisement. They need more people.

Desired qualifications -
Very Good scholastic records
Strong leadership skills
Team spirit
Above average skills in written and oral communication
Ability to work under pressure
Willing to undergo rigid training

So.. I am proud of job - we put this product on market and grocery shelves around the world. In America, in Europe, in Asia, Africa. Satisfying to make sweet treat but healthy for people everywhere. Job not pay so well, but is satisfying. To me at least. 

At snack time..its 6:00pm I will hide maybe today, I have only a candy mint for lunch, but my friend there Lilly, she gives me some of her lunch for free.  I'm shy about that, but when I have salary on pay-day, I sometimes give her free snacks too.  At the lunch time my coworkers always joking. We smile and laugh after lunch its quiet again, we are all back at jobs.  Rest of day goes quickly, back to work at 6:30pm, home at 8:30pm. I earn about php125 (us$3) for the day, after I pay jeepney and trisikad drivers both to work and back home.

This is our product - before is ripe - in the field.

And after work I am so excited to go home. No truancy for me!  It is good. Factory supervisor lets me choose own hours so I have mornings to do details and get Llana and Pammi to school, and they can stay at my sister's house on their way home. Straight home for me on jeepney and trisikad. Because of my kids and of course to talk again to my b/f on net. 

I am comfortable in my life, working at company and caring for my kids. Get support and inspiration from my b/f...  I look no further. It is enough for me..

This is day of factory worker in Misamis Oriental.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The daughters I love...

Every morning I do the same work at home, make breakfast and look after and take care of my kids. Breakfast is rice, fried eggs, milk, hotdogs.  When they go to school, I maybe chat with boyfriend for a while, then I go to work at the pineapple canning factory.

Llana and Pammi - they are good students in school and at home they are always well behaved for me. I love my kids very much. They are my life. That is why I work hard for them. When they come home from school they do their projects and home work assignment before they going to sleep. School is serious here and all parents hope is way to better life for children.

Llana likes desert foods. My girl has a sweet tooth like her mother did! She likes to dress. I forget she is teenage girl now. Nice blouses, skinny jeans, sandals with heels. She is popular and has many friends at school and at home in our neighborhood. Most of her attention is on her studies. At school her favorite subject is English but she does well in all her subjects and does school activities after classes. Taekwondo and badminton, and is a dancer too. She is always winning in dance contest in her school. Music? She likes love songs and of course, worship songs from our church.

Little sister Pammi is always trying to keep up! She likes spaghetti salads but we can only in this kind of foods when have occasions here like birthdays. In school, her favorite subject is also English. She likes sexy clothes because she likes to be in pageants. She always goes. She won the 3rd runner up award last time she entered! Like her sister, Pammi is popular and has many friends at school and home. I am concerned, she needs more attention to her studies. I try to keep her concentrating and focused. She likes dancing too and she is in drum and bugle band. She would like to have a bicycle, but she doesn't know how to drive. Sometimes she's a performer. Singing, but no microphone, only a stick of softbroom. She like lovesongs and worship songs from our church. My boyfriend says Filipina like love songs too much. But is easy to get nice feeling from song. Maybe nice feeling in life comes along too. I hope for my girls.

They both have a good gradings on their report cards and have received awards in every grading periods. They are very involved in the school activities. I worry that their teacher may send me a notice for their tuition payments and school fees. I am afraid of interrupting their education by not enough money to pay.

Catholicism is important here in Philippines and I want my girls understand role of God and church in life. We pray to give thanks before we eat and after eating.  Then we pray before we leave our home. We pray before sleep and on waking.  Llana has not yet confirmation only recollection last March 15, 2010 and Pammi is only 9, but has first communion last February 2010. Both to go catechism and catholic class.

I am glad I meet my new b/f and he is willing to help. He sends enough for school, and so my kids can eat nutritious foods. I pay fees, buy milk and vitamins with his money. This little security has brought me comfortable now in life. The blessings we have now is enough for me and I am happy when I see my kids happy and healthy.

This is a big thing for me.

I love my daughters. Llana will read and giggle to hear about herself, but she knows this true and is from my heart.

I am proud of both my girls.


Last report card -

Saturday, 5 March 2011

With all my heart...

When my husband left me I fell into deep depression and at first I decided that I don't want to let my kids go to school. In other words, I want them to stop their studies. But, I thought it over many times and I really know and feel deeply that I should not ruin my kids' futures because of my misfortune. So even as a single mom I strive to encourage them to pursue their studies. Bless my sister, she bought them notebooks. They had gone to school without any bags, which when I thought about it I cried and it hurt me as a mother to see my kids going to school without a good dress and no slippers or shoes.

All mothers were children once and know how children can be cruel. My big concern is their school fees and their school uniforms - and the others. I fear that the other children will criticize them. The other children know that my kids' mother washed neighbor's clothes to earn money for their needs. But, even that is not enough, because I could only wash two times a week, so I also got work at the fruit canning company. Still my salary is not enough for our daily needs.

Really, that's why I decided to join my internet café friends. Karen and Carol and I go to the café everyday before I go to work. Maybe you read in my story about "Café Betrayal" that I met a guy who pitied me and helped me for my kids needs he sent me $25 a week, until one of my café friends found out and snatched him away. This was heartbreaking for me. He was nice to me, but it was my children's school and lunch and uniforms that she took. Not just internet chat boyfriend. That is why it hurt me so.

For months I didn't know who going to help me with my kids studies. I fell behind. But now I am lucky - have new b/f who has helped, but he wants me to tell stories so people can understand my life here in Misamis Oriental, for people who do not have land or money.

This is the story of my life on the way back. I hope I can continue, not for me really but mostly for my kids' future. Somehow new b/f and blog makes my world more colorful.  A little help with school fees and other necessities of life is what I need. People think internet café life is for fun and flirting and for camera play and playful tease. But for me is not.

My girls study hard at school. They know the cost to me. "A" students. I send report card to my new b/f, and I am proud. So is he. I am thankful for help, with all my heart.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Café betrayal.

One day when I was home alone in my house my friends Karan and Susan asked if I would go to an internet café with them. There are many café here and it is a popular social scene with my friends. .

I went with them because I was lonely at home by myself. It's fun. Sometimes you make friend from around the world. I went to 50s chatroom because I want not immature but nice man. I found a friend Alex and spent my whole time talking. Alex says loves me very much. We have relationship that goes on weeks or months. We chat almost every day. He says he is planing to send me a computer. He offers to help me with dental work. He offers to find me a job, there in America, in maintenance or cleaning. Why I do not know, but I introduced him to my friends. They added him to their chat friend lists.

Several of my friends have b/f like this, who send little gifts or make promises. Sometimes help make life better here by send money. Little for them but make in little town in Misamis Oriental a lot. One of my friend is interested in him because she has heard about his help for me. Somehow she found a way to convince him to love and help her. What did she do? I am not so pretty, but I try and am sincere. She is not so pretty either. What does she do or say that I can not do? That I have done for him? My help from Alex stops. My heart stops. He does not want me any more or talk to me.

He cheated on me with her. She can afford to do that to me because she always under estimated and undervalued me as a friend. Why take from me? It is sad for me, because Alex was helping me with a little money. Little to him, but lifeline to me and girls. It is so hurtful for me when I see them talking at café because Alex and I had made promises. Like lovers make promises. No chance to break and fix, because all this happened in such a hurry. I feel my friend is a traitor me to me. I am betrayed. Silly to meet man on internet and fall in love and be depend on him for affection and even day to day needs. But I weep.

My children do not understand and do not know me. This betrayal and this loss made me weak and desperate, not just in my heart. I lost more weight.  I cannot eat. I lose 10kg (20lb), but, I think I can recover. Over 10 months I stop losing weight and stable.  Now, I thank God now because I found new b/f. I love him. Very much and I will care him and not to share with my friends. I hope he will understand me why i keep him to myself so. He tells me not to be silly but I am.  It is not pretend. I need it.