Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I'm not wishing for a mansion or a swimming pool. I just a want trampoline in my backyard and a swing nearby where I can sit and watch my boys jump to their hearts delight and watch my flowers bloom beside the white picket fence.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I can never claim vindication if I haven't forgiven those who have offended me;
I haven't really forgiven if I gloat over my enemy's downfall

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dear Ate Marife,

While walking Aaron home from school yesterday, he reminded me about the Terry Fox run (which is today).

He went on to tell me the story about Terry Fox. A Canadian athlete who did a cross-Canada run to raise awareness and funds for Cancer research.  He did this with his right leg amputated due to a malignant tumor.

I thought, his story will end there. He remembered you. How you also battled Cancer with so much grace and with so much strength.

I guess, he knows you are so alike in many ways - cancer, passion, and the things you do for the causes that you believe in. Only a handul would know how the Run for Hope started - from your Social Marketing class, an idea from your student in your brainstorming session. And it came to pass. And it became a tradition in the very institution you have dedicated your life to after more than 15 years with the government.

Thank you for being an example of being selfless, for being a servant leader, and just working in the sidelines, without even a hint or a desire for recognition. Just a lot of fun and so much commitment to the causes you believe in.

Today, my boys are running (not a cross country run, but in their schools), remembering and missing you. I didn't know, until yesterday, how they can be stirred also for causes with respect to Cancer because of you.

We are singing the Terry Fox run song with so much fun, but with so much emotion too. My boys and I terribly miss you.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Today, August 6, 2016, I honor two women who loved and cared about me so much. Remembering them so dearly, and missing them still every day.

Ate Marife with my son Aaron
Ate Marife, a friend who stood by me through thick and thin; who selflessly gave her time, and gave up celebrating her birthday just to be with my sister and I on that fateful day of August 6, 2007.  The Ate who saw me through, who cheered me up, and lovingly corrected me when I am wrong. The Ate who willingly shared everything she has with me. A friend who knows so well how is it to be orphaned and how important it is to have a family.

She should be celebrating her 50th today. She must have been excited to be called golden girl. 

Mama with my son Rhyss
My Mom, whose life was taken away by somebody I do not even know. Where her only desire is for her to travel, dance, and spoil everyone she loves. A doting grandmother who wants to be called Mommy, and the mother that we so much adore. Her quiet strength and demeanor and her willingness to forgive no matter how hurt she may have been, made it easier for me to let go. It's 9 years now, the mastermind still unknown and the gunman eventually died in jail. But her voice still echoes, "bay-amon anak ko." 

Two women I hold dear. On the same day, my friend's birth and my mom's death. How will I ever forget August 6? 

Friday, July 22, 2016


I need one.  
And I need it very badly. 
My husband assured me there is one. But it's not like the one I used back home. 
It has no handle. It is heavy. 
I just want the tabo similar to the ones I have back home. 
A friend said, you have to get used to using the shower to wash everything. 
I cannot. I simply can't. 

I need it to measure my shampoo.  
My mom used to tell me my hair will fall off if I put too much. 
I need it to "kawkaw."
The tabo gives me a feeling of completely cleaning everything. 
I need it to wash my face too!

I will look for one here. 
If I can't see one after a month, I will definitely eat ice cream. 
Look for the best size. 
And will have the tabo I have wanted since day one. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bittersweet. That's what it is.
Leaving behind foggy hills in exchange for snow capped mountains
Coats and snow boots instead of rain coats and plastic boots
Train rides from jeepney rides
And my list can go on and on
The food...yes, the food!
The Ilocana in me will always long for dinengdeng, pinapaitan, frog, padas, bagoong
The acculturated Igorota in me will always long for pinikpikan, etag, and home made fruit wine

But I am also excited with what God has in store for me and my family
You're going to a land of milk and honey, they say
Promised land?
And I'd say, my promised land is not where I am going
But my promised land is a sweet and happy marriage, a complete family
Because that is my inheritance, the only thing I desired and claimed since day 1
I fought for it long and hard...
and I tell you, it is the most difficult battle.
But, it also is where I say, victory was sweetest...
a conquered promise.

But with all the memories I will be bringing with me,
I am also looking forward to building more memories
The crackly brown leaf
Walkway lined up with trees - from green leaves to orange to brown
Until they're no more...and eventually, become green again.
A fascination I had since childhood
Picket fences painted white, lined up with flowers
Dandelions, parks, lakes, fishing

Indeed, there is a time for everything
And God made all things beautiful in His time.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

It's been a while. I've been thinking a lot lately, and so into the things I so love to do. A friend said, I am too busy. And she posed a question that continues to echo in my ears: are you really leaving, or you are in denial that you are going?

There may be some truth to the latter. But I am just so excited to have my family whole again.