Life, Personal

Once Upon a Time


Once upon a time I was a young girl looking up the sky – waiting for the giant bird-like machine to fly by over our heads.

Once upon a time I was a young girl who realized that a waiting taxi with my father and his luggage in it means it’s time for him to go back to work and another year or so without seeing him physically.

Once upon a time I was a young girl pretending to be okay – pretending actually that I am not getting dizzy when my father rocks me to sleep simply because I wanted the moment to last a little longer.

Once upon a time I was a young girl who writes lots of letters for my father and keep all his replies in a box, a plastic bag, cabinet, and basically anywhere I can store it.

Once upon a time I was the young girl who walks up to my father’s other side (left or right) to hold his hand in mine while we stroll in the mall.

Once upon a time I was the young girl who looks forward to Sundays mainly because it means it’s movie day with the ‘whole’ family, too.

And once upon a time I was never the self-proclaimed-writer-at-heart person until it was decided that you are to come back Home – in the Heavens where you really belong.

Then suddenly, as if in a trance or a conspiracy of some sort, all of my thoughts were imprinted through words of black and white on ink and paper.

– As if you were telling me that Once Upon a Times never really ended and dissipated together with you; that our once upon a times as father and daughter never really ended that one night when you held my hand and meant not to let go; that our stories of once upon a times as a whole family have never ended and vanished into thin air the moment you breathed your last.

Because it is in the simple telltales of our once upon a times – of yesteryears, of yesterdays that you live through and through. That our stories live through and through – in memories and in hearts.

So on your 3rd all soul’s day, know that our stories of once upon a times continue to grow to be the happy memories they’re supposed to be. That finally, we’re getting a tidbit better than the last. That finally, somehow, I’m beginning to piece the bigger picture of why we have to lose you early in this life.

So for all our once a upon a time stories, thank you Pa.

Know that you’re still one of our motivators and one of the best source of inspiration.


Thank you. Always and Forever.




Life, Personal, writing

A Fighter Worth Everything

A loving wife, a mother of four, and a sister to six others.

She is a strong willed woman, stubborn against all oddities of cancer. She fought relentlessly and held on to her Faith – unfazed by all circumstances cancer threw her way.

She remained strong, smiled through tough times, cried, and a few times (or more) got angry and frustrated with all the pain she feels. Nevertheless, she proved that it takes more than her illness to bring her down, to lose her faith, and bring destruction upon her family.

She might not be here physically but her memories, her legacy, her stories will always stay and be remembered by people who surround her.

A tough woman in her early sixties – feisty and loud, sometimes even a nagger – not only to her husband or children, but to all of us – pamangkin, kapatid, kaibigan. Selfless, dedicated, sincere, and caring, a stage mother supportive of her children’s dream.

She fought a long time and now she’s finally in a better place. In her own paradise where no illness, hardship, or pain will come her way. A place where she can – we can finally, truly say she is Home.

You see even in this situation, she never succumbed to the harshness of her illness. Rather, she gained the Mercy of the One above and His Kingdom.

Her chapter on Earth may have ended; nevertheless, her journey was not in vain as she had laughed lots of times, loved a long time, and lived life to the fullest.

And just like how I heard one person say, I quote, “my grandfather did not die. He did not die because he is such a good man and a good man does not die. He just stopped breathing.”

Thus, in the same light, our Tita did not die. She did not die because she is a good person and a good person does not die. She just stopped breathing.

Tita Edith, tulad nga ng sinabi ng marami, Maraming maraming salamat – sa lahat ng tulong, sa lahat ng alaala at suporta, at higit sa lahat, salamat sa pagkakataon na ibinigay mo sa aming lahat na makilala ka’t maging parte ng buhay mo at mapagsilbihan ka kahit sa huling pagkakataon.

Watch over everyone Tita. We love you.

Hanggang sa muli nating pagkikita.



Personal, writing

One Fateful Night

May 2016, a day before the National Election.

I was on preparing things I had with me as I was about to head back home when my phone rang, notifying me of a call. I answered immediately to be greeted by my mom’s voice and a vague background noise.

“Where is she?” I wondered.

Then she tells me to head to the munisipyo, saying they (pertaining to my titas and cousins) are there. Agreeing to what she said, I remembered that that day was the last campaign day for all politicians running for government positions.

The night was cold, a slight breeze blowing across my clammy skin. With thoughts of what transpired within the day and what was about to happen, the trip to the munisipyo seemed to have happened in just a blink of an eye.

Upon reaching my destination, I was greeted by a throng of loud people, blaring music, orange, pink, and blue t-shirts, flags, and a re-routed traffic manned by San Juan’s blue boys (traffic enforcer a.k.a. Blue Boys). The event was in full swing, I guessed.

I do not remember much of what transpired that night. But I do remember the line of tents in white beside the stage, the huge monitor serving as a backdrop, police patrolling the area, and the four LED flood lights blinking shades of red, blue, and yellow.

And of course, I remember the reason why we were all there – to show our support to that one person who supported us all the same in one ways or another.

She is a mother of four, a sister to six other siblings, a Tita to all of us, a fighter, a survivor.

At first glance you’ll probably see a daunting woman in her early 60’s – but mind you, her looks will tell you otherwise. She maybe loud and easily agitated – like the rest of us (her relatives) but above all, she is a loving mother and wife ready to do anything and everything for her family and a sister willing to help out in possible ways she can.

Then, suddenly as if in a trance, I snapped out of my thoughts our dear Tita.

That’s when I noticed people milling around the area, claps echoing in the starless night, my mother eagerly listening to the current speaker, children laughing and running about, and mostly, flood lights and spot lights coloring up the stage.

I walked a bit further from the stage, exhausted from the many noises of the night and seated myself on the grass with my mother in tow, another Tita, and a French Bulldog.

I glanced up at the sky and nodded to myself, this indeed is one fateful night. A night I ought to remember as I see my Tita seated on the stage, doing everything in her power to protect and serve her family in all that they need.

As I look at her and her family seated just right behind the stage where she is, I sent a silent prayer to Heaven.

Wishing her to stay stronger and better, healthier even, to soar higher and stay a fierce fighter – a stubborn one against all oddity of the Big C. And let her know that no matter what, she’ll always be with her family – though thick and thin.

And that, the stars and the moon will always keep a watch over her.

Happy Birthday, Tita Edith.



All the best,




Life, Random Thoughts

Life After Death and Everything in Between

Have you heard of Life and Death’s love story? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Maybe at one point you saw that story and thought it a silly concoction of the human brain since it says that ‘Life and Death have been in love for longer than we have words to describe,’ that Life sends countless gifts to Death and Death gets to keep them forever.

A weird thing, really. But then again, maybe it’s okay to believe that they do actually have that kind of love story and maybe it’s okay to believe that Life is actually giving Death gifts for countless of times.

That maybe my father was among the ‘countless gifts’ Life sent to Death.

Now that – I think, was quite a weird one if I really put it that way.

But on a lighter note, perhaps, my father was really a gift sent for other purposes.

2 years.

Time seems to have flown out of the window as 2 years passed by – quickly but not easily.

First months of coping up with the loss seem utterly impossible. I felt my world cave in and my heart literally shattering into bits and pieces. Days and nights, weeks and month all melt from one day to another, leaving no hint or trace of what transpired in the last few hours.

At one point I even thought the whole world was under the conspiracy of betraying me as I found little effect of the loss to none at all. It was a personal battle – an unforgettable one.


Life after Death.

For years I thought about the concept of life after death in it’s literal sense – that after physically dying, you’re left to find life again – a resurrection kind of thing if you may. Hence, Life after Death.

And only now do I realize that it could also mean living after coping up with the death of a loved one. Thus, another Life after Death.

But of course I am no genius to come up with that concept. No.

It was – don’t laugh at me – the influence of a story I happen to stumble upon one day. Yes, the author was brilliant that way.

Though it wasn’t an instant realization as I myself thought it absurd, looking back, when my father died, I did, too. Emotionally. Mentally. My family did, actually. He was, after all, the rock that anchored our every lives.

But hey, we lived through it and we’re living again.

Time might have stopped for him that fateful night but it’ll never be the case for us as we still have to live after his death.And true enough, we’re finally gaining our balance once more.

Balance in the not so balance, chaotic, happy world. And with that, I’ll end this in a positive note. 


Life, Personal, writing

Memories of July

For most of us, July’s just part of the 12 months in a year. The 7th one to be exact.

Others would call for a celebration – baptism, birthday, wedding/ wedding anniversary. Basically anything.

But still it’s July, the same 7th month of each year.

For us, it’s a different kind of anniversary. Because it’s an anniversary that marks the final chapter of one person’s life. Continue reading