All posts filed under: Family

Family, a Wedding, Tigers, Zip Lines and Parasails

It has been a while since my last update. Suffice it to say that it has been a busy time, but I am glad to be writing here again. I recently took a trip back home to the Philippines for my cousin’s wedding — it was a special occasion, as she’s very dear to me. In addition, all our cousins who now work and live in different countries as well as different parts of the Philippines went home to be a part of it. The wedding itself was beautiful, a traditional ceremony between two individuals radiating in love, witnessed by family and friends. It doesn’t get any more special than that, really. Since everyone was home and it’s a rarity these days, we took advantage and went on a family trip a day after the festivities. We headed off to Subic (it was only a few hours drive from our home town and wouldn’t take that much of a toll on everyone having come from travel and the occasion the day before). Zoobic Safari There were two standouts …

Of First Princes, Princesses and Loss: Some Words of Thanks

That part of childhood where one starts believing in princes and princesses, but more importantly, in magic; that good triumphs over evil; and that there is more to life than riches and looks — lessons from fairytales, wonderful stories he used to read to me at bedtime. Those lazy afternoon snack times where he whips up his home-made pancakes; his artsy self creating elaborate birthday stages. Upon adulthood, the one prayer he had for us cousins to find our own princes and princesses who wouldn’t ever turn into frogs. Thank you, tito Nam, be at peace now, you are so loved.

Home(sick) for the Holidays

Christmas carols and countdowns starting the very first day of September. Holiday decorations everywhere you go: lanterns, twinkling lights and for me personally, a Christmas tree that was already up by the time I celebrate my birthday in the middle of November. Even smells coming from traditional holiday rice cakes, puto bumbong and bibingka, remind you of the season. Everyone looks forward to simbang gabi or nine mornings, midnight masses where friends and family all try to wake up early and complete all nine masses, and if you do, a blessing is believed to come your way. The Philippines has what is said to be the longest Christmas celebration in the world, beginning in September through the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6th. It’s one of the things I miss the most about the holidays — the anticipation for the most joyous time of the year. When I first moved to the US, not yet hearing holiday songs on the radio and seeing decors when they were already having daily countdowns in the Philippines …

On Time, and the Beautiful Blue Ridge

It feels like a while since I last wrote something on this blog. And since it is only now that I am working on getting back to somewhat of a routine, I feel I have to get back to writing again. It has been an eventful two weeks. Time with loved ones was the best and most beautiful thing about it — reconnecting and recapturing that intangible and irreplaceable treasure we all have in family and a beloved. I am learning in my 30’s that it is time with people that mean most to us that we cannot replace when we look back at our lives years from now. That precious commodity that we seem to always not have but ignore and waste at the same time. So yeah, in a span of two weeks, I managed to travel back to Asia, get back to New York, drive to Florida and fly back to New York again. And now, back to work. A lot of highlights to tell so I will be writing about the …

Happy Birthday Tatay

Birthdays are a big deal in my family growing up, and it was the most evident at my grandfather’s celebrations. His guests would include three generations, even four, of members from both his and my grandmother’s sides of the family; in-laws; friends from his high school days to present ones from the barangay; colleagues who still remembered his birthday long after he retired; neighbors; his children’s and grandchildren’s friends; all there to celebrate another year of his life. When he passed away, it was a testament to the way my grandfather lived that the same people who celebrated with him during those birthdays were also there to pay their respects. Tomorrow is his birthday. Happy birthday in heaven, tatay. As we celebrate another year of your memories may we learn to live a life such as yours, so as we celebrate not only days and years, but live a life worth celebrating long after we are gone.