Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Food for Lent

It's the Lenten Season once again and its that time of year when meat consumption tends to go down for Catholics. We are supposed to fast and abstain from meat (that's beef, pork and chicken) on Fridays and the specific days like Ash Wednesday, Maunday Thursday and Black Saturday.

Frozen seafood i vacuum packs mean they will last longer in the refrigerator.

I usually get dory, tanguige, tuna and milkfish as part of our food supply. Bangus (milkfish) is usually for breakfast while the other seafood can be cooked a number of ways. Sometimes I get tuna belly for grilling and sashimi-grade tuna for a home-prepared version of this Japanese favorite. And this is not just for Fridays but for the entire week. Of course, I try to get fresh seafood whenever I have the opportunity to go to market. That's where I get our supply of vegetables, shrimps, fish and other seafood from our suki vendors.

There was a bit of irony when Ash Wednesday happened to be the same day as Valentine's Day. Some people (the more religious ones?) were in some sort of dilemma how they can "celebrate" Valentine's Day when it was a day of fasting and abstinence if you're a Roman Catholic. I'm sure they were able to figure that out while practicing abstinence from meat

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Farewell to a National Artist

We have had our share of meeting (or rubbing elbows with) well known artists. Some of them are friends or acquaintances. But perhaps the most frequent that we saw was a National Artist who recently passed away. Napoleon Abueva is a National Artist for Sculpture. He is famous for many of his creations that include the Himlayang Pilipino's iconic statue and the crucifix atop the UP Chapel's main altar. He also has versions of the UP's oblation as well as many other works spread around the campus.

We remember him though as a fellow parishioner at the church where we hear Mass on Sundays. Abueva, I believe and observed, was humble, low key, and not the rock star type of artist. He was practically inconspicuous during the 9:00 am Masses that he attended at the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Antipolo. Perhaps people did not recognize him or unaware of this accomplished person among us? Perhaps he preferred this, too.

We often sat near (at times shared the same bench) him, his wife and their two assistants. The latter always greeted us and were sweet with our daughter who liked singing during Mass. He often just sat through the Mass and probably said his prayers or meditated in silence. When it was time to greet each other peace, he would often gesture to those around them with a nod while also acknowledging those who greeted him.

We knew he was already weak though he could still walk with assistance and didn't need a wheelchair for those times we saw him in church. Recently, we have been attending Mass at the chapel near my in-laws' home in Novaliches and so was not aware of his condition until the news came out about his passing.

Paalam po at nawa'y makapagpahinga kayo sa kanlungan ng Panginoon. May your works continue to inspire people.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coming home at last

After a week at the hospital, my mother is finally coming home. Mama had a stroke last Friday and it was a good thing my brother was still home to rightly identify her losing her balance and fall as a stroke. This we confirmed after a battery of tests including an MRI that revealed she had other 'small' strokes before. We thought she was lucky this was also a minor one and that the fall didn't result in any complications that could have made things more difficult (some people hit their head or have other injuries). It could have been a whole different situation that could easily have deteriorated given Mama is also diabetic.

Now, we begin the next chapter with Mama's rehabilitation. She will be doing physical therapy to get the strength back in her legs and the balance she lost due to the stroke. We also noticed that there's some memory loss and some slur in her speech days after the stroke but we believe these will eventually be resolved. For now, she will be using a wheelchair but we believe she will heal by the grace of God.

We are very thankful to people who were there to support us especially relatives and friends who prayed with us and shared positive thoughts and vibes. You know who you are whom we chose to let know about this trying experience. May God bless you for the comfort you brought us.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Farewell 2017 and Hello 2018!

With just a few hours until the new year, I looked back at a very blessed 2017. This was a very productive year for me and a momentous one. I turned 45 earlier this year and among the things I wanted to do were to travel to new places. I was able to do these with new places both international and domestic. Among my travels this year were my trips to Australia, Vietnam, and Zamboanga.

The Sydney Opera House
Ho Chi Minh City Hall and statue of the man credited for uniting Vietnam
Zamboanga City airport

I look forward to an even more exciting year ahead with new places to explore and more experiences to live. More importantly, I look forward to spending more time with family, especially our soon to be four-year old daughter who is growing and developing so fast before our eyes. Here's to life and love!

God bless us all this 2018!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Maundy Thursday musings

Maundy or Holy Thursdays these days don't really feel like what is was many years ago. For one, people seem to be no longer going to the churches for religious purposes. People appear to go on Visita Iglesia these days more like tourists rather than the faithful on pilgrimage. This is evidenced by the massive amount of selfies and other posts on churches and other religious places visited today and tomorrow. In other words, its more for show than for one to strengthen one's relationship with God. Do you really have to take a photo and post about the church on social media real time? Do you really have to "check-in" wherever you are tonight as you go for your seven churches?

Then of course there are the travelers who take advantage of the long week off to hie away to a resort somewhere in the country or abroad. I'm sure everyone's social media accounts have lots on their newsfeed about friends or acquaintances posts of beaches, resorts, hotel rooms, airports, train stations and others about travel and tourism. It's peak season for tourism facilities in the Philippines and those who can afford to travel do so to escape the heat and other discomforts of Metro Manila never mind how inconvenient the travels would be between their homes and their destinations of choice.

In my case, I have preferred to stay at home during these times of the year. While catching up on work is tempting (I have lots of exam papers to correct.), it seems inappropriate to do that during these holidays. Instead, the Clairvoyant and I have done some housekeeping, clearing various stuff from our cabinets, drawers and other storage. We've also taken the opportunity to spend quality time with our daughter and checking on our parents. That, I believe, is more valuable than going around or somewhere during the Holy Week.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Farewell to another mentor and friend - Prof. Leonardo Q. Liongson

I was a bit in disbelief when I first got a message from a close friend that another mentor, later colleague and friend, passed away. There seemed to be too many deaths the past weeks with a beloved aunt and an uncle passing away only last month. I had to check for myself about the news despite my impeccable source. 

Prof. Leonardo Q. Liongson passed away last April 5. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few years ago and chose to live his remaining years with his capacity for wonder and discovery as if he was a much younger person. A renowned Academician, he was our teacher in hydrology. That was CE 110 to us, which was the first major course in a series of Water Resources Engineering subjects. He was a good teacher and a very serious one. We didn't get to see his lighter side until after I joined the faculty and I discovered how kind he was as well as his intelligent sense of humor. Before he retired, our institute had already submitted documents for him to recognized as Professor Emeritus. He was very much qualified for this recognition but unfortunately some people at the university did not agree. This, for us, was unusual considering the university had recognized others before whose accomplishments were definitely less.

Here are a few photos of Prof. Leony from a few years ago. Many of us like to remember him as the photographer/documenter of our activities at the institute (and previously department). He was always with his trusty cameras, which were the good model point-and-shoots.

Prof. Leony (in red) with Transportation Engineering faculty of the Institute of Civil Engineering during the ICE 2015 Christmas Party
Prof. Leony (left) with junior faculty of the ICE and Alumni Engineers at the ICE 2014 Christmas Party

I recall I've had a lot of interesting conversations with Prof. Leony. He can talk about anything under the sun. We shared an interest in trains and bridges and he was very happy to share a lot of stories and photos he collected about trains and bridges here and abroad. His wisdom from his many years teaching and researching will be missed. Paalam Prof. Leony. You made the world and the country better with your work on water resources, and we will all miss your company! You will always be a Professor Emeritus for us at ICE and the College of Engineering.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunrise in Mactan, Cebu

I have posted a lot of photos of sunrises and sunsets in this blog and on social media. Among my favorites are the sunsets in Panglao, Bohol and Puerto Princesa, Palawan and the sunrises in Tagaytay, Cavite. Of course there are the sunsets over Metro Manila that we have had the chance to take photos of on many occasions from on top of the highest point in our village.

On a very recent trip to Cebu where went on vacation, I noticed for a couple of mornings that the sun rose early and the hues from our room indicated how beautiful they were. Unfortunately, I was still sleepy or too lazy to get up and capture the scenes. On our last morning in Mactan, Cebu, I made sure I would be up early to see the magnificent sunrise from our hotel room. We didn't have professional cameras but our smart phones did a great job capturing the following images. These have not been filtered or altered or enhanced in any way. I guess with such beauty you can't really go wrong with any camera? 

Here are three photos of the sunrise from Mactan, Cebu taken before 6:00 AM and only minutes apart:


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Our home in Iloilo

I searched for my father's hometown in Iloilo on Google Earth and Google Maps before but didn't use the street view option. Last time around and after coming home I decided to take another look and to check if Google's street view includes the streets near our home there. Lo and behold! It does include them and the Google survey vehicle even passed in front of our home. And so we now have nice images of our home online. Below are the images that I embedded here using Google's features:

I can now go to Google Maps and click on the Street View option whenever I feel like I need to "go home".

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Paalam Tito Froi

Last Monday, another loved one was laid to rest. Froilan Laudit, or Tito Froi as my wife fondly called him, passed away almost two weeks ago after succumbing to organ failure due to complications brought about by a severe asthma attack. He was visiting his son's family in Auckland, New Zealand where the latter had immigrated. I could imagine it was a very joyful and exciting trip to Auckland as his first grandchild was born last year and only recently turned one. Who knew that only a few days after arriving there that he would have a fatal asthma attack.

The youngest sibling of my mother-in-law (the eldest), I have known him almost two decades now. The Clairvoyant also had told many stories about him. He spent a significant part of his life as an overseas worker in Tokyo, Japan. We could have been there at the same time when I was a student from 1996-1999. I'm just not sure our paths crossed at least one time because he resided and worked in the northern part of Tokyo while I spend most in Yokohama and the southern part of the capital.

Tito Froi was a doting uncle to his nieces and nephews. He was a good man, a kind person. He will be missed!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A sad start for the month of March

A week and a half ago, we were struck hard with news of a beloved aunt, Nay Nene, the elder sister of my father, being hit by a jeepney in Iloilo. She has since been transferred from the ER to the ICU where she survives, albeit miraculously, and is still in critical condition. As I write this, relatives are trying to figure out how to go about paying the hospital bills and transferring her to the district hospital (she's currently in a hospital in the city) closer to our home there. From the looks of it, her case will be one that will be lingering for a while. Although it is a sensitive matter, the mounting costs will definitely be a major concern as this is the sort of situation that could drain a family's resources. Whether she fully recovers or not, we expect some difficult times ahead, especially emotionally and even perhaps spiritually.

Now comes news of an uncle, Tito Froi, the younger brother of my mother-in-law, having a severe asthma attack and went into coma almost immediately. He only recently flew to New Zealand to visit his son's family. The latter recently had a baby, the first grandchild of our uncle from any of his children. And so it came as a big surprise to a lot of people especially his siblings that this would suddenly happen. As I write this, his son, a nurse in Auckland, would have had the prognosis from the doctors. He would have to make what we think is an extremely painful decision to let go. The asthma attack starved his father's brain and heart of oxygen, and there have been too much damage for him to recover. We await for news from New Zealand but the Clairvoyant is now en route to their home in Novaliches to talk to and comfort her mother and aunts who have congregated there and now stricken with grief about the situation.

We thought February was a sad month because of what happened to Nay Nene. We truly didn't expect it to be sadder with what happened to Tito Froi. Very recently, too, a couple of friends lost their mothers, both mainly due to lingering illnesses. We can only pray for them and ask for our Creator to comfort loved ones they left behind. We can only beg the Lord for mercy on their souls and by His grace that they be with Him in heaven.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Praying for a miracle for Nay Nene

February has always been a happy month for me. For one, it is my birth month and so we usually have some celebration during the latter part of the month. It is also the birth month of my niece and I have a lot of happy memories of things happening in February (e.g., my first trip to Japan, my first experience of snow, etc.). This year was not supposed to be different because it is my 45th and we had already planned a family trip over the weekend. So much for a happy February...

Earlier today, I received news from my father that a beloved aunt (his elder sister) was hit by a jeepney. She is now in critical condition in a hospital in Iloilo and we are trying to confirm exactly what injuries she sustained. My brother says that from his conversation with our cousins, it looks bleak and we can only hope for a miracle for my aunt to get through this.

Nanay Nene or Enriqueta Regidor is one of only two living siblings of my father. The other, Nay Paring (Amparo Torre) is older and lives with her in my paternal side's ancestral home in Cabatuan, Iloilo. Although Nay Nene has had some health problems recently and the past few years, these were mostly the typical illnesses attributed to her advanced age (sakit ng matatanda). I've known her to be a tough lady but she was very kind, very cheerful and that is how I want to remember her from my childhood days spent in Iloilo during summer breaks.

Nay Nene (4th from left) beside my lola (3rd from left) in front of our old house in Cabatuan, Iloilo (photo taken in March 1974, just after my 2nd birthday)

She was like a mother to me and I was very fond of her. I used to tag along with her whenever I was in Iloilo whether its going to the market, on a religious procession or to church. It was she who usually cooked for us whenever we were in Iloilo. It was she who usually accompanied us to the airport when we returned to Manila. Nay Nene was a teacher and one among many close relatives who probably influenced me into teaching, too.

This is going to be a long night and a critical one at that. We can only pray that Nay Nene will get through the night and hopefully recover. Only God knows what about His plan for her and we surrender to His will.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Another beautiful sunset at the "second floor"

We only recently have gone back to what older people in our area of residence call the "second floor". This is atop what appears to be the highest point in our village. The Clairvoyant wanted to go there again for the first time since almost half a year ago before she had surgery. I had brought our daughter there for the first time a week earlier as part of our adventures together. She was actually more interested in the cows grazing near the road than climbing up to get a nice view of the city, the mountains and even Laguna de Bay. But when we were on top, she became curious about the mint that grew seemingly everywhere on that rocky land. I just had to caution her about running and not watching where she went. She can get quite clumsy and might just end up stumbling and hurting herself.

I related our little adventure to her mother and the Clairvoyant was naturally envious of our expedition. When we finally had the opportunity one afternoon, we decided to go there again and timed our climb so we can have a great view of the sunset. We were not disappointed and here is one of the shots we were able to take using just our smartphones:

The major elements conspired that late afternoon to give us this spectacular sunset
There are no two sunsets that are alike and so we will continue going up the "second floor" to view the sunsets. Of course, now there will be three of us going there from time to time. :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Simple celebrations for the New Year

We celebrated the arrival of the New Year without much of the more festive atmosphere that included the food and drinks at the dinner table for what was supposed to be traditional media noche. Instead, we decided to have a simple dinner and had some sandwiches and slices of cheese to tide us by while we waited for midnight and the turn of the year. Our daughter made an effort to stay awake and she did follow our advice to take a nap during the early afternoon so she won't be sleepy at night. Her almost 2-hour 'siesta' was enough and we played and read with her so she won't get bored.

Towards midnight, we already made the observation that there seemed to be less of the initial revelry that usually ushered in the New Year. We thought perhaps it was because of the rains that day that may have been a deterrent for some who didn't want to risk spoiling their firecrackers by getting them wet. We also thought that maybe more people have become aware of the risks and costs of fireworks and have come to appreciate the fireworks displays that cities and municipalities have organized usually in partnership with the private sector. Those celebrations I think can become a tradition and help build stronger communities. And the benefits are definitely worth it as you get less noise, less garbage (from the exploded fireworks) and even much less air pollution from the smoke generated by fireworks.

And so we celebrated the coming of 2017 on the balcony of our home, enjoying the view of aerial fireworks care of our neighbors and those residing in the villages around us. We heard few of the sinturon ni hudas (Judas' belt) and sawas (snakes or pythons) and definitely of the other conventional paputok (usually ground-based fireworks) like the trianggulo, 'five star', fountain and other lusis. People probably now understand how costly it would be to quite literally blow your money on such things just for the sake of generating noise to drive away the bad luck. That's one pamahiin (superstition) that we certainly like to phase out.

Happy New Year to all!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lola's adobong manok

I had wanted to write about some happy memories late last year but thought it was most apt for New Year's Day. This is about the adobong manok (chicken stewed in vinegar and soy sauce with bay (laurel) leaves) that my lola, Tatay's mother, cooked for us when she was still able. I remember she used to travel to Manila from Iloilo almost every Christmas in the 1970s. We usually went home for vacation during the Holy Week when Tatay could have longer leaves. Those times, it usually took from 22 to 26 hours by boat between Iloilo and Manila but as long as the weather was okay, travel didn't make you tired so lola wasn't so tired when Tatay fetched her at the port (Pier 2 as I recall as this was where the Negros Navigation ships docked). Every time, she brought with her a small pot or caldero containing adobong native chicken that she had cooked at our home in Cabatuan. Adobo is just the kind of food that could survive a whole day's travel. There was something special about that adobo and not just because lola made it from ingredients from Iloilo but because it was made with a lot of love.

We could never enjoy my lola's cooking again since she passed away in the early 1980s. But then whenever we had a chance we brought native chicken raised at our home in Cabatuan so we can at least recreate some of our favorite chicken dishes with the main ingredient no less. Recently, Tatay came back from Iloilo with some native chicken and below are a couple of photos of the adobo.

Adobo using native chicken from our home in Cabatuan, Iloilo
A close-up of the native chicken adobo


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A tale about two good people - Part 2

After I brought Manang to the airport, I went straight home in order to catch up on some sleep. I was only 3:30AM then and I sped along C5 and was making good time when the tire alarm went off. This indicated at least one tire was loosing air and so I had to make a stop somewhere. I ended up at a familiar Caltex station just after the overpass above the Pasig Boulevard. There I discovered my rear right tire was flat and I just had to change it with the spare.

After jacking up the car, I had trouble removing the wheel with the flat tire. I knew I needed a steel pipe so I could easily loosen the screws of the wheel so I walked towards the nearby junk shop where I found a small group of scrappers just finishing their transaction with the shop. I asked if I could borrow a steel pipe and one scrapper volunteered to help me change tires. We ended up with him doing all the work while he constantly told me it was okay and that I was probably tired from the driving and that I was lucky the tire didn't blow up while I was driving.

After changing the tire, the person stood up, took my leave and started to walk away. It was clear to me that he wasn't playing coy and he even gave the parting "ingat po" as he walked away. And so I did what I thought was the right thing to do, offering food to my good Samaritan as I asked him to join me inside the pandesal shop at the station. I told him to get whatever he wanted to eat and drink and he was quite shy about it so I told him he deserved it for the help he gave me. I also gave him some money as we parted ways. It wasn't much but he did good, honest work and that deserved a good reward.

Rare are these people who extend their help without asking for anything in return. I thought I had met just one of those people and so I rewarded him generously. I hope he's well and doing good.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

A tale about two good people - Part 1

I had wanted to write about a couple of experiences very early in the morning during the last day of October. I just could seem to get into the mood though and could only manage a very rough draft. There have been a lot of other stuff to do including some catching up at work where there had been many deadlines for reports as well as on my lectures. Then, of course, there is the temptation to write about the heinous burial of a despicable (to be somewhat kind in the use of the word) person. I write this as a sort of pambawi since this is about two persons who did good despite their situations.

Our helper for about 8 years whom we affectionately call Manang finally went home last October 31. She had wanted to go home last year after some difficulties with the situation about her daughter but she was able to make arrangements during her trip there and came back hopeful about that matter. Manang has a special child who is already in her teens. Most of her closest relatives including her own children didn't want anything to do with this special child. This caused a lot of pain for Manang as she grappled with trying to understand why this is so and interpreted this as her own personal challenge in life. Still, she gave her 100% to our household and was selfless in her service. She was the kind of person who will not ask for a day-off so we had to "force" her not to work on certain days. 
I believe her faith allowed her to keep her composure and even sanity throughout what she considered as trials in her life. She wasn't overly religious but she was very happy to be in Antipolo and be able to go to Sunday Mass at the Shrine to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. She also mentioned to us several times that she prayed for us and we thanked her and expressed our appreciation that she included us in her prayers. We can only imagine her being so generous this way.

One of Manang's most challenging moments came early during her tenure when, in 2009, she experienced first hand the terrible floods brought about by Ondoy (Ketsana). She actually also asked us if she could go home after a few months and we only requested for her to find a replacement despite what we observed were signs of depression brought about by the floods. She recommended one of her daughters who wanted to come to Manila at the time. Inday, worked for us for many months until Manang decided to come back. The former transferred to my sister where she became yaya to my niece and nephew. She is back with us now as nanny to our daughter after a stint in Tagaytay where she worked at a store. Meanwhile, Manang has returned home after also finding her replacement. But of course, she will never have a replacement. You can never really replace a person whom we considered more as a relative, a loved one whom we've become close to. Our daughter affectionately refer to her as Nanay and Manang always had a soft spot for our daughter.

Thank you for taking care of us Manang Aileen Taipen. We wish you all good things especially with your family and specifically your daughter Cutie. We hope to see you again soon perhaps when our own daughter can already travel and maybe go to your hometown in Kabankalan, Negro Occidental.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Elusive Barcelona

The Clairvoyant was supposed to be traveling today to Europe for their annual firm meeting to be held at Barcelona, Spain. It was not to be as she had to undergo surgery and is now recovering from it. It's actually the second time that she was not able to go to Barcelona for their company's annual meeting. The first time was just after she joined the firm and she couldn't go because it was too late to apply for and get a visa to travel to Europe. This is the second after more than a decade, and so she's 0 for 2 in terms of a trip to Barcelona.

I guess it was just not meant to be for now. That is, the travel to Barcelona, which she was looking forward to. We always joked about how nice it would be to go the "motherland" a term we used as our country used to be under Spain. No matter the issues then, we're pretty sure there was some good imparted from Spain's occupation of the Philippines from the 1570s to 1898. Of course, Barcelona itself offers many attractions including and especially Sagrada Familia. And then there is the food and the places to eat at that we've seen in many TV shows. An added attraction for this trip would have been a trip to Camp Nou, F.C. Barcelona's home stadium, where their firm was supposed to have arranged for as a formal dinner venue.

She'll get another shot at Barcelona though as next May, there will be another conference to be held there that she usually participates in. As they say, three's the charm and so maybe she'll get to go. It's for May next year so there is also the likelihood our daughter and I get to go. We're just crossing our fingers until then and again look forward to that trip if and ever we or she gets to travel to Barcelona.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

BarbiQ, 2003-2016

Our mixed breed BarbiQ or Barbi as we liked to call her passed away today. She was more than 13 years old or 91+ years old in dog years. It was no surprise that her lifespan was longer than our lab Troy who was her contemporary. He was 10+years old (73 dog years) when he passed away in 2014. Barbi was a smaller breed and her being a mongrel likely made her more sturdy than Troy.

We "rescued" Barbi from the wife's parents' home where she seemed to be the odd dog among 2 dobermans and a three Japanese spitz. She was actually given to my mother-in-law by one of her students when she was still teaching. At the time we took her in sometime in 2004, she was already an adult dog and it took her a while to adjust to our place. She did get along immediately with Troy who was still a puppy. 

Barbi relaxing on a pillow at our home
Barbi survived being bumped by a car and a couple of operations on her ears. She was generally resistant to illness and only at times had a significant tick problem. That was when we were still at our first house. The past months she had become weaker and had less and less activity. She still liked her treats and would come to us whenever we called her. The last few days our helper had noticed that she seemed to have lost her appetite. This was probably a sign that she was already dying.The Clairvoyant last checked on her yesterday when Barbi refused her dinner and decided to hang around the bath at the back of our home. It was quite cold and damp the past few days because of the heavy rains so the weather also probably was a factor in her passing.

We will miss Barbi. She was a good guard dog who knew about our impending arrival home even when we were far away. She was the first to bark and had very keen senses. She also had a good feel for people so you know by her moods if a person was a dog lover or not. Rest in peace Barbi. You served us well and we are also glad that Ally got to experience your company even as you were at the twilight of your life.

Monday, August 29, 2016


I haven't written about our other dog, the youngest of the three we currently have. Boots was given to us by a friend and was actually named by her daughter. The dog's fur around his four feet gave the impression that he was wearing boots and that somehow made it easier for him to be named thus. Boots is half Maltese and half Poodle - a maltipoo and is quite an energetic dog for a small breed. We thought he was well matched with our Mocha, a very active Golden Retriever.

Another happy dog

Boots has only recently recovered from what was diagnosed as some kind of fungal infection he got from birds. There are a lot of birds coming to our garden and the vet told us that perhaps something in the bird poop was what infected boots so that he had what appeared as a severe case of dandruff. His kind turned out to be relatively high maintenance and it was the first time we had a dog that required a lot of grooming. Even our Mocha didn't require much in terms of shampooing and combing. Nevertheless, he's a loved member of our home and our daughter loves playing with him especially running around our garden.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Paalam Kuya Andy!

I first met Kuya Andy at his wedding with my first cousin Ate Judy. That was at the St. Vincent De Paul Church in Manila, which was the church of Adamson University where my cousins from my father's side graduated. The Kuya Andy I knew was a cheerful, easygoing fellow who easily made friends and apparently could charm his way through problems or obstacles that came his way. 

He was quick to warm up to his new relatives from his marriage to my cousin and we all enjoyed his company and his humor. I remember them always visiting my parents' home during Christmas Day as we had our annual family gathering in Cainta, usually with my close relatives from my mothers' side and my cousins families from my father's side. We enjoyed good food and drink, exchanged many amusing stories and experiences often with laughter, and played chess. He was a good player and we often joked about us pulling back and often ending up drawing our matches much to the disappointment of our cousins and uncles who couldn't figure who was the better player between us. 

He was also a strong drinker though not as strong as one cousin and another cousin-in-law and my uncle who were seamen. He always knew his limit and Tatay would just give him a bottle of good whiskey as pabaon. Always respectful, he always feigned shyness while accepting the bottle. Though I recall these as happy memories, I cannot but think now that perhaps he had more than enough alcohol to drink and that contributed to his illness.

Kuya Andy was only 46 when he passed away early morning of last Saturday, August 6. It was a relatively long 4-year fight with kidney disease that required him to go on dialysis until finally his body could no longer take the complications from his treatments. He was laid to rest today in his hometown of Arayat, Pampanga beside his relatives who passed before him. 

Paalam Kuya Andy! Salamat sa maliligayang mga pagsasama noon na ngayon ay mga alaalang aming sasariwain. Kung pwede lang sana tayong tumagay ng isa pa bago ang iyong paglisan...Huwag mong alalahanin ang iyong naiwang pamilya. Kami na ang bahala sa kanila. Sumalangit nawa ang iyong kaluluwa at manahan kasama ang Maykapal.