Monthly Archives: January 2017
Below is a screenshot of a publicly set email from a billionaire based in the US to her circle about the Philippines and its President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. This screenshot has been posted and reposted in many pages on Facebook.
After the picture, below, is the entire transcript of the email of Loida Nicolas Lewis.
As written by Loida Nicolas Lewis: “TAKE TIME to READ: Just arrived San Francisco. Still Sunday night. The money, equity and commodity markets are closed. In 3 hours, investors, fund managers and traders will open their newspapers. And read about a Philippine Presidential candidate who is starting to look completely inept at an ability called Uniting the Country.
They will think, oh shit, which country is this?? Philippines? Maybe this country MIGHT lose investor confidence this week?? (Doesn’t have to be true. Just needs to LOOK like that.)
Because they are stewards of millions of dollars of other people’s money — retirees’ life savings, pension funds — these fund managers are sensitive to any news that MIGHT affect their clients’ investments. So they check their exposure. They have bought a lot of Philippine stocks, a lot of Philippine pesos. It was a growing economy, after all, second highest GDP growth in tiger Asia.
Nobody really thought about this country recently. As they Google it, they learn more about the Presidential candidate who has angered the Australian, Mexican, American and Chinese authorities, and the Philippine military, all in a matter of a few days. Parang malabo yata itong bayan na ito. (Doesn’t have to be TRUE, just needs to LOOK like that.)
So the nervous fund managers start selling their Pesos. Other fund managers notice. “They sold sixty million Philippine Pesos? Oh yeah, that crazy country where people laughed along with this rapist candidate.” (Doesn’t have to be TRUE, just needs to LOOK like that.)
In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality. Hindi naman sila taga Pilipinas, so kung ano ‘yung nasa CNN, ‘yun ang totoo.
By Tuesday, traders everywhere are selling Pesos for Dollars or Euro. All they know about the Philippines, they got from the news. By Wednesday nobody wants Pesos, for the moment. You can no longer buy a dollar for 46 Pesos. You have to tempt them by offering more — 47, 48 or 49 Pesos to the dollar.
At close on Wednesday the exchange rate is 49:1, or even north of that. I know, that’s just a 6% devaluation, nothing really bad.
In the Philippines it is Thursday morning. You need more Pesos to buy a barrel of oil, a liter of milk, a tanker of aviation fuel, all imported. Power companies, gas stations, ice cream makers and airlines need to increase their Peso prices by 6% just to buy the same raw materials.
Your P46,000 savings can’t buy $1,000 anymore. You have to postpone that vacation. That car, that house. That baby.
Your Dad was hoping to retire this year with a P460,000 pension. On Thursday that isn’t worth $10,000 anymore. He has to work another 2-3 years. He thinks about the recent pain in his chest.
Everything imported goes up by 6%. Millions and tens of millions of pesos of needless costs.
That worldwide BBC article will do us damage. The Sydney Morning Herald, Le Monde and the Straits Times picked it up too, but BBC is worldwide. Which came from an original wire story like, “Perverted Philippine Presidential hopeful wanted first slot in a prison gangbang, entertains laughing crowd at rally.”
More traders Google “Philippines Duterte” pa more. They see the pictures… . Cringing women getting kissed, sitting on his lap, YouTube clips studded with words like ‘putang ina ka Pope.’ Geez, they think, this guy talks like that in public?!
In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality.
Nobody likes RISK. Other fund managers look at Peso-based equities. Philippine stocks, if valued in dollars, are now worth lower. They own a lot of PHILIPPINE Long Distance Tele… . Hey, isn’t that the country where this candidate regretted missing out on a gang rape?? Look, Microsoft shares are going up, why don’t we dump PLDT for now and buy Microsoft? It’s just prudence. They short 2 million shares… . You know, “just for a while,” until they can see whether the Filipinos can elect a ‘REAL’ President.
In the absence of first-hand experience, perception becomes reality.
So maybe PLDT has to postpone that internet upgrade.
That’s the impact of ‘statesmanship.’ Or the lack of it. Shit doesn’t have to happen, it just needs to LOOK like it will. And there will be consequences.
Guess who made it look like that? A clueless supporter who guffawed and posted a 2-minute video on YouTube. A crowd laughing along with an unthinking Mayor who stuffed his entire foot into his mouth. A day after he inadvertently signalled to China that he can give up claims to 100,000 square kilometers of Economic Exclusion Zone in exchange for trains. A week after he told people that Mexico was a stupid country to visit, in the presence of the Mexican ambassador.
It’s a global economy. A President also REPRESENTS the country in the eyes of the world. Obama is the US, Putin is Russia, Trudeau is Canada.
The Philippines? For now to the world, the Philippines is those people laughing about a dead woman missionary that their Presidential candidate wished he could have raped first.
Can we see now how AWFUL that was?”
[This is reposted here with permission from the author, Dr. Lorraine Marie T. Badoy]
For one, the hashtag for Lenileaks is something phenomenal in the present Philippine political milieu. It is akin to a rising crescendo of a song that has started playing the moment President Rodrigo Roa Duterte won in the May 2016 Presidential Elections in the Philippines. The melodious song is sang by a group of singers from varying genre united as one in concerted efforts to continuously support the elected president in his daily leadership journey. It’s like that group of singers led by Michael Jackson singing We are the World for the Haiti victims. For another, the listeners of that song are millions of Filipinos from all walks of life in various parts of the world, eager to listen to each unfolding lyrics that come out of the singers’ mouths. Each is intently listening, finding purposeful meanings to each line of the song, happily connecting it to the realities of the Philippine Republic. For still another, I would like to re-read this piece here whenever I wish to put my country in a context of someone who wants what’s best for the common Filipino, and not for the few elites. This way, I do not need to browse doc Badoy’s page for it. So, below is the author’s piece. Enjoy and learn.
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Reading through some of the Lenileaks emails, there was one thing that made cold chills run up and down my spine and felt like a cold hard rock in the pit of my stomach.
And it is this: how utterly convinced they are of their righteousness, their nobility.
“Thanks for fighting a genuinely good and sacred fight. God bless you all.”
“Every decent Filipino should be involved in this sacred fight between good and evil—and we shall encourage them to be brave with our example, be part of the good side and play an important part in the history of the Philippines.”
“I admire your commitment in doing what’s right and good.”
And on and on. You get the drift.
Makes me remember the famous Adolf Hitler quote:
“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
And he went on to exterminate 6 million Jews.
This is at the heart of elitism: a galling display of hypocrisy, arrogance and sickening sense of self-entitlement.
A small group of people think themselves on a higher plane than the rest of us and therefore it is their God-given right and DUTY even to bend rules this way and that because they know what is best for all of us.
They ignore the wisdom of the majority that have spoken loud and clear because they think they know better.
So Loida, ABS CBN, GMA, Inquirer, etc and most of all, front and center in this controversy, the VP herself, Leni Robredo want the President out of the picture because our country’s democracy needs to be saved.
And they do this by plotting to oust a democratically elected President with a resounding mandate from the Filipino people and who continues to enjoy high marks of approval from the overwhelming majority of us.
So in the sick minds of these bastards, in order to preserve our democracy, they need to smash it first.
Do the elites worry their pretty noses over these little inconsistencies? Do they give a fuck about this democracy they say they are fighting for while plotting its takedown and while chipping at this same democracy a million and one ways with the puppet of a VP who does whatever these clowns demand of her?
You can bet your sweet tootsies they don’t.
So that one of the biggest obstacles to our progress these days is the VP Leni Robredo herself because on top of the million and one challenges we need to hurdle to get our country back from the mud it’s been stuck in for forever, Leni Robredo and her gang of billionaires need to add just one more challenge: political instability.
Gee thanks, Leni.
And these bunch of clowns who, while I do not underestimate, I do not overestimate either. There’s just something about the inability to even remember proper Yahoo settings that doesn’t inspire confidence, ya know?
Such a painful sight these bumbling fools make that really, you almost want to help them. (“See that little wheel on the right? Right click it. See ‘settings’? Click on it. Goooood.”)
They can barely manage their Yahoo groups setting that any grade school teen can be on top of and yet they think they can manage an entire country of over a hundred million highly opinionated, passionate Pinoys.
If, for argument’s sake, they win this one (a giant IF), what then? Are we to go back to the usual highly incompetent, bumbling, indifferent management of the country that we’ve known ALL our life?
Sorry, I don’t see this happening. At all.
The Filipino is awake now.
The abused will no longer go back to her tormentor.
We’ve been treated to one lightbulb moment after another by this hard working, highly competent President that we keep saying in astonishment, “PWEDE PALA!” and we keep muttering in wild amazement, “Wow…just like that..”
Pwede pala matanggal ang laglag bala, just like that!
Pwede pala iuwi ang mga stranded na OFW..just like that.
Pwede palang magka modo ang mga lecheng imperyalismong Amerikano…just like that.
Pwede palang pauwiin na ang mga Lumad ..just like that.
At yung mga skwela nila, pwede palang wag sunugin at pwede palang tayuan sila ng mga skwela nila…just like that.
Pwede palang sabihan ang HK na wag nyong ipaglinis ang mga kababayan naming DH ng mga bintana ng high rise nyo na kung saan sila nagkakandahulog sa kamatayan nila…just like that.
Pwede palang magka mabilis at libreng wi fi sa airport and just like that!
Pwede palang walang lecheng mga linta sa airport and just like that!
Pwede pala ang relief efforts umabot ng maayos sa mga nangangailangan…just like that.
At pwede palang hindi limos nang limos ng tulong sa ibang bansa at pwede palang umasa sa sarili lang natin…just like that.
At pwede palang i-prioritize ang mga magsasaka..just like that.
At pwede palang libreng gamot..just like that.
At pwede palang free hospitalization para sa mahihirap..just like that.
At pwede palang hindi kurakot, tangangot, kasmot ang Pangulo ng Plipinas.
At pwede palang mahal nya talaga ang bayan nya na bawat galaw nya, tayo ang nasa isip nya.
At pwede palang mahal natin ang Pangulo natin. (eh yung mga haters, trapped sila sa impyerno ng suklam nila. Choice nyo yan, guys. Enjoy!)
At pwede palang maging astig ang Pilipinas sa mata ng mundo.
So kung ako pa sila Loida at ang barkada nyang elitista na walang magawang maayos sa oras nila, magform na lang sila ng Gantsilyo Club, meet MWF, discuss ng challenging gantsilyo projects. Or mag Zumba sila. Or mag Tai Chi sa Greenhills. (Sorry yun lang ang abot ng non-billionaire imagination ko.)
just get the fuck of our hair, Loida and company. Your grand, grand dreams of relevance and making your mark in Philippine history are over. That ship has sailed. Sail off into oblivion now. Away from us please. Get the fuck out of our lives, you fucking loony bin American.
As for the VP.
Madam VP, please be a VP.
There’s power enough there for you to get drunk on. You’re a heartbeat away from the presidency. Be a heartbeat away. Don’t be that heartbeat. You’re not there yet. Don’t try to take this man away from us. He is beloved. He is appreciated by a whole lot of us.
Blend with the walls for now. As all good VPs do.
Stop being part of what brings our country down.
The President, our President, just-as-duly elected as you—is having a hard enough time.
If you can’t help him, just please get out of his way. This dangerous game you play puts millions of lives on the line. Millions of lives, may I add, that are getting their best shot at being taken out of the severe poverty they are in by a President whose heart, mind and soul are for them.
This is not mere rhetoric, Madam VP. You only need look at the sky high approval ratings of the president to see what a whole lot of us think of him.
And you might want to check out your dismal ratings—that one that’s been slip sliding away to know that there are far too many of us who think you are putting our country back on the road to perdition with this dangerous game of politics you play.
You’ve aligned yourself with haters, with the power hungry, with the elitists, the galling US-based half assed, arrogant Pinoys who have given nothing of worth to their country of birth and now suddenly, think it is their God given right to tell us, sovereign Filipinos, where our country ought to be headed.
And how so many of us think your sleeping with the enemy makes you the enemy.
Make yourself known, Madam VP. Is this who you truly are?
(OO nasa denial stage pa ako. I need a moment. 😀)
Or is there still inside you a smidgen of that Leni Robredo that we campaigned and raised funds for and voted and cheered for when she won? The one we thought was champion of the poor.
How is it you now not only hobnob with the elite but have become their lapdog?
Ah Madam VP, what a thorough and complete betrayal of the trust given you.
Our country’s new day has been ushered in. So many of us see it. And I am sorry for you and those who choose to see gloom and doom everywhere. This, in the end, is the choice you make.
As for so many of us, we have rolled up our sleeves and we are taking our place in that huge chain of Pinoy humanity that gets our country out of the muck that it’s been stuck in for as far back as we can remember. We are heaving and hoing with this man, our President.
And if you can’t roll up your sleeves and do your part like the rest of ache to do, please just get yourself out of our way. (Oh I dunno. Join Loida when she Zumbas, I guess.)
Our Country’s destiny is greatness. Not the smallness forced on it by the elites and all those who would benefit from us remaining small and shackled.
We hear our Country call to us.
And this time around, we are heeding her call.
This paper is about Filipino senior citizens as carers to grandchildren, either as their bloodline or as their plain wards. Caring is a way of disposing one’s affection towards children by providing for their needs in a particular social institution – the school. It narrates and consolidates the series of observations made on selected senior citizens in a school setting, particularly the school canteen during lunch time.
The subjects are the senior citizens, referred to as individuals who are considered elderly, especially those who have retired (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2015). In the Philippines, senior citizens are those who are 60 years old and over, whether retired from work or not (RA 9994). Mandatory retirement is at age 65 years old but retirement may be availed of starting at age 60 years old.
With most usual family responsibilities, alongside career tasks, already done in their younger years, it can be observed that there are many senior citizens who continue to provide care for family members – their still growing up grandchildren. As an extension to their familial duties, caregiving to grandchildren by grandparents has become a universal phenomenon. Even in a first world country like the United States, the prevalence of caregiving cuts across gender, class, and ethnic lines so that women, recently bereaved parents, and African Americans — have approximately twice the odds of becoming caregiving grandparents (Fuller-Thomson et al 1996; Scommegna and Mossaad 2011).
This paper describes how senior citizens take care of grandchildren at the school canteen during lunchtime. The primary goals include:
- a) to study the senior citizens’ behavior towards the school children they are with as would have occurred in a school canteen during lunch;
- b) to describe the senior citizens’ human behavior that is representative of the way it exists in real life; and
- c) to observe the senior citizens’ care-giving activities towards grandchildren in a school-setting
Field Work Methods
I have the privilege entry in the school premises including the school canteen being a parent to two schoolchildren myself; although, I cannot identify myself as one of the carers as I do not go to school for such purpose. My schoolchildren eat their home-prepared lunch at the canteen without any carer. For the purpose of this paper, I made myself a carer of my schoolchildren during lunch for ten schooldays.
To obtain more detailed picture of what transpired between the carers and the schoolchildren at lunchtime, I applied the participant observation method and blended as a complete participant. In the conduct of systematic observation, the natural behavior to observe was the caregiving by the senior citizen towards the schoolchild. Note-taking as my main recording tool, materials used during the observations were notebook and pen.
Like other caregivers, I sat down in one of the benches with food I bought from the school canteen on the table. Like everyone else, I was there, ready for lunch, waiting for two school children. So, I am like the other caregivers present, I have children with me during lunch time. The only difference was, unlike those two weeks, I did not go to the school canteen on a daily basis before.
The cultural scene at a school canteen where children eat their lunch and the children’s carers would go during lunchtime to provide for the children’s needs. The school canteen was selected as the appropriate observation setting that met two primary considerations, theoretical and practical. Theoretical consideration was that the school canteen is like the schoolchildren’s second dining room where home-like behavior as caregiving towards them could occur during lunch time. Practical consideration was the school canteen is a place where presence does not require permission by the observed, a place where caregiving behavior can be observed even unobtrusively.
Other considerations taken included: the decision to engage in continuous real time observation and the use of focal individual sampling wherein only one person’s behavior is observed per episode. Every onset of behavior (frequency) or elapsed time behavior (duration) is recorded during observational session. The type of systematic observation is structured method. Aspects of caregiving are deemed relevant and activities involved in it were recorded.
The data are presented in narrative form with few themes culled from the text and placed inside matrices for emphasis. The write-up follows the matrix contents: episode date and time, nonverbal actions, linguistics, extra-linguistics and spatial. There is differentiation between relative and non-relative senior citizens in their caregiving activities. Individual actors are presented by episode of observation through detailed descriptions of the events taking place, attached as appendix.
This study is conducted at a school canteen of St. Michael’s College – Basic Education Department in Barangay San Miguel, Iligan City. The school offers kindergarten up to fourth year high school. The school canteen is located on the first floor of the school gymnasium, facing an airy, vast open field school ground, with trees on the sides. It has approximately 253 square meters floor area. There are eight rows of tables with 17 tables in each row. Each table measures about 2 feet wide and 4 feet long, which can accommodate approximately six to eight diners. Each table has bench of the same length on each side, facing each other. There are numerous ceiling fans lined above in parallel the rows of tables.
The series of observations were done in five episodes of five different senior citizen caregivers spotted in the canteen in a span of ten days. Observation commenced at 11 in the morning and ended by 12.30 noon. The kindergartens first enter the canteen at 11.15AM followed by the graders at 11.30AM then the high school students at 11.45AM. The school bell rings by 12.15noon signifying return to the classrooms by all learners as the noontime prayer is overheard through loud speakers in the school premises.
The Cultural Description
There are a total of five senior citizens observed in this study. All of them looked to be just passed their 60s and not yet in 70s, based on their physical appearance and agility. Only one is male, the rest are females.
These senior citizens provided care for at least one school child up to at most three school children (Table 1). Of the five senior citizen caregivers observed in this study, three are relative of the learners while the two are not.
Table 1. Senior Citizens’ Relationship with the Schoolchildren
|No. of children||Relative||Non-Relative|
Of the three relative caregivers, the two grandmothers provided care for only one schoolchild (Table 1). The lone grandfather took care of two school-children, a boy and a girl.
Notably, while the grandmothers brought with them home-cooked meals during lunch time, the grandfather just brought water and ate with his grandchildren take-out meal brought by his daughter. Hence, the latter only shared caregiving with the schoolchildren’s mother.
Table 2. Relative Senior Citizens’ Caregiving Activities
(loudness of voice)
6 January 2016
|11.00 AM – 12.30 PM||.examined clothes, took off upper white uniform polo, wiped off the boy’s back with a hand towel
. placed a hand towel at the back
. took out food container, opened it, took out spoon and fork, and handed them to the boy
. spooned food into the boy’s mouth
. opened a water container and let the boy drink water
|“ali ngari, tiwasa ni imo pagkaon” (come here and finish your food)
“mao na siya, bisan sa balay, mag-lakaw-lakaw bisan nagkaon. Mao hungitan na lang gyud para segurado mahurot ang pagkaon niya… Oo, apo nako na siya, anak sa akong nars nga anak.” (He is really like that even at home, he keeps on walking while eating. That’s why I just feed him to be sure his food are all eaten.. yes, he is my grandson from my daughter who is a nurse)
|. soft but firm voice
|. seated beside each other
. spooned food to child’s mouth
|11.00 AM – 12.30 PM||. served water
. wiped back
. put hand towel on back
. spent time in the swing with grandson
Very low voice it cannot be heard 2 meters away
|. closer to each other
.sat beside each other
|11.00 AM – 12.30 PM||. brought, served food and water
. put hand towel on back
|. Asked how the child was||
. soft and sweet voice
|. closer to each other
. hugged the child
.sat beside each other
The two non-relative caregivers are all females. The first, NR1, took care for only one female schoolchild while the second, NR2, has a handful three schoolchildren to attend to – a girl and two boys. Both brought with them home-cooked meals during lunch time.
Table 3. Non-Relative Senior Citizens’ Caregiving Activities
(loudness of voice)
5 January 2016
|11.10 AM – 12.12 PM
(1hr & 2mins)
|. opened food container, placed in front of the child
. handed spoon and fork
. poured down water and placed it beside the girl’s food
. checked on the girl’s back and adjusted the girl’s ponytailed hair
Very low voice it cannot be heard 2 meters away
|.Seated on the same table, beside each other and in front of one another, but there is no physical intimacy like hugging or kissing
.wiping of back
.fixing of hair
|11.00 AM – 12.30 PM||. brought, served food and water
. put hand towel on back
Very low voice it cannot be heard 2 meters away
|.closer to each other
.sat in front of each other
Differences in Caregiving Activities among Relative and Non-Relative Senior Citizens toward Schoolchildren in the School Canteen
This section describes the senior citizens’ observed caregiving activities in relation to time, nonverbal actions, linguistics, extra-linguistics, and spatial.
All of the caregivers entered the school canteen 15 to 30 minutes before the school children emerged out of their classrooms. Every day, it can be observed that they positioned themselves in the same spot inside the school canteen. It can be deduced that the specific area is their agreed common space for dining. Such regularity assures and provides secure feelings to the children. When they arrive, they are sure that their carers await them in the same area. That they have food set for them to fill their hungry stomach. The schoolchildren upon entering the canteen directly head towards them. Their stay ranged from 50 to 75 minutes. They usually leave the school canteen after the bell rang at 12.15 noon.
There are common caregiving activities that the caregivers have done towards the school children at the school canteen. These included bringing of food and water inside the school canteen, getting the food and drinking water ready on the table, checking of the child’s back, wiping and putting hand towel on the child’s back, and fixing of a girl child’s hair. These appeared to be the basic needs of the schoolchildren, which the senior citizen caregivers readily provided for them, notwithstanding their relationship.
What differs was the extra-care that bonds relationship. It is that something observable between blood-related grandparents-grandchildren. There is that fondness of the grandparents toward the child that is seemed amiss in the non-relative. The non-relative seemed mechanical in their dealing with the children. But, the grandparents openly kissed or hugged their grandchildren as the latter approached their table.
The male caregiver did not bring food, only drinking water. It was the mother of the children who brought take-outs from McDonald’s. But this grandfather took and spent time to casually sit down with his grandson in a swing in the school playground. Not one female caregiver did this bonding activity.
At least two caregivers’ message can be heard of out of the five caregivers. The rest of the caregivers, while they talked to the children, were inaudible at two meters distance from them. There is also the element of uncontrolled noise inside the school canteen with approximately 140 tables. The way the caregivers talked with the children differs among relative and non-relative. The former appeared more intimate and friendly when they talked while the latter seemed to limit their conversation and did not show endearment.
The caregiver relative, a grandmother with one schoolchild, whose language was heard of, spoke in a soft but firm voice that the child obeyed. Her behavior is similar to what she usually does even in their house. The rest of the caregivers spoke in low tone so they were difficult to decipher or lip read.
The caregivers stay proximate with the school children they attended to during lunch. While eating, either they are seated in front or beside the school children. The distance between them sheds off when the caregivers touch the school children’s back to check on possible wetness.
Though there is similar distance among them, it is notable among the relative caregivers to naturally close the distance between them and the children through their hugs and kisses. These are missing among the non-relative caregivers who seemed formal and distant from the children even when they are physically close to them.
Caregiving activities towards school children are commonly done by relative or non-relative senior citizens. They brought home-cooked food, water, and set the food in front of the children. Anticipating needs during the lunching process, the carers handed utensils and drinking water whenever there is a need, despite non-request from the children. These senior citizens show proficiency and mastery in caring for the growing schoolchildren. All of them periodically checked and wiped the backs of the children. These caregiving activities are expected to be carried out towards the children and everyone did so naturally.
Slight differences lie on the language spoken, though not audible from two meters distance, the relative caregivers spoke to the children in a sweet way showing more intimate relationship between blood-related than those who are not. There was a notable formality in how the non-relative caregiver dealt with the children. There seemed to be the presence of an invisible barrier between them.
It was notable that despite the grandfather’s presence, there was a mother for the two children during lunch time. This led to the minimal activities the grandfather could do compared to the grandmothers. The grandfather’s presence suggested a supporting role for him in caregiving since the mother is there. Although, the grandfather took time to have a short bonding in the swing with the grandson that not one of the grandmothers had done even to their granddaughters.
The grandparents showed natural intimacy towards the children, like meeting them as they arrived inside the school canteen, talking to them in a buddy manner. The children showed more listened to their own grandparents than their nannies.
This section presents in detail the five observational sessions at the school canteen in a span of ten days. Every session, the focus is on one caregiver to have an undivided attention towards the subject during the whole period.
Observational Session 1
Actor: non-relative, female
Episode 1: Tuesday, 5 January 2016; 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
At 11.10 in the morning, this actor, who looks like in her mid-60s, entered the school canteen carrying a large brown tote bag. She was dressed in a loose gray shirt on top of a loose below the knee brown skirt, and a pair of slippers. Her hair, black with streaks of white, is like that of a man’s usual cut, up to her nape. She has a light brown skin complexion; her facial expression is that of a no-nonsense person, not friendly or smiling, just a civil one. She headed towards the farthest left table in the school canteen. It’s the left most table in a row of 17 tables near the canteen counters and food displays.
This short-haired grandmother sat on the table, facing the canteen entrance, her back on the counters. On the table, in front of her, were 3 yellow Tupperware glasses, one 2-liter Coleman water container, three food containers. She sat there waiting for the learners to arrive. The setting in front of her appears so ready for lunch eating.
At 11.17 in the morning, a girl of about 6 years old, in ponytail approached the actor’s table and directly sat down on the bench facing the actor. The actor opened one food container and placed it in front of the girl. The actor then handed the girl spoon and fork. The girl began eating her lunch. The actor seated in front of the girl saying nothing, alternately looked at the girl and around her where other schoolchildren also ate. The actor poured down water from the Coleman into a yellow plastic glass and placed it beside the girl’s food.
As the clock ticked 11.50 near noon, learners emerged out of their respective classrooms; most were headed towards the school canteen. While the girl continued to eat, a boy of about 11 years old approached the table and sat down beside the actor. The actor opened a food container, placed it in front of the boy and handed him spoon and fork. The actor poured down water from the Coleman into another yellow glass and placed it beside the boy’s food. The two children ate in silence and the actor simply sat there, observing them. The girl finished her food, drank water and stood up. The actor stood up too and checked on the girl’s back and adjusted the girl’s ponytailed hair. Then off the girl she went out of the school canteen and headed back towards her classroom. The actor placed the used spoon and fork inside the used food container and placed inside a large brown tote bag.
At 11.55AM, an adolescent boy of about 15 years old approached the table and sat down where the girl earlier sat. The actor opened another food container and placed it in front of the teener. This time the school canteen was filled with noise from simultaneous chatting of diners and clicking of utensils. One cannot anymore hear someone’s voice if not seated on the same table. The younger boy was done eating, pushed his food container towards the middle of the table and stood up. The actor stood too and checked on his back and he hurriedly left the school canteen, walked towards a three-floor building where his classroom is on the second floor. The older boy continued eating while the actor poured down cold water from the Coleman to another yellow glass and placed it beside the teener’s food.
The teener ate for only 6 minutes and when he was done, he pushed his empty food container towards the center of the table. He drank water, continued to sit there and faced the other diners, probably his classmates, seated on the next table. The actor placed all the used spoon and fork inside the used food containers. Then she put the covered food containers, Coleman, plastic glasses inside the large brown tote bag. At 12.12 noon, she stood up, picked up the bag, said something to the teener in an expressionless face, and left.
Observational Session 2
Actor: relative, female
Episode 2: Wednesday, 6 January 2016; 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
This actor, with looks of someone in her late-60s, entered the school canteen at 11.20AM with a black shoulder bag on her right shoulder and a white eco-bag on her left hand. She wore a red floral polo, brown slacks and a pair of an inch elevated sandals. She has a fair skin with visible light brown pigmentations on her arms. Her hair is colored light brown and shortly-cropped. Her face has that smiling and friendly countenance. She proceeded to the farthest table to the left side of the canteen. She put her bags on the table and sat down. She opened her black shoulder bag and took out beauty product catalogs and handed them over to other women caregivers nearby her. She chatted with the possible customers for minutes.
At 11.50AM, when learners emerged out of their classrooms and headed towards the school canteen, a boy of about 9 years old approached the table where the actor is. The boy looked robust. The actor stood up to meet the boy. She examined his clothes, took off the boy’s upper white uniform polo, retained the white undershirt, and wiped off the boy’s back with a hand towel. She placed a hand towel at the back of the boy’s undershirt and led him to sit on the bench. She took out the food container, opened it, took out spoon and fork, and handed them to the boy. The boy started eating, but after just three spoons, the boy got up and roamed around talking to other school children nearby.
The actor called the boy, “ali ngari, tiwasa ni imo pagkaon” (come here and finish your food), and the boy went back to the table. He stood in front of the table and opened his mouth as the food was spooned into it. Then the boy roamed again. The actor answered another caregiver beside her, “mao na siya, bisan sa balay, mag-lakaw-lakaw bisan nagkaon. Mao hungitan na lang gyud para segurado mahurot ang pagkaon niya… Oo, apo nako na siya, anak sa akong nars nga anak.” (He is really like that even at home, he keeps on walking while eating. That’s why I just feed him to be sure his food are all eaten.. yes, he is my grandson from my daughter who is a nurse).
The rest of the lunch was eaten in that manner, the grandmother spooned food into the boy’s mouth then he would roam around. The grandmother opened a water container and let the boy drink water from it. She took out another food container and ate her lunch. When she was done eating, she called the boy, took out the hand towel from his back and let him wear his white polo uniform. She also put talcum on the boy’s back, briefly hugged him and bade him goodbye as the boy went out of the school canteen. The grandmother packed all the used food containers and utensils, put them back inside the eco-bag. She said she would go to her direct-selling business establishments and would come back later to fetch the boy.
Observational Session 3
Actor: relative, male
Episode 3: Monday, 11 January 2016; 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
This tall 6-footer, handsome grandfather, who looked like in his mid-60s, arrived inside the school canteen at about 11.30 in the morning. He wore a cap on his head, a white t-shirt, gray knee-length cargo pants, and thick black slide sandals. He carried a small eco-bag with visible water containers inside. He proceeded to sit in the middle section of the left side of the school canteen. At 11.40AM, a woman entered the school canteen, approached his table and handed him a brown paper bag. He placed it in the side of the table and sat there with the woman sitting opposite him.
At 11.50AM, when learners entered in the school canteen, a boy of about 9 years old approached them. The boy is undeniably overweight. The boy took the woman’s hand and placed it on to his forehead. He did the same with his grandfather. The woman was the grandfather’s daughter, the boy’s mother. The woman took out the cartoon boxes of food containers from the paper bags – McDonald’s take-outs. The grandfather took out the water bottles, a 750ML green bottle and a 1-liter violet bottle. Then the three of them ate their lunch together. They looked like they were eating inside their own dining table.
After 5 minutes, a girl of about 11 years old approached their table. She also did take the elders’ hand just like her younger brother. The grandfather took out the last McDonald’s pack from the paper bag and handed it to his granddaughter who sat beside her mother. The grandfather attended more his grandson while the mother attended the girl. He checked on him now and then while they ate. He adjusted the hand towel on the boy’s back. He shredded the chicken on the boy’s lunch box. He opened the water bottle for the boy, poured out water on the bottle’s cover, and handed it to the boy.
After they have eaten, the grandfather and the boy went out of the school canteen and headed towards the swing. There they sat and spent the next 10 minutes together swinging. Then the bell rang, signifying the learners’ return into their classrooms. The grandfather brought back his grandson inside the school canteen. He removed the hand towel from the boy’s back and let him wear hi white polo uniform. Along with his sister, the children proceeded back to their respective classrooms. The grandfather stayed for 10 minutes more after his daughter left.
Observational Session 4
Actor: relative, female
Episode 4: Tuesday, 12 January 2016; 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
At 11.20 in the morning, this actor entered the school canteen and proceeded to the mid-section of the left side of the canteen. She settled on a vacant table. She appeared to be in her later 60s. Her shoulder-length hair is well dyed in black color, waves of curls were clearly well tended, and the front sections were neatly clipped to the upper sides of her head. She wore a black blouse with half-inch diameter of white polka dots, black slacks and a pair of 1-inch black sandals. She carried a black shoulder bag on her right shoulder and an insulated lunch box on her left hand. She put the lunch box on the table and proceeded to the school canteen’s food counter. After 5 minutes, she brought two bowls of food, a bottle of iced tea and two bottles of water on a tray back to the table. She placed the tray on the table and sat on the bench. She seemed busy arranging her things inside her shoulder bag. She checked on her cellular phone and attended to it in the next minutes.
At 11.52 in the morning, a boy of about 8 years old came to the table. The actor stood up and in smiles hugged the boy and asked the child how he is, to which the child answered that he is okay. She checked on his back and placed a hand towel there. Then the boy was seated beside her. She opened the lunch box, took out the two-piece food containers, opened them and placed both in front of the boy. From the bag she took out two pairs of spoon and fork for the both of them. She asked the child to say the grace for the food and boy recited a short prayer for the food. Then they started to eat their lunch. She opened the iced tea bottle and gave it to her grandson. She opened the two water bottles for each of them. As the child drank the iced tea, she checked again on the boy’s back, adjusted the hand towel and wiped the child’s head. The two conversed in a friendly manner, like they are good buddies.
Observational Session 5
Actor: non-relative, female
Episode 5: Thursday, 14 January 2016; 11.00 AM – 12.30 PM
This actor, who looked like in her early 60s, arrived at the school canteen at around 11.10 in the morning. She wore a loose yellow-black stripe blouse over a loose gray knee-length skirt and a pair of slippers. Her straight black hair with streaks of white passed below her nape. She carried a black medium-sized eco-bag and proceeded towards the middle section of the canteen. She put the bag on the table and sat down on the bench, waited for her ward to arrive. She seemed amused as she watched the various activities around her.
At 11.55 in the morning, a girl who looked like 10 years old approached the table where the actor is. The girl sat down on a bench in front of the actor and the latter immediately checked on the girl’s back and wiped the insides with a hand towel. She tied the girl’s hair into a ponytail then took out a food container from the eco-bag, opened it and placed it in front of the girl. The actor handed the girl spoon and fork and child started eating. The actor watched as the girl ate her lunch.
While child ate, took out a water bottle, poured water into a cup and placed beside the food. The actor attentively watched over the girl as the latter continued to eat her lunch. After the girl finished her food, the actor checked on the girl’s back again and fixed the girl’s hair. The girl remained seated while talking to another girl on the next table. The actor then took out from the bag another food container and ate her lunch. When was done eating, she packed everything back inside the eco-bag. She sat there watching the child until the bell rang and the child went back to her classroom.
The actor went out of the school canteen and proceeded to the waiting area inside the school campus, at the right side of the main gate. In this area, there are about twenty caregivers seated, waiting for their wards until end of classes in the afternoon, between 3.30 and 4.30 PM.
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