Archive for Family Life

A different kind of Christmas

I was going to happily post my reading list for the 12 days of Christmas vacation but a phone call this morning changed all that. It will really be a different Christmas for me and my family this year. My Papa’s oldest brother died this morning. We don’t know the exact time or cause of death but when his children went to check on him, he was already long gone. We are not really close with my cousins but I can feel their pain right now. They are all grown-ups  (the youngest, a lawyer) but nobody would want to be an orphan at any age albeit inevitable in our lifetimes. I wish it happened another day, another week, another month, NOT 3 days before Christmas.

We will be having our big clan reunion in just a few months time and now, we again lost another member while the pain of losing my Tita Dinday so suddenly only last February is still fresh in our hearts.

I feel like my heart is being squeezed. I want to hold on and embrace my family so tight. Once again, I am being reminded that life is so fleeting and I cannot do anything about it.

Rest in peace Tito Dodong. I hope now you’re reunited with Tita Rosing.

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A call for your prayers

The past two weeks have really been a difficult time for me. You see, my maternal grandmother has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

It all started about 3 months ago when she complained of a reddish-brown vaginal discharge. Both the OB-Gynecologist and urologist who saw Lola were thinking that she has a bladder abscess (because an abdominal ultrasound said so). She was first given a 2 week course of antibiotics. When I saw her briefly last  July (she lives in the province which is a 6 hour drive from Manila), she was on her last few days of antibiotics and was feeling good with no more discharge. A follow-up check-up showed a slightly smaller, almost insignificant decrease in the cervical mass. They were just told that the doctors would have to observe my Lola’s condition. I wasn’t comfortable with the situation because if indeed it was an abscess in the bladder, no amount of antibiotic alone can cure that. I consulted a surgeon friend who advised a CT scan be done. Before we had a chance to do the scan, Lola once again complained of a foul-smelling, yellowish (sorry, I hope you’re not eating) vaginal discharge. She was once again brought to the urologist and prescribed another 2 week course of a different antibiotic and was referred to a urologist here in Manila.

*Image taken from Wikipedia

We brought Lola to the said urologist 2 weeks ago. After looking at the ultrasound result and examining Lola, the doctor immediately referred us to an OB-Gyne because he stronglt felt that it is a cervical malignancy. Luckily, the brother of a good friend is a Gyne-Oncologist. He also believed it is cancer. We had a CT scan done, result was a large cervical tumor. We are still waiting for the official result of the biopsy but the Gyne-onco already told me that it was indeed cervical cancer probably in its advanced stage already.

My grandmother is already 82 years old. She is still clueless as to what is really the problem but I think she knows that something is terribly wrong. She keeps telling us and her doctors that she wants to be cured. We will know tomorrow when we go back to the doctor. Definitely, an operation is out of the question so we are only left with radiotherapy as an option. I just wish Lola will respond favorably to it. I am not ready yet to give up. I CANNOT give up!

I am a doctor but at the moment, I am just an ordinary grand daughter of a cancer patient. I know what can happen and I am dreading what is yet to come. We are just at the beginning of our journey, we still have a long way to go.

I am asking for your prayers for my entire family and most especially for Lola that we may all survive this together. Please say an extra prayer for me too so that I can be strong for everyone.

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No longer a baby

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Tricia dropped out of school

I mentioned here that Tricia loves going to school. More than a week ago though, she has dropped out. Well, actually, her parents opted to pull her out of school. The release form said: “I am pulling out my daughter from school because during her 5 week stay in your school, she had 5 injuries – 2 broken lips from a classmate throwing her a wooden block and a fall down the stairs; 2 bites and a hematoma on the face from another fall.”

My brother and his wife chose the school because the facilities are nice and it was just a few minutes away from our office. We were so disappointed because the school had a good reputation and the tuition fee is not really cheap. The admission officer also reassured them that the maximum is only 10 students per class with 1 teacher and 2 teacher assistants; that would mean 3 students per teacher. My niece is not the easiest of kids to look after because she is very active and inquisitive but she is not one to disrupt a class or bully a classmate. Even the teachers said she was well behaved in class. When the first incident (wooden block) happened, we let it go thinking that sometimes it is unavoidable in a group of kids. As the days went by, we learned that my niece’s case is not an isolated one. Everyday, one child gets one form of injury or another almost caused by the same student. The 2nd and the 3rd incidents happened, the teachers reassured us that the kids need time to adjust. We also heard that they have already talked to the parents of the problem student. The 4th incident was allegedly a fall from a table which caused my niece to hit her face on a shoe rack hence the hematoma. If the teachers already saw Tricia climb on top of the table, shouldn’t they have reprimanded her and immediately removed her from there? The head teacher once again reassured my brother that they will be more vigilant. If that was so, why then did the 5th incident happen? Apparently, Tricia was climbing the stairs to their classroom and doesn’t want to hold the teacher’s hand so she tripped and fell down from the stairs. Our house and even my brother’s house are both 3 floors high! Tricia started climbing the stairs with assistance as early as 1 year old. We taught her early on that she should hold on to the railing everytime she goes up or down the stairs precisely to avoid such accidents; so I really am not convinced that it is what really happened. My brother complained to admission about it and the only solution they had was to add another teacher/assistant to the class.

We are not paying our hard earned money the expensive tuition fee of the school just to have my niece returned to us with an injury. My brother and sister-in-law didn’t want to wait anymore before something worse happens to my niece. When my brother went to the school to officially withdraw my niece from them, they weren’t allowed to enter the school premises and had to wait for about 30 minutes for a personnel from admission to fetch them and neither one of the teachers, the guidance counselor or the head of admission talked to my brother. We are really very disappointed because we expected much from the school. A lot of people are telling us to file a case already.

It’s a good thing Tricia is not traumatized by what happened but we have noticed that she’s a little hard-headed now compared to when she wasn’t going to school yet. She’s also biting us now everytime we reprimand her. She already started Toddler class in another school earlier this week. Although going to her new school is a hassle because of the traffic, we are willing to travel there everyday because we pity her, she really missed going to school and would always tell mommy and daddy that she wants to play with friends (what she calls her classmates). We are also hoping that she forgets the bad attitudes she picked up from the other school. So far, everything is looking good.

**Photo credit here

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Tricia loves school

Our little girl Tricia started school last Wednesday and she is sooo loving it! She is enrolled in Toddler Class. On her first day of class, her Mommy and Daddy accompanied her all the way to her class. They said that as soon as she entered their room, she was already jumping and went ahead to play in the play area unmindful of her classmates crying around her. After kissing her goodbye, they stayed for another 10 minutes just to see if she will look for them but she was busy playing and would not even look at them when they called her to say they were leaving. Two hours later, our little girl came to the gate wearing a different set of clothes and was playing with her teacher when Mommy and Daddy went to pick her up. Her teacher said she was very well behaved throughout the 2 hour class. She was so tired that she immediately fell asleep in the car on their way home.

What she learned in school: saying “Hello” and shaking hands while asking “What’s your name?”

On her second day in class, I went with her Mommy and Daddy. Just like the previous day, her Mommy and I accompanied her inside the classroom. As soon as she saw her room, she was screaming and jumping excitedly and after waving goodbye to us she went ahead to the play area. We also observed her for another 10 minutes and tried to take some pictures but she wouldn’t even look at us and kept on playing with her classmates. While waiting for her class to end, we had a chance to talk to two of her classmates’ moms who were very anxious because their kids were both crying (although parents are not allowed to stay inside the school premises, they found a way to remain inside without being caught); the moms told us that they envy us because little Tricia is so well behaved inside the classroom despite seeing most of her classmates crying. She didn’t fall asleep on the way home this time but she was so hungry that she asked Mommy for cookies and water. Mommy checked her bag and saw that her pack of cookies, another pack of Sumo biscuits and her chocolate drink were all gone. Did she it it all or perhaps gave some to her classmates?

What she learned in school: washing her hands with soap and water then drying her hands with a towel after using the bathroom

This morning, I again went with her Mommy to school. My sister-in-law didn’t accompany Tricia to their classroom anymore, instead, she waited just outside the school gate while I parked the car. The teachers were stricter today because unlike the previous 2 days, they did not allow anyone to stay with the kids anymore even if they cried out for them. The two moms from the previous days still found a way to sneak back in (via another gate) and looked in on their kids who were once again both crying. My SIL asked about Tricia and we were told that she was again very well behaved, just listening to their teacher or playing with the other kids. She descended from her classroom holding one of her teacher’s hand and smiled when she saw us. Her socks had blue paint spots while her black shoes had some red paint so we guessed they must have done some painting today. Inside the car, she was singing and chattering.

What she learned in school: the word “itchy” and scratching her forehead while saying it.

While we were getting ready to leave our office and go to the mall earlier, she put on her socks (although a little bit twisted) and shoes by her self. After eating dinner at the mall, she said “I love you” to Daddy, kissed him and told him she wants to go to school. We explained to her that school won’t be until Monday. 😀 I just hope she will have the same enthusiasm in going to school until it’s time for her to leave school as a college graduate.

We’re amazed at how much she has grown. She’s very independent, well adjusted and already has a mind of her own. I wanted her to try a black sleeveless blouse with some pink flowers printed on it but she vehemently shook her head and said “ayaw! pangit! pangit!”. Pretty soon, she will no longer need us as much as she does now. Before we know it, young boys will soon be knocking on their door (one the little boys in her class hugged and kissed her on the first day of school!!). Oh!!! I am so dreading that day!

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Growing up too fast



Tricia is now 2 years old. This little girl never ceases to amaze us. The anticipation towards her birth is all but a blur now but never a day goes by that I don’t thank God for giving her to us. She has been a source of so much joy to our family especially to my father. She is such a happy, well adjusted, intelligent little girl who can laugh at herself. She is also very brave except when she has to lie down my examining table. Sometimes we deliberately put her in “situations” just to see what her reaction will be and what would she do about it. We are always surprised by how she could get out if it so easily. Her interests are vary varied. She loves to read books (she knows her alphabet and numbers now), doodle on by prescription pad and our bedsheets, dance and sing. She also loves computers so my dad gifted her with her very own “laptop” (for kids not the real one) on her birthday.

Most of her milestones are very advanced for her age. Her brain is like a sponge, absorbing everything she sees and hears. She’s learning lots of new things everyday. Sometimes it scares me. Can we keep her interested in learning? Can we answer all her questions when the time comes?

I hope we can. So far, it looks like we’re doing something right.


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A belated Father’s day letter

Dear Papa,

Another Father’s Day has passed but I still wish I could do something really special for you. All my life, you have been giving us soooo much and sometimes I feel like we do not give you much in return. You have always been a very good provider, telling us not to worry and to leave it all up to you when things get tough. I couldn’t help but worry when I see you slaving on your computer all day like the whole world is on your shoulders. Although essentially, it is true, OUR world is practically on your shoulders! Sometimes I wish I can lift up the weight even for just a little while but I am just not as equipped as you are to do that. I am trying hard to help you in my own way I can but I know it isn’t enough.

I can’t even thank you enough for allowing yourself to think of letting me spread my wings out of your watchful eyes. I know how hard it is for you to do so. I know I am hurting you by contemplating to take another path, but you still support me. I know that in your heart, you’re only doing this because you know this is what I want and that this will make me happy. You may not say it but I know you can see the turmoil in my eyes. You may not say it in so many words but I know you understand. Yet you still tell me that I can come back to you if everything do not turn out as I want it to be. Such selfless love!
I want so much to tell you a lot of things. Many times I wish I was still your little girl who can tell you everything but I am not little anymore. There are just things that I couldn’t tell you and I hope you understand that. Many times I wish I can just run to you and cry myself out on your lap but I couldn’t because I don’t want you to worry about me.

I wish we can celebrate Father’s Day together forever. I am praying that God will continuously bless you and Mama with good health so that we all can be together as long as we can. I am so looking forward to the day when I can give you back everything you have given us. I know you’re not asking that from me but if I can give back even just half of what you have given us unconditionally, I will die happy.

I love you very much Papa. Here’s to more Father’s Day celebrations together!

Your original little girl,


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Technologically grateful

Thanks to technology, I just spent a most enjoyable afternoon chatting with my cousins in Mindanao. Just a text from cousin T and a few minutes later, my stomach was aching because we were all laughing a lot. It was so nice to hear their voice and see their faces (I don’t have a webcam so they didn’t see me). I really miss laughing with them. We have so much fun whenever we’re together because we can always find things to laugh about.

If only internets, emails and cellphones were already popular 25 years ago, it would have been easier for us to communicate with my father in Malaysia. I can still remember how eagerly we wait for my Papa’s letter everytime we see the postman. We wrote to each other often but we had to wait a week before we get a letter back. When we relocated to Manila, we had a hard time getting a phone so we would ask permission from a good neighbor to allow us to use their phone so we can talk to him. We would then set a “date” with Papa and wait for his call. It was embarrasing for me, having a conversation with Papa in a strang house; not being able to say what I really wanted to say because there were other people around. But it was better than not having to talk with him at all. I envy the families of OFWs nowadays, thanks to the internet and cellphones, they can easily connect with each other. On the news the other day, a father in the Middle East was able to see his son graduate from college, thanks to a remote broadcast over the internet.

If only we can use the technology we so cleverly discover into good use, the world would be a much better place to live in.

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Long Holy Week vacation

It’s going to be a long vacation for me and I can’t wait for it to start. I have been dealing with a lot of personal stuff this last 2 weeks and it doesn’t look like its going to get better in the next few days so the time away from it all is a welcome respite.

I know everyone is raring to go to the beaches to get away from the sweltering heat of Manila, afterall, it’s going to be a long weekend (April 9 is Araw ng Kagitingan so it’s a holiday) but let us not forget the real reason for the season – Jesus’ sacrifice for us to be saved. In the midst of enjoying ourselves, let us all take time out to pause and reflect.

May all of us find peace and contentment with the risen Christ come Easter! God bless eveyone!

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Bagong Hobby?

Opo, may bago po akong pinagkaka-abalahan ngayon….

Ilang araw na din naming binubuno ng kapatid at sister-in-law ko ang paggawa. Gusto kasi naming matapos na. Ang hirap kasing kumuha ng tao na gagawa kaya naisip namin na kung magpipintura lang naman, kaya na namin yon. Saka may alam naman ang kapatid ko sa ganyan dahil iyon ang trabaho (engineer po kasi siya) niya dati kaya talagang malakas ang loob namin. Noong una, hirap kami sa pagkuha ng kulay na gusto namin. Medyo madami din kaming nasayang na pintura dahil doon.

Nakakatuwa! Ang sarap ng pakiramdam na nakikita mo unti-unti yung pinaghihirapan mo. Panaka-naka lang ang paggawa namin kasi nga may trabaho kami ng kapatid ko pero sabi ng tatay ko, mabilis daw kami at masinop kahit na mga “bagito” sa pagpipintura. Sa aming tatlo, pinaka-pagod palagi yung kapatid ko kasi siya yung umaakyat para maabot yung itaas na bahagi ng dingding; yung mga kumplikadong bahagi na pipinturahan, siya din ang gumagawa. Nung isang araw, inayos din niya yung lababo sa banyo at ikinabit iyong shower. Maski si Tricia, may sarili ding paint brush (wala lang ngang pintura syempre).

Ilang araw na lang, malapit nang matapos itong project namin. Nagpatulong na kami sa electrical at carpentry; linis na lang talaga at pwede nang tirhan iyong bahay. Masaya kami kasi kami halos lahat ang nag-isip kung ano ang magandang gawin sa buong bahay. Nakakataba din ng puso na may isa na kaming papuri na natanggap sa paghihirap namin.

Nagbibiruan nga kami na kapag dumating iyong panahon na mawalan na kami ng trabaho, pwedeng-pwede na kaming mangontrata ng painting jobs! Pwede din naman naming gawing sideline. Ayos di ba?

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