Friday, July 15, 2016


Tacloban City --- I lived there for some few years with my parents and kid brother in my granny's home. I'd rather call it a house. Granny wasn't the granny people picture grannies to be. She was a mystery to me.... distant, circumspect, and I perceived her to be cold. So I never had that grandmother-granddaughter relationship which I saw in my friends' families. She never made a dent on my young mind back then except that she was cold. So much for granny. I hope she's having a great time up there. Maybe she would finally learn to party with the angels and saints.
My kid brother was a nerd. Intelligent, even-tempered, good with people, great with books, and with his guitar. He could sing, too. Looking back at it now I think he sounded more like Don Maclean. My fondest memories of him were those times when we would butt heads exchanging facts.. insights.. observations.. opinions.. while doing our homework. Now our house was small that wherever you stood you would have the great advantage of seeing the living room, the kitchen, and the bedroom in one momentous mind-boggling instant. (we lived on the ground-floor) Before they invented the word 'open concept' in interior design, we were living in it with the bare necessities of life.
But in that precious house and home I had the best moments of my life. And the biggest lesson learned from a mother who had the mind as expansive as the universe and a heart as limitless as deity.
One evening, my brother and I were at our usual mental butting as we defended our respective turf on subjects which turned incessantly on the I-know-better-than-you wheel. We created quite a rumpus with our voices. Dad, with a knowing look in his eye and a secret smile on his face, simply took his cigarette out to the yard. But Mom, who was cooking my favorite chicken adobo in the kitchen, stopped what she was doing and turned to us with this........
'I hate noise.. and you two get on my nerves like hell. But.... if that is the price to pay to see you learning. Carry on. Just lower your voices a notch, okay?'   (Spoken in waray, the dialect of Taclobanons)
And I have never stopped learning hence.
Love life.. love your home.. love your family.. love learning.
God bless you, your family, and your home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016



Yesterday at dusk, I stood just outside the door of my home wanting some breath of fresh air. But.. Nahh .. not the slightest breeze at all. So I turned to go back into the house when suddenly a child's crying pierced the humid air from out on the street. I went to the patio to see who it was. It was easy from there because I wouldn't be so visible to whoever was passing through. Yup, 'twas a child of about five or six being towed by her mother who appeared flustered by it all.

Mother: (Tersely) Tara na. Uwi na tayo!
---- (Come! Let's go home.)

Child: (Crying) Yokooo! Sabi mo punta tayo Jollibee..
----- (No-ooo! You said we'd go to Jollibee.) 

Mother: (Angry) May gagawin pa ako sa bahay. Tara na!
----- (Got work to do. Let's go!)

Child: (in between sobs) Sabi mo kakain tayo ng spaghetti...
----- (You promised me spaghetti!)

Mother: Hay naku! Tara na! Dali-iii!
----- (Hurry up! Let's go!)

That made me think.......

The scene broke my heart. Little children have simple hopes... simple hearts. They trust fully.. completely. They cling to every word spoken to them... good or bad. They hung up their own tiny world on it. Be careful what you speak or promise to them. It is easy to make them happy as it is easy to break their hearts.

In some measure it is the same in the adult world. Through the years many have made promises to me, many kept it, many did not. Happy over those kept, sad for those which failed. But Mom, as always, would assuage my disappointment with -------- 'Do not hung up plans, hopes, or dreams on others. They have their own way of doing things or looking at things. It may not always jive with yours. So learn, too, not to make promises you cannot keep. Always be kind.' ........ And I listened to Mom, because I knew how it felt to have a broken heart, too.

Looking back at that child, she cried as her little gentle heart broke over a broken promise. But there was nothing she could do. She was just a child. But I think that when she grows up she would be careful with words... promises. Lesson learned.

Take care please. Be gentle and kind with your children.
May God bless you and your family.