Latest Fad to Hit Town: Cancer

Yep, you read it right. The latest fad to hit town is cancer. Cancer which used to be a hush hush topic before, cancer that at one time in the past only embraced few people we know are now invading our comfort zones with such rapidity and at an alarming rate. Now, I’m sure you know of one person personally who has cancer. Before, it used to hit only the elderly and the weak but now even young children and the healthy ones are suddenly afflicted with cancer.
I was having a nice lunch in our own little haven in our faculty last week when I decided to read this article about cancer which totally freaked me out. I realized that if there is such a thing as Search for Outstanding Cancer Candidate, the title would go to me hands down.   It says there in the article that each of us have cancer cells in our body, the kind of lifestyle that we have and the strength of our immune system will determine if these cancer cells will mutate in big numbers or shall we say stay at a level that is safe. Cancer cells like to party on in an acidic environment.  Meat lovers out there like me produced so much acid in the intestine. I’m sure the cancer cells in me are having a blast everytime I eat those crispy pata, steak and inihaw na liempo. Geez! It goes on in saying that cancer cell diet is mostly protein based, meaning the more you eat red meat which are high sources of bad protein, the more you are feeding those cancer cells making them big and strong, and not to mention multiply in numbers. And those icky green vegetables are just what we need to control these pesky cancer cells. These greens contain oxidants that flushed out acids and such other things in our body. I am a certified meat lover, fish and anything coming straight out of the water are absolutely not in my food list. But after reading that article, I guess i have to change my eating habits if i still want to enjoy life and not be haunted by the thought that I’m a walking cancer bomb waiting to explode. More greens, fish and chicken meat which are sources of good protein are highly recommended.
Of course genes also count. If there is cancer history in your  family, the more you need to be vigilant in living a full, healthy life. Living a full healthy life doesn’t only mean eating the right food and adapting a healthy lifestyle (resting and getting a good amount of sleeping everyday to rejuvenate dying cells and repair damaged good cells which can fight off cancer cell) but also having that positive outlook in life. The article goes on in saying that negativity such as anger, selfishness, unforgiving attitude and stress make our body produce deadly acids and toxins that are food for these cancer cells. So next time you get mad, think and say those negative words, think of the thousand toxins you release inside your body and the thousand cancer cells happily lapping it up. The stress in your life is actually your own doing,  you create stress when you choose to respond to something in a negative way. So when you feel an anger boiling in the surface, intense pressure at work or frustration over an unresolved problem– stop, relax a bit, pray, do a quick meditation or settle into your yoga position, or call someone whom you can release all of these stressors with so they won’t go inside your body as fuels for toxins but simply out of your system.  Or better yet think happy positive thoughts…:)
May cancer not be with you…:)

Stress-free Life

I have been surrounded by stressed out people lately.  It seems that all of them are almost at their wits end because of the varied stressors that seem to be attacking their universe.  I can say that at some point in my life, I have been in their shoes so I completely know the feeling of somebody who is about to lose their sanity because of those relationship problems that are just too much to handle.  Here are but some of the simple things that I learned from different people and from the school of hard knocks that helped me get through those horrific stressful moments in my life with (whew!) my sanity still intact…
Tips for a stress-free life:
Always think happy thoughts…do not dwell too much on past hurts.  If shattered to pieces by some big blow of life, pick up where you left off when you were just happily going about your everyday life, dust off to make sure there are no remnants of the hurt left and move on…
Think positive…in this way you will attract blessings and good things. Negative thoughts and words coming from you will block the positive energy coming your way and instead attract negative things back to you
Stay away from toxic people…walk away from a fight or to a person itching to have one, turn your back from gossip mongers or from a person whose main agenda is to destroy people and relationships.  You don’t know how good it feels thinking that you yourself chose not to go down to their very low level
Surround yourself with good people…people/mentors who can give you sound advices, friends who will not tolerate your lunatic tendencies but instead help you become a better person
Accept your shortcomings…like what I always say, you can blame others for all the misfortunes in your life but in the end there’s really nothing to blame but yourself, for in life we are forever presented with choices, your choice is defined by the kind character, attitude and  values that you make peace with yourself
Forgive yourself…you cannot successfully move on if you have a lot of excess baggages in your life that need sorting out.  Deal with your personal issues so you will not commit the same mistakes or find yourself in the same stressful situation again
It’s okay to be angry…I am known for my quick temper in our family.  My husband knows how to play with my temper.  It is okay to get really really angry, what is not okay is to stay angry for a long time coz in the end you are the one who will suffer even if you’re the one who has been chill out
Acknowledge that people are different…sometimes we get frustrated because we expect others to act the way we like them to.  Well, surprise, surprise, their umbilical cord is not connected to you, your hearts don’t beat as one and you both are not thinking the same thoughts.  So it is useless to expect the person to love you back just because you love him/her or stick it out with you just because you sacrificed a lot for him/her
See the good in every person…sometimes we tend to focus on the bad side of the person just so we can reassure ourselves that our bad action towards him/her is totally acceptable.  Try forgetting the bad stuff and instead look for something good or remember the good in that person so that the thought of him/her just living in the same universe as you is not so bad after all
Accept that there are some things better left undone..same as there are some things that are better left unsaid.  Things have its own way of working out.  As long as you did all your best to straighten it out that is enough.  Know when to stop and give up
Strive to be the person you can be proud of…I always say that what others think of you is not what is important but instead how you see yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what’s important
May stress-free life be with you…

900th Hits

I was surprised to see that my blogsite reached the 900 hits mark today.  That means some people cared enough to know and read about my thoughts nine hundred times over.  Last January I listed down a couple of things that I promised to do this year.  One of that is journal writing.  I stumbled upon this site through a friend.  I started posting my blog entries here at first out of laziness because writing takes so much of an effort than typing.  I figured since I am an internet addict, why not do it some place convenient for me.  Besides picking out the best journal ever to write on  was taking so much time and totally freaking my husband out.  I never thought i would come this far and i never thought I would enjoy it this much.  I actually look forward in making these blog entries.  Sometimes I pretend that I am this great writer and i have this huge following.   When i get to see comments left in my blog entries, I get excited and amazed.  I can’t believe that some people really read them and they have the same experiences.  One touching comment though came from this girl sagarika.  I called her that because that’s the  email address that she left in my comment box.  She was asking me for more prayers for her marriage after reading the prayer to a happy married life that I posted here.  I never thought I can even make a difference or help in some way to a total stranger through the writings here in my blogsite.  I hope sagarika, wherever you are and whoever you are, the prayer that I posted here helped save your marriage as it did mine.
For those of you who cared enough to read my thoughts, thank you very much.  You may be one of my friends or a total stranger who happen to stumble upon some of my amateur writings.  Whoever you guys are, I just want you to know, you made one of my childhood dreams come true and that is to be a writer, even if just an amateur one. Read on…

Struggling with Dextroscoliosis

I had been coming in and out of therapy for the past two weeks. I had been experiencing backpains again due to my dextroscoliosis that the doctor decided to let me go through a series of physical therapy sessions again that were a bit strenuous but relaxing at the same time. My sessions are finally done but my struggle with dextroscoliosis is not yet over. I was formally diagnosed with this physical ailment 12 years ago. By that time it was too late to correct the spine because it was forty five degrees already. The only option that time was spine surgery. For lack of money and fear of the major operation and its after effects, my family decided against it. So I had to go through the physical therapy and back braces to stop the progress of the curve. I wore the back brace all through college, well not all the time since being strapped with metal is kind of uncomfortable and hard so I wore it only some days. When I was working already, I decided to discard the back braces and just stick with the series of exercises that I had to do for the rest of my life. My rehab doctor advised me not to get pregnant for it would be risky. But nothing can stop those raging hormones and the promising stage of motherhood so I went ahead with my pregnancy which drove my father crazy. The whole pregnancy was without problems, I didn’t experience back pains and the other horrors that my rehab doctor was telling me about. But come delivery time, I never thought it’ll be that traumatic. At the last minute, my doctor decided to cut me up because the baby wouldn’t fit into that thing where she was supposed to come out. It required epidural anesthesia because my doctor ruled out general anesthesia for it was too risky.  They had a hard time inserting the needle in my twisting “S” curve spine. It seemed endless, I felt each poke of the needle, each hit and miss. It took three anesthesiologist before they were able to insert the anesthesia in my spine. Each poke of the needle was like a poke in my soul because I feared not only for my life but for the life of my baby as well because time was running out. But that’s all water under the bridge now, I was able to deliver my baby safely sans dextoscoliosis.

My daughter always asks me about the hump in my back before but unlike some people who will just come up to me, feel my hump and tactlessly say “ano to? Kuba ka?”, she would say it and feel it with awe and reverence. Lately, when I’m rubbing her back, she would asks me “mommy do you feel any hump?” and when I tell her no, she would get disappointed because she wants to have one like me because she wants to look like me. It was a long time coming, my acceptance that I’ll never have the perfect back like other people. It was a constant source of insecurity for me. I tried to hide it by growing long, black gloriously beautiful hair back in high school. It was like a deep dark secret. I was successful in hiding it well until college. I was conscious with the way I move and with the clothes I wear. I detested tight fitting clothes and develop this snobby air more as a defense mechanism rather than an attitude. It took my husband who loves me hunchback and all for me to slowly accept that I’m never going to have that perfect back like other people. He doesn’t know that each time he rubs my back and says I’m beautiful, he strips away one layer of insecurity. It took a while before I can easily explain to others about the hump and not feel any stab of pain or embarrassment. A while before I was able to accept, understand and be comfortable with myself. I still have long way to go I know, there are still moments of uneasiness and self-consciousness.  I took a big step though last summer which tells me that I’m slowly getting there, I finally cut my hair short.

I always say that how people see you is not important but how you view yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what matters. I learned that the hard way. I’ve been labeled maliciously “kuba or hunchback’ a lot of times by playmates when I was young and by somebody who truly hates me before, they bruised my ego big time. But the people who see me, like me and love me everyday despite my hunchback, my family and friends, they do more than just give my ego a good rub, they fill and lift my spirit up and bless my soul.  You guys just don’t know how important your presence and friendship are to somebody like me who up until now is still struggling with dextroscoliosis…

30 and still counting…

Today I turned a year older. But unlike others who would make a show of keeping their age a secret, I am proud to tell anybody who cares to asks that I am now 30 years old. I don’t really see any point of hiding one’s age unless 1.) you look older than your age 2.) you act immature for your age and 3.) you don’t act your age at all. Well, I am neither one. My birthday was just like any ordinary day with a lot of extraordinary things happening. I realized that a lot of people really cares for me—my husband, my family, my colleagues, my small circle of friends at work, my former and present students, my friends who I haven’t seen for a long time but whose presence I constantly feel in special events like this and old friends from way way back who never fails to make a comeback in my life. They all remembered and they all made me realize how far I’ve come. I can say that I’ve lived this 30 years well, for them and because of them. It is not me who made me but all the people that has been and still are part of my life.

I do not have any regrets. I am living a full life and I have come full circle. In my thirty years of living I’ve realized quite a lot of things. I realized that in life, you have to make things happen if you want something going in your life. You should not wait for somebody to come who will make you happy. You have to find happiness in other things for if you depend on others to give you the happiness that you are searching for, you will forever feel robbed if they let you down or if it doesn’t work out. Happiness is a choice, you either let yourself be carried away or drown in your frustration, loneliness, sorrow, anger or despair OR choose to snap out of it and just live. It is you who calls the shots in your life. Some people just love you and some people just don’t, we just have to remember that we are not born to please others but ourselves. If people say hurtful things to you, always remember that it doesn’t say much about the kind of person you are but the kind of person that person is. How others see you is not what is important but how you view yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what’s important. Look good and feel good inside out not for others and not because of others but for yourselves and because you want to yourself. Problems and difficulties will always be there, so why ran away from them, it is better to face them head on and deal with them right away than forever search for that perfect life, job or relationship that for all you know may never happen at all. Do not expect your partner to be perfect coz in the first place you are not perfect yourself. You have to share whatever you can share, for it will come back to you in blessings in least expected moments. Fate, luck and destiny all boils down to what is meant to be…what is meant to be is actually how you want your life to be, for in life we are forever presented with choices…so it is just a matter of picking the right choice and at the same time being open to life’s little pleasant surprises. A while ago, our department, just for fun, raffled a couple of girly items, my number was picked and guess what I got—a red lipstick—fate, luck, destiny or meant to be?—nah, I guess this is one of those life’s little pleasant surprises…so its happy birthday to me everyday again… 🙂

Driving in the Road Called Life

I like driving early morning. I like looking at people when my eyes are not on the road. I like laughing at the way some drivers rush to outwit and outsmart each other. I realized that the rules in life are the same as the rules in driving. Be patient and level-headed. Give way. Wait for your turn. Stop at each intersection. Look at both sides before making a turn. Yield to the one that has the right of way. Be alert. Always have presence of mind. Follow the stop light. Stop when the red light is on. Do not ignore the yellow or warning light. Do not go over your comfortable speed. If lost along twisting streets, go back to the main road. Have an encompassing view of the road ahead of you. Look out for dangers. Stay out of potholes. Do not risk the safety of your loved ones just to get ahead. If tired, stop and rest.

I always think that driving is like living your life. You are the one steering your life to the destination you want it to go. You might find yourself sometimes stopping at a crossroad unsure of what path to take but then most often you pick the path you’re most sure of and comfortable with. You will encounter big, small, uneven or smooth humps but just the same you move forward. If you miss your turn, you back up or go back. If you meet an accident due to carelessness and get out of it unscathe, you charged it to experience. If you get a ticket, you take it and you learn from there. Some routes are short, some routes are long either way, you take it as it. Taking the shortcuts though, most of the time, is cheating your way through life. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment of having arrived at your destination using the long, bumpy, difficult road because in life, it is really not about getting there that matters but the guts it took for you to get there. In life, just like in driving, you only take calculated risks. Risks that are based on sound judgement. Living your life is like driving responsibly, it is about thinking not only of yourself but of others as well because your one quick decision might not only change your life but the lives of others as well

Nothing comes easy so it is better to learn to drive manually first before you move to automatic and always enjoy the drive to your destination…

My Memorable Songs

While I was driving home from work last thursday, I got a pleasant surprise when the radio of my car suddenly worked, it has been dead for weeks already. So the amusement of hearing my daughter snore beside me was replaced by sudden excitement. Coz instead of cursing the reckless drivers and the MMDAs for my being stuck in traffic, I diverted my attention to the music being played on the radio.
It made me think about those songs that remind me of certain people who have been part of my life, places that have been special to me and wonderful events of my past…here’s my list at random…

I’ll Be Over You by Toto- my first heartbreak

Songs of Barry Manilow- what I used to play when I am in luuuuv
Weak by Swing Out Sisters– fourth year high school and lovestruck
Stars and Angelina– second year high school at SJA
Bizaare Love Triangle– my cousin Crystal, she has a tape of this one and we keep on playing it in our component

Tell Me Will I Ever Survive– Erwin Guerrero (my childhood loveteam)

In My Life- SJA Batch ’95
143 by Rivermaya- Fourth year graduation ball of SJA batch ‘95
Am I the Same Girl- Glennis’ concert when we were in 3rd year high school at Heartbeat Mega Disco (my first ever legitimate night out)
Jon Bon Jovi- Pam Otado Cross (yeah!)
One Hello– Andy Lobitaña (he went to my house one night just to give me the lyrics of this song leaving me wondering what the hell was that supposed to mean?!)hehehe…
Your Love by Alamid– this guy named Cris who was for a while there went gaga over me (wahhahaha)
All I Want by Toad and the Wet Sprocket– summer of fourth year high school
Dreams by the Corrs– fourth year college, cramming for thesis
Roam- Candon, Vigan, Pagudpud road trip
Buttercup– Jenie Pineda (I don’t know why but this song is definitely her)
Bohemian Rhapsody- Gemma Sawal Chua (sa bilibid Gemma naaalala mo..hahaha)
Tell Me and I’ve Fallen For You– Luh Santos (we used to play this in her apartment when we were going gaga over Rene Vergara (UST ’99)–hahaha)
I’ll Remember You by Skidrow– Eric Melendez (he was the only one who knows this song when we were in college and he gave me the complete lyrics of this one)
Basket Case by Greenday- 1st year high college in USTCollege of Arts and Letters
Harana- My Don Quijote Mansion apartment near UST with the crazy college kids
Can’t Get You Out of my Mind by Kylie Minogue- dancing the night away at Virgin Café in Greenbelt with some friends during college days
Hands to Heaven- guitar jamming with ate mae and ate do at our apartment in Dapitan
Fra Lippo Lippi songs– hanging out at Imee’s place with my UBIX barkada
All My life– nan and I drunk and dancing at Tia Maria’s, we looked like fools bec. we were supposed to do slow dancing here but we were dancing like crazy with this later became my wedding song.
Songs of Earth, Wind and Fire- Reasons bar in Pasay Road were we used to hang out after work
New Wave songs– friday night dates with nan at Ten Years After, Malate
Rainbow Connection– my stint at Growing Place Pre-school
Fame- videoke marathon at Pearl Beach resort with my Woodrose friends
Power of Two- when Bianca was toddler and singing with me this song
Ulan by Aegis- Melai Salcedo (ewan ko girlie ha, basta ikaw naalala ko pagnaririnig ko Aegis!hahaha)
Ballad for Adeleine (The Helen Vela Song)- nan because this instrumental song makes him cry and think about his childhood
Ahh, so good reminiscing the good old days with songs from yesteryears and remembering the people who have made my life so colorful…

A Rare Conversation

It was rare, this kind of conversation with my daughter, it is something that we don’t have much these days. That is why, when we had it, I clung to it, never wanting it to end…My baby is not a baby anymore, she’s growing up way too fast it is making my head spin sometimes. I have to admit I am slowly loosing my control and hold in her life, she is asserting herself more, making outlandish but for her practical choices , throwing unsolicited advice, making uncalled for opinions that usually makes her dad so mad and making us wonder if we are doing the right things in bringing her up. This conversation that we had, it is a glimpse of the kind of person my daughter has become and I am hoping my daughter will be forever. It reassured me that for now we are still in the right track…here it goes (without director’s cut..)…

In the car on our way home, while dad was driving and me in that state—in between being awake and being asleep…

Bianca: Mommy, mommy, can I ask you something?

Me: What?!

Bianca: Am I an angel?

Me: Huh?!

Bianca: Am I an angel?

Me: Yes, your name is Angela right?

Bianca: do I have wings?

Me: No,

Bianca: So how did you know that I’m an angel?

Me (wide awake now!): angels come in the form of good people here on earth

Bianca: am I good?

Me: yes

Bianca: so am I an angel?

Me: yes, I think you’re an angel

Bianca: how did you know?

Me: mother knows best

Bianca: Ah, so how do they get wings?

Me: angles? they only get wings if they reach heaven

Bianca: how do you recognize an angel here on earth?

Me: it takes one to know one

Bianca: I think I am an angel because I can see some angels in our class, you know the girls that are nice to others and some of the auxiliaries I think are angels here on earth

Me: really?!

Bianca: How can you become an angel till you die?

Me: you have to do lots of good things

Bianca: I promise I will be an angel forever

Me: okay

Bianca: mommy, do you think you’re an angel?

Me: I don’t think so

Bianca: Ah, because sometimes you get mad at daddy…

Me: siguro, then you have to be good for all of us so we can sort of be like angels like you

Bianca: did you see my wings when I was born?

Me (making bola!) : you know, I think I got a glimpse of your wings when you were born, I’m not sure ha because I was groggy that time, I was halfway between being asleep and being awake

Bianca: Really mommy! Really?! (getting excited now!)

Me: yes, I think

Bianca: I think when I die I will get to see my angel’s wings

Me: why when you die?

Bianca: Because I think that when you die, you will get a gimpse (glimpse) of that, it is like in between being awake and being asleep diba, that’s how papa ( my dad) feel (felt) siguro when he was dying….then you will get to see the angles fly by…

****I remained silent after that****

Pontifical Universtiy of Santo Tomas

After eight long years, there I was standing in front of the majestic buildings and old trees, paying tribute to the statues of academic friars that see and welcome everything. Yes, I came back to revisit my beloved alma mater, the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. I was like a kid on her first field trip excitedly taking everything in, noting the changes, looking for old familiar sites and even faces. Actually, it was no social visit, I was sent by my institution to be a part of their summer training. It was a good treat actually, I’ve been meaning to come back but really can’t find the time nor had the inclination to make time before.
There were a lot of changes. The Colayco Park that used to be our hang-out at the back of the central library with its collection of plants and  trees as well as the mini pond with the bloated fishes is gone now. The pond and gazebo were replaced by a huge dancing fountain, and the plants and trees are surprisingly a refreshing wide space now. It kinda reminds me of Luneta Park where Rizal”s statue is minus the guards and Rizal. But I’ve got to admit that new set up added more to the old Spanish feel and distinct European appeal of UST. I was kinda imagining Italians or Europeans passing by the side of the main building while I was there. The UST Hospital look smarter now with its newly renovated façade. I miss the statues near the Dapitan entrance in front of the central library that witnessed my mini marathon every afternoon just to make it to class on time. I heard that they were given their walking papers to give way to the construction of the building standing on that very same spot now. And of course, who would’ve have miss the three level parking, with its row of restaurants—McDonalds, KFC, Dimsun Dumplings etc. inside the campus. Unbelievable! During our time, we would just eat out at Janet’s, a bowl of ice cream, at Almers their infamous spareribs with mashed potatoes or at SR Thai cuisine. I guess now, they would just have to take a pick from these usual fast food restaurants. It was like a mini-mall. I guess that’s the administration’s way of keeping up with the times.
It was a heady feeling going back there, visiting the college of Arts and Letters which is still as controversial as before with its collection of artistas, basketball stars and gorgeous gals and guys. I could still see us walking to the chapel using the botanical garden path just so we could tease the monkey on our way there, us hanging out at the grandstand watching the dusk settling in, my friends and I sweating it out in the middle of the soccer field for a game of volleyball during PE. Jenie, Sally, Anabel and I feeding ourselves and the bloated fishes of food from the coop(this one gone now too!) in the pond, and sometimes, critically looking at these fishes and wondering what the hell are they doing there. I remember our rented apartment in Dos Castillas Mansion with the cute medicines guys loitering the halls even in the middle of the night (If you’re feeling lonely, you just have to open your apartment door and there they are…sunshine in the middle of the night, sitting on the floor engrossed in a med book). I love staying there.:) I remember also Don Quixote Mansion where we transferred because the building was new and we wanted freshly painted walls and  its diverse tenants. I swear every night there was a party going on…
It was nice going back, it was nice reminiscing. While I was there, I felt proud of the way the campus evolved. It speaks of the success that UST achieved these past years and is still achieving now. I am particularly proud of the Thomas Aquinas Research Center where we had our seminar, it was a dream come true for the academic community of UST and the Benavides Cancer Institute that aims to cross boundaries in cancer treatment and research.
I would forever be a proud Thomasian…Go TIGERS!!!!!

My Mama

Maybe because it’s Mother’s day on Sunday or me and my mama are pretty much always together these days that is why I am feeling a bit sentimental towards her lately. Me and my mama has been together of course since birth, I often feels like my umbilical cord haven’t really been cut out from her totally because since I was still young I always have a hard time being separated from her. I secretly agreed to live with my parents and not move house when I got married because I just can’t leave my mama behind or bring her with us. I remember when we were young, our lolas will borrow my sister from my mom and dad during vacations and weekends, but me they don’t want to borrow me because I often cry for my mama come night time. The only time they were able to fool me into going with them, they regretted it, because I didn’t sleep a wink. I was literally waiting for the sun to come up because they promised me I would see my mama as soon as the sun was up.

Life was never easy for mama. She was born to a poor family, she had to live with some of her aunt and uncle just so she can go to college. But she studied and worked hard, she graduated summa cum laude and spent most of her professional life teaching in public school. She married my dad and had the two us. She had difficulty giving birth that is why we were preemies, me 8 months and my sister 6 months. She was a traditional wife and a devoted mother. She is some sort of a Maria Clara, she used to wear only pencil skirts even during sportsfest, it is only now that she wears those Capri pants. She is soft spoken but I remember before when I was a kid, when she would get mad at my sister, she would give that loud holler “Elena!!!!!.” My cousins used to envy us because we have a mama who is very sweet and kind. She is not very hard to please also, even the corniest joke can make her laugh. Her being kid at heart is what makes her hit it off quite so well with my daughter. She can outsmart even me in a game of snake in her cellphone She and my dad struggled to give us a comfortable life. I remember trips with mama to SM when I was young every June to buy new bags, shoes and school things, mass and dress shopping every Sunday in Baclaran, lunch date with her in Max’s every report card giving day and trips to the palengke to buy Barbie clothes. She just know how to cut those letters for HE class perfectly, she sew and mend clothes really well up until now, and she cooks a mean kare-kare, morcon, and mechado. She knows how to take care of me when I am sick, somehow, just her presence makes you feel better. I love it when she is fussing over me. She seems tireless. I used to think she was superwoman when I was a kid for she can do many things at the same time. Keep the house, do the laundry, cook our food, take care of our school things, take care of my dad, and teach these pesky high schoolers.

For the past two years, my dad was very sick. It was during this time that I appreciated her more than ever. It was during this time also when I realized just how remarkable she is. She took care of my dad all through out his sickness, never complaining, never resenting the situation, never questioning God. She took everything in stride. She gave all that she can ever give. My dad is a difficult man when he was not sick and all the more difficult when he got sick. But my mom, she never failed him. She stood by his man until his last breath. During dad’s wild days when they were just starting out, during my dad’s dangerous days as a law enforcer, my dad promising days when he completed his college and MBA’s, my dad’s dark days when he was having problems seeing with his eyes, my dad’s struggling days when he was going in and out of the hospital for dialysis, my dad’s last day when he fell right into the arms of my mama never to wake up again. She was right there holding him in her arms when he let go of life.

My mama, she was devastated when my dad died last year. For her, if there is one thing she is very good at, it is taking care of my dad and us. Suddenly, she was robbed of this chance to take care of the only man in her life. It took a while before the haunted look left her, before the smile reached her eyes again, before she can give a hearty and sincere laugh again. There are times when I want to slug my husband for all these silly things that he likes to do and say but whenever I see mama laugh at my husband’s silly antics, I let it go. Because when mama laughs, when she is in a good mood, when she is happy and well, everything is right in our world.

My mama is growing in years, she is feeling aches and pains she never felt before. She is struggling to walk due to arthritis, there are times when she would cry in pain. I wish I can take all that away. But her strength, her resiliency, her love for me, my sister, my husband who also loves her dearly and my daughter who is the apple of her eyes, I know gives her the strength to brush aside the pains.  I love my mama so much, I never really experience that thing about your world falling apart in my entire life…but I know when my mama get separated from me permanently, not only will my world fall apart but my entire universe as well…happy mother’s day mama!:)