Tuesday, 25 April 2017
SNIPPETS OF LIFE IN SYDNEY: My third speech day. By Eleanor Trinchera PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eleanor M. Trinchera/MindaNews   
Sunday, 13 December 2009 02:16

SYDNEY,  Australia (Mindanews/12 December) —Didn’t have to get off bed early today. Didn’t have to go to work at all. However, I had to bring Noellin to school before 8:30 for the Speech Day activities which started at 10am hoping it will finish on time so I could get to the office’s Christmas party at 1pm. I joined the Christmas party at 1:45. I was glad lunch was not served yet. It was my third Speech Day and I thought having been to two, I’m now used to it.

The first time was Noellin’s first high school award and it was a bit overwhelming because that was the first time I realized how parents felt seeing their daughter on stage accepting an award for recognition of one’s efforts throughout the year.

The second one came, I told myself I did this last year, I’m sure I will be fine. The School Principal then started talking about the Aborigines, the indigenous peoples of Australia, I then felt my chest tightening because it affirmed my decision to let Noellin go to that school. Somehow, an institution valuing the contribution of early Australians would really help bring up girls to become women with social conscience. 

This year, confident that the issues of the Aborigines have been addressed through the initial step of saying Sorry, by the Prime Minister himself, I thought I would be fine. Then the guest speaker started her speech and there I was again, trying to hold back my tears. The guest talked about her experience of working in the corporate world while doing humanitarian work as a volunteer assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and teaching children to read in Cambodia among other things. Her speech touched a raw nerve and somehow, I felt vindicated by the choices I’ve made.

I’m sure there will be girls who will be lured by the corporate world, but there will be some who will take “the one less travelled” (Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken). So there you go…after three years of attending speech days, I now have to expect that it’s not a matter of getting used to doing things. No matter how prepared you are, there is always something that will catch you off guard. It could be another parent, a comment or a simple action that brings back memories of how it was during your time. Time is really moving fast. 

A few years back, it was me on that stage, now it’s my daughter. It is also relief from the pressure of one school year and the recognition of your daughter’s efforts. Now, we both can take a breather for six weeks in preparation for a tougher year ahead. This year was not the best for us and yet, here we are with a lot of unexpected blessings and we can just hope, pray and work for a better one next year. 


It’s also a year and four days since that motor vehicle accident. We’ve lost Bumpy, but we’ve got Red now. And we’re off to another long drive to South West Rocks which is about four hours drive north of Sydney with the Pasias, Tuazons, Certezas, and the Cabrales families. 

Everyone’s excited especially the seven children and two teenagers. It could be total mayhem for all we know. It’s been a while since we all travelled together. Usually we go camping at this time of the year, but this time no one organized the booking until halfway through the year, people just started asking so we decided to ask around and as expected all camping sites are fully booked. We were lucky to get something somewhere. It’s a much-awaited break – away from the pressures of school, work and city life.


Christmas, New Year, but there is the Ampatuan Massacre, Martial Law in Maguindanao, culture of impunity, warlords, elections, hostage taking, Manny Pacquiao, Efren Penaflorida …how will the year end for the Filipinos? We’ve been through a lot…ML in the 70s was worse or are events just starting to unfold?

I hope 2010 is a better year for the Filipinos as well. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2010 awaits us. Let’s make it a better year for all of us.  (Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews' effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Eleanor M. Trinchera of Kidapawan City is a resident of Sydney and is now working with a non-government organization.)