Why catcalling doesn’t bother me (or my husband)
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I would like to apologize to everyone who feels offended by the following entry.
It was meant to be a light piece about turning 50 and invisible not an insult to those who are offended by catcalls. Sorry for those offended by Mr. Duterte’s catcall, but I feel that there are more important issues to tackle such as the killings and cursings which have to stop.

A few years ago, I read an article about a woman who was scared to turn 50 and become invisible. I wondered what that meant.
Google the words “50 + women + invisible” and you’ll see what it means.
Basically when you turn 50, you no longer matter. You don’t turn heads the way you used to when you were young. Nobody checks you out.

“I miss being checked out,” I told Dinna a couple of months ago. And then I went to National Bookstore after a press lunch, I was dressed, blowdried and made up. I swear, one of the stock boys checked me out, greeted me, smiled, and said something nice to me. It felt really good.

These days the only one who tells me I’m cute is my son Ben, 14.
In Tokyo, when I wore my Jil Sander x Uniqlo coat and put the hoodie over my head, my sons Ben and Markus hugged me in the cold and said, “Awww, mommy you look so cute.”

These days the only sexual harassment I get is when Jeroen, my husband of 15 years, grabs my ass in the hallway of our dressing room. I still hate it!
Gone are the days when 17-year-old boylets would pick me up at the meatpacking district in New York, 25 years ago.
The last time a stranger flirted with me was in a Footlocker store in New York 2012 (ask Grace) and nearly at Antique Garage in Soho.

Cecile van Straten

That said, I am turning 50 next year. If anybody catcalls me at this point of time, I would be very grateful. I don’t care if it’s a carpentero, seriously. I would not be offended.
The problem with society, said another blogger, is if Alden Richards catcalls you, it’s flattering. But if an ugly guy does it, it’s sexual harassment.
I asked my husband Jeroen how would he feel if President Duterte catcalled me? He said he would laugh. I would too.

Besides, catcalling is so ’70s. Who the hell does that anymore (aside from Mr. Duterte).
What Justin Trudeau or if Sebastian Duterte catcalled you, would you mind?
I certainly wouldn’t.

Sebastian Duterte

Which reminds me, I have to pay for those Baste T-shirts I ordered from Davao.

How To Deal With Duterte’s Painful Presscons (Part 2)
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Just when I was about to update my blog, here come the announcements:

CNN tweet

Gosh. Now my friends and I are panicking—the same friends who wanted Duterte to shut up.
Because now we realize we looked forward to his late night press conference like a bad teleserye. What are we going to discuss on Whatsapp without Duterte’s shocking statements? What boring headlines are we going to read instead?

freddie tweet

To quote Eddie Boy Escudero in Facebook:

“What did you expect? A 180-degree turn around? He still won despite saying even nastier things, announcing very controversial plans and acting very unpresidentiable.
Well I expect it to remain the same which is why I stopped caring about this topic. It’s just sad that some people are doing their best to make things worse and pushing him to become even more nasty.
Sometimes I wish the press really boycotts him and lets him just do his thing.”

Right now I’d like to end this with a prayer by Marianne Williamson:

Dear Lord, we pray for the leaders of this country and every other. May they not be swayed by false politics but instead listen to the spirit of truth. May they not harken to the false and bitter voices of a frightened world but instead hear the angels who minister unto them. May the world make room for their leadership and resist no more their path into greatness. May their virtue shield them. May their lack of virtue be forgiven and corrected. May their words be true. May their strength go before them to cut like a sword through all illusion. May they see the innocence and brotherhood in all who oppose them. May they grow beyond a shallow fight. And thus may we all be taken with them into new light, new peace, new politics, new hope for all the world. Amen!

Waiting is not a bad thing
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I didn’t make it to my Belo appointment because the maid used the driver to buy bread without telling me. While waiting for the driver to come back, I got three calls from the Belo Shang clinic asking where we were. I tried to explain that sorry we are on our way, but you know how Pinoys are, you get a 15-minute grace period, and if you’re not there, sorry ka na lang. Never mind if you’re a good or potentially good customer).

I got so pissed I don’t think I can ever show my face there again. But why does it have to come to this?
In this day and age of horrible Manila traffic, there should be some humanity when a customer begs for you not to cancel their appointment.
How many times have I waited for my turn at a doctor’s clinic, say, at St. Luke’s or Medical City?
If you’re on time, you usually have to wait for your turn. If you’re late you still have to wait anyway because that’s life. Things and emergencies do happen. Traffic happens.

In Tokyo where people are incredibly polite, they always say, お待たせしました (Omataseshimashita) or thank you for waiting. In Roppongi, I was surprised when an Uber driver waited for us for ten minutes when we couldn’t find him, instead of cancelling our trip.
When we were late for our reservation at our favorite Barbacoa restaurant, I was afraid we would lose our table. But nobody cancelled our reservation and it remains our favorite restaurant.
We try not to be late but things do happen especially if you’re managing teenagers.

Barbacoa Roppongi
Love this place

So yes, I’m still home and tomorrow I’ll take my kids to Dr. Murad at Shang instead. We will not be late. I hope the kids like the service there.

How to deal with Duterte’s painful presscons (Part 1)
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Even my Duterte-loving friends and supporters have given up trying to watch Duterte presscons on TV.
“Why did you even watch?” Grace asked me earlier.
“Cause Patrice and I were stuck in traffic for three hours, so we watched CNN on livestream.”
How do I put this? Ang sakit sa bangs.

Duterte press con

It’s so painful to watch Duterte in a presscon because he is unfiltered and comes across as uneducated.
I can’t deal with Freddie Aguilar songs anymore. But I have to stress how much I want Duterte to succeed and prove all of his haters wrong, that he can do good and bring about change despite being brutish and rough around the edges (to put it lightly).

I’d like to share something our friend Mavis sent to our What’s App group, written by Emanuel A Soriano Jr. on Facebook:

Emmanuel Soriano

To My Anti-Duterte Family and Friends
I’ve noticed there is much angst, anxiety and animosity going around because of certain behavior and speech of President-elect Digong.
Let me offer 3 P’s to help you deal with this in the next 6 years:

(1) Peace of mind.
There’s a nice saying that goes something like, “When you go beyond yourself, you will find peace of mind.”
I do believe that deep in his heart, Digong has the heart for the poor.
I suggest that we just go beyond ourselves and our sensitivities and just look deep into his heart knowing that he means well especially for the downtrodden. Despite his rough and unpolished ways, there is much proof to show that Digong has a soft spot for the poor and the masses.

(2) Pardon his French.
Digong is 71 years old. By the time his term ends, he’ll be 77. He will not change his ways. If fact, it’s his ways that made him win. So why change?
Instead, I suggest we have an accepting attitude but never forgetting to encourage the younger generation on better ways to behave and speak. Ironically, we will discover that it’s in acceptance of what we don’t expect and of what is beyond our control where we will find inner peace. As the good book says, “Be still and know that I am God.” He is in control of everything. So why worry?

(3) Pray for him.
In the words of Mar, “Digong, I wish you success. Ang iyong tagumpay ay tagumpay ng ating sambayanan at ng ating bansa.”
Let’s sincerely pray and wish Digong all the success. Because indeed his success is the success of the entire nation.
I do believe that Digong wants to succeed, especially for the sake of the poor and powerless. Who doesn’t want that? I believe that the charitable thing to do is to bombard the heavens with prayers for Digong, not only for his own sake, but for the sake of all.
Wishing you all peace, love and hope.
Thanks and blessings.

(Have an appointment with Belo. To be continued)