Saturday, 14 August 2010


Okay, we're not paid for this but we're so indulged in it as of the moment. The book itself, audio book and now the miniseries. My husband read The Pillars Of The Earth first and I would be the next but the TV series started and spoiled my suppose to be reading. Boogs downloaded the Audio version so I'm now in chapter 3 while we wait for the 5th of the 8th episodes to watch.

Let me first finish the audio before I tell you more about it. All I can say for now is, I can tolerate Dylan's crying for wanting to take the iPod for the games. I have not given in yet and kept the iPod for myself hehehe... which is a miracle really because this little boy rules the house.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


"BUONA FESTA PER TUTTI LE MAMMI!", as they say it here. AUGURI PER TUTTI NOI(cheers to us all)!

Its just another celebration we barely remember the date it falls. You'd only be aware of the day when greetings everywhere fan out the feast. For some its a special day because other say it is. But for most of us, its one of the best time to be articulate on our forever indebtedness to mothering itself and to the person or persons who gave us this.

Yesterday, I came home from my Friday 3 hour part time job and found Lukie's gift waiting for me in my closet. A book mark, a card and 4 pages of poems with drawings of Mama he made at school. He read me all what he wrote and of course, tears can't stop but flow specially when you're holding it back. Although the teachers told them what to write and helped them do these gifts, still is magical to hear and know that you're appreciated.

Then after having my lunch of grated carrots and rocket leaves topped with tuna that Boogs had prepared, I took Lukie and Dylan out for a walk to the ice cream parlor. Giving now my husband a quiet house for that sleep he needed before going to his night shift work.

We dropped by for some groceries before heading home and started cooking for dinner. 4 "busy" pots on the stove while I wash the dishes from lunch are easier to do than to shush the kids every minute, so as not to wake their father up. Then we ate. Boogs left and I took Dylan to bed. The little one slept, Lukie played with his PSP and I washed the dishes... yeah, again. I made sure the kitchen is clean and remembered to load the washing machine.

Just as I sat down and switched on the laptop for that long awaited rest, Dylan woke up coughing and vomited all over him and on our bunk. Fully dozed, I transferred him on Lukie's bed so I can change the sheets. Then he vomited again soaking Lukie's linens, quilt and all. Our bed is now clean, I took Dylan back and he slept sweetly for the rest of the night while I brush off all his soiled clothes and beddings.

These run down of my mothering around is not to count what I did but to compare it with my mom who did not have two kids but 6. How was it possible for her? Aside from a full time mom, she also works as a wholesaler of vegetables at the Baguio Public market where she has to wake up early as 4 o'clock A.M. to catch her 18 kilometers ride to the city. She also does the inventory of my dad's farming and contracting business and would often see her exhausted at night calculating fertilizer expenses to bags of cement used that day. Then yes, there's us to feed and bathe. I just can't figure out how she did it with no microwave, washing machine, prams and pushchairs. To think also that age gap between us 6 siblings is not more than two years. Mama did all these for 12 years before Anemia took her.
I really can't remember if I ever made Mother's Day special for my Mama Normie. I don't know if I made her a card from school, greet her or did I ever let her feel I treasured everything of her. A twelve year old is not young to know and I will forever regret that. Nevertheless, I am sure that her BIG and unconditional LOVE will always understand me. This I know because I am now a mother too.

Friday, 23 April 2010


What's new? While waiting for the washing machine to finish, just want to inform you that we've been linked by BLOGGER BUZZ with our post on GOOGLE GADGETS. Its been drawing traffic for weeks now. Okay, have to hang the clothes and off to bed after... ciao!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Who says only women can be this sentimental? REAL men do too! Here's a video my husband made last year and had posted it on his blog's sidebar. He may not believe me, but million words unspoken had all been said, merely with the effort of making this montage. I love him more as we count the years of growing together. Happy 13th Year Anniversary my Rascal!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


'Dopo un anno' means "after a year" and it had been so since I last wrote this (please click) "I should-have"...

Two days before it marked the first year of his death, I dreamt that Diego was all dressed and waiting for his ride. He was holding two pots of Basil plants. He gave one to me and then the bus came. He got in... waved before the door closed. The bus started to leave and Diego continued waving from the window as he held the other pot of Basil.

My dream may be what my subconscious wanted to happen, that Diego left for a better place with the comfort of what he loves, as reflected by the 'Basilico', the main ingredient of his favorite
Pesto-Genovese. A classic sauce for pasta that originated from the town of Genoa Italy. Diego used to tell me that when you grind the basil leaves, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, pepper and pine nuts, don't add the salt yet because it will corrode the mixture if you will not consume it immediately. He said that the secret of a perfect Pesto is adding less garlic as it dominates the basil's gusto.

When my late employer was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure, I lent him Tim Russert's book - Wisdom Of Our Fathers . Its a book of compiled letters from daughters and sons as they remember their own fathers. Its a sequel to the author's first, "Big Russ And Me".

When he got out of the hospital, I would often see the book piled with others on Diego's bookshelves, from where I use to do my ironing.

Two days after he took his life, me and my son Lukie went to tidy up his house. I saw the book and was about to take it home but I did not. I was thinking, its not proper to take things from Diego's house when he is not yet laid to rest.

After a week, I emailed his son Marco that I will go back for the book and he said he just emptied the shelves, packed all the things and took the long drive to his father's other house in Piemonte. It was a pity because the book was a gift sent by my father in law's friend, Uncle Candelario, from Las Vegas. Marco went back to Spain and I just gave up on retrieving my "Wisdom Of Our Fathers".

Seven months later, Marco came back to Venice for his car's yearly tuning. Its actually a company car given to his father and he took it when Diego died. After the car was fixed, he went back to Spain.

When I was cleaning Marco's room here in Lido Venice, I saw Tim Russert's book on his shelf. I emailed him that night and asked if he went to Piemonte and took the book back to Venice. He answered that he did not. They found the book when they were to empty the car as he will be leaving it at the Auto Repair Shop. He said he haven't seen it during the months of using the car and wondered who owns it. He took it home to his mother's house not knowing it was the one I emailed him before.

Marco asked me if I'm really sure its the same book and I said yes because the note and signature of my Uncle Candelario is still there on the first page. He said maybe when his father drove to Piemonte, the day before he commited suicide, he was reading it on the 'tronchetto'(car ferry). I told him that - that's not possible because I was about to take it home when they were still in his father's town for his wake and out of respect, I dismissed the thought. He replied, " Strange. I don't know about that. You can take it...". I just answered him, "I know... Maybe Diego just wants me to have the book back".

After a year he is remembered. Still we pray that he is at peace and found the happiness he always wanted. While I will be consoled by my lucid dream - that the hand that never stopped waving is our PROPER GOODBYES finally said...

Friday, 26 March 2010


Its so light! Something is not right... That's what I felt when I was opening the gate as I pushed Dylan's stroller. I didn't know how heavy our house keys till I forgot to strap my bag around with my cellphone, wallet and yes, the keys in it . We were locked out! I felt like a fire being doused.

Was about to go back and "ravage" the door but in a second, I got my self back. I just said, "Oh men! Dylan, we have to run!", but then I "flew" and amazingly took Dylan to school in time. Note that I don't have my pre paid bus ticket or any amount at hand so we had to walk or fly(?). Adrenalin Thursday, it really was.

I got back home and asked our neighbor for an ID card. He came to help me out but it only proved us - we can't be thieves or robbers at that. We even tried a pin and it somehow moved the keyhole. Like crazy dudes, we almost danced but were later frustrated because it did nothing at all.

"Desperation" almost drilled down the door but thanks to my brother in law, he went to look for the old and unknown keys he is hesitant to throw. Huge relief, I saw our door open like the gates of heaven hehehe...

I thought of writing this to remind us to double check our stuff before we step out our home. What if it was snowing that time? I would be half dead!

Thursday, 4 March 2010


Pasta, pizza, pope... Milan, Venice, Rome.... Ferrari, Cavalli, Prada and Armani are among the things, places and people that come to mind when "Italy" pops out. For those who lived here or stayed for a while, SCIOPERO or strike will be one experience they will remember this country for. Italians have it most of the time.

Last Monday, our eldest Lukie did not go to school because the teachers are on strike. Kids were advised to go with their parents and see from there if classes will resume. I had to go to work and Boogs had to look after Dylan who is very sick. Besides, most of the time, classes are always suspended when this happen.

Not on that day. Lukie stayed home while his classmates went on with their class.

The next day, Lukie went to school and brought home Alessandro's notebook to copy the notes he missed. Then I asked him if Alessandro is really that good at school and our son said yes. I added, "Who is better, you or Ale?" and he answered, "Both.". My husband said he(Lukie) should be smarter than Ale (which he is by the way) as I nodded in support.

Wearing his eye glasses and looking grumpy, Lukie told us during tea time, "We go to school to learn and not to compete on who is the smartest".

Its not just the tea that made my face warm that time, so is the the hot and very true lesson my son just taught us. That was a BIG STRIKE for Lukie if we were bowling that day!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Sometimes(if not most of the time) we fail to notice people that could really inspire us, so many of them are out there. For the people of my hometown, Ambassador Tublay Benguet, Dexter is the peddler they buy their 'puto' (rice cakes), 'kutchinta'(another rice delicacy), fish or 'pinapaitan's' (type of stew) ingredients.

Before everyone starts their day, Dexter would ride the jeep from Baguio City with his heavy two containers full of stuff to sell. He'll stop by at Km 21 or 22 then walks back the road carrying his goods until it's all disposed. He usually gets to our place, km 18, half full and almost empty during lucky days.

Then at late afternoon, he's back walking the Halsema Road with 'balut'(boiled egg with nearly developed embryo) and 'chicharon'(deep fried pork skin).

It is the laughter Dexter will crack out from you that will win you in buying. I had a taste of it when we had our December vacation in the Philippines. He saw my camera and said my sisters Ica and Jehan(who are also here in Italy) will finally see how he looks after years of missing his 'chicharon' and 'kutchinta'(another rice delicacy). Then he striked me a pose (please see photo above) and blurted, "Oh baka magkalat yan sa Internet. Ok lang, pang artista naman"(That might be all over the net. Its ok, I look like a celebrity anyway).

There are so many Dexters we can not "see". No Brad Pitt kind of life but with an extra ordinary tenacious grip on holding it out there. Salamat sa mga taong katulad nyo'(Thanks to people like you). Indeed, he is a celebrity! Cheers to him and his "deserving moment" to be on the Internet!

Friday, 19 February 2010


LUKIE: Mama, ghosts are true or its just in the cartoons?

MAMA: (was about to say she doesn't know) Only in the cartoons or movies, baby. Not true.

LUKIE: Allora(so or there for), fiction or non fiction?

MAMA: They were just made from people's imagination. Its fiction (was about to add, "I guess", but I don't want my credibility as the "source" of knowledge be of doubt).

LUKIE: It must be true. People will not just make it if it didn't have an ORIGIN. It must have an ORIGIN.

MAMA: I haven't seen one yet, so its not true (getting scared while writing thing as a ghost might appear and prove her son's point.)

Saturday, 13 February 2010


I wrote on my former teacher's wall at Facebook days ago, during his birthday, "Aging alert should be toned down but not, when you lived a happy life. Let it be a deafening "alarm" to those who haven't...". Of which, I'm not quite sure if I made sense.

On second thought, "So if you're not happy, you better forget the date of your birth? Then the "third eye"(hahaha) made sense, "Its your choice, you decide!", she said (or saw it coming).

How do you define happiness by the way? Is it when your son's class card got perfect grades in all his subjects except Science which is just less one from the perfect score? Thanks to Lukie, my eldest he then defined it for me. What if there's more? Like your other son, at the age of three, could read when he can't even clearly talk yet. Then Dylan just made me happy when he read me "Spot Goes Splash" by Eric Hill before he went to sleep. How about a husband who is there to scratch your back or warm your feet when you get into bed? Good thing I have Boogie to fill this part.

Others say that there's a greater context to it and not just being at bliss. Some would find rejoicing from the hopes they see in others' eyes - the doctor from his patient, the priest from his congregation, Samaritans who raise money to help the less fortunate, rescuers who brave the storm to save lives and the list goes on.

There are also some who find joy from being financially successful - buying Ferrari cars, putting up big houses, travelling etc...

To be free and unattached, keeping their status single, is heaven for some.

Its really all about deciding what makes us happy and any reason other people has is no lesser than ours. Every one has the right for it!

As wrote - contentment, optimism, peace of mind, well being are synonymous to what I am "blabbering" on my 36th birthday. Let's choose to be it - to be happy. Let's not go for the opposite - depression is tiring, exhausting and keeps you in the dark (figuratively and literally). Life is so short for sadness to control our little given time. Let's decide to LIVE...

So there, HAPPY IS MY BIRTHDAY! Then to you ALL, HAVE A HAPPY-HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Virtual BIG HUGS from my part of the GLOBE! CHEERS and GOOD HEALTH nga kuna ni TRUBLUE(where ever he is)!

Friday, 12 February 2010


SQUANDER by Skunk Anasie

Why take everything you see?
You have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You have no one left to love

You throw it all away
those ties you went and suffered for
you cause disaster
and flounder flounder flounder flounder

Why take everything you see?
You have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You have no one left to do love

your less than you should be
why run so hard to finish last
you caused contentment
and i wonder wonder wonder wonder

Why take everything you see?
You have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You have no one left to looooove, looooove
Why squander squander squander squander

Why take everything you see?
You have nothing left to squander
If you keep pushing me away
You'll have no one left to, no one left to love

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Not much of a confession that could make it to the tabloid, but me and my husband, got keyed up when we read an announcement on the net about a Christmas climb to Mt. Pulag. Still in Italy that time, I was already seeing myself posing for Boogie's camera with that majestic colors of dawn, dreamy white cotton clouds and golden or green grasses behind me. Was looking forward too on ascending for the first time and luckily, with my dear husband. "How is it to sleep in a tent and get cosy in a sleeping bag?", played my mind.

Aside from the feeling that we are going to be climbers soon (or just me), we became compulsive buyers and took turns to Decathlon and shop for our gears. Tent, sleeping bag, waterproof jackets, sweaters and my best found, a hiking pair of shoes I love wearing now - its so comfortable and very warm. Its winter here and most of the time snowing but these shoes could really walk the cold.

We even thought of purchasing a portable camping stove but didn't. We thought it's fuel might not be allowed on our flight.

We also tried our best to work out and did our running more than the usual before we left Venice. Then the aching muscles as we continued to jog the stairs of Wright Park up to the Mansion and round Mines View till we get back to our place in Ambuklao Road, were reminders of worst body aches we will soon experience if we don't prepare physically.

The drama, if I may say hahaha....


Byd, one of the organizers, informed us a week before the trip that they have 260 participants and they had to close the registration. "Oh men, just think of them going for that morning call, Mt Pulag will be in deep s---, I mean poop!", I keep telling everyone who knew we will be joining. "POOR MOUNTAIN", put in two words. Then I called Byd that we are cancelling.

From Pacdal, we went home to Tublay instead and Boogs went down to Babatan(click this :
musashiboogie for his article published in Sun Star). When he got back and me with the kids, my sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews from playing at the school down my fathers house, we packed our lunch and decided to have a picnic up the only mountain near our home that was left from erotions and road widening.

It was a better climb, I was not just with my husband but so with my little boys. Though, I had to carry Dylan to the steep and bushy foot trail. And, I was also scared all the time because the old mountain where we used to play, was literally half ruined by landslides. We had to take the long way, the shorter one eroded.
Some people still make use of the fast route but its literally walking into the ravine. I was constantly shouting at Lukie and my brother Tan-tan to slow down because the right side of the trail was another haunting ravine. The boys and my husband (who is holding the tripod, our food, water and all the cameras) were getting irritated with my squeaking voice reminding every one to take care, watch out and wait up.

It was good to see again the "pulot", a plant that sticks to your clothes. Dylan had a tiny cut when he pulled a kind of a grass that has sharp leaves(forgt the name). I told my boys that we used go up there, watch the sunset, look for wild berries and just lye down there on the grass. It was fun for them even though the place wasn't the same anymore.

The hot-dog, corn beef and eggs lunch was extra-ordinary as the hot rice complimented it. Just like the old days, even simple food up there is so delicious. Truly the best picnic for Dylan and Lukie. And so it is with me, even the ("best-est" if there is only such a word). Not everyone is lucky to do what he used to do when he was young with his very own kids.

At the end, I was very glad I did not go to Mt Pulag. With our remaining 13 days of stay where we can't figure how to fit all our remaining agendas. I was able to walk back the steps of my childhood and how refreshing, happy and fulfilling it felt. Makes you thank how life had been good to you.

The GREAT fun of the the day did not end yet. Of which we should have missed, if we were added to the 300 participants of the "A December To Remember". That night, I went out on a date for the first time with all the significant gentlemen known to me... to be continued....

NOTE: All our pix on the mountain were over exposed so we had to edit it. Boogs forgot how to set his SLR after toying with his Diana F+...

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


When you forgot why you loved writing, you should remind yourself why you love it in the first place. Try also to dwell upon what or who inspires you to create these set of words and made you believe the silliest idea that you can really write.

Lately, I contented myself in becoming a passive reader to blogs I frequent. In turn, it made me lost my confidence to even type the first word of whatever thought I'm trying to compose. The morale is lost. Its wrong but how can you sustain tenacity when you read other's work - overflowing with substance and perfectly fitted words sounding harmoniously?

Its been three days now since I punched in my first paragraph and this is how far(or not) I had gone. "My eyes are heavy, I need to sleep"..... "My back hurts, I need to rest".... "Grumbling tummy, I must eat".... All but excuses for time lost.

Nevertheless, I'm submitting this entry to BOOST THE BLOGGER in me, in us who are make believers that we are "word slingers". Let's keep on convincing ourselves that what we write is what we are, its our story. Dull, deep or empty we may sound, its okay. We never know, we might be what makes other read, laugh, cry, get angry et all...

Now, let me have Stephen King speak to me when he once said, "No, its not a very good story - its author is busy listening to other voices to listen closely as he should have to the one coming from inside."

So, I write again...

Saturday, 30 January 2010


For Lukie, Burnham Park is the park with many children. For me its where every Baguio kid had his or her photo taken. Of which, it got me wondering where had all the old photographers gone, as I was writing this. A thought came too that a child may had gone to school, became a doctor, a lawyer or a nurse and tributes his or her success from his or her father taking pictures at the park. It would be a very beautiful story aside from the childhood memories dear to us of having been a part of this place.

It was newly renovated. I think the see-saws and that big circle sort of a swing is being preserved, considering it as historical heritage like the two elephants. Still there, they just refreshed the paint. Maybe it would be better if they cover all the ground with pebbles or sand because green grasses can't seem to grow. More or less, I hope the city government will continue to take care of the park. They're not only giving laughters to a child but also giving back to the site that once gave them smiles.

Here are some of our photos from our point and shoot. Lucky for our kids to play where their Mama and Papa used to run around. Thanks to Baguio people concerns, Burnham Park is still there.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


... in posting this video.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Yuletide of 2008, after an overseas call to my sister Irish, I told my husband, "Next Christmas, let's make sure we will spend it with Pa (Boogie's father)". He asked me why and I told him about the Christmas party at the YMCA where my father in law invited my sister and his husband Do'. Pa jokingly introduced them as his kids and people really thought they were my father in law's "extra" children - finally revealed.

Pa's friends and colleagues knew there's already a Beng (my sister in law) and a Boogie. Someone got confused if he is delivering one of his Ifugao anecdotes. A man desperate for the truth, he cornered my sister Irish and asked if she's really Pa's daughter.

Like any other Filipino working away from his country, fare going home to the Philippines is one of the reason why he/she lines up a lotto booth just to get hold of that lucky ticket. Which my husband is sure, that I do not stood the chance. He knows I seldom buy or most often forget that I need to bet before I can win.

I would still say God is great... or faith is good or a higher force somewhere had been kind that I am now about to write our "Christmas At Home", needless of winning the lottery. Though the irony of having made it possible never fail to dampen my eyes.

Had it not been for the generosity my late employer Diego, the unusual thick snow that blanketed Venice, would have confined me and my kids in our little abode here in Italy during the holidays. Instead, we got to spend it with 3 sets of kins and in three different homes in the Philippines.

After Diego's tragic death, his son handed me an opened envelop which his father left for me. I thought its a list of things I have to do in his house or maybe a goodbye letter (I honestly prefer to have during that time). Diego's gift made us buy our plane ticket six months before our flight. A Christmas gift for my family specially for Dylan who has yet to meet his Lolo Mondax and Lolo Danny - the two grannies who will always be our reason to board that long flight back home.

Its been 13 days now that we're back here in Italy. Last week, Lukie asked me, " What day would it be when we go again to the Philippines, Monday? Where will be our stop over?"... I told him that we have to hang the 2010 Calendar first then the 2011 next year before we will know what day would it be...(to be continued)...

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