I meant to write a tribute for Alden just like what I do yearly for my dad but I was so touched reading this, written by my niece, their only child. She just graduated from senior high school. I asked permission if I could share it here, a heartfelt tribute to her Papa. Her name is Mae. Alden taught her how to fire a gun when he was alive.

My other brother Noel took this shot in the province.

A year without you Father,

A daughter’s biggest nightmare is losing her father.
I’ve lost mine.
I know eventually we’re all going to die, but you left too soon Pa, and it hurts just to think about it every day. I never thought that I’d be losing you this soon.

When you left, not only did I lose a Father but also a best friend, a mentor, and a hero. A father who loved me unconditionally, a best friend who always listened to me talk about everything, and a Mentor who taught me all there was to know about the world and showed me how to live in it. And a Hero who guards and protects me while I walk through life.

You inspire me to do great things in life, and even if you’re disappointed (you never said it but I kinda feel it) when I got a low score on a test you always boost me and never let me down, always saying you know I’ll do better next time with a smile, you never once made me feel pressured and taught me how life doesn’t always give you what you want, not because I deserve it, but because I deserve more. Always saying to enjoy life and not stress too much. You taught me how to believe in myself. To have the confidence to face anything that life could throw at me.

Through thick and thin, you were always there to guide and protect me. You were my strength and inspiration. You are the first person I want to tell when something happens in my life. You not being around will always sting.

I wish I could’ve spent more time with you Pa, I miss our bondings so much, those joyful mornings, your childhood stories, songs we enjoy blasting off the radio early in the morning, backyard firing sessions, eating junk foods (that we hide from Mama ‘cause we both knew we’ll be damned if she found out. *and she did), the guessing games, express racings and many more (‘cause we both have the same hobbies). Wondering when will we be able to do that again. I miss the way you made us feel special and loved.

Thank you for showing me the good sides of living, for teaching me your beliefs and virtues in life, for the great memories, and great lessons that I’ll carry through life, for believing in me, and for protecting me. Needless to say, you were the best father anyone could wish for. I am what I am only for your great parenting and hard work, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. I am thanking you for everything as I can’t thank you enough when you were alive.

If I’ll have a chance to choose my parents in my next life, I will, in no doubt and hesitations choose you a million times.

I know that you’re already in a great place happily sipping coffee with Abuelo and Tio Junior, but can you visit us in our dreams sometimes? We really miss you Papa. And if heaven had visiting hours, I would run up to hug you. If there’s a phone up there could you give me the number so I can hear you again and say how much I miss and love you? ‘Cause I’ll do everything and anything just to have a bit more of a moment with you.

If only tears could build a stairway, I’d walk up to Heaven and bring you home again.

I know you’re watching over us Papa, and I know you and Abuelo will guide us through everything, so I don’t have to worry, and I know that even if you’re not here anymore you’re always on our side.

We love you Pang, until we reunite. 🤍🕊️



It’s Mom’s Day

Happy and blessed Mother’s Day to all of my mom friends here. It is our special day today.

Made this years ago when my Amazon lily was in bloom. Today I was rewarded with my sweet Gardenia flowers.


What public figure do you disagree with the most?

I’ll keep it short – the present admin of this country and all his cohorts.

What do you do to be involved in the community?

Define community!

Loosely defined, it may mean a group of people living in the same place or having particular characteristics in common. It may also mean a feeling of fellowship with others, with common interest and attitude that bind you together.

Thirteen years ago, I met a Dominican priest through Facebook. We met via UST.tv which is no longer in existence now. He saw that I am a friend of Lovell so he invited me to be a temporary admin of a Catholic page called Apostles Filipino Catholic Community which he put up. We personally met when he came back from Rome and had two meetings/ gatherings with some of our members at Bahay Dominiko. After a few months he made me a permanent admin. That started online communications with the group and when some of them came home for vacation, they came over to meet me. A whole day is not enough, we had repeated gatherings here at home. There were the crying sessions we had, some of them opening up with their family problems. Fr. Louie, our chief administrator was so happy about the turn -out of our membership through the page. He changed the name to The Filipino Catholic, we are three admins manning the site. We post daily Bible readings and masses online, reflections, inspirational quotes and some Catholic links which are helpful to our members. At present we have more than 133,000 members.

During the pandemic, the Society of St. Paul created an hour- online program called Sambuhay Interaktib which is aired live twice a week. It is still ongoing until now. One can participate through live discussions and comments. I used to share some of my reflections back then until I had this ear infection and I could no longer understand the three priests manning the program. Sometimes I could not understand everything. They create games, topics of the night and Bible quotes. Believe me, priests and seminarians are good singers too. Fr. Pao always called me their resident poet before. Met some of them last year, priests and seminarians both and we had a good exchange of thoughts and conversations mostly about books we have read. Eventually, we have this group on Facebook but it is private, by invites only and I am one of the admins too. I am enjoying posting there. Sometimes I share my earlier posts and some members asked me to keep sharing.

There you go, my Catholic community and I am happy about it.

ENT Schedule

8:05 am

Josef and I have been here since 6:30 am. We had a Grab ride going to Medical City Hospital. Josef opted that we leave the house early so we won’t encounter traffic. My appointment at the ENT Department is at 9am. Better be early than late.

Josef had the approval printed at the Intellicare office here. All we have to do is to present it at the department then they will schedule me for those lab tests.

I brought along one of my tabs. Anybooks used to come free for e-books but it has closed its site to the public. I have a small collection of books though. I now prefer reading on my tab because it is more convenient. I can adjust it based on my visual requirements. Fonts could be enlarged too and it is easier for me to read everything. When I am out of the house, I usually read poems by Mary Oliver. I find her Dog Songs book an interesting read. Early this morning, two of Nika’s three pups met me at the garage. There were three of them before but one was already adopted. Since Jovy hasn’t named them yet, I call one of them Uno and the other one Tres. Our third Shih Tzu is called Dos. They keep wagging their tails but are hesitant to be cuddled. We have four more new pups by Niki. Imagine our nine doggies eat more food than we do. The six outside and the two puppies eat canned dog meat, rice and boiled vegetables. Oreo, Cookie and Dos eat boiled chicken breast and vegetables, no flavorings added. Josef and Jovy have big budgets for these numerous pets. People dropping by for deliveries of our online purchases won’t need to press our doorbell since their barks are loud enough to wake the dead….haha!

I temporarily stopped slow reading. I am not really in the mood to analyze each word on my own. I found more books about Provence. I love reading about the place imagining those lavender fields and their scents. Provencal life seems so interesting same as those stories on Tuscany.

I hope the results of my lab tests would be a little better compared to the one I had last year which according to my ENT was not even complete. Back then, I went to consult an audiologist at the hospital near our place.

10:05 am

It was a forty-minute procedure. I could not tell you yet the results since they are all in numbers and graphs but some of the diagnoses say I have a moderate to severe hearing loss in my right ear and severe to moderately profound in my left which is the one that has infection. I have to consult my ENT again this coming Thursday. I guess I failed in the Speech Audiometry, despite the loud sounds from the audiologist (she said most words are in Tagalog), I could not understand them all. They came in garbled.

Fr. Lovell texted me back this morning while Josef and I were at the hospital that he was scheduled for operation this 10 am. He didn’t elaborate except to say we need to pray for each other. I am always praying for family members and friends and I prayed the Joyful Mysteries when I read his texts. Health is really important.

Cavite Sunset

I can’t help but admire this lovely photo which Nissa took yesterday in their balcony. It is a perfect capture of a sunset. She used it as her cover photo on Facebook. Breathtakingly beautiful!


The music

lingers still

Except –

there are no words

to complete the song.

Close your eyes for a while

Savour the silence

Listen to God’s voice

He gently calls,

Whispering His everlasting love.

Silence is a prayer in itself.

Always believe in prayers

No matter how mundane your wants and needs are,

God answers our prayers.

It may not be immediate

But rest assured it is the best.

Let us learn to listen to God’s whispers

Let us learn to appreciate silence in our hearts.

There are times when you feel you are at the lowest ebb in your life and you appreciate what silence brings. Try to listen, savour the silence, your prayers will be answered in His own time. Faith carry us through no matter what circumstances we’re in. I learned when I was given a second chance at life fourteen years ago that everything happens for a reason. I learned to be courageous and strong despite all the odds. Listen when silence speaks.

Published the above reflection when I was just beginning to blog at WordPress. Those were the times when I wish and pray just to get well, to see my kids grow and have their own families too.

I was supposed to visit my ENT Thursday last week but the date coincided with the distribution of Mom’s social pension at the Seniors’ Hall here in our village. The monthly pension is minimal and is given every quarter. Sayang naman kung di ko kukunin.

Yesterday, I went back to The Medical City Clinic to consult with my doctor. She said I could now have my audiometry tests at the Medical City Main Hospital. Wow! My left ear is clean and dry, she didn’t even have to clean it. I told her my medical insurance is expiring on June 30. The more I need to have the tests done earlier. Josef is still waiting for the confirmation of Intellicare before scheduling me for the lab tests. I have to undergo three tests:

Pure Tone Audiometry (PTA)

Speech Audiometry (SA)

Tympanometry (Tympa)

Dropped by David’s to have my hair trimmed. I have it shortened a little. It is summer here and it is so hot outside.

There are days when looking back is just as lovely as watching how the day unfolds.

When Friendster closed sometime last May 2011, I opted to share some of my blog posts at Facebook through their Notes. I wanted to preserve some writings I did before. Can’t believe I wrote this article fifteen years ago. That’s how long I have been blogging since Friendster days. If I remember I think I made another blog post here of similar title.

A friend says that it is the luxury of time that we lack nowadays and I say, if you allow yourself to think like that, then you would never enjoy the little things that contribute to the wonder of living. Give me the pleasure of watching the sun rise and visiting some place like Batanes and I would gladly trade it off with a three-course meal at Burgoo’s and a cup of latte at Starbucks.

Some people whine at every obstacle they find. They probably climbed the mountain too high and never noticed the beauty of the wayside flowers along their way nor the melodious tune of bird songs somewhere near. Life is a rat-raced competition, alright, but then in order to live fully, we must strike a balance between eking out a living and nourishing our souls.

Moments of bliss touch us everyday of our lives. The trick is to open our eyes and feel with our hearts. A few nights ago, as I was feeding our dog Boo, I noticed the myriad twinkling of night stars high up.I tried to locate the Big Dipper just like what our science teacher taught us in grade school. Here in the city, seldom do we see such an array of night lights like these. I felt quite small but proud to witness another wonder of God’s creation.

Yesterday on my way home from a party with my high school friends in Kamias, I passed by Robinson’s Galleria Foodcourt. There was an ongoing concert at the activity area, a group of three young men and a lady playing instrumental music. A kind of music that tease the senses and touch the hearts. They were about to start “The Promise”. Remember the song from the movie with the same title and the equally touching book of Danielle Steele? That book is a “must re-read” for me every time the red colored days of February come near. A sort of getting in touch with my romantic side and affirming my previous love for tear-jerker books and movies from way back. That song was followed by several more almost all of which brought tears to my eyes. It was truly an unexpected gift from above. I left the mall feeling uplifted – can you imagine that kind of sensation like you want to smile at everyone you meet? Or hug yourself because you were simply elated?

When winter ends, there is always a promise of spring. (February 10, 2008)