Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ninong b

the past four days and nights have been physically exhausting but indescribably emotionally overwhelming and spiritually uplifting.

my dear ninong benny was laid to rest last friday, with all his loved ones around him. and then for the next few days and nights thereafter, more of his extended family and friends from near and far, came to be with him... to pay respect, to thank him, to praise him, to honor him... what better way to "pass on" to the next life. i hate the term "pass away" because it connotes one is going away, never again to be seen, felt or remembered. for ninong most especially, this is not the way it will be. his person and how he lived his life is the kind that will never ever be forgotten.

he is a lot of different things to so many people. but a common thread that runs through these different things is his sincere concern and love to share every little bit of what he has... his material wealth, his thoughts and talents, his heart and soul. he does this with so much passion, so much so that i can experience whatever he shares, with all of my five senses - to see, hear, smell, feel, and yes, even taste! just how much passion he has... all the time, walang humpay, walang pagod. he doesn't give until it hurts. he just gives and gives and never seem to hurt.

i may be just one of his countless inaanaks, but i consider him my one and only true ninong. he's the only ninong who saw me grow up, who was there in most significant milestones of my life -- from my birth, to my giving birth -- i would have no one else do my epidurals but him, and i am tickled pink because i know he truly feels no one else should, except him. he is my only ninong who i can talk to about anything at all... from exotic cuisine (of fish eyeballs!), to art appreciation, to medicine (all of its branches!), to career plans and the fulfillment of giving back ("mabuti at umuwi kayo ni gary"), to marriage, to parenting kids and parenting parents, to the many challenges of aging (including sex during that time!), to the anxiety over sickness and death, to the importance of prayer and spiritual life. come to think of it -- you name them, we most probably have talked about them. i have gotten advice, sometimes amusing but always sound, in many occasions... and so have i received his sincere approval and warm affirmation for other aspects in my life which he feels i have done well in. he is my only ninong who was openly affectionate and made sure i knew he cared for me, taking to heart the role of being second father with the way he related to me.

i feel extra-special, being on the ringside, my whole life, witnessing this passion of his for life -- at times perplexed where it was coming from, sometimes overwhelmed by it, oftentimes inspired by it, all the time awed by it, and forever will be thankful for it.

ninong benny, i am deeply grateful and truly honored to have you in my life. it will certainly not be the same without your physical presence, but whenever i think about you, i will certainly feel your passion for life, which will remind me of how i should live my own and continue to strive to achieve what "i was created for".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

dad rocks

one of the most memorable father's day celebrations we had happened last sunday. gary and i take care of the children's formation in ligaya ng panginoon, a catholic charismatic community and i thought it was pretty cool to have the children, our own and of others too, do something to honor their fathers on this special day.

scribbles on the neon heart cut-outs pasted on river stones proclaim "dad rocks". and attached to each of these paperweights is the child's personalized note saying "i love you dad because.....

... when you come home from work, you always bring me a prize." - chin, 7
... you take care of me when i am sick." - seth, 6
... you work very hard to keep us alive." - joshua, 10
... i love you." - roque, 6

Saturday, June 07, 2008


this is what my crazy talented arianna made for me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


this afternoon, while we were at work today, my son roque, called my husband gary on his mobile.

roque: dad, there was an accident.
dad: why? what is it? what happened?
roque: uh... um... i accidentally broke something.
dad: what was it?
roque: it's this thing-with-a-hand.
dad: what thing? how?
roque: i was jumping on lolo's bed. and i accidentally stepped on it. i accidentally broke it.

after describing what that thing-with-a-hand was, gary finally understood that it was lolo's wooden back-scratcher.

roque: it was an accident, dad. i accidentally stepped on it.
dad: that's ok. but that's lolo's so you have to tell him about it and say sorry to him, ok?
roque: ok... but can you be with me later when i tell him?
dad: sure.

so gary came home and roque showed him the fractured back-scratcher. together, they waited for lolo to get out of the shower. when he did, roque attempted to hand over the painful evidence to gary, quietly hoping gary would help him out on this. but gary told him he had to do it himself.

roque: lolo... uh... um... i accidentally broke this.
lolo: what's that?
roque: it's your back-scratcher.
lolo: oh, how did it get broken?
roque: i was jumping on your bed and i accidentally stepped on it. i'm sorry, it was an accident.
lolo: ah, that's ok.

roque smiled quite relieved. gary was happy and proud of his brave little boy.