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)...



What I find so poignant about Diego and his gift is it marks the end of his life and the celebration of yours, and for sure, you celebrated wonderfully. I think he would have been tremendously gratified to see you happy with your families.

Remembering Diego and his gift on your first post shows your grateful heart, Lov. :)

Welcome back and happy 2010!


Yes Hannah, where ever he is, he is happy for me and my family. Happy too that he made two grandfathers happy.

Thank you for your kind words and wishing you all the best for 2010(Hannah's even up numbers)...

Jane 101

Hi Lovelyn,

I've been coming here from time to time to see if Part 2 has already been published, ha!ha! I guess you are waiting for more comments about the 1st part, lol!

Anyway, it is good to "hear" from you again. You sure did have a great vacation highlighted by family reunions and all that. I saw some pictures in FS (I don't have FB access for now). I miss the ferns (annapats) in the mountains. Awanen kasjay ijay ayan mi. sigh...

BTW, Diego is more than happy now. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

I look forward to reading more stories about your phil-vac.



Ciao Jane,

I can feel it too Jane, my late boss is happy where ever he is. Specially when you will read everything about this Phil-Vac(i love the sound of it hehehe, galeng..phil-vac). Problem is, I am always coming back here too and I can't seem find the courage to write. Something came up and I promise you though, that all of you who're always there will know about it.

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