12th anniversary notice

I found several of this posted on several walls, doors, and furniture inside our house a couple of days before December 8.

It was made by Marielle, of course. She’s quickly becoming an expert in desktop publishing.

Thanks a lot for this Marielle. Your mom and I appreciate it a lot.

Now you may remove them from the walls, doors and furniture. And don’t forget to clean up any marks from the adhesives you used.

Christmas is in the… skyscrapers


THIS IS not a particularly good photo if I must say so. However, considering that I took it with just my iPhone camera through my car’s windshield while driving on top of the Buendia flyover… I’d say it is not half as bad after all.

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A white-washed anniversary get-away

IT IS also known as Marinduque’s Elephant Island. Bellarocca is an island resort characterized by white-painted buildings and villas that has the look (and supposedly feel) of the famous Greek island of Santorini.


My family went to Santorini, I mean Bellarocca, to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in December 2011 (almost exactly a year ago). It is an idyllic, picture-perfect place for a family vacation. It is the perfect place if your idea for a vacation is to lie down lazily under the sun or dip the whole day in the pool or in the sea while sipping margarita. Read more

All Strings Attached

FIRST, I have to give credit to Marielle for creating this cheesy but quite appropriate photo art (using Photofunia, I assume).

Marie is actually complaining about this photo. She said that to be fair, Marielle should have also used her college graduation photo. But that would not have made the photo right either, because although Marielle used my graduation photo (According to her it is the only decent enough photo of me that she could find. Ouch!), it was actually taken during my MBA graduation just about 5 years ago.

Setting aside our frivolous complaints, Marielle actually made a photo that perfectly captures the very essence of the last 12 years. Yes, it’s been 12 years that Marie and I have been stringed and attached together. As far as I can tell neither of us is complaining. Or maybe I should speak only for myself, LOL.

Our life together isn’t perfect and between the two of us there are still many dreams that are yet to be realized. But our own personal dreams have now been set aside in favor of our dreams for – and the personal dreams of – our two wonderful kids, Marielle (9) and Johan (7). I guess you can say that Marielle and Johan are the strings that bind us together, forever.


When I was small

THIS IS probably my oldest still surviving photo. I was six years old.

I have a very vivid recollection of when this photo was taken because it was on the sad occasion of Inang Maring‘s death.

Inang Maring was my grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She succumbed to ulcer. It may be difficult to comprehend now but way back then people, especially in the provinces, actually die of ulcer.


This photo was all but ready to disintegrate when I digitized it by scanning some time last year (2011).

Our “Timeless” Friendship

This colorful calendar and the rest of this blog post (after the “~~~~~” mark) were actually the works of my good friend, Aileen Caalim. She sent these via e-mail to me and the rest of the Housemates* just this afternoon. She’s been tirelessly – and futilely – trying to schedule a simple and short dinner for the Housemates for the past 12 months. Or is it 24?

I am posting Aileen’s email here (without her permission, as usual) for three specific reasons:

  1. I was amazed that she actually took the effort to put together something as complex (to me at least) as this, although I am keenly aware that this is hardly complex at all in Aileen’s standard.
  2. It very graphically and poignantly illustrates how good friends find it more and more difficult to find the time to spend with each other as they become more and more busy with the business of living their own separate lives. But still they try, never mind how pointless it gets some time.
  3. I find it extremely amusing.

The following vividly illustrates the Housemates’ “timeless” friendship. We simply do not have time!

~~~~~ Read more

41 years behind, 41 years ahead (?)

SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 – Today I turned another leaf in my so far exciting and fulfilling life. Today I turned 41. It feels good to be 41, at least as far as I am concerned. And why not, I have  no reason to be cynical and all the reasons to be grateful for the first 41 years of my life – great family, great career, great adventures, overflowing blessings… While other folks my age are having a midlife crisis, I am having a midlife boon!

The prospects of the next 41 years are even more encouraging. Just look at my beautiful family. I have the best life partner that I could only dream about. And I have the sweetest, smartest, and cutest kids. Just the way I dreamed them to be.

Any my kids… They’ll have even better – so much better – lives than the best I can manage to have.

So I look behind the past 41 years with a big smile and look ahead to next 41 with an even bigger smile. Quite frankly, however, I don’t see myself reaching 82! Just the possibility of it scares me, LOL. But if I get to 82 nonetheless then that would be great, too! CHEERS! Read more

Happy 2nd Birthday, Mario


Johan and Mario

MARIO celebrated his 2nd birthday on July 28. Marielle read somewhere that a dog year is equivalent to approximately seven human years.  That would make Mario 14 years old!

Johan finds the idea that Marielle is no longer the eldest “kid” in the family somewhat amusing. My ex-exgirlfriend and I suddenly realized that we have an adolescent in the house, and find the idea somewhat unsettling. Are we supposed to be worried?

Mario, meanwhile, has grown much bigger and heavier. We never thought a shih-tzu would grow that big.  But of course Mario is not just a Shih-tzu. He’s a Pug, too.

At two years of age Mario behaves much like a 14-year old adolescent would; He gets excited every time a lady dog is nearby; He would pick fights with other male dogs, even those twice or three times his size; He eats a lot; He has a bad case of body odor; And he is as adorable as ever.

Happy birthday, Mario. And no, you cannot bring girls home. And yes, you have to take a bath more often.


Two birthdays in May. There should have been three.

WE CELEBRATED two birthdays at home in May — for my beloved Nanay (May 3) and for my niece, Mhaio (May 27), who is currently staying with us.  We did the celebration for both on May 26.

There should have been one other birthday for us to celebrate in May.  My father’s birth date is May 11, and we used to celebrate his birthday at home, too, together with my mother’s. He passed away in October last year, however.

We sorely missed Ama.  Marielle would often sob in her sleep when she dreams of him. Johan would remember the activities they did together. But Ama is no longer with us and we have to move on with our lives without him.

There were only two cakes last May 26 when there were supposed to be three.  Even our photos seemed incomplete and lacking in color.  We all felt sadness deep inside, for in our hearts Ama left a gaping hole.  But there were enough reasons to celebrate and be happy. So we celebrated with lots of food and even more laughter. Ama would not have wanted it any other way.

Marielle’s birthday celebration at home (Photo Slideshow)

MARIELLE celebrated her 8th birthday on July 8 with a simple family dinner at home. Of course she had her cake — not one but two — and she ate it, too!

Wearing a shirt from her mom (she loves wearing her mom’s clothes and they fit her like they are hers), my baby looked very much like a full grown girl.  It’s just a matter of time before she would be a lady. Oh, how I dread that day.