Monday, June 20, 2011

Bonding with my Dad

Last week, I've been looking for a place to dine with my parents for the coming Father's Day. Since I already brought them to some nice buffet restaurants before, I was juggling the idea of bringing them to a seafood restaurant. In Las Vegas, there are a lot of these restaurants to choose from but I don't want to bring them to a high-end formal dining places where you are just forced to be satisfied just because the place is quite expensive. After some research and soliciting opinions from my co-workers, I decided to end-up in a seafood buffet restaurant. I don't want to bring them again to my own favorite Japanese/seafood buffet because we've been there numerous times. I chose the newly renovated and re-opened Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio Hotel & Casino. I've been in this place years back and since the price range is on the upper end, which is understandable because seafood is quite expensive in this city, I did not make myself a regular customer. I thought it was the right time to visit this place again with my parents. On Father's Day itself, I checked online to see what time the restaurant opens. They are not serving breakfast or brunch, of course who would eat crab legs for breakfast? Since they are offering only dinner, we went there around 4pm. Yes, dinner at buffet restaurants actually starts at 3pm. Indeed I was not disappointed. The place had improved in terms of its ambiance. My folks were fascinated by the variety of seafood both raw and cooked on the buffet table. I'm glad that my parents enjoyed their time in this restaurant.

I'm Not Perfect

The first person that I looked up to as a hero in my life is my own father. He is always there for me and my younger brother. The first time I ever stepped into school, that was in my kindergarten, up to my high school days, he was always there supporting us. Every morning he was always the one to bring us to school and by the end of the day he was always the one to pick us up for home. I always relied on him on my school projects and as my private tutor. When I reached high school, he refrained himself from being too visible with me but still he was a huge influence. College was something new for me since I went to school away from my hometown. Thanks to my father, he was there to guide me through in order for me to survive the first few days in a new place. When I was done with college, it was time for me to find a job. While waiting for the results of my board exams, he offered me a temporary job in the same office where he worked. After the positive results of the board exams, I moved back to Cebu City and started applying for a job. Staying in a city away from my hometown and family taught me the value of independence but even then, my dad was always there when problems came up. Eventually both my parents moved to America in the hopes of bringing me and my brother there. Unfortunately I was the only one who was able to join them since my brother chose not to move to the USA but got married and started a family instead. When I first came to America, it was my father who guided me with all the things to start up a new life in a foreign land. He drove me on my first job interview. He was with me when I first got my driver's license. It was kind of new to me since I've been living on my own for the past 17 or so years while working in Cebu and when I joined them here, it seemed I went back to my elementary or high school days. I have no complaints though since I already realized that no matter how old you are, and no matter what's your status in life is, your parents are always there for you. They are just a call away, in my case, they are just there next to me to reach out.
After all these things that my father and my mother had done, I was wondering if I have accomplished what they had hoped for. Are they proud of me of what I have become? I'm no public figure, not a rich guy, not married and with no kid of my own. Well, I think I knew one thing that they were disappointed about me. They had hoped that I'd get married and have a family of my own. Well aside from that, I would wish there are no more things about me that disappointed them. I know I'm not a perfect son but how I wish that they are still proud of me, I've been trying to become one. One thing for sure, I'm so indebted to them that even my own life could not cover as payment for all that they have done for me. I'm just so thankful to God that He let me born out of my loving parents. I remember that in one of my birthdays in the past years, they gave me a birthday card that said something about being proud of their perfect son and they cant ask for more. I believed them so.
Happy Father's Day again, Papa Romeo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Lesson of Patience & Determination

Early this evening, my parents just arrived home from some game time in the casino. Since it was already late at night, they were preparing to go to bed. Some of my mom's personal ritual after changing her clothes, is to take off her jewelries, basically her ring and necklace and rinse them with water just to take out the saltiness from perspiration. Unfortunately, she accidentally dropped her necklace into the sink's drain. She was crying when she told us about it and tried to retrieve the jewelry. My dad's first reaction was getting mad at her and blamed her for the incident. I tried to calm them down and agreed to try to retrieve the valuable item which probably was just stucked at the bottom of the U-shaped pipe right below the drain. My dad got a wire that he fashioned the tip into a small hook and used it to retrieve the necklace. After several attempts, I tried doing it myself without success. I couldn't even feel anything down there. The next thing that I suggested was to call a plumber in the morning so that he could take out the U-shaped pipe as we were sure that the necklace was stucked in there. As long as the sink wont be used, there will be no possibility that the necklace will be flushed out by water. We tried to take out the pipe ourselves but we didn't have the proper tool to use and I was afraid that we might destroy the pipe causing a much bigger problem. I basically surrendered to the unsuccessful situation and strongly suggested that they should go to bed and call the plumber in the morning. One of my dad's good traits though is not to easily lose hope in a hopeless situation. He manipulated the wire that he used to retrieve the necklace into different angle to conform with the U-shape of the drain pipe. I discouraged him that he will be up until the morning trying to retrieve the item. My mom was again crying and started praying. I could not bear watching both of them so I went into my room and opened my computer. After an hour or so, my dad successfully retrieved the necklace from the drain. If he had surrendered like I did, my mom could have spend the whole evening worrying about the necklace and without sleep, and we could have spend some amount of money to pay the plumber in the morning.
Some lessons learned: Never attempt to take off jewelries next to a sink with open drain. Never surrender to find ways and means to solve the problem unless all resources were being used up. Lastly, as what my mom did....Pray!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ways to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation

So much "bruhaha" were written about the so called radiation from cell phones. Studies came up with some "not-so-sure" conclusions that cell phone radiation could cause brain cancer. While talking with your cell phones, the device would emit some form of radiation and the heaviest is on the internal antenna portion. With prolonged use, specially with children having thinner skulls, this would pause danger to the brain. At least a latest study published in the February 23 Journal of the American Medical Association supported part of this theory. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that a cell phone's electromagnetic field can indeed cause changes in brain activity, with the regions closest to the antenna showing higher rates of energy consumption. Again, there is still no conclusive evidence that cell phone radiation could cause brain cancer. If the latest study results means good, bad or neutral, we still don't know.
Nevertheless it is better to be cautious and practice preventive measures so that our brains will not be affected by this form of radiation during our long-term use of the cell phone. I have at least two practical and most common-sense ways in using cell phones without the risk of exposing our brains to these radiation.
The use of a wired headset is the most practical way to make calls on your cell phones as you can put the phone away from your skull. This is also the least expensive way since most of these headsets always comes with your new unit when you buy it. Its given to you, use it. The use of a bluetooth headset is not advisable either since it will still emit some kind of radiation.
Kid are into this already. Most people from other countries like the Philippines are more into sending text messages than making calls. It is much cheaper to send texts than making calls, and this will prevent your brain from being exposed to the cell phone radiation.
There are laws in the United States that bans the use of cell phones and sending text messages while driving cars, but this is another issue.