Saturday, May 24, 2014


today would have been the 54th wedding anniversary of my parents. a love story that seems quite long but in reality was cut short. they had so many more good years left, but the universe had other plans for them. daddy left, and mommy has had to cope with it.

earlier today i learned that a friend's newborn son passed away because of problems with his breathing. gone too soon. i forcibly stopped myself from asking why.

in the past years i have learned to just trust that there is a reason for everything, and accept that i do not have to know the reason. it is a difficult lesson to learn, and one i have yet to fully master.

on days like this i cannot help but wonder why some people are taken away so early. i  find myself wondering why some people who do so much good in this world die. why infants without even a chance of experiencing whatever beauty and love is left in this world move on to the next. why good people get sick.

and on the heels of these thoughts i wonder why people who cause so much harm and damage are allowed to exist, spreading their malice and poison, and creating a dark blot of hate on the spot in this earth where they stand.

why? why? why? and i just have to shrug my shoulders and sigh, because like it or not, no answers will be forthcoming. 

bakit hindi na lang natin pwedeng i-trade in yung mga salbahe para maibalik ang mababait? (why can't we just trade-in the bad ones so we can get the good ones back?)

having said that, i acknowledge the absurdity. but...there it is. 

i guess it's just one of those days.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

being special

this time of the year i am usually thrown into some sort of limbo because like it or not, it all comes back. i remember living in the hospital for a couple of weeks, working there using a portable wifi stick, having my secretary bring folders there, and basically making sure i was close to daddy while he was confined. i remember the day he died.

it was the third death anniversary of daddy last wednesday. i did not want to mope, so i figured i'd do something worthwhile.

so i decided to go to kamp pagkakaisa. 

every year the PVI Foundation, Inc. holds a ten day camp for special children that they describe as "the mentally and physically challenged, abandoned, socially deprived, street smart, the physically and sexually abused, children with autism, with Down syndrome, with cerebral palsy and children with ADHD."

so i found myself there, and what an experience it was.

i met angela/chichay who made me feel very plain
with her lovely curled hair,
manicured and pedicured nails, fancy bag
and funky slippers.

this is ron, who gamely hugged me and took command of
my cellphone, taking pictures of me and
with me and the other volunteers and campers

ron, who decided that each shot should
be followed by a wacky shot 

this is me and manny, who leaned on my
shoulder as soon as i came in,  and bong,
who kept inviting me out to buy chippy.
unfortunately i could not oblige.

this is bianca, a volunteer who was so happy that
the children were so easy to love,
and loved so easily and unconditionally  in return

consuelo, who kept asking my name and would
reply with a "ha?" and finally said
"tina" after a million and a half tries.
i felt so privileged she remembered my name.

i did not quite catch this little girl's name,
with such a pretty smile.
she has cerebral palsy.

when the firemen came to give them a shower to
beat the heat, she brought out her salbabida. :)

this is happiness. a shower in the sun.

that turned into a wet party.

this is jerry, a boy with cerebral palsy waiting
for the water droplets.

a boy in an ateneo shirt carrying another boy in a
st. benilde shirt. :)  the teener picked up the
little boy because the water couldn't
reach him. this, ladies and gentlemen, is happiness.

again with the wacky shot.

this is antonio, pushing jerry in the wheelchair. they do not know
each other but antonio took it upon himself to watch out
for this little boy, taking him for a spin in the
wheelchair, picking him up when he would
stumble out of the wheelchair, and calming
him down when he cried.

i tried to volunteer to wash dishes but they wouldn't let me, (even though i insisted that i knew how to wash dishes) so i ended up putting spoons in ice cream cups, making origami with the kids, and basically just having a good time.

i went there for a few hours to volunteer and to bring over some gifts for these children. i brought gifts, but it turns out i was the recipient of many gifts.

i was given hugs and kisses left and right, became the best friend of one boy, and witnessed selflessness among these children. these children, who drew the short end of life's stick, still managed to give more of themselves than i ever could.

i was overwhelmed, and i didn't want to leave. there was so much happiness there, in its purest, simplest form and i wanted to immerse myself in it before going back to the chaos in the city.

thank you, wee, for letting me join, even for just a while.

it takes so little to make them happy, and i was reminded that that was how it should be. it really should not take much to make us happy.

i will be back, and i will stay a little longer.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

get rich quick?

and sometimes, out of sheer boredom, you actually create an account.

but i get it. i get how referral works. hmmm. now let's see if this is a scam.


will update if it is or it isn't.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

they don't make songs like this any more

one less bell to answer


heart of the matter

it's strange how emotional pain translates to physical pain. how heartbreak can feel so solid and palpable right around the region of your chest, and your stomach.


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

araw ng kagitingan

in english it means day of valor. today the filipinos celebrate the courage and perseverance of the veterans who fought in the war.

while everybody remembers the veterans, today my family remembers daddy.

trust daddy to choose to go on a national holiday.

sometimes i forget that daddy is gone. it's just like when i was in college and law school. i'd be in manila, and daddy and mommy would be in baguio. lately, since mommy's abroad, it feels exactly like college.

except daddy would always call. or i would call the house and daddy would pick up. it's when i remember that daddy will not call me again that i feel the pain of loss. the void that daddy left behind. some days it just passes, like an elusive breeze on a summer day. other days the pain lingers and leaves behind an almost palpable trace.

but it's amazing how daddy has touched the lives of many, ensuring that our lives, too will be touched.

just today i received several novels from the daughter of someone who worked with daddy. she remembers daddy so fondly, and found me on a social networking site through a common friend. we have struck up a friendship, and the novels are the second care package i have received from her. we have never met personally and yet i feel that because of daddy's connection to her family, i have known her all my life.

and then there's a long lost relative who took a shot in the dark and emailed my sister, asking her about daddy. she and her sister remember daddy and have photos of him when he was, what, 16? even at a young age daddy was mr. congeniality. he had made them feel so welcome, and now they have welcomed us into their lives. they love food, and travel, and family. so much like us, and yes, i feel like i've known them all my life.

it's been two years. it feels like yesterday and it feels like forever.

but fate has a way of making us feel better. yesterday we got free pizza, today we got free dimsum buffet. i'd like to think daddy had a hand in it and just wanted to treat us today. thank you daddy. thank you for leaving behind bits and pieces of yourself that find their way to us in some way or another. i only wish mommy and my other ates were here to commemorate with us.

today we honor the veterans. and i remember my daddy.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


a new life, maybe.

and yet i cannot help but feel that a part of me will no longer live again.

Friday, March 29, 2013

good friday...

Helen Reddy - I Don't Know How To Love Him (1971)

good dreams

woke up from a good dream and forced myself to sleep again to go back to that dream. i succeeded.

but it was just a dream.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

it's when the quiet settles in, when everybody's resting, or right before i sleep, or immediately after i wake, that i think of you.

and i marvel at how easily you had stopped caring about me. i hurt you so bad that you feel i do not even deserve any attention. i am beginning to wonder now if you even read my text, or if you deleted it without reading. does it even matter now?you are gone.


this time 2 years ago i was practically living in the hospital, in a hijacked room on the pediatric floor (few children got sick that time, thankfully). i had a broadband stick, my laptop, and a couple of suits in the room. my secretary would bring paperwork to me.

daddy was in the CICU that time, with a tube down his throat to help him breathe.

he'd write things on a piece of paper if he wanted anything and it was an ordeal for him, this strongman who hated inactivity and who prided himself on being able to explain things in his booming voice.

i'd visit with him a few hours each day, since the CICU really did not allow visitors. daddy had his stream of visitors, though, and no one could stop them. except mommy, who would halt the influx of visitors when daddy got tired.

i really thought he would recover. i really did.

we all did.

i never confided in daddy. we did not have that kind of relationship. but i drew strength from him, and mommy. and i miss him so. he always knew that he could make things right, even if we were skeptical. his unwavering faith and determination knew no bounds.

wherever you are daddy (well, i know you're right behind me reading this, but humor me) i know you are happy and healthy and having a grand time with whoever is there. worry not about those you left behind. we are doing okay.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

it is finished.

or so says one post on facebook. the lenten meditation for today, wednesday is "it is finished."

how apt.

i guess i reached a point where i feel that all the cliches known to man (and woman) apply to me. i will spare you the gory details but yes, there it is. all the cliches. all the songs on the radio. every quote posted.

every single thing applies to you. and you feel that life is every bit as unfair as everybody says it is. and you realize that life doesn't stop.

and you go on. it is finished.

and you begin again.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Promises - Eric Clapton

can't get this song out of my head.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

rainy days and tuesdays

yesterday was a slightly hectic day, with a regular hearing, a grievance hearing, and a consultation, on top of other deadlines.

a friend from manila also arrived and we had coffee.

nonetheless, it was a productive day.

today is... well today is tuesday and it's dreary. with rains coming down in the middle of march (can anybody say climate change???) it's become a slow, sleepy, tuesday afternoon.

the coffee refuses to wake me up.


Monday, March 11, 2013

coming home

first time to drive by myself from manila to baguio. considering that i traveled during the day it was a pretty light trip.

i enjoyed the drive. only a few trucks on the road, and a little more than few idiots with driver's licenses. it helped that i had a playlist for driving. familiar songs kept me company, and i didn't even feel the 5+ hours on the road.

it was cold when i got home and i realized how much i miss our house. the bank of windows, the humongous round table, the wooden... everything. this had been a sanctuary for me, and i almost always feel at peace here.

of course it didn't help that the car's alarm decided to go wonky last night and engaged itself every hour or so. but, me being me, i fell asleep immediately as soon as my head hit the pillow.

and i feel daddy's presence here. comforting and secure. i do miss mommy though. but i will see her soon.

yes, it is good to be home.