Wednesday, April 3, 2019


Tita Elvie, Ebing, Birang, Manay, Mama Vie -- so many names and titles have grown out of a special person like you. Just as the many hats you wear -- a daughter, sister, wife, friend, aunt, and not to mention, grandma! But out of all these hats, you wore it best being a mother. 

You have raised such three strong and beautiful women and been a loving wife to your soulmate. You've welcomed and loved each and everyone of your nieces and nephews like your own. No wonder, all the children in Bohol come running home to you. You were such a chill mom and cool aunt that you hardly ever aged and kept that youthful glow within you. You were shuttling between the US and the Philippines always rushing to come home. One place to build a life and the other that brought you life. For you, family always came first by being present at every family event - birthdays, reunions and graduations. And you would always be the intermediary among your siblings, taking everything with a smile and creating memories.

All of that you did so gracefully, humbly and enthusiastically while battling cancer.
We can only imagine all the chemotherapies, radiation, surgeries and countless visits to the hospital we might not even know of. You embraced it with all your heart and with your unwavering faith to God. You taught us to pray in silence. You had a heart so big that in one of our last conversations, you mentioned that you would take in all of the family's sickness to keep us from suffering. You lived your life fearlessly and to the fullest! And that alone inspires us to live, fight a good fight and keep going as a family. You empower me as a mom and as a woman. You were proud of me and me of you. How wonderful it is, knowing such a brave and beautiful soul like you, Tita.

I thank God for the gift of you as He blessed us with you as a vessel. You were a vessel that kept our families together and our faith in God strong. For you are a woman of God, clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future [Proverbs 31:25] You were always excited of coming home and wished for it like a daughter from her Father. And that wish has been fulfilled.

You are now back home in the arms of our God just like this  -- beautiful, smiling and so full of life. Thank you for showing us love and being love. We now have another Angel with Papa Tino watching us from above. You left in peace and no matter how much you've prepared us for this inevitable time, it won't stop us from missing you. Everyday. 

Happy 9th Day in Heaven!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Whenever I'm near the water, everything's just right. It's like my sign and stars have aligned. And so did I start my favourite month with my fellow June baby (babies!), OG sport buddy and my now adoptive Ate - Anne. I've found a little sweet spot in my City overlooking the Binnenalster (a portion of the "Alster" lake downtown), dating myself (I think I'm gonna do this often), trying to put my thoughts together. 

me while churning this post. Binnenalster - Hamburg Innenstadt

So many events have already happened up until this very day. Did I mention I already turned 25?! And that I'm now a Barista... in training?! :) 

But first - Sylt. I'm one lucky girl to go Camping for two nights with family/friends on this beautiful island in Northern Germany. It's quite exciting for an island girl like me to find such in my new-called home which is reachable by train! According to Wikipedia, Sylt is connected to the mainland since 1927 by the Hindenburgdamm Causeway. Pronounced [ˈzʏlt] is the northernmost island in Germany famous for it's long stretch of sandy beaches and is quite a charm for both tourists and locals. Sylt's topography is filled with both hills and greens, sand and sea with occasional sightings of hares and rabbits which sometimes made me think I'm in Teletubbies'! 

We took the Regional Bahn from Hamburg, and after a missed train, a few delays and several interchanges, we happily made it to our Jugendherberge in Westerland, Sylt. I could personally go cowboy and rest in a sleeping bag or go big in a single queen-sized bed! But our Youth Hostel gave us the right 'Glamping' experience during our stay! We had 2 family-sized tents (that is, for the youngsters and the youngsters-at-heart) in a Campingplatz provided with clean showers, dressing rooms and toilets (when the banyo is good, everything is good in the hood!), amenities like basketball and volleyball courts and complete access to the beach which is basically our Camp's backyard. Check the DJH Jugendherberge here and have your accommodation, meals and excursions covered.

Living in Germany, specifically in the North, made me aware how the weather could get really tricky. But for some reason we were blessed with nice warm days in Sylt that we spent the entire day at the beach all to ourselves. And the sun not setting until 11PM in the Summer. Hence, a longer Golden Hour delight! We were singing and dancing to music from then and now, Zumba hits and OPM til midnight. Combining the celebration of Anne's birthday and her Kuya's birthday salubong. I'm glad to have been part of their family's little tradition. 

Being the Peripatetic (new word!) me after having left wanted to plan my next visit and come back immediately. I loved Sylt just the way it is and more because of the people who took me with! In hindsight, I'm always amazed by the people I have met (and keep meeting) and came into my life.  Where I met Ning and Rita, there have I also met Anne. And they're not for umsonst! Each and everyone did have a purpose and did me something - either to teach me a lesson, guide my path, make me feel, give advice, travel with, inspire or simply keep me sane! All of this was just the right beginning to my birth month in my birth place.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Aloha: a Hawaiian word used in greetings or farewells. (And apparently, in expressing love too)

I greeted 2018 the best way I could. Back home in the Motherland. New Years, a Birthday and a Wedding were awaiting and I was excited to be part of it all! Mamasing, the family's rock and our delicate flower, is strong and blooming at 90. The entire generation were hands-on from the planning, the execution, to the dancing in celebration of this gift of Life. I came flying for the summer, thus, becoming a Reunion with family, friends and the ocean. Lucky am I to call one of our country's most beautiful islands - Home!

I, together with my Pinoy Mafia, witnessed a pure, real, God-kind of love in the marriage of Nana and Dada! A love that truly surpassed distance and seasoned in time. It was a white wedding, simple yet elegant, detailed and precised for everyone to enjoy the most important day of their lives. A celebration of the gift of Love. Despite of our friendship being heavily linked through social media now,  I know them as close as a kapatid who will last me a lifetime. And for that, Volim te!

I missed using this word - Layover - in Dubai for 48 hours did me nothing but good. It felt ages the last time I'd been at home in the sandpit. This City is just a proof of what's ahead of us - higher, bigger, faster progress. But it wasn't just my eyes satiated, but my heart as well, being reunited with one of the very first people who mentored me, believed in me and doesn't judge me. That is my Lobster. A celebration of the gift of Friendship. It felt so comfortable and so natural opening up to her my wounds. And instead of giving me assurance, she taught me perspective.

My journey also felt coming full circle, as I made a quick but unexpectedly longer layover in Doha. It's been over a year now that I stopped flying. I hadn't seen it coming. I had no clue that my greatest success will also be my biggest failure (to date). I've lost my job. But that doesn't hurt as much as losing my dream (or dreams thereof). I was too ashamed and too lost to admit to anyone but myself. I was destroyed. Since then, I've been trying to put things into perspective. And Germany helped me in different ways. Not as an escape or a sanctuary. But to adapt into a foreign lifestyle and language. To get out there not knowing anyone. To get back, alone, on my own two feet. The way a mother giraffe would kick her newborn calf until it learns to stand on it's feet for the first time. To learn.

And what have I gotten so far? It's just that - I'm only human. I'm allowed to fail as much in this lifetime. I've learned to draw from strength I never knew I was capable of sustaining myself of. To fail, and fail frequently. That, also, makes me human. (continuously typing then this drops in the background)

With Easter just behind us and the sun starting to warm away the winter, it's time to celebrate the gift of Renewal. Resurrection or rebirth would have been appropriately correct, all fit in this season of making things anew. And just like the other meaning of the first word I utilized, we also bid farewell to the old, to the past... to give way to the new. Aloha!