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She's Home

The reaper struck again.
It has been more than a month since my cancer-stricken sister-in-law died. Her battle with the disease since arriving in the country last January 1 lasted 85 days only. She expired in a clinic in Silang, Cavite almost midnight of March 16, 2018 apparently from cardiac failure. Earlier at dawn on the same day, she was rushed to De La Salle Hospital in Cavite when she started grasping for breath after the standby oxygen tank ran out of oxygen supply.
Everything happened in a whirl. I just wrote about her condition in my January post. We did not think her passing on could happen that fast. Doctors at Asian Hospital gave her one year to live, but we had high hopes she would pull through—that what she was going through was but a test she would eventually pass.
She did not make it.
Since her passing, I had not lifted a finger to hit the keypad. I decided to take a hiatus from writing and just gather my thoughts.
Oh, how fleeting life really is. One moment you are just ta…

A Letter to My 25-year-old Self

Dear Yuppie woman,

Exactly 20 years ago, you were a picture of a wide eyed college student who took her role to heart as a student.You took the straight, albeit boring path, gave up the time to socialize and just buried yourself in the academic maze you found yourself in. Hurrah for that.
Specifically, let me recount the things you did that deserve a pat in the back. Here they are:
First, you made the best and most important decision you could ever do: Acknowledge your need for a savior and submit to His Lordship; You surrounded yourself with like-minded people who loved the Lord with fervor and from whom you learned to exercise love in action, to exhibit tough love as your lived together under one roof, along the way, smoothing one another’s rough edges. You learned the value of quiet time, fellowship, prayer and Bible studies. You realized early on that you that earthly pursuits were temporary and eternity belonged to those who believed in it, more specifically to those who entrust…

When the Steam Wanes

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It has been more than two weeks now since I did serious writing. I have not had the momentum to pen my thoughts lately because of the sudden change in our routine and the minor disruption in our life right now as a result of taking a sick family member home with us. I have lost much sleep as well so much so that I need to take my Mosegor Vita again just so I could catch some sleep.
It has been a helter-skelter week indeed. Hub has been going to and fro, driving, running some errands, and likewise setting aside for the time being his assignments. I have been on a spin as well, tagging along with him and doing some chores especially in the kitchen. My lovey (writing, what else?) has been placed in the back burner for now.  Indeed, when you lose your train of thoughts because the environment is no longer conducive to writing, it is just difficult to start again. It is like going back to the drawing board once more and exerting much effort to gather one’s thoughts and pen them.
But is t…

When Cancer Strikes

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An acquaintance. A high school batch mate.A college friend. A church mate and close friend.  And now a family member.

Over the last six years or so, I have witnessed how the big C has ravaged once healthy and vibrant bodies of beautiful women close to my heart. Seeing them wasting away when once they were a picture of vitality brought a sinking, unexplainable feeling of dread over one undeniable truth:Death is inevitable. Sooner or later,it will barge in, taunting, stinging, laying claim to its power amidst tears of resistance, pleading, and bargaining.  Just when we think life sails like a bedecked hot-air balloon on a calm day, it suddenly comes crashing down sans any warning. The reaper shows up, mostly in moments we are utterly unprepared; Yet, death, for all our pretense that it won’t strike, is as firm and certain as the tax deductions in every employee’s payslip. Indeed, each day that we live is a day closer to our death; how ironic could it be?  If we are all destined to cross th…

Fear 101

In my post in 2010 , I extensively discussed my worst fears at that time: death, ghosts and snakes. Over time, I had not realized (and only until recently) that there was one fear that has lurked deep in my heart for so long-- the fear of the opinions of men.
This fear, I believe, stems from one's love -- in fact, too much love for one's self. Have you even been afraid, or to put it mildly, conscious, of what others would think of you because you covet their approval? No wonder you desire the thumbs up sign or likes  in all your social media posts, hence you post only the best photos (often with loads of filters).
Whenever I  take selfies, I have the tendency to keep  doing it again and again until I hit the right angle or perfect expression. Seeing my wall peppered with selfies of FB friends has prompted me to join the bandwagon, as well. Now I ask myself, "Why do we itch to upload the latest selfie? Just to show what we look like? To get admiring nods? To earn a thumbs…

A Writer Writes

You have the making of a good writer,” so scribbled in my blue book by my Communication I professor. I was a college freshman then.
Oh, Speech ka ba? Mag Writing ka na lang” (So, you are taking up Speech? Why don’t you take up Writing, instead?) then turning to my classmates, he quipped, “She writes quite well.” This time it was my Humanities professor who always spoke with highfalutin vocabulary egging me to take up Writing instead of Speech Communication. I initially considered taking up Theater arts, but somehow, I had not had an itch for acting when I entered the academic jungle that was UP. (I only got to showcase my prowess in one of my outrageous performances for my English 3 class under the most motherly Professor I ever had and from whom I received a resounding compliment, “Florian, ang galing mo!” (You were good!)
But I was young then… I loved to be in the spotlight— chattering like a parrot. I relegated writing in the backseat—necessary to jot down my daily insights and not…

Rejection is Good for the Soul

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How many times have you received the thumbs down? How did it feel? Me, I have already lost count of the times I felt the sting of rejection. There is not a single year for the last four decades that I have not experienced being turned down and consequently, being disappointed.

My first taste of rejection was on my first grade in primary school

The memory is still as vivid as if it were only yesterday.

My friends and I auditioned for an amateur singing contest for our level. Five of us trooped to the shabby classroom to showcase our singing prowess. I was giddy with excitement when we queued and waited for our turn. Days before, I had been rehearsing all by myself inside our toilet which happened to be located outside our wooden house. I chose a Tagalog song with an upbeat tempo so I could sway and gesticulate to add flavor to my performance.It had to be “entertainment” level so I did not leave anything to chance. (My self-taught choreography, though, was but an imitation of what a favorit…