My heartfelt gratitude to everyone who sent their condolences. You have lighten the burden I carry during this sad moment in my life.

I need an indefinite break offline to settle my father’s affairs. Paperwork has to be dealt with.

I’ll leave you with one of my most favorite songs.

Take care.

Blessings to everyone!


signing off

Till We Meet Again

“Life is wonderful.”

This is one of my father’s favorite song.

But …

“Death comes to us all.”

My father passed away yesterday.

Goodbye for now.


“Ninong, can I ask you a personal question?”

They were back, the four horsemen, er, the four sooner-to-be-men. I had an inkling that they were bored roaming around, seeing the same scenery every time. What they needed was a stimuli to tax their brain with a mental exercise.

If it would be about their non-existent Ninang, I was ready to shoo them away to bug someone else. I was sure they already heard all the variations of my answer, most specifically my evasive tactics.

“Fire away,” I replied, standing up to my full height from the kneeling position.

They pretended to hold long guns and proceeded to pepper me with ghost bullets. I did not expect their reaction but I was to blame for giving them the cue.

“Seriously, what is it?” I asked, engaging them with my own invisible firepower.

After their laughter subsided, the eldest hushed them completely so he could present his query.

“How do you know if a woman likes you?”

These boys have fathers. Why should I be the one grilled for such father-son talk? The only answer I could think of was that I treated them not as kids when I explain things.

“To tell you the truth, I am not an expert about the subject. What I do know though is that women like men who respect them.”

They showed aha looks, perhaps inculcating in their heads the gem I just said.

“Besides that, how can you tell? I mean you had experience. Surely, you can tell us about it.”

If there’s a trap somewhere, I was not aware of it. The innocuous questioning could lead to the same conclusion I often feared that would be asked.

“Women can keep you guessing so don’t be too sure of what you think is actually the same as what they think.”

Confused faces confronted me. Even the youngest seemed to crease his forehead, unable to follow the line of thought.

“You mean they might show something but it is not what it appears to be?”

“They might be too friendly with you, but that’s it: they treat you as a friend. You might interpret the same action as affection but if it is not explicitly said so, you should be careful not to make incorrect conclusions.”

“What should we do then?”

“Be a man!” I replied. “Tell her what you feel and wait for her reply. It’s that simple.”

“What if she does not reply?”

“That’s when courting comes in. You woo her, do the works.”

I could see they were not satisfied with my suggestion. It would seem the younger generation believed in instant relationships much like instant messaging. Most probably they were not prepared for the long waiting period of the traditional setup.

“It’s a good thing I am still a boy,” the youngest quipped. “I really don’t like girls hanging around me.”



It’s that loud sound again!

Armand winced, his eardrums painfully violated by blaring music from the loudspeakers behind him. He made a mental note to give the whole system to the nurse: she lived in the province so she would make good use of it amid the great wide spaces.

He saw the trio observing him from a distance. His lawyer and the doctor, as usual, were in a huddle, leaving the nurse separated but near to listen to any variations in the conspiracy.

“Hey!” he shouted forcefully. “Turn the damn system off! I am already awake!”

The doctor gave the nurse the go signal. She ran to the console and turned it off. Before going back to her spot, she passed by Armand pretending to check his pulse.

“I have the substitute injection. I think you’ll like it.”

“What’s in it?” he asked, trying not to open his mouth.

“You’re supposed to be weakened. Act like it!”

Armand was astounded by her calmness, her presence of mind has been fine-tuned to near perfection.

“My friend, the doctor here told me that your health is deteriorating. I am confused why are you not responding to medications.”

Attorney Abad looked more like a cobra to Armand, the lawyer’s head swaying from side to side, judging the distance of his prey before spitting his venomous words.

“Perhaps, I need a change of scenery.” Armand replied. “Somewhere far from you.”

The lawyer hissed with laughter, the sound completed the human copy of the dreaded reptile.

“That’s a good one! I think you’re absolutely right!”

“He cannot travel. He’s weak.” Doctor Aran did not want more complicated games. If his patient has to die, it was right there in the chair.

“Can I talk to you outside?” the lawyer gave the doctor the eye. “Excuse us. Armand. I believe I need my persuasive skills flexed.”

“Oh, you are very good at that! Work on him. I know he will see the light.” The sarcasm in his rejoinder was not given due attention.

“Doctor, should I give him the second dose?” the nurse interrupted.

“How is he?” Attorney Abad asked.

The nurse shook her head repeatedly. Her verdict appealed to the lawyer.

“Give him the dose!” he ordered.

The conspirators exited the room with confidence that their plan neared fruition.

The nurse, who Armand coincidentally called an angel and originally christened Angela, did not waste time to give him the dose.

“What is it?” Armand was suddenly afraid that she was discovered and turned against him.

“It’s an adrenaline boost,” she said, her hands steady.

“You’re amazing me with how you deal with this situation. It is as if you’ve done this before.”

“I am a professional, sir,” she reminded him, “and as I promised you, no harm will befall you.”

“Thank you, Angela.”

She pinched him again in the neck without warning, this time twice for more pain.

Armand tried hard not to laugh even though he was in great pain. She has done it again. Her role playing kept the minute yet important details in place.

The door suddenly opened, unexpectedly.

“Is there something wrong?” Doctor Aran looked suspiciously alarmed.

Nurse Angela approached him and whispered, “Doc, he might not make it tomorrow.”

“That’s very sad!” countered the lawyer, his lively tone the reverse of his sentiment.

Armand could not win an acting award for his performance but it was enough to convince everyone, even himself, that he was terminally ill.

“I need fresh air,” he coughed up and added some gibberish moans.

“Good news, Armand!” the lawyer announced. “You’re going for a ride.”

(to be continued)



Can’t think of better start, an alternative lifestyle for a day. 😀

Why not? Just have a laugh! 🙂



Fully recovered from the weakened state, a.k.a. lazy mode, I was back outside for another round of clearing work. I surmised that it was my inactivity during the rains which brought about the shock of getting back to manual work. Muscles which were re-flexed yesterday were ready for anything strenuous once again.

I hid myself in the orchard, seeking refuge from incoming issues I was not too lucky to resolve satisfactorily days earlier. Solitude with Nature was what I had in mind. All I need now was the hymn of beautiful tweets of birds accompanied by the rustling leaves strummed to a melodic swishing by the constant breeze.

Quiet in the background, I was alert as a dog watching over a property against trespassers. I blended with the surrounding, clad in green and brown outfit, like a chameleon merging colors with its hideaway.

I saw one of my godchild passed by, surveying the grounds, probably looking for his Ninong who decided to be invisible for a time. He had no class because his teacher was on a seminar, giving him more time to wander about. As usual, his main destination was Ninong’s place.

He resembled me when I was young, too curious, asking weird questions that sometimes befuddled me. I was him, and  I wasn’t. At his age, he was more mature than I was when I was young like him. It was a good thing that adults nowadays did not resort to beating children for slight offense. Back then, my impertinence, as was with him now, would always get a hard slap from a thick slipper wielded by a enraged adult.

I wanted to call him, to tell him fictionalized stories, watching his eyes widened with excitement and wonder. But, I needed to finish my work. He could be nuisance by climbing trees which I vehemently forbade for fear he could fall down.

He was gone in minutes, looking for other children to play with. That was good because he did not have to grow mentally old so quickly by conversing with someone who saw a bleak future. He should be a child for as long as possible.



“What’s the matter? Your eyes are red.”

My kumpare saw me sitting on a big round stone, looking dejected as if I lost a fortune in a gambling bet.

“I did not have a good sleep.”

Usually, a nightmare would keep a person awake. Not me. I would go back to sleep and forget about it the minute I closed my eyes.

Instead, a different form of annoyance tortured my ears that caused the uneasy slumber.

“Last night, someone is trying to slaughter a cow. For heaven’s sake, why not wait for a few more hours before doing so. People were trying to sleep, you know.”

My kumpare was surprised with my complaint. He was not aware of any such incident.

“Are you sure? Where?”

I imagined myself on my bed, trying to recall where the undecipherable noises came from before I answered.

“There!” I pointed to the house near the hill top. “I am sure of it.”

My kumpare stared at the direction I pointed to. When he spoke, there was no hint of anger.

“Did you hear loud music, too?”

“I guess,” I replied halfheartedly. “It was probably used to dampen the noise a bit.”

“I was there,” he confessed. “No one slaughtered an animal.”

Abruptly, I looked up to him and wondered. Was I terribly mistaken?

“Are you sure?”

He gave me a friendly tap on the shoulder and laughed.

“Please forgive him. The birthday celebrant had too much to drink.”

I could not understand what he was leading up to with the revelation.

“That was him!” he grinned. “He sang all night.”


New Breed

Ever met a Filipino before?

To most of you abroad the answer to this question varies depending where you are or where you work. Even if you answer in the affirmative, I am not a hundred percent sure your experience is something to brag about. Unless you met those Filipinos that are well known.

Here at home, we continuously see the influx of half Filipinos, children of inter-racial marriages. Back then, they were like a novelty that appeared like snow fall in a tropical country. 🙂

Today, they are the professional basketball players, footballers, movie and TV personalities and of course, beauty queens. We love them for their different looks, higher stature and sometimes their strange accent speaking the national language.

And, there is no stopping the arrivals of entertainers. Here comes what we call the Foreignoy. You heard it correctly. Instead of foreigners, they removed the ers and change them to oy, culled from the oy in Pinoy which is the colloquial term for a Filipino.

They consider themselves Filipino at heart. Never mind if they do not look like the typical native, the half breed or the cosmopolitan rich. They speak the language like it’s never heard before: the sweet sound of a twisted tongue could compete with local gay lingo for popularity. 🙂

A local TV station introduced them a while back. I bet that within a year they will multiply like gremlins, entertaining us with their antics and probably replace the local faces we have grown tired of watching. (I know it’s only my perception.)

Indulge me, then. Here’s the scenario.

A tandem of a former Russian and a half American, female and male respectively, read the headlines. The weather forecaster is half Japanese while the business reporter is half British. The man talking about sports is half Italian while the woman interviewing celebrities is half Nigerian. Field reporters hail from Germany, Australia, India, Middle East, all are half bloods.

Aw, I forgot. This newscast is read entirely in Filipino. (laughs)

I once jested in a Twitter post that at the rate Filipinos travel and live abroad, we will conquer the world. Other countries’ population decline while we interbreed and propagate the come-what-may-attitude genes of a Filipino.

Want to meet a Filipino?



We are flesh and blood. Are we weak?

I saw the illustration of Atlas in a book when I was a boy. In my mind, I imagined him the strongest person in the universe, carrying the planet on his shoulders, burdened with extra-ordinary weight.

Later, I was educated and discovered my younger rumination was partially incorrect. I was naive to think that way. I grew up learning the truth, looking inside my own subconscious, trying to feel my own nature.

With age, I came to a realization that we are as strong as Atlas. Much stronger perhaps because we not only carry our personal world but at times of our loved ones as well.

How strong are we?

We face problems coming our way and persevere to find effective solutions. Gifted with mental faculties to think and devise strategies, we possess inner strength to endure hardships, physically and mentally. With emotional fortitude to stay calm and composed against odds, we exude superhuman qualities in a mortal body.

Yet, we falter often. We err in judgment. We are weakened by hunger. We lose heart. We become an ordinary human.

Can we recover?


But, we have a decision to make. We have to choose what we like to be.

We are strong. Remember that always.


Can’t Reach

While I was browsing this morning I stumbled upon a video of this group called Girls Generation. I do not understand what are they singing about but they seemed excited while enjoying themselves dancing. (The upbeat music made me sway from side to side as I wrote my Chemistry post.)

I guess music has a magical way to cross boundaries. The melody alone has a unique effect on our consciousness. The language barrier becomes immaterial.

– o –

The Daylight Project of Maroon 5 is an inspiring video I could watch when I feel a bit lost. I like the idea (except that guy who hates cats) of everyday people expressing their inner feelings.

If you have not seen this video, it’s time to try it. Feel good music guaranteed.

– o –

I want to upload a video of my singing Bon Jovi’s Always. I asked some of my friends if it was a good idea. They looked at me as if I was deliriously crazy. One of them had the temerity to say directly to my face that Bon Jovi fans might collect money to pay bounty hunters to hunt me down.

Hey! Don’t worry I am just kidding!