Category Archives: Family

Sunsets Over the Beaches

Just some random strolling by the beach with brother-in-law Kuya Richie, niece-in-law Baby Rigel, and Dear Redh. One of the perks of living near it.

Click HD to watch in high-definition.

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Papa, Do Preach

In offshore countries, Father’s Day has been made a red-letter day since civilization learned the real value of a father. It originated in the United States and was then adopted by most countries the world over. Today, the Philippines celebrates Father’s Day.

My father is the sole living parent I have. When Mama passed away, just like any widower, he took over the responsibilities of both–a father and a mother. A scant two years after though,  he felt he needed a partner. So came the stepmother. They were never married, but they stayed in one roof for a while and bore two children. Her reign in our house, however, was short-lived because we didn’t mix well. Somebody had to leave. My father was presented two options he feared–us his children or the woman he thought he loved. How relieved I became when he chose us.

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. In our case, we call him Papa.

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance, so I’ve heard. We are never well off, but the lessons my father taught were lessons that were not taught anywhere else, even in school. He had gone far beyond the reaches of his capacity just to groom us into better individuals. He put us first before himself. Even now, he still looks out for our well-being when it is his time to be looked after.

We always have to cajole him into going out for a dinner, a movie, or an out-of-town trip. Sometimes I think perhaps he’s lonely for being alone (without a partner, that is). But I believe he is way past that. As your father gets old, it seems it also gets harder to make him happy. Or maybe he’s already happy but just doesn’t want to show it. Did I mention we are a family who’s allergic to sentimentality and mush? We don’t say “I love you” to one another. I guess we are just firm believers of the saying, “Action speaks louder than words.”

I could never ask for a better father. If his preaches made my ears sting before, now I actually miss them. I have to go get a good dose of that when I drop by for a visit.

Treat your father to something special today. Or give him a handmade and self-written greeting card. Or a cake maybe. Fathers want to act like fathers. It might not show, but you know that deep inside, they’re pleased. And that’s what matters.

"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." --Clarence Budington Kelland

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Mama’s Girl

(From left to right: Mama's colleague, me, and Mama. Taken during an event in her school---Search for Mr. Lakan and Ms. Lakambini. She was a teacher in Agusan National High School then, the school I went to seven years after.)

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. Honor them every day. Seize the moment while it lasts.

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Brownout

It’s the summer, but it’s fairly cold in this part of the world. Not only because I live in a house that is a perfect vantage point of the beach, but also due to the frequent rain. The weather here is just weird. It feels Christmas oredi.

Last week, we had a power outage though it lasted for only a few minutes. But check out what I did during lights out. 😉

I took pictures (heh). Glad the laptop still had a few batt bars remaining. The Internet kept us company.

Sunflower candle, a Christmas gift from my officemate before. Timely.

Isn't the flower reflection nice?

As soon as the rain stopped, the power got back on, so these are all the photos I was able to take. Till next brownout! ^^

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Talk with Uncle Charlie

Today is Maundy Thursday. And today, I met Uncle Charlie. He is my boyfriend’s uncle who lives in Zamboanga del Sur–a pure-blooded Chavacano. He is staying here in Carmen for the Holy Week, which is a blessing because every time he opens his mouth, he lights up the room. He has a very cheerful disposition and a winsome attitude. He is also a devout Catholic. Like me, he is a Christian in progress, but what happened to him was a transformation. I like to head the same path.

Uncle Charlie is an extrovert. Very friendly. When we first met, I was only able to utter my default greeting “hello.” He returned the greeting with much more life. From that point on, I knew he was something.

At noon, Redh’s family and I had lunch in a round table together. It was boisterous. It was fun to spend time with family and just let go. Singing, storytelling, or simply fooling around. I’m always lucky to be part of this family. I’m shy at times, but Gran always tells me I shouldn’t because I am now part of the family. Coming from her, that’s music to my ears.

During lunchtime, I found that Uncle Charlie and I are both Geminis. Maybe that’s why we instantly took to each other. “We both have split personalities,” he jokingly said with a matching high-five. And at our first meeting at that. Friendly is an understatement to describe Uncle Charlie. He is really something else.

After lunch, my boyfriend and his two brothers went outside to sing more songs with the guitar. While they were busy warbling, Gran, Uncle Charlie, and I had the chance to chat. Gran told about her love story with late Grampa. After some time, she too went away to her room to rest. And so began a most meaningful and fruitful talk with Uncle Charlie.

We talked about a lot of things. Life path, the importance of communication in a relationship, patience, understanding, religion, business, and the list goes on. The sincerity of the moment spoke volumes. It was a three-hour chat to begin with. But the best learning I got from Uncle Charlie is to let go and let God. All that we have now (money, properties, talents) will eventually fade away, either gradually or in an instant. Because we can’t predict life. We don’t know what would happen tomorrow. We don’t have to be too tight but recognize that all this is not ours. It’s all a gift from God.

With the brevity of life, we should not withhold kindness to anyone who deserves it when it is in our power to help.

It was a pleasure to meet Uncle Charlie. He just went off to church for tonight’s mass. I know I should too, but I’m not pushing myself too hard. One day at a time and I’ll get there someday soon.

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Life Back Here

Day 2 of life by the beach. Yesterday was bedlam. I had a very bad headache coupled with equally painful dysmenorrhea. Today is no different with all the unpacked bags sprawled across the room. It seems my headache is gonna stay with me for a while.

I can hear the waves lapping quietly on the beach. It’s a beautiful tune that attempts to soothe my mind. It somehow works. The chirping of the birds, crows of roosters, and Granny’s loud voice calling us when it’s time for breakfast. I swear this is nothing close to the humdrum of life back in the city. A totally different world. I feel closer to nature and to life.

Summer breeze here in the province is pretty cool. It’s almost lunchtime, but it’s still cool inside the room. No need for an electric fan because the sea breeze is a done deal. Not like in the city, which is engulfed by a curtain of heat and contaminated air. Not to mention the brownouts. With the scorching heat and lack of proper ventilation, you’ll pretty much bathe in your own sweat. City life is hot. (Pun intended.)

Here, food is healthy and all natural. Gran doesn’t like canned goods, so she never stocks on those. Oatmeal, eggs, and milk for breakfast. Fish or chicken, veggies, rice, and orange juice for lunch or dinner. Sometimes more viands and/or desserts are displayed on the tabletop. All healthy. I could live like this all my life.

Time check: 10:40 AM. Lunchtime’s in twenty minutes. Yes, we eat lunch meals here. Back in Cebu, we used to sleep in the morning and wake up at night. Now the nocturnal part of us would have to take a serious setback. We’re living here for good anyways. This is my new reality now. And it’s starting to set in.

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Why I Like Pasta

Pasta is one of my favorite dish. But when asked why, I couldn’t really give a satisfying answer, so I usually go with the rationalization–who doesn’t?

Last night though, I found my answer.

Redh and I dropped by Greenwich, Fuente to feed ourselves after a grueling Christmas shopping. You could just imagine how famished we were that we took home a good-for-four meal. (Yes, we are fat. No, that’s not good. Let’s save that for another blog entry.)

Redh, checking if everything has been served.

You know the saying “Christmas is a time when you feel homesick even though you’re home?” PASTA! I mean–PRESTO! I think I get it now. As Redh was about to put some pasta into my mouth, memories of Mama and how she used to feed me with pasta flashed through my mind. It was a magical moment that I wouldn’t trade for the world. If you ever watched the movie Ratatouille, there was a scene there where food critic Anton Ego tasted Remy’s recipe, and at that moment, he was transported back to the time when he was sitting by their kitchen table and eating his mother’s homemade dish. The savoriness of Remy’s delectable concoction magically appealed to Anton’s palate, making him remember his favorite dish and why it was so. You could say the same thing happened to me. Except that my trigger was the action. Anton’s was the taste.

So now, if anybody asks me why I like pasta, I’m ever ready for an answer. So ask away!

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