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Piyesta minatay na naman...

We worked only half day today. The bosses were kind enough to let us get off work earlier than usual so that our officemates who live in far-away towns could go home in preparation for tomorrow's piyesta minatay. We Filipinos commemorate All Soul's day, or the day of the dead, on the 2nd of November, but traditionally, people go to cemeteries on the 1st of November. This is, in some sort of way, our answer to the Halloween celebration in western countries. Why? Because both events have spooky elements to it.

As most Filipino events, piyesta minatay has a fiesta atmosphere to it. Thousands of people brush elbows against each other in the crowded cemeteries, light candles and say prayers for their dead loved ones. People not only bring food as an offering to the dead, but also for themselves. Playing cards, radios/cassette players, or simply chitchatting in front of your dead one's tombs provide entertainment.

Anyways, later today I'm going to visit my grandparents' tombs to avoid the hustle-bustle tomorrow. I will take photos of what went on during the piyesta minatay so that my readers from other countries see this tradition unique only to us Filipinos. My mother with her amiga rented a small store space where they sell drinks and other chichiryas for the people visiting the cemeteries. They want to cash in on the event, and hopefully, they can acquire good profit.

So... have a spooky weekend... awoooooooooo!

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen ....

Photo from Bitter Tonic.

Updates, updates

It's been a while since I posted here. There were so many things happening back at the office, especially now that the end of the year is near. Time for project evaluations and report-writing for our donors. So most of us project officers are in the field, conducting evaluation sessions and interviewing beneficiaries to support the data we gathered during the evaluation.

While most of the working population are looking forward to the end of the year (read: bonuses!), we at the office dread it! Due to funding shortages, there will be downsizing of manpower. Those that will be laid-off will be given separation pay equivalent to the monthly rate multiplied by the number of years of service. This is not much, I tell you, since our salaries are not that high compared to others. For a single person, that amount might be enough to tide him/her over while looking for another job. However, for married people, this is definitely not enough. To those who'll be lucky enough to be retained, will have to re-apply for the same position but the salary is not yet known if it's going to be the same level or not.

As of now, the management has not informed us of anything yet as to who will be leaving or staying. Due to this uncertainty, I am starting to look for other options. I would like to work overseas again, preferably to Cambodia where I used to work as volunteer from 1999-2000 and 2002-2003. But my options are open - anywhere will do as long as it is not a war-stricken country. You see, I have a husband and kid and they'll be a major consideration in the choice of country of assignment. And VSO has a positive reply on my application. We'll see. Wish me luck.

Wordless Wednesday #38: Our flower girl


This particular WW post didn't come out as scheduled so I am re-posting it for this week's Wordless Wednesday, Tuesday-Wednesday edition.

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