Tag Archives: Family

17.13: This One’s for You

A Life Story.

My Life in Verse

To the one who said she would always defend…
To the one who said we’d always be friends…
To the one who I will always regret…
To the one who will never, ever forget…

To the one who still cannot forgive…
To the one who said she would never leave…
To the one who broke my mending heart…
To the ones who took and would then depart…

To the one who was able to begin anew…
To the one who remains a friend so true…
To the one who finally came back home…
To the one who always called me his own…

To the one who taught me how to fall…
To the one who taught me to stand so tall…
To the one who taught me how to see…
To the one who said they should love me for me…

To the ones who hurt, who burned, and lied…
To the ones who thought I would be silent and cry…
To the ones who are only brave when amidst a throng…
To the ones I proved to have been wrong…

To the one who hurt me without meaning to…
To the one who spoke without being spoken to…
To the one who filled my heart with bliss…
To the one who will be my one last kiss…

To the only one I would have said,
“With this ring, I thee wed”…
To the one who loved me at first sight…
To the one I will love until last light…

To the one I come home to in the dark of night…
To the one I wake up to in the morning light…
To the one whose life mine is entwined to…
To the one I love… This one’s for you.



Blessed Be…

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14.13: Every Now and Then

***Began on May 14, 2013***

“We all knew she was going to go. But when it finally happens, it still catches you by surprise, you know?”

My aunt died five days ago. She died on her birthday. We all think she did it on purpose – holding on so that she could pass on on the very day she was born. She was cremated on the same day and then buried three days later.

I haven’t been at work for four and a half days. Today’s my first day back and it feels incredibly strange to be here. To some degree it’s like I’m not the person I was a week ago. These days, I’m often half and half – half where I am and half somewhere else. I only wish I could figure out where that somewhere else is. It’s strange, really. I wish I could explain it. But I can’t.

Most times it’s like I’m drowning in an endless sea of sorrow. Sometimes I wish I could just let the sadness take me and let me drift off to where it wishes… But I am equally terrified that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back.

I wonder why her passing hurt so much. She was not particularly close to me – and the most that I ever felt her presence was when she was putting me through school. I know that I will always be grateful for that, but it still does not explain why I cried buckets and buckets of tears these past few weeks.

Sometimes I think I do it for my cousin, as there is that perpetual need for him to remain steadfast and strong for everyone who was left behind. So I cry the tears he cannot cry and my heart breaks instead of his.

But I cannot deny that I also cry for myself… Because, for me, every death is the same death. Every loss is the same loss. It is losing my mother, my father, and Alexis all over again.

Every death is the same death… and sometimes I wonder if I will forever be in mourning.



Blessed Be…

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11.13: With This Ring I Thee Wed

“Hi. This is (name of husband undisclosed). I’m going to marry him one day.”

Those were the first words I said to my mother and father after not visiting for almost a decade. It was December 25th of last year – Christmas – that I decided to introduce him to my parents. Surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones in the cemetery that day.

Yes, my parents are dead. I buried my mother when I was six, my father when I was fifteen. Life would never be the same after that.

You would think that after all these years, it would have been easier… That I would find myself to be a well-adjusted adult calmly dealing with life with grace and poise. Instead I found myself crying more than half a lifetime of tears that never fell five minutes after we finally found their grave. Yes, grave. My mother and father are buried in the same plot. It’s incredibly romantic in a totally creepy sort of way. So much for grace and poise.

That day, I promised I’d come back on my birthday. I’m not too much for following societal rules, so I decided to visit on the dates that meant something to me, not to the church or the rest of the world’s population.

And what do you know? I kept my promise.

*          *          *


I was saying goodbye to my parents when I suddenly whispered, “It’s always going to be worth it, isn’t it?” That was their (The Universe, my parents, The Higher Power, My Goddess) one final gift to me. Yesterday, I realized that no matter what had happened, no matter how much it hurt, no matter how hard it has been, it has always been – and it will always be – worth it.

I told my mom with my husband beside me, they would be seeing a lot more of their prodigal daughter. But then I realized that the sudden longing to visit my parents, the sudden wanting to visit the adoration chapel, the not-so-sudden affection I have for every member of my family – these are not things that I do because he pushes me to do it. Nor are they things I do because I want to impress him with my morals or values.

I do these things because it is right – not for society or for church or for family, but for me. In many, many ways, and in many, many levels, it was finally time for me to come home.

Coming Home.



Blessed Be…

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12 in ’12: Acceptance Part Un

I’ve always said that despite the roller coaster ride that is my life, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything that I’ve done – all the decisions, the achievements and the mistakes – it made me who I am. No matter how “colorful” my life has been, no matter how imperfect, I still believe that I am a less-broken person because of it.

Being less broken also means being aware and accepting the fact that I am, in a lot of ways, still broken.

One of the biggest shards of my broken being is my ability to form attachments. I was originally toying with the idea of saying I had intimacy issues, but that’s really not the case. You see, I can share my deepest and darkest secrets with someone… I can bare my soul… and yet when it is all over, I can also move on the next day.

When I look back at the first chapters of my life, I think I’ve only truly attached myself to four people – and three of them aren’t even in my life anymore. But there is a pre-requisite to the inability to form attachments – it’s the inability to accept.

I have trust issues. I’ll smile at people and say all the right things, but that doesn’t even guarantee that I like you, let alone that I’ve accepted you as a part of my life. But I am glad to say that I’ve had a recent breakthrough in this particular area.

Most of you know that I have a rather interesting family history. This time, I’d like to introduce you to my Segundo Tio, a man who reminds me so much of my father and (obviously) brings out all of my daddy issues during family gatherings. Segundo Tio’s Primera Esposa was an American – and, while growing up, I was fascinated with her. She was a quiet woman who wanted to lead a simple life. They lived in the US and I loved her as much as I could love someone I saw once every how many years.

After having disappeared for five years, the first time I showed up for another family occasion was during her wake. She died of ovarian cancer when I was twenty-two.

I disappeared again, after that. This time, however, it was less of a surprise, I think, for my family. And not as “important” (for lack of a better word) because for years after Primera Esposa passed away, Segundo Tio disappeared too. To think he was the only one I wrote to. After a while, I stopped writing to him as well.

Then four years ago, Segundo Tio came home, saying that he was seriously considering staying for good – after all, they had no children, he lived alone in his humongous house and most of his family is here. I found myself at crossroads that day. I had not spoken to my family in almost fifteen years (not counting that one day in Primera Esposa’s wake) and, at that point, it was so hard to break out of inertia.

In the end, it took me thirteen years to realize that it was better to have a family than hold on to a grudge. I learned to accept my family that night – the good, the bad, and the ugly about them. Thirteen years.

And we’re just talking about acceptance.

This thing about acceptance goes on for a little bit more… But that is another story and will be told another time.

Ciao Bella!

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The Book With The Silver Pages (99/100)

So Brian and I took my 11-year-old niece, Moira, out for Jamba Juice. Or at least that was the plan.

In truth, we did so much more than that. Somewhere along the way, the Universe once again proved that regardless if I had not been in Moira’s life in her early years, there is no denying that she and I are family.

Me, Brian and Moi-Moi in Jamba Juice

After Jamba Juice, we went to Fully Booked as I was in the search of art paper to use for next week’s session (first week of January and I already have 16 hours scheduled under my belt. Not baaaaaad). That was a fail, so we ended up sitting outside – Moi busy playing with Brian’s phone and me busy with taking pictures of them.

After a disastrous tweet posted by Moi – “In high street!  Just darnk jamba juice!  Of ro fridays!  I will say ir’s my bday so i’ll get free ice cream >:)” – we ended up in Riovana.  Brian, of course, had his gait checked again (as he does in every running store we ever go to).  My personal achievement was getting Moi to check her gait (she had told me earlier that there was no way that she was running).

French Onion Soup for Three

After their “workout”, we had dinner in Friday’s (Moira’s choice – which saved Brian and myself yet another conversation that revolved around, “Where do you want to eat?” “It’s up to you.”) Not feeling very hungry, I opted for a Friday’s Chicken Sandwich, which was a pretty good choice, if I do say so myself. Brian split a Rib Eye steak with Moira, while my niece decided to have a Bacon Cheeseburger for herself. And we split an order of French Onion Soup. In case you’re wondering if there were any leftovers… there weren’t. The biggest piece that was left over was about a third of my chicken (I didn’t eat the bread and I still couldn’t finish it). Then I very nicely told the manager that it was “Monica’s” birthday (yes, that’s her real name) so we could get free ice cream.

In an effort to work off all the food we ate, we dropped by Krispy Creme to pick up some donuts for Kalyx. Then we were off to return to Fully Booked to roam around. While Brian headed off to the music section, Moira and I planted ourselves somewhere on the second floor. I was wandering the aisles rather aimlessly when, suddenly… *gasp!*  There it was. The Book With The Silver Pages. It was hardbound with a purple cover, containing a silhouette of a girl. It’s title? Ghostgirl. How perfect was that?

The book begins with this:

Ever feel invisible?

Ever feel invisible? Charlotte Usher did. Teased by classmates, overlooked by teachers, beneath contempt of the popular and ignored by Damen, the guy of her dreams, she barely registered on the radar at Hawthorne High. The kind of girl no one would ever miss if she died tomorrow. And then she did…

The End?
Not exactly…

I am thoroughly convinced that the book was calling out to me – much like The Expected One did in Fully Booked Greenhills. And, really, when you look at it and look it up, you have to admit it’s a match made in heaven.

Ciao Bella!

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One Thing Off My List (65/365)

Life List Item #15: Travel to Singapore. CHECK!!!

Brian and I landed on Singapore ground a little past 8:00 pm Sunday night. It was his first time flying out of the country and it was my first time to visit Singapore. There really isn’t any need to describe the excitement we were feeling.

Resie (Brian’s awesome older sister) and Marvin (her equally awesome spouse) picked us up from the airport. After a meal of chicken, chili prawns and those yummy little bread things, we were on our way to Pasir Ris – the place we would be calling home for the next 7 days.

Early the next day, we went on a “city tour” (in quotation marks because it was done sariling sikap style). The Helix Bridge was the first thong to take my breath away. Complicated and constructed in a way wherein it almost seems to be swirling, the chrome-colored walkway was quite an experience. It was while walking through it that I had my first perfect moment.

Lunch was at Marina Bay – I had Indian food – and I had my first glimpse of a Singaporean mall. Very Power Plant-esque, if I may say. The Artscience Museum was there too – they were running tours on Dali, Van Gogh and an exhibit called Shipwrecked all for S$28. I grabbed a brochure and made a mental note to update our itenerary.

Next it was off to the Merlion. I was thankful for the mist as it was becoming hotter and hotter by the minute. Then we hit several malls that sold mobile phones. I had conviniently lost my N8 the night before we left Manila (no, I did not go crazy with grief this time. Brian did) and had every intention of canvassing for a new one while we were here. You know that saying about a window opening when a door closes? It’s SOOOO true. I said goodbye to my N8 and, with a little persuasion from Brian, got myself an Xperia Arc (which I am using to write this entry).

The day ended with us meeting up with Ate Ria and Kuya Marvin for dinner at Just Acia. I’ve learned to stop converting every single amount to peso, so although I still haven’t bought anything other than my phone, I’ve found myself more appreciative of the things I could buy.

Anyway… One thing I’ve done consistently done since arriving is walk. And by walk, I don’t mean 15-minute strolls by the park or hurrying to cross the road. When I say walk, I mean walking for hours. HOURS!!!

Today it was more walking – Orchard Road, then Novena for Lunch (Wee Nam Kee is the greatest place for pigging out, I swear. I am now officially a fan of Deep Fried Baby Squid). Then we went back to Orchard Road, looking for Lucky Plaza. After that it was Queenstown for shoes. Brian’s shoes, not mine.

As of the writing of this post, we still aren’t home. Due to the fact that the entire Singapore is a hotspot, I’m at White Sands Mall, sitting in some random area.

Tomorrow, it’ll be the Singapore Zoo. Catch you again with (hopefully) more awesome anecdotes about my adventure in Singapore.

Blessed Be…

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Insanity (39/365)

Typical conversations you’d hear if you were in one of our family things…

Prima Numero Uno (cousin number one): I’m bi-polar.

Me: What?!  Did you get diagnosed?

Prima: No, but I am.  I was reading about it – manic-depression, also known as bi-polar – I have all the symptoms.  One minute I’m okay and happy.  The next, I’m as angry as anything.

Me: Gi, everyone’s like that.  It’s a family thing.


Me: Hey you!  Why’d you cut your hair?

Sobrina Numero Cuatro (niece number four): I didn’t cut my hair.

Me: Oh, right.  Your head got bigger.

Sobrina: Hey!


Tia Numero Dos (aunt number two): I’m so tired! (This happened right after she arrives)

Tia Numero Uno (aunt number one): O, why?

Tia Numero Dos: So many things to worry about… I finally found a driver to get here  Nini kasi has my driver, so I had to find another way.

Prima Numero Dos (cousin number two): What?! (facial expression shows disbelief)  Tita, you could have called me.  We could have picked you up.

Tia Numero Dos: No na.  Para que?  So I will be mahadera again?  Because I keep on changing the schedule, I will be mahadera.  No na.  Nini has the driver so I had to come up with a solution.  I got another driver nalang.

Tia Numero Uno: So you’re blaming Nini for not having a driver?

Tia Number Dos: I am not blaming her!  I just do not want to be a mahadera again!

Me: (whispering) Oh, man.  People are in such moods today…

Tio Numero Cuatro (uncle number four): Can we please talk about pleasant things?!?!?!

*NOTE: This all happened even before lunch


Esposa de mi Tio (wife of my uncle): Before we got married, ______ told me to consult a lawyer.  She was probably saving me from you! (meant statement as a joke)

Family laughs uneasily.  People were really in such moods that day.

Tia Numero Tres (aunt number three): But why did you tell her that, _______?

Tia Numero Dos (aunt number two): What?

Esposa de mi Tio: I was telling them about that time when we were talking before ______ and I got married.  You told me I better consult a lawyer.  I said that you were probably trying to save me from him.  (Again, meant statement as a joke)

Tio Numero Tres (uncle number three): Yes, Hermosa (sister), why would you tell her that?

Tia Numero Dos: What?  I don’t understand the question.


I have to stop at this point.

This was one of the strangest family gatherings I have ever been to in a long time.  Some time during lunch I found out that tempers were running high because something had happened in Baguio.  For the first time since I received that text message informing me I was not to go, I have never been so happy that I had been disinvited.

I can feel my family straining to keep up appearances – I think my family’s exceptionally good at that.  We were never ones to air our dirty laundry in front of other people.  Images had to be kept up, reputations had to be maintained… You know the drill.  But the drill is tiring.  And I’ve never had much patience for politics – economic, professional, social and otherwise.

I love my family.  They wear me out sometimes, but I love them to bits.  Even the weird ones.

Blessed Be…

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