Alphonse at 21

3 Nov

I can’t believe you’re 21 today, son. I can’t believe we made it this far.

Happy birthday!

Many times, over the years, I often wondered if we would ever get past those years of heartbreak and violence. I wondered if we would live to see this day, if we would ever reach this point when we could look back with relief and, yes, gratitude, that we made it through those long stretches of heartache. And mind you, son, we have lived through much.

We’ve had times when our whole world was in shambles, when we lived in sorrow and darkness. We wept for days and clung to each other in helpless surrender. We forged through your terrors and rage. We loved you, always, even when anger blinded you and fear made you reject and push us away.

Now, here we are. Twenty one years into a life we never knew could change us so much. A life with you. A life with autism. A life shaped by adversity, tempered by grace, made whole by love.

Thank you, Alphonse, for all that you have brought and continue to bring to our lives. Thank you for teaching us to love unconditionally, without hope of return or reciprocation.

Thank you for showing us the limitless spools of our patience. We have learned to wait and find joy in the waiting.

Thank you for teaching us to endure, to be steadfast and unwavering in our fortitude and faith.

Thank you for teaching us to bend, to kneel, and to submit wholeheartedly and with all humility to the One who gave you to us.

Thank you for bringing out the best in us. Who knew that Mama, your scaredy-cat mother, had strength and courage? That Papa, firstborn and strong-willed, came with an inexhaustible supply of steady, constant patience?  Or that your Kuya Alex, your big, burly full-bearded brother, was capable of so much spontaneous outpouring of gentle love? Your presence in our lives allowed us to find these wellsprings of kindness in our hearts.

Thank you for showing us the pleasures of little things, the wonder of tiny miracles, and the sheer delight that comes from just being alive.

And thank you, for knowing and finally accepting our love, and for loving each one of us back with your kisses, hugs, and many more quiet acts of tenderness and love. Yours is love in action, our son.

Happy 21st birthday, Alphonse. Ours has been a journey of unbelievable, unimaginable adventures and it has only just begun.

We love you always.

Alphonse as a newborn, two weeks early, two days late
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Loved since birth

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and loved always, even when autism came (diagnosis at 18 months old).

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Cute and cuddly, (and wearing Mama’s baptismal dress), falling in love with this little baby was always easy.

Alphonse as girl

But as he grew older, he developed differently. While typical little boys play, he would prostrate himself on cold floors for hours at a time.

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Our baby went to school earlier than most, his days revolving around therapy centers and special education. 

Alphonse toddler

At his school, he was the youngest child to be diagnosed then.

Alphonse cutie

Alphonse was different. His fascinations were different. He loved twirling the plastic rotor blades of his Fisher Price helicopter.

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But there were times we could almost pretend we were “typical” and “normal,” and have our pictures taken like regular people… 

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Even as his interests grew differently from his peers. He has always loved water and could spend hours playing with the hose.

Alphonse and the Hose

And pieces of string and twirly slinkies could keep him preoccupied for hours.

Alphonse teddy 02

With autism came periods of stress too, of self-injurious behavior, which caused us grief and endless worry.

Self injury AlphonsePicture copy

But his gorgeous smiles always made the hard times worth it.

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Bestowed with the gift of beauty,

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yet often fierce and funny,


this boy spreads joy with just a smile.

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And as he grows older,


and bigger,

My Alphonse

wiser and stronger,

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may his smiles remain with us

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to give us light when darkness comes

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and to bind us in love and kindness always.

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Happy birthday, Alphonse!

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We love you so. 


How to Survive Your Husband’s Retirement

22 Oct

Published in HerWord on October 20, 2015.


pic for blog 05My husband Anthony retired- or shall I put it more accurately- was retired in late July of this year after almost 26 years of service to the company. I suppose you could say we were surprised when it happened, but, in truth, with the change in ownership in 2013 and the merger of two papers this year, it was no longer quite as shocking or unexpected.

Amazingly, he took it all in stride. This was not to say that he was happy with the decision, but always the optimist that he is and, between the two of us, always the one who saw the good in people’s actions and intentions, he respected it and chose to dwell on the experience of gratitude. He was indebted to the Boss, Mr. Raul Locsin, and Mrs. Leticia Locsin, his first employers, who saw potential in the fresh college graduate he was in 1989. And he focused on the privilege of working with people he considered his second family. These thoughts carried him over fear and worry.

In the beginning of July, he said goodbye quietly to his closest friends even as he started to dismantle more than half his life into boxes. On his last day of work, he gave back the keys to his office, had lunch with a few of his colleagues, and drove back home with the last of his personal boxes. At the age of 47, he jumped, once again as in the beginning of his journey with the company, into the great unknown.

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Lunch with some of his colleagues on his last day of work: a farewell, not goodbye to good friends

We’ve all read the same studies: retirement is never easy. My father retired in his sixties after a series of debilitating strokes that put him longer and longer in the hospital with each stay. In the last few years of his life, he would often wake up disoriented and unable to recognize his caregivers. But he remembered, quite distinctly, the work that he did all his life. He would rifle through old papers and books, looking for his ledgers and checkbooks. He remembered the names of his suppliers and how much business he did with them. And he would often end up in a state of panic as he scrambled to locate papers he thought he needed, from a business then more than 10 years closed. Even as his mind began to wander, he never forgot his work. It was what defined him most of his life.

If retirement at old age is problematic, then retirement at middle age is doubly difficult. No one ever quite prepares to lose his/her job in his/her forties or ever dreams of having to look for one again. For many, there is an unexpected void to their daily lives. There is boredom and lack of socialization to contend with. The sudden freedom that comes with the absence of structured activity may be exhilarating at first but wears down quickly with time. And though foreseeable financial issues weigh in heavily on the retiree, especially for single-income families like ours, there are far greater things at stake than the loss of a paycheck; the absence of an integral part of their days begins to rub raw the definitions of self and worth.

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photo from Groovy Grandmas on Facebook

For the spouse who is left to deal with the newly retired husband/wife, the sudden change in your routine as a family may throw you off balance. Your plans, both for yourself and for your family, may have to change, putting undue stress in your long term goals. It may even put a strain in your relationship, as the hours of interaction become forcibly longer. Problems you could avoid when one or both of you were at work suddenly turn into problems that stared at your faces 24 hours long.

I can only speak for myself and how we dealt with the changes in our lifestyle, household, and family since the end of July. I do hope, however, that this piece of insight we gained over the last few months makes others realize that retirement does not necessarily have to be a bad thing.

It helped that in 24 years of marriage, my husband and I have always had open lines of communication. We don’t hold back thoughts; we don’t keep secrets from each other. We discussed the situation rationally, keeping our emotions and personal opinions in check, but allowing each other the space and time to vent, if necessary. Again, between the two of us, I was the one with the unrestrained hostility to work out, and he took this as a challenge to help me get over my anger and indignation.

Once we got over the first hurdle, we discussed what we were facing head on and decided to implement changes to keep our household working, a sort of a post-retirement game plan. Since we have a severely disabled child who requires 24/7 care all his life, we resolved to keep the most important parts of our child’s life consistent. From scheduling, to decisions on education, to treatments and medications, we agreed to sacrifice just about anything but we would not touch Alphonse’s life unless it was absolutely necessary.

We made a loose time frame to follow for the period he was home but other than that, made no demands of each other’s schedules. We kept each other busy by tending to chores and errands we could do together. In his now “almost all” spare time, I noticed he read a lot, watched movies, wrote his sports columns, and caught up on his sleep. I ended up chucking my chores just to sleep with him when he did (it was so tempting), and within a few days of his being home, our body rhythms, once so disparate (he was an early riser and I was a late sleeper), were in sync.

We decided to take a long trip together. Although I worried about leaving our son, I also felt my husband needed the distance to heal and recharge. We entrusted our son’s care to my family and took the trip to reconnect with his family abroad. Seeing my husband with his father, the joy in their faces so palpable, I knew it was well worth the time and money spent. My husband went home tired, but happy; a little broke, but also richer in love and experience.

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With Daddy, in one of my favorite stores (heehee)

They say that in marriage, “give as you would take,” and we took this to remind us to be kind and loving to each other even when the 24 hours of imposed togetherness sometimes took its toll. I have to credit my husband for his extended patience when mine wore thin and I vented on him, as I did on our third day in New York.

It was beastly hot, the walk from subway stop to the theater and back was tough under that heat. Worse, I had a migraine headache to deal with. At the end of the day, I was snarky and irritable, certainly not the best person to be with, 13,000 kilometers away from home. I threw up twice in the hotel bathroom. Livid at the weather and helpless at its relentless effects on me, I grew angry at him instead. Nice “logic,” right? My husband helped me undress as I crawled under the cool sheets and ignored him deliberately. I fell asleep sullen and cross.

I woke up at two am, finding myself cradled in his arms. He had put his arms around me and I was too out of it to even notice. He woke up when I squirmed and said “I’m sorry, honey. I hope you’re feeling better now.” I grew ashamed of my own actions. Think about this: when spouses become victims of their husbands’ or wives’ anger, how many would be able to draw on love and not pride to carry them through? Over the past couple of months, there would be times my husband would lapse into bouts of unusual and unnerving silence and the memories of that day helped me to reach out to him in patience and love. Give as you would take.

Remember the synced body rhythms? This worked great for us after our trip, when jet lag kept us up at three in the morning. What did we do then? We talked a lot, nonstop for hours, it seemed. We cuddled. We prayed for our children and for each other. We held hands. And when we found ourselves drowsy, we held hands some more till we fell asleep.

In the end, his retirement proved to be short-lived. Going back to work was an easy decision for him. Perhaps, and we say this thought out loud, that were both our children independent adults, we would have no second thoughts living simply with what we have. We could run away to the province, live off the land, and experience Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in action. Still, the reality of our situation makes us take stock of our decisions. Parents of children with special needs cannot afford to be foolhardy.

We realized that because our child would need care all his life, we would need more resources to help him and his older brother manage in the future. We disagreed on when, however. I wanted him to stay at home longer. He insisted he needed to get back to work, for fear of losing our little savings to inaction. After a period of thought, we established a timeline we could both live with. I am proud to say that my husband has gone back to work, as of this writing, for a very reputable firm in another industry, a decision he made with purpose.

Losing work is not easy, more so when it is almost a lifetime’s worth. The reentry to the labor force is another period of adjustment that can also be difficult under the circumstances. Still, it is wise to remember that when faced with the prospect of change, whether favorable or not, there is no wall as easy to breach as a fragmented front. Communication and planning are key elements to holding your family together in times of crisis. Most importantly, a marriage that is strong in love and held together by faith, fidelity, and a steadfast belief in each other’s abilities will always thrive. Looking back, I can honestly say that I loved every second of my husband’s time at home with me.

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I not only survived my husband’s retirement; I aced it- with him!

The Right to Be

29 Sep

Six days ago, in what should have been just another “ordinary” work day for folks in Broadway, an incident in the matinee of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” made waves in social media for entirely different reasons. As the actor Kelvin Moon Loh tells it, a young child with autism got affected during the whipping scene and overcome with emotion, cried out loudly. It wasn’t the child’s reaction that bothered the actors on stage, Mr. Loh, particularly; it was the audience’s response to the child and his mother. I should simply post what Mr. Loh wrote about this incident. It’s far better than any way I can tell it.

I am angry and sad.

Just got off stage from today’s matinee and yes, something happened. Someone brought their autistic child to the theater.

That being said- this post won’t go the way you think it will.

You think I will admonish that mother for bringing a child who yelped during a quiet moment in the show. You think I will herald an audience that yelled at this mother for bringing their child to the theater. You think that I will have sympathy for my own company whose performances were disturbed from a foreign sound coming from in front of them. 


Instead, I ask you- when did we as theater people, performers and audience members become so concerned with our own experience that we lose compassion for others? 

The theater to me has always been a way to examine/dissect the human experience and present it back to ourselves. Today, something very real was happening in the seats and, yes, it interrupted the fantasy that was supposed to be this matinee but ultimately theater is created to bring people together, not just for entertainment, but to enhance our lives when we walk out the door again.

It so happened that during “the whipping scene”, a rather intense moment in the second act, a child was heard yelping in the audience. It sounded like terror. Not more than one week earlier, during the same scene, a young girl in the front row- seemingly not autistic screamed and cried loudly and no one said anything then. How is this any different? 

His voice pierced the theater. The audience started to rally against the mother and her child to be removed. I heard murmurs of “why would you bring a child like that to the theater?”. This is wrong. Plainly wrong.

Because what you didn’t see was a mother desperately trying to do just that. But her son was not compliant. What they didn’t see was a mother desperately pleading with her child as he gripped the railing refusing- yelping more out of defiance. I could not look away. I wanted to scream and stop the show and say- “EVERYONE RELAX. SHE IS TRYING. CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT SHE IS TRYING???!!!!” I will gladly do the entire performance over again. Refund any ticket because-

For her to bring her child to the theater is brave. You don’t know what her life is like. Perhaps, they have great days where he can sit still and not make much noise because this is a rare occurrence. Perhaps she chooses to no longer live in fear, and refuses to compromise the experience of her child. Maybe she scouted the aisle seat for a very popular show in case such an episode would occur. She paid the same price to see the show as you did for her family. Her plan, as was yours, was to have an enjoyable afternoon at the theater and slowly her worst fears came true. 

I leave you with this- Shows that have special performances for autistic audiences should be commended for their efforts to make theater inclusive for all audiences. I believe like Joseph Papp that theater is created for all people. I stand by that and also for once, I am in a show that is completely FAMILY FRIENDLY. The King and I on Broadway is just that- FAMILY FRIENDLY- and that means entire families- with disabilities or not. Not only for special performances but for all performances. A night at the theater is special on any night you get to go. 

And no, I don’t care how much you spent on the tickets.

~Kelvin Moon Loh, September 23, 2015

As a parent of a severely disabled young man, I can speak first hand of how this lack of compassion has been the norm most of my son’s life. There have been many times when Alphonse has been shooed and shushed for his actions in public, when his loud shrieks and squeals have received angry stares, when his large, jerky movements have been met with impatience and hostility. Mr. Loh’s experience with the unsympathetic, almost boorish, behavior of the audience is not strange to us. Despite this, parents of children with disabilities- those with autism most of all- have to always walk a tightrope balancing their children’s needs with those of the larger public. It is a most difficult line to tread. I refer you back to an excerpt from one of my old posts: 

I have to speak my mind on the entitlements many feel we parents of autism use to “get our way” in the world. As a parent of a child with autism, I am very aware of my son’s dependence on the kindness, tolerance, and compassion of others. As such, we have never used autism as an excuse to take advantage of others or refrain from obeying rules. Autism in our lives has not given us a sense of claim and privilege; on the contrary, we have learned to sublimate many of our own needs in favor of others’ comfort and wellbeing. We are always mindful and grateful for accommodations made for our son. And in the event that our son feels uncomfortable or overwhelmed or frightened, we are always first to remove him from these situations. The only real thing we ever ask for always is not to be judged. (from Flight Risk, 27 June 2008)

While we have always been quick to intervene, to calm, coax, and comfort him, we realize that we have done these less for his sake than for ours. Ashamed to be in the middle of curious, often unsympathetic, stares, embarrassed by the unwanted, unfriendly attention, we have often voluntarily given up his right to be seen, heard, and be part of this world.

Not anymore.

We owe Alphonse his chance to move in the same world we do- to explore, to grow, to learn by experience. Lack of compassion and empathy from a society that treats him and others like him as inconveniences notwithstanding, we continue to struggle to give him his space under the sun. We owe him that much.

Mr. Loh, thank you for standing up for our children. Thank you believing them worthy of your talent and time. Thank you for your respect and kindness. You have given us new dreams for our children. God bless you always. 

In parting, I leave you with pictures taken from last Sunday’s outing with Alphonse. You can see the happiness in his face as he steps out into the world.

 All set to go out into the world!

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My Boys

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We will always walk hand in hand.

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Should you bump into him one of these days, I pray that you find it in your heart to show kindness and compassion.

I promise you his smile will be all worth it.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40





The Cab

24 Sep

It was the second cab I hailed successfully that Tuesday afternoon, and the first to agree to accept me and my companion as passengers. There were many other empty ones passing the stretch of road we were in, but not one slowed down. By the time this cab came, I was relieved that the driver even stopped at all. My relief turned to gratitude when he opened the door right away. I thanked him profusely, gave him our destination, and we headed off.

The cab smelled strongly of Coronado Cherry, a popular scent of the air freshener brand California Scents, one that I know very well. Back wCalifornia_Scents_Spillproof_Organic_Coronado_Cherryhen our then eleven-year-old car needed a bit of sprucing up, scent-wise, to hide its age, this was our product of choice. True enough, I spotted the familiar dark pink tin can tucked between the driver and front passenger seats. The scent of cherries filled my nostrils and made my chest feel tight. “This is too sweet and cloying,” I thought, but I was more grateful than annoyed so I simply let it pass.

I tried to engage the driver in small talk but he would only respond in monosyllables. He did, however, tell me he would need additional details on my destination. I gave up on the chitchat, pulled my phone from inside my bag, and opened my mobile phone to access Waze. I was still busy fiddling with my phone when I inadvertently looked up. I caught the driver looking at me and my companion through the rear view mirror. Ordinarily, this would not have seemed suspicious except there was something in the way he looked at us that unsettled me. When our eyes met, he hurriedly looked away.

I sent my husband a Viber message giving him the license plate number of the cab I was in. Then I took a picture of the mobile number stenciled on the inside paneling of the door to my right. I made a big fuss about sending the message; I read the license plate aloud as I typed it so that the driver knew someone else had my whereabouts at that moment.

Now and then, I snuck quick glances at him, only to find him looking at us surreptitiously and repeatedly. That was when I pulled out my pepper spray, set it to spray, and held it, just in case. My chest was tight and painful. My heart and head were pounding. I debated silently with myself, wondering if staying inside the cab was a logical decision. It was mid-afternoon, almost rush hour, and if only one of all those cabs I tried to hail even bothered to stop, what were my chances of getting another cab in this traffic? After all, all I had were my instincts telling me something was wrong; he had not done anything untoward against us at all.

Save for the queasiness I felt, we reached our destination safely, thank God. The queasiness turned into a pounding headache soon after. I was nauseated badly and my stomach hurt. I initially attributed it to the overwhelming odor of the air freshener, made worse by paranoia and nerves. I drank some hot tea to calm my tummy but the pain and tightness persisted. A few minutes later, my companion reported that she was feeling dizzy and nauseated. Something had happened during the cab ride.

In hindsight, I can point to his strange behavior as extremely suspect. He drove unusually slow, seemingly taking his time, an oddity for cab drivers out to get as many flag downs and rides as possible. He took us through side streets with little or no human traffic, even when the main thoroughfares were clear, making the trip longer. And his shifty-eyed, furtive rear view glances, well, they were enough to heighten my senses to impending danger. Was he waiting for something to happen?

At home, I asked my companion if she noticed any other thing during our ride. I had not told her any of my suspicions, aware that I was treading on flimsy ground. “Uhm, Ate, he held a small, clear spray bottle in one of his hands and he squirted its contents by his legs,” she replied reluctantly. My companion sat on the back passenger seat diagonally across him while I was directly behind the driver. The only reason she didn’t say anything was that she wasn’t sure what the bottle was or what was in it. Now that we were both feeling sick, we had a strong feeling it was something intended to make us sleep or sick, something that can be camouflaged by the strong scent of cherries.

I only have my word against the cab driver and short of evidence- the kind that would stand up to scrutiny under the law- I choose not to post his license plate or any other identifying details. I can only attest to what happened to me during and after the ride. I write this, however, to remind everyone that crime is no longer stuff we just read in the papers. It is coming nearer and nearer our homes and our persons every day.

Please be safe, everyone, and take all necessary precautions when getting rides. If you can access Uber (my husband told me to use this service but again, I was foolhardy), this is ultimately a safer, albeit more expensive, choice.

Still, we can’t all be afraid all the time. We can’t let fear rule our lives but we can try to always be safe. Here are some of the lessons on cab riding that I’ve learned from this experience:

  1. Try not to commute alone. Bring a companion, if possible, or go with a friend. Ask your friend to alert you if he/she notices something suspicious.
  2. Call for a taxi instead of hailing one. Some taxi companies have hotlines you can dial. If they are not able to provide you with one, find a taxi lane and get your cab there. Security personnel in most malls and hospitals make a list of the cabs that take passengers and they are most likely to have CCTV footage.
  3. Take a picture of the exterior of the cab before you board it and take pictures of the driver’s ID, license plate, and their contact numbers. Check for meter, ID, and window and door handles. Don’t go in if the cab is missing any of these. Check if the door opens from the inside and if the windows can be rolled down.
  4. Call a friend and text him/her your cab details so he/she will have a record of where you are and who you are with.
  5. Sit in the back passenger seat. It’s the safest place for lone passengers. Again, make sure the doors and windows can be opened, but once you’re inside, lock them.
  6. Do not bring valuables and jewelry. If you must bring them, try to keep them discreet. Leave your credit cards if you don’t need them. Hide your valuables but keep your phone near you.
  7. Save an emergency number you can call withblog safety one key stroke.
  8. I always carry a whistle and pepper spray when I commute. The latter is not for everyone but the point is to be proactive and not be a victim. Know how to use them.
  9. Plan your destination and know the possible routes you can take to get there. Find out how long it will take you to reach your destination. Waze is a great application for this.
  10. Trust your guts and instincts. They’re usually more right than wrong. (Remind me to heed this next time.) And don’t forget to pray.
I am still reeling from this recent experience. I got lucky (again) but I am always mindful that it only takes one slip-up for bad things to happen. I continue to pray for safety and send you, dear friends, my wishes for peace and safety in our cities and country.


To Anthony

20 Sep

I woke up this morning giggling myself silly. For some strange reason, I awakened at five in the morning, still laughing about the last thing we said to each other last night. The barely-there light, filtered softly through dark curtains, was urging me to stand up and start our day early but the bed was still warm and inviting. I reached out in the darkness to touch your face. You stirred gently in your sleep, eyes still closed, but your hand found mine and drew it to your chest.

In one seemingly innocent movement, one we’ve done over and over again for many years, you reminded me that wherever we may be, for as long as you are with me, I am home.

For you are my home.

A few minutes later, you woke up too. Our bodies are now so in sync that a movement from one instinctively sets off a corresponding reaction in the other. You pulled me closer for an embrace; I closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around you. And then, awake and already hungry, you spent the next twenty minutes talking me into getting breakfast. At six in the morning. *groans*

We were among the first in the restaurant, thanks to our early start. Most days, breakfast would be part of our ordinary routine but today, well, today is different. It’s our 24th wedding anniversary, and each meal, no matter how simple it is, feels like a celebration.

Over breakfast, I found myself sneaking glances at you repeatedly. I looked at every line, every mark of your face, and marveled how each is a measure of our life together. Alas, we have grown old, honey. But we have grown together, forever changed from the young innocents we were at fourteen to the middle-aged adults we are now.

I am grateful, honey, for each day of the last 24 years. For while many things have changed, so many more have stayed the same. I wake up each morning with you by my side, still holding my hand throughout the night, keeping the bad dreams at bay. Yours is the face that wakes me up each day and sees me to dreamland each night. And your love- for me and our children- is the constant that drives me to see the beauty and mercy of each passing moment. I am forever changed by your love.

Thank you, Anthony, for being my love, my comfort, my home. I love you.

 Papa and Mama 02


Weekend Musts (September 18-20, 2015)

18 Sep

If you’re looking for worthwhile activities to do on these dates (September 18-20, 2015), here are three events that you must not miss this weekend.

The first is the 36th Manila International Book Fair, happening till the 20th. The Book Fair formally opened Wednesday, the 16th, at the SMX at the Mall of Asia and is on its third day. Catch it before it closes to get great discounts, special editions, and new releases. Try to come early, if you can, because the lines can be long and the venue fills up quickly.

MIBF 2015

The second is the 30th Negros Trade Fair at the Glorietta Activity Center. Like the Book Fair, this annual trade fair, the longest running of its kind, opened to the public last Wednesday and will wrap up this Sunday. Don’t miss this opportunity to try out Negros’ best food and drinks and check out their handicrafts and other products.

Negros Trade Fair 2015

Both events are happening south of the metro so if you happen to set a date for one, make your whole day worth it by dropping by the other. Save on gas and stay for the day! I’m going to catch up on these events this weekend so if you happen to bump into me hoarding books (I’ll try to complete my Oliver Sacks collection) or chowing down on lumpiang Negros (PhP60/piece at El Ideal Bakery stall), do say Hi!

Last but not the least, the third event: Heneral Luna is still showing this weekend so please don’t forget to watch it. The only way we will ever get local producers to risk their money on great quality, high value films is if we patronize these movies, so bring your family and friends and fill those cinemas!  The good news is that on its second week, Heneral Luna is still showing in 70 theaters so there is absolutely no excuse for missing it.

In parting, allow me to share this post I found on Instagram, with credit to Mr. Ping Medina who shared this first:

Heneral Luna repost

Reposted from IG (@pingmedina)

Happy weekend, folks!


It’s Bonus Time!

16 Sep

Clinique bonus time loveTaking off from the last post, how about I clue you in on a really good “sale?”

It’s Clinique’s second Bonus Time this year and if you have not yet dropped by your favorite Clinique counters, please do so now before they run out of Bonus Time freebies!

Bonus Time is the perfect opportunity to stock up on your reliable skin care essentials, indulge in new ones, and try out new items from Clinique’s makeup line. This BT set, the second for this year, is a particularly wonderful gift pack because it features so many exciting products that are sure to complement your beauty kits:

  • a trio of Even Better products
    • brightening moisture cream plus,
    • brightening moisture mask, and
    • dark circle corrector
  • my favorite Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes, and Lips in a generous 50ml size,
  • the ever dependable liquid facial soap
  • a tube of Long Lasting lipstick in honey
  • a travel-sized tube of Lash Power mascara in black onyx
  • Quickliner for eyes intense in intense black.

BT 2015 01

For a minimum purchase of P5,000 from Clinique, you can get the eight-piece set for free. Stepping up your purchase with just an additional PhP500 bags you a wonderfully soft, zippered tote for free! I love this bag because it’s the perfect size for carrying my dolls and it’s pink. If you had to choose a freebie, this definitely tops my list. :-)

I purchased several items which I have been waiting for, like the Sculpting Contour and Highlighting Chubby Sticks, the Custom Repair Serum, and the Intensive Repair Lip Treatment. I got a bigger bottle of Take the Day Off for Lids, Lashes and Lips and a new tube of Sonic Facial soap because I was running low on both. I was also able to squeeze in a new lipstick, the new Pop Lip Colour in Nude Pop. I had to hold off on the temptation to buy more Chubby Sticks for the Lips because I still have some new ones in my stash. The salespersons at the TriNoma counter helped me with some of my skin concerns (I’ve been back twice for my Bonus!) and I’m really happy with the products they recommended.

BT 2015 02

I do wish they had the Skinny Sticks on hand; I purchased a couple in the US last month and they are amazing!  I also just found out about the new Pretty Easy Eyelining Pen, which is a must have for me because I am addicted to liquid eyeliners these days.

All in all, this Bonus Time is a big boost for loyal patrons like me. Which just goes to show that I am still a Clinique girl through and through, 32 years and counting. :-) See you at the counters!


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