Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sticking Together

“It could have been fatal had you waited another 8 hours to bring your brother in.”

This was the statement given by the attending physician as he went through the initial medical tests of my dear cousin, T.

For close to three weeks, T was confined in the ICU.  Oxygen and dextrose lines, heart and BP monitoring devices were attached to him.  He could hardly move and breathing was difficult.  His family kept a tight watch over him.   Without much ado, whatever differences they had with each other was quickly set aside just as quickly as the deadly bacteria took hold of my cousin. They shared one prayer—T be given the grace to get well again. During those uncertain days, love was the only force that gave the family the fortitude to take each day as it came.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Comfort and Joy

I had been putting it off too many times.  The year is about to end and I have not finished clearing up the last of the rubbish stored in my mother’s basement.

Last week, I finally went down to the basement armed with my not so original mantra, clean up, give away, simplify life.

But if you are like me, the tasks takes awhile as picking up one item after another triggers a memory.  There was my dad’s old floor lamp, my mom’s old pots and pans used for too many family meals, a petromax that brought light to those dark brown-out days, and a box containing chipped figurines for a Christmas belen.

Just as I pulled out one of the wise men, a thought dashed through my mind. Put up the belen.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bacolod: Sweeter the 2nd Time Around

Since I came back to Cebu, I make it a point to meet up with three of my high school classmates over lunch.  Sometimes it is an occasion to welcome a visiting classmate from abroad. Sometimes it  is to celebrate a milestone. But most of the time, it’s a time to just let our hair down and be silly happy to be in each other’s company.

In one of those lunches, one of us suggested going away for a short trip.  We set the following criteria for that perfect all-girl outing:

·         Accessible: not too far that it would entail getting a visa, or entail a long travel time
·         Affordable: reasonably priced plane fare, hotel, and meals
·         Appealing: food and shopping trip worthy
·         Awe- Inspiring Attractions—a bonus

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why,Oh Why?

But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19

At almost the same time of the early evening—just when the last streaks of daylight finally gives way to the evening , I light the “katol” and set it under the table in the open terrace. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Evidence is Clear

Finally. I got it done.

I am referring to getting my mother’s household companions to take their health more seriously.

You see, they are in their late 40s and with hefty physique to match.   If they were to take care of my very physically active mother, I had to make certain my mother’s companions stayed healthy and kept up with her. But more than that, they need to do it for their very young children.

Initially, using a digital blood pressure monitor, I took their BP readings.  As expected, their BPs were on the high side.

Monday, September 7, 2015

It's In The Blood

“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: "Love. They must do it for love." Farmers farm for the love of farming.” 
Wendell Berry

My maternal grandparents were farmers. They knew everything about the earth and very little of the world.   ( click Family Beginnings)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Slipping Through My Fingers

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning 
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile 
I watch her go with a surge of that well known sadness 
And I have to sit down for a while 
The feeling that I'm losing her forever 
And without really entering her world 
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter 
That funny little girl” ABBA

“Mommy, hold my hand”, my daughter softly called out to me as we quickly walked to the airport cashier to pay her travel tax.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Last week, I was very privileged to witness what heaven might feel like-- twice! Two celebrations of love— one happening a day after the other.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Return

My sister, G, and her husband were ecstatic. 

Their “hijo unico”, P,  was on a one-month long vacation from his US base job.  And they made sure to pull out all the stops to guarantee the best ever one month visit for P.

Travels to the provinces were their favorite form of bonding as a family.  And travel they did.  It was like old times:  my brother-in-law’s keen interest on 4-wheel driving, my nephew’s love for photography and my sister’s adventurous spirit made for the perfect vacation and bonding experience. 

Naturally, Cebu made it in their bucket list.  My nephew had to check out the whale sharks of Oslob (a first for him), had to get his fill on steamed fried rice (his all-time Cebu craving), and  had to give my mother a tight hug (or else!). 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Part 2: A July Marian Pilgrimage

“Do we still have time?”, my Tita J asked.

“Yes, Tita.”  I answered. “We still have two hours. The mass does not start until 6PM and we are close by.”

“Then let’s proceed to Q Park.” Tita J requested.